Top 3 Ways to Add LinkedIn Connections and Why You Should Care

Recently, I used the 3-degrees of Kevin Bacon analogy to describe how your searching ability is limited to your LinkedIn network, the group of people connected to you via 3 degrees of separation. This is precisely why it is imperative to add connections and grow your network; for every connection you add, your searching ability increases.

Check out your network stats to get an idea how many people are in your network out of the overall LinkedIn population which is currently about 36 Million. If your network is less than half (17M) you have some work to do.

3. People You Already Know: Webmail Contacts

LinkedIn's Webmail Contacts Importer can automatically check 15+ webmail providers for potential connections.

The Gmail contacts importer works well. Look to the right of each contact name for a small LinkedIn logo icon, which signifies they are already registered members. Deselect the ones that don't have this icon unless you want to send them a message asking them to join.

2. People You Should Know: Colleagues and Classmates

On the bottom of the home page is a section devoted to people you may know from companies you used to work or schools you've attended. This is a great way to pick up 5-10 connections per week. Take 5 minutes and update your profile by adding past companies and schools you've attended, with years, in order to see more suggested connections!

1. People You Should Meet: Open Networkers

An Open Networker is a person who uses professional networking sites not just to keep in touch with contacts they already know, but also to create new contacts, connections, and new business opportunities. Open Networkers therefore gravitate towards professional networking sites to take advantage of the speed and efficiency the internet has enabled them to make new business connections.

Sounds fine and dandy right? Well, almost. According to LinkedIn's user agreement, it is against terms of use to, "invite people with whom you have no prior relationship to join your network." What that means in practice is up to you to decide.

In practice, connecting with someone is equivalent to exchanging business cards, and sharing partial visibility to the names and titles of people in your rolodex. It doesn't imply you trust them with your life, or you'll turn around and write them a recommendation.

There are hundreds of LinkedIn groups that have popped up to support the needs of LinkedIn Open Networkers (a.k.a. LIONs). Joining these groups gives you access to discussion boards where people post what type of people they'd like to connect with, specific business projects they might be working on, or questions for the Open Networker community.

The third way to increase your connection count and grow your network is to join these LinkedIn Open Networker groups and find new connections. Once accepted to a group, you can start a new discussion thread introducing yourself and other members will send you invites to connect.

Sampling of LinkedIn Open Networking Groups

What are some other tips you've used to make more connections and grow your network on LinkedIn?

Comments

I always thought those people with 29,847,219,374 connections were just "linkedin losers" --- makes sense now actually. Off to increase my connection count!

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LinkedIn imposed a 30,000 connection limit a few months back. For most of us, this limit will not be an issue. For mega-connectors who have pasted this milestone, they are unable to add any new connections.

Linkedin members also face a lifetime restriction in sending invitations. A maximum of 3,000 outbound invitations to connect can be sent.

Hi there

Great article. I will use these points to add relevant contacts.

Link with me now at http://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencesykes

Interests are Internet marketing, blogging, property, general business links etc

Awesome research on increasing your network for linked in.... Key note. There are at least 20 other social networks that will help you increase your network both professional and social. Ex: Facebook and Twitter or The Twitter as some refer to it.

I believe that the true value of a LinkedIn account is the level 2 list of connections. I have downloaded and browsed my whole LinkedIn level 2 network (35 000+ contacts) and I am browsing the new contacts every other week, it gives me new leads all the time, very easy to contact. Took me some time the first time I got it all but now it takes me very little time to spot interesting leads in the updates (I am looking for very specific type of companies). The most interesting part is that my direct connections are working for me for free; each time they connect to new people, these people end up in my database and I just have to look at them to spot my sales lead.

It's not a feature of LinkedIn, you have to use a third party service. There are several companies out there that provide this service. I am currently using Smart Bees (http://www.smartbees.biz), they have been very helpful so far.

Wow this is a great resource.. I am enjoying it.. good article

I have found several consulting jobs by being found on LinkedIn, both through their search and on google.
Your chance of being "found" in either search is increased by having more connections.
If you invite, I'll accept: http://linkd.in/BoDenski
my email: 1invite2Link@gmail.com

-Bo

Hi all,i am a MBA student and interested in marketing research and digital marketing.I would like to love add new connection and like to share more on marketing and strategy management.

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One of the fastest way I've found to add LinkedIn Connections is with this tip:

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How if I was connected to my manager, I want to limit what can he see about my activities

I also sent out an invite from the inbuilt invite system and it send out about 2000 people. About 100 joined, so the sending out an internal mail does help.

I found a great way to easily get more connections if you already have quite a few Facebook friends.

http://rocketconnections.com

It will automatically find all your existing facebook friends and help you find them on LinkedIn. Works great to get all the missing people you have on facebook but not on LinkedIn.

I created a LinkedIn account, and found an enormous benefit: For the first time in history, my "profile" (aka resume) can be publicly available, and at the same time, I'm not someone my boss thinks is looking for a job . . which is great!
That's an immediate, tangible and quantifiable benefit: I can control and manage my professional history (and career intentions) in a ubiquitous environment, easily accessible to anyone.

I've benefited from connecting to all my relevant business colleagues, by adding having them provide recommendations and endorsements to my profile . . another immediate, tangible and quantifiable benefit.

Now, my question is: Do I want to only connect to people with relevant business backgrounds (other software pros, recruiters, etc.), or connect with anyone (in the hopes that they have connections with backgrounds relevant to mine)?

I'm hesitant to connect for the sake of connecting, as irrelevant "updates" flood my LinkedIn homepage, and I'm getting "endorsements" from people with with titles that obviously aren't in a position to provide a creditable endorsement (like a pet store owner endorsing my XML skill).

Any insight beyond "you never know how your connections will benefit you, so just connect to everyone you can"?

Thanks,

As a LION and an open networker, I have 10,000+ 1st degree connections and over 100 million in my entire network and growing. I just love to connect to people, accept all invites, endorse people who have with great skills and even give excellent praiseworthy recommendations. Further to that, I can help you grow your network and presence in Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and across other social networks. I believe in good karma, so NO IDK, NO SPAM.

Please return the favour by endorsing me or better yet write a recommendation for me. Connect with me on my website- www.todleho.com and on the following networks. I work hard and invest a lot of time and effort in growing my network across all social media, so please help me grow my network and I will help you grow yours. Good Karma

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