Welcome to the College Prep Confidential Podcast
Sept. 20, 2021

CPC Episode #37 - Become a Connection Magnet

Your network is your net worth. And in this episode, we'll reveal the secrets behind a top 1% networker on LinkedIn with tips like: The unknown area of LinkedIn where you can explode your network One of the best places to get LinkedIn...

Your network is your net worth. And in this episode, we'll reveal the secrets behind a top 1% networker on LinkedIn with tips like:

  • The unknown area of LinkedIn where you can explode your network
  • One of the best places to get LinkedIn connections outside of LinkedIn
  • 3 types of authenticity which make people want to network with you
  • Why people really connect with you on LinkedIn

Episode 37, and this week, we’re talking about a powerful skill which will change your college career and the rest of your life. We’re going to help you become a connection magnet.

In life, 3 powerful forces compound for you if you play your cards right. Money, Knowledge, and Networks. This week, I want to talk to you about networking on steroids, and transforming yourself into a connection magnet. Connection Magnet, by no coincidence at all, is the title of my latest book. In this book, I lay out how as an introvert, I scooped up 30,000 connections. 

Here’s a snippet for you...

Quote: How did I build 30,000 connections? I did this as an introvert. Yes, I’m an introvert, unless I’ve guzzled 2 glasses of wine or downed a Rusty Nail. I tell you this because I’m not out there every day pounding networking events and pressing palms with people. I’m not out there being Captain Extrovert socializing until the wee hours of the morning. I’m a programmer by trade. I enjoy the solitude of a quiet room and a good book. So how does an introvert like me build this size network? End quote

That’s what we’ll talk about in this episode…

First, to understand how to play LinkedIN like a fiddle and build a network people dream about you must understanding something...Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past 15 years, you’ve probably noticed two disturbing trends:

  1. People hate their jobs
  2. Anxiety and uncertainty have skyrocketed

The nonprofit group Mental Health of America released a 2017 report called Mind in the Workplace. By the time you finish reading this report, you’ll feel a knot in your gut. The report revealed a few workplace trends including:

  • 71% of participants were actively looking for another job
  • 45% of participants felt they were underpaid
  • 63% listed job stress as a primary factor in mental and behavioral health
  • 63% admitted they sometimes take part in unhealthy behaviors due to job stress such as drinking or crying

In other words, the workplace makes people sick. While these statistics make you cringe, I’ve found a silver lining in the clouds. People need hope. They need something or someone to lift their spirits. And this is where you come in. Over the last few years, I learned an important secret about social media. If you can make people believe in a better version of themselves, you’ll jump on the fast track to social media success. Many people live mundane lives. They avoid risks like the plague. Instead, they play it safe. Most of them get up, go to work, have leisure time on the weekend, and then go back and repeat it again the next week. So they crave excitement. Also, most people on LinkedIn talk in a buttoned up manner. To play it safe, most LinkedIn users have a stuffy corporate presence.

So how do you capitalize?

Use this to your advantage by separating yourself from the herd. Do this by transforming yourself into a shining beacon of activity which makes people gravitate towards you. Hear this: people embrace novelty. So if you stand out from the herd on LinkedIn, you give yourself an advantage. This means you talk or act differently than the other 95% of people on LinkedIn. To do this, show people a better tomorrow. Show people a better version of who they can be.

As you share information, highlight how it improves the lives of your connections. When I say better, I mean more money, more time, more happiness, more confidence, more optimism. When you engage on LinkedIn, hold up a mirror. And when people look into it, show them a better version of themselves. 

Think about it, if you find somebody who makes you feel better about yourself, you’ll be drawn to them like a magnet. You’ll want to be around them. Most people get LinkedIn wrong by only promoting their personal traits. They neglect promoting other people’s beliefs. When you build confidence in others, they’ll tune into whatever you have to say.  Here’s a pill for you to swallow the next time you start networking…

People don’t connect with you because of you, they connect with you for 1 of 2 reasons

  1. You have something they want. A skill, a network, or an asset
  2. They like the way you make them feel.

People network with you for THEIR reasons, not yours. 

Let’s talk about another hidden advantage to build your LinkedIn network. And this advice is counterintuitive, but it’s a big reason why I’m in the top 1% of connected people on LinkedIn…


You can build a huge network of followers and admirers if you let people find your LinkedIN profile from OFF of LinkedIn. Yes, do not adjust your headphones or your speakers, I just said that. You can build a huge network of LinkedIN followers OFF of LinkedIn.

Look, here’s the deal, as I said before, I’m an introvert. So my favorite thing to do is get people to come to me, to step into my world. And one of the ways I do that is answer questions on Quora. Yes, simple answers to questions on Quora get me hundreds of profile clicks each month. So even as a college student, if you have wisdom, if you have skills in a certain area, go answers a few questions on LinkedIN or even engage in the comments. Make sure you have a link back to your LinkedIn profile. Do this right, and people will stalk you from QUORA over to LinkedIn. It’s an incredible thing.

Finally, one of the best places to get connections from is not from your profile page, or chasing people around, one of the best places to rack up connections...comes from the comment section of posts.

Yes, the comment section.

I’ve picked up thousands of connections from the comment section. Sometimes, I agree with the post. Sometimes, I disagree. It doesn’t matter. What matters is, there are thousands of your tribe out there. By tribe, I mean people who share your views or like the way you share your views. Too many people on LinkedIn play it safe. Screw that. Put yourself out there and find your tribe. 

