Linkedin, as a social network, is different than others in that it was created around connections and networking, and the purpose of it, generally speaking, is to connect people together professionally.
To that end, since people go there to ‘Network’, there is a tendency for people to be willing to help you professionally, if you ask for it correctly.
There’s three ways I can think of to immediately ask for help on Linkedin:
- Give 10x more than you receive
- Ask for specific, actionable help
- Go out of your way to be thankful
Give 10x More Than You Receive
Nobody likes a beggar. Especially a persistent one. The old rule in networking is to give ten times before you ask once. My friend Jason Alba taught me that principle and he turned me down when I offered him a job 12 years ago only to create his own company (JibberJobber) literally helping people get jobs (his amazing 6 week Job Search Program currently is on sale at more than 60% off with this link—and a JibberJobber subscription is included!) . He’s also an accomplished Pluralsight author if you’re a member of their great program.
His advice, to give 10x more than you receive, has been a cornerstone of my personal and professional philosophy. As I have built my company, and my network of thousands of hand-picked first level LinkedIn connections, i have tried to maintain this posture of helping 10x before asking once. It focuses my efforts on being good and kind as well and that helps in the most challenging times.
Be sure you are helping others more than asking for help. It’s good for your soul and your reputation.
Ask for Specific, Actionable Help
The biggest thing you need to do is ask for something specific. If you just yell out “help!” but you don’t provide some kind of direction, you will hear nothing but crickets.
Ask for something specific, depending on where you’re posting.
On your feed, asking for leads on a new job is totally appropriate. Or perhaps “anyone know companies that are hiring?”
In a private LinkedIn group, you can do the same but be more specific, and know that your request isn’t public for the world (or your employer) can see.
Finally, in a personal one-on-one message, you can also directly ask for a connection to a specific person or company. For example “Hi, Mary. I hope you’re well. I am looking into this role (link) at your company. Do you know who I should talk to? My resume is attached.”
Also, Say Thank You!
Finally, go out of your way to thank those who help you. Publicly or privately, let people know you appreciate any help they provide.
Paying it forward by helping others and crediting the help you’ve received along the way is a great way to show your appreciation as well.
Pro tip: If someone gets you that dream job you wanted? Surprise them with $200 gift card to their favorite restaurant or store once you get your first paycheck or signing bonus. If they don’t want the money, ask to donate it to their favorite charity in their name and send them the receipt for tax purposes.