by Kathy Bernard
People often ask me if they should have a small, strategic LinkedIn network of only customers and prospects OR a large network where they connect with all sorts of people. I tell them to have a large AND strategic network made up of community and industry members, friends and family, prospects and customers, and most others who invite you to connect.
Why have a large LinkedIn network?
1. It’s best to have at least 500 connections because after that, LinkedIn just shows that you have “500+ connections” at the top of your profile, which makes you look like a master networker.
2. When you connect with people, you become second-degree connections with their connections, who could be warm leads for your business (such as coworkers and industry friends).
3. Opportunities sprout from connecting! I did hundreds of webinars with a stranger who invited me to connect. I also landed a job by connecting with a hiring manager whom I didn’t know.
4. Often, connections are open to introducing you to their connections, which can give you an essential “in” with a prospect or employer.
Should you connect with people overseas? Maybe. Connecting with them can help you grow your network and acquaint you with interesting people. However, if you are not selling to their country, feel free to click “Ignore” on the invitation.
The bottom line: Connect with people on LinkedIn! It will make you more findable for what you do and could lead to exciting, new opportunities!
Kathy Bernard (firstname.lastname@example.org), CEO of WiserU.com, is a St. Louis-based LinkedIn consultant/trainer who equips businesses to maximize LinkedIn for sales, marketing, or fundraising.