In 2006 I was building my LinkedIn network within specific industries and geographically in Australia. At the time I was not an “Open Networker” who accepted all invitations.
Now LinkedIn is not in itself a network – it is a tool for networkers to use. You’ll want to continue your networking efforts outside of LinkedIn.
What should you do specifically inside LI to grow your network within an industry or geographic region?
- Get a gmail address for LinkedIn and add it to the bottom of your profile (in the text of your contact settings), invite connection requests from people in those industries (spell them out). Gmail will filter most of the spam that will emerge from this and you can change that email address every few months.
- In the Interests part of your profile list the industries you are specifically looking for as they appear on LinkedIn
- In the Summary part of your profile list the industries and geography you are inviting connections from and state that you welcome contact from people in these industries.
- In the Current Job part of your profile list the industries and geography you are inviting connections from and state that you welcome contact from people in these industries.
- Do a People search for the industry refine the search and sort by degrees away from you. e.g. Showing the first 500 users in your network matching your criteria.
- Users in Medical Devices
- Sorted by: degrees away from you
- If you invite connections in this way, please do not click I Don’t Know (IDK) if you don’t want to connect with them. Just delete or archive their requests. Clicking IDK penalizes the inviter and can get their account suspended. If they are persistent inviters then IDK them or Accept and unlink that way they can’t invite you ever again.
Quick Tip: Premium members receive free inmail and they sort at the top of each page. Send an INmail introducing yourself and what you are looking for. Write your own boilerplate and do not use LinkedIn’s boilerplate text. If you’d like to connect with them, tell them and offer to send an invitation later. Otherwise offer whatever information is in your “keeping in touch” pipeline.
Read non-premium profiles in 2nd degree and beyond, looking for an email address. Those without email addresses leave your two choices:
- Request an introduction via your network. People with small networks trust introductions via that network.
- Google is your friend for anyone who looks really interesting. In Australia call their company and ask for them
That’s how I got started before I joined the LIONs. Funny thing is that most of the IDK’s I’ve received have been from people who know me but didn’t know my surname.