I’ve Got LinkedIn Connections, Now What?

So, now you have a LinkedIn account, some initial connections, and you want to take it to the next level?  Here are five tips on how to leverage your connections, how to increase your network, and how to get the best ROI out of every inch of your LinkedIn profile.  Read, Enjoy, Implement!

1)  Get More Connections!

Despite what some people might argue, there are no such thing as too many LinkedIn connections.  If that random guy that you worked on one project with ends up getting moved to a really cool part of your company, or to a really cool different company, now you have a chance to reach out to him, congratulate him, and ask him for a sit-down to discuss his new opportunity.  Without that random connection, that opportunity would have never come to your door.  Take a look at the last 4 org charts you have been a part of, then invite everyone you worked with.  After that, routinely go through LinkedIn’s recommended connections to see who else you can add on an ongoing basis.

2)  Get Some Recommendations!

Here is where you want to be a little bit more selective.  You only want rockstar recommendations from peers/employees, or good solid thorough recommendations from supervisors and key stakeholders.  Comb through your connection list and send out several requests for referrals.  Please write a personal request, rather than using LinkedIn’s canned referral request.  You are asking them for a favor, so offer them something in return to get the best result.  If you do happen to be an absolute rock star, then send out several requests.  5 referrals are better than 3, and 10 referrals are better than 5.

3)  Engage With Your Connections!

Reach out and congratulate people on their promotions, comment on their updates, and e-mail old colleagues to get life updates on your own.  LinkedIn is only as powerful as you make it, so that random guy from that random project still needs to remember you in order to take the meeting request.  I will always remember when my manager’s manager, twice removed, e-mailed me on my birthday one year after I had left her group.  I had not spoken with her since leaving the group, but now she is high up on my list of people who I would like to work for again if I ever get the chance within this organization.

4)  Tout Your Skills!

LinkedIn now has a section which allows you to post up to 50 skills, all of which will help you show up in more searches which will lead to more connections, more engaging conversations, and potentially more job offers in the future.  I would only list skills that you consider yourself at least intermediate in (I would not want to broadcast that I am a beginner on some skill), but I would try to fill up the entire list of 50 skills if you can.  The more the better.

5)  Use Your Links To Build Your Personal Brand!

LinkedIn allows you to add multiple links to your profile.  Add your Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Quora accounts to the page so that other professionals can find out exactly what you want them to when they are looking at you.  Carefully build, maintain, and protect your online brand.  But, you should definitely be taking advantage of every square inch of Your LinkedIn profile that you can.

I hope that helps.  Good luck out there!

Todd Hagopian

Please follow this conversation on quora.com:  http://www.quora.com/Ive-got-connections-Now-what-Whats-your-advice-to-Linkedin/answer/Todd-Hagopian

About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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