Why We’re Not LinkedIn

The on-going deluge of requests to connect on LinkedIn compels me to explain why we may not be connected.

#1. I don’t know youintl-stop-sign

Never heard of you… have no clue why I should add you to my network.  I googled you and didn’t find much… and what I did find was vague.

Or maybe we met at a meetup.  That could be enough if googling you shows you’re an experienced professional, and you’re not a direct competitor of someone already in my network.

#2. You use the “default” LinkedIn profile photo

DUH!  We’d be Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber if I connected.  Guess who’d be dumber?

#3. You compete with one of my connections

First-degree connections on LinkedIn can lead to partnerships, sales, and startup funding. If I already have one or two connections in your area of expertise, I’m probably not going to add another.

That goes double for startups. I mentor and advise more than a dozen startups. Others are clients and there’s a bunch I like just because. I am not going to connect with a direct competitor to any of them.

#4. My LinkedIn network is curated

I maintain a policy of connecting with people I really know… and “really know” is defined as:

  • we’ve interacted professionally… client, colleague, business associate, trusted vendor.
  • we had a very memorable conversation.
  • someone in my network says you’re great and I trust what she or he says because I know her or his standards.
  • I read your profile and I think you’re really cool.
  • You’re famous and I’m flattered you want to connect with me!

The quality of my connections is important when it’s time to make introductions, or provide a recommendation or referral.

I have a small LinkedIn network of people I know, instead of a large network of people I barely know.  This policy serves my connections best when they need help and it creates more meaningful relationships for everyone.

So how can we connect?

Find a way to enter my little slice of the world… or do something meaningful that gets you on my “really know” list.

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