Saturday, December 15, 2012

LinkedIn Connections - Is Quantity Important?

LinkedIn Connections: Is More Truly Better?

I really like LinkedIn.  I think that it is one of the most underutilized online resources.  Plenty of people use it, but most people don't really utilize very much of its power.

That is a post for another time.

LinkedIn shows "500+ connections" when someone has MORE THAN 500 LinkedIn Connections. Is it really important to reach this level? Is there a negative stigma attached to people who have FEWER?

Today, I want to discuss something that I keep hearing and reading people suggest.  It has to do with the number of LinkedIn Connections that we have...actually the importance of the QUANTITY of them.

Fact: If you have zero (0) LinkedIn Connections, using LinkedIn will be an uphill battle for you.

Nobody will know to refer you, and many people you meet through its social networking functions will be cautious about you when they check your profile.

Most people--if not everyone--agrees with THAT fact.

Statement Under Suspicion: You NEED to have 500+ LinkedIn Connections to be taken seriously.

I hear people say this, and I've been reading (more recently) that you need to do whatever it takes to get the number of your LinkedIn Connections to MORE THAN 500 people.

Until then, LinkedIn will show the EXACT number of your LinkedIn Connections.  However, once you have MORE THAN 500 LinkedIn Connections, your profile will show the public that you have 500+ Connections, meaning that you could have 1500, or you could have 501 LinkedIn Connections.

Question: Does that really matter?

Some people around me seem to think that there is a negative stigma about having FEWER THAN 500 LinkedIn Connections.

Honestly, if my goal was to MAXIMIZE the number of LinkedIn Connections, it would not be hard.  Here are two (2) quick ideas to get there:
  1. Include "LION" on your profile, which stands for "LinkedIn Open Networker."  This means that will accept anyone who requests to become a LinkedIn Connection with you.
  2. Go to Twitter, and find a bunch of people to Follow.  Many of them will "Follow You Back," which means that they will follow you on Twitter, also.  Many of these people will offer you to connect with them on LinkedIn.  They might even provide the link to their profile.
 Truthfully, I get requests on LinkedIn to Connect often.  However, when I do not know people, I do not accept.  I might try to get to know them, but I take pride that (most) of my LinkedIn Connections are people I have truly connected on some level.  Obviously, some of these connections are stronger than others.

Certainly, it's not my goal to maximize my quantity of LinkedIn Connections.

Better Question: Would you be more impressed if I had connections that could help you, or if I had a LOT of LinkedIn Connections with hardly any of them knowing who I am?

Twitter is for Following people.

LinkedIn is for a real live network.  It's an awesome database.  Hopefully, enough of us will help limit the data pollution with faux connections...just to reach that "coveted" 500+ Connections remark on our LinkedIn Profile.

How do YOU feel about this?

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  1. I only connect with people I really know on Linkedin. I accept some requests if I see a connection. Linkedin is a great networking tool, the last thing I want went trying to network is a person asking me "who are you"? - For LinkedIn it's quality in my opinion.

  2. Thanks, Rosh. I'm embarrassed that I am only now catching your comment. It seems like we might have similar views about whether we actually want to (at least sort of) know our "connections."


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