I’m going to focus on 2 different strategies for networking on Linkedin.
- There are LIONs (Linked In Open Networkers) who will connect with anything that moves and has a profile.
- There are small networkers who connect only with people they have a genuine, live, professional relationship with.
I fall in between – here’s why I have the Linkedin network that I do.
One of the great things about a social media network is the leverage and visibility that it brings. I can see who my contacts are connected to (well illustrated in this great video from CommonCraft). If I wanted only to have a network consisting of lived professionals I’ve worked with – I wouldn’t use a tool like Linkedin. At the time of writing, I have 247 contacts. My network is comprised of a variety of people – colleagues, former colleagues, past clients, friends, wish they could be a clients, industry contacts, and others…
At the core is a small, powerful network. I enjoy the visibility factor and seeing who my contacts are connected to, and for this reason I build out my network with various contacts. Linkedin provides a convenient and centralized place to manage all these connections.
I am not into the LIONs – there is no value in connecting aimlessly. I am not open to connecting with anyone who comes along – and I cannot stand the canned invites (!) but I am open to people reaching out to connect if they state the reasons and purpose behind their request. That is what Linkedin allows me – an opportunity to reach people that would otherwise be invisible or unavailable to me. For those reasons, I will connect with people that I don’t “know”, but I do need to know something about them, or how I can best help them.
Are you a LION? If so, what is your strategy and where does the value lie?
If not, what guides your network on Linkedin?