How hard is it to find people to connect with on LinkedIn? Not very, if you tap into the wisdom of these 19 experts.
This post is a result of a question I posed in a previous post:
“how do you use LinkedIn to find people or connect with people? Are you using Groups? Searching other people’s contacts (when viewable)?”
I began to search for information that I thought would be helpful, but I got frustrated when I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Sure, there are wonderful experts who write about LinkedIn, but I was looking for information for you that would create an “aha” moment. In other words, you would say to yourself “Oh, I can do that” or “Gosh, that makes sense, why didn’t I think of that”.
I asked for help and help I got! Thank you to all my friends who responded to this plea for information to share!
How To Find People to Connect With On LinkedIn
If you are in job search, you need to meet with people who can help you reach your goal and having a strategic approach will increase your success. If you are employed, you don’t have a lot of extra time, so you will want to network as effectively as possible. In either case, you will need to read this post by Harry Urschel, Finding Your Targets on LinkedIn,
Harry Urschel, The Wise Job Search
Others wrote about their strategic approach to reaching out to people as well.
Walter Akana, Threshold Consulting
Inviting members of your groups. Also, you could check Plaxo contacts if you have that!
Julie Walraven, Design Resumes
My initial response is to start with the basics. Make sure your own profile is complete with information that describes your value to others. Accomplishment-driven statements in your profile, up-to-date information and open the privacy walls enough so people can connect with you. Too many people have incomplete or empty profiles and they want connections but wonder why they aren’t getting any. Then find ways to help others as you connect. Compliment something someone shares, join groups that are active but also fit your interests and your occupation. Continue to add to your connections on a regular basis but not so much that it is a race to get the most. Most doesn’t matter as much as the need for those connections to be genuine and have value.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, Blogging4Jobs
Groups section is a best bet. Also “suggested contacts” is another.
Karalyn Brown, InterviewIQ
My tips for finding and connecting people would be to work out why you want to network with them, and, as a job seeker even – what value can you add to them. That should be part of your connection intro. Find a point of interest so you don’t look like a spammer.
For good people to connect with I would look to see how active they are on LinkedIn. Do they participate in groups? Pick people who are active and seem to be responsive as a starting point. Especially if you are a newbie, that will give you confidence.
Re-evaluate your LinkIn groups every quarter to ensure you are getting the most from them.
Heather Huhman, Heather Huhman
The best way to find people to connect with on LinkedIn is through Groups. Join Groups with which you have a strong affiliation and search the member list. That way, you’re not simply stumbling around in the dark.
Melissa Cooley, The Job Quest
Joining industry groups and participating in the discussions. Once people start recognizing your name, they will engage with you more.
Dawn Bugni, The Write Solution
Dawn sent two links: One by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter and one by Chris Brogan to help you understand the value of creating a meaningful profile.
Susan P. Joyce, Job-Hunt.org
Do an advanced people search on former employers names to find former colleagues, bosses, etc. & do the same on names of (happy) former clients.
Do the same search on former suppliers – anyone outside of a former employer’s org you had good relationship with. “Warm” connections are best!
Alumni and Military & Government “Alumni” Group Directory
Jacqui Barrett Poindexter, Career Trend
I’d suggest visiting the ASAE (association for associations) website and navigate to their associations ‘gateway,’ here. Then, do a search for various associations based on keywords in your industry, field, geographic area, etc. Note several key associations, then research them (via their website or other contact information). Track down a leadership (board and committee member) directory for each — you can often find this in their About Us section on their website. From there, begin cross-referencing those names on LinkedIn. Personalize your introduction by indicating you are familiar with/interested in their association affiliation and/or industry affiliation and are hoping to grow and share information and network contacts via LinkedIn.
Sital Ruparelia, Sital’s Blog
Sital says his 5 steps below take no more than 5 minutes and can be used by the novice. So if you’re after a quick and simple way to approach people then this may be useful.
1. Create list of target companies
2. Go into the ‘Advanced Search” section of LinkedIn by clicking
on ‘Advanced’ in top right hand side of screen
3. In ‘key words’ section put the “company name” in inverted comas. And also the country and zip code (if the firm is a multi-nationational this ensures you find people closest to areas you’re searching)
4. Hit enter and then scan through the names that come up. Look through people until you find individuals you’d like to connect with
5. You then have 2 options
a) Approach via a mutual contact
b) approach direct
Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers
Asking questions on LinkedIn is one way to expand potential connections. Often, when I ask a question, people who answer it will request to connect, or if I answer a question, people who asked it may request that we “link in.” If you are asking and answering questions related to your field, you may “meet” people who could be great networking contacts you wouldn’t otherwise know
Tim Tyrell-Smith, Tim’s Strategy
Brent Peterson, Interview Angel
My best advice for LinkedIn is to have a set of personal guidelines.
I’ll confess I don’t mine groups or businesses for new contacts. I use LinkedIn to maintain contacts (generally made offline first). But that’s just my approach:-)
Customize that invitation. Explain clearly why it’s in the recipient’s best interests to connect.
Jacob Share, Job Mob
Reach out to relevant locals whose LinkedIn posts taught you a lesson.
Jason Alba, JibberJobber
Use the advanced search tool. Too often overlooked but really powerful.
Karla Porter, Karla Porter’s blog
I’m very tactical about who I seek out to include in my network and only slightly strategic about who I allow into it. I advertise on my profile that I am an open networker so unless someone raises red flags I’ll approve them.
This was a fun experiment for me! The most difficult part of this was getting the information into the post! I can’t thank you all enough for sharing your wisdom and advice!
We’re one step closer to removing barriers! Many more to go!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.