Forgive me, it's been some time since my last blog post! I was cleaning out my LinkedIn connections (or starting to anyway) to make my LinkedIn experience more meaningful and decided I'd share my philosphy on how I am thinning out my connections, why, and what my strategy is. Check it out...
This is not some quick-fix diet plan, no supplements, special recipes, meal plans, calorie counting, workout dvds or anything else like that... This is about cleaning house and turning your LinkedIn connections into a meaningful network of people.
Back when I first joined LinkedIn, over a decade ago, everyone was connecting with everyone, because nobody really knew better. The phrase LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) was added to some people's headline to announce they'd connect with anyone, anywhere. (I never added LION to my profile, as I'm more of a Panda Bear person myself.)
But now, over a decade later, LinkedIn is becoming my go-to-network for business connections, referrals, and relevant content. But to really make this platform work for me, it's time to drop the dead weight. And by that I mean thin the herd.... clean the pool... eliminate chaos and noise... reduce the abuse... paring down...
I decided it was time to sit down and remove connections where there is no mutual value or potential for a business relationship. For this first phase, I used 3 basic criteria to remove some of my contacts.
Location - Location - Location: Let's face it. If you are located in India, Phillipines or some other remote area, unless I know you personally, we really have no need to do business together. The company I work for provides services in the United States only, so how will we ever be of any value to each other?
No Profile Picture? No Connection! I don't eat mystery meat, so logic would have it that I don't really do business with mystery people. And, yes, I actually unconnected from some personal friends who don't have profile pictures. Chances are they'll never even know it because they probably aren't really serious about LinkedIn anyway.
LIONs are for the Zoo: I'll admit back in the day, I did connect with "open networkers" when I first joined LinkedIn. As I look at them today, not a single one yielded anything of value to them or me.
Even just starting this process, I feel 10 pounds lighter!
And I'm just getting started. I still need to finish the initial process of thinning the heard, but I do feel better already! Once I do that, I'll probably really assess some of my remaining connections like competitors (why are we connected really?), recruiters, and some others. And then, once I've really narrowed down the list, I will then start reaching out to connections who I haven't connected with in a long time (or ever), to see if there is reason to stay connected.
This is not me being stuck-up, or too good for you, it's a matter of getting organized. If we are friends, I'll still like your food pictures on Facebook and Pinterest - so don't worry!
Hopefully you don't find this post offensive, and if you do, I give you permission to remove me as a connection. In fact, I'll respect your decision to do so because that will tell me that you truly value who you are connected to on LinkedIn. And that's how it should be!
I leave you with this thought... Use this platform to build and foster relationships, not broadcast your content and send blind InMails just to sell me some product or service without getting to know me first.
Original posted directly on LinkedIn on December 8, 2015.