Building your LinkedIn network starts with improving the quality of your LinkedIn feed.
Pre-tech revolution, “feed” meant to nurture and sustain. One could feed one’s face, or feed one’s soul.
Post-tech revolution, the word has transformed from a verb to a noun with a fresh connotation worth acknowledging. Meaning, if you were to truly feed your LinkedIn network, you wouldn’t start the same day you decide that you need a new job.
Like any behaviour that’s good for your health (career health in this case), it’s got to be a daily habit.
And your feed should “feed” you. (Bonus Read: How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile Rock).
So, if it consists of random posts from people you don’t really know or care about, you’ll bore yourself into thinking that maybe your current job isn’t so bad after all.
CREATING AN INTERESTING LINKEDIN FEED IS SIMPLE.
First, work some magic on your mindset. Imagine you’re a teenager on Facebook. Now cull as ruthlessly as a high school cheerleader. Or football star.
You get the point.
And the point is serious: See content that isn’t sparking your interest? Unsubscribe from people who post it.
Don’t see any professional potential in a poster (as in asking for an introduction or working with them someday)? Remove them as a connection.
Next, now that you’re in mercenary mode, apply the same level of zeal to finding people you do want to subscribe to or connect with. Here’s how:
- Go into the Interests tab and click on Pulse. Explore the content. Your goal is to follow 10 people whose ideas pique your interest—genuinely so. Because if you’re not intrigued personally or professionally by what you’re reading, maybe you’re just looking out for numero uno. Check your intention.
- Make sure they’re the kind of ideas you want to engage in, challenge or contribute to. Maybe you’ll learn something, maybe you’ll relate. Would you want to sit next to the author at a dinner party? That’s a great litmus test.
- Next. While you’re still in the Interests tab, go to Companies and follow 10 inspiring companies (and/or companies you want to work for or do business with).
- Finally. Also in the Interests tab, go to SlideShare and repeat the same process to follow 10 people whose thoughts resonate with you. Remember the advice from the Interests tab.
Congratulations! With just that much effort, your feed will start feeding you.
Meaning, you’ll actually begin interacting with people who inspire you. And that’s how the connections begin to happen.
But here’s the glitch. The effort has to be sustained. As in daily—but just 10 minutes should do it.
HOW TO INTERACT WITH YOUR FEED.
If someone you follow writes a post that sparks your interest, comment. Just make sure it’s more thoughtful than just “great post – I agree!”
Often topics flare up into heated discussions; if you feel like the discussion is a quality one and you have something to contribute, put yourself out there.
See someone you want to connect with? Send them a personalised request.
Check out who else “liked” the post, and what their comments were.
What people like and say offers great insight into what they value, how they think (and whether you want to connect with them). Check out their profile. If they look interesting, follow them.
Lather, rinse, repeat. 10 minutes a day.
With practice, you’ll find it’s less like your first amateur stand-up routine and more like hanging out at a digital cocktail party. (Bonus Read: How To Ask For Recommendations On LinkedIn).
Mingle freely, moving toward those who capture your imagination. Avoid getting stuck with people who are on the take or worse, just have nothing compelling to say.
Groucho Marx said he’d never join any group that would have him for a member.
Which brings us to our final words of advice: Be selective, be diligent and above all, be yourself.