Who to Connect With on LinkedIn – 7 Types of Contacts You Need

Who to Connect With on LinkedIn - 7 Types of Contacts You Need
Do you have these 7 types of people in your network? Learn who to connect with on LinkedIn and how to manage your network properly.

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We’re all familiar with the power of LinkedIn and how you can get hired, find business partners, or grow your business through it.

But many don’t see these opportunities for one reason. They don’t diversify.

To get the most out of LinkedIn, you need a wide range of people in your network from which you can learn and converse.

Understanding the types of contacts you need in your network can transform your LinkedIn experience, turning it into a powerful asset for career development and business growth.

Why You Should Diversify Your Network

Diversifying your network on LinkedIn means connecting with a wide range of professionals, including those outside your immediate industry or field. 

Just stop and think about it. How can you grow if you surround yourself with just your colleagues and nobody else, or just your industry peers?

Diversifying your network leads to unexpected collaborations, mentorship opportunities, and even new career paths.

It strengthens your professional reputation, making you more visible and relevant in the ever-evolving job and business markets.

What To Consider When Connecting on LinkedIn

While growing your LinkedIn network, ensure each new connection is made thoughtfully and on purpose aligning them with your networking goals.

Here are a few key factors to consider to ensure that each new connection adds value to your professional network:

  • Relevance to your career goals Focus on connecting with individuals who align with your career aspirations or work in your desired industry. These connections can provide insights, advice, and opportunities that propel your career forward.
  • Quality over quantity – While having a large network has benefits, the quality of your connections matters more. Seek out individuals who are engaged, influential, and can contribute positively to your professional development.
  • Mutual benefit Networking is a two-way street. Consider how you can provide value to your connections, whether through sharing knowledge, offering support, or connecting them with others in your network.
  • Diverse perspectives – Look for people who bring different viewpoints and experiences to your network. This diversity can challenge your thinking, inspire innovation, and broaden your understanding of various industries and roles.
  • Intentional networking – Connect with people who want to grow their network and engage with their connections. You don’t want a network full of ghost connections. A clear sign is their profile, if it’s fully optimized and regularly updated you can be sure they care about networking.

By keeping these considerations in mind, you can strategically grow your LinkedIn network with connections that are not only valuable but also aligned with your professional goals.

Who to Connect With on LinkedIn

Building a strategic LinkedIn network involves connecting with key types of professionals who can enrich your professional journey. 

They come in many different shapes and sizes, however, there are seven key contacts you should consider connecting with:

  • Industry experts These are the thought leaders sharing crucial articles, reports, and analyses that can deepen your understanding and keep you informed. Engaging with their content not only boosts your industry knowledge but also raises your profile among peers.
  • Mentors and advisors These connections, rich in experience and wisdom, can provide you with feedback, help you tackle challenges, and guide you toward making strategic decisions in your professional life. You can ask your connections to recommend you fellow mentors that can help your career grow.
  • Colleagues (current and former) – Keep in touch with colleagues, old and new. They offer valuable introductions, and endorsements, and keep you informed about industry opportunities. You worked with them for years and know how they tick which is invaluable when developing long-lasting relationships.
  • Customers and clients – For those in business, sales, or service roles, connecting with customers and clients on LinkedIn can strengthen your business relationships and promote loyalty. LinkedIn allows you to share updates, solicit feedback, and better understand their needs, potentially unlocking new business prospects.
  • Recruiters – By including them in your network, you increase your visibility for job openings and gain insights into the job market and profile optimization tips. A connection with a recruiter is the link to your next big career move.
  • Event attendees Connecting with professionals you encounter at conferences, seminars, or webinars is a smart move. It widens your network with people you met in real life which holds much more value than shooting a stranger a connection request.
  • Super connectors – These connections have wide networks of diverse people and act as connection hubs. They can introduce you to new people you are looking for either for a new job, insights, business, or expertise. 

Framework for growing LinkedIn network and opportunities eBook

Managing Different Types of People on LinkedIn

Once you’ve established a diverse network, managing your connections effectively becomes crucial. 

You want to be able to recognize who is who and find the needed connection fast while remembering how you met them and what you talked about.

You can utilize a personal CRM tool like LeadDelta to categorize your connections with Tags and know who is who.

leaddelta tags

These Tags later enable you to filter your network and find connections in seconds while Notes help you remember why you connected with them and what you talked about.

leaddelta advanced filters

Keeping your network up to date is crucial as your connections are everchanging and go into different jobs and industries all the time.

In the end, it all comes to regularly connecting with new people and actually taking the time to check up on them.

There’s no better way of managing your network than actively conversing, looking for feedback, and being close to them.

Conclusion

LinkedIn offers a powerful platform for professional networking, but its true value is unlocked through strategic connections. 

By focusing on connecting with the right people you can create a network that supports your career development, offers valuable insights, and opens up new opportunities. 

Managing these connections thoughtfully ensures that your LinkedIn network remains a robust and dynamic asset in your professional arsenal.

Take the first step towards unlocking your network's full potential. Try LeadDelta for free.