Today I Became a LinkedIn Whore

To me, LinkedIn is the last refuge of social media where I actually know the people that are on my friend list.  I've either physically met them, communicated with them in an online forum/group or otherwise had some sort of business-related conversation with them.

Well, until today.

My wife has long made comments about me connecting with people on Facebook that I may or may not know.  For instance, people I went to high school with.  Had it not been for Facebook, I'd have never communicated with them again in my life.  And now with Facebook, I still don't communicate with them.  But they're 'friends'.  That's kind of dumb, isn't it.  Yet if I see we have some sort of commonality (school, chamber of commerce, online group) I tend to approve their friend request willy-nilly without a second thought.

But with LinkedIn, I've always been picky.  I've even become aggravated at all the connection requests from people that I have no idea who they are and will probably never meet.  That all changed today when I reached the halfway point in my friend Josh Turner's new book 'Booked'.  

In Josh's book, he talks about using LinkedIn to connect with potential prospects by sending them personalized connection requests.  In order for me to connect with people that might be interested in doing business with me, I realized I'd have to be more open to connecting with people I don't know.

From Josh's book - here's a sample connection message:

Hi First Name,

I came across your info here and thought it wouldn't hurt to reach out! I'm the (title) of (business).  Maybe we can benefit from being connected here.

Thanks!

Here's the thing - I've heard Josh say this dozens of times, but for some crazy reason I never got it until I read it there.  In fact, I decided to go out to LinkedIn and do a little testing.

I've been thinking of putting together some SEO material specific to furniture stores, so my first search was 'furniture store'.  Holy crap - those are people I could connect and do business with!  Ok, what about personal chef? Are you freakin' kidding me?! How did I never know this existed?

Can you imagine the uber-cool targeting you can do (as Josh explains) to get new contacts and business deals?

Josh, you're a genius.

So anyway - as of today I've decided to be a LinkedIn whore.  I mean, I won't accept everyone, I'll still have some standards, but if I expect these people to connect with me, I probably should do the same for people requesting my connection.

So hey - let's connect.

What are your thoughts? Do you still protect your LinkedIn account? Your Facebook account?  Or do you connect with anyone and everyone?

About 

Will Hanke owns Saint Louis' top independent Internet Marketing firm, Red Canoe Media. In addition to helping some of St Louis' most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

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