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LinkedIn Part 2: Increasing Your LinkedIn Success

Needless to say, technology and the internet has become the lifeblood of many businesses and for individuals in particular, having an online presence has never been more important. Indeed, it has become vital for professionals to ensure they can be easily found and contacted online.

When it comes to the best professional social platforms, LinkedIn certainly takes the top spot. The site operates the world's largest professional network, with over 332 million members in over 200 countries and territories. What's more, professionals are joining LinkedIn at a rate of over two new members per second.

A few months ago, we shared a brief guide to creating an effective LinkedIn profile and introduced you to the fundamentals of networking. So, with the basics sorted, take a look at the ways in which you can continue to expand your network and increase your LinkedIn success.

1. '50' is the magic number
When it comes to making connections on LinkedIn, it really is a case of quality over quantity. There's no doubt that you have already made a handful of decent connections, but what's the ideal number to reach? According to LinkedIn Connection Director Nicole Williams, the magic number is 50: having 50 contacts will allow you to better unlock more networks via your connections second and third degree contacts.

Nevertheless, this doesn't mean you should reach 50 and then stop. So long as you're not connecting with an abundance of 'unknowns,' you can reach out to as many quality contacts as you wish. Just remember that 50 quality connections are far better than 500 poor connections.

2. Who to connect with
Having a quality, in-depth network will increase the likelihood of you finding the right decision-maker to make contact with. Reach out to connect with current customers, business contacts, partners and colleagues. Each and every person you connect with will have their own contacts; some of whom may be just the kind of people you're looking for.

3. Utilise LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups help you to stay one step ahead in your industry, which in turn will allow you to assert yourself as an expert in your field. From accounting to automotive and finance, all you need to do is join relevant groups to keep informed about developments and trends in your industry.

4. Use your company to boost success
You can use your current business to help boost your LinkedIn reputation and establish yourself as a quality connection. For instance, you could upload some of your business' previous work including thought leadership pieces, company blog posts and presentations and then share it with your network.

Posting organic content relevant to your industry can significantly boost your credibility and reputation. You can do this using LinkedIn's publishing tool, Pulse. Your connections will be notified whenever you publish a new article, helping you to generate discussion among your contacts.

5. Recommendations
The recommendation feature on LinkedIn can help you to build your reputation by inviting partners, clients and peers to speak credibly about your skills and abilities. Collecting just a few recommendations from respected, reputable contacts is a sure-fire way of boosting your LinkedIn success. In turn, recommend your own contacts.

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