15 Best Practices of LinkedIn Networking

Networking on LinkedIn is an important practice and must be done correctly and consistently in order to create real business results.

It all starts with knowing who you want to connect with. Who, in what companies, industries, and regions?

As you connect on LinkedIn you’ll create opportunities to connect with even more people you want to connect with.

I love the old adage, “6 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.” This is so old school. Today it’s “3 degrees of separation from anyone who connects with purpose and intention on LinkedIn.”

I ‘preach’ this regularly and am obliged to do so again here:

“There are two people you need to connect with on LinkedIn, those you can help and those who can help you.
Consider the invites from those you can help, as you purposefully send invites to those who can help you in your business or career.”

 

  1. As you connect on LinkedIn remember to smile and be friendly. You’re networking with other real people.
  2. Follow the Dale Carnegie principle; ‘make the conversation all about the other person.”
  3. I’ve added a spin to this philosophy in my Networking for Mutual Benefit; “Make the conversation all about the other person until you get permission to talk about yourself or your business.”
  4. As you connect you never know who knows who, and who can introduce you to who. This could be considered mysterious, however, for me, it’s one of the coolest things about networking.
  5. Keep connecting, and as long as you are doing it correctly, with purpose and intention, focused on your goals, trust the magic of networking will work.
  6. Don’t just network on LinkedIn, find opportunities to meet in person or have a Skype or Phone conversation. “Digital Face to Face is better than never face to face.”
  7. People want to do business with people they trust, respect and like. Get into open conversations, this can help you achieve greater trust, respect, and relationships.
  8. Listen to what your connections say or ask. Don’t listen to respond, but rather, listen to understand first and foremost.
  9. Remember to Give to your LinkedIn Network. When you give ideas, information and/or new philosophies that are relevant to your target audience, this adds to the trust, respect, and relationship.
  10. Don’t confuse barfing out brochures and case studies as a form of Giving. Give your target audience what they want, need, & are interested in, even if it’s not about your business.
  11. Help your LinkedIn Network, including your target audience, to connect with others who can help each other. Do this with no expectations of anything in return.
  12. Pay attention to your LinkedIn Network as you continue to grow your network. Show empathy and bolster their self-esteem when and where you can. You will always be remembered for caring for your network.
  13. If you lead with Give and care for your network, they will be acceptable to introduce you to others who you need meet. Ask for introductions when you can.
  14. Pay attention to who your network is connected to, and to whom they can introduce you to. Again, as you get permission, ask for appropriate introductions.
  15. Networking is a life style, not something you do once a week or when an urgent need arises.

I discovered years ago that my Network is my most important asset in life. This includes my LinkedIn Network.

Never disrespect your LinkedIn Network, continuously build your LinkedIn Network, develop a diverse LinkedIn Network, help your LinkedIn Network, care for your LinkedIn Network, share your LinkedIn Network and Give to your LinkedIn Network with no expectations.

It’ll return great dividends if you do.

Read more of my articles about Networking on LinkedIn on my blog

If I can help you and/or your team with your LinkedIn Networking practices, let’s talk.

/Teddy

336-283-6121

How big should our LinkedIn Network be?

Here are just a few of the questions I’ve heard regarding the ‘right’ size of a LinkedIn Network:

  • Is there a target number of LinkedIn connections?
  • Can you have too many LinkedIn connections?
  • Is there an optimum number of connections?
  • When should you stop connecting on LinkedIn?
  • I have 500+ connections now, is that enough?
  • My boss thinks my LinkedIn Network is too big, what should I do?

There are many opinions about the right size of a LinkedIn Network.

I answer these questions with my philosophy regarding networking on LinkedIn.

My decisions around connecting on LinkedIn are very purposeful and focused on my business & professional goals. Additionally I strive to connect on LinkedIn for mutual benefit.

As I wrote in my first book – Networking for Mutual Benefit, “Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.” I apply this to networking on LinkedIn as well.

My primary purpose regarding networking on LinkedIn is to search for and connect with people who can help me move my business forward.

However, I also intentionally accept invites to connect from people who are relevant to me in many other ways. I offer to these LinkedIn Members my help, when and where I can.  Who knows, one day these people who want my help now, may be able to help me in the future. You never know.

As I wrote in my first book, “you should connect with someone new every day of your life.” I like to apply this philosophy to my LinkedIn Networking as well. The practice of consistent networking in a purposeful way can create a very meaningful, relevant and beneficial LinkedIn Network.

Therefore, my rule for connecting on LinkedIn is clear (to me): Accept all invites from people who are relevant to me in some way or another, regardless of whether I have met or talked with them yet.

My general rule for sending LinkedIn invites is; I send LinkedIn invites, focused on my business goals, to my target audience and their influencers. My intent is to connect with these people in order to ‘develop and nurture some level of mutually beneficial relationship over time.’ When possible I pull these people into an open conversation in order to discover if what I do is relevant to them.

All of this supports the foundation of my answer to the questions presented at the beginning of this article:

There is no optimum or target size of LinkedIn Network. The 500+ LinkedIn Network size only shows you have done some networking per LinkedIn.  You should never stop connecting with purpose and intention on LinkedIn, regardless of what anyone says to you.

You should continue to, purposefully and with business intent, ‘meet someone new every single day of your life.’ Because, the next connection you make on LinkedIn may be the greatest connection ever. Use LinkedIn properly and you never know the potential of that next connection. The magic lies in these words, ‘you never know.’ Alternatively, stop connecting and you could miss out on something fabulous.

I wish you successful, relevant and mutually beneficial LinkedIn Networking.

If you want help for your team regarding Networking for Mutual Benefit using LinkedIn, let’s talk – info@BurrissConsulting.com or 336-283-6121