Building Your LinkedIn Network

Late last year, LinkedIn rolled out several new features on the professional social networking site that you may have welcomed or that you may not have taken advantage of. But, were you already utilizing LinkedIn to its full networking advantage? If you’re willing to put in a little effort, add value, and share your expertise, you too can reap the benefits of an expansive network.

Step 1: Complete your Profile

Start with the basics. Review your profile to make sure it’s 100 percent complete, compelling, and includes a professional headshot. It’s important that your profile is not only professional, but interesting.

Step 2: Join Industry Groups

Groups are a good start to creating connections.  Once you’ve selected the appropriate groups, add value by contributing frequently and acknowledging others. In addition to being an active group member, bring your expertise to the Questions and Answers section on the site.

Step 3: Connect with Others

Identify members you would like to know, why you wish to connect and if you are already connected in another way. If you are members of the same group, or have observed or responded to one of their questions, let them know. Give them a compelling reason to connect and let them know that you will value the relationship. Investing the time to craft and personalize your initial communication will demonstrate this. When someone accepts your invitation, send them a thank you message, this simple act separates you from other LinkedIn members.

Step 4: Ask for Introductions

If you or your business is in a niche industry, don’t be afraid to ask for an introduction. It’s absolutely possible that one of your other connections is already connected to the individual you are interested in knowing. Simply send a note to your current connection to see if they will do the honors of introducing you to the third party.

Creating an expansive and powerful network has never been easier with the advent of LinkedIn. Even for the amateur networker these tips can help you to truly stand out.

This week’s blog was written by Kymberly Sheckleford. Kymberly is an Analyst with C2G Resourcing, a subsidiary of Consultants 2 Go, LLC.