LinkedIn: More than a Numbers Game

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After last week’s post, readers made some excellent comments regarding the value of large networks. A couple of people seemed to think that the focus of my post was entirely about numbers, and so I am back to clarify.

Building a large network of 30,000+ is part of the lifestyle I have chosen to ‘live out loud’ via social media. I accept people into my network on LinkedIn, always open to see how we may be able to work together, to see what value someone will share with me. It’s not about the numbers and it sure isn’t about me! It’s about allowing someone to reach out, shake my hand and say they want to be part of my network—part of my life—and then responding in a way that encourages them to continue the conversation.

I have met so many wonderful people with whom I have excellent relationships. Most of those I first connected with on LinkedIn, and most often by accepting their invitation to connect. Our networks intersected, we were interested in each other either professionally or personally, and the relationships took off from there.

I even met my business and life partner, Mike O’Neil, through a LinkedIn search of Denver, CO when I chose it as a place I wanted to visit. In this case, I did the search sorted by people with the most connections (because I believed they would be the most open to helping me), he came up at the top and responded positively when I reached out. That was circa April/May 2008. We met in person in September of that year and the rest is history.

Having a large network opens doors to meet people you may have never otherwise interacted with. You show up in searches and interact with people all over the world that you can reach with a large network. When my partner and I travel, we often post our travel plans on LinkedIn, keeping our connections updated. We search for people in the cities we are visiting and the airports we layover in, coordinating meetings when we can.

Having a large network has helped me cultivate amazing relationships; it is not a numbers game. It is a means of reaching out to people…people around the world…people I have the chance to call friend.

 

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7 Comments

  1. Lori, your story is amazing.
    My experiences are also succesful but perhaps a little less ‘social’.
    I run a Brazilian Keratin business and Linked-In has enabled me to expand globally, despite being based in Brazil.

    Building strong bonds with our customers, has really made a difference to the kind of business we attract.

    While Twitter and FB have allowed us to reach out to our at home users, it’s on Linked In that we do real business, with suppliers and salons searching for specialist Brazilian Keratin treatments we sell.

    I think the level of trust we can establish through LI has made a real difference, especially in countries outside of our traditional markets of Europe and the States, where buyers are less familiar with buying online, which is how we do most of our business now.

    Clearly the trust is flowing all over Linked In, but it gets so little good press compared to it’s more youthful competitors.

  2. Very well written follow up article. I think that linked in is something different than twitter or FB where you hardly get in touch with the person. It is more about getting professionally linked to make more healthy work relationships.

  3. Well I never looked at LinkedIn as a dating site but as you say you never know. I do think though that LinkedIn is a good place to network and to also find like minded people.

    Its also very good to find new contacts for business so many times you can get new leads there that you would probably miss out on.

    Good post!

  4. Linked in is all about making professional connections with people. I have also benefited a lot through it. I hired many people through linked in and also got some of the clients through it. So, the more the number of people you are connected to the better.

  5. Hi Lori,

    Great post! I have never heard about LinkedIn before. But after reading your post it sounds interesting and fun. Is it free to join?

  6. The networks will come in handy in the future. It is great that you are keeping them updated. I think this is a good way to maintain and even build a relationship with your networks. It sounds exciting, meeting new people and learning different valuable things from them. I wish to build my network as well. I hope you can visit me at derivative. Thank you for sharing.

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