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The LinkedIn Personal Trainer takes a stand on connections, and I’m unapologetic about it.

Before I wrote the book, I was a user – who saw the potential of the system, became very familiar with it, and found I could help others use it more effectively.

And no where in that process did you see the words “thought I could make money”…

Somewhere along the line, others saw that if they used LinkedIn to connect massively, they’d have a ready audience and market – and they’re right – to a point. But where is that point?

I thought my readers would like to watch along as I explore and de-bunk some of the more popular myths that are spread about why it’s better to connect indiscriminately.

Indiscriminate connections

So first – let’s set this up.

If you connect to everyone or nearly everyone that asks you to connect, you’re an indiscriminate connector. (and that means you connect without much care)

If you connect to people you know and trust, you’re at the other pole.

There’s a whole lot of ground between these two, and when I’m asked about specific connection situations, the answer is often “it depends”. My advice is that it’s better to be clear on who you’re connecting to – for your own benefit and protection.

Ground rules

My expectation is that this will get messy – and there’s no reason to allow it to reach a tipping point, so here’s some rules to follow.

  • 1 topic per post. I’m going to roll these out one at a time over some weeks, but we’re going to keep each thread contained to the topic.
  • Post new topic suggestions under this thread – see the first rule;-)  If you come up with a new reason why it’s better or worse to connect indiscriminately, throw it in here as a comment and we’ll get to it.
  • No personal attacks. I’ve been called “closed minded” for failing to see the beauty of the indiscriminate connection philosophy, but other than insulting me, what is accomplished? I’ll be presenting logical reasoning and all someone with an opposing belief has to do is present a counter argument;-)
  • Show evidence when available.  I’ll try to get facts in wherever I can, and you should too.  Anecdotal evidence is better than no evidence.
  • You have to expect that everyone else is using the same strategy you offer.  This is fundamental – if you suggest that people should connect and reach 4000 1st level connections, you have to be prepared for each of your 4000 connections to have 4000 connections.  And – every tactic that you use, they will use.

And finally, yes, my site is configured to require me to approve feedback – and we’re all better for it. I’m pretty quick about it, and can make sure everyone stays on the up-and-up.

Starting point

Here are some of the statements that we’ll look at:

  • “People can’t contact you unless your profile includes your email address or phone number.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) helps you get found.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) means you’re a thought leader.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) brings you more recommendations”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) drives traffic to your web site.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) puts your updates in front of more people.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) gives you more sales leads.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) gives you more opportunities.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) gives you addresses for your database.”
  • “Connecting (to thousands of people you don’t know) drives traffic to your web site.

And as I said – this is not necessarily an exhaustive list, just some topics that have been in front of me lately.  I’ll happily add others that readers suggest.

Beyond the negatives

After this topic, I’ll pick up benefits that people who connect to those they know and trust get from LinkedIn that indiscriminate connectors don’t…

Interesting enough?

To your continued success,

steve

Steven Tylock
http://www.linkedinpersonaltrainer.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetylock