Did you know that you need at least 30 connections in your LinkedIN network to actual get any traction? Yes, and the more connections you have the bigger, and more helpful, your network can be.
The big question then is “who do I start connecting with?”
First, the connections you start of with should be of some relevance to you and not just whoever appears on the screen. Once you hit 30 connections, then LinkedIN will start showing you more relevant information and more relevant potential connections.
Here are 5 types of connections to help you jumpstart your network on LinkedIn and increase the value of your network at the same time.
Friends and family members – Sure we all have family and friends that we would prefer to not associate with in our professional life for a variety of reasons. However, look at your extended family and your large circle of friends and pick out those that more relevant to your industry, job or have knowledge of others relevant to you.
Classmates or school alumni – Classmates (current or former) is another excellent way to build your network from the start. College students should definitely start doing these type connections as soon as possible. Sometimes, the mere fact you went to the same school as another person can have a good deal of weight if you need an introduction or advice.
Current and past colleagues – This category is of particular high value as these are typically the people that know you the best professionally and who you probably spent a great deal of time with in a professional manner. These type connections are also more valuable when it comes to recommendations of your work performance. Go back through all your past jobs and look for as many co-workers, bosses, direct reports, etc and reach out to them on LinkedIN>
Social acquaintances – This category can actual afford you the opportunity to diverse your network into other industries and jobs. Look at all the social groups you are apart of and reach out to as many as possible, no matter their industry or job. Diversification is actual very important when it comes to your network.
Someone you can help in their career – This one may be surprising, but your network is not all about who can help you. Giving help is just as important, especially if you advanced in your career with no help so you already know how daunting that path was. These connections should be people you actually know. Start with former co-workers who need advice or people you have met at work conferences or even through volunteer opportunities.
So, there you have it… a great foundation for you to build a powerful network around.
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