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LinkedIn: How to Build a Network of Value

Friday, November 21, 2014

As discussed in our blog last week, LinkedIn can be an extremely powerful tool for businesses and professionals looking to expand their network.  The key to getting the most out of your LinkedIn presence is to create a “smart” network. By being selective when it comes to building your LinkedIn connections you can create a highly valuable network.

A smart LinkedIn network does not happen instantaneously but requires time and effort to manage the connections that are both relevant and valuable.  One way to leverage your LinkedIn account is by adding contacts you know and trust using the “import contacts” feature. This feature allows you to transfer existing email addresses directly from your email platform to your LinkedIn profile. This is a great starting point for professionals looking to build a smart network that they can use to their advantage.

When inviting people to connect, don’t be quick to hit send on that generic invitation. Instead, write a personalized message explaining why you want to connect, how you know them or what you have in common. Another crucial aspect to creating an intelligent network is being particular when accepting invitations from other LinkedIn users.  For example, you do not want to accept invites from complete strangers with no common thread or mutual friends. On the other hand, if you are not familiar with someone who requests to connect with you however they have common interests, mutual friends or have clearly stated why they would like to connect in their invite then this may be someone you want to accept into your network. It is important to grow your network into something that you can use to your benefit, and this is done by only making “valuable” connections.

Once you have the base of your network in place its time to look for new connections to add to your smart network. When searching for new professionals to add to your network a good place to start is the “People You May Know” section. This allows you to continue to add people you already know weather its an old friend, college professor, previous boss, or past colleague. Next, reach out to industry influencers and other professionals in your area of expertise. And, don’t forget to personalize your message when composing your custom invite!

Another tip to creating a smart network is to use LinkedIn groups to your advantage. Join groups related to your industry and become an active member of that community. Once you are an active part of the group, select to view all members and choose to connect with those who you feel would be a beneficial contact to have in your network. Be sure to mention that you are in the same group and explain why you would like to make their E-cquaintance!

Bottom line, the more valuable your connections are the more beneficial this professional networking tool can be. By carefully managing your LinkedIn account you are ultimately fostering future professional opportunities while sustaining and gaining invaluable connections. Here at JeTT, we are all about connecting with likeminded professionals and businesses! 

Written By: Deanna Di Marco

Posted by Tracy Ryan