How are you supposed to LinkedIn?
If you’re on LinkedIn, which has been dubbed as the ‘Facebook of working industry professionals’, you’re bound to have received invitations to connect to people that you’ve never met or may never meet in your entire life.
The longer you stay on the site, and the more you gain popularity or prominence in your field, the more ‘connect requests’ from strangers you’ll get.
And though it could seem natural to decline a Facebook friend request from a stranger because you don’t enjoy the thought of giving a complete stranger access to your personal information and photos, the dynamic and stigma on LinkedIn is much more different.
You may think that because it’s a social network for professionals where many opportunities through networking may present themselves, you should simply accept all invitations and hope to ‘strike gold’ (hit a great opportunity) from one of these strangers.
It’s the approach that “Never Eat Alone” author and management consultant to Fortune 100 companies Keith Ferrazzi (pictured above) took for years. Not long ago, Ferrazzi wrote in the 2014 updated edition of his bestselling career guide, that he had the privilege of meeting LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and discussed the site with him.
“‘You’re doing it all wrong, Keith!’ That is, in essence, what Reid Hoffman told me when I told him how I was using LinkedIn,” Ferrazzi writes.
Here’s the gist of what Hoffman told him, as written in “Never Eat Alone,”:
“LINKEDIN IS A CLOSED NETWORK, AND FOR A VERY SIMPLE REASON: FOR THE NETWORK TO HAVE VALUE AS AN INTRODUCTION TOOL, THE CONNECTIONS NEED TO HAVE MEANING. IT’S UP TO YOU TO VET EACH AND EVERY REQUEST SO THAT IF SOMEONE COMES TO YOU AND SAYS, ‘WOULD YOU INTRODUCE ME?,’ YOU’RE IN A POSITION TO EVALUATE WHETHER THE CONNECTION WOULD BE OF MUTUAL BENEFIT.“
You don’t need to do a deep analysis of every person who asks to connect with you. But if you’d feel awkward chatting with them or introducing them to someone in your network, then decline, without a guilty conscience.
And if you really want to use LinkedIn as it was intended, make “at least one quality introduction a month,” per Hoffman’s suggestion in his 2012 book “The Start-up of You.”
Sourced from Business Insider