You’ve probably read dozens of articles which discuss successful people and how they got to be where they are now. It usually involves a lot of hard work, impeccable timing, and some luck, but there is another thing all successful people have in common: they have good connections. The reason why they have good connections is because they have dedicated a significant amount of time to networking and developing those connections.
How to Build a Great Professional LinkedIn Network to Become Successful
Nowadays, thanks to social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, you can easily network with anyone in your personal life. As far as your professional life and your career are concerned, there is one place, which is more important than the rest. We are, of course, talking about LinkedIn, which is the most efficient tool you need for building a network of contacts. Business networking can provide you with many benefits, such as new job opportunities, connections, advice, and friendship.
This is the reason why we have decided to create a list containing all the things you need to do in order to develop a strong LinkedIn network and use it to reach success. Keep on reading.
1. Polish Your LinkedIn Profile
The first step towards creating a professional LinkedIn network is to create a complete and detailed profile. If your profile contains all the essential data, plus a fresh picture of yourself, you will become easier to find if someone is looking for you. Also, make sure to have a good headline, because that, in addition to your name and your picture, is what will grab the attention of the person who is looking at your profile. Populate your profile with information such as your employment history, as well as your education and the institutions where you have received it.
All of this needs to be presented using a readable and concise format. In case your writing skills could use some work, but you need your profile to be great right away, you can always commission a resume from Resumesplanet, or ask for advice from their skilled writers.
2. Add People You Already Know
The great thing about LinkedIn is that it allows you to import your existing contacts to your account. It doesn’t matter if your friends and colleagues are using Gmail, Yahoo, or Microsoft Outlook, you can simply add all of them. In addition to that, your next “target” should be people you already know, but who you lost contact with over time, such as your classmates, former work colleagues, your old neighbors, someone you have volunteered with, and so on. Another great thing about LinkedIn is that you can also export contacts whenever you need to.
3. Add Industry Influencers to Your Network
After adding people you already know and trust, it’s time to think about who you should add next to your network. We recommend that you add some of the people which are influential in your own industry, or industries closely related to yours. You can find out who they are through social networks, and then add them on LinkedIn.
Another group of people you should absolutely add to your network is individuals who work in the same niche as you do, or have similar skills and interests. You never know when one of them will be on the lookout for someone with a skill set identical to yours, or they know someone who is on the lookout, so make sure that you put yourself out there.
4. Join Groups and Become an Active Contributor
The most active places on LinkedIn are its groups, so make it a priority to join them. However, simply becoming a part of them will not help you make much of an impact, which is why you have to become an active member, and contribute to the conversation. You will get the best results by focusing on your niche and following up to five different groups, because you won’t be able to keep up otherwise.
Sometimes, the most effective form of participation is asking a question about something that you need. You would be surprised how many people will respond to your questions. And how do you find the right groups? Use LinkedIn Group Search feature, which not only indexes group conversations, but it can also help you find groups where influencers are active.
5. Participate and Post on Regular Basis
To keep yourself on the radar of recruiters, influencers, and other LinkedIn users, you need to contribute consistently and not just by sharing interesting articles or blogs. You should post your own original content in the shape of informed opinions, as well as constructive commentaries which will spark discussion. Try to maintain a balance between posting your own content, and discussing the content of other users, because you need to acknowledge their efforts as well. It is also a great way to learn new things and skills. In turn, you provide others with the opportunity to learn from you.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
In order to build a powerful LinkedIn network, you need to be able to overcome your reservations of contacting people you don’t know, especially if they are influential. The good news is, you can find tons of information online about anyone these days, which means you will never be outof ways to strike up a conversation. Not only will you get in touch with people who are thought leaders in your industry, but you can also get practical advice and learn a bunch of new things. If you are still not sure how to contact highly successful people, check out this link.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool which every professional should learn to make the most of. Not only can you develop a wide network of contacts, but you can also get in touch with influential people, learn new skills, get on the radar of the recruiters if you are looking for a new job, reconnect with your old colleagues, and even make friends. Simply put, if you plan on being successful, LinkedIn is definitely the way to go.