Increasing your Number of 1st Degree Connections on LinkedIn

January 2018

The more first-degree connections you have, the more reach you have in your network, and this can be very powerful. Remember that you automatically become a second-degree connection, to everyone else who is a first-degree connection of your first-degree connections. Because of this, the size of your whole network is exponentially increased when you add a new connection (especially if that person is connected to a lot of other people).

LinkedIn seems to have eliminated the diagram it used to display, to show how you are connected to someone by 2nd or 3rd degree, which is disappointing because it was useful. However, you can still see the common connections you have with someone. When you go to their profile page, look at the Highlights section (right under the initial box of information with the profile picture). Here it will say “You have 7 mutual connections” and if you click on that link, it will show you who they are. This could be helpful if you are a 2nd degree with someone but would like to become 1st degree. See who you know in common, and ask one of your mutual connections to introduce you in person or through email. Then follow it up with a LinkedIn connection request.

If you’re not sure what to write in your invitations/messages, use LinkedIn’s feature to help you draft the wording. Alternatively, check out this funny and short post from Richard Moy of The Muse, on what to avoid when you send a LinkedIn request.

Set a goal to increase your LinkedIn connections by a specific percentage in 2018 and share that goal. From my experience, I know that setting a goal and sharing it in my December MTS increased my likelihood of getting on LinkedIn on a regular basis. Then, be sure to spend some time each week:

  • looking for former colleagues,
  • following up with people you met in person,
  • or sending an invite to the author of a post you enjoyed (explaining that you loved their post and would be honored to add them as a connection).

Good luck exceeding your LinkedIn goal for 2018! Please share your progress, your successes, and/or your challenges in meeting your goal. I’d love to hear from you.

Read Full January 2018 Newsletter