Perhaps you don’t need to network today, but what about tomorrow?
How do you know that you can’t have any better opportunity than today?
This “Grow your network while you don’t need it” statement may sound weird but it is essential as, to make your network grow, you need to dare inviting people who might decline your invitation. The people you sometimes “blindly” invite may consider you as a spammer. By extension you will also be seen as a spammer by LinkedIn administrators.
If you are in an urgent need of growing your network, for instance looking for your next job, you don’t want to be considered as a spammer, so you want to grow your network before you really need it.
2nd advice “know why you want to network”
As an example, Here are my goals:
I have 3 types of connections corresponding to 3 different networking styles:
- connections (about 100) with people who really know me
- connections where we do not know each others but we have something in common
- connections for seeing, being visible and help people connecting.
I am networking applying concurrently these 3 networking styles.
The number of people that I really or better know is growing thanks to GLE face to face meetings for instance or to email exchange I have with several people through LinkedIn.
Regarding “weak” connections meant “for seeing and being visible”, I spend about half an hour per day helping people to connect by forwarding requests, giving advices. I once forwarded a request between people of the same company (I am not part of this company).
These “weak” connections are also a way to rediscover people I really know from school or previous jobs.
Read more on this subject at HOW DOES QUANTITY BRING QUALITY?
3rd advice "get recommendations from current and past colleagues posted on your profile"
That is one of the top Linkedin or Viadeo feature that does not exists when simply posting your resume on the web.
4th advice "make heavy use of the Q&A feature (on Linkedin) or post on forums"
Show your competencies and what you stand for by using one of the top "LinkedIn plus" feature. By browsing through your questions and answers people wanting to know you better will get a better feeling of who you are. If not registered on LinkedIn use the web groups features (especially on Yahoo). (read also What will be the successor of the current user profile in online networks?, Finding a $250K contract on LinkedIn Answers - Steven Shimek, Ruder Finn PR ).
5th advice “never use standard boiler plate templates” when inviting people to connect
In your invitations be specific, explain clearly and honestly why YOU want to connect with them.
6th advice/fact “The more connections you have, the more time you must spend”
With 1000’s of connections, I spend at least half an hour a day to keep my network alive.
I forward requests, answer questions, give and read advices, Update some various wikis, participate to various Yahoo and Google groups.
By answering questions, forwarding requests, I give a little bit of my time to many people, I hope that a small portion of them will also spend some time when I'll need it.
7th advice “join yahoo networking groups. You will learn a lot”
8th advice “Read other 2 cents advices”Becoming a Promiscuous Linker on LinkedIn
The (unofficial) source for information about business (social) networking online
Helping Friends Career Network
‘Ten ways to get LinkedIn to work for you‘ written by Ajay Jain.
Interview of the "biggest" networker: Ron Bates
9th advice “Do not forget other ways of networking”
- participate to face to face business networking in your region as GLE meetings.
- publish white papers
- participate to usenet groups.