Or does substance matter more?
Does the size of your network matter more than the people in it? Did you reach that 500+ status symbol on your profile? Now that you have the size…. What about the substance? Did you build your network the right way?
The power of your 2nd degree connections is equal to the power of your 1st degree connections. What do I mean by that?
If you build a network of 1st degree connections that are just random people that you have connected to on LinkedIn… where is the power?
Are you hoping that someone might refer you to a prospect or to a potential job just because you are connected to them on LinkedIn… and for no other reason? I can’t imagine referring someone I don’t know to someone I know, love & trust and have worked hard to build a relationship with both on-line and off. Can you?
Why are you making it so easy for people to connect with you on LinkedIn?
We have the ability to expand our on-line network on LinkedIn by joining groups and following people… so why connect with every Tom, Dick and Harry?
I’ll take substance over size any day. If you are connected to me on LinkedIn, it’s because we have met in person, had coffee, had a conversation and are continuing to develop our relationship, etc. I am comfortable in knowing that I can reach out to my on-line network off line as well.
While I do have that 500+ displayed on my profile – I earned every person I am connected to on LinkedIn.
The power in my 1st degree connections is that they can actually open the door to my 2nd degree connections (my warm market). They are also interested in my content and are more likely to like, share, and comment because we have a connection outside of LinkedIn.
What’s the power in the 2nd degree connection?
It’s unlimited. If I am currently connected to 1000 professionals on LinkedIn, and they are connected to 500 professionals each on LinkedIn, then that means that I have the potential have 500,000 professional doors opened to me.
Now let’s be realistic. I won’t be the right fit for all of my 2nd degree connections, and they will not all be the right fit for me. But I can use the Effective Coffee Networking Meeting process to help narrow that down. Or I can leverage my advanced/saved searches.
A very common argument that I receive is the more people I’m connected to, the more often I will appear in searches. That is certainly true. But we can do other things to maximize our visibility, such as leveraging the Publisher Platform, taking advantage of the 100 Groups we can join, and leverage other forms of social media like Twitter and Google+.
It’s up to you to decide how you want to build your network. Are you looking for instant gratification or something with more substance? Don’t worry about the size. Focus on the people and how you can help them, build relationship and become a trusted resource for them.
- Be the first to give to your new business relationships
- Always pay it forward
- Network with purpose.
Good luck and good networking! Remember… It’s All About Leverage.