As with other social media platforms, Linkedin is primarily a channel for engaging with others – from a professional viewpoint. And the main way to professionally interact on LinkedIn is via connections – including from a branding perspective. Recent research by US-based Fast Company identified a minimum of 30 LinkedIn connections as essential to kick-start the value of this professional platform. It’s also commonly highlighted that 500+ connections is the golden number, particularly if you’re aiming to be an industry influencer. Yet it’s important to remember that it’s as much about the quality of your connections on LinkedIn, as it is about the quantity.
“Having merely a large network with little regard to its quality, allows little long-term merit. Please ensure that in the pursuit of growing your network you adhere to relevance as your core philosophy and never compromise on quality.” (Rahul Kumar, founder & CEO of Resonate Business Ignition)
Accelerated search rankings
LinkedIn algorithms favour those that actively and appropriately use this platform, including via constructive relationship building (i.e. ample relevant connections). Furthermore, the greater the amount of relevant first-degree connections you have on LinkedIn, the wider your ‘personal branding net’ will be cast. You’ll be exposed to a larger amount of second- and third-degree connections via your first-degree connections, who will be more likely to view you as credible based on your shared connections.
Additional career opportunities
The Sales Benchmark Index has previously reported that “98% of sales professionals who have at least 5,000 LinkedIn contacts reach or surpass their sales quotas”. This aligns with the common perception that many of today’s jobs are offered and/or landed via networks – both professional and personal. Bearing in mind that you’ll be exposed on LinkedIn to a lot more prospects via your first-degree connections, new opportunities could arise that you have never really considered.
“Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come.” (Diane Helbig, international business & leadership development advisor)
Expertise and accessibility
A larger amount of quality LinkedIn connections will enable you to advocate and assert yourself as an industry specialist to a broader LinkedIn audience. This includes more alerts being sent out across the expansive LinkedIn network if you post an article or other communication, which may also lead to a higher amount of shares as well as click-throughs to your website and other digital branding tools. Furthermore, you’ll always have contact details for that first-degree LinkedIn connection, even after they’ve changed email addresses and/or mobile numbers.
As you build your LinkedIn network, whether actively sending out connection requests or accepting invitations to connect, keep top of mind that this is a platform for building mutually beneficial relationships. Avoid hard selling and ‘anyone will do’ networking on LinkedIn – expand your connections via quality over quantity.
If you’ve been considering a change in career direction and/or increasing your future job opportunities, it may also be time to consult a professional resume writer. From spicing up a LinkedIn profile to overhauling a resume and adding an often-critical cover letter, to writing up selection criteria attuned responses, Walton’s Words thrives on creating career documentation that helps you to stand out. Give us a call or drop us a line if you would like to discuss your resume writing needs further.