Sometimes people complain to me about what they see in their LinkedIn feed, they tell me it is not interesting or relevant to them. This is surprising because the content people see is heavily influenced by the people they are connected to. (Excluding ads here…) This means you can influence the content you see when you spend time on the platforms. In the last months, I have seen great content shared by my network. Almost every time when I open up my LinkedIn profile something interesting shows up. And this is only one of the reasons why a valuable network is interesting to have. I’m not even talking about building relationships, finding your dream job or getting to know new people, the value of a good LinkedIn network is endless. But how do you grow a valuable network? Well, it is not as difficult as it sounds:
Review your current network
Look at your current network and review the people you have in your network. Are those people the right people? Yes, you can connect with strangers, I’m a big fan of meeting new people, but are you connect to people that have completely different interests? Or are you connected to people who share irrelevant content and you don’t really see the value of your connection? Don’t be afraid to remove people from your network. A smaller network with valuable connections is much more interesting than a big network with irrelevant connections. When you’ve removed your irrelevant connections it is time to find new interesting people!
Actively connect with people
Months ago I read a comment about the importance of actively connecting with interesting people. This made me realize that reaching out to new people every week is one of the key elements to build a valuable network. If you wait for people to connect with you, your network depends on what other people do. When you actively reach out to interesting people you manage your network. Try to connect with 10 new interesting people every week and explain in the invite why you want to connect with those people. This will help you to grow your network with really interesting connections.
Have real conversations
On top of the content you share with your network it is really important to have real conversations with people. LinkedIn now has the InChat feature which makes it even easier to reach out to people. Reasons to send a personal message to one of your connections are: birthdays, new LinkedIn posts, new jobs, job anniversaries, interesting LinkedIn updates, companies mentions. But also a message just to check in with people is always very appreciated. (it’s like real life ;-)) One or two messages per week will have a massive impact on the value of your network and will lead to very interesting conversations.
Interact with content in your feed
A very easy way to get your profile in front of interesting people is by commenting on content that people share. And don’t be afraid to share your opinion. When you share your opinion you have a higher chance to start a conversation that multiple people will join. When you share your opinion, people will be more likely to visit your profile. And when people visit your profile you have a good reason to connect with them! Placing comments really works for me and I’m surprised by the number of new people I meet because of comments I place on content.
Interact in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are extremely valuable to build an interesting network. If you join groups with interesting topics you will find like minded people which will make it easier to identify your “10 new people per week”. If you want to connect with a complete stranger and you mention the group plus similar interests, people will be more than happy to add you to their networks.
Building a valuable network takes time and effort but when you start to see results it will get easier and more fun. Just remember that your network is a lifetime investment and it will help you with every step you take in your career!