Sound counter intuitive to you?

Read on and find out why it’s not.

Awhile back I culled 50% of my LinkedIn connections. And I recommend that you look at your list of connections on LinkedIn and get rid of some too.

Why cull, you may ask?

Just the same way that ‘turnover is vanity, profitability is sanity’, huge numbers of connections is not necessarily a sign that you are a big shot/successful or that you will have more success on LinkedIn. It could be a sign that you need to think through your strategy on LinkedIn. It may also mean that you are not receiving the results that you could be. I can understand that – people ask us to connect and it’s easier to click ‘accept’. That is exactly what I used to do. Or I felt flattered that ‘so and so’ wanted to connect with me, so I accepted. Now, knowing LinkedIn as well as I do and using it as my prime source of new clients, I am much more circumspect.

I suggest that you are too.

Get noticed and build relationships

If you want to get more engagement on your posts then they need to be relevant to your audience. Your audience consists of, by and large, your connections, so a post must be pertinent to as many of them as possible. If it isn’t, the posts won’t be read and there will be no engagement. And if there is no engagement your posts will slide waaay down the news feed! LinkedIn will make sure of that! Few people will see your posts and you won’t be achieving the main aim of posting which is to be seen, build trust and authority.

So, it stands to reason that if the majority of your connections are interested in the same type of content because they are, for example, all HR Directors or professional women with MS, your posts will be seen by many more people. They will also be easier to write and, due to the appropriateness to your connections, they will get read more, shared more and commented on more. Boom!

I segment my audience into 3 categories:

1. Potential clients and existing clients

2. Possible/actual partners or suppliers

3. Media – podcast owners, TV/YouTube show owners, journalists, bloggers etc..

My posts are written for category 1 but they also serve to show the other categories what I do, who I am and how I do business, so they still have a purpose.

It’s also easier to write messages, articles, blog posts etc.. When you are so focused on who you are writing for and you understand these people well, you know exactly what to write!

Keep or Cull?

So, when you have some spare time, maybe over a few days, look at your list of connections and decide who to keep and who to cull. The easiest way to do this is to have your assistant download your 1st degree connections onto a csv file from LinkedIn and then you can go down the list very quickly with a magic marker! Your assistant can then go into your account and delete the unwanted connections.

And moving forward don’t just accept any old person that asks you to connect. Look at their profile and see if they are a fit. If not, reject the request!

Nurture relationships, build your business

Another good reason to keep your connections in good order is for effective messaging purposes. Here at Leads to Success, we support clients to build their businesses through LinkedIn using a tried and tested, scalable process to get new clients. One of the first steps is to get an initial meeting or call booked so both parties can see if they are a fit. So, our job is to make sure those appointments are getting booked in the diary. Messaging is a great way to build relationships and identify who would be ideal as a client and book a meeting. If you have a specific audience and just a few sub categories within that, it makes it a lot easier to write relevant messages to those people to get those meetings. How many times have you got a message in your LinkedIn inbox which is totally irrelevant to you? I know I have, many times. It’s so obviously a message that has been sent out to a lot of people without any regard for its relevancy. That does NOT build credibility, trust or relationships. So why even bother?

By all means send out the same message to a number of people but please, please make sure its highly relevant!

A beef of mine to finish…

It always amazes me the amount of people who ask me to connect and then when I do, they don’t bother to message me!! What is the point in that!? Why did they connect in the first place? Always consider who you want to connect with, and when people connect with you, message them back. Start a relationship. If after getting to know them they do not, after all, fall into your criteria for connections, unfollow and remove them as a connection thereby keeping your list clean.

Do you have a strategy for your connections list?

Happy culling!

Tracey, known as The LinkedIn Marketing Alchemist, has perfected the art of taking something as ordinary as your LinkedIn account and turning it into a valuable lead generating machine! Her tried and tested, scalable process consistently generates the levels of conversations from LinkedIn you need to turn them into clients and cash.

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