Do you want to grow your professional network? LinkedIn is a social media platform where you can build professional connections. Professional networks might not be as close or as active as your friends or family but it can bring so many new opportunities. This is especially true for IT students or professionals since a big majority of IT jobs are fulfilled through personal references.
You can add and build relevant connections on LinkedIn. Here’s how to grow your professional network to get new job and business opportunities.
Send Personalized Requests
When browsing through the list of mutual contacts on LinkedIn, it is not enough to just click on connect. Spend some time on their profile to know more about them. This will help you find something that is common or something that you can use to start a conversation. You can also look for persons who are working in a similar position in another company. This can help you find solutions to some common problems. Make sure you include relevancy to let them know that connecting with you will be of benefit.
Improve your profile
Keep an accurate and updated profile. Use the right title and description so you will appear in relevant searches and attract more and more potential connections. Include all jobs and achievements from your career.
Focus On Existing Connections
One of the quickest ways to grow your network is to be helpful towards your existing connections. Another benefit is that when you are communicating and helping existing contacts, your profile will get noticed in their networks too. All it takes is a comment or a like on their posts. By exploring every connection, you can expand your reach to build potential connections. Commenting with questions or your personal perception can increase exposure.
Keeping quiet and just observing the platform every once in a while will not help. Make your presence felt by sharing content and commenting on other’s posts. This is how you turn your contacts into your customers or a lead. If you are not speaking or sharing anything, they will never know how good you are. Make sure that you are posting or sharing content related to your field. It is not FaceBook or TikTok so sharing funny or weird videos will not help.
Promote your profile
Promote your LinkedIn profile on your resume, website, blog, or business card. Also make the most of your existing connections and connect with all of your class fellows, colleagues, and teachers. It is surprising to see people with less than 5 or 10 connections because you can easily take your connections to 50 or more if you are just connecting with people around you.
Did you meet someone at a conference or a seminar? Did you participate in a professional event? You can create connections anywhere and everywhere you go. It doesn’t have to be a professional place. You can even connect with people you meet in the gym or during your morning walk. We tend to overlook connections that you come across on a daily basis, try reaching them out and they will be happy to connect.
Set monthly Goals
You do not need to build 500 connections in a month and relationship building is not something that you should quantify. However, setting monthly goals is important because you can easily forget and waste some time. As earlier mentioned, professional connections can create so many opportunities for you and this is something you need to work on an ongoing basis. Because when it’s the time to find a new job and you don’t have a lot of connections, you will not be able to build a huge network in a matter of days. Start by setting small but realistic goals within a set time period and gradually work your way up. Avoid spamming people and sustain proper etiquette with strangers. Focus on quality more than quantity.
Use Images & Videos
Images and videos have a higher engagement rate on social media. It can also help you reach new people because people love sharing images and videos. A study shows that that visual content increases your profile view by x11 times.It’s good to focus on getting new skills and certifications but networking is equally important. And this is where many IT students or professionals lack. Someone with a bigger network will always have an edge over someone who doesn’t know anybody in the industry.