There are few of us 100% comfortable immersing ourselves into a room full of strangers or phoning cold leads. This means real world networking is often relegated to the bottom of the list of strategies used when developing a business or hunting a new job. When we do eventually drag ourselves to a networking event we rush to the first familiar face and use them as a life jacket for the evening. We stay at the event until the canapés and wine run out and we head home satisfied with our great work. We watch a DVD “how to network effectively” only to realise that all we actually gained from our networking efforts was a few extra pounds from all the rich food and drink. The benefits of becoming a better networker are appealing but the thought of that room full of strangers not so appealing. Fortunately the equivalent to a knight in shining armour for networking was developed – LinkedIn. I believe LinkedIn has made networking more accessible to the masses. More importantly it offers a less daunting proposition than real world networking in a room full of strangers. LinkedIn has changed the fortunes for jobseekers and business but there are still many who don’t achieve positive results. These people misfire using LinkedIn to network as they do in the real world. Below are 3 (of many) strategies that will ensure you get less from LinkedIn. Asking strangers to marry you – By this I mean sending out random invitations to connect with strangers. The culprits of this strategy normally don’t even take the time to customise the invitation which means the receiver doesn’t know who they are or why you want to connect. This strategy is like walking up to a stranger and asking them to marry you. A connection on LinkedIn is a commitment just like marriage. Are you growing connection numbers without growing any real value? Attention seeking – I can be guilty of this on occasion and my mother always said I was a seeker of attention. LinkedIn success is about visibility and groups offer the main platform to achieve this. Commenting within a group can help you get noticed but it can be very clear when you are just trying to get noticed. Are your contributions within groups meaningful? Virtual relationships – A very large % of US adults met their current partner online. These guys and gals engage online but quickly move into the real world by phone or meeting in person. Many LinkedIn users meet other professionals online but don’t develop this relationship beyond LinkedIn. Keeping a relationship online will rarely lead to anything. Are you engaging with connections in the real world? Love to hear your views and comments. Please feel free to share successful or unsuccessful strategies. Other useful LinkedIn articles – “Become the Pied Piper of LinkedIn” and “LinkedIn – Do you dance?” “Measurability Careers & Jobs Club” – LinkedIn Group dedicated to offering free advice and discussion for jobseekers.