LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Blog
06 Jul12 Ways To Grow Your LinkedIn Connections Database – Part 3
As this series wraps up with Part 3, make sure you go back and review the other tactics.
It’s important to mention that the end result is not simply to have a large number of 1st degree connections, it’s to have a large number of prospects to position your business in front of.
The more connections you have the more opportunities you have to generate leads and close deals.
Having 1,000 connections on LinkedIn isn’t going to matter that much to you if you don’t utilize them.
So make sure you have an actionable plan in place for when your database does start to grow.
If you have the first eight tactics fresh in your mind then it’s time to move on to numbers 9-12.
9. Turn the stack of business cards on your desk into a CSV file.
If you are like most business professionals then you are constantly looking for a way to organize the business cards you receive when you network with new colleagues and prospects.
In tactic number 8 we talked about how using Cardmunch, which is currently only available for iPhone, can solve that problem.
Well if you don’t have an iPhone don’t fret. You can still put that stack of business cards to use.
Create a spreadsheet where you can log the contact info from your business cards and create a CSV file.
From there you can go one of two ways with this.
The first is to simply upload the CSV file into LinkedIn and let them send out their stock invitation to all the email addresses in the file.
Remember though, you cannot personalize this message so you may opt to go with the second option on this one. But since you have already met and shook hands with the prospect that you are sending the invitation to, chances are the stock message will be okay.
The second way to use the CSV file would be to go through and find each prospect individually on LinkedIn and send them a personalized invitation.
Again, this isn’t necessary to do every time but if the prospect is valuable and you think it would be beneficial to include a reminder in the message about who you are and where you met, then it might not be a bad idea to send a personalized message instead of the stock not that LinkedIn includes.
10. Add a LinkedIn signature to your email.
Adding a LinkedIn email signature to your email is a nice little trick that can increase your database of connections.
Adding the signature lets people who receive your emails know that LinkedIn is an important resource to you.
Providing a link in your signature makes it easy for others to click and send an invitation request.
If you want more than just a plain link pasted into your signature, then head over to LinkedIn’s email signature page and look through the designs they have.
Once you’ve selected a signature design that you like, LinkedIn will generate the html code for that design.
From there all you need to do is copy and paste the code into your email server’s “signature settings” and you’ll have a very professional LinkedIn email signature that allows people to connect with you at the click of a button.
11. Prospecting in LinkedIn Groups
You’ll find that prospecting within groups on LinkedIn is a fantastic method to increase your connections database.
The key to achieving success with this tactic is being genuine, and having a quality and relevant message that you can send to your prospects.
You have to share a group with somebody in order to message them. If you’ve engaged with this person within the group, and they find your message to be beneficial, then many of them will be happy to connect with you
Remember, whatever you choose to send people via a message needs to be very valuable to the prospect, not just yourself.
Try and create a message that speaks to the goals of the prospect. How can you help their business? What value can you bring to the relationship?
If your outreach is nothing but fluff, people will see through it. If you’re genuine in building relationships, people will see that too.
12. Comment on Signal Posts and Updates
Just because this tactic is mentioned last doesn’t mean you should toss it by the wayside.
If you read my post on LinkedIn Signal then you know how powerful it can be.
Signal gives you the ability to see anyone’s activity on LinkedIn. Everything from status updates to group posts, Signal has it all.
Getting involved in conversations is one of the best ways to increase your database of connections. Signal gives you a platform to find the best conversations that matter to your business.
This tactic works the same as commenting on other people’s content in groups. Except that you don’t have to share a group with anyone or be a 1st or 2nd degree connection to be able to comment on most signal updates.
This further expands your ability to connect with others who are considered “outside your network.”
It’s a great little trick to find connections that won’t usually come up in your searches on LinkedIn.
How You Can Actually Do All of This
Upon first inspection, this list of 12 tactics looks like it is a ton of work. But it doesn’t have to be.
Map out a strategy where you spend 15-30 minutes a day using these tactics to achieve your goals.
Some of these strategies you may use every day, others you may only use once a month.
Experiment with each, and find the right mix that works best for you.
So much of succeeding on LinkedIn comes down to sticking with a serious plan. With these tactics, hopefully you can see some new opportunities to ramp up your LinkedIn efforts.
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