I previously published this post on another blog in February 2011. I am reposting it here as a reference to those who wish to connect with me on LinkedIn.
If you’re not connected with me on LinkedIn – now you know what it will take for me to say yes.
LinkedIn has certainly become the online place for business people to connect and stay in touch. While it is a very powerful tool, it is only as powerful as you make it.
Networking is more effective when you use it to give to your network as well as receive from it. The same applies on LinkedIn. If you want LinkedIn to work for you when you need it (i.e., when you are looking for work), you need to work with, assist and engage your network when you don’t need your network.
As someone who uses LinkedIn on a daily basis to connect and add value to my network, I regularly get LinkedIn requests. Many times, it is from individuals I do not know. Yet.
I am interested in making genuine connections with people. It is my business to know people and meet people – LinkedIn is a great tool for this. I’m not interested in the game of “How many Connections do you have?”
So how do I choose who to connect with?
I connect with people that:
- I know
- I have met in person
- I have spoken with
- I have engaged with online
When I get a request from someone I do not know it is my policy to reply to them and ask questions that will help me get to know them better before I actually connect.
I categorize networkers on LinkedIn into the following categories:
1) LIONs (LinkedIn Open Networkers).These people have a policy to connect with anyone and anybody. They call themselves “Open Networkers” but in my opinion are not real networkers – they are just looking for leads to move their agenda forward and have access to names they may not otherwise have.
2) Real Networkers.These people use LinkedIn to support their in-person networking activities, not to replace their in-person networking. These people are meeting people in person and using LinkedIn to stay connected and engaged with their network when they are not in front of them. Real Networkers do develop relationships on LinkedIn, but only as part of an engagement strategy with their network, groups and questions to build real relationships, even if they start them online.
3) Passive Networkers.This is how I would categorize the majority of people on LinkedIn. Passive LinkedIn Networkers connect with some people they know on LinkedIn, but really don’t go out of their way to connect or engage their network. These people are generally passive networkers in their day to day lives. While I am an avid evangelist of the powers of networking, I am aware that most people don’t love networking, and feel more comfortable not networking. For them, just being on LinkedIn and passively being involved is certainly a step up to those that do no networking at all.
4) I’m here, but leave me alone. There are people who have a profile on LinkedIn because someone they respect asked them to be a part of it, but have no desire to put an effort into networking at all. I respect the choice these people have made, but I feel for them – they are missing out on a revolution that is positively affecting the careers and personal lives of everyone around them.
I categorize myself as a Real Networker. What kind of LinkedIn Networker are you? What is your LinkedIn Connection Policy?
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