I was talking about LinkedIn with a group of people on Monday evening. One of the big questions seemed to be about invitations. When someone invites you to connect, should you accept?
Some people only accept invites from people they know. Others, like people in my profession, accept all invitations.
The answer lies in why you got on LinkedIn in the first place. Is it a place to hang out with former colleagues? A place to develop your consulting reputation? Maybe you want to grow your community of influence, so that when you throw a highly pithy comment out there – you get lots of feedback.
Most of us keep our profiles current and polished so we can get noticed. We want prospective employers or clients to find us and look us over. The way we get “found” is by broadening our networks either by accepting invitations or joining groups.
Here’s a possible strategy:
- Take a look at your invites once every week or so. You don’t have to do it right away. They will not evaporate.
- If you don’t know the person, click on their name. Maybe that will jog your memory or you will realize that they know a lot of the same people you do.
- Decide if you want to accept, ignore or procrastinate a little longer.
So, when you are deciding whether your network is going small and exclusive or open and diverse, think about how you want to be treated. When you reach out to someone, you want to be acknowledged, right?