How To Network On LinkedIn In 2020

 

Whether you are applying for jobs or trying to build greater visibility online, LinkedIn has the right solution for you. Here is how to network on LinkedIn like a pro so you can achieve your goals faster. 

 

Why network on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is undoubtedly a leading social media tool for professional networking. 

There are currently over 675 million members. 

90 million of these members are senior-level influencers. In addition, 63 million decision-makers use LinkedIn.

With over 30 million companies using LinkedIn, the network gives you unprecedented access to make connections that matter. 

If you know how to network on LinkedIn well, you can gain access to people you may not have had a chance to meet off-line. This means that you can diversify your network in ways that were previously not possible. 

You can then utilize this network when looking to advance your career, find mentors, or achieve other important goals. 

In other words, it is an invaluable tool for both your professional and personal development. 

Additionally, you can also build a strong personal brand online and showcase your expertise in the industry. 

In short, there is no doubt that LinkedIn is one of the most powerful networking tools of our time. 

 

How to network on LinkedIn effectively?

Just like any other social network, LinkedIn continues to evolve. What may have worked well in the past might no longer be relevant. 

Below is a list of expert tips that will help you understand how to network on LinkedIn in 2020. Follow these steps to make the most out of this powerful social media tool. 

 

  1. Define your social media strategy
  2. Create a profile that attracts attention
  3. Diversify your network and reach out to the new connections
  4. Accept new connection requests
  5. Connect to people suggested by LinkedIn
  6. Join relevant groups and contribute to them
  7. Publish your own content
  8. Use status updates to keep your profile alive
  9. Interact with others to increase your visibility within the network
  10. Look for opportunities to add value
  11. Take your LinkedIn connections off-line

 

1. Define your social media strategy

Before you start connecting with new people, consider what you are trying to achieve. 

What are your goals? Are you trying to reach out to potential employers so you can land your dream job? 

Do you want to explore new career paths? Are you trying to find new mentors who can provide you with career advice? 

Do you want to build greater credibility within the industry? Perhaps you want to find new clients?

Understanding your priorities will help you decide which techniques to build your professional network are best for you. Furthermore, it will ensure that you stay focused. There is no real benefit in sending out hundreds of LinkedIn invitations to random people. Instead, focus your time on creating connections aligned with your goals. 

 

2. Create a profile that attracts attention

Your first step to networking on LinkedIn starts with a profile that stands out. Most people want to see your profile before they connect with you. 

Additionally, an optimized LinkedIn profile ranks higher in search results. This means that other LinkedIn users will be more likely to find you. 

In other words, think of your LinkedIn profile as a vital aspect of your personal branding online.

Here is a quick checklist you can use to make sure that your profile stands out:

  • Upload a high-resolution profile photo. LinkedIn users with profile photos get 21 times more views
  • Replace your background image with a photo that represents your company or your work.
  • Ask for LinkedIn references from your connections.
  • Update your LinkedIn headline to make your profile stand out.
  • Create a strong summary statement of your experience.
  • Include your achievements and success stories.
  • Upload examples of your work to turn your profile into a portfolio. Consider including videos, images, links, and documents.
  • Customize your LinkedIn URL. If you are not sure how to do this, follow this LinkedIn article
  • Think of LinkedIn as a search engine and optimize your profile with keywords. This will directly influence your ranking in the search results. 

Review your LinkedIn account and ask yourself if your profile tells a compelling story. If not, take the time to make more updates until your profile shows a clear value proposition. 

Pro tip: Put your customized LinkedIn URL on your business cards. This will make it easy for people to find your profile and connect with you. 

Related article: Best Ways To Optimize Linkedin Profile In 2020 (Research Backed)

 

3. Diversify your network and reach out to the new connections

It is important to connect with people you know. Even so, LinkedIn is about expanding your network beyond what is possible off-line. 

By all means, add people you know as connections. To make it easier, you can even import your contacts from your phone or your email account. 

However, once you do that, it’s time to reach out to new people. 

You can use LinkedIn advanced search functions to find people in industries and roles that are most relevant to you. Additionally, LinkedIn filters will help you narrow down your results to a specific industry and location. For instance, you can search for “digital marketing” in “San Francisco” or “Los Angeles.” You can also search using keywords or see people who have worked at a specific company. 

Always send personalized invitations by including a personal note before you hit the “connect button.” Even a short note will help you start the relationships in a more personal way. It also shows that you are considerate and that you care about your connections.

If you are looking for a new job, there are some useful hacks that will improve your job searching process. LinkedIn makes it easy for you to do an advanced search to identify people with specific job titles. For instance, you can use it to find Human Resources personnel or recruiters. 

Once again, make sure that you create thoughtful connections and send personal notes. You don’t want to be a job seeker who spams everyone! 

