Networking is an amazing, proven strategy to make connections in your industry that can further your career and these days you no longer have to wait for the next local networking event to do so.
With LinkedIn, you can network anytime and anywhere from the convenience of your laptop or mobile phone.
LinkedIn has more than 467 million users and it’s changed the way we network. On this professional platform, you can apply for jobs and connect with people in your industry as well as former co-workers. But the main reason LinkedIn is such an awesome place for networking is the ability to connect with the biggest names in your industry that you would’ve never had the chance of meeting in person before.
So how do you network on LinkedIn and develop relationships that can skyrocket your career? Check out these tips for how to network on LinkedIn like a pro.
Make your profile stand out.
Making a good first impression is always important when networking in person and it’s the same for networking online. So before you start networking on LinkedIn, you need to make sure your profile is filled out and fully optimized. Ensure that every section of your LinkedIn profile has been completed so there’s no obvious blank spaces or gaps. Your LinkedIn profile is like your resume, so you want it to look as professional as possible. This includes a great headline that lets others know exactly what you do and what you specialize in.
A great tip that will help your profile get found by professionals and recruiters in your industry is to use keywords. Using keywords in your headline, summary, and experience will give you an added advantage when networking. For example, if another user on LinkedIn searches for “content marketer” and you’ve used that keyword in your profile, you’re more likely to come up in search results which gives you a greater opportunity to connect with leaders in your industry.
And never underestimate the importance of your profile photo. LinkedIn profiles that include a professional looking headshot get more views and interactions than ones without. So never leave your profile picture blank.
Connect with people and interact.
After your profile is completed and looking impressive, you need to start connecting with other users. When you have over 500 connections on LinkedIn, you appear established in your industry, but you don’t want to add connections blindly. Connect with people in your industry that you could see yourself working with in the future or who could provide you with valuable insights regarding your career.
Always send a personalized note when sending connection requests, a quick message introducing yourself or explaining why you wish to connect will help you establish a relationship and you won’t come across like you’re on a random adding spree to bump up your numbers.
Once your requests are accepted, don’t stop there, you need to start building relationships. Comment on other’s posts, “like” and share their content and even periodically reach out by sending them a message to see how they’re doing. Networking is about creating relationships and if you’re a silent connection, your relationships will never grow.
Post engaging content.
Don’t sit back and let everyone else post awesome content on LinkedIn, present yourself as an expert in your industry as well by posting interesting and educational content of your own. Sharing a great article you’ve read recently on the web is a good start but if you truly want to make valuable connections and represent yourself as a talented thought leader in your industry, you should be crafting your own articles on LinkedIn.
Publishing an article on LinkedIn will not only allow you to share your expertise with your connections but it can also result in more users finding you on the platform. Use hashtags when publishing your article to attract the type of people you want to engage with and grow your network. Having a voice on LinkedIn will make networking a breeze for you and the comment section of your articles is a great place to get the conversation started.
Join LinkedIn groups.
If you want to get noticed and make connections with industry contacts on LinkedIn, a great strategy to do so is by joining groups. Find groups on LinkedIn related to your industry that you can become a part of. For example, a quick search of the group section for the keyword “tech” results in almost 12,000 groups you can become a member of. By joining a few active groups, your profile can be seen by hundreds of thousands of people in your industry and that’s a lot of people you can network with.
For this strategy to be effective, you need to interact in the group. Participate in discussions, answer questions that will showcase your expertise and share relevant content. Remember that groups are about community, not all about you. Focus on being a valuable member of the group and less on trying to sell yourself, this way users will notice you and not be annoyed by you.
Networking on LinkedIn is a great way to make connections in your industry, not only in your area but globally. You never know what opportunities can arise when you can build meaningful relationships with experts and recruiters online. Now that you know how to network like a pro on LinkedIn, there’s no stopping your rising career.