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I see it a lot on LinkedIn. Less often today thankfully. But there must be some old handbook for LinkedIn lying around that says “go get as many as you can.” Within my LinkedIn group sometimes it pops up and in other groups across the platform. What am I seeing?
“I accept all invites!”
Please don’t do this and if you do I don’t want to hear about it. Because I manage my LinkedIn group pretty tightly, there aren’t any random “connect with me now” posts. But every once in a while, someone will share this sentiment in their introduction.
I don’t accept all invites.
If you accept all invites, my goal here is not to embarrass or belittle your network building strategy. But rather to tell you why I think it is a really bad methodology for building a network on LinkedIn.
It is the ultimate in laziness on a business network where social credibility really matters. So don’t be lazy on LinkedIn. And don’t treat your connections (and potential connections) like they are a dime a dozen.
Treat them like family.
At least like a distant Uncle. Please take a few minutes each time you consider accepting a connection request or think about requesting one. If you don’t what are the odds that the connection will go further?
Why? Here’s my belief:
That 95% of connections on LinkedIn never get consummated. Pollination never occurs. And the larger social ecosystem on LinkedIn is left in the lurch.
A little dramatic I suppose. All the great friendships envisioned are now left shuddering on the social networking floor.
Imagine a huge apple orchard full of fresh blossoms, lots of bees. This time the bees land and leave without doing their business.
The result? No apples.
My advice? Do your business.
If you don’t start a connection with (at minimum) a personal introduction on LinkedIn, you will kick-off each connection (relationship) with such a small amount of commitment that you might as well avoid connecting altogether.
And then I hear people say “I’m building my network for when I need it”. Which I agree with, by the way. But you are doing it wrong. Connecting with a few hundred people without even a small interaction leaves you with nothing. Because “being connected” means nothing if your first attempt to use the connection leads to a dead-end.
If connecting with as many people as possible is truly of value, we should just go ahead and ask LinkedIn to save us the time and connect us all automatically. That way we can all say we have over 100 million connections on LinkedIn. And then start from scratch on another platform.
But I don’t think they’ll go for that. Will you?
Thanks LadyDragonflyCC for the great photo via Flickr
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Tags: accept | business networking | collaboration | commitments | community websites | connections | do you | invites | issue | LinkedIn | linkedin open networker | online social networking | relationship | social | social information processing | social network service | social networking | web 2.0 | world wide web
Categories: Career Networking