What happens once you reach over five hundred connections on LinkedIn? Why do other people seem to be able connect with those outside of an immediate network but you don’t seem to be able to? Why does a small profile update need to be a thing all of your contacts know about?
There’s an answer to all these questions.
Despite the fact that LinkedIn is widely used by business professionals all over the world and across hundreds of industries, many people are still not sure how it works.
Below are some of the most pervasive myths about LinkedIn.
I should only have a LinkedIn profile when I’m looking for a job.
While it’s true that LinkedIn is very helpful for finding a job, that’s not the only reason you should have a profile. Having a LinkedIn profile builds up your professional brand, you can stay up-to-date with the people in your network and constantly learn stuff about your industry.
Keeping your profile up to date may even make it so that opportunity comes knocking on your door. Making use of your profile means that you will be able to make use of your connections when the time comes. You may even end up finding business opportunities by engaging in certain conversations on the website.
When I update my profile, LinkedIn notifies everyone.
You can notify people of changes, but it doesn’t happen automatically, so you don’t have to worry about that. There isn’t a feed that is going to tell someone what is happening with your professional life – unless you want your network to be notified! Just turn the ‘notify your network‘ feature in your profile’s edit mode accordingly.
I should only connect with people I know are going to want to connect with me.
That isn’t the case – you should always feel free to add someone, especially when the relationship is mutually beneficial.
To maximize your chances, you should send them a personalized invitation or maybe even ask one of your contacts to introduce you. Once you outline what the other person can benefit by adding you to their network, you would be surprised at how receptive they are at the idea.
Once I reach 500+ connections, I’ll unlock the secret features of LinkedIn.
Sorry to disappoint you but there aren’t any ‘secret features’ of LinkedIn. It just stops displaying the number of connections after you have passed five hundred. Remember: It’s not just about the amount of connections that you have, it’s also about the quality of your relationship with them.
I’m only allowed to direct message people I’m connected to.
That’s not strictly true. If you are in the same group as that person, you can send them a message or you can choose to use Premium Inmails. This is a great example of why it is important that you join groups related to your industry – you can earn both knowledge and connections by doing so.
I should limit what I post to content relevant to my industry and my company.
Not necessarily. Anything that feels like it could represent you and that you believe people would find interesting can always be shared. Switching your topics up can be even more interesting and can keep your network engaged. That, along with sharing news, can help you build relationships with connections that may end up being important in the future.