The easiest way to achieve passive growth of connections

May 22, 2015 |  by  |  Business, Linkedin Blog

The single easiest way to achieve passive growth of connections is to include LION, Invites welcome, or similar in your title!

Here is why, and some other simple, useful tips. 

Many on Linked In recognize that a larger network means more exposure.

If you are making positive contributions on Linked In, that increased exposure should mean that more current and prospective, customers, suppliers, employers and other business associates will want to continue or start doing business with you.

There are many posts on Linked In, with really good advice on how to improve your profile and presence in Linked In.

Many take varying amounts of effort and time. Like most things in life you get out what you put in.

Still, some things return a lot for a little initial effort and give you ongoing benefits. Like a fantastic investment that simply keeps returning extra funds into your account each month.

Here are three points that provide an ongoing increase results from the time you invest on Linked In, long after you have turned off your computer!

The first two are “no brainers” and the last, many people appear not to have thought about.

1. Include a good photo

All posts that I have seen about improving your LI profile will include the suggestion to include a good photo.

Ideally including your face. Hopefully with a positive, friendly, engaging facial expression.

Many suggest a professional photo, and there is merit in that.

If your Linked In activities are aimed at growing your business, it makes sense to portray a professional business like image.

The main thing, is that it should be something you like and resonate with. An image that captures who you are (or at least would like to be) in some way.

The default grey anonymous logo / pictogram that Linked In provides, to profiles that do not load a picture, is like poor personal hygiene at a cocktail party.

It will repel far more people than it will attract.

I certainly prefer to engage with people that include a decent photo. I am open to that photo being something different, or gimmicky.

Even if someone has only ever been on top of one mountain in their life, and that was by car, a photo of them standing on the mountain top still speaks something of them. Even if their face is perhaps not a clear as a studio shot.

Sometimes a photo of something other than themselves, or even a logo, caricature, etc, can be catchy and engaging.

So the “take away” of this point is.

Invest the 3 ½ minutes that is required to include a photo on your profile. If you do not know how, ask someone or search the help feature on Linked In.

2. Name and Informative Title – include a clue if you would like invitations to connect

The first two sections in your profile are your name and title, they are normally displayed along with your photo anywhere you show up on Linked In, or in the wider web, where a summary of your LI profile may be seen.

Along with your photo, these are the ONLY things, MOST people on Linked In, will ever know about you!

Many Linked In profiles, have no, little, or largely meaningless information in the title.

Most discussions and even some replies that you post on Linked In, will show your title.

If the heading, your photo, name and / or title catch their attention, they may read what you post, possibly click on your profile and perhaps connect.

If you are investing the time and effort to contribute to Linked In, with a view to expanding your business or improving your career, then along with a photo, take the extra seconds to include something meaningful in your title.

Additionally, once you have done that, go back and check how it looks in some posts and replies. Especially in the groups that are most important to you.

3. Let people know that you Welcome Connections

If one of the things you hope to achieve on Linked In is larger and wider network of connections then this is for you.

Bear in mind that even a few thousand direct 1st level connections can lead to a network of several or even some tens of millions of people in your network, which includes your 2nd and 3rd level connections.

Many people, including Reid Hoffman, a founder of Linked In, believe that it is the 2nd and 3rd tiers that provide the best opportunities to you.

For example, if your mum could give you a new job she probably would. However it is more likely to be her friend or her friends’ friend, who will be able to employ you, buy from you, supply what you need, etc.

The quickest way to grow your network on Linked In, is by participating in open networking groups.

Many of these include the term “LION”. There are various meanings for LION. Nearly all are an acronym, with the “O” & “N” referring to Open Networking.

The great thing about establishing connections with LION’s is that they typically have some thousand or tens of thousands of connections.

Their 1st & 2nd level connections become your 2nd and 3rd level connections, so there is something of an exponential growth in your network. That accelerates the expansion of your sphere of influence on Linked In.

Posting an email in a title or comment?

Some networking groups and many discussions in LION groups will encourage that an email address be included.

That makes it easier and quicker for people to invite you.

Additionally some people may have selected a feature in their profile that requires an email address be used to request a connection. Finally there will be those who have be restricted for sending unsolicited invitations, and they need to use an email address to send invitations.

