For those of you not already Linked-In, this is a fantastic free networking site that is focused on professional networking as opposed to a more social focus such as Facebook. I have found it to be very helpful in keeping up with colleagues and associates. What I find most interesting, though are some of the people requesting that I link-in to them. You know, the people you barely remember meeting that seem to have hundreds of connections on their account.
This leads me to my question, who should I be linked-in to? At first, I was pretty exclusive, only friends and colleagues with whom I have a close professional relationship. Next, I expanded to the people I met at networking events and my best clients. Then I moved on to all prospects I meet. But do I really want to be linked-in to the person I worked with 15 years ago and never cared for?
There are two trains of thought on this. The first is, if you don’t care for the person, would you really want to network to their network as the people in their network could be similar in quality. On the other hand, if that person has a large number of contacts, over 500 in my case, should I link in to them? I don’t really have an answer; it’s just food for thought.
William Barnett says
Great question! I tend to be a bit conservative on this and limit my network contacts to people that I’ve checked out a little. But it’s tempting to accept all requests, especially when trying to start a business! Any advice would be welcome!
Beth Devine says
I can only tell you my plan which is to accept anyone into my linked-in network that has requested to be there. I’m also starting a more aggressive campaign to increase the number of invites that I send out. At his point, I’m not even linked-in to my existing clients, never mind my prospects. Once I’m happy with my number/quality of contacts, I will begin the process of communicating on a consistent basis.