business networking

Who should you connect to on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn connectYour LinkedIn success depends a lot on who you are connected to.  Many professionals on LinkedIn misunderstand this and believe that you should be connected to as many people as you can convince to accept your connections. This could not be further from the truth.

This is what LinkedIn says about it:

Connecting to someone on LinkedIn implies that you know them well:

  • They’ll have access to people you know
  • Others may ask you about them and vice versa
  • You’ll get updates on their activity

LinkedIn lets you invite colleagues, classmates, friends and business partners without entering their email addresses.

However, recipients can indicate that they don’t know you. If they do, you’ll be asked to enter an email address with each future invitation.

Here are a few reasons why you should only connect to those you KNOW, TRUST and CAN RECOMMEND:

  1. When you request a connection with someone you found through a name search on LinkedIn, you are asked how you know this person – colleague, classmate, business partner, friend, group/association or other.  Choosing friend or other will require the person’s email address before requesting the connection – again, to ensure you know the person. Most people lie through their teeth here just to make a connection with someone they usually don’t know from a bar of soap.  The reason LinkedIn asks is because it matters that you actually know the people you are connected to.
  2. I’m often surprised at how I am connected to nearly every professional person in my city or industry because we know someone in common.  If I see one of my connections is connected to someone I want to do business with, I can ask my connection to introduce us.  This is a very powerful feature as it gives credibility to both parties – like a real introduction by someone you know and trust to someone they know and trust.
  3. You can only get/give recommendations from/to your connections.  The same counts for endorsements.  Those you connect to who don’t actually know you will happily give you endorsements for anything – even though they have no idea if you actually have these skills.  This causes the whole endorsement feature to be worth less than the space it takes up on a profile.
  4. You see the activity of your connections in your Timeline (LinkedIn Home) and on the Signal page – if you know and trust all your connections, these updates are really interesting, keeping those who know and trust each other in business updated with each other’s professional lives.  If not, well, it’ll just be noise.
  5.  You don’t have to be connected to someone to network with them.  Networking is done via Groups and introductions.  Find a Group you are interested in, take part in discussions and you will get to know many professionals you are not connected to.  This could even lead to new connections!

I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion around the connection issue on LinkedIn.  Please help me spread the word – if your real connections are connected to people they don’t know, it will water down your networking experience on LinkedIn too!

Do YOU connect to people you don’t know on LinkedIn, and why?

  

What to do with Duplicate Accounts in LinkedIn

In every LinkedIn workshop I find at least one person who has a duplicate LinkedIn profile – this is a very common occurrence as most professionals think they should create a LinkedIn profile for every new job or career.  This is not true, and can be crippling to your profile for various reasons:

  • Duplicate LinkedIn accountsWhen searching for your name in LinkedIn, all your (and your namesakes’) profiles will be returned in the results.  This is very confusing and does you no favours. Someone you have done business with may ask for your connection on the old profile and you will not receive the request, or worse… someone WANTS to do business with you but you do not answer their messages to your old profile.
  • All your professional experience, education and skills on ONE profile gives a complete overview of you as a professional. There’s no reason to separate it.
  • As you change jobs or companies, the email from your LinkedIn profile may be sent to a deleted email address.  The right thing to do would be to add a personal email address such as your Gmail address to your LinkedIn profile to allow password reminders/changes to be sent to you.  This way you will always be able to log into your LinkedIn profile to update your new position & company, and add your new email address. Read More…
  

LinkedIn Answers Shutdown on 31 January

If you have been a LinkedIn user for a while, you would have noticed quite a few changes in 2012:
(I link each topic to the LinkedIn help centre’s explanation as I don’t want to duplicate it all here)

The above were all changes for the better, and it’s clear that LinkedIn is improving in leaps and bounds!

The latest change baffles me a little, but I’m sure we will soon see why they have decided to shut down the ANSWERS section on 31 January, 2013.  I have always loved this section and found many answers to my questions by searching for answers there.  They promise to develop new and more engaging ways for us to share and discuss professional topics on LinkedIn, but if you have a lot of questions and answers you value in the ANSWERS section you will have to save it somewhere before 31 January!

I’ll be watching their plans and report back here with news!

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Added 28 January 2013:

With the demise of LinkedIn Answers, there is a new place to come to ask any question, any time. We aim to provide answers from people with authority in the topic.

Please visit the new Q&A Forum now (use the link below) and ‘Like’ a Discussion to help promote the Forum amongst your contacts.

And finally, please actively participate. Not only will you be helping others but you will broaden your professional network in the process. If you would like to help moderate any section of this Forum, please contact the group moderators.

MAIN FORUM:
Q&A Forum ►http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4805754

  

Social Media Step 1: a LinkedIn profile

Before you start with Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or any other social media marketing for your business, make sure you have an up to date LinkedIn profile. This will ensure that other professionals can find you online, and you have control over what you want them to know about you as a professional.

LinkedInThe three main reasons why every professional person should have a LinkedIn profile:

  1. Search Results
    If you have never ‘Googled’ your own name, do it now! If you have a LinkedIn profile, your LinkedIn profile will most likely be the first search result. Now picture someone who doesn’t know much about you, but would like to do business with you… what will they find when they Google your name? It’s even more important if you have namesakes because your profile on LinkedIn should make it easy to figure out which one YOU are! Read More…
  
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