How to grow your connections on LinkedIn – and build your database

By Published 9 March 2015
How to grow your connections on LinkedIn – and build your database

LinkedIn is always a hot topic amongst many of our clients, and I’m sure you often get requests to connect and are unsure of whether to connect or not?  And if you do connect what happens next?

(The search functionality that LinkedIn provides its users with makes it as easy as possible to target prospects with incredible accuracy, so this enables you to search for your prospects quite easily).

However, first let’s be perfectly clear. It’s a good thing to connect with new people because it grows your network and enables you to reach out to a wider network of contacts.   If you receive a request to connect here’s the best thing to do:

When you receive a connection request

Check out their profile.

Do they look like a real person, and is their profile mostly complete?  Best practice here is that if they’ve taken the time to complete their profile with their title, skills, experience and position then I would accept the connection.

If on the other hand, all you can see is a spurious name, and maybe a title, with no summary of what they do AND more importantly that the connection request wasn’t personal to you, (see below) then I would think twice about connecting.

The whole purpose of being on LinkedIn is to grow your network. The bigger YOUR network the more people you can reach out to.  You can directly only reach out to 2nd and 3rd connections so to increase this would be to increase your connection reach.

When you send out a request to connect to someone on LinkedIn

Referring back to my previous article about working out who your ideal Prospect Profile is, and who you’re wanting to reach out and connect with a potential “prospect” I recommend you follow these rules to get the best results.  If you do, you’ll likely get a good 60-70% acceptance rate!

When you connect you’re given a choice – see below, and LinkedIn have a standard connection request personal note (although if I’m honest it’s not that personal).  So many people don’t bother to change this, and for me this tells me that they’re really not bothered about me and what I do. They just want to connect maybe to increase their connection reach. If you send out a message like this

LinkedIn1
Then you’re not really showing any interest in the connection. It’s just because it’s quick and easy to do, and no thought has gone into it so therefore why should that person connect?

Here are some suggestions I recommend for when you’ve met someone at a network maybe:

LinkedIn2
Or if you’ve never met them before but you share some common connections then this could be a good strategy.

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The outcome you want to achieve is for them to accept your connection request, so the more personal you make it the more chance you have of them accepting your connection request.

What’s your experience been of connection requests on LinkedIn? I would love to hear what works for you?

Author: Alison Boyle

Alison co-founded LA Marketing and is specialist in strategic online marketing for small businesses, and is passionate about teaching SME’s to grow their business through understanding social media, and empowering them to market themselves online. You can follow Alison on Twitter or Google+

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