From the comments section alone, I’ve raked in more connections which led to podcast invites, book deals, and more visitors to my website. The comment section on posts is the biggest untapped goldmine you’ll find on LinkedIn.

As an aspiring college student, the comment section lets you shine. Recruiters, fellow college alumni, and hiring managers ALL hang out in the comments section. Often times, the comments section engages people more than the original post. When somebody with a large following posts, and somebody else posts a funny or insightful comment, they have the chance to pick up hundreds or thousands of likes, views, and connections. You can piggyback off the publicity of somebody else and use it to your own advantage. 

Think about it...suppose you have a witty joke. And you tell it in front of 2 people. The most people that can laugh is 2. But now suppose you’re at a huge party of 500 people. You tell the joke, and maybe 25, 50, or even 100 laugh. And the people that laugh, may go get others and bring them over to meet you so you can tell the joke again. This is what happens on trending posts or posts from people with large followings. One, well timed comment can put you in front of thousands of people. I’ve seen one hilarious joke in the comments section get 1,000 likes!


Last, but not least, let’s talk about being real. Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everybody else is taken.”

Look around on social media and TV. What do you see? People on Instagram renting Ferraris, pretending they own them. Pretend influencers posing by stacks of 100 dollar bills which they don’t own. And righteous moral police telling you how to live their life, all while doing the exact opposite.

Never in our history have we craved authenticity more than we do now. Authenticity on LinkedIn slingshots you to the front of the attention pack. Why? Because many business people still have reserved attitudes on LinkedIn. They put forth the persona they think people want to see. They write in boring corporate jargon and present a false picture to the world. Why do many people fake it? Fear of rejection. Fear of not getting likes. Yet this same fear handcuffs their potential back on LinkedIn.

Remember, many people on LinkedIn show the reserved, corporate, business persona. And it’s not real. So when you show up day after day in an authentic way, detached from the outcome, you draw people to you. Notice I said, “detached from the outcome.” This mindset gives you true power. When you post, comment, or share, detachment means you don’t care about likes and applause. All you care about is helping people and being real. Do it enough times, and people will crave your presence. Welcome to the great paradox…detachment plus authenticity equals LinkedIn attention. 

If you’ve tried the reserved, polished perfect image on LinkedIn, and it’s gotten you nowhere, then listen up. Reverse course immediately. And here is why:

  1. First, being somebody you aren’t gets tiring. Who wants to manage two personas?
  2. Second, people thirst for real people saying real things. In a world full of fakeness, authenticity transforms you into a connection magnet.
  3. Third, authenticity builds trust. It also builds an audience. And both of those attract LinkedIn connections.

Now, once you jump on the authenticity train, keep an eye on who comes toward you and who you repel. As you watch this, you’ll learn more about who to approach for more connections. You’ll learn about the content to produce. And you’ll learn more about what attracts people to your profile.

As you attract more of who you want, and less of who you don’t, the LinkedIn connection game gets easier. Think of it as playing a video game with cheat codes on. Authenticity magnetically attracts more of the right people into your LinkedIn network. So how do you project authenticity?

Authenticity Examples:

  1. Accept yourself for who you are. Write like you. Talk like you. Post about the things which interest you. If something makes your heart race, talk about it. I mentioned earlier about my wheelhouse of topics. Whenever I see a trending LinkedIn article like corporate drama for example, I like to jump in. It’s me, I can’t help it. And I don’t apologize for it. And while it repels some people, it draws in much more.
  2. Act out of your personal beliefs and values. Many people compromise their belief system or value system on LinkedIn. Why? For a job? To save face? When you do this, you wear a mask. And if you wear a mask, people will never know the real you. And if you aren’t being real, then you are, by definition, fake. Who wants to connect with a fake person?
  3. Be situation agnostic. Whether I’m posting on trending topics, writing articles, or posting on other websites, my personality stays the same. Use your words, your style, and your values at all times on all channels.

Now a word of warning to the reader. Stick around long enough on LinkedIn, and you’ll find what I call authenticity impostors. They splash their profile full of how “authentic” they are. They drone on in posts filled with emotional sap about how their “authentic” journey started. So if you see these people, watch and learn what not to do. Because authenticity is like beauty - you’ll know it when you see it.

How do you know you have hit the authenticity mark? Simple. When people start private messaging you about your posts. When people follow you on other social networks. And the ultimate tell… when people use your quotes and your style on social media. You know what they say - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I’ve had people repost my quotes and tag me. They say things like, “truer words have never been spoken” or “greatest quote ever.”

And it’s all thanks to authenticity. Maybe you like me. Maybe you don’t. But you know exactly who you’re getting when you connect with me. I am my position. I am my brand. There’s a great line in the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise. Near the end, a female friend asks him…”So what’s your secret?” And Tom Cruise answers, “What you see is what you get.”

We covered a lot in this episode. And I want to help you crush college prep. So I put together a list of expert resources for you. Resources like Test prep, financial aid, and mindset. Go to cpcshow.com. That's c-p-c-show.com. If you liked this episode, why don’t you subscribe to stay up to date on a treasure chest of college prep resources and tips? Also, if you enjoyed prior episodes, I’d love it if you gave us a rating on iTunes. Thank you for listening.