To me there are only two reasons to remove a connection from my network:
Beyond that every connection is valuable. Why?
Think of it this way: You wouldn't throw out a painting from Rembrandt or Michelangelo because it is "old" - or would you? I wouldn't. With age comes value. How does that relate to LinkedIn?
1.) Except for those who completely abandon a profile, most LinkedIn users add connections every year. Therefore each connection can - in turn - be a link to someone new you may want to meet. You could think of it like interest or like a fine wine. Each connection becomes more valuable with age.
2.) LinkedIn serves a variety of functions including that of a "search engine for people". There is a caveat though: Unless you have a paid account, you can only see people up to three degrees away from you. I'm sure you have heard of the "6 degrees of separation". That means that you are missing out on a lot of potential people who might be able to find you or whose profiles you may want to see, if you reduce your number of connections. Instead of getting rid of connections, I would recommend adding connections. The more connections you have, the more people can find your profile. This could be potential customers, vendors or even potential team members.
3.) Another thing to remember is that you are not the only one to change careers, cities, etc. Others do as well. Therefore the person who may not have been a "good" connection in terms of industry or location last week just so might be in a few months.
4.) On average most people know 250 people - and I do mean "know" personally from work or their daily lives (family, friends, neighbors, favorite barista,...) as opposed to just being a connection on a social media network. These people may not even be on LinkedIn. Is "cleaning up" your list of connections worth giving up 250 potential customers per connection you drop? I don't think so. After all, that would mean giving up 2000 2nd degree potential connections just by cutting out 8 connections! Think about those numbers and what they may represent in terms of business.
5.) Though LinkedIn keeps its algorithms a secret, there are several factors that impact where your profile shows up in search results. Are you at the top of page 1 when someone is looking for your name or a key word on your profile - or are you at the bottom of page 9? Two of the factors that may partially influence your standing are:
A) How many connections you have. After all, if it weren't important, LinkedIn wouldn't show a number or the mysterious "500+".
B) How active you are on LinkedIn: Adding connections is an "activity", as is interacting with them.
Therefore my recommendation is to continue adding connections instead of removing them. Use LinkedIn to build business relationships for the long term and grow your network on a regular basis.
What is your view on this topic? Please share it in the comments below.
And one more thing: If we aren't connected yet, how about changing that? Send me an invitation to email@example.com.
Also: Interested in a complimentary 5- minute live mini-audit of your LinkedIn profile by phone? Send an e-mail request and we'll set it up.
Image courtesy of KDelaneyphoto.com
A picture for your LinkedIn profile should reflect a professional image. What does that mean?
That does not mean the picture has to be taken by a professional photographer. What I mean is that the picture should show you in professional attire, something you would wear to a networking event or to a job interview.
The picture should be a close up of your face, a so-called "head shot", that allows someone who has met you at a networking event to recognize you on line -- or vice versa: if they have seen your LinkedIn picture they should be able to find you at a networking event without having to peer at everyone's name tag. Don't hide your face behind sunglasses and a hat or by showing only your side profile.
Also keep in mind that your LinkedIn profile represents YOU. Therefore make sure only you are actually in the picture, not you and your spouse, you and party guests or you and your entire wedding party.
LinkedIn is not facebook. Therefore avoid pictures showing you engaged in a hobby, like holding up a big fish or being a small figure on an expansive ski slope.
Reserve company logos for your LinkedIn business page. If you are an owner of a small business you can set up a company page on LinkedIn free of charge. Just like on facebook, this should be a separate page from your personal page. So don't hide behind a logo on your personal profile.
The most important thing, though, regardless of all of the above: SMILE! Look at other people's pictures and notice how much more you are drawn to those pictures of people smiling rather than those with a serious face. Being approachable is half the battle.
Do you agree or disagree with the above points? Share your feedback in the comments.
Yes. LinkedIn is a free networking web site for business people that is growing by 6 new members per second. Would you want to miss out on a potential lead source that only requires minimal time to manage once your profile is set up?
There are account upgrades available for varying types of users (recruiter, job seeker, sales & business) for varying monthly subscription fees. However, I think that one can accomplish a lot without having to pay. Here are some of the main things to remember when embarking on a new social media journey on LinkedIn:
- Complete your profile. All sections should be filled in as completely as possible.
- Have a professional photo.
- Join a few groups.
- Expand your network.
Upcoming blog posts will delve into more details on each of these segments so do check back or sign up for the RSS feed.
Your feedback is appreciated. Do you agree or disagree with the above. Let us know. in the comment section and make it a great day
The short answer is "absolutely yes".
Business cards are definitely still needed in 2013 and likely for years to come. They are a quick and easy way to exchange contact information, provide an option for writing a quick note to oneself and a visual reminder of the contact via the company logo and possibly photo of the person who handed you their card.
Of course there are industries and age groups where contact information is shared instantly via the use of smart phones. However, it is my belief that these are still in the minority. I attend networking and other business meetings on a regular basis and having something tangible is still the norm.
That does not mean the cards have to be expensive or elaborate. There are plenty of ways to create your own cards using templates from such companies as Vistaprint.
It is my view that anyone who owns a business or works in sales needs to carry business cards when attending any business or business-related networking function. I would even suggest to have several business cards with you at social events. You never know whom you might meet at a party, dinner with friends or sports event.
Do you agree or disagree? Share your views in the comment section.
Heike Heemann, LinkedIn and career coach, brings over 20 years of business experience to her blog.