How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network

Why Should You Grow Your LinkedIn Network?

LinkedIn is an incredible community and includes more than 500 million members globally. To get the most out of LinkedIn it is important to grow your network and to connect with the right people.

When you do, your life will never be the same.

You’ll meet so many new and amazing people. With some of them, you’ll discover common ground and collaborate on new projects, others will become business partners, customers, employees, you’ll receive job offers and find new opportunities. Best of all you’ll meet a ton of incredible like-minded people, many of them will become good friends! 🙂

This won’t happen overnight. You have to put in a bit of work and follow a set of same small actions daily to get there.

In this article, I am sharing some of my favorite LinkedIn tools that I use to grow my LinkedIn network on a daily basis.

Also, check out my other articles on how to find mentors on LinkedIn and how to get a reply from anyone on LinkedIn for more details on how to craft a perfect invitation message.

Download the free PDF version on Tim Queen's LinkedIn cheat sheet on how to grow your LinkedIn network

The three types of LinkedIn relationships

Before we get started I want to quickly explain the different types of LinkedIn connections you can have.

  • No connection. Enough said! 🙂
  • People can follow you. Followers get updates whenever you publish something new, but they cannot send you a direct message unless you are a LinkedIn Premium subscribers and activated Open Profile messages. Following can be one-sided or go both ways.
  • People can connect with you. Both people will automatically follow each other the moment a connection request is accepted by the other party. It is possible to unfollow later each other later without removing someone as a connection. The primary difference between a follower and a connection is that connections can send each other messages for free.

How to grow your LinkedIn network the smart way

Building a strong network on LinkedIn has a lot of similarities to dating.

While it is theoretically possible to meet Prince or Princess Charming by simply sitting around at home, waiting for the man or woman of your dream to knock onto your door (at least according to romance novels), in reality you are much more likely to succeed if you put yourself out there, making your own luck.

You have to build your professional network on LinkedIn one relationship at a time.

While you could just passively wait for random strangers to send you invitations on LinkedIn, it is much better to pursue an active role in your network building activities.

This includes actively searching, qualifying and reaching out to members of the LinkedIn community to build mutually beneficial win-win relationships.

Here are eight built-in LinkedIn tools and features that allow you to quickly find the right people and to manage your professional network.

Who is following you on LinkedIn?

You can find a list of all the people who follow you on LinkedIn here:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/followers/

This tool allows you to find hidden gems inside of your extended network who haven’t connected with you yet. I recommend starting with an initial screening of everyone who has a complete profile (profile photo, name, and headline) and to look out for anyone who is standing out in terms of job title, keyword in the headline or confidence in their profile photo.

Visit their profile and also check out their recent posts and articles to see if there is a potential for synergies and business collaborations. Afterall, there was a reason why they decided to follow you. They found value in your content!

If you liked their content and want to take it slow, start following them first. If you have an idea for an instant win-win, send them a personalized connection request and start a conversation.

Warning: If you have an incredibly large number of followers such as myself, you need a very powerful machine with a lot of memory if you want to click through all pages. The LinkedIn app hasn’t been optimized for such big numbers and will quickly slow down your computer after clicking through just a few hundred entries.

Who are you following on LinkedIn?

If you want to see who are you following in return, head over to this page:

https://www.linkedin.com/feed/following/

Thankfully, LinkedIn has already sorted all people by the number of weekly posts from highest to lowest. This allows you to quickly audit and review your most active LinkedIn connections and to unfollow LinkedIn spammers.

People who you are following on LinkedIn.

It is also a great review tool to see who is currently active on LinkedIn to reach out to those who haven’t posted much to see what they’re working on.

See all of your LinkedIn connections

If you want to see a list of all your connections order by the time you connected, just open the following URL:

https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/invite-connect/connections/

Alternatively, you can use the LinkedIn search function to browse through your connections here:

https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/?facetNetwork=%5B%22F%22%5D

Please keep in mind that the LinkedIn search is currently limited to less than 1,000 results. If you have more than 1,000 connections and want to see your entire LinkedIn network via the search feature, you have to apply segmentation filters that reduce the number to less than 1,000.

LinkedIn search filters

If these filters aren’t enough, consider paying for LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It offers a much broader range of filters than LinkedIn’s default settings.

You can access the LinkedIn Sales Navigator Search via this link:

https://www.linkedin.com/sales/search?&facet.N=F

I use all of these tools to review my LinkedIn network on a regular basis. Who fell through the cracks? Who made a good first impression but never followed up? Who has become a good friend but you haven’t stayed in touch with?

Based on my assessment I either add their profile to my first-in first-out todo list and then either send them a message, connect via email, give them a phone call or remove anyone who isn’t a good fit.

