How to Build a Valuable LinkedIn Network (PPT)

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This 7-minute, 20-slide video shares tips, tricks and tactics for building a strong and valuable LinkedIn network.

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LinkedIn Recruiting Solutions tagline

How to Build a Valuable LinkedIn Network

in Higher EdLets connect!1WelcomeConnect Online with Real World ContactsMaximize Your Group AffiliationsForge New ConnectionsKeep in TouchLearn More12345

Topics2 Here are the topics well cover in todays 5-minute videoStep 1: Connect Online with Real World Contacts

First, you want to reach out individually to everyone you already know friends, family, neighbors, former colleagues, former classmates, EVERYONE.

This may sound obvious, but many people forget to connect with the people closest to them. Remember that people are in a different mindset when they are in the professional environment of LinkedIn, so even people you see every day will interact with you in a different, more focused way on LinkedIn.

3Upload Your Contact Database

If you havent done this already, or did it a long time ago, be sure to upload your existing address book of contacts from Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook or elsewhere and connect on LinkedIn to the people you already know.

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Step 2: Maximize Your Group Affiliations Beyond your personal contacts, you have another easy network to tap into: the communities you belong to in the real world.

Anyone with whom you share an alma mater or even an industry affiliation is a warm contact who may become a lead to a job opportunity.

On LinkedIn, you can connect with these people by joining groups.

5Network Effectively in LinkedIn Groups

The more active you are in a group, the more value youll get out of it.

Here is a screen shot of a typical university alumni association group. Here is how I advise navigating a group to get maximum benefit as a job seeker.

Discussions are a fantastic place to be visible in a professional way that highlights your skills and expertise. By demonstrating your expertise on LinkedIn you earn recognition that helps you build your credibility.

STRATEGIES to stand out in a group and get real value:

Comment on hot discussions

Comment on discussions started by people you want to know

6Create One-on-One Networking Opportunities7

Richard Matt

One way to use groups, of course, is to post publicly to group discussions you may catch the attention of a recruiter who is impressed by your comment, and recruiters do love to scan group discussions to discover talent.

But I also recommend using groups to build more one-on-one relationships. Just like at a live conference you might have a side chat with someone or grab a coffee together.7

Richard Matt

Reply Privately in Discussions8

Michelle K.RE: Bouncing Back from Job LossMichelle,Thanks for the great post. As an alumni career services director Imkeenly aware of the need to bounce back from job loss and always look for resources to help our alums. I noticed you recruit MBAs like theones I coach. May I send you a connection request and keep in touch?Here is how I would approach this type of message: READ

There are a few elements here that I think are important:Show genuine interest in what the person has posted. Say that youre job hunting and be specific about what kind of position youre looking for.Ask directly to connect and/or keep in touch.Be thankful and offer to help the person.

8Find the Best Groups for You

You can look for LinkedIn groups by industry, interest, charitable interest, geographic location and many other categories. I tend to find great groups to join by looking at the LinkedIn profiles of the people I admire and seeing what groups they belong to.

9Explore LinkedIn.com/alumni

Also be sure to visit linkedin.com/alumni, a tool that allows you to dig deep into the alumni network of your own alma mater, the institution where you work or any university.

You can filter the results by geographic location, employer or job function.

For example, you could look at all of the San Jose State alums who live in the SF Bay area and work at Cisco Systems in the Engineering function. LinkedIn will then show you the profiles of people on LinkedIn who fit that exact criteria.

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Step 3: Forge New Connections

The third way to build your network is to connect with people you want to build a relationship with. Strong networks are always evolving, particularly if youre in an external-facing role.

This includes: New colleagues across the university Industry leaders Alums and friends of the university Vendors and business partners- Or anyone you want to know professionally

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Find New ContactsCFO95125 You can be proactive and use LinkedIns incredibly powerful Advanced search to find people.

Lets say you are hosting an event for MBA alums of your university and you want to find a speaker who is a CFO in your area.

Just entering those simple search criteria CFO and your zip code, in this case, San Jose, CA, LinkedIn will show you anyone in the entire LinkedIn network who fits that profile.

