Should You Connect With People With Huge Networks?

September 10th, 2008 | by Jason Alba |

Following up on the last post, should you connect with people who have mega LinkedIn networks, especially if you aren’t planning on searching through the LinkedIn database as a recruiter would?

Yes and no.  First the no.

No, I don’t recommend you go chasing a lot of the mega-LinkedIn connectors.  Get a few (strategically, keep reading), and leave it at that.  If you develop a relationship with one, connect based on your relationship, not because they have a huge network.  The value of having many mega connectors in your LinkedIn network probably diminishes at the point where their networks overlap.

In other words, let’s say you connect with Jane, who has 10,000 first degree connections, and John, who has 10,000 first degree connections.  Did your second degree network grow by 20,000?  Probably not… there has to be some overlap, so perhaps it only increased by 15,000 (still a lot, of course).

YES, I do recommend you have at least one mega connector in your network.  Here’s why:

  • Your network will really grow.  If you have, say, 80 connections, and each of those connections has 3 connections, your network may not be big enough to get value out of LinkedIn.  Simply connecting to ONE mega-connector on LinkedIn could make your second and third degree networks much, much bigger, and your ability to find others could grow exponentially.
  • Let’s suppose you aren’t in “finding” mode, but you do want to be found by others (partners, vendors, customers, employers, recruiters, etc.).  If YOU are someone’s second or third degree contact, you may be found by them, right?  To figure out how many people might find you, look at the size of your second and third degree networks… if it’s too small, find a mega-connector to connect with.

Is there a way to strategically pick mega-connectors to connect with?  Yeppers … and that’s for the next post :)

  1. 3 Responses to “Should You Connect With People With Huge Networks?”

  2. By julius on Sep 10, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Jason,

    having more than 6500 contacts I am more keen on the Yes side of it, although you definitely have good points in the No section as well.

    Having found my job on Linkedin, and being an advocate of Quality instead of Quantity, I must nonetheless admit that in Linkedin size does matter.

    Having a multitude of contacts helped me in getting the word out that I was looking for a job and linking with connectors was crucial.

    I still reject spammers and 100% sales pitchers but as for now it’s paying off for me like this!

    Julius

  3. By Jason Alba on Sep 23, 2008 | Reply

    Julius, thanks for the input. I admire your position of quality over quantity considering the size of your network. I’m sure there are people who will say there is no way you can have quality since you have so much quantity, but based on what you wrote, I’m guessing you work hard to have and nurture relationships with your network contacts. Perhaps not all of them, but nurturing relationships with any of them… that’s awesome!

  4. By Julius on Sep 23, 2008 | Reply

    Yeah Jason you are spot on!

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