Linkedin: Trusted Partner Networking or LION?

What’s best for you?


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Linkedin: Trusted Partner Networker or LION? What's best for you?


In this BLOG I want to talk about 2 different strategies that you can adopt when you are building your network on Linkedin.  

Have you seen references to "LIONs" on Linkedin and wondered what it means?  Do you know what Trusted Partner Networking means?  Well, all is about to become clear.

This is how Linkedin is described by Linkedin:

"About Us: Welcome to LinkedIn, the world's largest professional network with 225 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the globe.

Mission: Our mission is simple: connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful.  When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do".

Nice self-definition, and it explains why it is the most important social media tool for anyone looking to hire or be hired. It is also important to note that LinkedIn’s rules state that it exists only to connect professionals who actually know each other.  It is very clear on the matter: "Misuse of the Services includes inviting other Members whom you do not know to connect". In other words, connecting with people you do not know is a "no no".  A big "no no"?  Well yes.  If you abuse this rule you can be chucked off Linkedin.  Permanently.

Linkedin is designed as a forum for "Trusted Partner Networking" - connecting with people whom you know and who know you.  This strategy is perfect for creating connections within your company, within your industry, or with your clients.  And this is playing by the rules.  The rules are policed by means of the options a member is given when they receive an invitation.  They can respond to your request by clicking "Accept", or by clicking "X" to ignore.  If they select the latter they are given 2 further options: "I don't know this person" or "this is SPAM".  If your invites attract several of these your account will be suspended and you will get your legs slapped by Linkedin.  If you get more than a few then your account can be closed.  

So if you choose not to obey the rules act with caution.  Many, many people do not obey the rules; I confess that I do not know nearly 20 million people on Linkedin personally.   And my account has never been suspended.  I'll tell you another time how I go about making contact with people whom I do not know.

But let us also talk about "LIONs": Linkedin Open Networkers". Now you see where "LION" comes from.  I read the other day that there are now 583,171 LIONs active on Linkedin.  The LION acronym emerged quite early in the history of the Linkedin as a means for members who wished to create very big networks to connect with people they did not know and at the same time as a means of reducing (although not eliminating) the risk of falling foul of LinkedIn’s rules.    

Why would you wish to create a very big network?  Recruiters do it because they want to be able to look inside companies for potential candidates for the jobs they are seeking to fill.  Some do it because they wish to market a product to as many people as possible.  Many do it because they are looking for a job and want to maximize the chance that a recruiter will see their profile.  

By putting "LION" on your profile you are saying "I will accept any invitations and will not click on ignore and certainly will not in any circumstances whatsoever report you to Linkedin".  

So LIONS send invitations to LIONS, and a long as everyone plays by these unofficial rules their networks continue to grow. So, is it a good idea to be a LION?  It's up to you and what you wish to achieve on Linkedin.  It is certainly true that your network will grow.  You will also attract more SPAM invitations, unfortunately.  And please be aware that it is against the rules.  So why don't you go and search for some LIONs on Linkedin, and make up your own mind.

If you like my advice on writing CVs with impact, Interview Technique, Linkedin and Job Hunting please sign up for updates, and please tell your friends. If you don’t like my advice – please keep it to yourself.  :-)

If you would like some help to develop the full potential of your Linkedin Profile I can help you.  Just call me on +44(0)333 300 1296.


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