Are those LinkedIn connections just sitting there—like that box of baseball cards in the closet—gathering dust? Well, it’s time to take action and use LinkedIn to maximize those relationships.
Follow these six simple steps to fill your network with quality Linkedin connections…
Step 1: Define with Whom You Want to Go Deeper
Your LinkedIn network is made up of many types of people, and they’ve become part of your network for differing reasons. Start by choosing the people with whom you’d most like to meet or have a conversation.
Step 2: Make a List of Typical Keywords They Would Have on Their Profile
What combination of keywords could you use to filter your entire network down to the perfect list? These would be words your target audience might include on their profile, like:
- Company name
- Schools attended
- Educational majors
- Job functions
Step 3: Perform a “Connection Only” LinkedIn Advanced People Search
Put your cursor into the Search box in the top toolbar. Then choose Search for People from the drop-down list. Next, click All Filters in the top white toolbar and check “1st” under the Connections filter. Then click the blue Apply button on the top right.
Now that you have a listing of your complete first-level network, take advantage of all the additional filters that are available on this page, including locations, current and past companies, industries, etc.
In addition to the filters, you can enter keywords in the top search box to tighten the search down even further.
Step 4: Set a Search Alert
Once you have completed a search that gives you a really good list of the right people, click the Create search alert box. Then each week LinkedIn will email to you any additional LinkedIn connections who meet your defined search criteria.
Step 5: Send a Message Offering Your Help
After you review the full profile of someone on this list that you’re interested in chatting with, send a direct LinkedIn message and thank the person for being part of your network. If the person is merely a casual acquaintance, remind him/her how you came to know each other. Then mention ways you might be able to collaborate or help each other. You may even want to include a time that you’re available for a meeting or phone call.
The easiest way to send a direct message is to click the Message button on the person’s profile. You can also include attachments and links in this message to give your connection additional information.
Step 6: Set the Appropriate Follow-up
Your connection may not be ready to meet or chat right now.. That does not mean, that he or she won’t be interested in having a discussion with you in the future. So consider setting up some type of follow-up reminder for yourself in whatever system you use.
Your LinkedIn connections are one of your most treasured business assets, not simply a “dusty” digital collection of random people. So follow the six simple steps outlined above. You’ll soon realize just how valuable your network can be for accomplishing your most ambitious business goals.
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.
About the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and also the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.