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Firstly, what does LION stand for?
LION stands for LINKEDIN OPEN NETWORKER.
What does this mean?
In theory it means that you are open to all connections – just as you would if you talked to people in the street. In practice it means that you accept any and all connection requests without clicking the “I don’t know” or “Spam” buttons.
Large numbers of groups have sprung up where you can add connections.
But which are worth joining?
From my experience, none.
If you look down the thread of conversation on a typical group, it will consist of 85-95% “add me” messages and 5-15% link dropping and little actual networking.
If you want to be connected to recruiters (nothing against that) and other people who hang out in lion groups, fine – Join as many as you can.
Beware though that uploading a list of email addresses to your account via your import function is a good way to get the Linkedin cops to look closely at your account. It is also a good way to burn out your invite limit (currently 2,000?) before you have to contact support to get it reset.
Jumping over to the other side of the coin
What about RECEIVING LION requests via a group or from a spreadsheet?
Firstly, a couple of our team plainly ignore connection requests using just the canned messages that Linkedin provide. The reason is that if you can’t provide a reason to connect – why bother?
So I tried an experiment
Every request I received, I sent a manual reply back saying
“Thanks for the connection, how can we help each other?”
Out of a weeks worth of connection requests (probably around a 100), I received less than 10, no less than 5 replies.
Was it worth it – My LION GROUP experiment?
Waste of time?
Maybe – sure I got a few canned “Here is my gift for you as a thanks for connecting” (Patronising or what…)
But no, I will be keeping out of LION GROUPS for a while now.
This article first appeared on the networking university blog. You can see more of Jonathan's thoughts on his Head of Training blog
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