Unlike most other social media networks, Linkedin is not a time-consuming bad habit (sorry, Facebook). Connections made on LinkedIn can lead to new career opportunities. There are many Ways to increase your connections on LinkedIn. Three of the most effective involve using Twitter, asking co-workers to connect, and publishing written work.

In case you haven’t noticed, people don’t just connect with anyone. For the most part, only co-workers, friends, and former classmates will connect with each other. So how do you find additional connections that could lead to new opportunities down the road?

Here are three proven methods that have worked for me.

1) Twitter

I’m almost shocked at how many high-profile entrepreneurs, some of them CEOs, have followed me on Twitter and then asked to connect on LinkedIn. And if you’re looking for me to tell you exactly what to do on Twitter to find them, prepare to be let down. I haven’t a clue what it was that drew them to me. But I’m more active on Twitter than anywhere else because it’s such a simple and open platform. So I can only guess that some article, reply, or Re-Tweet caught their attention.

Replying to tweets made by people with followers in the hundreds of thousands or millions gets you in front of a larger audience. Just make sure it’s relevant, constructive and meaningful.

2) Ask co-workers

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone does it. If they did, every single person in the world with a job would already be on LinkedIn. You’d be surprised how many professionals have neglected to create a profile. If your co-worker already has a LinkedIn profile, great.

You have a new connection. If not, maybe the simple act of you requesting to connect will inspire them to make one. Either way, you both win. Endorsements coming from co-workers can be valuable as well. Consider adding a link to your profile to your email signature to make it easier for people to connect.

3) Publish something

Okay, so maybe you’re not the book-writing type. Not everyone will publish a book during their career. Yet, many people who have little to no writing experience do, in fact, publish one or multiple books. Take Robert Kiyosaki, for example. His book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” was a best-seller. He’s noted the fact that the cover does not say “best written” book, but rather, “best-selling."

Bottom line, if you can’t write, it doesn’t matter. That hasn’t stopped anyone before. Just browse the Kindle section of Amazon and you’ll encounter many thousands of self-published titles by people who can’t even organize a coherent chapter. But those people still published something, and for that, they stand out from the crowd (pro tip: if you do self-publish on Amazon, be sure to use your own unique ISBN.

If you don’t, not only can you not publish the same title on other platforms, but your work will blend into the vast sea of other self-published works).

If you can’t publish a book, at least try writing an article. Get it proof-read by someone with experience before you put it out there. I gained several high-quality connections after I published my first article on LinkedIn. In fact, I’m still gaining connections from it, and that was weeks ago. If you can be active on Twitter, ask your co-workers to connect with you, and publish something, you will find that your network will grow exponentially.

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