Keep it real: How to make genuine connections on LinkedIn

Learn how to make connections on LinkedIn and automate LinkedIn outreach and lead generation with this straightforward tactical guide.

Keep it real: How to make genuine connections on LinkedIn

Let’s talk about LinkedIn.

You probably already know LinkedIn is the world’s biggest business network. Odds are, you have an account already, and, if you’re like most people, you added your work colleagues, school friends, and maybe a few clients or recruiters to your network. This is great, but you might be missing the big picture:

Connections are everything.

In today’s business world, your success at work depends on your professional network.

Think about it. You connect with people all the time. You call on real-life friends and colleagues for help, support, or advice every day. You think nothing of contacting a business to see if they can help you with a problem or buy something from you.

Building a network of personal and professional connections is the most important thing you can do for your career or business. And LinkedIn is the best place to make and nurture professional relationships. Here’s why:

LinkedIn has 800+ million members and 57+ million companies across 200 countries. All of those members and businesses are available to you as a potential connection. You can access almost any professional, expert, peer, leader, or influencer with a simple invitation to connect.

For example, if you have a business challenge, you can use LinkedIn to connect you with someone who can help you work out a solution. If you’re building a sales strategy, you can use LinkedIn to generate leads, research, and connect with potential customers. Or if you want to expand your number of connections beyond your industry, you can easily find like-minded people in LinkedIn groups.

In this article, we give you the straight facts on making genuine connections on LinkedIn. We cover all the tactics you’ll need to know, including how to scale and automate your LinkedIn outreach strategy when your network begins to grow.

Let’s get started with a closer look at the benefits of building connections.

The benefits of making connections

A familiar saying goes, “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know that matters.” When you’re building connections, it’s a bit of both. It’s always good to know the key people in your industry and marketplace, but it’s also important for people to know who you are.

The benefits of making connections

Good connections are the key to professional and business success. When you make a new connection, you start a conversation. That conversation can lead to good opportunities or benefits for your business and everyone in your professional network. Here are some of the ways those conversations can benefit you and your business:

  1. New connections can lead to new business

Current and new connections will share positive business experiences and endorse each other, which is excellent for finding new business opportunities. For example, one of your past clients could endorse your services to one of their connections, which is a great warm lead for new business.

  1. Connections can introduce you to vendors and advisors

If you face a business challenge or want to expand your business in new ways, your connections can be a great resource. They can help you by introducing you to trusted advisors or professionals who can provide invaluable advice and solutions.

  1. Making connections can lead to lasting friendships and business partnerships

Every connection you make is personal, and it’s not unusual for a trusted connection to evolve into a friendship or business partnership. These relationships are invaluable to your personal and professional life, and they can also create great new opportunities for your business.

  1. Connections may advise you or open doors for you

There are always people who know more than you or have different connections. Making connections with peers, experts, and influencers in your industry can benefit you. Your connections could provide advice or mentoring to help you grow your business, or they could introduce and endorse you to key players you may not be able to access on your own.

  1. Building connections boosts your personal brand and reputation

As you build your professional network, help other professionals, and share your expertise, your reputation as a trusted expert will grow on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. As your network grows, you’ll be featured more as an expert, which will attract people to connect with you. Your growing reputation will also have important SEO benefits, as your profile will rank higher in searches for your expertise or market.

  1. Growing your professional network increases LinkedIn exposure

As you add new connections and your professional network on LinkedIn grows, it will be more likely that your LinkedIn profile will appear in more search results. You’ll also appear more often in other members’ feeds when you share new content or posts, significantly boosting your social media marketing efforts. You could see more incoming LinkedIn connection requests that drive lead generation and sales growth.

Also, as your visibility increases on the platform, a lot more key LinkedIn members will see you, not just in your industry but across the LinkedIn network. This broad exposure will expose you to connections and opportunities beyond your sector and marketplace. 

How to start making connections on LinkedIn

So how do you harness the power of LinkedIn to make connections and build your professional network? Here are some tips:

1. Complete and optimize your LinkedIn profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your business card, storefront, CV, homepage, and pitch. First impressions matter, and your profile page is the first thing LinkedIn users will see about you and your business. Plus, LinkedIn’s internal search engine places a higher value on "complete profiles.” That means you need to make sure your profile is pitch-perfect to raise your exposure and reputation on the LinkedIn network. Finally, your public LinkedIn profile is visible to search engines, so you also need to make sure your profile is SEO friendly to rank high in search results.

Complete and optimize your LinkedIn profile

No pressure.

Fortunately, LinkedIn will guide you through ensuring your profile is complete. As for the content – we provide a helpful guide to getting your LinkedIn profile noticed.

