LinkedIn is all about making connections, from individuals you know personally to individuals you meet through mutual interests on the platform itself.
However, when it comes to making connections on LinkedIn, many feel either confused on the ‘rules’ of how adding connections work or intimated by the notion of adding connections with people they don’t personally know.
With nearly half a billion people on LinkedIn, we know there are people on this platform for you!
When you first sign up with LinkedIn, it will start finding people either based on the companies you’ve worked at, your education, or your email contact list of people that you may know personally. If you are looking to connect with someone that you personally know (and also will recognize you when they see your profile come up), simply hitting “Connect” next to their profile name is all you need to do.
From time to time LinkedIn will also notice as your connections start to grow and recommend other people that you may want to connect with, and may personally know. To see this list at any time, just select “My Network” at the top of your LinkedIn profile, and it will show you who else they recommend adding.
Connecting past your recommendations
In order to properly grow your profile and become an active member on LinkedIn, you may want to start diving into making connections with people that are not part of your immediate circle. Unlike platforms like Twitter or Instagram where you can follow all types of people without having a personal connection with them, LinkedIn likes to keep things professional.
Here are a few tips when it comes to growing your professional network in an appropriate way:
Anytime you reach out to connect with someone you don’t personally know, make sure the note or message that you leave for them is personalized and not the default standard message that LinkedIn creates for you. Maybe you read an article or comment of their’s on LinkedIn - reference that in your message!
A good way to follow-up with someone after a conference or a trade show is to connect with them on LinkedIn. Rather than just asking for their business card and having an email address on hand that you may never use, this is a great way to stay in contact and reach out on occasion.
Pay attention to what your existing connections are posting and commenting on, and engage with them as well. Everyone you know also knows someone else that you may want to know! The easiest way to minimize that degree of separation is to stay in communication with the people you’re connected with through your feed.
Place your LinkedIn profile link in the signature of your email to encourage other people to connect with you. Especially if you’re using this for business purposes, this is a great way to easily add more connections without having to keep searching for people you know - have them come to you!
Here’s a quick walkthrough video on how to find recommended connections through your LinkedIn profile.