Thursday February 3, 2011
Are you listening? You are only as visible as the size of your network!
Several times a month I teach at our Local Workforce center, instructing our job seekers how to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to find a job.
I am always thrilled when they learn something!
I recently received this email from a student, who we will call A.
I had been teaching "A" how to build his network so that he could actually be seen by recruiters who did not have paid accounts on LinkedIn. What I tell my students (and anyone else who will listen) is that "On LinkedIn you are only as visible as your network". But I don't always get through...
This is the network of an average student:
So what that means is - out of 90 MILLION people - only 223,000 can actually see her profile - everyone else gets an "Out of Network" message and they have to pay to see more.
But with a few simple steps, your network can grow to the size of A's
He writes: " FYI, I took your challenge seriously to get our contact potential to 5M+ within the week.
I’ve been working diligently (but selectively) to expand my network connections via Linked In.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED :)"
"A's" profile (which he also did an excellent job of keywording is not visible to almost 6 MILLION people - so he has a much better chance of getting found and contacted by a recruiter or hiring manager.
How did he do it?
- Go to www.toplinked.com
- Click on Top Supporters
- Click on one of the names - see if its someone you want in your network and invite to connect
- Rinse and repeat
Now LinkedIn strongly suggests you only connect to people you know - although it is no longer in the EUA - so it is a suggestion and not a rule.
You might not get hired by the individual you connect with, but you might very well get hired by someone in her network! Remember, you don't know who you don't know who might hire you!
When you invite them to connect, you might write something like this:
I noticed you are a TopLinked Top Supporter. I hope that means you are also an Open Networker. I would like to invite you to be a part of my professional network, and I promise not to send any annoyoing spam to you or your connections! If you feel you have received this invitation in error or simply don't want to connect, please ignore this message.
You can also follow some of these tips:
5 Steps to Growing your Network:
- ONLY invite people already using LinkedIn when using LinkedIn’s connection tool. (Due to 3K limit)
- Join Groups that have a lot of members (toplinked, LinkedHR, Open Networkers) as well as industry groups and alumni groups – you can join up to 50 groups – which will grow your network, and will not cost you ANY invites.
- Go to www.toplinked.com/top50.html and invite the top linked people (who have less than 28K connections – new limit imposed by LinkedIn)
- Join www.opennetworker.com (an affiliate site) and for $49 a year YOU will receive invitations – from complete strangers – but they might know someone you need to knew (And you can use this opportunity to ‘touch’ new folks who might become a client – I get about 4 warm leads a week this way)
- Connect to me and you’ll get over 2 million people in your network.
You can of course add people to your network the old fashioned way:
Targeting your Ideal Client
Once you have grown a decent network, you will have access to more people, including target clients:
- Use the Advanced Search which will allow you to specifically target the “type” of person who would make an ideal client (sort by “relevance” and “expanded” view) Use aBoolean Search (AND, OR, NOT “”) Invite the strategic people you find to connectusing groups if possible, or get “Introduced” through a mutual connection.
- Find and “follow” ideal clients in groups (this is not the same as connecting – but gives you many of the same benefits) – Use search within member section of a group(Boolean)
- Search “Companies” to find key people you might want to connect with (a wealth a valuable information is often over-looked here)
- Use the new “tagging” option in your LinkedIn Contacts list once you are connected (only good for 1st level)
- Download vCards of your 1st level connection and organize them using Outlook, Act, Apple Mail, etc.
TIPS TO TAKE AWAY:
- It is your choice whether to invite, or accept an invitation. Be clear on how YOU want to use LinkedIn
- If you do reach out to strangers on LinkedIn, at the very least check out their profiles and know who they are before extending an invitation.
- Don’t pass along introductions unless you are confortable doing so. (I put an extended message of who I will and won’t extend introduction for in my “Contact Me” section)
- Whether a LION or a LamB, NEVER use the invitation to send a sales letter.
- Be respectful of your network, no matter what the size!
Please comment below and let us know if any of these tips helped you!