Getting Started With LinkedIn: How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network Fast In 4 Steps

There’s no doubt that many businesses – small and big, are killing it, getting new clients, leads and sales everyday on LinkedIn. You too can but it all starts with knowing how to grow a responsive network on LinkedIn. In this post, you’ll discover 4 more simple but effective ways of positioning yourself to attract your ideal clients on LinkedIn, and more-so, daily grow the size of your LinkedIn connection fast. Read on for the step by step process of how to achieve that…

4 More Fail-Proof Ways To Significantly Start Building And Expanding Your LinkedIn Network Really Fast

linkedinfluence - get more linkedin network referrals businessNetworking on LinkedIn is about connecting with people (in your industry) you do not know as well as people you already know. In this post, you’ll discover 4 more ways to grow your LinkedIn network fast, with people you do not know (yet). The methods are different for connecting with each type of contact on Linkedin.

In part 1 of this series, we covered 4 methods of adding up to 500 more connections on LinkedInachieves).

 

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NOTE: The purpose of these LinkedIn tutorials is for you to use responsible marketing by first building relationships with the new connections you make and NOT to SPAM them with unsolicited messages in the name of “marketing” your products, services or business opportunities.

Unlike other social media networks, LinkedIn members ignore ‘irresponsible marketing gimmicks’ and you risk getting banned if you spam on LinkedIn.

If you’re online for business, you’ll be looking to find and profit from your ideal customers on LinkedIn, right?. With this post and the previous one, you should be able to increase your LinkedIn network. The other part of converting those contacts to leads and salesis what is covered in details by Lewis here. I encourage you to

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Grow LinkedIn Network #1: Ask And Answer Questions On “LinkedIn Answers”

linkedin answers - grow linkedin network
Everyone likes to hook up with the ‘smart kids on the block’ and it’s the same on online social networks like LinkedIn. The more helpful you are, the more invites you are likely to receive from others AND business too. Responding to LinkedIn answers in your niche will attract targeted customers, wow them and make them come to your website for more. LinkedIn Answers allows you to enter 3 website URLs as references, for each answer provided.

How LinkedIn Answers Led to $250,000 New Sales [Case Study]: Here’s a YouTube video interview this man who used LinkedIn answers to bring in a quarter million dollars business to his company. You too can, if you regularly add value to your ideal clients through LinkedIn answers. LinkedInfluence goes in-depth on more and detailed how-tos for getting clients and sales from LinkedIn.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feTZWBE8QwI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Grow LinkedIn Network #2: Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups and Participate In Discussions

growing linkedin network - how to linkedin group

#1: Join LinkedIn groups related to your own field or market niche. That’s where you will meet and network other people – who knows where your next deal will come from? LinkedIn allows 50 groups but 15 first for a new account.

LinkedIn groups is one of the strategies to gain more exposure and ideal clients, to you and your brand – the more you get out there and get noticed, the more likely you’ll receive LinkedIn connection invites from others, that is assuming you add expert value to discussions.

#2: After joining LinkedIn groups relevant to your business, start engaging and interacting – that’s how you’ll be noticed and attract your ideal client. Jump  into the discussions – add valuable comments to other people’s posts on the groups, help out other members by answering their questions, ask for help if you need one, send direct messages to group members, share other members’ comments

Another reason to participate in groups is that LinkedIn emails group discussions to group members – so that get your message exposed to more people, meaning likelihood of receiving more invites if you add value to discussions.

#3: To find a LinkedIn group or sub-group (in your market niche) to join, search under “Groups” with your keyword and be sure to look at number of members and activity (number of posts shared;

Grow LinkedIn Network #3: Send LinkedIn Invites to Connect With Other People

While you’ll be getting other people invite you to connect with them on LinkedIn, you can also grow your LinkedIn connection significantly if you invite more people to connect with you. Their first level connections are likely to notice you (via LinkedIn search or other means) and request to connect with you.

Important Note: To avoid being labelled as a spammer and getting banned, only invite people in any of these categories:

  • Current and past colleagues: You are colleagues at one of the companies you listed under employment in your profile
  • Classmates: You are classmates in any of the schools you listed as attended
  • Business acquaintances: You have done business at one of the companies you listed under employment in your profile
  • Group members: You belong to same LinkedIn Group (no need to know the person’s email address. Just select the group you both belong to). Can you see why joining groups is a good way of making it easy to connect with people you do not know previously, who may be your target customer.

