How big should our LinkedIn Network be?

Here are just a few of the questions I’ve heard regarding the ‘right’ size of a LinkedIn Network:

  • Is there a target number of LinkedIn connections?
  • Can you have too many LinkedIn connections?
  • Is there an optimum number of connections?
  • When should you stop connecting on LinkedIn?
  • I have 500+ connections now, is that enough?
  • My boss thinks my LinkedIn Network is too big, what should I do?

There are many opinions about the right size of a LinkedIn Network.

I answer these questions with my philosophy regarding networking on LinkedIn.

My decisions around connecting on LinkedIn are very purposeful and focused on my business & professional goals. Additionally I strive to connect on LinkedIn for mutual benefit.

As I wrote in my first book – Networking for Mutual Benefit, “Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.” I apply this to networking on LinkedIn as well.

My primary purpose regarding networking on LinkedIn is to search for and connect with people who can help me move my business forward.

However, I also intentionally accept invites to connect from people who are relevant to me in many other ways. I offer to these LinkedIn Members my help, when and where I can.  Who knows, one day these people who want my help now, may be able to help me in the future. You never know.

As I wrote in my first book, “you should connect with someone new every day of your life.” I like to apply this philosophy to my LinkedIn Networking as well. The practice of consistent networking in a purposeful way can create a very meaningful, relevant and beneficial LinkedIn Network.

Therefore, my rule for connecting on LinkedIn is clear (to me): Accept all invites from people who are relevant to me in some way or another, regardless of whether I have met or talked with them yet.

My general rule for sending LinkedIn invites is; I send LinkedIn invites, focused on my business goals, to my target audience and their influencers. My intent is to connect with these people in order to ‘develop and nurture some level of mutually beneficial relationship over time.’ When possible I pull these people into an open conversation in order to discover if what I do is relevant to them.

All of this supports the foundation of my answer to the questions presented at the beginning of this article:

There is no optimum or target size of LinkedIn Network. The 500+ LinkedIn Network size only shows you have done some networking per LinkedIn.  You should never stop connecting with purpose and intention on LinkedIn, regardless of what anyone says to you.

You should continue to, purposefully and with business intent, ‘meet someone new every single day of your life.’ Because, the next connection you make on LinkedIn may be the greatest connection ever. Use LinkedIn properly and you never know the potential of that next connection. The magic lies in these words, ‘you never know.’ Alternatively, stop connecting and you could miss out on something fabulous.

I wish you successful, relevant and mutually beneficial LinkedIn Networking.

If you want help for your team regarding Networking for Mutual Benefit using LinkedIn, let’s talk – info@BurrissConsulting.com or 336-283-6121

 

Should I begin using LinkedIn as a Senior in High School?

The answer to this question is similar to another question:
 
Should I start saving money in high school? 
Yes, you should start saving what money you can as early as you can.
 
Look what $1000 a year can create if you start investing at 16 yrs old. 
Base on a simple 5% APR.
 
At age 22 – $8300 in the account. At 35 – $34,000, and at 65 – $222,000.
Imagine if the APR were closer to 10%, the result would be closer to $1.4M at age 65.
 
Financial advisors will tell us to follow these best practices for the greatest financial results:
 
  • Start investing as early as we can
  • Consistently add to the funds
  • Manage the risks relevant to our goals
  • Diversify our investments
  • Reinvest the interest
  • Measure our results
 
A financial asset and a LinkedIn network are two different types of assets, however, managed correctly they are both important assets in life. There are great similarities in the best practices of these two assets.
 
As a LinkedIn consultant, I offer these best practices of Networking on LinkedIn:
 
  • Start as early as you can. 
  • Consistently grow your LinkedIn Network every day.
  • Manage the risk by making purposeful decisions of who you connect with.
  • Diversity your connections beyond your current role/career.
  • Reinvest in your network by helping your network when and where you can.
  • Measure your network to ensure you are actually building a mutually beneficial network.
Grow your LinkedIn through every phase of your career and business.

Starting early with these best practices can create the greatest value in your life if you are purposeful and deliberate in your actions.

 
If however, you are going to start building your LinkedIn Network in high school you will want to commit to the process, otherwise, your LinkedIn Network will become stale and become disconnected, just as our high school friends become when we lose track of them in life. I recommend installing the LinkedIn App on your smartphone and use it at least a few times each month as you begin networking on LinkedIn.
 
The more you connect on LinkedIn the more chances you’ll have to find ideas and philosophies that can help you in your career journey.
 
The more you connect on LinkedIn and engage with your network in meaningful ways, the more you can grow your personal/professional brand. 
 
Here are a few examples of value:
 
  • LinkedIn helps you stay in touch with the career journeys of the people you meet in real high school and beyond.
  • LinkedIn helps you to meet new people through your existing network.
  • LinkedIn can help you discover new career ideas as you start and travel through your career journey.
  • LinkedIn can help you uncover new ideas and sources of knowledge through the people in your growing network.
  • LinkedIn can help you stay aware of industries, companies, and people you are interested in.
  • LinkedIn can help you to be discovered through your 1st and 2nd level connections as an authority in the space you want to be known for.
 
I am an advocate of starting to grow your LinkedIn network before you leave high school. Deliberately begin to use LinkedIn with purpose and focus on your career and business goals.
The return on investment can be significant.
 
If you want to discuss this philosophy further, contact me – info@BurrissConsulting.com or 336-283-6121