5 Simple Strategies for Growing Your LinkedIn Influence

influence

By Stephanie Sammons, {grow} Community Member

Can positioning yourself as an influencer on LinkedIn really help you achieve your personal and professional goals?

You bet it can. Building LinkedIn influence is the key to becoming both the trusted authority and the likable expert in your industry.

The good news is, not that many people on LinkedIn are interested in building influence, which means you can really stand out and take the lead!

Today, you don’t have to be anointed as an “Influencer” by LinkedIn in order to be one. You simply have to engage in the activities that build influence on a daily basis.

Here are 5 tips to help you get started in growing your influence on LinkedIn:

1. Create and Share Influential Content on LinkedIn

There are multiple opportunities to share your content on LinkedIn such as in status updates, group discussions, and even sharing your entire blog posts via the new LinkedIn Publishing Platform!

However, you don’t want to share just any old content on LinkedIn. You want to share influential content.

How can you know if your content is influential?

Whether you are creating and sharing content that is relevant to your industry or content that has more of a universal appeal, your goal should be to help others solve an issue or problem, achieve more in their lives, or get smarter about something they care about.

Share content on LinkedIn that:

  • leads
  • inspires
  • teaches
  • helps
  • motivates
  • empathizes
  • empowers

Every piece of content you create and share on LinkedIn should bring tremendous value to your network and beyond! You want your network members to feel compelled to share your content with their networks.

2. Build Rapport With Your Network Connections

Rapport-building is easy to do on LinkedIn, if you are consciously aware of doing it! Building rapport makes you more memorable and likable. It also builds influence.

Here are some ways you can build rapport on LinkedIn:

  • Send personalized invitations and thank-you’s when connecting with others on LinkedIn.
  • Comment on the posts of others in your network to engage in personalized conversations.
  • Find common ground outside of business with your connections and strike up a dialogue using the LinkedIn messaging feature.
  • Post a status update that “mentions” a few of your connections. (they will be notified that you mentioned them and likely join in the discussion!)

I recently posted such an update following a women’s networking event that I attended in Dallas. The status update simply said how much fun it was to spend time with some of the ladies who attended and I publicly mentioned each of them in the update.

Each of the women mentioned in my update engaged in the discussion, which was then visible to each of their respective network members!

Engagement like this example not only helps you to expand your visibility but it also positions you as the influencer.

You need to be the one thinking about these small rapport-building actions before others do and take the time to do them.

3. Give to Receive

Reciprocity is such a powerful tool and one of my favorite ways to engage in building influence on LinkedIn. The simple act of giving (or helping) others on LinkedIn positions you as an influencer, by default.

Here are a few ways you can “give” on LinkedIn:

  • Promote the content of your connections to your network by sharing with your network. (Make sure they know you are promoting them by using the LinkedIn @mention feature!)
  • Introduce your connections who can benefit from knowing one another. To get good at this, you need to listen, observe, and really understand the needs of your network members. Strive to be a connector.
  • Give unsolicited recommendations and endorsements to your connections.
  • Listen and learn about what your connections are looking for, find the resource or the answer, and send it to them directly!

4. Build an Intelligent Network

The more you grow your LinkedIn network, the more influential you can become. Why? As you grow your network, you will compound your visibility and reach more people with your content and your actions on LinkedIn.

Don’t build a random network, be strategic about it. Make sure there is a good reason to connect and evaluate those who want to connect with you.

A vast network on LinkedIn leads to more powerful networking. Networking is how you discover ideas, insights, and opportunities that can lead to personal and professional growth.

As you grow your network on LinkedIn, you will have a rich resource for fostering relationships between the right people. You can introduce, connect, and refer the members of your network on a daily basis.

5. Connect with Influencers on LinkedIn

These are the people on LinkedIn within your industry who already have tremendous influence.

They are the leaders in your industry who have vast networks and the ability to make things happen.

You will need to be creative to connect with the influencers in your industry. Don’t expect to simply send an invitation and receive a response.

Strive to get on the radar of the influencer you want to connect with first before attempting to get connected.

For example, I recently wrote a post for a popular blog and highlighted one of my favorite industry influencers. To make sure she saw the post, I sent her a private InMail message on LinkedIn with a link to the post, and she quickly responded to express her gratitude.

Once the rapport was established, I sent her an invitation to connect on LinkedIn right away and we are now connected!

Achieving influence on LinkedIn doesn’t happen overnight. You need to be willing to put in the time, energy and effort. Building influence is a daily practice, not a one-time campaign.

If you focus on building LinkedIn influence, I promise that in time you will begin to attract major opportunities that can catapult your career or your business!

stephaniesammonsStephanie Sammons is a digital entrepreneur and founder of Wired Advisor, a professional financial advisor digital marketing platform. She also teaches entrepreneurs and business professionals how to build online influence and grow a successful business in today’s wired world at stephaniesammons.com.

Illustration courtesy BigStock.com

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  • Wonderful post Stephanie, thanks for sharing! LinkedIn is an incredible opportunity to build wonderful relationships.
    It takes time, trust, and offering value though to succeed. It needs to be viewed as marathon training, not a sprint workout.
    But I think that’s the same as just about everything else in life…if you are in it for the long term you will benefit others and find success.
    (Though from an exercise standpoint I highly recommend high intensity sprint training!)

  • Thanks so much Mike! It absolutely takes time and effort.

  • Great points, Stephanie! I especially appreciate the concept of building an intelligent network, as opposed to trying to connect with anyone and everyone. LinkedIn groups offer a lot of potential as well and I think are underutilized. The same thing applies, they need to be used intelligently. Plus, it’s easy to connect with others who happen to be in the same group. Thanks for the post.

  • Phil Donaldson

    Cool post, Stephanie. I especially connect with point #4. Being strategic about building one’s network is the way to go.

  • Excellent observations, Stephanie. Even though I am very good (I hope,) in making connections in LinkedIn, you showed me how to dive a little deeper for some depth, as well. Definitely helpful!

    In addition, with your approval, I would like to share your article on my connections on social media, too. Will that be acceptable to you? I appreciate it.

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

  • thanks Phil!

  • Hi Steve, I made that mistake early on and it’s just really difficult to get a feel for the needs and questions of your network if it’s all over the place! I agree with you on groups as well.

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  • Everyone can lost his account or get restricted on Linkedin when adding more and more connections with less number of accept and more on ignore. That’s why I really agree with personalized messaging.

  • rhonda hurwitz

    Stephanie, a related question about Linked in. What would you counsel a client who wants to hide his network connections on LInkedin so others can’t see them? It baffles me but maybe for some people their network is a strategic asset that would have value to competitors?

  • Hi Rhonda, I generally believe that if you hide your connections you limit your opportunities to grow your network. However, I know that there are definitely some industries where it might make sense to do so.

  • Yep very true Dara!

  • Sure thing feel free to share! Thanks.

  • Herb Silverman

    Superb! Thank you very much. By the way, I am now connected on LinkedIn with you; FYI.

  • John White

    Great article, Stephanie! As someone who is attempting to grow my influence on LinkedIn, I greatly appreciate these tips.

  • Anna G Brindley

    Love it. Shared it. The bottom link doesn’t work…unless you backspace over the period. I signed up for your newsletter. Hope to meet you one day…since we both live in Dallas!

  • Moses Akinmuyiwa

    Great insight, but requires perseverance and consistency to be impactful. Good stuff.

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  • Perfect stuff for me, it helps me to exploring myself more and more deeper about LinkedIn.

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