5 Ways To Network On LinkedIn Without Sending Cold Emails

Does the thought of "working the room" at your next business conference make you uneasy? Or perhaps you spend countless hours crafting cold outreach emails that end up ignored or rejected. Networking can seem overwhelming for many professionals. According to a recent survey conducted by Censuswide for LinkedIn in late 2023, nearly half (47%) of working Americans feel uncertain about their networking skills. The good news is that anyone can learn how to network effectively on LinkedIn without feeling awkward or inauthentic. A fresh approach is all you need.

Networking shouldn't just be about reaching out when you need a favor. Catherine Fisher, Vice President of Integrated Consumer Communications at LinkedIn, emphasizes the importance of staying connected and building relationships outside of when you're asking for something. Networking is about exchanging ideas and building quality connections over time, rather than simply accumulating LinkedIn connections.

It's estimated that 50% to 80% of positions are filled through networking. According to Jobscan, 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find and evaluate job candidates. With over 1 billion members in more than 200 countries and territories, LinkedIn is a powerful tool. Here are a few creative ways to network on LinkedIn without resorting to cold emails.

**Maintain Your Network**

Networking is an ongoing effort. Fisher compares it to tending a garden: “You don't just plant it and then walk away and think it's going to thrive. You actually have to water it. You have to prune it.” Start by adding people you know and trust to your network. Follow industries, companies, and individuals that interest you. Check the "people you may know" section for additional connections. Ensure you are connected to all professionals you've worked with—you might be surprised how many colleagues you're not yet connected with.

**Rekindle Connections**

A fun way to reconnect on LinkedIn is by playing one of the new games. These puzzles, integrated into the LinkedIn experience, let you see which connections have played them, allowing for engaging conversations and fun banter. You can find word and logic puzzles in the News module on your LinkedIn homepage, the MyNetwork tab, or directly via links such as Pinpoint, Crossclimb, or Queens. After playing, share your results with connections to spark discussions.

**Join the Conversation**

Another effective way to network on LinkedIn is by engaging in conversations in your feed. Before reaching out directly, comment on someone’s post. Simple comments such as “Love this,” “Yes, I agree,” or “What a great post! Thanks for sharing” can start a conversation. Follow up with a direct message to continue the dialogue. Comments not only drive conversations but also position you as an industry thought leader and can lead to networking opportunities.

**Contribute to Collaborative Articles**

Collaborative articles are topics published by LinkedIn that provide insights from the community. These articles start with AI-generated questions but are completed by LinkedIn members who share their expertise. You can contribute to various categories, including leadership, communication, healthcare, technology, etc. Exceptional contributions can earn you a Community Top Voice badge, which you can display on your profile. If you find an article particularly relevant to your work, follow up with the contributor to learn more.

**Leverage Second-Degree Connections**

Second-degree connections linked directly to your connections are valuable for networking on LinkedIn. From your home page, search for a company and select “People.” You'll see your second-degree connections and their shared connections with you. Send a quick note to your first-degree connection asking for an introduction. For example:

"Hi Mary,  

I hope you’re well! I noticed that you’re connected to Bill Brown at Company XYZ. I’m thinking of transitioning into that industry. Do you know him well enough to provide an introduction? I would love to ask him a few quick questions to learn more about what skills I should develop and how he spends his time at work. Thank you in advance!"

For Premium subscribers, LinkedIn’s AI Writing Assistant can help draft your message. Always remember to personalize the content before sending it.

Though networking can be daunting, taking simple steps can help you start conversations. The key is to move from being a passive observer to an active participant. The more effort you put into networking on LinkedIn, the more you'll reap the benefits.  

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