LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking platform, with over 800 million members worldwide. Making connections is a key part of using LinkedIn effectively, but what exactly are those connections good for? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the many benefits of LinkedIn connections and how to use them strategically.
Expanding your professional network
The most obvious value of LinkedIn connections is that they allow you to build up a large network of professional contacts. The bigger your network, the more people you can potentially reach out to for career opportunities, business deals, partnerships, advice, and more. Some specific benefits include:
Gain access to new job and business opportunities
LinkedIn connections put you just one degree away from a whole new set of potential opportunities. You could connect with a recruiter at your dream company, a potential new client or business partner, or someone who knows about an unlisted job opening perfect for you. Your connections extend your reach and visibility.
Get introduced to key contacts
Your connections can make warm introductions that help you stand out from the crowd. An introduction from a mutual connection gives you built-in credibility and trust when reaching out to someone new. This makes people much more likely to respond.
Diversify your network
The more connections you have, the more diverse your network will become. This exposes you to more perspectives, ideas, and opportunities that can benefit your career or business. A wider network casts a much bigger net.
Enhancing your personal brand and visibility
Your LinkedIn profile and activity help shape your professional image and personal brand. Connections allow you to expand your reach and get your brand in front of more relevant eyes. Ways this can boost your brand include:
Increasing your credibility and social proof
The number of connections you have acts as a signal of your professional credibility and influence. More connections make you look well-connected and influential in your industry.
Getting endorsements and recommendations
Connections can endorse you for key skills and provide recommendations that back up your capabilities. This third-party validation strengthens your brand significantly.
Expanding your audience and reach
Your connections allow your profile, content, and activity to potentially reach a wider audience. This gets more visibility for your brand in front of the right people.
|Number of Connections
|Average Weekly Profile Views
Gathering intel and insights
Your connections act as a valuable source of information and intelligence about jobs, industries, trends, and more. Ways they can provide intel include:
Learning inside company information
Connections who work at companies you’re interested in can give you an insider’s view of the company culture, hiring practices, management style, and more. This helps you evaluate fit.
Conducting market research
By picking connections’ brains, you can gather customer pain points, needs, and insights about your target market and audience. This fuels innovation.
Staying on top of industry news and trends
Your network will share articles, insights, and perspectives that help you stay on the pulse of important developments and trends in your field. Being knowledgeable builds authority.
Relationship building and nurturing
Accepting connection requests and regularly engaging with your network strengthens relationships over time. This has many relationship benefits:
Cultivating better rapport and trust
Consistent communication in a low-pressure environment enables you to establish comfort, familiarity, and rapport. This builds a foundation for stronger relationships.
Developing true supporters and advocates
Nurtured relationships foster deeper bonds and trust that motivates real supporters to make introductions, provide referrals, and speak highly of you.
Staying top of mind
With regular, thoughtful engagement with your network, you remain visible and top of mind for new opportunities, warm introductions, and referrals. Out of sight means out of mind.
Access to exclusive opportunities
Many exclusive jobs and opportunities are never formally advertised but instead shared through more exclusive networks. Connections provide access to these “hidden” opportunities.
Finding “hidden” job openings
With an inside connection at a company, they may directly tell you about unlisted job openings perfect for you before they are formally posted. This gives you a big head start on the competition.
Events, conferences, and groups
Your connections invite you to exclusive events, conferences, and groups where you can network, learn, and encounter unadvertised opportunities not accessible otherwise.
Invitation-only job boards and forums
Connections may grant you access to invitation-only job boards, forums, and groups where exclusive roles are listed. These are invisible to the general public.
Advice and expertise
Your connections become a go-to source of advice and expertise to get input, feedback, and guidance for career and business decisions.
Those in your desired field or company can provide insider career advice, resume/interview tips, coaching, and mentoring to help you excel and move up.
Connections share hard-won industry knowledge and best practices that shortcut your learning curve, avoid pitfalls, and boost your success. Their expertise becomes yours.
Fellow entrepreneurs advise you on founding, funding, launching, marketing, and scaling a startup based on their firsthand experience and learning.
Personalized recommendations and referrals
The strongest professional endorsements come from personalized recommendations and referrals made to connections.
A personal recommendation from a connection to a hiring manager carries far more weight than an anonymous application. This gets you noticed.
There is no stronger referral than a connection enthusiastically referring you to their own network. This kickstarts business momentum.
A warm introduction from a mutual connection gives you instant credibility that massively increases response rates to cold outreach.
Verification and social proof for business
Connections provide verification and social proof that builds trust and legitimacy for your business.
|Type of Social Proof
|Boosts conversions up to 33%
|Drives 62% more profile views
|Increases credibility up to 51%
Positive recommendations from satisfied connections or clients carry more weight than any claims you make about yourself. These boost perceived trust and credibility.
Endorsements from connections for your key skills and expertise increases your credibility and authority in those areas.
Followers and connections
A larger number of followers and connections signals you have an established network and social proof. This builds trust.
Access to contacts outside your network
Your 2nd-degree connections (connections of your connections) exponentially expands the network you can leverage.
Make new connections
You can request to connect with 2nd-degree connections to instantly grow your own network. The introduction from a mutual contact helps.
Ask for introductions
You can ask 1st-degree connections to introduce you to their connections to broker new relationships.
See who your connections are connected to at a target company or industry to enable warm outreach sales prospecting.
Ability to give back and pay it forward
Connections allow you to pay success forward by helping those coming up behind you in their career.
Share advice and mentoring
Offering your own career advice, resume help, mock interviews, and mentoring pays all the help you received forward.
You can open doors by making introductions between your own connections to facilitate business opportunities, job prospects, partnerships, and more.
Writing recommendations backs up the skills and value colleagues, employees, and connections provided that helps their career.
As outlined above, LinkedIn connections provide a diverse range of career, business, and networking benefits. Growing your connections expands your opportunities, knowledge, influence, brand visibility, and ability to help others. Using connections strategically is crucial to maximizing their advantages. The more high-value connections you cultivate over time, the more game-changing benefits you’ll realize.