Since I’ve joined LinkedIn (many years ago) I’ve always made it my personal LinkedIn policy to accept any and all connection request. However, I’ve now changed my personal rule and this post is to explain you why – as it might affect you.
Do you have personal rules on whom or how you accept new connections on social media?
First, why did I accept everybody?
I believed, and still do to a large extent, that LinkedIn is a very large and evolving rolodex – at least that’s predominantly how I use it. It’s all professional, not personal, so it’s ok for me to accept people I don’t know as a connection. What will they learn about me there? Everything I make public and share there, which is all professional, what I want them to see – so it’s ok. In business, we want the largest network of connections to ensure we can connect to the right person at the right time. You never know when you’ll want to connect to someone in particular for the first time, so have a connection once removed from you make them more accessible than cold calling them.
So, what’s changed?
Over the last six months, I’ve received and accepted a number of connexions, mostly following training I’ve done or public speaking engagements. However, an increasing number has come from overseas (predominantly Asia) and some digital specialty firms. The later makes sense as that’s my industry. The former, well, who wouldn’t want overseas connections and contracts?
The problem is that once accepted, these people pounce on you in different ways. The digital specialist immediately start soliciting my business with social media, SEO or inbound marketing solutions and service offers, which I’m not looking for. The overseas folks oddly always have a job opportunity for me in an industry I have no knowledge about. I’m “ideally suited” they write – did they even look at my profile? None of this smells good.
My time is precious
As much as your time is special, I know mine is too. I don’t have time to waste connecting with people who haven’t done their homework and cannot offer me something they know I might need or be interested in. It is not too much like broadcasting – interruptions I didn’t ask for nor do I need.
So, going forward, I’ll be just a little picky before accepting anyone. If you’re from ASIA, I will check you out thoroughly before accepting you. If you’re from a digital firm, I will check you out thoroughly as well – I’ll spend some of my time and save you some of yours in the process if I don’t accept you – am I not nice?
Why am I telling you all of this? If you’re reading this and want to connect, you are likely a quality connection I will accept immediately right? Right! However I’m sharing this in case you’ve been experiencing the same thing and to warn those of you who haven’t yet.
So I ask again, do you have a personal rulebook on whom and how to accept on your various social networks? Mine are different on LinkedIn than they are on Facebook and Twitter = different networks require different rules. Make sure you periodically take time to establish and revise your own rules (you don’t have to copy mine; you may have very good reasons to have different ones).
Please feel free to share your rules below in the comment box, or direct via email if you’d rather be anonymous and I’ll add the concept to this post.