How to stand above the crowd on LinkedIn: 3 great actions

by Kirsten Hodgson

With more than 175 million members as of September 2012 (source: Wikipedia), standing out from the crowd on LinkedIn is important if you want to position yourself as an expert in your field.

The following three actions will help you to do this.  By adding value to your relationships you will be remembered and more likely to create long-term and interactive connections.

In terms of offline networking, the actions below are similar to meeting someone at a conference and making an off-hand remark about a case you are interested in.  A few weeks later you receive an article about that case along with a note saying how nice it was to meet you. How would this make you feel about that person?

Action 1: Each month introduce two of your LinkedIn connections who’d benefit from meeting one another.

I use LinkedIn’s messages to do this. When writing your message, make sure you let them know the reason for the introduction (e.g. targeting similar clients, offering complementary services), a brief summary of how you know each person and their skill-sets. Make sure you keep a note of introductions you’ve made so that you can follow up and see if the people connected/met down the track.

Action 2: When you come across an article that will be of interest to one or more of your LinkedIn connections, share it with them directly using LinkedIn email.

Let them know why you think it will be of interest to them and why they should read it. This may be something you or a third party has written. For example, if there is an upcoming legislative change you may want to give certain people a heads up…even if you don’t know much more at this stage, the fact that you’re the person bringing it to their attention means they are more likely to think of you if and when they need some help. This shows the other person that you are thinking of them and their needs and helps to position you as someone who understands their business/industry.

Action 3: After accepting someone’s invitation to connect on LinkedIn ALWAYS  send them a follow up message thanking them for their invite.

This simple step invites people to continue the conversation should they wish to do so. I do this routinely and, as a result, had two prospective clients (with who I had no prior relationship) email me back to request a meeting to see if I could help them within a two-week timeframe. They have both, subsequently, become clients.

These three actions are simple to implement but can have a huge impact on you and on the others involved.

Action: Put the above three actions as recurring tasks in your calendar or social media action plan.  Then monitor what happens.

In the words of C.G. Watson “Every action triggers a reaction.” Try to make your connections react positively to yours.

Which LinkedIn actions do you recommend or appreciate?

Image courtesy digitalart via

Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant
  • Justine

    Thanks for another great article. It’s a nice reminder how important it is to remember the details, often it’s the little things that count.

    I’ve had new connections send me links to articles they thought would be of interest and 9 times out of 10 have gone on to create a relationship which has transferred offline.

    I’ll be putting your 3 actions into my calendar!

    • Kirsten Hodgson

      Let me know how you get on Justine. Great to hear that the majority of those who have sent you links to articles have gone on to form a relationship beyond LinkedIn. What other good things have you seen?

  • Maree Harris

    Very pertinent 3 points. I always send a personal message when I invite people to join my network and also send one in reply to people who invite me. However, very few people do it on LinkedIn which makes me wonder why they want me in their network. I sometimes wonder if they are just interested in building a long list of names. I see online networking as having many similarities with offline networking. I wouldn’t go to an offline event and just walk around the room handing out business cards without even saying “Hello” to the person or addressing them by their name and yet that is what happens on LinkedIn.

    • Kirsten Hodgson

      Great point about online and offline networking Maree and I agree, I think some people do just want more connections (they can see more search results that way!) Have you noticed that sometimes you don’t get the option to personalise your invite? It happened to me when I was looking through the ‘People you may know’ list – I pushed invite thinking I’d then get the pop up box that I could type a tailored message into but instead got a notification that my invite had been sent. I think that’s something LinkedIn should rectify as it might make people more aware of the need to personalise their invites.