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Enlightened Leadership Blog | How to Use LinkedIn to Connect to Grow | March 2023

Do you run your own business? Are you on LinkedIn? Good. If you aren’t, then join the network today. Why? Because you are missing out on potential connections and information that could help you grow your business. 

LinkedIn is a powerful business tool that turns 20 years old this year. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in 2016 resulting in notable advances for the business platform. It’s staying power is illustrated through some impressive recent statistics from (linkedin.com):

  • LinkedIn has around 900 million members worldwide, of which ~24 percent, or 220 million, reside in North America. Although LinkedIn membership is significantly less than Instagram (more than 1.4 billion users) and Facebook (around 3 billion), it’s a key business focused platform growing daily.
  • 3 new members sign up every second as of Q2 2023. 
  • 58.4 million businesses are listed, big and small.
  • Newsletters increased 10x year over year as of Q2 2023. This means there is more and more content available for tips and tricks from pros.

However, LinkedIn features and the way folks tap into the platform change rapidly. LinkedIn is becoming more popular for social marketing and lead generation among B2B marketers. 

Despite the lead generation focused business culture, business etiquette needs to prevail. Here are a few initial tips to consider when using LinkedIn to build your network respectfully:

  1. Read the person’s profile in entirety before trying to connect with them. This helps you understand their interests to feel the vibe. This is how to select who to reach out to. 
  2. Write a personalized note to accompany your connection request. Why do you want to connect? Did you meet at an event? Do you share mutual connections? Do you belong to the same organization? Did you attend the same school? Did you work at the same company? Are you in the same industry? You get the idea. 
  3. Do not sell in your initial note. Frankly, those are the ones to delete immediately (many use software to send the same note to you plus hundreds or thousands with the click of a button). Usually, these are folks you don’t share connections with. They are the type that try to sell you without taking time to try to figure out what you do. Delete. Oftentimes, you will hear from them two-four times. Delete.

After you connect with fellow members who seem like minded at first pass, continue the conversation with a follow up note to nurture your new connections. Then, decide whether or not to take the chat offline with a simple call. I’ve met some great connections via LinkedIn. It takes focus, time, and patience, but it’s worthwhile in the long run.

Now, here are some easy ways to build your knowledge to grow your business (and yourself):

  1. Join some groups. There are groups for everyone on LinkedIn. Search around and see what interests you. This is a useful way to expand your knowledge and connections.
  2. Read newsletters. As you grow connections, you gain access to information contained in mediums such as newsletters. You’ll catch on quickly as to which ones hold value to you and your business.
  3. Follow some business pages and hashtags relevant to your line of work. You can experiment with business pages and hashtags over time to see if you enjoy what pops up on your home page feed. #editorspicks is one I recommend following (also followed by 5.3 million other members). As for business pages, my top reads are LinkedIn News, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and Psychology Today.
  4. Attend events. Attend events that interest you. It’s a great way to learn and meet potential collaborators.
  5. Check out courses. You can choose from 100 pages of virtual, complete at your own pace courses that take less than 30 minutes or an hour for free.

All in all, an array of options exists to explore on LinkedIn. However, for many small business owners, the first step with LinkedIn is getting started. You don’t have to be a technology wiz to set up a profile. Plus, there’s no fee for basic membership. So, join the business platform that offers free access to knowledge and connections to grow your business.

by Jennifer L. Musser 
Share your thoughts with me at JenniferMusser@JLMAConsulting.com