You’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” before. And it’s true; you shouldn’t focus all your attention on a single platform. So, while LinkedIn is so popular and very effective at what it does, it might be worth your while to consider some other options - especially if you’re targeting a niche audience.

With that in mind, let’s look at the top 7+ LinkedIn alternatives in more detail.

The Best Alternatives to Linkedin

1. LinkedIn Alternative for Startups: AngelList

AngelList aims to connect startups with investors or job seekers. This makes it the ideal platform for investing in a new business or finding the best talent. Of course, if you’re in sales and your audience is startup founders, you’ll find them on AngelList.

For example, if you were in recruitment sales, you could easily find a list of startup founders who are hiring for multiple positions (making them a potentially highly-valuable prospect).

Similarly, you could scrape AngelList for investors by searching for a specific city in the AngelList Venture directory. Then, use Findymail on LinkedIn to get their email addresses.

Considering this, AngelList is a more niche alternative to LinkedIn, which, depending on your circumstances, might be a pro or a con. As a result, it has a slightly different focus than LinkedIn and a much smaller user base.

Yet, despite this, it still has over 8 million registered users.

2. LinkedIn Alternative for Connecting with Startup Founders: Gust

Like AngelList, Gust is explicitly aimed at startups. However, unlike AngelList, the platform doesn’t offer much for job seekers.

Instead, its goal is to help founders connect with other founders and build a network of partners. It also helps match them with top accelerators or apply to angel investors.

So, if you’re a startup looking to grow your business, Gust might be one of the best alternatives to LinkedIn for you. Similarly, if you’re a sales professional targeting startup founders, you’ll find plenty of them on Gust.

3. Try Meetup as a LinkedIn Alternative

Meetup focuses on connecting people through events. With the platform, it’s as easy as registering, selecting your interests, and finding events in your area related to your specific interests. You can also create your events if you don’t see any other events you’d like to attend.

The platform currently has more than 49 million users in 190 countries, so finding an event is not too difficult. If you’re successful at in-person pitching and networking, Meetup is the place to be.

4. German LinkedIn Alternative: Xing

You can think of Xing as LinkedIn’s German counterpart. The platform allows you to create a profile, join groups, and connect with other professionals.

It’s also an excellent place to catch up with industry news or post jobs, search for jobs, and learn more about companies. This makes it the ideal alternative to LinkedIn for European users or anyone looking to connect with European companies.

While the platform’s user base is steadily increasing, it’s still relatively small, and although you can use the platform for free, many of its valuable features require a subscription.

Source: GIGA

5. You Might Find Good Leads on Facebook

While Facebook is, at its core, a social media platform, it offers a feature that might make it a suitable alternative to LinkedIn to connect with other professionals. Here, you can search for Facebook groups with industry-related keywords or interests.

This won’t be too hard, however, as there are groups catering to almost any profession or interest. You could even consider creating your own group if there isn’t any that meets your needs.

One of the significant benefits of Facebook as a LinkedIn alternative is its massive user base. It’s the most prominent social network in the world, with almost 3 billion registered users.

It’s not all good news, though, and some drawbacks exist. The most obvious is that not everyone on the platform is interested in professional networking. Also, some groups are often poorly managed, with a lot of irrelevant information.

Still, if your audience is used to being pitched to on LinkedIn, connecting with and getting to know them on Facebook might do the trick to improve your closed-won ratio.

6. Reddit Is Just as Social as LinkedIn (But Less Formal)

With over 400 million active users, Reddit can also be an effective alternative to LinkedIn when you would like to grow your professional network. It has thousands of industry-specific subreddits, some with millions of users.

Using the platform is as easy as finding relevant subreddits or using the search function to find discussions about topics or people within a specific industry.

For example, if you were looking to connect with affiliate marketers, you’d find plenty of them in r/affiliatemarketing.

Keep in mind, though, that to use Reddit effectively as a professional networking tool, you should do it right and follow the rules. For instance, most subreddits don't allow any form of self-promotion. As such, you’ll need to answer questions and offer advice to generate awareness on the platform.

7. LinkedIn Alternative for Creatives: Zerply

Like AngelList, Zerply is a niche alternative to LinkedIn specifically aimed at creatives. The platform aims to connect creative professionals with TV, film, video, and other entertainment companies.

Like LinkedIn, you can create a profile, post your portfolio of work, and search for jobs. Likewise, companies can post jobs and connect with professionals on the platform.  

Because Zerply is a niche platform, it has a far smaller user base than many other alternatives. Also, because it’s aimed at creatives, other professionals won’t find much value in the platform.

8. An Up-and-Coming LinkedIn Alternative: Opportunity

Opportunity is another excellent alternative to LinkedIn. To start using the platform, you’ll create one of five different profile types with different purposes.

For instance, you can create a profile to build your professional network and business relationships. You can also create profiles for lead generation, finding career opportunities, or hiring talent.

A major benefit of the platform is that it’s quick and easy to start, and you can register on the site in as little as two minutes. Since it’s relatively new and unexplored, you won’t face much competition, and you should be able to network more effectively.

Should You Expand Your Network?

Let’s face it, LinkedIn is a highly effective tool for growing your professional network. However, it might not be the perfect fit for your needs, audience, or the way you want to pitch or be pitched to. If LinkedIn doesn’t meet the mark (or it’s oversaturated in your industry), try some of the top LinkedIn alternatives.

After all, always be in search of new platforms that aren’t crowded with your competitors but draw in your target audience.