LinkedIn: Adding Connections by Fishing In A Bucket
I decided to take a day or two and improve my "connection ranking" by a couple hundred in LinkedIn. Every now and then I do this because, well, its fun to do. The essential by-product of this, other than a higher position in search results and a fitter profile, is that I get to meet new people in the process, which is why I do all of this relationship stuff anyway. For info on what makes a "fit" profile, read my free 22-page report on LinkedIn, called "How to Double Your Income in 6 Months Using LinkedIn". To get a copy, send me a LinkedIn connection invitation to LinkToJoe@gmail.com and request a copy of the report. (Don't send me email to that address, I *never* read it. It is only for LinkedIn invitations!)
The strategy I am using today is what I would call the "fishing in a bucket" strategy. I simply go to the profiles of people with a lot of connections who are connected to me, browse their connections, and find people who might be easy to find, and then summarily invite them to "share networks". Some may have their email address right in their profile, or a website or a blog URL listed.
This approach would likely be considered a LinkedIn "cheat". See the Cheaters Guide to LinkedIn by Christian Mayaud.
It's a lot easier to invite people who want to be found by others, almost in a "HELLO, my name is Scott" kind of way. Scott Ginsberg has been wearing a nametag in public every day since 2000. He calls it his "Front Porch Philosophy", signaling to others (strangers) that he is "approachable". Thanks to Joe McCarthy for the link.
Putting your email address,and even a connection plea, such as "Please invite me to your network?" is a LinkedIn "Front Porch Approach". It's not for everyone. Some people don't want to be connected to people that they don't know well. I believe that the fact that two people who are in LinkedIn and both want to connect to each other, provides enough social context to provide a "weak tie", one sufficient enough to produce effective multiplication of network effectivenss, a la Granovetter.
Some people use LinkedIn to manage their "Dunbar" group of 150 people. I use Microsoft Outlook and Plaxo for that. The very purpose of LinkedIn is to manage the "extension" of your network through a chain of weak ties.
The LinkedIn "official" recommendation on the "received invitations" page is, "We recommend that you only accept invitations if you know the sender and believe they would make a good connection." From a business point of view, LinkedIn must keep the value of unique connection pairs up, otherwise the network is a free-for-all, like Ryze or Ecademy. Restricting connections to those you know well for everyone limits the effectiveness of the aggregated network and greatly constrains its reach. Superconnectors know a lot of people a "a little", enough for an introduction, or at least a pass-through. Restricting connections also reduces the chance for serendipitous first-degree encounters, which can happen as easily and as frequently on LinkedIn as it does in on an airline flight, a cocktail party, or a grocery checkout line.
So I have a 100+ "new friends" today, that I didn't have yesterday, and everyone within three degrees of me now has the benefit of that additional reach. Without even lifting a finger...