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The First Year Entrepreneur

Promoting Personal & Professional Wellness


Maximizing Your LinkedIn Connections: Less Time, More Gains.

As many of you know, I posted about a meeting with a business mogul which was set up via LinkedIn. I mean, wow, talk about equalizing the playing field. There’s no way that 10 years ago I would have EVER had that opportunity. So how do we use LinkedIn to land us in front of the right people? Here are some ideas:


  • Be Strategic: What do you have in common? How may you benefit this person? How may they benefit you? What do you want them to take away about who you are and what you do?
  • Be Brave: It’s okay to reach out to people that you don’t know but want to- you’re worth knowing, right? Doing this landed me in front of the mogul. Self-esteem is an appealing quality. Make sure that’s not equal to being grandiose or pedantic- those are NOT appealing qualities.
  • Be inspired: Sometimes we see people who make us go, “wow!”. We love what they do/have done, how they present themselves, or have other qualities we admire. Notice when this happens- it tells you something about what you want!
  • Meet Everyone that You Connect To: If you really want to have effective relationships through LinkedIn, take the time to get coffee with the people you connect to. If they don’t ever meet you, they’re not going to think of you when making referrals anyways. For me (true story), if they don’t bother to respond to my request to get coffee or lunch, then I don’t accept their request to connect. Simple. Authentic or nothing.


  • Connect to Everyone: Don’t just go about trying to connect with every cute or successful person you see on LinkedIn. I’ve met people who boast about their number of connections, and I just laugh. It doesn’t matter if you have 500+ connections if 80% think you’re a schmoozy joke. If you’re telling people stories like that, then I’m talking about you. Knock it off! You look like a tool and no one is taking you seriously. Just being honest…
  • Be Generic: If someone can’t bother to spit out three sentences to me specifically, then this is already a deal breaker. “Hey, you’re not worth the 15 seconds it’d take to write a personal message.” Yeah, noted. Plain out of ideas? Write about what caught your eye about them, how that relates to you, that you’d love to meet them and learn more about them. Trust me, it matters!


Maureen Laufenberg, MA, LPCC is a career and mental health counselor, business consultant, and blogger emphasizing personal and professional wellness, particularly for women, millennials and entrepreneurs. She serves on the Board for the MN Career Development Association and is the owner of MN Metro Counseling, a practice in St. Paul, MN where clients can consult individually or with others. More at

10 Responses to Maximizing Your LinkedIn Connections: Less Time, More Gains.

  1. The Fabulous Linda Lee says:

    Excellent points! My favorite part is “you look like a tool”.

  2. Kanta Kapoor says:

    Great points. ‘ Be Generic’ is the best out of them.

  3. Dear Maureen, Thank you for this post! I have had an issue with “having to connect with many” in order to make my company succeed, which in turn has put a negative spin on the social media world for me. I agree with the “knock it off-you look like a tool” statement! I thought I was the only one who felt this way! Thanks!

    • Maureen says:

      Social media can certainly feel overwhelming, and I’m always amazed with how much time gets sucked up into the vortex when I jump on here (I end up in the most random places…) I hope these things feel helpful, and you are not alone in thinking that’s toolish behavior- it totally is :) Thanks for commenting! I love hearing what stands out to readers.

  4. Jane Johnson says:


    I was especially interested in the “Meet everyone you contact” part of the article. If I live far away from from some of the people I have never met in person and would like to ask to become a LinkedIn contact, is Skype (or a similar tool) the best way to do that? Does a meeting in a Skype-like setting mean as much as a face-to-face conversation?

    Thank you,

    • Maureen says:

      That’s such a great question, Jane! To me it seems logical that Skype would be a great solution- it’s a live, 1-on-1 opportunity to get to know each other. You still get to see the mannerisms of the other person, their tone, how they articulate, etc. It is still a time commitment that you’ve each put into getting to know one another, and offers that personal connection. Maybe people have other thoughts, but I think it’s a great idea!

  5. Barbara says:

    Maureen, You make some very interesting comments, I never thought about meeting everyone I connected with on linkedin. I would like to now that I think about it, it could be very valuable to both them and to me. Many of the people I am connected to I already know but about half I have yet to meet. Thank-you for the post.

  6. Pingback: Using LinkedIn to Meet a Business Mogul

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