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The Write Question is a weekly video podcast about writing that I started in 2017 and that ran, more or less weekly, until April 2022. This is a republication of issue #42, about how to go about building LinkedIn connections. The post first ran on Jan. 5/18.
Welcome to The Write Question, I’m Daphne Gray-Grant. Today we’re talking about building LinkedIn connections. Today I’m answering a question from Julia Page in Brisbane, Australia. Here’s what she’s asked.
[recording] I would like to know how I should write to increase my network on LinkedIn. Thank you!
Thanks, Julia. The interesting thing about your question is that it actually has a lot more to do with marketing and time management and goal setting than it does with writing.
I made LinkedIn my own project about two years ago and I now have more than 800 connections. It took me some time and diligence to get to that number, but let me tell you about what worked for me:
1) Set weekly goals. I don’t know how many connections you have now but let’s assume it’s fewer than 100. Going from 100 to even 250 is going to seem really daunting. When I coach writers, I teach them to work with SMALL goals, even for big projects like books. I urge you to do the same with LinkedIn. Try to get something reasonable – perhaps 10 new connections a week. If you landed 10 new connections a week for six months, you’d have 260 new connections. Doesn’t that sound more reasonable?
2) Post often. This will give you more opportunities to receive likes, shares and comments, which will make your content appear on the home page feed of ALL your contacts. This can be powerful. I currently post to LinkedIn only once a week because I have so many other ways of connecting with my readers, but if you’re mostly limited to LinkedIn, then post more often than weekly.
3) Attempt to give those posts strong headlines. We all end up writing headlines at the last minute. After all, we need to write the stories first. But this doesn’t mean that headlines are unimportant. In fact, they are the MOST important part of any story or post. Make sure you take the time to write a headline that will truly sell the value of what you’ve written and engage your readers.
4) Make comments on the posts of your existing connections. No one is interested in a bunch of Looky-Lou’s. If you want to get more connections, you need to be active. This doesn’t even require a lot of work! All you have to do is hit a “like” button or make a brief comment and that will keep you front and centre in your connections’ minds.
5) Promote your LinkedIn posts in your other social media accounts. Whenever I post on LinkedIn, I also tweet about it and do a Facebook post as well. Yes, this is a bit of work but it will get you way more attention.
6) Consider taking part in some LinkedIn groups. People engaged in the same work as you are the most likely to be interested in what you have to say. To find these groups, click on the Work icon in the top right of your LinkedIn homepage and select Groups from the drop-down menu. Then, click discover at the top of the page to view suggested groups, you request membership by clicking the Ask to join button under the group description.
I know I haven’t talked very much about writing, but that’s not the primary issue for LinkedIn. If people are interested in your subject area, they’re going to be interested in what you have to say. Concentrate on finding the right people and then write about what interests you – and them. Before long, you’ll have more followers than you’ll know what to do with!
Finally, let me wrap up with a quote from marketing consultant Bobby Darnell: “Active participation on LinkedIn is the best way to say, ‘Look at me!’ without saying ‘Look at me!”
Thanks for your question, Julia. I wish you every success in getting more linked in!