8 Ideas to Get More LinkedIn Connections (and stay connected)

by Gerry Moran

Do you have a personal branding LinkedIn strategy? One that keeps your brand relevant?

My great-grandmother used to tell me a story. She’d said you need to take advantage of every opportunity to reach out and touch your network. Build and nurture solid relationships by paying attention to the relationship triggers. Send authentic messages, share meaningful content, and pay attention to the little things.

Well, she really didn’t say that, but you get the point!

From reading this post, you should take away the following three things about your personal brand:

  1. Maintain contact with your current network.
  2. Reach out to new contacts to grow your community.
  3. Add value with your network by sharing and interacting.

B2B relationship-building tools and touchpoints are at our fingertips in your LinkedIn account. Everyday. You just have to understand how to actively participate.

Control your perception and add to your relationship currency on LinkedIn with these eight ideas.

8 Ways to Connect With Your LinkedIn Connections

1. Keep building your LinkedIn network to be more relevant to more audiences

People who know people are the luckiest in the world, right? Share ideas, tips, and insights to connect with more people. This recommendation pertains to you, whether you are a marketer or salesperson. Start new conversations! If every person you know averages 930 followers, then your potential extended community is 864,900. That’s if you have 930 followers. Many of my posts shared by my contacts reach people who are not in my first level contacts!  The goal is to have them connect directly with me.

2. Send customized LinkedIn connect messages and invitations

My great-grandmother would never have extended an invitation without a personalized message. Old-school personalized invitations might sound unnecessary. But, they go a long way in making an impact during the early stages of a relationship. It’s a great way to make a solid first impression—especially since about 95% of LinkedIn invitations come with a generic, default message.

Build and nurture solid relationships by paying attention to the relationship triggers. Send authentic messages, share meaningful content, and pay attention to the little things.

Gerry Moran’s great grandmother

3. Keep up the conversation—if someone reaches out or responds to you

Tag you’re it! The responsibility of conversation and relationship-building lies with the last person touched. Your relationship strategy should include customized notes with links to your blogs or other content. And best of all, more direct messages increase your relevancy in the LinkedIn algorithm — improving your SSI (Social Selling Index) score.

4. Connect with your 2nd and 3rd-level LinkedIn contacts

Get outside of your comfort zone. Connect with 2nd and 3rd-level contacts to build a more extensive network—one that resembles your current network. Introduce yourself to 2nd- and 3rd-level contacts, referencing your common 1st-level connections. Ask a smart question or share the content you think they might find helpful based on what you know from your relevant contact. It’s human nature that people like to help, so put yourself in the position to be supported!

5. Contribute value-add content to your LinkedIn community

Birds of a feather flock together. Add insight and valuable conversation to 2nd and 3rd-level LinkedIn Groups. Take part in these groups to meet new connections and sustain relationships. While you can join up to 50 groups, you should start small, focusing on where your target audience hangs out. Spend time answering questions and contacting people who have may have issues with which you can help.

6. Pay attention to ‘who viewed my profile’

Someone who checked you out must be interested in you, right? You need a quick and relevant response to help spark what might be the beginning of a relationship. Have 2 or 3 ready-to-send replies customized for each type of opportunity. Someone who checks you out may be interested in you but may not know what to say to introduce themselves. Make it easy for them by personally reaching out first.

7. Attend to your current LinkedIn connections and relationships

People love and need to be acknowledged. It could be for their birthday, work anniversary, press mention, or other business-related events. Congratulate 1st-level contacts who have updated their profiles, especially if they’ve changed jobs and companies, to learn about new opportunities for doing business together.

8. Add your point of view everyday to your LinkedIn relationships

Move from “spammy me-centric messaging” to relationship-building and value-add content. Share meaningful content with your network. This sharing encourages them to share with their network, so you have the opportunity to meet new people. And, make sure to add your point of view to everything you post via a simple sentence or two.

Do you have a nuance or a nice touch you use to be successful with your relationship building on LinkedIn? If so, please share below. Or email me at gerry@marketingthink.com.

As my great-grandmother may have said – “it’s the little things that add up to the right relationships and big sales results!”

Gerry Moran is a social media and content marketing strategist who's worked for large global brands and digital agencies. He's spent significant time in hands-on marketing leadership roles with HBO, IKEA, Ralston Purina, Kodak, and numerous digital agencies. He spent his last ten years working at SAP and Cognizant, where he built their content marketing operating models, developed social media training programs, and helped thousands with their LinkedIn makeovers and personal branding strategies.

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