The idea of networking can sometimes be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Using a tool such as LinkedIn can help you achieve networking with like-minded people in your field of expertise, in much easier and less stressful ways. This gives you the chance to foster real-life connections. With LinkedIn’s new and improved layout, networking is easier than ever. Here’s how to make the most of it so you can get more work if you’re unemployed, and get your career as a digital nomad greater attention. The next stop: meeting offline in a unique location so that you can work on that great new idea.

Make Use Of LinkedIn’s Summary Section

You can’t reach out and make professional connections on LinkedIn if you’re not attracting people to your profile. LinkedIn’s new summary section appears in the top box of your profile. It’s worth noting that it only shows the first two lines of what you’ve written, which translates into 92 characters on mobile devices and 220 on desktop computers, so try to stick to a maximum of 92 characters and write an interesting, gripping piece about yourself. If it’s written well, your LinkedIn profile can boost your personal brand and make people more likely to want to connect with you.

Always Mention Your Location

If you don’t mention your location in your LinkedIn profile, you’re drastically reducing the amount of people who’ll be searching for services you have to offer. Research has found that location is important for prospective employers, with almost one-third of recruiters narrowing down their searches by location. Mentioning your location is also important when you want to connect with professionals in the same industry as you. If they see that you’re based within close proximity to them, it makes it easier for both of you to take opportunities to meet up to collaborate on a project. Working with local professionals also helps you to create projects that will benefit your local communities.

Start By Connecting To People You Know

You don’t have to reach out to complete strangers – in fact, you’ll probably have greater success with creating more connections if you first connect to people you already know. For instance, people with whom you’ve worked or attended college. When you connect with people you know and trust, you’ll be able to connect to new people they know who might be in a similar field as you. However, when joining groups, you don’t have to know anyone. Connect with people who are in your target audience, even if they’re not your contacts. Just the fact that you’re in a group allows you to invite them to join your network.

Treat Introductions Like A Job Interview

When reaching out to someone new, bear in mind that it’s important to focus on new insights and ask questions that aren’t the same old ones the person is used to hearing. Tell him/her about the great idea you had for a charity event and how you’d love to join forces because their company’s values are in line with yours. Show your inspiration and why you’re someone they should connect with.

Take It Offline

Your online networking shouldn’t stay there. Once you’ve established new working relationships, take them offline by setting up appointments, calls, and events. An idea is to set up a place where you and your network can collaborate, and then invite them to meet you there. If you’re going to an industry event, let them know. Keep an eye on what events they’re attending, too. If you’re going to the same local event, inform them so you can connect in real life.

LinkedIn offers many opportunities to network, build professional relationships, and bring more attention to your brand. By following the above tips, you’ll be networking in real life in no time, and your great ideas will have the platform you need to make them a reality.

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