Your LinkedIn Connections - Quality or Quantity?
Created on Tuesday, 29 March 2016 09:49
During my LinkedIn workshops, I always encourage the attendees to debate whether it is better to have a small, but quality, network of contacts on LinkedIn or whether the 'scattergun' approach is better. I have my own views on this but ultimately your strategy will be very much down to personal choice and there isn't a right or wrong answer. However, here are my thoughts on each approach:
This is probably the way most LinkedIn users go - connect with as many people as possible, whether they be colleagues, friends, business contacts or even people they don't know. This is essentially the 'Facebook' approach to collecting names and there a number of advantages to having a large network - you stand a far better chance of being connected to people via a mutual contact in any searches you run; any content you write or post is likely to be seen by a larger number of people, and ultimately you are going to have much greater visibility across LinkedIn. The downside is that personally I don't really see a lot of point in being connected to people I have never met, or at least spoken to, in order to see whether we can help each other. Which leads nicely on to...
This is the approach I use in my business and one I strongly advocate to my clients, particularly if they are looking to use LinkedIn as a sales and/or referral tool. I would much rather have a network of 400-500 people I have had some contact with or know reasonably well, rather than an accumulation of random people - I like to keep my network focused towards my target market of financial services firms so that when I run searches, share updates or post content, they are seen by the right people and I therefore stand a much better chance of increasing my visibility and credibility within my chosen audience.
Ultimately, the approach you should take will be a balance between quality and quantity - you want a good-sized network for visibility, but not too large that it isn't manageable and you don't know many of the people you are connected to. So what is a 'good-sized' network? Most people seem to aim for the magic 500+ number!
My top 3 tips if you are using LinkedIn a sales/BD tool:
Give some careful thought to what you want your LinkedIn network to look like - don't just connect with anyone
Engage in some way with new connections - offer help, suggest a call/meeting, send them something of interest but do not sell!
Remove any contacts that you don't know or are no longer relevant to your LinkedIn objectives - go to My Network > Connections, tick any contacts you want to remove, then More > Remove