I receive at least ten LinkedIn invitations a week. Some of these folks I know, some I do not know.
Some of the people are not US based, hailing from all over the world. Many of the folks who ask to connect with me have only a few LinkedIn connections. I am glad to be part of their LinkedIn expansion.
I wonder sometimes what makes these nice folks to want to connect with me. We might never know the answer to that question. It is interesting to consider how to increase your LinkedIn reach.
I think it has to do with being approachable. Here are some ideas to make your LinkedIn profile reflect your best possible self:
- Sound like someone people will want to talk to. Your profile should be in the first person. Pretend you are at a business cocktail party. What story do you want to tell so people will remember you? Be sure your profile shares your story in the way you want.
- Have something to offer or say. Actively demonstrate through attachments and accomplishments what you have done and what you have to offer to people who connect with you.
- Be interesting and authentic. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Be proud of what you have done. You can choose to be boring or you can choose to be interesting. Which person do you want to talk to?
- Have a friendly photo. Don’t just take a quick selfie. Get a professional photo wearing professional looking clothing and hair style that reflects the role you want. Studies show you get a better response with a picture in which you are smiling and making good eye contact.
- Be visible. Be active in Groups. Comment and participate in conversations about subjects with which you are familiar. Reach out and engage your connections in conversations.
- Build relationships. Uncover how you can be helpful then reach out with information and ideas that other people can use. Exchange emails with your connections about ideas that are important in your profession or ask questions about situations in other people’s profiles. It will be hard for other people to resist responding.
It is commonly believed that if you have no expectations of return when you give information or your time, then you will receive more than you give. Maybe not immediately but eventually you will reap the rewards of more connections and stronger relationships that lead to opportunities you cannot imagine today.
It all starts with the impression of openness you leave from your LinkedIn profile. What can you do today to make your profile more open and approachable?