Grow your LinkedIn Network within an industry

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Last updated on March 27th, 2017 at 09:21 pm

In 2006 I was building my LinkedIn network within specific industries and geographically in Australian. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. In the Interests part of your profile list the industries you are specifically looking for as they appear on LinkedIn
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. 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.

23 responses to “Grow your LinkedIn Network within an industry”

  1. Hi Paul,

    These are great tips that most everybody can use when they get started on Linkedin. In fact I have a blog in a new professional network called The GoTo Network and I would like you to share this information there. Would you be so kind to let me post your blog content there?

    Best regards,

  2. Hello Paul,

    The tips you gave will be very useful as I’m just getting started on building my network.

    Thank you

  3. Paul,

    Thanks for connecting.. and also pointing out to me this blog

    These are all fantastic tips that do a much better job of explaining linkedin.. than linkedin itself.

    Michael J. Rowley, CISM, CISA, MCSE, MCSA

    Global Risk Management & Security

  4. In such huge organization like the one which I am working in, I have been hit by “Don’t Know”? from colleagues working in the same organization and even from people who is a member in open networks in LinkedIn

    Keep in mind, my message was as the following (which good to have it in your invitation)

    I am assuming therefore that you are open to all invitations. I would like to add you to my connections on Linkedin.

    If you are not interested, please just archive the invitation. Please do not hit I Don’t Know.

    Thank you for your tips, in my view, it’s good to start with for anyone start using LinkedIn

    Thanks and regards,

  5. Great info, Paul. Thanks for sending the link. Nice to see how others got to where they are and what they recommend doing, as well as not doing.


  6. Paul, this is really great info, thanks for inviting me to read this article, you have given me some really great information for using linkedin.


  7. Paul, Thank you for joining my network and sharing these helpful tips. I am printing it out today and will improve my profile for better results! Have an outstanding day!
    Nancy Jalaty ProConnect Recruiters, Inc.

  8. I like the tips.

    Here’s another one – put common misspellings of your name in the Summary field of your profile. That way, if people look for you with those misspellings, they still find you. See the details at my blog at

  9. Paul, Thanks for the tips. I think I will be able to use most of them. I have been trying to promote and our soon to launch via LinkedIn with lukewarm results. I’ll give your ideas a try and let you know. All the best, Greg Smith

  10. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for sharing this unique tip . Not only this tip will help us grow are network but also points out what you are doing is enhnacing capabilities of people connected with you . I think we should share more knowledge like this and help each other and push to share there best practises.

    Will keep in touch …Bhajneet

  11. Hi Paul,

    Thank you for sharing these points which are extremely helpful. I have been IDK by 4 people now and LinkedIn will restrict me after the 5th one. So, I am very particular while I send any invitation.

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