Connections are the gas in your LinkedIn tank, and every time you connect with someone on LinkedIn, it affects the quality of your network–just like the quality of the gas you purchase affects how your car runs. In other words, not all connections are created equal.
Most people add connections haphazardly, but to be highly successful on LinkedIn it’s important to develop a strategy for growing a dynamic network that will help you reach your most ambitious goals.
Everyone’s situation is unique, but here are some general suggestions that will help you understand what types of people you should connect with to strengthen your network and help you enhance your brand, find a job, assist your favorite nonprofit, or grow your business.
Who can help you enhance your personal brand?
- People who have had similar career paths to yours
- Leaders in your industry associations
- Individuals who have large networks (LinkedIn or otherwise) concentrated in your region or industry
- People who work for some of the well-respected companies in your region and industry
Who can help you find a new job or advance your career?
- People who work in your industry and region
- People who work for companies you are interested in
- Recruiters who specialize in your industry
- Consultants and experts in your industry
- Human resources professionals who work at your target companies
Who can help your favorite nonprofit thrive?
- People who volunteer for or sit on boards of similar nonprofits
- Individuals who work at large corporations, foundations, etc. and tend to support nonprofits like yours
- People who are involved in groups that have large volunteer pools (e.g., religious organizations, schools, clubs, etc.)
- People who work for media outlets
Who can help you generate sales leads, market your company’s products and services, and grow your business?
- Individuals who are the direct decision-makers for the purchase of your products and services
- People who are indirectly involved in the decision to purchase your products and services (strategic influencers or people from the company who weigh in on the decision)
- High-ranking officers at the companies that purchase your products and services, even if they are not the direct decision-makers
- Individuals who hang around with the people listed in the first two bullets (probably deliver similar services to the same purchasers)
- People who are recognized industry experts
- Leaders of your industry associations and/or people who manage industry events
- Individuals who are well networked in your region or industry
- Experts who provide educational content for the industry
Connecting with the above-referenced people will definitely improve the quality of your network.
For insights on the quantity part of your LinkedIn connection strategy, check out the article below, which is part of my LinkedIn online course “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn.” And for a limited time, the complete course can be yours for only $147 (list price $297). Click here for details.