No, I am Not One of the Top 100 Most Connected People on LinkedIn…Well Not Really

Some things are just so silly you have to wonder.   I was contacted by a woman asking to connect with me on LinkedIn because she saw me listed in an article of “The Top 100 Most Connected People on LinkedIn.”  I’m number 47!  What do you know; I final made it to the top half of the class!  Hooray for me!!  But, sadly, it means nothing.

I did a Google search and found the article.  This is another example of, no doubt, a well meaning person who just does not get it.  (I will say this, his statistical analysis is interesting.)  My assumption is that he did an advanced search of everyone in his network in every industry and every location and figured the first 100 in his network were the top 100 on LinkedIn.  (Notice that he does not actually mention his methodology…)  But, when you do a search on LinkedIn, you can only search your own network.  So what’s true for you may not be true for someone else.  And here’s the funny part.  He writes:

“You might be surprised to know that it takes at least 36,000 1st degree connections to crack the top 10.

If you try to send invitations to connect with these folks, don’t be upset if they aren’t accepted – some of them simply can’t be.

Once you hit the 30,000 1st degree connection mark, LinkedIn won’t allow you to accept invitations to connect – so any connections added past that point must be invitations sent out to others to accept.”

Sorry.  Not so!  You can only have 30,000 first-degree connections on LinkedIn and no more.  Once you hit 30,000, people to whom you may have sent invitations in the past won’t be able to accept them.

I do not have 36,000 first-degree connections, only 30,000.  Every few days I remove some connections, based on geography, and accept new connections, based on geography.   I would be delighted to have 36,000 first-degree connections but, alas, it is not meant to be.  You can have more than 30,000 followers, but not first-degree connections.

For example, Steven Burda is on the top of the list.  (I am certain his mother is very proud.)  I happen to be jealous.  We are first-degree connections.  He has 81,453 followers; I only have 30,600.  That said, I guarantee he has no more than 30,000 first-degree connections.  And then there is poor Mike Cullison.  He’s on the bottom of the list.  He clearly states on his profile that he has 30,000 first-degree connections but, alas, he only has 29,800 followers.  (I am certain his mother still loves him.)

And, for the record, this is not the first time I have heard that you can pass the 30,000 threshold if people accept your invitations.  It does not work.  I’ve tried.  I have invited scores of people to join my network and not a single one could accept one of my invitations unless I was below 30,000 at the moment they clicked “accept.”

Beware of so-called LinkedIn “experts.”  They may mean well, but they don’t know what they are talking about!

If you are in the Bronx, New York, on Monday, November 16, at 3:00 PM, I’ll be speaking at the Wakefield Library, 4100 Lowerre Place, on “Using LinkedIn to Promoted Your Business.”  Come.  Learn.  Ask.  Have a nap!

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Don’t Fall for the “As Seen On” Con on LinkedIn

We have all seen the LinkedIn profiles: the smiling head shot next to the “As Seen On” ribbon featuring the logos of the major television networks.  But have you ever actually looked at the person’s profile or gone to their website?  If you have, did you find links to their appearances “On” television or the actual videos?  If you have, and you have found the links/videos, I’ll be surprised because I haven’t.

In fact, I recently had a friendly exchange with one person who used (note the past tense) the As Seen On ribbon.  When I asked her why she did not have links, or the actual videos, on her profile of her TV appearances she was honest.  She explained that she had not actually appeared on the networks, only that she had paid someone to get her quoted on their websites.

I then explained to her that I have been quoted in just shy of 400 different publications from newspapers to TV show websites to blogs.   When I go to a career fair, for example, I have a little sign I put on my table (booth) that shows the logos of the Today Show, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, US News & World Report and others.  But it is clear that I have been quoted in the papers or on the websites.  I don’t claim to have been appeared on television.

Why is this important?  It goes to trust and credibility.  If you are promoting yourself as someone with actual television experience, but you have none, what does that say about you?  What does that say about other statements you will make?  What does that say about your brand?

Well the lady with whom I exchanged messages realized her error and has removed the ribbon.  She’s honest.  She made a mistake.  She got caught.  So will you.

If you use the ribbon, there better be links or videos on your profile to your TV appearances or the glory you were seeking by using the ribbon will disappear quicker thank a prospective client realizing she’s encountered a con artist.  (No.  Wait.  That’s wrong.  That’s exactly how quickly she’ll disappear!)

5 Steps to Overcoming Shyness

I know what it means to be shy and very uncomfortable at networking events. While I can speak to a standing-room-only crowd of whatever size and be perfectly calm, I would rather have root canal than go to a networking event where I do not know anyone and have to introduce myself to strangers.  But while I still don’t enjoy it, I’m now good at it because of practice.  And what I have practiced are the following steps which work:

First, be the first to arrive.  Someone will always comes over and speak with you.

Second, go over and introduce yourself to the organizer.  (It’s easy when you arrive early.)  They will not want to spend a lot of time with you and will almost always introduce you (hand you off!) to someone else.

Third, look for someone like you.  They are easy to spot.  They are standing in a corner alone or looking out the window.  They want someone to come over to them and will be grateful.

Fourth, set a goal for yourself.  For example, my first goal was to get five business cards.  I could not leave the event, the first I ever attended, without collecting five cards.  It took me three hours!  The second time it was 10 cards.  Then it continued to be 10 until one day I realized I had over 20. Now I don’t count anymore.

Fifth, follow-up with the people you meet.  Get to know them. Networking is building relationships, not exchanging business cards. When you start forming real relationships, you will know that networking is worthwhile and, despite the discomfort, you can get positive results.  There is no better cure for shyness than success.

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