Type the above heading into Google and you will find thousands of different results on ‘how to get LinkedIn connections, fast’.

From purchasing connections (fake), 10 steps to up engagement, through tips on how to keep at it like a pro until it grows organically.

So what happens when you need it yesterday, you want legitimate followers and don’t really have the time to screw around?

Simple, introducing Open Networks, Networkers a.k.a LIONs from TopLinked.

Why in the world would you need it? Who cares?

Up until a year or so ago I decided to simply go offline personally. I deleted all my social media accounts, stopped commenting on blogs, and decided to take a break. This lasted for many years (at least three years). I work in digital marketing all day and see enough of it to be participating personally.

Things changed recently when I came across a dream job at a reputable company and wanted to give it a shot. I pulled up my old resume, revamped it, and started preparing myself for sending through the resume and cover letter.

Being an ‘it’s in the details’ type I realised, hang on, I work in digital and I have no online presence- fuck!

I open a personal LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc… and scramble to get some personal branding sorted. Again I realise that on LinkedIn (even if I add all my old colleagues) I still sit on no more than 100 connections and the magical number (500) seems forever away.

If you are unemployed, looking at breaking into a new role, or even if you think you are sussed- I highly recommend that you get your LinkedIn profile sorted so that if you need it in the future it is complete.

PROs and CONs

You can pretty much get away with purchasing fake connections (sometimes as low as a few dollars) these days. It is much the same across all social media and it will surprise you to know that some of the more ‘well-known’ brands are doing the same.

The PROs are you get them almost instantly, however; the downside is your profile will be a dead giveaway to a recruiter or anyone that is there to inspect instead of glance over.

The right way is using LinkedIn for what it is- a networking platform (and a bloody good one at that).

Imagine achieving the same results as purchasing but the long term benefits of the connections being REAL people, in similar situations, and actively look for networking opportunities. Sounds great doesn’t it?

How to go about it.

Presuming you have already completed your profile to the highest standard by the time you get to this part, it is also recommended that you add the skills you want to be endorsed for. I would not add too many with 10-15 being quite normal. Pick carefully as once you get endorsed you won’t want to change it and it might take a while to get a new skill to the top.

These instructions need to be followed carefully because if you send to random folk you will quickly get marked as spamming (I Don’t Know or IDK as its widely known) and will not be able to send invites without the other persons email address. When this was written the limit is FIVE IDKs and you are done.

I obviously don’t take any responsibility for your success or failures as this is based on my experience only. Cool? Ok, let’s proceed.

Step 1.

  1. Log in to LinkedIn and click on Profile in the main navigation bar.
  2. In the search bar at the top search: Open Networker (see below image).
  3. Look for keywords (they will be in bold) LION, Open Networking, Open Networker, TopLinked and or NO IDK.
  4. Start clicking on Connect button to the right (or left if you swing that way).
  5. Make sure you only click on the ones with the keywords as above to be safe
  6. Keep going until you reach YOUR LIMIT of 100 (unless you are a paying LinkedIn customer).
  7. Now change your search to: LION and repeat the above (you can do the same for all the above keywords too).

Step 2.

  1. Go to TopLinked and create an account. NB use the same email as you do with LinkedIn- it will come in handy if you want to pay to add your name to the list.
  2. Select free account (paid can be done if you feel you need the extra juice).
  3. Then visit this page and download all the LinkedIn Excel files.

Note: these are folk like yourself that have paid the $10 to have the benefit of not adding everyone in but rather have folk like you and I send them the request. Don’t fret they would not be on the list if they did not want to accept your request.

Step 3.

This is the tricky part but can be relatively simple. Follow the instruction on the above page link. If that does not work and you get an error (big red ribbon) cannot be done/ completed now please try again later… then do the below.

We need to extract all the email addresses from Excel and add them to Notepad/ Word separated by a comma (we will copy paste this into LinkedIn).

  1. Open your excel spreadsheet and follow the instructions on this site Add specified text to the beginning / end of all cells with VBA (NB we want to add the , comma at the END of each cell).
  2. Select column A starting at the first highlighting (selecting) all the way down to the last. Best way to do this is to click on the first email address and then scroll down to the last email address – hold down the shift key – and click on the last listing.

It might seem super complicated but if you follow it step by step it will be done in a minute.

Once completed you simply copy the now formatted email addresses (with the , at the end of each one) and paste that into Notepad / Word.

Once pasted into Notepad / Word you will notice how it’s all listed one below the other? We need to get them one next to the other separated by a comma. I did this manually (I don’t know any tricks to achieve this automatically) by simply going through one by one.

Done? Moving on…

  1. Go to LinkedIn
  2. Hover your pointer over Connections (top menu) and click Add connections.
  3. Click on Any Email
  4. Then toward the bottom (More ways to Connect) click on Invite by individual email.
  5. Copy paste your whole list into the space provided (don’t paste thousands at a time as there are limits). I paste 200-300 at a time.

READY…??? Hit- Send Invitations. All done, repeat for your remaining contacts and you will start seeing an influx of connections coming in.

This helped me heaps, and hope it will help you too. The next step if you want to put the pressure on even more- simply pay the $10 to add yourself the Actual Invite list. You can also add yourself to heaps of other social media lists like LinkedIn automatically.

The only negative experience with all this?

I started to receive a few more spam like emails from what would seem legitimate companies/ LinkedIn users (even referencing the list) encouraging you to join their LinkedIn Groups, visit their site etc…
They can access it the same way we can. The impact is minimal though.

Please comment and share your experience with us below. PS: feel free to send me a LinkedIn invite- I don’t IDK… ?