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4 Savvy LinkedIn Networking Tips To Boost The Size Of Your Network

If you’re not promoting your business on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to establish relationships with influencers in your industry. You can still run a successful business without the benefit of those connections, of course. But doing so will be more difficult. Why not take advantage of one of the fastest-growing social networking sites to generate targeted leads for your company?

Launched in 2003, LinkedIn got off to a relatively slow start. It had only managed to attract 4,500 users during its first month in operation. Few businesspeople expected the site to gain much traction. By February 2014, however, it had amassed 277 million users, becoming one of the world’s largest social media sites. Also worth noting, research has found that the site drives a much higher percentage of users to corporate websites than Facebook and Twitter.

With the above statistics in mind, we’ll show you how to reach out to — and network with — key individuals in your niche on LinkedIn. Read on for LinkedIn networking tips for connecting with influencers, generating targeted leads, and boosting the size of your network.

#1 – Break The Ice First

Suppose you’ve stumbled upon the profile of someone who could have a significant influence on your lead generation efforts. He knows a lot of people who might be interested in your company’s products or services. You should immediately invite that person to become one of your connections, right?

Not so fast.

Before you send that invite, break the ice by starting a dialogue with the person. Carefully review his profile and send him a private message through the site (the private message is called an InMail). You’ll have far more success than you would by sending a blind invite.

#2 – Optimize Your Profile

An optimized profile is more likely to show up in keyword-targeted searches — both on LinkedIn and Google. The better your optimization, the more exposure you’ll receive.

First, make sure your primary keywords are found somewhere in your profile. If you run an executive recruitment firm, include the words “headhunter,” “executive search,” and “talent recruitment.” Don’t stuff them on the page; doing so is not only unhelpful from an optimization perspective, but can actually limit your exposure.

Second, post a professional photo of yourself. It will help others feel more comfortable with you. A good photo will instil trust, invoke curiosity, and draw people to you. Consider this: if you received an InMail from someone, wouldn’t you be more inclined to respond if you could see that person’s image on his or her profile page?

Third, get others to endorse you. Endorsements tell people that you’re good at your speciality. It lets them know that they can trust your expertise should they need your help. When you receive an endorsement, be sure to add it to your profile.

#3 – Identify The People You Need To Reach

A lot of folks use a shotgun approach when connecting with others on LinkedIn. They cast their net far and wide to network with as many people as possible. But there’s a better way to make the site work for you.

Rather than reaching out to anyone who has even the slightest connection with your industry, refine your targeting. Sit down and determine the exact type of person you’re trying to reach. Is your ideal prospect a public relations specialist? Is she a marketing manager? Or is she a CMO with a Fortune 1000 company?

Identifying the type of people you want to connect with will ensure that you spend your time productively. With your ideal prospect defined, you can use the search function on LinkedIn to locate individuals who match that profile.

#4 – Jump Into Groups – Perhaps The Most Important Of These LinkedIn Networking Tips

A LinkedIn Group is essentially a collection of like-minded individuals. Everyone in the group shares common interests. There’s also a good chance that many of them will have the same folks in their networks. It’s a great way to get connected.

Joining a group gives you quick access to individuals in your industry. You’ll find that some of them will run businesses similar to your own. Others will run companies that rely on the first group for various products or services.

But the main reason to join such a group is because it gives you an opportunity to interact with influencers and show your expertise. Groups are designed for engagement and discussion. By jumping into the fray and demonstrating your knowledge, you’ll identify yourself as an expert.

Social networking is arguably one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal. If you’re not leveraging the site to its fullest potential, you’re missing a valuable opportunity. Use the LinkedIn networking tips above to connect with the right people and consistently grow your network.

Design & Promote (http://www.designandpromote.com/contact/) helps businesses get the attention they deserve. From web design and SEO strategies to newsletter marketing and LinkedIn networking tips, the firm brings together multiple disciplines to promote your company. If you’re weary of fighting for exposure, visit Design & Promote today at http://www.designandpromote.com.

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