Appropriate Expectations for LinkedIn Introductions

I recently got an email on LinkedIn. Someone I barely know (but am connected to on LinkedIn) asked me to introduce him to a very famous ex-CEO I’m LinkedIn with so the guy I barely known can pitch the CEO on investing in a startup I’ve never heard of.

I told him I wasn’t comfy making that introduction.

I can be a bit precious about my LinkedIn network. But I think that’s what gives it value. If I make every introduction for everybody for every reason, I’d probably see a lot of these people unlink me.

If a friend noticed on LinkedIn that I’m connected to someone at a place he wants to work, and I know this friend would be a good worker, I would make that introduction. There, I have some knowledge, and I wouldn’t feel like I were wasting someone’s time or being disrespectful. I would be happy to introduce my friend in case there’s a work opportunity there.

If a friend came to me and I knew their startup was amazing, I would probably have made that introduction. That’s someone I know well and I know their biz.

That also means I’m a bit picky about who I add on LinkedIn

That also means I don’t accept every invite I get. I try to keep it to people I’ve met in person and would want to stay in touch with or network further with.

If someone doesn’t approve my add request, I never bug them about it. That’s very awkward. A guy I met at a conference in October added me on LinkedIn. I didn’t really like meeting him, and felt that I wouldn’t be keeping in touch with him. I didn’t accept his add. Since then, he has emailed me THREE times telling me he added me on LinkedIn, and I should please go approve that.

Awkward. I didn’t reply to his emails or add him on LinkedIn. I mean, what was I going to say in my reply? “I didn’t think you had your s**t together, and thought you might be as annoying as you turned out to be.” ????

LinkedIn may be considered social media, but I don’t use it to be social

To me, it’s a serious networking tool. I go in from time to time and remove people. I want my network and connections to be people I like and trust. Someone I met at a conference in 2010 and never heard from again is probably not REALLY in my network. LinkedIn might as well reflect that. I don’t think I get extra points for more connections. I want GOOD connections, and I want to build relationships.

I know not everybody agrees. But that’s how I play it!


Like It? Share It!


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

The Power Of Your LinkedIn Network

What is the power of your LinkedIn network? Did you get a job because of LinkedIn? A recruiter found you? You were headhunted? Someone from your network sent your LinkedIn URL to a hiring manager? Well, these are pretty tangible. Nearly measurable.

What is the power of your LinkedIn network if the above hasn’t happened? Maybe it has brought you some good introductions to people who lead to good business relationships. Maybe you got a bit more respect in an interview because of who you were connected to. Well, that’s good too! Value!

What is the power of a LinkedIn network if it can’t do any of the above? You’re unemployed, and your network has no work for you. Your network knows nobody who has no work for you, or won’t go to bat for you and make those introductions. Recruiters can’t find you, pass you by, or you don’t get a second interview.

What is the power of a LinkedIn network when you claim to be a biz dev guy who is going to mine that network? If mining your network produces no meetings, no partnerships, no customers, no vendors, no partners, no investors, and let’s just say nothing, what is the value of your network?

The better question might be: what is your value? LinkedIn is a tool. The network are the people you connect to. If your network isn’t helping things happen for you, either you’re connecting with meaningless or powerless people, apathetic people, or you’re the weak link here.

What triggered this? I saw a bizarre LinkedIn profile by a clearly unemployed person. His profile clearly stated that he doesn’t turn down any request for connection, so you should please get in touch with him. That seemed desperate and lacking standards. But the weirder part was that his profile invited recruiters, hiring managers, and other people to connect with him so they can tap into his fantastic network.

Um, no (double) invitation needed. LinkedIn is about tapping into each other’s networks anyway. And the more you, unemployed person, try to tell me how connected you are and what an “industry leader” you are (see tomorrow’s blog post), the more I think this is not quite reality.


Like It? Share It!


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS