Social influence is not just a status symbol, it’s a form of brand awareness and brand perception that can help you attract and convert more customers.
When it comes to building your social influence for professional use, LinkedIn is still one of the most powerful tools available.
Of course, you should post, interact in groups, and engage with your audience. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to your LinkedIn social influence.
There are several strategies you can use to deepen your relationship with your LinkedIn connections.
In reality, one of the best ways to elevate your own social status is to spend time helping others. How can you be more valuable to your contacts on the platform?
Basically, you must become a “connector.” A connector introduces and “connects” their contacts to each other. Do you know Jim from IT who seems to know everyone and introduces the best connections at events? You should aim to be the “Jim” of LinkedIn. Everyone wants to interact with a connector because they see you as a tool for their own success.
Ultimately, connecting your connections increases your influence and also opens the door for reciprocity. People will be more likely to do the same for you, introducing you to relevant contacts that only help you grow your reach and your status.
Take advantage of reciprocity on LinkedIn. People lay out their key details right on their profile, making it easier and more effective to connect with the right people.
Here’s how you can become a Connector:
Evaluate First-Degree Connections
The first step is to take a closer look at your current first-degree connections. It will help you to remember who you already know and which of your connections can benefit from connecting with each other.
A first-degree connection is someone you are directly connected with. Either you accepted their invitation or they accepted yours. LinkedIn showcases a “1st-degree” icon by their name. You can contact them directly through the platform’s messaging function.
To view first-degree connections, click on “My Network” and then “Connections.” It then displays a list of all connections. At the top, you can select the Filter option and then choose “1st-degree.”
You’ll then get a list of all of your first-degree connections. Go through the entire list. Take a moment to take in each profile, including the photo and job title. You may be able to uncover some similarities among connections that you did not realize. Jot down any notes as you do this so you can leverage them later.
Once you’ve gone through the list, write down your top 10 business relationships. Make another list of the top 10 influential people you’re connected with. Then dig deeper into these lists.
What are the similarities of people on these lists? Personality? Career paths? Likewise, how could complementary characteristics lend themselves to a beneficial relationship? Think about who your “top 10s” could benefit from getting connected with. Consider location, personality, interests, and potential job partnerships.
Yes, this process is a bit tedious. It requires you to spend some time looking at all of the profiles. But don’t skip this step! It can help you learn a lot about your top connections and provide you with helpful insight.
Assess Specific Filters
Now, it’s time to take a closer look at your connections. Using LinkedIn’s filter, you can filter for location, current/former job, and/or keywords of your choice.
Take a look at the Geography filter. Where do you have the most connections? Look at these profiles and think about who these connections would benefit from interacting with. Look for professional similarities as well.
Then, you can filter by industry. See which of your connections work in similar industries. Can these connections benefit from networking with each other? Oftentimes, it’s helpful to collaborate with someone in a complementary industry, so consider which connections you could pair based on mutually beneficial business relationships.
Next, use the keyword filter to narrow it down by interests or hobbies. Personal interests are an excellent way to bring people together for lasting connections. After hitting “All Filters”, scroll all the way down to the bottom to enter the keywords.
Which keywords should you use? Think about your own interests and passions. A few ideas include:
- Sports (golf, soccer, football, basketball)
- Fantasy football
- Community volunteering
Using a hobby keyword can greatly narrow down your list, even after you’ve slimmed it by location and industry. You’ll get a handful of connections who live nearby, work in similar or complementary fields, and enjoy the same thing. From there, you can decide who to connect with, and you may even be able to get a group together based on personal interests.
You can also start with the hobby/interest then filter down based on geography and industry lastly. Depending on the industry, the location may not matter as much and you can connect people around the nation. Play around with the filters and see what makes the most sense for our list.
Privately Message the Connections
Before you create a group chat on LinkedIn, it’s best to send a private message to each person first. With a group chat, it’s easy to introduce people simultaneously. Still, send a private message letting them know you have someone in mind for them to connect with.
In your message, you should let them know who it is and briefly why you think they should connect. After sending over the private messages, you can create a group message with the relevant parties.
On your LinkedIn home page, select the “Messaging Icon.” From there, choose “More” and then “New Group Chat.” You can add up to 50 of your connections and name the group. Then, choose “Next” and compose and send your message to the group.
The connections can “meet” each other via the group and learn more about why you are connecting them. From there, they can add each other and potentially start an incredible professional relationship.
Start Connecting Today
If you put in the effort ahead of time to uncover common points of interest between your connections, you’ll experience much more success introducing people.
When your introductions work out for the better, it immensely helps your social status and reputation. Your connections will see you as valuable, helpful, and knowledgeable. It helps you earn respect and a greater chance of receiving the same back in the future.
While it does take effort to become a connector, it can pay off big time in the long run. Your connections will view you as more influential, and you’ll open the doors for important future connections.
Now is the time to follow the steps above and become a Connector on LinkedIn!