Allison Shields and I were talking the other day about LinkedIn and whether it was time to write a new edition of our book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers. Whether or not it’s time for a new edition, it became clear that we (meaning especially me) were not ready to write it.

However, we did have some ideas for a new article about ways to improve how you add connections on LinkedIn. In it, we would share some new ideas and experiments we had been doing in that area. We decided to write that article and turn it into a bit of a science experiment as well.

The result is a two-part article called “Six Ways to Jump Start Your LinkedIn Network.” DSCF0235The first half was posted by Allison and the second half by me. Each part of the article links to the other part. And, no, we are not competing to see who gets more views, likes, comments and shares. Well, probably we aren’t.

Here are links to part 1 and part 2 of the article.

We notice that many LinkedIn users, rookies and veterans, tend to take a fairly passive approach to adding connections. They mainly accept invitations from others who reach out to them. The article gives you some tips and techniques for taking a more active approach in sending out invitations.

We also consider these approaches in the context of times when you might have a reason to add a significant number of connections or a selected group of connections. Looking for a job is the obvious example. Others include relocating geographically, launching a new product or service, or even just working your way through a big stack of collected business cards after a conference or event.

My assumption is that Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn will result in linkage between Outlook contacts functionality and LinkedIn. Just the idea of leveraging LinkedIn to automatically update contact info is attractive to me. The idea of getting more of my contacts into my LinkedIn network makes a lot of sense to me.

The six tips we focus on are: importing your contacts from Outlook or another address book, ways to take advantage of a personalized approach, using LinkedIn Groups to add new contacts, alumni features, advanced search, and People You May Know. I’ve been experimenting with People You May Know and the results have been fascinating. There are also a couple of quick bonus tips at the end of the article.

As we say in the article:

These techniques leverage the power of LinkedIn “second degree” connections or the connections of your existing connections. In simplest terms, you will be trying to convert second degree connections into first degree connections.

The article also emphasizes the need to take a respectful approach on LinkedIn and define and keep to your purpose in using LinkedIn. Or, as I like to say, “What are you hiring LinkedIn to do for you?”

Check out “Six Ways to Jump Start Your LinkedIn Network” (part 1 and part 2) and let us know what you think.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

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LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.