Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why Should a Large LinkedIn Network Owner Accept Your Invitation to Connect?

Limited Space

As the owner of a very large LinkedIn network, I receive in the neighborhood of 15-20 connection invitations per day.  I have only 1,000 spaces left before my network hits the 30,000 connection ceiling so I am unable to accept every invitation that lands in my Inbox.

Who fits into my last 1,000 LinkedIn network slots? 

I’ll always connect with security, risk, compliance, and privacy professionals.  I also connect daily to people who could be the source of business to hire security, risk, compliance and privacy professionals. I connect with people I’ve met in person as a public speaker at conferences.  I also connect with people who strike me as being sharp, polished business professionals.  They make this first impression when I review their LinkedIn profile for 5-15 seconds.  These are the people you’re competing against in the LinkedIn universe for attention.

For the past few years, as my network has grown from 25,000 to 26,000 to 27,000, to 28,000, etc., I’ve had to be very selective when it comes to accepting connection invites.  While I cannot speak for other large LinkedIn network owners, here are a few thoughts that come to my mind when I quickly look at my new LinkedIn connection invitations every day.

What Makes Me Hit the Ignore Button Quickly?
  • Invitations that do not have a picture of a person are ignored.
  • Invitations that are from a company and not a named person are ignored.
  • Invitations that have a company logo or a picture of something other than a person are ignored.
  • Invitations that do not have a title showing under the invitation sender’s name are ignored.

What Do I Do When An Invitation Is Interesting?
  •  I look at this size of the invitation sender’s network.  There’s no magic number I’m looking for here but I suggest that new LinkedIn users invest time to build their network connecting with people they know before reaching out to someone who has a very large network.  Think about this.  What’s in it for the person you want to connect to if they give up one of their network spaces for you?
  • If I’m on the fence or if I think I want to accept someone’s invitation, I open the invitation sender’s profile to review their content for 5-15 seconds.  It’s a 5 second visit if the content is weak and doesn’t grab my attention.  It’s a 15 second visit if the content is strong and I’m drawn in to learn about this person.
  • I never do anything to damage anyone’s ability to send LinkedIn invitations.  I simply had to create strategic rules to live by the past few years and I’ve done just that.

This is how I slice and dice the LinkedIn invitations that come to me.  I hope this brain dump has given you something to think about with regards to your own personal LinkedIn strategy.

Jeff Snyder, @SecurityRecruit, is the President of SecurityRecruiter.com, SecurityJobCoach.com, SecurityCareerCoach.com and SecurityLeadershipCoach.com.  Jeff is a very busy public speaker and daily blog writer for his Security Recruiter Blog.

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