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Making Friends with Strangers on LinkedIn – Why?

Not talk­ing to strangers is a very use­ful piece of advice giv­en when grow­ing up, but when it comes to LinkedIn there are many poten­tial advan­tages to con­nect­ing with strangers. Not every­one is con­vinced that con­nect­ing with unknowns is ben­e­fi­cial how­ev­er, and so this arti­cle is here to explain the rea­sons why it is a good idea, with infor­ma­tion on how to make friends with strangers on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a pro­fes­sion­al net­work­ing site aimed at job-seek­ing and recruit­ing, which allows peo­ple who know each oth­er (such as pro­fes­sion­al acquain­tances, friends, busi­ness col­leagues and indus­try experts) to get con­nect­ed and build up pro­fes­sion­al con­tact cir­cles, and also to search for com­pa­nies, jobs, and look at net­work statistics.

Hav­ing said this, it is still pos­si­ble to get con­nect­ed with peo­ple that you do not know on LinkedIn, with many peo­ple send­ing and receiv­ing con­nec­tion requests to and from total strangers. So why should this be advan­ta­geous, and when is this advantageous?

Why con­nect with strangers?

As a gen­er­al rule, you are always increas­ing the poten­tial for new pro­fes­sion­al prospects when you increase and expand your con­nec­tions. After all, meet­ing strangers is a very impor­tant part of life, and to reap the ben­e­fits but at the same time avoid the pit­falls, all you need is your head screwed on. Con­nect­ing with strangers on LinkedIn thus gives you the chance to meet new clients, expand your vis­i­bil­i­ty and open up new oppor­tu­ni­ties. This is espe­cial­ly the case if you are look­ing for infor­ma­tion or try­ing to find a rel­e­vant con­tact for a job listing.

How to Iden­ti­fy the right strangers on Linkedin

One of the most pro­fi­cient ways to hook up with strangers on Linkedin is by join­ing pro­fes­sion­al groups. Active­ly par­tic­i­pat­ing in groups in your pro­fes­sion­al niche, or relat­ed nich­es, means you are more like­ly to be noticed and also, accept­ed when you try and make a con­nec­tion with strangers. Group par­tic­i­pants and mem­bers are more like­ly to embrace fel­low members.

Stay­ing Sensible

Despite what has just been said, when you receive invi­ta­tions from strangers on LinkedIn make sure you use your brain before you accept them. Search their pro­file to see if they could pro­vide you with new oppor­tu­ni­ties. If the invi­ta­tion has not made com­plete­ly clear the nature and the rea­son, then you can use the reply (don’t accept yet) but­ton to ques­tion their rea­sons and motives. If they have lit­tle on their pro­file then don’t be sur­prised if your ques­tions go unan­swered, but con­verse­ly the legit­i­mate invi­ta­tions give you the chance to meet some very oppor­tune and inter­est­ing new contacts.

To con­clude, it is easy to see why mak­ing friends with strangers can be such an advan­tage if we use the anal­o­gy of a net­work­ing event. If you turned up and refused to speak to any­one new, then you are lim­it­ing your oppor­tu­ni­ties, where­as if you do talk to new peo­ple and let strangers approach you then you are max­imis­ing your oppor­tu­ni­ties – and as long as you are care­ful and sen­si­ble this prac­tise will work just as well with LinkedIn.

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