That’s a good question and clearly you are someone who realizes that your LinkedIn network does not just end at accepting requests and giving endorsements. So, there are two aspects to this question – how to make new contacts and strengthen it plus how to consolidate the already existing ones in your network.
Lets start with the first one. One of the most effective ways is to join groups that meet your target. Focus on a few of such groups so that you can dedicate your time and attention. If you join too many, your will be spread thin and won’t be able to effectively do any networking. Same goes for making new connections. Connect with people who actually add value. Look for quality not quantity. Of course, LinkedIn groups will help you meet such people as well. After they have accepted your request, send them a personalized message. This courtesy will be much appreciated for sure.
As to the second aspect, usually people become so focused on making more and more new contacts that they forget an important thing – how to maintain and strengthen the already existing network of connections. Obviously, since you have asked this you do realize how crucial it is to keep in touch with your contacts because you never know when you may require their help. How awkward is it to suddenly contact them out of the blue and ask for a favour! That is why you need to regularly keep in touch. This does not mean that you need to have a conversation once a week or something like that. Even something as simple as forwarding articles and sending congratulatory messages will do the trick.
Make most of these contacts. These are your professional allies, so you will have to pay attention to them regularly. Hopefully, this answered your question and will help you strengthen your network on LinkedIn. Have a great day!