How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network Properly

Once your LinkedIn profile is completed to "all star" status and is fully search engine optimized, it is time to start building your LinkedIn network.

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site. Many people will state, the larger your LinkedIn network, the more successful you will be on LinkedIn. This statement is only true if your connections on LinkedIn are valuable and not spam generated. You need quality connections on LinkedIn, and there is spammers on LinkedIn. There are ways to avoid them, don't connect with just anyone.

Your LinkedIn network is the most valuable part of LinkedIn and the key to leveraging the benefits of the system. Although you don't need to connect with just anyone, you should put in the effort to ensure your LinkedIn network is reflective of all the people you have met throughout your life and teaching career.

People will only see your profile if you're in their first, second or third-degree networks, so it's imperative to reach out. By having a large, diverse LinkedIn network, you will have a greater chance of finding potential teaching job opportunities. Opportunities typically stem from a connection. So, collect contacts!

How to Grow Your LinkedIn Network Properly

A Large, Active LinkedIn Network Means:

How can you increase your network?

Once you've gained contacts from all of the people you know in your professional and personal life, it is time to start reaching out to ideal prospects that you'd like to have in your LinkedIn network.

One productive method to achieve this is by creating and using a series of carefully crafted messages to reach out to those people you'd like to have in your network.

Structured these professional messages in a way to receive positive responses — even if you don't know the individual personally. It's a powerful technique if you use it correctly.

Instead of just blindly requesting to connect with strangers, reach out by sending them a private message (known as inmail) with a viable reason to connect with you usually works much more favorably.

How to Network on LinkedIn

Some great ways to grow your LinkedIn network include joining and being active within groups, publishing articles, and posting relevant tips and information in forums that benefits the group. Make sure to join groups related to teaching and education. You want to connect with people in your industry. Once people start to notice you, people will invite you to join a group or connect with them.

The Best Ways to Increase Your LinkedIn Network and Online Presence Include:

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Find Contacts You NEED to Know:

LinkedIn's search feature isn't just about finding contacts that you already know, it's about finding contacts that you don't yet know but should. LinkedIn is a platform you can use to broaden your network through gaining contacts with other professionals in your field, important players in schools or school districts you are interested in, and scoping out yourcompetition.

Increase Your Online Visibility:

LinkedIn will increase your visibility by allowing a ton more people to view your profile. The more people you connect with, the more people will see your profile, the more opportunities you will gain for employment. As well, the stronger your profile is in combination with the number of connections you make will help you to appear higher on search results, which is a major plus when you are hoping to stand out amid the competition.

Get Active and Involved:

Join groups, ask for connections from people whom you may not know, use the status updates, and fill in your profile completely. You will stand to gain the most out of LinkedIn if you put the most into it. Remember that this is a social network. It is not something that you can just put up and forget you ever created it. You should get involved in the community and make valuable contacts if you want to maximize the benefits of this professional networking and learning resource. Getting involved is an excellent way to revitalize your education career.

Display Your Work:

If you have samples of your teaching and lesson plans in your teaching portfolio, you can present these same samples right in your LinkedIn profile as well. Showing your work can serve as great marketing for yourself as an educator as you can showcase your strong teaching skills and your level of expertise.

Track Workplace and Education Trends:

You can use LinkedIn to research workplace trends, teaching/education industry trends, and trends of certain teaching methods/programs. If you're thinking of completing a course or professional development in a certain area, you'll want to know the rate of success. You can use LinkedIn to network with teachers who have used certain methods or programs and find out which worked and which didn't, as well as the advantages, downsides, and best ways to integrate them into your classroom.

Promote Yourself and Your Knowledge:

Use LinkedIn as a self-promotion tool – but never use a sales pitch. Your profile can be used to improve your Google page rank and your search engine results. LinkedIn profiles receive a fairly high page rank in Google, which makes it a good way to influence what people see when they search for you. You can also promote your blog, website, etc. by publicizing your informative blog posts through your LinkedIn profile. Most importantly, your profile provides you with a platform to showcase your skills, accomplishments, and value that you bring to your classroom and to a school – demonstrating why other schools would want to hire you.

Research Potential Schools/ Districts/Companies:

Having the largest professional network at your fingertips will allow you to look into your competition freely, your potential employees when hiring, and schools you are considering working at. You can perform reference checks on potential employees by doing searches on the school they worked for during the years they were there. This will allow you to find out more unbiased information regarding the people you are looking to hire. Researching school districts will help you in many ways, including preparing for a job interview.

Building and expanding your network is an important part of being on LinkedIn. It will help you to gain more contacts that can assist you with your job search and career advancement. Don't underestimate the power of cultivating an extensive network of contacts to help you find the best teaching opportunities out there.

If you need a customized, search optimized profile, which can be the leading career tool used by recruiters to find top talent reach out to me for help to write the best LinkedIn profile. In addition to writing a LinkedIn profile, I offer coaching on how to get results using the social media platform effectively.