How To Network On LinkedIn Without Sounding Sales-y

LinkedIn Networking

Networking on LinkedIn is an inevitable step in your outreach strategy.

Only by creating highly personalized message sequences, you can start connecting with people from your industry and lead them to a meeting where you can close a deal.

If you don’t know how to network on LinkedIn without sounding needy and inappropriate, here are some things for a good start. 

Feel free to connect with us if you need help with networking on LinkedIn: together, we can create a highly effective strategy for your outreach. 

How To Network On LinkedIn: Search People

Basically, you want to connect with as many people as possible.

The point of LinkedIn networking is to solidify your name in the industry and make your profile attractive to potential customers. 

You cannot do this without having people in your connections. The more people you connect — the better!

Even if they don’t buy from you, networking on LinkedIn boosts your SSI and trustworthiness.

How To Search People On LinkedIn

You can use LinkedIn filters to connect with specific people. The filtering allows you to narrow your search down to industry, job title, location, and tags.

Go to your profile > My network > Search with Filters > More filters

Check off the box with 1st connections and tick the box with 2d and 3d connections. 

You can start with specifying industry, for example, information technology and services.

If you want to find people out of your network, tick the box with 3d connections.

Hit Show Results.

Usually, LinkedIn will limit your search results down to several people. 

In this case, you’ll have to purchase LinkedIn Sales Navigator which extends your search.

  • LinkedIn Groups 

You can also sift through relevant groups where, in your opinion, your audience might locate.

For instance, if you develop some CRM solution, you should come up with relevant keywords related to your industry, like:

  • SaaS
  • Digital Marketing
  • Startups
  • Growth 
  • Growth hacking

There are plenty of tools that may help you generate relevant hashtags:

For example, Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest.

You can use it for generating ideas for tags. 

Just put in your key keyword and generate a bunch of ideas for your tags.

Another hack is to research similar products to the one you make.

Just google your keyword and find similar companies. Use the names of your competitors if relevant as tags for your search. Type in keywords in the search field and choose “in groups.”

You’ll see loads of groups that you can join.

Becoming a member of as many groups as possible will help you establish relationships with people by having something in common.

You can become an active member, engage in posts and share your content.

Being active in groups also adds up to your SSIsocial selling score. This score that is given by LinkedIn is very important if you want to reach out to a wider audience and stay away from LinkedIn Jail.

  • LinkedIn Events

The same things apply to LinkedIn Events. 

You can paste keywords and search events related to them.

Go to the search field, type your keyword and choose See all results > Events.

Choose any event. Once you hit “Attend”, the list of all event attendees will be displayed.

Again, if you don’t have Sales Navigator, your search results will be limited.

  • Viral posts

You can find people who roll out posts that get a lot of engagement.

Just put your keywords in the search field and choose “posts.” Add a particular industry to make it narrower.

LinkedIn will display posts related to your keyword that got engagement.

You can go to comments and find people who liked the post and commented.

Try to find posts that offer some kind of content: it will be easier to reach out to people who commented because of having a mutual interest in that content.

Also, focus on the latest posts — this way, people will remember a post you’re referring to in your connection request.

Why networking?

Aside from establishing your brand image/personal brand on LinkedIn, you will find it useful to step out and start mingling with people.

Catherine Burik on her networking experience SOURCE

LinkedIn is designed in a way that you have to learn how to build real connection with people and not just do some pitching.

But of course, the time will come when you’ll have to start bringing your product to light. It’s just you never ever do it directly: you weaves it in naturally; your product comes up as a logical extension of developed relationships.

In this relation, your task is to create highly personalized message sequences that will make other people excited about what you do.

Closely will help you reach out to all specific groups of people on autopilot.

When you’re ready to start reaching out to people you found, you can compile a list of their profiles, save it as a CSV file, and import it into Closely. You can directly import Sales Navigator Search URL with chosen filters and create campaign for those people.

Personalized campaigns for each specific group of people is a proven way to boost your reply rate.

Now, you don’t have to send messages manually, we will do all the heavy lifting 😉

With Closely, all your campaigns will be running automatically, and all the reporting will go to your account where you can check your success.

Closely Campaign Analytics

Your job is to develop an efficient outreach strategy. It should answer the following questions:

  • What is your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)
  • How your product can help your ideal customers to tackle their challenges?
  • What is your unique selling point (what differs you from competitors)?
  • How many groups of people you’ll be reaching out and what outcome you hope to get? (specify time period and metrics to measure success)

Only when you know the answers to all the mentioned questions, you’re good to create your first message sequence.

