Why Should I Connect To People I Don’t Know on LinkedIn?

October 2, 2011

There are many different opinions on connecting to people in LinkedIn that you do not know. The answer depends on what you think a connection in LinkedIn means. Some people consider a connection as an endorsement that you “know the person, trust the person, and that you feel comfortable recommending them”. The call these people the high and mighty. I was this type of person until I realized the power of the connection. I had 300 connections of people I had worked with and done business with, they sat there, I sat there and nothing happened.
Then I learned the true value of a connection… A LinkedIn connection means an opportunity to show what you know and what you can do. Those original 300 knew me and know what I can do so the phone wasn’t ringing with LinkedIn prospects.

What I learned on how to expand my LinkedIn network was to do the following;
1) when I get home from a networking event and I get people’s cards I jump right into LinkedIn and ask to connect to them – I send a personal note saying where I just met them and ask them to connect
2) once o week I review all the people LinkedIn is suggesting I may know and I connect to them (tip – if you have an iPhone or iPad the LinkedIn application is really much better for this task as I do not have to fill in emails or list where I know them from)

I went from 300 to 1400 in a few months.

Again we get the people who say “why?” you are just collecting people. These people are friends with people I am connected to and they do not know what I do. That is my job to tell them.

I get back to the power in LinkedIn – “the status update” yup… That is the power.

Why?

Well making a weekly update or sharing a great story in my update section allows me to be on the wall and in the weekly email of those 1400 people. These connections will see my name, my talents, and the information I have found for them and now I get calls weekly.