Practice strategic networking. It makes sense for your business and those you wish to connect with.
As with all networking opportunities, having a LinkedIn profile is imperative for online networking with business peers. But you need more than a profile. You need to make connections with prospective clients, decision-makers, influencers, and industry insiders.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of virtual connections, begin to build your network in a low-risk way. Connect with present and past coworkers, mentors, and trusted friends.
How to search for people you know
- Type a client’s name into the search bar.
- Once you see their profile, select it, and click Connect on their profile.
Once your connection request is accepted, LinkedIn will add their activity to your feed. You can now keep track of and interact with connections.
How to follow Company pages and see all employees at the company
- Type your client’s company name into the search bar.
- When you see their page in the search results, select it, and click "Follow" on their page.
LinkedIn will now add any client company news into your feed. You can use that information to stay connected to what is going on at the organization.
To see and connect with other individuals at the company:
- Click on “See all employees on LinkedIn” in the banner on the company page. This will pull up all the connections associated with the company.
- Decide whom to connect with and click "Connect" on their profile.
How to use search to find more connections
LinkedIn offers search functions to expand your professional network to search for connections:
- To connect with other industry professionals, search by industry.
- To add CEOs, CFOs, and/or HR people, search by job title.
- To add prospects, search by company.
- To connect to local businesses and professionals, search by location.
LinkedIn will return your search results. You can:
- Scroll through the results list
- Click on the filter buttons at the top of the page to narrow your choices.
When you find people who meet search criteria, click "Connect" on their profile.
How to add a note
When connecting on LinkedIn, customize your request by adding a personal message. After clicking the Connect button, follow the prompt to Add a Note.
Adding a personal note makes it more likely to have your connection requests accepted, separates you from the competition, and lends credibility to your invitation.