Nov 192010

Are you wondering how to leverage your presence on LinkedIn to build social influence?

Regularly updating your status, joining and participating in groups and answering questions is just the start.

There are also a number of ways to build deeper relationships with your connections on LinkedIn. I’m going to ask you to shift your thinking and consider the following:

Spend some time on LinkedIn connecting your contacts.

If you truly want to build social influence with your connections and become more valuable to them, dedicating time to strategically helping others can elevate your “social” status.

People want to be connected with a connector! Connectors are considered valuable resources because they’re genuinely interested and engaged in helping others succeed.

Working to connect your connections on LinkedIn not only helps you become a more influential person, you’ll also benefit from triggering the rule of reciprocity. Essentially, the rule of reciprocity states that when you do something that can benefit someone else, you’re making a psychological deposit with that person and he or she will feel obligated to repay the favor.

LinkedIn is the perfect environment in which to put the rule of reciprocity to use.

Why? Mostly, the network is transparent. LinkedIn members are sharing not only information about their professional background, skills, and experience, but they’re also sharing personal hobbies and interests. Never before have you been able to see all of these details about your professional network laid out right in front of you. The power of the LinkedIn network provides a compelling opportunity to grow your business.

A 3-Step Process for Connecting Your Connections on LinkedIn

#1: Analyze Your First-Degree Connections

Here’s a big-picture exercise that will get you thinking about who you know, what’s important to the people you know and who should know one other within your LinkedIn contacts.

Go to the Advanced People Search tool within LinkedIn. Under the “Relationship” section on the left, filter for your first-degree connections only (see image below).

This will bring up a list of all of your first-degree connections. Make sure to choose “Expanded View” to see more details about your connections within this search. A free LinkedIn account will show you up to 100 profile results per search.

The Advanced Search tool is located at the top right of your profile page.

Filter for first-degree connections.

Once you’ve pulled

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