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Posted on 12.21.2010

Tips for Expanding Your LinkedIn Network

When used to its fullest potential LinkedIn can be an invaluable tool to build upon and manage your professional network, attract customers and recruit talented people to your business.  As of this month LinkedIn boasts over 85 million users representing 150 industries worldwide.  With all of these connections at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you take advantage of this resource? Below are a few tips to help to expand your personal LinkedIn network:
  • Promote your LinkedIn profile by including a link or web address to it in your email signature, on your business cards, blog and on all of your social networks.
  • Link to your email contacts. LinkedIn can import personal contacts from email services such as Outlook, Yahoo! and Gmail.  Once they are imported you can select who you would like to send invites to.
  • Connect through LinkedIn’s more than 750,000 groups.  Alumni networks, former employer groups and professional organizations are great way to stumble on past connections and can also open doors to new ones.  Send a short, friendly note (re)introducing yourself to people you’d like to connect with.
  • Pull email addresses off business cards. Do you have a rolodex or a place you keep all of the business cards you have collected over the years?  If so, go through them and try to find those contacts on LinkedIn.  There is a good chance they are on there (85 million users strong!!!).
  • Leverage your existing network. Spend time browsing through your connections’ connections to see if there are any people you know in common that you have yet to connect with.
  • Take advice from LinkedIn. The platform is very intuitive so make sure you click on the “People You May Know” section on the top right corner of your homepage to find connections.   Also check out the “Groups You May Like” option under the Groups tab for recommendations.
  • Connect to people you meet on a regular basis. Whether at a business meeting, a conference or a holiday party, we are meeting people constantly.  Take a minute to find them on LinkedIn and send an invitation while you are still fresh in their minds.
What tips can you share about expanding your LinkedIn network?

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