As a professional athlete, you likely kept your network small. Now that you have 'retired' and are looking to expand your network, you may have found that your LinkedIn network is not growing as quickly as you would have liked. Why is your network so important? Your network is the primary factor in landing your next opportunity.
LinkedIn is a tremendous professional tool sitting at your fingertips. With 100 million users in the US, 300 million worldwide and with an estimated two people joining each second, the ability to grow your online network is limitless. LinkedIn even takes the hard work out of growing your network by suggesting connections. But like any tool, if you don’t use LinkedIn properly, you won’t get the desired result.
Have you ever sent out dozens of requests to connect and you get just one accepted response? The trick is in the request itself. While LinkedIn allows you to send a request in a couple of clicks, don’t forget the important step of personalizing the message – It takes just a few seconds to do and can mean all the difference to the recipient. By personalizing your request you are communicating that connecting and growing a professional relationship is important enough to you that you are willing to put in some effort. You are making a stronger impression and setting the table for whatever the future of that connection holds.
For more tips and tricks on making successful connections, read J.T. O’Donnell’s article, Why a Request to Connect Gets Ignored on LinkedIn. J. T is CEO of Careerealism Media & CareerHMO, a Career & Job Search Coach and LinkedIn Influencer.