How to Network on Linkedin: 10 Top Tips to Propel Your Career

by Sarah Cha


So you want to learn how to network on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has hundreds of millions of members, but few of them have mastered networking on the platform, or even realized that doing so can literally redefine your professional journey.  

Yet the only difference between casual LinkedIn users and networking maestros is strategy and intent. 

And while many float aimlessly in this vast professional sea, you’re seeking to navigate it with purpose. 

By understanding the nuances and applying proven tactics to your LinkedIn participation, you’ll set yourself up for ongoing success.

So let’s break down the essentials and propel your career forward on this powerful platform!

Benefits of LinkedIn Networking

Understanding LinkedIn networking is crucial in today’s digital professional world. 

Using the platform is not just about a standout resume; it’s about cultivating and maintaining relationships. 

LinkedIn, with its vast user base, provides insight into global industry trends and offers a unique platform to connect with relevant professionals. It bridges the gap between virtual and in-person interactions, allowing for continued discussions post-events and promoting collaboration. 

Not to mention, LinkedIn is a platform for demonstrating expertise by sharing insights and engaging in discussions. Its search functionality lets you precisely pinpoint and connect with the professionals you aim to network with. 

Plus, the endorsement feature enhances your profile’s credibility while fostering mutual appreciation. 

In other words, LinkedIn isn’t just another social platform; it’s a transformative tool for success no matter what stage of your career you are currently in.

3 Simple Step to Get Started With LinkedIn

With the right steps, LinkedIn can become a potent tool, transforming your professional trajectory. 

So let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right into the essentials of kickstarting your LinkedIn odyssey.

Step 1. Set Up & Optimize Your Profile

Your LinkedIn profile isn’t just a digital resume — it’s your professional storefront, so make it count

Begin by choosing the right profile picture. Choose a clear, high-quality image where you look approachable yet professional. A solid or muted background often works best.

Next, craft a compelling headline that doesn’t just state your job title. Convey your role, expertise, and what makes you unique in under 120 characters.

For example, instead of “Freelance Writer,” try “Tech Freelance Writer | Helping Brands Narrate Their Digital Journey.”

And don’t forget to narrate your story in the About section. This is your chance to elaborate on your headline. Discuss your professional journey, key accomplishments, and even a bit about what you’re passionate about outside work.

Step 2. Build Your Network

The key to building a network on LinkedIn is connection personalization. In other words, make each interaction meaningful. Rather than sending out mass connection requests, tailor your approach. View their profile, find common ground, and mention it in your connection request.

Start with those you know–your colleagues, classmates, and acquaintance. Then branch out to industry professionals, and finally use the People You May Know feature on LinkedIn to expand your network organically.

Step 3. Engage With Your Network

Active engagement keeps your network warm, making it easier to reach out when you need advice, references, or job leads.

So share articles, industry insights, or even your personal experiences. Your content can prompt discussions, establish your expertise, and draw others to your profile. 

Then try out LinkedIn events and join relevant groups, and don’t forget to interact with insights from your peers as well!

Now, with these foundational steps in place, you’re well-equipped to dive deeper into the world of LinkedIn. 

Up next? Ten major strategies to supercharge your LinkedIn networking…

10 Key LinkedIn Networking Strategies (& Tips) That’ll Level Up Your Game

a key heading toward a keyhole

When it comes to LinkedIn, knowledge is only half the battle. Strategy? That’s where the real magic happens.

Here are ten key networking strategies to help you not just use LinkedIn, but to master it…

1. Personalize Every Connection Request

You know that heart-flipping feeling when someone remembers your name in a crowd? That’s the same feeling you give when you personalize a LinkedIn connection request. 

So, ditch the auto-filled, “I’d like to add you to my network” and do this instead:

  • Conduct Research: Quick skim through their profile. Maybe you both share a passion for digital marketing or admire their recent article on AI advancements. Mention it!
  • Connect Over Shared Experiences: Perhaps you attended the same conference or shared an alma mater. Highlight that common ground.
  • Don’t Stop At Hello: Personalization goes beyond just the initial message. Engage with their content periodically and reignite the connection.

2. Engage, Don’t Just Post

It’s tempting to treat LinkedIn like a bulletin board, pinning your updates and then stepping back. But LinkedIn is a dialogue, not a monologue. 

Here are some concrete steps you can take to make sure the dialogue is a win-win for everyone:

  • Boost Your Visibility: Whenever you see a compelling post, don’t just passively scroll past it. Engage by commenting or sharing. This not only puts you on the radar of your connections but amplifies your presence on their feeds. Every time you comment or share a post, it shows up in the feeds of your connections, making you more visible.
  • Repeat Over Time: Consistent interaction paints you not as a passive observer but as an active participant in the professional community. Being a constant in the comments section or shared discussions transforms your image. You shift from being just another connection to a valued member of the professional community. 
  • Be Thoughtful: Instead of generic responses like “Great insights!”, elevate your engagement. Pose a thought-provoking question or offer a fresh angle. This proactive approach paves the way for deeper connections and discussions.

3. Set Aside Dedicated Time

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Think of how you would behave at a physical networking event. You wouldn’t just dash in and out; you’d linger, savor, and interact. 

