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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
When I first met Heike I had just started my marketing business, Ruff Draft Solutions. She delivered a wonderful presentation on the value of networking and LinkedIn while guest speaking at Annapolis Rotaract Club in April 2014.
I followed up with her that evening and she shared a number of resources, including SCORE, LinkAnnapolis, The Small Business Administration and Meetup.com.
After meeting with Heike for a free consultation, I knew committing to her business coaching would be an invaluable investment in order to grow my business. Heike helped me prioritize and establish short and long-term goals to keep me focused and motivated each week. When starting a new businesses, you feel as though you need to wear many hats – be the sales and marketing team as well as the secretary, accountant, IT provider and then actually get some work done for your clients. Heike does a great job with establishing how to effectively implement block scheduling to balance all tasks to have productive days. She even provided me tips on how to stay motivated by regularly recording a list of accomplishments to review on the days when nothing seems to be going my way.
Heike provides wonderful advice on how to be more efficient using technology. She suggested that I take advantage of a CRM system to better manage leads and current clients, helped me establish an effective system to organize business cards using Evernote and how to properly send e-mail follow ups after networking events.
I attended Heike’s LinkedIn seminar that provided detailed statistics, tips and tricks, dos and don’ts and how to design your profile to set you apart from the competition. After applying what I learned, Heike spent a coaching session with me reviewing my LinkedIn page in depth, providing individualized suggestions and improvements.
I really appreciate Heike’s ability to be reached and her prompt e-mail responses to the variety of questions I had outside of our coaching sessions.
She helped restore my confidence to approach and land large-scale clientele and corporations, how to handle companies that are not a good fit for me and whether to pursue employment at marketing firms versus freelancing. Heike also provided me many helpful documents to prepare for our sessions, including a vision statement, mission statement and business plan.
With Heike’s passion to see her clients succeed combined with her business expertise, I highly recommend individuals and businesses to pursue her coaching services to reach their full potential.
This blog post was written by Jenna Soneira, Owner of Ruff Draft Solutions.
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
Heike Heemann, LinkedIn and career coach, brings over 20 years of business experience to her blog.