How To Use LinkedIn For Networking
Looking to make more business connections in a time where socialising is sparse? Look no further than LinkedIn and its incredible networking potential.
As it stands, many people across the world are working remotely. The pandemic has eased somewhat, but realistically, the flexibility remote working affords has to be maintained in order for businesses to remain future-proofed against further lockdown scenarios.
Even without the impact of the virus, there has been a 159% rise in remote work over the last 12 years with 80% of remote workers saying they experience less job stress. Remote working is also beneficial for overall worker morale, for the environment (lower commutes and office use) and for enterprises looking to make the most of a global pool of talent.
Despite the many benefits of remote working and the likelihood we will all be working in this way for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t come free from downsides.
Remote working can be problematic in many ways, causing loneliness, difficulty with work/ life balance, and of course, a bit of a block with networking.
Networking is so beneficial for many companies and freelancers providing a great chance to make connections and build business. Does that mean that networking is over until the pandemic is well and truly squashed? Not necessarily…
LinkedIn Networking: All Your Needs Met In One Place
LinkedIn has 690 million active users and was voted the most trusted platform of 2019. With LinkedIn you no longer have to miss out on networking. Instead, you can network anywhere with an internet connection, anytime you feel like boosting your business connections.
Are you currently making the most of LinkedIn and its networking potential?
If you are already an active LinkedIn member, it’s likely you may not be developing career relationships on this platform that could truly enhance your prospects. LinkedIn holds 30 million companies and sees 2 new users sign up every single second: it’s time to tap into this incredible networking tool. Here’s how:
Create An Incredible Profile
It is so important to make a great first impression online, especially when you are networking. To create a great LinkedIn profile you’ll want to make sure:
- There are no gaps or areas left blank
- It reads as a professional profile, not like a personal profile
- You contain keywords in your summary, headline and experience
- You’re showcasing a professional headshot
Make Targeted Connections
There are nearly 700 million potential connections on LinkedIn yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to start adding any connection wherever you can. Instead, target connections where you can get high-quality insights into your industry or career path, or where you can see a working relationship forming in the future.
By targeting your connections you’re focusing on quality over quantity, in the same way you wouldn’t try to speak to everyone at a networking event. You would use your time connecting with those who are most beneficial to your career, or vice versa.
Personalise Your Requests
In order to make a good impression on potential connections it is important to send a message along with your request.
The message should explain why you want to connect, and why you’re looking to form a professional relationship. This avoids you looking like you’re just boosting your numbers. Instead, it strengthens those new connections straight away, paving the way for high-quality communications and exchanges moving forward.
Be An Industry Leader
If you want your connections to see your expertise in the industry you work in, you have to post phenomenal content on LinkedIn. This will boost your relationship with connections you have made, and help new ones find you on the platform too. It’s also a great way to encourage engagement with potential clients or investors, because a great article is a fantastic conversation starter.
If you can, include some video content when you share, as online users are wanting more and more video content. It is expected that the average person will spend 100 minutes a day watching videos online by next year, and many additional trends support the video focus. To future-proof your content, it is definitely worth including some video as well as text.
Lastly, do make sure that any content you do share is not a constant promotion of your services as that will turn off your audience and may weaken your connections.
Join Groups On The Platform
There are various LinkedIn groups within certain professional interests, industries and topics that can be useful to join. They can give you access to lots of people you can network with, but it’s not a guarantee they will pay attention.
If you want others in your groups to pay attention to you, you’ll need to get actively participating in the group discussions. Show your insight, share interesting content, and give value to those you are interacting with.
Show Interest In Your New Connections
If you do want to make a true professional connection with somebody on LinkedIn, you must build that relationship. A great first note and initial chats are great, but as with any great relationship, it takes sustained effort to truly make it last. Make sure you show interest in what the person is sharing and doing regularly, and don’t be afraid to leave a comment showing your interest.
Nurturing these new connections will hopefully lead to great things in the future, adding true value to your networking efforts online.
“If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.” – Germany Kent
LinkedIn makes life so much easier for business professionals looking to be creative about how they network. And at a time when person-to-person meetups are so limited, and will continue to be that way for the foreseeable future, we all have to be creative about how we make business connections. Why not try LinkedIn today for instant access to a global bank of professionals just like you?
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