Why I’m only accepting 2 out of 5 connection requests and you should too.

Recently I found that there has been a change in the way many are approaching ‘LinkedIn’.  Have you noticed it? It’s like a disease — mindless, endless connection requests of no value.

A swarm of people, all seemingly trying to RUSH to increase the size of their network trying to reach eye-popping levels. With what appears to be no real regard for quality, reaching out for a mindless connection.

My guess is they might be thinking that having 10,000 connections is essential, or more likely, will make them seem important to others. They might believe that at that level of connections, business will be pouring in through their Inbox. (It won’t) I think they’re gathering connections in the same way my teenage niece has thousands of ‘friends’ on facebook but yet she couldn’t tell you if she was standing next to 20 of them at the bus stop. Friends who are not really friends at all. Connections who are not really connected, or even interested. Think, how much are those connections really worth to you? Zero.

So with all those ‘useless’ connections are you truly ‘well connected’ or are you just overloaded & crowded?

If the quality of your connections is JUNK, what’s the QUALITY of your network? – JUNK. 

Your network is your Net Worth. What’s your NET WORTH?

Rubbish in – Rubbish out.

A FOOL with a TOOL is still a TOOL.

Interesting how I can use an old CRM saying and it seems relevant talking about LinkedIn. (LinkedIn has undoubtedly changed a lot in the last year or two).

Let’s say you do get to 50,000 connections. How would you credibly engage with them all? You can’t. NEWS FLASH. It’s not the shares, likes or views that matter in this game; it’s the quality of the engagement.

Social is social, that means interactions; it’s not a database; it’s not a calling list; it’s not a ‘number’ of connections; it’s not a CRM. If you can’t provide some insights or some value to those who want to connect with you or that they provide to you, then why are you connecting?

Having lots & lots of connections will not automatically make you a LinkedIn superstar. I suggest having the wrong connections will ruin your LinkedIn experience and, at the same time, make it significantly harder for you to use LinkedIn for what it is designed. A networking tool which should be helping you to drive great conversations and then, eventually, opportunities.

Of course, there are exceptions, enter, people like Tony J Hughes. He uses LinkedIn very well to publish. He wants as many people as possible reading his material, which I love BTW, He has a strategy which works for him. But it’s not a strategy which will work for most of you. It will work for 5% of people, maybe. (Have you seen how well he writes)?

I’d suggest, don’t connect with everyone you see and don’t connect with everyone just because they send you a connection request, that isn’t very smart.

Currently, I’m only accepting around 40% of the connection requests I get. The other 60% are simply not a good fit for my network and (here’s the rub) they are much better off without me in their network. I will drive them, their network, and their feed crazy with my sales orientated conversations and posts. (just like this one).

I’ve spent a significant amount of time DELIBERATELY crafting and designing a network which is high value to me, high value to my network as well as my business strategy. So, if you’re not going to add value to the network, to me, or I to you. I’m probably not going to accept.

The average person who needs to use or ‘leverage’ their LinkedIn account to help them to grow their business or perhaps find more business opportunities is misusing the platform if they are connecting without thought and without a clear, defined strategy.

I’ve written about this previously, and I’m sure I’ll need to repeat myself. You need to deliberately design your professional network in the same way as you carefully look for a workplace who has a culture you think will help you to be successful. Your social feed has its own culture.

Why? If you fill your network with ‘randoms’ it will be INCREDIBLY harder to shape your online conversations to be of any benefit to that broader audience. There are plenty of subject matter experts out there, so how can you ‘talk’ (post, share and comment) to a broad audience about everything? You can’t. You might find you’re not getting any traction at all with a broad, large, but weak network. Posting articles, posts, blogs, pictures etc are all designed to drive engagement if you’re connected to 10,000 people, and only 500 people are interested in your business proposition, or what you’re posting about. I’d argue you really only have 500 connections and 9,500 people who’s feed you are destroying with ‘rubbish’ which is not relevant to them. Do you want to be that person who is posting crap which nobody wants to read?

So think about your connection strategy (Do you have one)? And make the necessary changes to make sure your LinkedIn network has the best chance to give you what you need from a true business networking sense.

Failing to do so upfront, will potentially mean trying to ‘undo’ 10,000 poorly crafted connections, that’s not going to happen quickly. You will need to either

A: Abandon the platform altogether,

B: Forget about using LinkedIn as a BDM tool.

C: Delete your account and start again from the beginning.

That’s why I’m selecting ‘IGNORE’ – it’s the polite thing to do.

TO BE CLEAR: – If you’re in any aspect of sales from within APAC send me a PERSONALISED connection request, and I’ll connect. If you’re in IT from Canada, I’m probably not interested – sorry.

A personalised connection request trumps all. Tell me why you’d like to connect, and chance are I will. As will your perfect future customer. You might even start a conversation.

It’s all about the engagement.

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Mark McInnes
Mark helps businesses to find and engage with new customers in today’s business environment. The # 1 ‘sales’ problem most companies complain about is that they do not have enough volume in their pipeline because their current sales strategies are no longer working as well as they once did. A sales trainer across APAC with a strong focus on the top of the sales, funnel, Mark helps his clients to find more customers and engage with them credibly and ethically – be it online or via traditional sales channels. Ranked Australia’s # 1 Social Seller by LinkedIn on LinkedIn (2016). Mark draws heavily on his time in the Australian ARMY as an Assault Trooper where, amongst other things, he guarded the Queen of England. He leverages some of the techniques and disciplines he gained while travelling the world with the ARMY in the development of his unique approach to his business dealings & sales philosophy. Mark has experience across industries such as Financial Services, FMCG, Entertainment, Hospitality, B2B Business equipment, Management Consulting, Marketing and SaaS.