Before joining Spindogs as a Front-End Developer I spent many years working as a head-hunter for UK and international computer games studios. My role was to find the best candidates from across the globe and LinkedIn was my tool of choice. As LinkedIn continues to help businesses grow, I wanted to share the tips that helped me expand my network to over 2000 people worldwide.
To expand your networking quickly (and efficiently), I’d recommend the following:
1. Take care with your profile
This might be pretty obvious but the content on your profile will help people find you and your company. LinkedIn is very popular for finding local, national and international organisations, so it is important that all your details are accurate. Try to include as much information as possible and include keywords about your company, services and clients.
2. Understand LinkedIn’s Network System
Expanding your network is the most important aspect of LinkedIn. This determines how easily you can find people and how they can find you.
LinkedIn organises your connections by a tier system:
- 1st tier Connections – People you’re directly connected to
- 2nd Tier Connections – Those people connected to your connections
- 3rd Tier – Those connected on a wider network
- Group – People who share a group with you.
- Out of Network –Your network isn’t wide enough
The results that appear from a LinkedIn search will depend on your network. Naturally, the greater your network is, the greater and more accurate the results will be.
3. Join Lions (LinkedIn Open Networkers)
Lions are members of LinkedIn who have an open network. This basically means they’ll accept all invitations from other members, so it will be benefit their network and then naturally yours. Some LinkedIn members can easily have several million connections, so if you’re new to LinkedIn then adding LIONS to your network will instantly open up your network search results, allowing you to find the people you really want to connect with.
If your company requires an international audience and larger search capability then add LIONS from the USA, Canada, Europe, China, Australia, etc.
4. Join groups
Joining LIONS is definitely a quick start to expanding your network, but for continuous growth within your network it’s important that you join groups. This is because anyone who shares the same group as you can be contacted directly via the group (whether they’re a connection or not) and will also appear in search results.
5. Manage unwanted invites
LinkedIn have a system in place to prevent spammers. Should you receive an invitation from an unwanted networker then it’s advisable to click the “Ignore” tab instead of “I Don’t Know”. Should a LinkedIn member receive around 5-10 “I Don’t knows” then their account will be frozen and that person then must contact customer services to have their account unrestricted.
6. Make sure that you are visible
There are a few ways of becoming visible. For example, my point about joining groups is a great way of becoming more visible in your industry. Another way of becoming more visible is by creating or becoming involved in interesting discussions, as this will increase the traffic to your LinkedIn profile.
When people see an interesting discussion or comment, more often than not they’ll look at that person’s profile to see who they are and what they do. As your profile contains information about your company then it’s quite likely they’ll also visit your website. As a result, someone new now knows about you, your company and also appreciates your expertise.
Also utilise LinkedIn’s status update to promote yourself to your connections. It’s much more efficient to the direct audience who are actually keen to hear about your promotions, news and opinions. Obviously the more connections you have in your network, the more visible you will become.
7. Invite members to your network
In order to invite other members to your network, it’s important to have a wide network search capability in order to find them. If you’ve connected to LIONS and joined groups then finding people of interest and potential clients will be much easier.
There are a number of ways of finding people to add your network. Firstly, use LinkedIn’s advanced search because it allows you to search members from specific industries and locations. You may also wish to search within your groups, so just enter the group you wish to search and click on the members list.
Remember, don’t be reluctant to connect to with other LinkedIn members. LinkedIn is a wonderful community and it holds unlimited opportunities for businesses all over the world.
I hope that you have found these tips interesting and if you would like more advice don’t hesitate to get in touch, as we would be happy help. We also have a range of training packages, including training for LinkedIn, so please contact us for more information.