Only in this way, your messages will come off as organic, unique and will transmit clearly your value to a prospect.

How To Network On LinkedIn: Message Sequences

A message sequence is a group of messages that you write to target each group of people. It usually consists of a connection request, welcome message, and follow-ups.

Each message sequence should hit the goal that you’ve defined when developing your outreach strategy. For example, you want to get booked demos at the end — so your sequence should build in a way that motivates people to book a meeting with you.

If you’re new to this, we can help you building your first message sequences for your audience. Just send us your request (it’s absolutely free):


Every message sequence starts with a connection request.

A connection request is your first and only chance to make a good first impression. It should contain a common point as a conversation starter — that’s why you searched all those people and created groups.

Here are some connection message request templates for a good start. Feel free to customize them according to your audience’s specifics.

Here you can look up full MESSAGE SEQUENCE TEMPLATES to get a grasp of how a personalized outreach campagn looks like.

How To Network On LinkedIn: Work On Your SSI

Social Selling Index, as we mentioned before, is very important.

The most obvious reason why you should work on it — high SSI lets you send out more connection requests.

Lowe SSI, on the other hand, cuts you off from a lot of opportunities and brings you closer to LinkedIn Jail.

In this Safety Guide, we highlighted the four pillars of LinkedIn SSI and provided ways to increase your score.

How To Network On LinkedIn: Design Your Profile

When it comes to networking on LinkedIn, all the parts of your self-representation are an integral whole. People perceive a complete picture. They look at everything: your face, the way you communicate, the vibe your profile produces, your endorsments, your experience, number of people in your connections, how active you are.

However, it doesn’t mean that the mission is impossible. Actually, managing to depict complicated messages in a simple manner is the most essential skill you need to have here. When it comes to marketing communications, less is more.

Your profile should “sell itself” in terms of:

  • Image
  • Tone of voice
  • Activity

Each of these parts must portray your product’s value and convey your brand’s message. In order to make your profile look professional and sophisticated, you should work on:

  • Profile picture
  • Summary (2,000 characters to play with)
  • Background image
  • Headline

Encapsulating a brand’s personality into a clean, concise message through each part of a brand image is a very exciting process 😎 If you need help with that, just drop a line to our content manager:

How To Network On LinkedIn: Create Content

Ideally, you should write on LinkedIn every day.

This can either be LinkedIn posts that showcase your expertise or your thoughts on someone else’s posts.

The content that you create can be further used to:

  • Follow up your prospects after connecting with relevant posts
  • Promote your personal brand and get inbound marketing going
  • Nurture your existing customers and strengthen your expertise
  • Capture your ideas, share them and receive feedback

How To Network On LinkedIn: Build Reputation

LinkedIn is a professional network. Your task is to stay polite, friendly but have your unique traits that your network will appreciate. Basically, constant self-improvement is the answer here.

  • Don’t get involved in snarky conversations
  • Escape hateful comments


LinkedIn is a source for sharing ideas and content, but also a nice place for lead generation. Being armed by a strong outreach strategy, a profile that looks complete, trustworthy and impressive, you have all the chances to skyrocket your conversion rate.

Most people don’t know how to network on LinkedIn: they’re afraid and not sure where to begin. In this guide, we’ve provided crucial steps to take. You need to start connecting with other users if you want to succesfully generate leads though this platform.

Since copy-and-paste messages with zero personalization are still out there in digital space, you have to find ways to hyper personalize your outreach and make your messages stand out.

The only way to succeed in this is to perform a focus search of people and create personalized message sequences using some best practices and fine-tuning those messages according to your audence’s specifics. You can use automation platform like Closely to put your outreach on autopilot and focus on other important tasks, like writing messages or responding to leads.

Closely not only automates outreach for you, it reports back on how well your campaigns perform. With comprehensive analytics at hand, you can outrun your competitors at impressive speed.

Want a free trial for 7 days? Just click on GET A DEMO and follow link we’ll send you to your email.

If you have any questions or need help with defining your audience and create ideal customer profile — you can also ask our team. They have 7+ years of expertise in B2B sales and impressive results selling on LinkedIn.

Just ping us in chat 🦄

Content creator at Closely. I write about marketing & B2B sales. Welcome to our LinkedIn Sales Hacking Universe ;)