Note that in some of the LinkedIn invite options, you will be required to enter the person’s email address.

linkedin networking-linkedinfluence review

Here are other great ways to expand your LinkedIn Network:

A: Send LinkedIn invitations to:

  • Current and past clients (and be sure to request for their recommendations, after they accept). ALWAYS ensure to customize the LinkedIn connection invite note, whenever you invite other people to your network;
  • Your blog subscribers, when you email them – place a text link of your LinkedIn profile and ask them to connect with you
  • Some of your LinkedIn group members you have interacted with or seen their contributions on the group
  • Other bloggers you have become friends with, in the blogosphere
  • Your Facebook and Twitter followers

B: Other ways to grow your LinkedIn connection from outside LinkedIn:

  • Place the LinkedIn connection badge or button on your blog sidebar so that your readers can see it and follow you on LinkedIn
  • Place your LinkedIn connection button or text link as email signature
  • Use the LinkedIn people search to Search for old classmates or work colleagues – simply send LinkedIn connection invitation to those you think you have something in common with.

NOTE: To expand your connection with people you do not yet know, it is safer to join groups and add group members OR Join the Open Networkers Group OR find a first level connection who knows the person you want to invite, THEN ask him/ her to introduce you to that connection (via LinkedIn Introduction).

Grow LinkedIn Connection #4: Show Social Proof (Get and Give LinkedIn Recommendation)

Your recommendations display on your LinkedIn profile – that is, the people that endorse / recommend you on LinkedIn and those that you endorse.

Before other people invite you to their LinkedIn network or accept your invitation, they are likely to check out your profile and that has a great deal to do with their accepting or ignoring your LinkedIn connection request. See why it’s important to put up a good profile?

Social proof increases belief, trust and confidence of a prospective customer or client.

Your LinkedIn profile is what people searching LinkedIn for a solution provider (in your field) will see. There’s a section for “recommendation” – it’s a proof of your ability and your claims.

Why is LinkedIn recommendation powerful? In a world where people have to do business virtually, the next best thing to verifying your claims is to check out your recommendation. Many companies who head-hunt via LinkedIn Jobs and direct contacts usually state that respondents with recommendations will be given preferential treatments over others. Are you beginning to see how it works?

Important: Endeavour to request for recommendation via LinkedIn from your clients and customers every time you successfully complete a service delivery or project. A lot of business people are now on LinkedIn, so that makes it easy finding a client on there, to ask for a recommendation.

What about your old, happy customers/ clients? Send them a request for recommendation via your LinkedIn page.

linkedinfluence - get more linkedin referrals business

Resources and Tips on Giving and Receiving LinkedIn Recommendation

Also Recommend Others: Do to others as you’d like them do to you – Ensure to also give honest recommendation to others you have provided a service for and vice-versa, when they ask for it. What should you say when writing recommendation for others?

Don’t Do this: Occasionally, some LinkedIn members ask for recommendations from those they have never had any dealings with. Instead of accepting and writing a vague recommendation, simply decline; also be sure not to request for recommendations from LinkedIn contacts that don’t know you or your business enough.

Putting It All Together: Your Next Steps

Now is time to take action – put what you’ve read above to practice, to work for you. So, here are your 5 action steps to start growing your LinkedIn Network, beginning from today.

  1. Become active on LinkedIn: Participate in LinkedIn Answers – ask and answer questions
  2. Join active LinkedIn groups in your field/ market AND be active there. Contribute to discussions posted in the groups and/ or start a discussion.
  3. Send out connection invites to people you know, done business with before, belong to same LinkedIn groups etc. And start by inviting Stella (me) to connect with you on LinkedIn.
  4. Get Social Proof – ask for recommendations from past, happy customers clients and after every successful project; also ask past office colleagues and past classmates to endorse you on LinkedIn. Be sure to also recommend others you’ve worked with or done business with;
  5. Follow the tutorials in LinkedInfluence, if you want to use LinkedIn to generate new sales and new deals.

Finally…

What we have covered in part 1, and now part 2 of the “Getting started with LinkedIn for Business” is just like scratching the surface of what you can do to get results on LinkedIn. There’s so much that I cannot possibly cover in 1 or more posts. LinkedInfluence goes into more depth and details of the What to do AND How to do them to build and convert your your LinkedIn connections.

As always, thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments and hearing how your LinkedIn contacts are increasing.

