Every month we receive a ton of LinkedIn questions from the community ranging from blogging, email marketing, content marketing, connecting and the list goes on.

And out of all the questions we’ve received in the past few weeks, there’s one that’s been asked the most:

Should I focus on quality or quantity when building my network on LinkedIn?

There’s long been an (often) animated debate as to the “right” way to approach networking and particularly to building your network on LinkedIn.

It doesn’t matter if I am delivering a keynote, conducting a workshop or presenting a webinar, it’s a topic that is always brought up.

And typically you will always have two vastly different opinions.

There are people who are advocates of a quality-based approach whereby only connecting with people they either know well or who are directly relevant to them and what they do.

And on the flip side there are net-workers who believe “quantity” is more important than quality and therefore connect with everyone and anyone.

I say, why not have both!! And here’s how you achieve just that:

1) First and foremost, make sure that your networking principles are based on the marketing goals and objectives you’re looking to achieve.

And ensure those objectives are clear and specific.

LinkedIn is no different to any other marketing campaign, you need to ensure there is a purpose behind your marketing efforts.

2) Now that you know your marketing objectives get clear on exactly who you need to connect with in order to achieve them.

For example, if you’re a business coach and your target market are accountants, you would first need to identify your client, “Contact Avatar”.

To do this, you would need to identify the following areas:

– Industry
– Profession
– Location
– Size of company
– Decision maker

Take a moment now and think about these points and write them down in front of you.

Remember, the more specific you are in who you need to target, the more quality contacts you will find and then connect with.

Once you’ve completed this, you’re now ready to start searching for your target market.

With this in mind, use the “Advanced Search” feature on LinkedIn to find a pool of these contacts of whom you can connect with.

Go to the top of your LinkedIn profile and click on the ‘Advanced Search’ link located in the middle at the top of your page.

When you click on this link, a pop up should appear that looks like this:

LinkedIn Advanced Search filters
From here, simply enter in the information you wrote down earlier around your target market.

Once you’ve populated these areas, simply hit the “Search” button located at the bottom left-hand corner of the search feature.

LinkedIn will then give you a list of potential contacts you can connect with based on the criteria you entered the advanced search process.

For example, here’s what a typical search result should look like if you were looking to connect with directors of accounting firms in Sydney:

LinkedIn Search Results
At this point, you then need to open up each profile in a new tab to check out that contacts profile. This is by far the most crucial part of the process to ensure you build a network that’s not just quantity but also quality.

Once you have landed on a potential contact’s profile page, simply ask yourself 3 questions to identify whether the person you’re about to send a connection invitation too is a quality contact or not:

Q1: Do they have a profile picture?
Q2: Have they got more than 150+ connections
Q3: Have they completed more than 50% of their profile?

LinkedIn Profile
If after a quick glance, you can’t answer yes to 2 out of the 3 questions mentioned above, you need to simply move on.

There’s no point in spending all this time building your network if the people you are connecting with DON’T:

– Regularly login to their account
– Take networking seriously

I read a stat which said most LinkedIn members spend less than 17 minutes a month on the network.

If you don’t qualify the people you are connecting with, then you may just end up with a network full of curious, not serious contacts.

With over 500 million members and 2 new members joining every second, there is bound to be thousands of people you could potentially connect within your target market.

So why waste your connection invitations building a network with the wrong audience?

Creating a large following of people who engage with your content and are influenced by your actions online requires advanced knowledge, time and action.

If investing your energy into this right now just isn’t something you can do and would love for someone to make it happen for you then our campaign management service might be a good solution.

To see if its a good fit apply for a Free LinkedIn Strategy Session by following this link, during that session we’ll dive deep into your goals, challenges and see whether we’re a good fit for our done for you Campaign Management Service.