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LinkedIn – To link or not to link, that is my question

Imagine you’re at a networking event, meeting new people, sharing a few smiles, conversing briefly here and there, perhaps even exchanging business cards. Then the next day you get a couple of invitations, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” What then? Do you accept?

There seem to be two different approaches for handling this. One is to link to most everyone you meet. The other is to link exclusively to people you feel you’ve gotten to know. Which is best? I’m not sure, so I’d like to hear what you think.

For me, I prefer connecting to someone I’ve at least met for coffee. While doing so, I’ve determined that they are someone I’d like to talk with more and get to know further. After all, I took the time to go meet with them. Sure I make some exceptions here, especially for the handful of people I’ve linked to who were simply not feasible to meet with in person, yet with whom I felt a deeper connection. Perhaps an excellent phone call.

Question is, am I missing out on connecting with a much larger group of people? Yes, I may be, but does it matter? If I pay attention to LinkedIn’s Network Statistics, I’m missing out on millions of connections! Yet honestly, how many of us have successfully navigated a 3rd degree connection? Are they really that “connected?” While in reality I’m missing out on only about 2,000 of these, that’s still a lot of people.

Which brings us right back to the quantity vs. quality dilemma. Personally, I’d like to think I’m keeping my network small and more relevant by resisting the urge to play the numbers game. One strong connection is stronger than 10 superficial ones, I figure. Right…or wrong? In our social media crazed world today, am I being foolhardy?

Let me hear from you. I’m curious to know which strategy you find most effective for you and your business. Maybe you consider both approaches valid, and neither is better. I’ve posted this on our Facebook page, so Click HERE and chime in.

I don’t have the answer. Do you?

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