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10 Ways to Build your Network Through LinkedIn

It's not always easy to know where to start.

Image via Blogtrepreneur/Flickr CC

LinkedIn (LNKD) is the best professional networking tool you can have. It makes it easy to connect and maintain connections, however, it is not always easy to know where to start. Here are some tips so you can maximize your network and maintain your professional stature.

1 | High School & College Never Ends

Connect with as many people from your graduating class in high school and college. Not only is it a great way to remain friends but that relationship could land you a job opportunity with your connections.

2 | Keep it Professional

Nothing is more unprofessional than a SnapChat pic on your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you keep it professional by maintaining a headshot either taken professionally or by someone using your iPhone in a professional or natural setting. Your first impression is the most valuable, make sure you image shows you in your best light.

3 | Stay Current

Did you volunteer last Christmas for a well known charity? Make sure you put it on your profile. Employers love seeing your endeavors, big or small. Job qualifications are only half the battle.

4 | Stay Out of Politics

Everyone is opinionated, but considering the political climate in the world right now, LinkedIn is not the place to express your political opinions. Think of it as an online workspace, it is taboo to discuss religion or politics in the office, so lets keep it off your LinkedIn.

5 | Keep a Card Collection

Whenever you go to an event, collect as many business cards as you can. Not only is it a great way to touch base post event to stay connected but it also is your source to connect with them via LinkedIn. Once a week, gather your cards and go have a connect frenzy.

6 | Dear John,

Adding a note to your connection request is a great way to remind them of how you met, that you had a great time speaking with them and you hope to collaborate synergies in the future. It also gives you added value because that individual feels important.

7 | You’ve Got Mail

If you’re anything like me, you send out over 1,000 emails per week to clients, contributors, colleagues, etc. and most of the time you have never met them. Putting a face to a name helps when you do meet, you will know who to look for and have some talking points to discuss about their career path or education.

8 | Alma Mater

Join the LinkedIn group for your college or university. A lot of times when seeking applicants or collaborations, people feel more comfortable connecting with fellow alumni.

9 | Take Advantage

LinkedIn has some amazing added benefits to their platform that you can pay for but, it is not necessary to grow your network. The best part of LinkedIn is that their free platform does the job just fine.

10 | Get Influenced

Follow some LinkedIn Influencers, these are a mixture of high ranking business professionals, celebrities, and power players. They always post informative and inspiring content that can spark an idea, inspire a new passion and give perspective.

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Stories like Charlie Munger’s inspire me. It shows why you must live life as an optimist.