LinkedIn does what it says on the tin, so to speak. If you decide to use it, you’ll most likely have realised that the more meaningful connections you have, the more you will get out of it. So how on earth do you go about increasing your LinkedIn connectivity?

Here are ten tips to increase your LinkedIn connections:

1. Pay attention to who’s looking at your LinkedIn profile

Once you’re signed up and have a live profile, you will have access to the “Who’s viewed my profile” tool. You can find it on the right hand side of your profile page. What you see here depends on whether you and / or your viewer decided to remain anonymous when viewing profiles, but generally, you will see a list of visitors. If you know them, why not drop them an invite?

2. Put a call to action in your email signature

You probably send quite a few emails, every day. The great thing about them is that they mostly go to people who you know or soon will do. Perfect.
By adding a call to action – something like ”Connect with me on LinkedIn” and linking directly to your profile, you will soon see an increase in relevant requests.

3. Request to connect at a meaningful time

Rather than sending requests when you happen to be looking at LinkedIn, would it make more sense to invite people when it makes sense to THEM? Two great times would be as soon as you arrange that first meeting, or alternatively immediately after it. Do that each time and it builds up.

4. Join groups

Groups are at the heart of LinkedIn. They’re often overlooked but these groups are where most of the interaction happens. Try a few searches on your area of professional expertise, find a few which relate to your industry and join them.

5. Actually interact in groups

I know that we already mentioned groups but I see so many examples of people joining but not interacting with groups that I’ve given this one its own tip. Good advice would be to “Lurk” and watch the group until you are comfortable, then start posting. Answer a question or ask some of your own. You’ll meet interesting people and some of these will naturally want to connect.

6. Add or change your profile picture

This is an unusual one, but it works. Profiles with a picture get much more attention than those without. Adding or changing that photo is automatically injected into the newsfeeds of all of your contacts and is given a high weighting for importance. This simple act will increase your visibility with existing contacts. Some of those will interact which will then make you visible to their contacts.

7. Don’t overdo the invites

Sometimes, it can be tempting to invite large batches of people, some who you may not know well, or at all. Be careful with that... Each person you invite receives an email offering them the choice to accept (or not) your offer. They also have the option to specify that they do not know you. If you get enough of those, LinkedIn can and frequently will, block you from inviting people to connect.

8. Use the import and invite tool

This tool is very powerful, so don’t abuse it! On the main navigation, find Contacts and then Add Connections. You can either add a list of email addresses OR grant access to LinkedIn to grab email addresses from your email software.
Don’t worry; LinkedIn will ever email these contacts without your permission.
Once you’ve imported the list, LinkedIn will allow you to tick or untick everyone in the list. When you’re ready, LinkedIn will batch invite everyone you selected.

9. Use the people you may know tool

You can find this on the home page (once logged in of course), over on the right. Click on the “See More” link and you will find a list of people who you’re not yet connected with but who you probably know. This tool is fiendishly clever and providing you have enough contacts for LinkedIn to work with, you might find the suggestions uncanny. Don’t panic too much when you notice connections there which LinkedIn couldn’t possibly have guessed – most likely your email address was uploaded by them so linkedIn knows they might know you.

10. Make it a habit

Little and often, the advice goes! Many of these activities would seem onerous unless you take it 5 or 10 minutes a day. Develop the right habits and you’ll clock up the connections with ease.

By Phil Blything – Director of Liverpool Digital Marketing Agency, Glow New Media.

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