Similarly, setting dedicated time for LinkedIn ensures you’re not just skimming the surface but diving deep. For example:

  • Allocate Specific Slots: 10 minutes in the morning, 10 in the evening. This way, you’re present both for the early risers and the night owls. You can use the morning slot to share an article or industry news and the evening to engage with posts from your network.
  • Set Clear Objectives: Every time you log in, have a specific goal. Over time, this consistent approach not only amplifies your LinkedIn presence but also fosters genuine connections, making your time on the platform more productive and engaging.

4. Use the Alumni Tool

Ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”? Well, your alma mater might be the goldmine you’ve overlooked in your networking efforts. 

LinkedIn’s Alumni Tool is your ticket to tap into this resource. Here’s how to use it wisely:

  • Find Common Ground: Sharing an alma mater instantly gives you something to bond over. But see what else you have in common so you can send a tailored message that will make you memorable. 
  • Explore Diverse Paths: Seeing where your fellow alumni professionally help you gather insights into potential career paths and avenues for meaningful conversations. And make it a habit to check periodically to see people who have changed jobs, roles, or industries. These transitional times are ideal for you to reach out and engage.

5. Join Relevant Groups and Be Active

LinkedIn Groups are spaces to learn, share, and most importantly, connect with like-minded professionals. Here’s how to use them:

  • Choose Wisely: While joining many groups may seem enticing, focus on a few that align with your goals or interests.
  • Be More Than a Spectator: Start discussions, share recent articles, or answer queries. Active participation increases your visibility, and if you demonstrate your skills, people will be reaching out to YOU, asking to hire you and buy from you.

6. Optimize Your Search with Boolean Commands

icon of person behind a search bar

Boolean commands help refine and target your searches, ensuring you find exactly who you’re looking for.

Here’s how to master it:

  • The Basics: Use “AND”, “OR”, and “NOT” to refine searches. For example, if you’re searching for freelance writers with SEO expertise, try “Freelance Writer AND SEO”.
  • Get Specific with Quotations: If you’re after a specific skill set or job title, place it in quotes. Like “Content Strategist.”
  • Experiment: The more you play around with Boolean commands, the better you become at zeroing in on potential connections or opportunities. 

7. Keep an Eye on ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’

LinkedIn allows you to see who has looked at your profile. And guess what? It’s more than just a curiosity tool:

  • Pursue Potential Connections or Opportunities: When someone takes the time to view your profile, it often means they’ve found something of interest. So if you notice a recruiter from a dream company checking your profile, it might be a cue to reach out, introduce yourself and express interest.
  • Attend to the Feedback Loop: Regular viewers might indicate that your posts or activities are gaining traction. Conversely, declining might mean it’s time to tweak your content or engagement strategy.

8. Create Compelling Content

There’s sharing posts, and then there’s going the extra mile by writing articles. Why limit your expertise to a few sentences when you can offer deep dives and position yourself as a thought leader?

Here’s how to shine:

  • Choose Relevant Topics: Think about the questions or challenges your network faces. Addressing these in articles not only shows your expertise but also adds value.
  • Engage with Your Readers: When people comment or share your article, take a moment to respond. It strengthens the connection and encourages further discussion. Remember, it’s not just about showcasing expertise, but also about building connections and fostering discussions.

9. Recommend and Get Recommended

When it comes to LinkedIn, giving and receiving recommendations can be a game-changer. But why’s it so essential, and how can you ace this?

  • Be Genuine: When writing or requesting a recommendation, make sure it’s heartfelt. Authenticity resonates louder than generic praise.
  • Pay Attention to Specifics: Instead of vague phrases like “great team player,” delve into precise instances or projects where the individual shined.

10. Diversify Your Network

Expanding your LinkedIn circle beyond immediate industry confines has its merits. How can you diversify effectively?

  • Seek Interdisciplinary Insights: Engage with content from varied industries to gain a broader perspective and connect over shared interests.
  • Initiate Conversations: When reaching out to professionals from different sectors, mention what piqued your interest about their profile or work, fostering a foundation for mutual growth.

By adopting these strategies, not only do you boost your LinkedIn prowess, but you also lay down a foundation for genuine, long-lasting professional relationships.

Now That You Know How to Network on LinkedIn…

linkedin logo with blue people icons

So, you’ve dived deep into the intricacies of how to network on LinkedIn, and hopefully come away with a few concrete ideas to try out. 

Remember, networking on LinkedIn is more than just clicks and connections — it’s about building genuine relationships. With every personalized message, engaging post, and newly acquired skill, you’re setting yourself apart. 

Networking isn’t a one-time event but an ongoing process.

So stay curious, stay active, and watch as LinkedIn transforms from just another social platform to a dynamic catalyst for your career growth.

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Sarah Cha

Sarah Cha is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she's not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favorite four-footed friend!


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Photo of author

Written by Sarah Cha

Sarah Cha is an avid writer, reader, and lifelong learner who loves making magic behind-the-scenes at Smart Blogger. When she's not wrangling words onto a screen or page, you can find her strumming a guitar, tickling a canvas, or playing fetch with her favorite four-footed friend!

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