Someone said to me recently “I don’t trust anyone who has over 500 connections on LinkedIn, it just means they say ‘yes’ to anyone and don’t even know all those people”.
It was a statement I spent a lot of time thinking about, because it made me realise that many businesspeople might still be thinking that LinkedIn is a ‘fad’.
LinkedIn is here to stay and is only going to continue gaining momentum. It really has become a hub of information relating to businesspeople and businesses themselves, and when used correctly can be a powerful tool.
So back to the statement at the start of this article.
I have over 500 connections on LinkedIn and it’s true that I have not met all of them. But that doesn’t mean that I am just saying ‘yes’ anytime someone pops up and tries to connect, or on the flip side, that I am actively seeking out new ‘strangers’ to connect with to build my connections.
The vast majority of people I have connected with I have actually met in real life. LinkedIn then becomes a way to stay in touch with them, read articles they post, hear about promotions or business developments and of course, keep my profile in sight for them too.
Then there are the people who ask to connect with me that I haven’t met. The first thing I do is to check where they are from. I am based in the Hunter region and as such the vast majority of my work comes from businesses in the area – just how I like it! So if the person asking to connect with me is from outside of the area I decline their request.
My second check is that they have a profile picture and have a complete profile. This way I can be reasonably sure that they are a real person!
The main reason I don’t say no to ‘strangers’ asking to connect is that they may very well be my next big client and they just want the opportunity to get to know me a bit better online prior to making direct contact. LinkedIn is a great way for people to get a ‘feel’ for you and your business, particularly if you are a sole trader or small business owner.
In this, the digital age, it is vital you are online and LinkedIn is a crucial tool for any businessperson. It has become so much more than just being your online resume, it’s now an extension of your personal and/or business brand.
If you do have over 500 connections that’s great! It means you are continuously expanding your network and providing new opportunities for people to find you and your business online. Just make sure you are connecting with the right people, for the right reasons.
So to finish, if you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, please do!
And if you would like to make contact with me about marketing, public relations or communication activities, feel free to contact me.
P.S. If you would like some hints and tips for LinkedIn, check out this blog I posted previously.
The Marketing GP team has an extensive range of skills and experience, covering every element of what we do; marketing and communication.