The on-going flurry of requests to connect on LinkedIn compels me to write this post.
#1. I don’t know you
Never heard of you… no clue why I should add you to my network. Then I google you and don’t find much and what I do find is vague.
Or maybe we met once at a meetup. That could be enough if googling you shows you’re an experienced professional… and you’re not a direct competitor to someone already in my network.
#2. You use the “default” LinkedIn profile photo
DUH! We’d be Tweedle-Dumb and Tweedle-Dumber if we connected. And guess who’d be dumber?
#3. You compete with one of my connections
First-degree connections on LinkedIn can lead directly 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 one.
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’m not going to connect with a competitor to any of them.
#4. My LinkedIn network is curated
I maintain a policy of connecting with people I really know… and I define “really know” as:
- we’ve interacted professionally… client, colleague, business associate, trusted vendor
- we’ve had a very memorable conversation
- someone in my network says you’re great… and I trust what they say because I know their standards
- you’re famous enough that those three things do not matter because I’m flattered that you want to connect with me
- I read your profile and think you’re really cool. Hey… I’m human!
The quality of my connections is important when it’s time to make an introduction, or provide a recommendation or referral.
I value quality over quantity and do not need 500+ connections to look important!
I have a small network of people I actually know, instead of a large network of people I barely know. This serves my connections best when they need help… and creates more meaningful relationships for everyone.