In a previous article I wrote about the need for a LinkedIn networking strategy that talks to your goals in your career or business. This article is a follow-up and in this article I talk about five ideas for the Aggressive LinkedIn networker. You might recall that spoke about the 3 LinkedIn Networking Strategies namely Aggressive, Conservative or Moderate. Come to think of it’s just like investing isn’t it? The ideas that I discuss here are intended to help the aggressive LinkedIn networker build his network as quickly as possible. However they will not suit someone with a conservative outlook in network building. As mentioned in the earlier article the aggressive LinkedIn networker will probably compromise on the quality of connections if his focus or primary objective is on building the numbers. One question that that needs to be answered at the end of the day is how the aggressive LinkedIn Networker intends to use this big network that is building.
LinkedIn Account Settings – Firstly as an aggressive networker you want to make it as easy as possible for people to invite you. You can by default if you are very conservative in networking require every potential connection to know your email address but this is such an onerous requirement that only people who have interacted with you in some way could possibly know your email address. In your ACCOUNT SETTINGS, go to EMAIL PREFERENCES and make sure the top selection is highlighted, ANYONE ON LINKEDIN. Below is a screenshot of this.
Make sure your e-mail address in your profile – To get as many invitations as possible on LinkedIn you should consider displaying your e-mail address on your profile. One of the things that sometimes discourage LinkedIn invitations is that potential connections do not have anything in common with the intended connection and are possibly too impatient to try using the Introductions feature. It’s also bad to indicate someone is a friend on LinkedIn when you actually don’t know them. If your email address is clearly displayed in your profile it means other do not have to try and figure it out or look for e-mail address when they want to contact you. They also do not have to worry about sharing a common group with you. All they do is just using LinkedIn address or the address as shown in your LinkedIn profile to invite you and it’s a simple as that. However there are risks with putting your e-mail address on your LinkedIn profile and one of the risks is that your e-mail address could be picked up by spammers or bots that troll the net. One way to go around this is possibly putting your email in the following format “bruce @ LinkedInCoach.co.za” OR “bruce at LinkedIncoach dot.co.za”. Something else you could do is use an e-mail address which is not your main one, which you do not use often.
Become A LION or an Open Networker – If you want grow your network as quickly as possible one of the things you should seriously consider is becoming a LION or an Open networker. An Open Networker is always open to invitations. Open networkers on LinkedIn has committed that they will accept invitations from anyone or from fellow members of the Lion groups they are members of. What this means is that you be able to build your network very quickly as Lion or Open Network groups typically contain thousands of members. Unfortunately the downside is that you will have little control over the quality of LinkedIn connections.
Indicate that all invites are welcome – If you decide to become an open networker one of the things that you do is bring it to the attention of all visitors to your profile. You should indicate in your profile that you are open to connecting with everyone and will accept all invitations and that none will be declined. This will give anyone who wishes to invite you assurance of being accepted once they do so. This is something that you can indicate within the summary of your LinkedIn profile or under your settings. However one drawback of this approach is that you may be seen as a harvester of connections rather than a genuine networker. Some people put “All invites welcome” or “Lion” in their headline. I do not encourage this approach but I am sure it also works.
Be very active in the LinkedIn Groups – One other way of gaining visibility on LinkedIn it is by becoming very active in the LinkedIn groups. A LinkedIn member can join up to 50 groups; however it is unlikely that anyone can be active in all these groups. If you are very anxious to build on LinkedIn network try and be as active as possible in the LinkedIn groups. Post as many discussions as you can and participate in as many discussions as you can through comments. When you post the discussion in the group make sure that you respond to the comments that come up. Be warned that this way of gaining visibility of LinkedIn could be very time consuming. Some LinkedIn groups have very high levels of traffic.
Communicate with fellow group members – On LinkedIn it is possible to communicate with fellow group members without having their email address. Because of this it means that you can reach out to quite a number of people in the same group as you. So for instance if you want to increase the chances of someone unaccepted invitation one of the things you can do is first message them from within the group and then if they message back you will get it you get a good idea of whether you should invite them why not.
Are you an Aggressive Networker on LinkedIn? What do you think of these ideas?