You’ve heard it… you are only supposed to connect to people who you know, like and trust (or something like that).
Here’s what LinkedIn says, in one place, about who you should connect with:
Somewhere they used to say that you know and trust, or maybe that’s an urban legend. I’m too lazy to go look for it right now, but that’s what everyone thinks anyway, so lets go with that.
This Know, Like, Trust rant comes from a comment from a UK LinkedIn trainer in a comment on my blog a while ago. He framed it as what “building relationships” is, but let me break it down.
Know. Will I connect with you if I don’t know you? How does networking start – only with people we know?? Even if my best friend introduces you to me we still don’t “know” one another – does that mean we shouldn’t connect, or talk?
Like. Do I have to like you before we connect? If I DON’T LIKE you I won’t connect with you, otherwise, I would connect so we can start our relationship. If you turn out to be a rotten person (unethical, etc.) then I’ll disconnect and stay away from you.
Trust. Just like “like,” I don’t know about this yet… but time will tell. I will give you the benefit of the doubt until you lose the trust. And then it is very hard to earn back.
LinkedIn says you should only connect to someone you “know well.”
What in the world is this?
Many times I connect with someone and hope to know them well… but getting to know someone well takes time and effort.
I need to start somewhere. Sometimes it’s with a phone call, sometimes it’s with an email and sometimes it’s with a LinkedIn Connection invitation/acceptance.
Of course, who you connect with is UP TO YOU. As I explain in my book, there is a connection spectrum – some of you are very open in who you connect with and some of you are very conservative… and many are inbetween somewhere. I can’t preach to you the best way to do it but I don’t think the “know well” criteria should be a blanket policy.