Monday, January 21, 2013

2 Reasons I Will NOT Become Your LinkedIn Connection

This is part of a series I am writing about my recent struggle with LinkedIn Connection requests.

Many people want to become my LinkedIn Connection, which is a nice gesture, but I try to really protective of the quality of my connections on LinkedIn.  In real life, people ask me to introduce them to people I know, and a lot of these people accept this introduction, because they trust my ability to match people.

See Also: LinkedIn Connections - Is Quantity Important?

People want me to connect them via LinkedIn and the "real world."

Here are two (2) reasons that I will NOT (automatically) become your LinkedIn Connection:
  1. I don't know you.
  2. Aide Your "Notch in the Belt" Goal

Overall, I am interested in MEETING people, not just simply listing them.  Let's look at my reasons for not accepting your LinkedIn Connection invite a little more closely.

Reason #1: I don't know you.

This seems obvious, except that it happens to me nearly every day.  I get a request from someone on LinkedIn to connect, but I've never met them.

I meet a lot of people.  I'm not a celebrity, but I give a lot of talks, and I network actively.

Sometimes, they don't even know who I am.  Maybe they see that I am in the same LinkedIn Group, but I will comment more on that with my next reason not to accept your LinkedIn Connection request.

More often, someone will assume that because we both made a comment within the same LinkedIn Group Discussion that we have a "connection," but at least I've seen your name somewhere.

Even more baffling to me is when people like what I write but never interact with me.  They simply state that they like reading my blog posts, or they like the way I respond in LinkedIn.

What's the problem?

Who are you?  I've never met you or even seen your name before now?  No, despite your compliment (which is really nice, by the way) we have not made a "connection."

Reason #2: Aide Your "Notch in the Belt" Goal 

I keep reading this advice, and I even attended a couple of talks where I've seen speakers suggest something along the lines of....

"You must get more than 500 Connections on LinkedIn."

They say this, because your LinkedIn Profile shows the number of Connections you have.  If you have more than 500, it shows "500+ Connections," regardless of whether you have 4500 or just 501.

For some people, this is simply a status symbol.

It seems like some people use LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to see how MANY people they can accumulate.  These people really are NOT interesting in getting to know me.


If you want a "notch in your belt," you will have to EARN it from me.  I don't want to just be a "number" that you add to your tally.

I always wonder--not HOW MANY connections you have, but--what the QUALITY of your connections really is.  That is what will have the greatest chance of being valuable to me.

Most of my LinkedIn Connections are pretty good quality.

I'm not as picky on my requirements to be a LinkedIn Connections as I was when I first started.

If I don't know you, but you REALLY want to connect with me (and not just list me as another "Connection"), then I try to give you a chance.

I offer you a chance to let me know more about you.  I realize that this is a tough question, because it is so vague.  So I will check something in your profile and ask you something specific about something I see there.

You simply answering my first question will not make you my "Connection," but it will give you a chance to begin a discussion that could lead to that.

Yes, this takes more time, but the value of our connection will mean so much more.  I guarantee that whatever I have to offer you far exceeds simply adding another "notch in your belt" on your LinkedIn Connection count.

My next post will address each when I will become your LinkedIn Connection.

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