Friday, January 10, 2014

When the LinkedIn Connection Invitation Arrives, Do You Have a Strategy for Leveraging LinkedIn?

How do you evaluate whether to accept an invitation to connect on LinkedIn or not? 

LinkedIn Connection Strategy

Some people choose to only connect with individuals they've personally met.  Others, “Open Networkers” choose to connect with anyone who wants to connect.  There are good reasons to adopt one connection philosophy or the other. 

My personal connection philosophy is somewhere between the person who only connects to people they know and people who connect to anyone and everyone.

My Connection Strategy

My LinkedIn network is nearing 29,000 direct connections.  I receive invitations to connect on a daily basis.  I connect with any and all security, risk, compliance, governance and privacy professionals.  Beyond that particular group, I’m very selective.

Evaluating a LinkedIn Invitation

When I’m considering a LinkedIn invitation, I first look at the person’s headline.  If the invitation is to connect to a company and not a person, I’m not interested.  If a person’s headline says little to nothing, I’m not interested.  If a person’s LinkedIn headline is descriptive and gives me a clear first impression as to who this person is and what they do professionally, I might be inclined to review their profile.

Not So Interesting

An invitation I just reviewed came from someone in a bank.  Their headline was somewhat interesting but when I went to their LinkedIn profile, there wasn't even a single line of text describing the position they've been employed in for over a decade.  There was nothing on this person’s profile telling me how they’re educated, what kind of credentials they've earned, what they’re great at, what they’re interested in, etc.  I'm interested in connecting to interesting people!

I don’t just hold out for connecting with people who have large networks on LinkedIn like I do but if I’m going to use up one of my last 1,000 connection spots, there needs to be a compelling reason.  The person I’ve just profiled has 30 connections and they gave me no compelling reason to want to connect.

LinkedIn Strategy...Create One

Regardless of what your LinkedIn connection strategy is, I suggest establishing one.  If you’ve never stopped and figured out what your strategy is for leveraging LinkedIn, now would be a good time to do so. 

I have multiple strategies that I apply to LinkedIn and every strategy I’ve implemented has paid back dividends.  You'll get out of LinkedIn what you put into it.'s Security Recruiter Blog