Connecting and networking on LinkedIn – The right way to go about it

Connecting and networking on LinkedIn – The right way to go about it

Have you accepted a LinkedIn connection request, only to find the new connection sending a message, almost immediately, asking for a favor? Yes? Then, you have encountered one of those persons who go about connecting and networking in the wrong manner.

LinkedIn is about building a professional network of people with shared interests, job roles, experiences, and or education. It is a professional community, and the one thing #Linkedin has always been praised for is its ability to connect people into strategic networks that they may not have had on other social platforms.

However, as you go about sending connection requests and trying to build your network on LinkedIn, and maybe offline too, there are practices you could adopt. There are also some tips on what you should avoid so that you do not have your new connection perceiving you to be a user or a leech of some sort.

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No one wants to find themselves in a networking situation where they feel taken advantage of, and neither does anyone want to be in that position where his motive of connecting is questioned.

Connect with a purpose

Where possible, try to send a short message with your connection request especially if it is one of those contacts you are intentionally trying to work into your network. The average person on LinkedIn has to skim through multiple connection requests at the same time, accepting them all, rejecting them all, or checking their profiles individually for some common ground. A short message can make your request stand out, and it could simply be about your common grounds.

“Hello, Mr. A, I saw your speech on — and I found it insightful. I would like us to connect, as I hope to find other insightful content on your page” or “Hi Ms. B, we met at the event on Saturday (or we attended the same university), and I have looked forward to connecting with you. Nice to meet you here”.

It does not have to take any of these examples, but the whole idea is to state who you are and why you are connecting.

Engage with their content

It is off when you send a connection request to someone and still will not engage with any of the person’s posts or articles. Why? You sent the connection request in the first place because you have some shared interests, so why would you not like, or comment on the page contents. Due to thousands of connections, you could notice after a while that the individual’s posts stop showing in your feeds since you do not engage with them.

The person does not have to be a popular person or a LinkedIn influencer before you engage with his or her content. In addition, you never know when you might need a recommendation. Engaging with the posts keeps your name as a recurring decimal and at some point, some persons might get curious enough to check you out.

Do not bring your advertising banner to the comment section

This is outright bad manners, and some people could delete your comments for this reason. Even if they don’t, you would only have portrayed yourself as desperate and lacking simple courtesy. You do not want to become popular for the wrong reasons. The exception to this could be you commenting about the subject of the post.

Do not rush in asking for favors

You have no idea the number of favors and requests that people get in their inbox, mostly from strangers with whom they have no prior connection. Some of these requests could be tailored to careers, businesses, and some personal. If you will get favorable answers to your requests, you should try to build familiarity with the connection. It could be comments over the person’s works and achievements, or tips on what could be done better. If there are some existing conversations, however brief, it helps put you into the picture.

If, however, you sent a connection request with a direct request, you could just go ahead and state it appropriately so that you are not perceived as sneaky.

Do not shy away from collaborations

If there are projects you think you can collaborate with your connection, do not shy away from suggesting them. If there are services you think you can offer (free or paid), you can suggest them as well. It is all part of building a familiar relationship over time. Think creatively about how you can help and add value.

Almost every professional recognizes that networking is important, but too often we fail to do it because we aren’t sure what we can offer or we don’t want our intentions to be misconstrued. LinkedIn is a long-term game. Don’t come in with the short-term mindset. Your LinkedIn networks and community should be mutually fulfilling.

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