How to effectively build and grow your LinkedIn network without being a pain in the ass

Robert Skrobe
Feb 24 · 3 min read
Fun fact: Some of the best network additions you’ll ever make are reconnecting with past friends and colleagues.

For the past two years, the organic reach of LinkedIn has been absolutely crazy.

If you’ve been paying attention and putting as much content as you possibly can to the platform, you’ve probably been seeing a lot of benefit from it.

One of those benefits is getting a whole host of new people (real and fake) to discover you and ask to join their network. While adding people blind is always easier, I’ve learned that caution and scrutiny make for better additions to my Linkedin account. Plus, there’s a better chance you can start a meaningful conversation with them in the future.

And you certainly don’t want to bother people who you have an outside chance of adding you in the first place. Some people get upwards of 50–80 requests for connections… sometimes multiple ones in the same day. You don’t want to be one of those people.

So… if you want to attract and add more like-minded people to your profile to expand your network on LinkedIn (without being a pest or nuisance), here’s what I would recommend you try.


On your own profile page…

  1. Create a short introductory video of yourself that’s one minute in length. I’d recommend practicing on Instagram or TikTok and potentially linking/exporting that to a format LinkedIn can consume.
  2. Cross link to your social profiles, websites and blogs that you’re part of. However, don’t link to them if they’re outdated by more than 2 years.
  3. Work on getting to a higher level of activity on LinkedIn that’s more than just liking articles and posting links. Take the time to comment, write an article, etc. to showcase more involved engagement.
  4. Ask for and give skill recommendations and for your profile. The former is much more important, as that’s the karma commerce of the LinkedIn platform. The more people you have vouching for you, the better.
  5. Do a search in Google of your own name. You should have some matches that showcase your contributions on other platforms you belong to and link them back to your LinkedIn profile for easy finding.

When asking to join someone else’s network…

  1. State why you’re interested in networking with them by leaving a note with your request. This is critical if you don’t have an established narrative with someone. Just asking to join a network without one forces the other person to figure out who you are. Don’t make them do the heavy lifting of figuring you out.
  2. Rather than ask for an outright network connection, follow someone you want to connect with and see what they’re sharing and doing. It’s a sort of try before you buy scenario, and it helps to avoid adding dead profiles that won’t do much for your news feed.
  3. Consider looking at previous jobs, schools and communities where you spent some time and reach out to old colleagues, best buddies and associates. You’ve already have an established relationship there, and you’d just need to see if the other person is interested in catching up.
  4. Check out the communities they’re active with and hang out. A network add is more likely if someone is familiar with you or your point of view.

When you have a moment, please tell me:

How do you find people to add to your professional network on LinkedIn? Do you use an alternative method of establishing professional connections? Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know!

And if you’re interested in getting this sort of content in your in-box every weekday, feel free to subscribe to the Global Design Sprint Newsletter for more amazing articles and commentary.

Good luck with expanding your network!


It’s here!

The 4th Global Virtual Design Sprint (GVDS) has been announced, taking place during the first three weeks of May (4–22).

You can learn more about the event here, or you can get straight away and register for the event by visiting this page.

Hurry though! The first 100 signups get the best deal!

Dallas Design Sprints

I train individuals, teams and companies on how to…

Robert Skrobe

Written by

I run Dallas Design Sprints, The Design Sprint Referral Network and Talent Sprints.

Dallas Design Sprints

I train individuals, teams and companies on how to effectively use the design sprint process. I also enjoy highlighting other professionals and practitioners in the field, and feature their stories here on Medium.

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