Grow Your LinkedIn Network: 2 Do’s, 2 Dont’s

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Having lots of connections is beneficial for those of us who want:

  • to find more people with visible information in searches
  • to be found
  • to get referrals.

(Obviously) accepting connection requests and inviting others are the two ways to grow your network.

Inviting others to connect on LinkedIn is a good idea exactly in two cases:

1)  They know you;

2)  They may not know you, but on their profiles they use one or more of the words “Open networker”, “LION”, “Toplinked”, “open to invitations”, “invite me”, etc., or they have their contact information posted on the profile, or they belong to one of the many open networkers’ groups.

Otherwise they may mark your invitation as IDK – “I don’t know you”. It’s not the end of the world and not grounds to be excluded from the network, but your invitation will be wasted. There’s a lifetime limit of invitations, and there’s some legwork to discover lists of  “open networkers”. So here are my two top tips on how to get connection requests from fellow members.

Tip #1. Become an open networker; use those words (above) on your profile. Accept invitations from everyone except your enemies.

Tip #2. Become someone with whom members will want to connect: Take the time to create and post interesting content. Be the first to share news on relevant groups. Engage in group discussions. Ask and answer questions. Share  interesting and relevant content.

It will not happen overnight but your invitation volume will increase. A larger network will send some messaging traffic your way, but we all know how to use the Delete button. The benefits are much higher than the increased need to filter emails.

Here’s what not to do:

Non-Tip #1. A LinkedIn invitation is not among the best practices as a way to send someone a job description. There are better ways to do that.

Non-tip #2. Posting a message on any LinkedIn group saying “Everyone, connect with me!” is SPAM.

Happy networking!

-Irina (LinkedIn Profile).

These are my current numbers:

Here’s my network graphical representation (not very practical but interesting to view):