If you wanted to, you could limit the search only to people who attended the university where you work.

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Carl Fisher As you can see we found over 8,000 results.

What do you do now?

You can simply search through and see what groups these people belong to and how they describe themselves in their profiles and use this information to help you improve your LinkedIn presence.You can see how you are connected to any of these people by a mutual connection you werent even aware of who could make an introduction for you or by sharing a group. You can narrow these results further through the facets on the left side of the screen and see if any of these people attended your alma mater or have other things in common that might make it easier to reach out. You can see who has the Open Link badge, which means they are open to receiving unsolicited messages.

13Write Individualized Connection Requests

Its extremely important to remember that as you reach out to connect with people, especially those youve never met, remember that it matters HOW you ask people for connections and for advice.

Be careful with How do you know question. Be honest if you dont know this person. People get very irritated when you say youre a friend and youre not.

On your screen is the generic LinkedIn connection request, but I think this is a mistake to send. Show that youve put in some genuine thought when you reach out to people you dont know. 14

Patrice,I am the Associate Director of Alumni Relations at San Jose State and came across your profile. Congrats on your recent promotion! I frequently put together panels of successful alums and would love to connect so wemight connect for an event at some point. And of course I am always eager to be a resource to our alums if thereis anything I can do for you. Thanks for considering myrequest. This is what I recommend: Write a brief, customized, polite note to explain your connection and why you want to connect.

Its also a good idea to thoroughly read the persons LinkedIn profile and mention something that stood out to you or something you have in common.

One great strategy is to offer your help to each person youd like to connect with. You might say something like, Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you.

Remember that HOW you build your network is just as important as why you build it.

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Request IntroductionsOne of the benefits of having a network on LinkedIn is that you might know someone in common with the people you want to connect with and that person can make an introduction for you. Exactly as you might do in the Real World.

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Hi Stephanie,It was great to see you at last months networking event. Thanks for coming! I am currently looking for a new event planner to handle our upcoming fundraiser in Atlanta and saw that you are connected to Rachel Lang of Elegant Events. She is our dream caterer and Im wondering if you would be willing to make an introduction? Thanks for considering my request and hope to see you again soon.Introduction to Rachel Lang?Stephanie Lee

Barbara Salinas Lindsey PollakCareer & Workplace Expert / LinkedIn Spokesperson

Tell Dr. Steph Stephanie Jackson, Ph.D. why you want to get introduced(may get forwarded to Daniel Pink)Rachel LangOwner, Elegant Events

VP of MarketingIf you discover a person youd like to connect with who is a 2nd degree connection meaning that you share a common contact you can reach out to your shared contact and request an introduction on LinkedIn. Again, how you make the request is crucial. Here is an example.17Step 4: Keep In Touch18

Onto Step 4. Now that youre building a stronger and stronger network, you want to make sure you stay on peoples radar screens. Remember that networking is not just about who you know, its about who knows YOU.

In real life, in-person networking, showing up means going to live networking events. On LinkedIn, it means updating your profile status so people are seeing you regularly.

On your screen you can see three examples of good status updates for higher ed professionals.182. Do Small Goods

19You can also keep in touch by increasing the amount of help you are giving to people in your network.

This means that equally important to your updating your own status is commenting on other peoples status updates when they appear on YOUR LinkedIn homepage. This keeps you on their radar screens and may entice them to check out your profile, which might spark an opportunity or just a nice interaction.

It also shows that you are not just on LinkedIn to find a job and promote yourself. The example on your screen is a reply I wrote to someone in my network who posted a question asking for peoples opinions.

Reid Hoffman, one of the founders of LinkedIn, calls this doing small goods for the people in your network and its one of my favorite uses of LinkedIn. Give generously and you are likely to receive much more in return.

19Step 5: Learn Morehttp://learn.linkedin.comhttp://help.linkedin.com

That brings us to the end of todays topic, how to build a valuable LinkedIn network. If you have further questions or want to dig even deeper into this topic, here are two helpful resources, the LinkedIn Learning Center and the LinkedIn Help Center.

Thank you for watching this video. Good luck, enjoy your networking and we look forward to seeing you on LinkedIn!

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