Hello and welcome to this article concerning how to leverage your LinkedIn presence, such as who to connect with and what groups to become a part of. This article may be read in conjunction with another offering entitled “Top 5 Tips to a Memorable Profile on LinkedIn” which discusses how to build a solid profile.
Today, we will look at.
Tip #1 – the 3 i’s of appropriately connecting on LinkedIn
Once your profile is well under way, it is time to start building up your network. Here are the 3 i’s of connecting well on LinkedIn:
1. Import: LinkedIn has a functionality whereby you allow the system to access your address book – on Outlook or on Google Mail for instance – and LinkedIn will tell you who among your contacts are on LinkedIn. This is a neat and easy way to quickly create a network based on folks you already know.
2. Invite: when you identify someone whom you would like to connect to, send them an invitation to connect by pressing the blue ‘Connect’ button. Do this ONLY if you already know the person – for instance, you met them recently at a networking event. You see, if you contact someone in this fashion without them having any prior knowledge of who you are, you risk for the individual to respond “I don’t know [your name]”: your account will be restricted if you get five so-called IDKs (‘I don’t know’s). If you don’t know the person, employ instead the introduction route (see point 3 below) or use the InMail functionality to send them a message explaining who you are and why you would like to connect. If they respond positively, then it will make sense to send them an invitation at a later stage.
When you press ‘Connect’, LinkedIn proposes to you a prefabricated message which I heartily recommend you amend. Instead, write a personalised message as this will increase your chances of the individual accepting your invitation: remind them of when you two met and indicate why you would like to connect. Be mindful that LinkedIn only allows a maximum of 3,000 invitations: this may seem a lot but let me suggest that you still be mindful of how many you send out lest you end up running out.
3. Introduce: when you identify someone you would like to add to your network on LinkedIn to but don’t already know, the most effective way to connect is to ask one of your existing LinkedIn contacts to introduce you to them. This is likelier to be a successful route than contacting them out of the blue using the InMail functionality. Introductions work like recommendations and endorsements: they lend you credibility with the person you’d like to connect to. If the introduction is successful, you can then press ‘Connect’ in a second stage.
Tip #2 – wisely accept invitations
Just as there is a protocol around sending invitations, there is an etiquette for accepting invitations. I am often asked: “Should I Avatrade Linkedin Page accept invitations from folks I don’t know?” Here are a few suggestions to help you decide whether to accept an invitation you are unsure about:
- Did the person send you a personalised message helping you to place them? If so, have a think about the potential benefits of connecting with that person.
- What kind of profile does this person have? Do they feature a photo for instance? Is their public profile comprehensively populated? Make sure to connect to real people rather than spammers luring you with a ghost profile.
- What affinities do you two have in common, such as groups, interests, workplaces, skills?
- How many connections do they have and what kind are those? Consider whether you might want to be introduced to some of this person’s contacts in due course.
Tip #3 – calibrate your time commitment
Let me say first off that LinkedIn is the most static of the top three social media sites. While Facebook and Twitter encourage daily activity, there is no such need with LinkedIn. How active you will choose to be depends on whether you wish to just maintain a presence or to actively engage others – for instance, when you are looking for a new position or interested in sourcing information. At the very least, use the ‘Share’ functionality to keep your network abreast of any meaningful update – such as a new role, a fresh qualification and a recent accomplishment. You can also use this functionality to share material, such as articles or videos you found interesting. Note that you do not need to update your network when you revise your profile: LinkedIn will do that automatically.