Expanding Your Linkedin Network

Here’s a LinkedIn tip that you can use to increase the size of your social network and your circle of influence.

A few days ago, I received a LinkedIn connection invitation from someone that I didn’t know.

In the past, I typically ignored these kinds of invitations. But after reading Lewis Howes and Frank Agin’s book, LinkedWorking, I have since modified my strategy when building my LinkedIn network.

So, instead of deleting the invitation, I sent back a question asking how they heard of me and why they wanted to establish a connection with me. A simple request, actually, in an ongoing effort to better understand how my branding efforts are working.

This is the message I got back from Cathy in Atlanta:

I am an Acct Exec for a MSP here in Atlanta. I am a fan of your articles on MANTA. I have found your guidance very helpful. I decided to Google you to see if you have a personal website where I could read more of your writing and that is where I found you on LinkedIn. I really like LinkedIn and decided that I would just send you an invite – thinking that I would probably never hear from you since you don’t know me. Needless to say I am pleasantly surprised and very happy that you have accepted my invitation. I am a strong believer in who we surround ourselves with is an ingredient to our success.

Thank You for all of the guidance you have given me. I really appreciate your insight.

How To Get Someone You Don’t Know To Connect With You On LinkedIn

First, kudos to you, Cathy. Most people would not extend themselves or take the chance in the first place, just figuring, “Why bother? Nothing’s going to come of my invitation. They don’t know me so why should they honor my LinkedIn invitation?”

The prize goes to the person who takes the long shots, like you. And in sales, you have to take all of the long shots that come your way. Or as an old college buddy of mine would say during our weekly pinball games, “If you want to win big, you’ve got to play big!”

I also believe that most people will be more than happy to connect with you if you give them even the smallest reason. That reason could be one of the books that you read on their recommended book list and found something interesting. Or maybe you saw one of their online presentations and you were able to use knowledge from it. Or maybe you saw them give an informative workshop and you gained valuable information from the event.

Or, maybe you saw one of their articles, found it really informative and you wanted to find more articles like it.

Any of these can be a reason to send a LinkedIn invitation to a person that you think would make a formidable association. You will be surprised at the results.

A Tip For People Building Their LinkedIn Networks From Lewis Howes

Lewis Howes, in his book,LinkedWorking, offers a tip to facilitate connecting with people on LinkedIn at a professional level.

First, if you are initiating the request, don’t send the standard, generic LinkedIn networking invitation. Instead, personalize it and add some value. Pay the other person a compliment and let them know why you found them interesting enough to send an invitation.

Second, if you receive a generic invitation request, LinkedIn now provides you with an option to respond to the request first before accepting it, asking the requester how exactly they found your profile and one or two reasons why they want to connect. So whatever you do, don’t just blow them off like I would have a few months ago. Start a conversation and build a relationship.

Again, by personalizing the interaction, you will increase your chances of getting your connection and expanding your LinkedIn network.

You will find many more ideas in Lewis’ book, LinkedWorking. Get your copy and give it a read.

And if you are in the Cleveland or Columbus area at the right time, stop by and attend the LinkedIn Networking events that Lewis conducts. Monitor the LinkedWorking Cleveland and the LinkedWorking Columbus groups on LinkedIn for details.