Dan Schawbel, widely recognized as a branding expert, started quite a buzz with his Forbes article: “Why I Accept All LinkedIn Contact Requests.” Schawbel believes that a large network equals power. He thinks you should accept every LinkedIn network request because you increase referrals for yourself, and you increase your professional “white pages” or directory. He thinks the fact that people are aware of you is a good thing; that a large number of LinkedIn contacts increases your Klout (social media reputation and influence) score; and that a large number of contacts increases your net worth or networking value.
Business consultant Robby Slaughter doesn’t agree. He points out that if everyone accepted every request; LinkedIn “would cease to be a social network. It would become a list. We already have that list. It’s called the phone book.”
Anthony Juliano of The LinkedInstitute sides with Slaughter. Business and careers are about relationships, but how can you build strong relationships with everyone if you have a huge number of contacts? Dunbar’s number is about the strength of relationships. It says that since our time is limited, we can only maintain a certain number of relationships well, and that trying to maintain a huge number of relationships means that all of our relationships suffer.
Juliano believes that you can only leverage connections if you genuinely have relationships with those in your network. I agree that a strong network is comprised of quality relationships, and not just the quantity of contacts. You should be selective about who you add to your network because your connection means that you vouch for their expertise and professionalism, that is, your contacts are also a reflection of you.
* Requests must be personalized and state how you’re connected
* Reject requests that look like spam or ads for goods/services
* Prioritize invitations from those with a proper profile photo
Source: Oksana Tashakova, Special to Jobs & Careers, gulfnews.com
The writer is a Success Dynamics Specialist and Founder of Design Life Coach