Last week, in Part 1, we covered the first four of seven lessons inspired by Game of Thrones for building connections on LinkedIn. In Part 2, we cover the remaining three.
5. Join LinkedIn Premium and rock Lannister gold
No one knows that better than the Lannisters of Casterly Rock, who use their massive wealth to win favor and make themselves a force to be reckoned with. The reputation of the Lannister Lion extends far and wide.
You can't put a price on reputation. That is, unless you have LinkedIn Premium membership, in which case good reputation costs anywhere from $24/month to $75/month. (Hey, that's nothing... You should see the Rock's heating bill.)
Just as websites pay for trust badges to boost their credibility, having yourself labeled as a LinkedIn paying member makes you appear more reputable and authoritative. You get a snazzy-looking badge next to your name, making you look less spammy and increasing your connection acceptance rate. It's like the brooch of the King's Hand, but less pointy.
Don't worry. I only get a 30% commission for every user I get to sign up for premium membership (full disclosure: I'm kidding, of course!).
Pay up for premium LinkedIn membership, and you'll see your status rise as surely as if you were relying on Lannister gold.
6. Fill your profile: Ruler of the North and Master of Volleyball
If you want to get more LinkedIn connections, you have to look like someone worth connecting with. How do you go about doing that? The same way the greats of Westeros do it: accomplishing feats and never letting people forget their achievements. Ever.
When I enter the room, I am announced as "Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream, Supreme Conqueror of PPC and First of His Name." What, doesn't everyone have a personal announcer?
All right, we show off our accomplishments a bit differently in this universe, but it's just as important to broadcast our achievements on LinkedIn as it is to be proclaimed when entering the Red Keep throne room.
Of course you'll add your work history, your education... all the obvious stuff. Don't stop there, though; go the extra mile. Add certifications if you have them, including online certifications earned through sites such as Coursera. They look great on your profile, so go ahead and beef it up with online courses you've taken and certificates you've earned.
Also make use of the "Projects" section. Showcase your best stuff. What constitutes a "project" is open to interpretation. It could be a graphic you made, a blog, a website—basically, anything with a URL.
You might include "Slayed Oberyn Martell, AKA The Red Viper, in a trial by combat," or, maybe, "Conquered the Ironborn during the Siege of Pyke with flaming sword of light." You know, the usual stuff.
You'll also want to highlight your mad skillz. While you can't endorse yourself for skills, make sure that you do plenty of endorsing for others, as that will make them more likely to return the favor.
Tell me that doesn't look impressive.
Don't forget to fill out interests, which can make you appear interesting and unique (even if you're as dull as mud).
Add any honors or awards (no matter how insignificant you may consider them), and any organizations you are a part of.
Recommendations are also great to have on your profile. Don't be afraid to reach out to coworkers (whether old or current) and ask for a recommendation. These accolades can do a lot to boost your connection credibility.
Soon you'll have a fuller page in the Book of Brothers than Ser Duncan the Tall.
7. Participate in LinkedIn blogging, Maester-style
Maesters are the closest thing Westeros has to bloggers, but their central audiences consist of future generations hundreds of years in the future who are looking for knowledge and historical insight. Maesters also write with quill and ink in massive leather-bound volumes, so calling them "bloggers" might be a stretch…. all the same, the records they keep are important.
LinkedIn blogging is a modern equivalent, and it's a powerful way to rake in new connections on LinkedIn who might be looking for your insights. When you write a blog post on LinkedIn, users who check out your post will encounter a big, clickable "Follow" button at the top of every post.
Getting users to follow you is great: They're notified of your new published content pieces, but you won't have to constantly be plagued—err, I mean honored—by their updates.
I've picked up thousands of followers by posting content on LinkedIn. Definitely give this tactic a try.
Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind
The sky is the limit, almost... so long as it's not over 30K connections. The LinkedIn ceiling for the number of connections is 30,000. You can contact LinkedIn support and ask for an increase, but you won't get much—maybe an extra thousand or so. You may eventually have to delete previous connections to make room for new, better connections, so oil up the chopping block, because heads are gonna have to roll (like a Stark family reunion!).
If you get blocked, you can get unblocked. If you get blocked from sending out invites, contact the LinkedIn customer support folks. They'll reset the restriction for you at least a few times. It helps if you're a paying member: Grease the guards' pockets, and it's easy to turn heads the other way.
* * *
No matter what universe you call home, having a lot of friends in your corner is the key to success.
Having a large LinkedIn connection base improves your reputation, builds awareness of your business, and gets people interacting with your site and your content in ways they wouldn't otherwise. Although your new cohorts probably won't dive into battle with you against Targaryen dragons, they'll help your cause in other ways.
The benefits are tremendous, so go out there and start connecting!
Do you have any techniques for getting more LinkedIn connections? Add them to the comments if you have any to share.
Take the first step (it's free).
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