That can lead to spam and there are many ways to mitigate that.

The downside of not including an email address is that many people working through the LION groups will not connect.

That in turn means that you need to do extra work, which by definition is not passive.

Many people struggling to their network miss one simple key. That is to include a “welcome to connect” in your title!

There are many variations to this.

Open Networkers typically include something in their profile or tile, like:

LION or LIONESS

Never IDK (I Don’t Know) ie> they do not report unsolicited invitations to Linked In

Invitations Welcome

Accept all invites

Toplinked is an Open Networking group and website

Top 1% Viewed (or other similar figure) ie> they are in the top of viewings of people within their network

5k + (or other similar figure) ie> they have “however many” thousand direct 1st level connections and want to grow a larger network

Including the number of direct connections, makes them more enticing, as a high number drives the growth in your own network faster.

Many LION’s will even include LION or similar as tag in their name!

The big advantage of including the invitation to connect is, that people know they can connect.

Anyone who sees your photo and title, will know immediately that if they want to connect they can do so, without fear of having their own Linked In use restricted.

Obviously if you are posting a request within an Open Networking group, you are open to invitation.

However your title will also appear in many other posts and conversations on Linked In, if you want people to connect with you, they want to know they are permitted to do so!

More importantly, the real high value connections will more likely be in groups other than Open Networking Groups.

The place you really want people to feel comfortable connecting to you is in groups that relate to more directly to your business and industry generally.

For example if you own a car wash in Sydney, Australia then the connection to a real estate agent in Las Vegas, USA is not so likely to bring in much business. Though if they are LION, they may well recommend you to a connection that needs a car washed in Sydney!

Still, if you are targeting business growth you would be active in a group that focuses on a business forum, motoring enthusiast group, or similar in Sydney.

People You May Know

One very powerful feature in Linked In is the “People You May Know”page. It is the single easiest way to connect on Linked In!

Any time you send an invitation or accept a new connection, it will be shown as the following default screen

Linked In looks for common connections that you share and suggests them to you, assuming that you may know them.

All that is shown, is the:

  • photo (or grayed icon if the profile lacks a photo)

  • name

  • title

  • number of common connections

……and most importantly the “connect” button.

Once you start connecting with LION’s your image, name and title will be shown in more of these screens, as you will have more common connections with a lot more people.

If people do not know you, or do not know that you are open to connections, they quite rightly should NOT click on the connect button.

If you include “LION” or “welcome to connect” or “invites welcome” or similar in your title, people know they are safe to connect.

It is worth repeating that this connect button is the easiest way to send an invitation in Linked In.

It is the ONLY invitation portal on Linked In that is “one click”.

All other forms of sending an invitation require, more than one click, at least one page refresh, at least one “select a drop down” or paste. Much more tedious.

In short, including a “welcome to connect” message in your title, is easiest way to leverage the time you spend actively generating connections, so that the invitations keep coming in on their own accord.

If you want passive connections on Linked In, include “LION” or “welcome to connect” or “invites welcome” or similar in your title, people know they are safe to connect.

For more on growing your network, there are a number of posts in Power Users – Tricks, Tips and Wish List

There is growing list of emails of LION’s who would like to grown their network onChina Open Networking

Additionally Dr. Mark D. Yates is active on some of the groups, has a significant list and of course is open to connections.

Finally, it goes without saying that I am growing my network and am happy to accept invitations to connect on Linked In.

All LION’s and business professionals, are welcome to connect. Here is my link for your convenience:

http://www.linkedin.com/in/qpiltd

About the author

Originally from Sydney, Australia, Helmut has been based mainly in China for over a decade. His work focuses on Quality Control and Procurement, providing a safer way for third party clients to source product from Asia. Appreciating the value of Linked In as a business tool, Helmut has been a member since its formative years. A significant feature is that Linked In is accessible in China. (All other major western online platforms, such as Twitter, FB, You Tube, etc are blocked, leaving only Linked In, and a proliferation of local Chinese platforms).Helmut recognizes the value of a greater reach within LinkedIn and welcomes new connections. He is also happy to help less experienced members, leading to a number of blogs and posts here and in "Power Users – Tricks, Tips and Wish List"

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