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On Creating And Managing Your Linkedin Connection Policy

LinkedIn, recommendations, connections, makingSo I’ve had this policy for connecting with people on Linkedin. One that prevented a LinkedIn connection with a stranger without a call to introduce each other and find out how the connection will benefit us both.

This policy has been a blessing and a curse.
A blessing as I have met a bunch of great people and, as a result, have maintained a very personal network.  A curse in that it has been a ton of work to manage.
I share this with you because I know some of you have adopted it.  But I need to tell you now that I am making an adjustment.
So why the change?
1.  The filter is too aggressive
Only about 2 out of 10 people take me up on my request to talk.  So that means 8 out of 10 people who thought they’d benefit from connecting with me will not get access to my network. Now, for a while that seemed correct.  I’ve worked hard to create a network of people I know and can access freely.  I earned their respect.  But even more important, I think, is that I am missing out on connecting with people who may be great but just didn’t have the time to call me or got busy.  Some, I imagine, may have taken offense to being “filtered”.
2.  Time is short and focus is key
Let’s face it, we’re all busy.  I have only become more harried as I look to grow Tim’s Strategy and meet with as many job seekers as I can to share (and get) ideas.  Also, having just read “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss, I started to find myself upside down in admin work instead what I love to do. That is, write and share ideas.  In the book, Ferriss challenges readers whether their business model is “scalable”.  In other words, as your concept grows will you be able to maintain your policies and practices.  For me, the answer is no.
3.  I have new influential friends
They taught me some new tricks (yes, we all keep learning) and helped me see the light. These friends are younger and more representative of the social media population.  Who are likely among those who look at my policy requiring a phone call with a smirk.  In fact, a while back, one person requesting a LinkedIn connection said he didn’t even use a phone anymore.  It was either Skype or e-mail.  So we had a short but great e-mail conversation.
I know many of you are like me.  You want a network you can count on down the road.  People that you know something about and who will respond when you wish to reach them.  To get their expertise or tap a LinkedIn connection in their network.
So, here are the adjustments effective today for friends I haven’t met yet:
A.  If you send me a personal note with your request and tell me why you think a LinkedIn connection would be beneficial, I will accept that connection.
B.  If you send me a generic note, I will probably reply with a few quick questions.  When you answer them (i.e. tell me about yourself) I will accept that connection.
C.  If you send me a generic request and do not respond with a personal reply, I will likely ignore that request.  Is it that hard to write a few quick notes to someone?  Really.
Fair or sell out?  Did I not go far enough in opening the barn doors?  I’d love to get your comments below!
So, I’ve decided to adjust my policy to include more people.  Less of a filter.
But watch out.  I’ll still try to get to know you!

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Using Social Media

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