There is a lifetime limit of 30,000 connections on LinkedIn. That means that you cannot add anyone anymore once you crossed that limit. At that point, it would be a real pain to audit your network of 30,000 connections. Instead, do small batches of 10-100 people every single day and you save yourself a lot of hassle in the future! 🙂

See all of your received invitations on LinkedIn

You can review all invitations to connect on LinkedIn that you received over here:

https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/invitation-manager/

I recommend to qualify everyone and not to connect with everyone to maintain the quality level of your LinkedIn network. Here are a few rules of thumbs to keep you safe!

  • Does it make sense for both of you to connect at a first glance?
  • Do you have any shared connections who might be able to tell you more about the person who is reaching out?
  • Does the person’s role or job title align with your goals or ideal customer profile?
  • Do they have a proper profile picture?
  • Did they send include a message with their invitation?
  • Was the invitation personalized with your name?
    Example of unpersonalised invitation message on LinkedIn
  • Was it a real message or a spammy message that was sent to thousands of people?
    Example of a spam LinkedIn invitation message
  • Are you only targeting a specific geographical location or language and does the other person fit into your profile?
  • Do they have a proper LinkedIn profile that allows you to learn more about them?
  • Do they frequently publish good content on LinkedIn and can you related to their topics and themes?

Download the free PDF version on Tim Queen's LinkedIn cheat sheet on how to grow your LinkedIn network

See all of your sent invitations on LinkedIn

Sometimes you have to make the first step to initiate a LinkedIn friendship. The following page will allow you to review all connection requests you sent out to others:

https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/invitation-manager/sent/

The truth is, that not all LinkedIn members log in every single day. Some might receive thousands of new connection requests every day and might not be able to work through the backlog on a daily basis. Others might not feel comfortable enough or have enough trust in you to accept your invitations.

In those cases, it is important to a  bit of house cleaning from time to time and to retract sent out invitations.

List of sent out LinkedIn invitations

Find people who you may know on LinkedIn

If you want to find people you may know then this is the right page for you! 🙂

https://www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/add-connections/

Well, how would LinkedIn know who you know? They take educated guesses! For example, if you enable the email/address book sync feature in LinkedIn, you’ll share a list of all known email addresses you interacted with. LinkedIn will then try to match your email addresses with those of the 500 million LinkedIn members. When it finds a match, this person will go into your people you may know list.

LinkedIn also selects people who have a big number of mutual connection, work in the same company, worked at the same company in the past, went to the same university and/or graduated in the same year, and a few other factors that are not yet disclosed.

The best way to use this feature is to just browse through the list of people and to connect with those you actually know, and want to reconnect with…

Who viewed your LinkedIn profile?

Curious who is stalking your LinkedIn profile without saying hi? This page will be your savior! 🙂

https://www.linkedin.com/me/profile-views/urn:li:wvmp:summary/

There are many reasons why someone might visit your profile.

If you are a LinkedIn content creator they might have seen one of your posts, articles or videos and decided they want to check you out. Or they might have searched for your name or a keyword in your LinkedIn profile bio.

I recommend following the same procedure as for people who follow you above.

Have a look at their profiles and look for commonalities and overlapping interest. LinkedIn makes it very easy to differentiate between people you are already connected to (Message button) and those who are new (Connect button).

Sometimes you won’t be able to see who viewed your profile. Some people will activate the LinkedIn Stalker Mode and hide their true identity.

On your who viewed your profile list this will show up one of three cases:

LinkedIn privacy settings

You can change your own settings by visiting this setting page:

https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/profile-visibility

If you are a free LinkedIn user and activate the semi-anonymous or anonymous profile browsing mode your list of profile visitors will be limited to the same level of detail, even if people were sharing more. As a LinkedIn Premium user, you can stay anonymous and still see the profile information of those who visited your profile and decided to share more.

The LinkedIn flagship product will give you a couple of smart filters at the top that allows you to filter by certain profiles, for example, if 10 people from the same company visited your profile, there is a high probability to find a smart filter “10 people from company X” at the top.

Who viewed your LinkedIn profile? (Sales Navigator)

LinkedIn Premium / Sales Navigator has its own version of the who viewed your profile tool.

https://www.linkedin.com/sales/wvmp

It doesn’t offer any smart filters as the LinkedIn flagship version but it allows you to filter by privacy level and to save people as “leads” in LinkedIn’s customer relationship management system.

Who's viewed your profile on LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Conclusion

It is very important to play an active role in your network building activities on LinkedIn. I recommend spending 15-minutes every morning to review LinkedIn’s built-in tools and features to find people who have a high potential to be mutually beneficial for each others network.

WANT MORE?

Want to see more amazing content and articles in your newsfeed on a regular basis?

You can start by following memy page and my hashtag #timqueen on LinkedIn.

Every like, comment with your feedback and ideas and sharing of this article is highly appreciated as too and will train the LinkedIn algorithm to show you more high-quality articles such as this in the future.

The best way of all is, of course, to join my Inner Circle to receive email updates when I publish my next article.

Download the free PDF version on Tim Queen's LinkedIn cheat sheet on how to grow your LinkedIn network

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