In addition, if you find a job posting that interests you, check if anyone in your network can refer you for the role. 

 

4. Accept new connection requests

Develop a habit of accepting new requests soon after you receive them. This is one of the quickest ways to grow your network. 

If you are hesitant about accepting connection requests from people you don’t know, remember that you can always remove them or block them. If you need to, you can also report a connection. 

 

5. Connect to people suggested by LinkedIn 

Take advantage of the LinkedIn algorithm that helps you find “people you may know.” This is another excellent technique to expand your LinkedIn network. 

Avoid blindly sending out hundreds of invitations. Keep in mind your goals for networking. Review the person’s profile before connecting with them. 

Then, select the most relevant people and send them a personalized note. 

 

6. Join relevant groups and contribute to them 

Use the advanced search function to identify groups in your industry or area of work.

Joining groups is an excellent way to connect with people who have the same interests as you. This can be related to your industry but also social causes.

The key to getting the most out of groups is to identify groups with a lot of recent activity. That way, you can focus on groups that have regular interactions between members. 

After you join the relevant groups, start contributing to them. 

For instance, participate in discussions. Craft thoughtful responses to engaging discussions. 

Don’t hesitate to offer advice to others. You can also ask questions that can elicit great responses.

Pay attention to the type of content that gets the most interest from members. 

After a while, you will be able to get to know other members. You can also use it to connect to even more people who are in the same group as you. 

 

7. Publish your own content

Publishing is a quick way to boost your visibility and create engagement with others. Start by writing your own articles on LinkedIn. 

Focus on engaging content that you think will resonate with others. Try to create native content, rather than repurposing your content from other sites. 

In other words, your LinkedIn articles should be written specifically for that platform.

LinkedIn makes this process easy with access to the Publishing Platform.

If you are more comfortable with video, you can upload videos directly from your device. 

Your network will be notified each time you publish a new piece of content. On that note, avoid publishing daily as you may tire your audience. 

To sum up, the key to success with publishing is to create engaging, interesting content. 

 

8. Use status updates to keep your profile alive 

It can be easy to forget about the new connections once you make them. However, to get the most out of your network, you need to engage with people. 

A good way to approach this is by regularly updating your status.

Status updates are an effective way of letting people know what you are up to. This functionality is similar to other social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter.

Whenever you update your status, your message is shared with people you are directly connected to. This, in turn, helps you maintain a visible online presence. It also ensures you stay relevant.

Some career coaches recommend updating your LinkedIn status profile as often as once per week. 

 

9. Interact with others to increase your visibility within the network

When you see content posted by your LinkedIn connections that is valuable, like it or comment on it.

For example, if you find articles that could be valuable to others, share them. When your connection like that content, it will show up on their feed. What this means is that their connections will be able to see it as well. 

When you do share content, add a quick note to explain why you think it is valuable. This is far more engaging and can result in better interaction. 

You will also notice that LinkedIn lets you know if anyone celebrates an anniversary or starts a new position. You can “like” these notifications or, better yet, send them a personalized message. 

Pro tip: Download LinkedIn mobile app. The app will make it easy for you to check your LinkedIn account regularly wherever you are. 

 

10. Look for opportunities to add value

Aim to create and maintain meaningful connections. Once you connect with someone, review the person’s profile in detail. 

What do you have in common? Is there any way in which you can bring reciprocal value? 

Adding value should also be your main focus whenever you are interacting with others. For instance, before you post a comment, ask yourself how it can best benefit others. 

 

11. Take your LinkedIn connections off-line

As important as online connections are, they should always supplement, not replace, building relationships in-person. 

After you connect on LinkedIn, engage with people beyond the online platform. 

Invite your LinkedIn connections to meet in real-time. For example, you can suggest a video call, a phone call, or a quick coffee catch up. You can also attend networking events. 

This approach is most effective if you first take the time to establish a deeper connection. You can do this by using some of the techniques mentioned in the above steps. For instance, interact with people in groups, comment on their content. In other words, show interest in their activities. 

 

Conclusion

By now you should see how to network on LinkedIn to achieve your goals. The key to achieving success in online networking is authenticity and consistency. 

Effective LinkedIn networking starts with clarifying your social media strategy. 

Make your profile stand out to boost your online presence. Be creative in your approach to creating new connections. Personalize each invitation to connect. You can also join groups and reach out to people who share your interests. 

Interact with others to build your network and boost your personal branding quicker. Participate in discussions and look for ways to contribute. Focus on posting engaging content. 

Above all, always aim to provide value to others through your interactions. This will help you grow your network with confidence. 

Although networking takes time and effort, these techniques will help you make the most of your connections. This, in turn, will ensure that you build meaningful, long-term relationships that benefit everyone. 

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