How to create a more focused and profitable LinkedIn network
Last week I outlined the thinking that I have been going through regarding the right type of network to have on LinkedIn. You can read the article here (The reason why I have decided to shrink my LinkedIn network) but the summary is that I think that the best network composition is in proportion to a person’s client base.
In other words if you spend half your time working with lawyers and half the time with accountants then your LinkedIn network should be 50% lawyers and 50% accountants. The rational is that those are the sectors of industry that you get your business from so those are the sectors that you should be connected to.
Now if you have been on LinkedIn for any time then it is probably very likely that you will have a network that is made up of a real mix of contacts.
So let’s say that you are looking to create a more focused network the next question becomes one of who do you keep in and who do you take out. Here are four criteria you can use to slim down your LinkedIn network:
Genuinely think about where you do business. If you are country or even county specific then why would you connect with someone hundreds of miles outside of your sales area? Yes you can argue about ‘future expansion’ but if you are building a focused list for use right now then focus your core networking on people in the geographical area that you currently do business in.
And if you are pruning an existing list then start by removing connections based on their geography. Pick countries far away remove contact in those and then and work closer to home.
You know the industry that you sell into. Anyone outside it doesn’t need to be in your network. Similarly to the above start with sectors that are completely removed from where you do business and work closer.
3) Job Titles
You probably do business with people who have a certain type of job title – IT Director, HR Manager, Mine Manager or whatever. Those people you want to stay or get connected with but people without those titles should be of less interest. Sometimes being connected to anyone in an organisation that you are trying to do business with can help but in the long term peripheral people are not vital and are potentially clogging up your network.
Consider which job titles are completely removed to those of the decision makers you deal with and consider removing those people from your network.
This is a much more specific way of removing connections. Check through and see if you have connected with competitors. Do you really want them getting your status updates and being only one step away from your connections? Probably not so go through and have a clear out.
Consider colleagues who have left and joined rival firms. You might like them personally but do you really want them as a first tier connection or is that counter-productive? It’s something to consider.
Those four tips should give you a head start with regards to focusing down your network. Additionally next week I will offer you four questions to consider when it comes to specific people you might want in, or out, of your LinkedIn network in an article called “Four questions to help you decide if you should drop a LinkedIn Connection”
If you have any other ideas for streamlining your network do share them below.
Until next time, be successful;Stephen Hart Development Specialist, Edenchanges.com