Informing the IBM Community

How LinkedIn helped me bypass the gatekeepers


Every couple of days, I’ll get a question like: “What’s the trick to getting noticed on LinkedIn?”
Or else: “You seem to have cracked the code. What’s the hack?”
Or this (my favourite): “Anthony, you’re everywhere!”
No, I’m not everywhere, and there is no hack, really.
In fact, building a network of lead generation on LinkedIn is remarkably simple.
Here’s a system that started working for me literally overnight.

My LinkedIn strategy
In the past three months, I’ve completely changed my strategy on LinkedIn. (Or, to tell you the truth, I now have a strategy!)
It’s worked to get me in front of some big companies. Even better, decision makers have occasionally reached out to me, at least to connect.
In case you’re not so familiar with LinkedIn—the world’s largest professional network—one key concept is having 1st degree connections. They are people who have either accepted an invitation you’ve sent them to connect, or who have sent you an invitation, which you accepted.
Now, when you post some update on LinkedIn your 1st degree connection ordinarily see what you’ve written.
Now, if some of those people click like, or even comment on, your post, then their 1st degree connections get advised about it.
All very simple so far, I hope.
And here’s where the magic happens. If one of your 2nd degree connections should like your post, here’s what you can do:
Send them an invitation to connect. But not just any invitation. You can personalize it.

I always opt for “Add a note”:

Those connections will generally be accepted. Quite often, the person will write back to continue the conversation.
This simple approach has connected me with some senior decision makers at some very big companies. A colleague of mine used a similar strategy to get noticed for a 6-figure contract. He had no connections whatsoever in the company, and within two days was the preferred supplier.
What LinkedIn has given me is a network where I can bypass the gatekeepers.
I wrote a short post about what to do when you send a proposal and don’t hear back from the client. That post was viewed over 24,000 times, had 120 likes and 31 comments.
Here’s an extract of the post:

Those people who liked or commented on my post were either 1st degree connections (we’d already done the LinkedIn handshake), or else they were invited by me to become connected.
From those kinds of connections, I have co-authored a 200 page book, got invited as a guest on a large business podcast, and been invited to speak at two conferences of my exact buyers.
The switch from trying to connect with peers to taking a Join-the-dots approach to networking has been dramatic and rewarding, including in a financial sense.
As a result of that book, our local business forum—which is very active in a major capital city—will be promoting the book in front of corporate leaders. Some of them will, no doubt, look at my LinkedIn profile, and maybe like or comment on one of my posts.
Then they will receive an invitation to connect with me, and the business relationship has begun.


Anthony English has co-authored a book with procurement specialist Margaret Gilbert. The book helps suppliers and company buyers communicate effectively, particularly around the issue of risk in the procurement process.

 Contract Matters: Procurement and Risk is a practical guide for buyers and suppliers. It’s available on Amazon Kindle eBook format.

 Connect to Anthony on LinkedIn.


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One response to “How LinkedIn helped me bypass the gatekeepers”

  1. Mike Ryanb avatar
    Mike Ryanb

    Hi Anthony.

    A really interesting but simple tip. I think I too need a Strategy 🙂