How to build a meaningful network on LinkedIn [reading time: 2.5 min]

LinkedIn is a network: networking is a verb, a doing word. This means DOING MORE than simply inviting and accepting. Even a stamp collector looks after and nurtures their stamps: Why pay less attention to human beings? The other day I posted a question on LinkedIn:


  • On the fly through the app?
  • On desktop when you have time to engage with your new connection?

This post started some interesting conversations (which you can read here). As the second option implies, there was a bit more to my question than just app or desktop.
Most people find it still easier to engage on desktop, as they are used to typing on a full-size keyboard. That won’t last long though. Us who have trouble typing on mobile (or wanting to type proper sentences) are a dying breed.


I am an advocate of large networks. The power of the 2nd degree is just unreal. Does that mean I advocate quantity over quality? Nope. They are not mutually exclusive. I recommend connecting to every person you spoke more than three words to. Including people from high school, sports, church, family, literally every person you’ve met. When you receive an invite from a stranger, ask yourself: “Is there a good reason not to accept?” Truly the power lies in the 2nd degree. Look at the little update above. No image, no URL, just a plain question. With just 4 likes and 13 comments, it gained more than 10K views.

Connecting is more than clicking accept. Connecting to people means talking to people. I start a conversation with every new connection. I love to know a bit more about them. What do they do, what are they looking for on LinkedIn? That way I can offer introductions between connections. If you’d like to see an example of how I do this… just send me a (personalised) invitation to connect. Already connected? If this was before my thoughtful days… send me a private message on LinkedIn and I will reply as if we’ve just connected.


It is great form to thank people for connecting. It is poor form to try and sell them something in the same message. I find it is ok to invite people to join/follow you on other social media. Show an interest in people. Be friendly, a tip is great, a push is horrible. Look for occasions to build on the relationship. Send a birthday message, comment on their update when it is relevant to you. Tag them if you read something that is of interest to them. It’s those little things that go a long way.

>>> Tell me, how do you build a relationship with your LinkedIn network? <<<