Every day, more and more people are turning to LinkedIn to grow their professional networks.
With over 238 million active users, a number that is growing everyday, LinkedIn is without question the preeminent professional social network?
This volume of membership provides sales professionals, executives, recruiters and job seekers so much access to meaningful connections that the only thing that may be holding people back from maximizing their network, is their network itself.
So if you think about it, nothing has changed from the days of the in-person professional marketing except now we can connect faster and more broadly. But in the end, the quality of your network may really have a relationship to your net worth (Heard this before?)
However, just because there are thousands (or more) of people that you “Should” be connected with, it doesn’t mean that you are.
And depending on how you approach connecting, you may never be connected with all of the people you should.
That is why I want you to consider your strategy for making LinkedIn connections and I want you to focus on how you can spend approximately 1 minute to make more connections and get more meaning out of your connections.
Here is my advice…
No. Generic. Connection. Invitations!!!
Question: Do I want to connect with Joe Blowski, Pharmaceutical Sales Rep from North Dakota.
Answer: I have no clue.
Comment: Because I have no idea why a pharmaceutical rep from North Dakota would want to connect with me.
Idea: How about you take exactly one minute to tell me why you want to connect with me?
Result: Potentially a connection with someone based upon a mutual interest, opportunity or at very least clear intent.
And that is it…
Each time you seek to connect with another person, take the one minute to send a note, say hello and provide some guidance as to why you want to connect. And as a way to enhance generic invitations that come your way, send a message back to the person saying “Thanks for reaching out, how did you find me and is there any specific reason you are looking to connect?”
Chances are if the person is genuinely interested in connecting you will receive some feedback. If they are “Tire Kicking,” then you can either blindly accept or choose not to.
Bottom line is this.
Having 100, 1000 or 50000 connections on LinkedIn really means nothing if the connections lack purpose.
But with so much accessibility to so many people that you can and should know. Why not take 60 seconds to bring it to the next level.
Would you go to a business networking event and walk straight up to someone and ask for a card without even saying hello?
Of course not. It is impersonal, lazy and relatively unprofessional.
And if you wouldn’t do it there, don’t do it here.
It seems easy enough, but still very few people do it. Nevertheless it is an easy way to standout and make better LinkedIn contacts.
So take a minute and connect with purpose. You’ll be glad you did!