In order to build your LinkedIn network, follow these steps.
More connections lead to more conversations, which in turn leads to more business. Think in terms of contacts, clients, influencers, prospective clients and highly networked people. LinkedIn will then work better for you. You can accept up to 30,000 connections; however you only (initially) have 3000 contact requests (you may be able to increase this).
When you make an interesting new contact, check to see if they belong to LinkedIn. If they do, put in a connection request.
The search function only allows you to search for people within your network, the networks of each of your contacts and their contact’s networks. If you have not joined by accepting an invitation to connect with someone who is already on LinkedIn, you will need to build your personal network from scratch, by connecting via email.
* You can do this by clicking the Connect (or Send InMail) button on their profile page.
* Search results – Click Connect to the right of the person’s information.
* Via My Network / People you may know
If you have accepted an invitation to link with someone who has an established network within LinkedIn, you will instantly have access to their network. The quickest way to build your network is to connect with people who are already on LinkedIn. You can do this by emailing some of your contacts, providing them with your LinkedIn URL and asking them to connect with you.
Be an ‘open networker’
Connect with your existing contacts. In addition, you should be open to connecting with new people. This will give you access to a much wider network. Building an extensive network on LinkedIn provides you with access to a huge database of contacts. The more contacts you have, the further your reach and influence.
Showing up within LinkedIn search results
Another benefit of having many 1st degree connections is that when someone is looking for a product or service that you offer, their search results will show 1st level connections first, then 2nd level connections etc.
Increase the number of shared connections that you have between yourself and a contact you are trying to influence. Prospective clients are impressed when they notice that you know many of the same people that they do. The maximum number of connections which appear within a Profile is 500 (make it a key objective to reach this level).
Using LinkedIn for free to find more customers by Nigel Temple
Nigel offers thought provoking and entertaining LinkedIn training and talks.