LinkedIn Reaches 150M & Still Has Only 4 Types of Connectors
Been doing the LinkedIn scene on and off for the last seven years. I am about to reach the 500 club with 500+ connections. Woot...Woot! Besides having the 500+ on my profile, how will my life and business change? Can I fly first class? Do I get a pin to wear on my sports coat? Yeah, I get it. It's all about connections and connections will turn into relationships that matter. But, I have learned a thing or two about LinkedIn's 150M members over the last seven years as summarized below.
LinkedIn's trick for me has been its ability to be an online reputation engine. I will be the first to tell you I need more recommendations and connections, but the fact that I can get someone I know well to write a good recommendation for me is a damn good thing. This will only help my brand, not hurt it. No different than a restaurant on Yelp with good reviews. Enough about me though. For all I know, it might take another year to connect with 3 more people and reach 500+. So here are my 4 types of LinkedIn Connectors.
- "The Connector Slut"--This person will connect with anyone at anytime. No rhyme or reason. Connector Sluts randomly send you requests to connect and use the standard, "I'd like to add you to my personal network" as a warm invitation. Okay, that might have worked in 2004 or 2005, but times have changed. You damn well better take the time to personalize your request now days.
- "The Salesman Connector"--An HR Pro's worst nightmare. These people are the offspring of spam. They want no relationship. They only want you to buy their product or service. These requests suck and get deleted quicker than viagra email or spam. These are the people who probably bought an application or service from LinkedIn that sends these automated un-human messages for them.
- "The Too Cool To Connect Connector"--These people might have a LinkedIn profile with 8 connections, but they are usually too cool for school. That's fine, to each is to one's own. But don't complain about LinkedIn or say that it's a waste of time when you haven't put time into using it. To be clear, I know many successful people in business who have way less than 500 connections on LinkedIn or no account at all. Just as there are many successful people in business who have way more than 500+ connections on LinkedIn. Whatever route you choose, do it right.
- "The Genuine Connector"--These people get it. They state why you should connect and how their relationship might be beneficial to both parties. Enough said, let's connect. If we can't find a good reason to network today, we may down the road.
In short, we can't control how people behave on LinkedIn, but we can control how we respond to the connectors above and how we behave with future connectors. What type of connector are you? What type do you want to be? How you connect says a lot about your online brand.