Comment and Share:

  • If you enjoyed reading this post, please help get one friend out there to learn how to grow and nurture their LinkedIn network
  • Let’s discuss this post – leave me a comment to let me know you came, read and loved this post:)

I’ll see you on the comments side,

 

Stella

29 thoughts on “Getting Started With LinkedIn: How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network Fast In 4 Steps”

  1. I still run into many entrepreneurs still not sure what to do with LinkedIn. It is still overlooked. I too have recently started to pay more attention to it.

  2. Thanks stella for the tips on linkedin, i was not knowing these kind of tips in linkedin, and thanks for sharing this info.

  3. That’s a post I really need.
    There are 2 years that I am “linked in” and I only have 70 connections.
    Maybe because linkedin is a little different from facebook and twitter in terms of getting followers.
    Tks Stella , I am your new follower.

  4. This is awesome stuff, Stella. Linkedin is awesome. I love the tips you gave about joining groups and then sending invites to the members of those groups. This really helped me grow my network because initially, I used to be so frustrated because I couldn’t make any connections with people on Linkedin. Whenever I would try to invite someone to connect, I would get the message asking for that person’s email address. After I learned how to use Groups, I no longer get that message.

    Thanks for sharing these tips.

  5. One roadblock I’ve found with Linkedin has been connecting with new people. We’re supposed to connect with only people we already know, which seems to defeat the purpose. Connecting with people on Twitter and Linkedin groups is a great tip in connecting with more people. Very nice advice.

  6. Hi Stella!

    Thanks for being 1 of my top commentators…I know, it’s been awhile. 🙂

    Yet again, another article I have read about LinkedIn. I’m going to have
    to find the time to finally get over there & establish myself as far as
    interacting is concerned.

    It’s so nice seeing you again!!

    Have a highly inspired day…your tribal friend Steven Suchar

    1. Thanks Steve – I’m glad to be one of your top commenters. Good to see you around (again).

      I look forward to hearing your about success with LinkedIn.

      Well done at your blog – I’m loving the latest posts:)

  7. Hi Stella,

    Those are excellent tips! LinkedIn is a very professional network and its members are quite different from those on Facebook or other social networks. So you have to conduct yourself in a very professional manner.

    Although I have been a member for many years I hadn’t really used LinkedIn the way I should have until I studied LinkedInfluence. Excellent course which I highly recommend for anyone who’s serious about building a network on LinkedIn.

    Great post!

    Ilka

    1. Hi Ilka:

      Good to see you around. Welcome to my blog and thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my LinkedIn connection tips.

      You’re right – LinkedIn requires a very different approach (from Facebook) because of the general “expected” professional conduct by its members. I’m glad that the platform is quickly becoming more accommodating to people building networks to grow their businesses.

      Thanks for your contribution on the topic, and especially for your positive testimonial on LinkedInfluence course.

      Enjoy your day:)

  8. LinkedIn seems like a more serious social network than the other existing ones. The ideas you have shared on this post are all very relevant to new LinkedIn users who also want to promote their businesses. I am sure if used correctly then one might end up making even more than a quarter million dollars 🙂 I have learned a lot from this post.

  9. Awesome post, Stella. I particularly like strategy #2 – the use of groups. I used to be so frustrated because I couldn’t figure how to add people I didn’t know to my network on Linkedin. Once I discovered how to use groups, it became effortless. Thanks for sharing the other tips. I’ll definitely start applying them.

    Stop by my blog sometime 🙂

    1. Thanks, Etieno. You’re right – LinkedIn groups are great places to get exposed to targeted contacts who are likely to invite you to connect with them.

      I’m happy that it’s working for you.

      Cheers:)

  10. Hi Stella!

    Confession time, I didn’t actually read this article, although I plan to later on. I just wanted to stop by and say hello.

    I haven’t forgotten about the time you generously spent preparing that mind map for my blog. I do plan to implement a fair number of your suggestions, alas, my computer saga continued on just when I though it was over, so getting any real work done online was out of the question.

    Ended up being the subject of my long awaited latest blog post, which while very off topic for my blog, was very satisfying to write!

    1. Hi Jonathan – I’m happy to see you again; it’s been a while. Thanks for dropping by – it’s okay, you can read the post whenever you have the time. You’re welcome:) I know you did not forget about the mind map help – it was my pleasure doing it for you.

      I was at your blog a couple of times and saw no recent activity – I just presumed you were busy at work. I didn’t know that the sucking Levovo issue on your new Laptop was still ongoing (at the time). That took so long. I can imagine how you would have felt without your most important blogging tool – and for that long. Terrible customer service that is.

