By hosting in excess of 500 million profiles, LinkedIn is THE largest professional networking site used by professionals across a broad business spectrum; CEOs, freelancers, coaches, international corporations etc. Think about it. That’s nearly an unlimited supply of network connections and job opportunities out there waiting for you.
Connections are everything on LinkedIn; they indicate to others that you mean business and show that you are an expert in your field. If you want to increase your visibility, you need to increase your presence – in short, you need to start establishing connections.
LinkedIn also serves as an incredible tool for measuring your progress; the more connections you have the bigger you are, the larger your marketing database. If you are serious about a LinkedIn marketing campaign.
Having only 100-200 connections is not using LinkedIn to its fullest potential, you need to actively grow your database if you want to attract new business. Learning how to increase your LinkedIn connections takes time and effort, but the more connections you have the more powerful your prospecting, networking, and business development efforts will become, and the more deals you will close. It’s as simple as that.
Even having 1,000s of connections on LinkedIn isn’t going to matter that much to you if you don’t utilize them; you need to make sure you have an actionable plan in place for when your database does start to grow.
But as always, it’s never quite that easy. Though LinkedIn does not publish a limit to the number of LinkedIn Connections you can add in a single day, there is a limit to the number of invitations you send out that are not accepted and/or marked as IDK (I don’t Know). Therefore, the best practice would be to limit your invitations per day to <50.
- Use That Pile of Business Cards Stuck in Your Bag
If you are like most business professionals, you are constantly looking for a way to organize the business cards you receive when you network with new colleagues and prospects. The smartest thing to do would be to add them to your network and make it personal, i.e. add a note when you connect, see point 2. As guess what I say 99% of people don’t, so by doing so you will have a greater chance of standing out in a crowd.
- Make it Personal
Personal touches make a big difference. Unfortunately, characters are limited to 300 so write your ending first, and your name, before going back to write the main body of your message.
This could be an example of a message you could use if you’ve not met a person before or if you met them at a networking event, personalize it accordingly.
- Add a Signature
Adding a signature indicates to others that LinkedIn is an important resource to you. Taking it a step further and providing a link in your email signature makes it easy for others to click and send an invitation request.
Go to LinkedIn’s email signature page and look through the designs they have. Select the one you like, and LinkedIn will generate the html code for that design. You then copy and paste the code into your email server’s “signature settings” and you’ll have a very professional LinkedIn email signature that allows people to connect with you at the click of a button. So simple but so effective. Well worth putting that extra bit of effort in. To learn how to do this click here.
Your request was accepted! Now what? Make the connection meaningful by moving it from online to offline. Offline can mean a phone call, video chat, or coffee meeting. Take the time to review the person’s profile to see if there are specific instructions about how he or she prefers to connect and employ these tips to start a conversation.
- Post Content
LinkedIn gives you the ability to join 50 groups. You can use these groups to interact with other LinkedIn members by posting content into the discussion areas within the group. You can also connect with anyone in a group, obviously, they still have the right to accept or reject your invite.
- Message Members
If you want to send someone a message, who you are not connected to on LinkedIn does make it difficult to do so. However, there is a way around this… (watch this video to see how) and learn how to message anyone.
You’ll find that prospecting within groups on LinkedIn is a fantastic method to increase your connections database.
The key to achieving success with this tactic is being genuine and having a quality and relevant message that you can send to your prospects. Try and create a message that speaks to the goals of the prospect. How can you help their business? What value can you bring to the relationship? If your outreach is nothing but fluff, people will see through it. If you’re genuine in building relationships, people will see that too.
Commenting on group posts is a great way to let your communities on LinkedIn know who you are and what you do. It communicates to them your interest in their content and will help build trust within the community. More comments = more trust = more connection requests
Look to engage those who are commenting on the discussion threads that are a good fit for what you do, and make sure you are adding value. When you do, you’ll be surprised how much your connections increase.
- Start Your Own Group
When you own a group, you have a far greater connection to the group than regular members. By managing content, frequent posting, plus when someone joins the group, you can connect with them personally if you wanted (great strategy!) When members see your name on a repeated basis many of them will also send you connection requests. Starting a group is a big-time, long term commitment but the benefits of doing so are tremendous. As your group grows so will your connection database.
- Upload Videos &/or Photos of Events you’ve attended.
Let’s say I gave a workshop in the USA, I could take pictures of my flight ticket. Post pictures of my workshop (get consent first) and say something, In the USA teaching people how to get clients chasing you, want to do the same? Message me on LinkedIn by clicking my pic! Learn how to manual post to your newsfeed by watching here.
Don’t Give Up
If increasing your database is a priority (it should be!) then make sure you start by using these techniques. Plan to spend 15-30 minutes a day to achieve your goals and play around a bit to find the right mix that works best for you; much of succeeding on LinkedIn comes down to sticking with a serious plan. In conclusion: use these techniques and see your connections soar!
If you are truly serious about growing your business, then the best advise I can give is to pick one or two ways you intend to market your business and focus on putting all your energy into making it work. In reality, what most business owners do is spread themselves too thinly.
You don’t want to be the guy or gal that is the Jack of all trades but the master at none. If you want to reap the rewards, learn one craft first and move on from there. LinkedIn has the power to change your business – think I’m kidding you?
First, you need to figure out how many new clients do you need to be generating for your business? Is it 5, 10, 15 per month? Click here to use my ROI generator and find your magic number.
If you find you’re pivoting from one thing to the next without a strategy in place then let me be really blunt here, you are learning by trial and error which will ultimately kill your business.
Is it finally time to work out how to get clients chasing you? If so, click here and book your strategy session now.