Though many LinkedIn users are only drawn by the prospect of landing a job, there are plenty of other reasons to return to your LinkedIn network frequently. The larger your network is, the more useful it will be for any purpose, whether it be job searching or seeking advice on a topic that relates to your industry. Therefore it’s in your best interest to grow your network and tend to your connections on a regular basis.
1. Start with the easy stuff
By getting the LinkedIn profile basics in order, your profile will be much more inviting to new contacts. If you have little information, few existing connections, and an incomplete work history, you risk driving new contacts away. So begin by getting some of the easiest items out of the way. This includes a professional-looking profile photo, adding a network of friends and colleagues as your base, and transcribing your resume into LinkedIn. Be sure to create a complete profile, and always remember to check your spelling.
2. Explore the world of LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are great spaces in which to network, and as a result, grow your connections. Be sure to add groups related to your industry, and contribute meaningfully within your groups. Avoid inappropriate advertising or violating the rules of the group. Aim to ask and answer questions, provide resources, and learn more about your industry in the process.
3. Connect with those who are well connected
Your profile is more likely to get added visibility when you connect with people who have a considerable number of followers. This will also get you more mutual contacts, which you can leverage to gain introductions in the future. Though you can’t see the exact number of connections anyone has if it’s over 500, ‘500+’ is still plenty. If you are really curious, there are browser extensions to gain the extra insight.
4. Add your profile link to your signature
One of the easiest ways to drive some extra traffic to your network is by adding a link to your profile in your email signature. You can add it wherever you see fit, really, like your website’s ‘About Me’ page or on your other social media channels.
5. Switch your email address
Use your professional email address instead of your personal one when you log in to LinkedIn. LinkedIn will then recommend that you invite certain contacts that do not already have a profile or it connections with contacts that do.
6. Offer to write guest posts
Find people who are renowned in your industry and offer to contribute a guest post to their blog or website. That way, you will have access to a new audience that already has an interest in the relevant subject. At the end of the guest post, include a brief bio along with a link to your website and/or social media channels.
Once you’ve grown your network, it is important to deepen the connections you’ve made, rather than allow them to exist simply for the numbers’ sake. Take the time to engage with content that your connections are posting, ask questions from industry experts, give recommendations for people you’ve worked with, and offer job referrals when appropriate. By fostering these relationships, you are much more likely to find value in your vast network.