      So, I’m glad you finally got a replacement laptop and will be blogging frequently soon again. Just read your “Lenovo sucks” rant (lol) and from the description of the pretty new machine I was already drooling to see a pic of it down in that post. I look forward to the new contest – I’m in the “winning mood”.

      Again, thanks for coming around and I look forward to read more of your posts. Enjoy your day!

  11. Hi Stella,

    It’s a shame that I don’t have an account on linkedin until now 😀 My good friend told me that you have to get a premium account to access all the good stuff. Do you recommend premium or the basic one? I want to try it before the world ends in 2012 lol! Seriously, I’m job hunting 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. Good to see you around, Jane:)

      It’s better late than never – to get on LinkedIn. You don’t need the premium account to get results from LinkedIn, especially for job hunting. With a free LinkedIn account, you can connect to many recruiters and head-hunters you find using LinkedIn search AND they can also find you easily, if you created a good Linkedin profiled that matches what they are looking for. Being on LinkedIn, you can expose yourself to opportunities that are not advertised outside. Also, LinkedIn jobs is also a great feature.

      When you’ve got good results from taking action on your free account, you may decide to upgrade to the premium – then you would have known whether or not you need a paid LinkedIn account. That’s just my 2 cents.

      So, go signup for the Free LinkedIn account and see this post on the section on How to write a good LinkedIn profile. I wish you luck, Jane.

  12. Thanks for putting this up there. I did not believe that Linkedin would work so well. All we have to do is just put into action what you have written because if we decide not to it is our loss.

    Lawrence Bergfeld

    1. Thanks Lawrence – now you know that LinkedIn is a good source of business for any kind of business. I hope you’ll take action on those steps to start, by growing your LinkedIn network.

  13. Great LinkedIn tips here! When I was a recruiter I used it to find people for positions – I wish more people know how much recruiters use it to find candidates, especially in this economy!

    1. Thanks, Anthony. I’m glad you are one of those people that have once before, got results from LinkedIn, as a recruiter.

      Today, many business types are also getting value from LinkedIn and hopefully more and more small business owners will learn how to use it to get leads, referrals and sales.

      Hey, I’m watching your video tutorial on how to make ‘Butter Pecan Ice Cream’:) Good stuff there and great presentation – love it:)

        1. I did, Anthony. In fact I also checked out and bookmarked the other videos – you’ve got a good way of presenting your Foodie show and I like that you tweak other people’s recipe to make it less sugar and “guilt-free”:)

          You’ve got a fan here – keep up the good job!

  14. Hi Stella,

    More fabulous LinkedIn tips here!

    It’s interesting how growing a LinkedIn network is similar to growing a Facebook network. Join groups and add immense value.

    The biggest difference is learning the nuances of the network. LinkedIn operates a bit differently than FB. As you note, any hint of spamming is not tolerated at all. The LI crowd is a bit more sophisticated and demands value from members.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Stella!

    RB

    1. Thanks Ryan, for dropping by to read and comment. I’m glad you like the LinkedIn networking post:)

      Agreed, the process of growing LinkedIn networking is similar to that at Facebook. However, as you rightly noted, the folks at LinkedIn are quite “geeky” and intolerant of the kind of “in the face, salesy marketing” that happens on Facebook, especially on FB groups. Again, LinkedIn community value adding is somewhat similar to what happens at social media Q & A sites like Quora and Focus.

      Thanks for reading and for your wonderful comment:)

  15. Stella,

    Great tips!

    I getting more and more into LinkedIn and I find it a great way to build your authority and expertise.

    I’m just going through LinkedInfluence myself and I have learned quite a bit about LinkedIn so far.

    Also, I have included LinkedIn groups & answers and part of my relationship building activities.

    Currently I’m dedicating time on those on every other day.

    I feel that LinkedIn as a resource is hugely underused.

    Timo

    1. Thanks for coming around, Timo.Good to see you:)

      Agreed – LinkedIn is highly under-utilized by people in business and that is because not many people know how to use it for business; some think it’s only for job seekers while others get in and spam in the name of prospecting AND they do not get desired results.

      I’m glad you’ve purchased LinkedInfluence LinkedIn course and started working through the tutorials – you’ll sure get profitable results from your LinkedIn efforts, soon.

      It’s the best thing that you’ve done – including the LinkedIn Answers and Groups as part of your overall relationship building drive. Daily working those about half an hour daily will sure pay off.

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