Tuesday, January 22, 2013

3 Reasons I Will Become Your LinkedIn Connection

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

I am one of the best people about knowing which people should connect with each other.

In real life, I have my own personal databases (including ones stuck inside my head), and the quality of my relationship with each person is not a big deal.  Nobody but me sees these lists, and I can decide who to connect...and who not to connect.

People who know me might know that I know somebody else, and they might ask me to connect them.  At this point, I know enough about each person to make that decision whether it makes sense for me to connect you.  (Note: Sometimes, it makes sense for you to be connected, but my relationship with certain people aren't strong enough for you to benefit from ME making that introduction for you.)

However, on LinkedIn, all of my LinkedIn Connections can see my 1st degree connections (the people who are MY LinkedIn Connections).  So when I get these requests to introduce someone on my "list," it's really embarrassing when I have to respond with something like, "Sorry!  I don't really 'know' that person.  He (she) just came across each other one time about a year ago.  We don't really 'know' each other."

LinkedIn is supposed to be a database for true connections, meaning that each of us has some sort of relationship with the other.  So I try to be protective about who I put on my list of LinkedIn Connections.

Here are three (3) reasons I will become your LinkedIn Connection:
  1. I've met you in real life.
  2. I've had a phone conversation with you.
  3. We've exchanged meaningful emails.
Let's explore each of these more closely.

1. I've met you in real life.

I might not know a lot about you (though I may know a lot), but at least I know something about you.  Maybe you sat next to me in a group, and we talked for a bit.

Truthfully, I am going to send you an email to learn a little more about you.

Okay, we don't know a lot about each other, but if you ask to be my LinkedIn Connection, I can live with this.  I would like to know more about you, but we've put in the initial steps to progress.  We have a connection, even if it's a loose one at this point.

2. I've had a phone conversation with you.

Maybe I've never met you, but you and I talked at length over a phone call.  If we had the type of conversation that would give me a good chance of remembering you a week from now, then we probably did more than exchange pleasantries that strangers riding an elevator might share.

I can live with you making a request to be my LinkedIn Connection.  I will probably accept it.  (I will probably try to get to know you better if I get the sense that it will be worthwhile socially, intellectually, or professionally.)

3. We've exchanged meaningful emails.

Similar to phone calls, I realize that talking on the phone to people in different countries is not as expensive as it used to be, but it isn't cheap, either.

If we've exchanged some emails that allow us to know more about each other than what the business cards or websites say then I am okay accepting your LinkedIn Connection request.

Again, I will try to get to know you better, but at least we have made some sort of connection.

Key Point: You actually know something about me, and I know something about you.

My decisions to accept or reject you as a LinkedIn Connection pretty much is defined by whether or not you want to make a true connection with me or are just simply trying to fill a quota.

There are way too many people who want to use other people rather than connect.

Key Takeaway: If you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, take time to connect with me in real life.

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Hey there! Thank you for taking time to read my post and share your thoughts with me and my other readers. I'm always tickled when I get a non-SPAM comment. Honestly, sometimes I'm even okay with some borderline SPAM.

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