2. Send connection requests and engage with LinkedIn members

There are countless ways you can make connections with other LinkedIn members. Connect with other professionals in your industry and local area, friends, school alumni, connections from other social networks, thought leaders, and influencers; the list goes on. 

The most common way of connecting is to send a LinkedIn connection request with a personal note, but there are plenty of other great ways to connect. You can ask mutual connections to connect you to people they know, send an InMail invitation to connect or join LinkedIn Open Networkers (LIONs). You can also introduce two mutual connections who you feel would benefit from meeting each other.

When you reach out to connect with another member, write a connection message that will grab their attention and raise the chance they’ll accept your invitation.

3. Engage with member content

Engaging with other LinkedIn members is a great way to build connections. There are a couple of ways you can interact with other members, but LinkedIn Groups and members’ posts are the main ways. 

LinkedIn Groups are a great place to talk about ideas, current events, and business challenges. You can start or join conversations, ask questions, or send messages to other group members when you're in a group. 

You can also post content or engage with content posted by other LinkedIn members. LinkedIn notifies you when LinkedIn members like or comment on your content, so you can engage them by replying to their comments or reaching out with a message. LinkedIn also notifies content owners and your first-degree connections when you engage with their content, opening up the conversation to even more people. 

As you post helpful and relevant content, more people will engage with you, and you’ll develop a reputation as an expert in your field, which will result in more exposure on LinkedIn.

4. Update your status regularly

When you regularly post relevant and informative status updates, you’ll draw more attention to your profile. A status update can be as simple as a quick comment on an interesting fact or industry news, or something as big as announcing a new job. The important thing is to make regular updates, so your content is always fresh and top-of-mind, which will attract people to engage with your content.

5. Give recommendations and endorsements (and get them too)

Recommendations and testimonials are great for building trust and reputation, plus they appear on your LinkedIn profile, so they’re visible to anyone who wants to learn more about you. In turn, you can write recommendations or testimonials for any of your connections, which helps them raise their profile and strengthens your relationship. 

You can ask your connections to give you testimonials. Although it’s always good to have a long list of recommendations, even five to ten send the message that you’re a professional who other professionals trust. When writing a testimonial for someone or asking them to write one for you, focus on specific achievements or skills rather than general positive comments. Staying focused makes the testimonial more relevant and valuable.

6. Have an outreach strategy for building connections

It’s much more effective to take a strategic approach to making connections on LinkedIn. Base your outreach strategy on achieving measurable goals. For example, you could set a goal that you’d like to add 20 first-degree contacts with potential customers in your sector.

Your outreach strategy can be standalone or part of your content marketing or social media marketing strategy. Part of your strategy should focus on how you will scale and manage your outreach activity when it becomes too large and complex to handle manually. For most businesses, that means turning to LinkedIn automation tools.

Using LinkedIn automation to make connections

If your outreach strategy is successful, you’ll soon find that you’re managing a large volume of connection-building activities, which can be a challenge if you’re doing the whole thing manually. Fortunately, several LinkedIn automation tools can help you prospect for leads, manage communications, build campaigns, and nurture leads and connections.

These tools save you time, but they expand the possibilities of what you can do with your outreach campaigns. LinkedIn automation tools customize personalized campaigns, have powerful data collection and analysis capabilities to help you measure results and plan future campaigns, and integrate with other marketing and business operations platforms to run powerful omnichannel and e-commerce strategies. 

If you do it right, you can take your LinkedIn outreach strategy to the next level with the right automation tool.

CoPilot AI - LinkedIn connections made easy

CoPilot AI - LinkedIn connections made easy

CoPilot AI can help you scale your LinkedIn outreach efforts to make real connections and build trust. With CoPilot AI you can build genuine connections from your first LinkedIn connection request and nurture them to create strong and lasting business relationships.

CoPilot saves you time and money by automating your outreach campaigns. Take advantage of advanced campaign analytics to build and test smart campaigns, then track campaign effectiveness and ROI. Create and use customizable chat templates and messages directly from the CoPilot AI app to quickly and easily set up personalized messages and conversations.

You can also use Zapier to easily integrate CoPilot AI with most CRM systems and upload contact info, messages, and notes from LinkedIn into your CRM platform. Doing this lets you keep all your customer communications and relationship history in one place. It also lets you send relevant, personalized messages and content to prospects and clients to keep them engaged with your business. 

Since you can easily integrate CoPilot AI with most CRM systems using Zapier, you get the best of both worlds. Messages, contact information, and notes from every new lead, prospect, and campaign are just some of the LinkedIn data you can upload in real-time from CoPilot AI to your CRM software. You can then distribute relevant content to them to keep the conversation going. 

Book a demo with our team to learn more about how CoPilot AI can help you make connections on LinkedIn.