A Linkedin Reboot–The Clicks Went Up When the Connections Went Down, by Stephen G. Harding

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(This is NOT Me–But it might as well be)

About six month ago the number of my first level Linkedin connections was approaching 5,000. Not bad Not bad. Such a number would suggest an expanding professional network. Maybe so, but for the most part, we were not really connected. How so? Well, I’m gauging this by the number of clicks and views of my posts and articles. Combined they were generating an interest level of somewhere between 1% and 3% of my first and second level connections. Even though I know most people are hardly glued to their Linkedin accounts, such a low response rate is certainly disheartening. Are my interests really that boring, (Don’t Answer That) or are they just the wrong content for the wrong audience? It certainly could be both or it could be that I am not fitting into the professional networking purpose of the platform.

So I made a few adjustments. First off, I spent the better part of a day deleting connections. If I had never met, spoken to, shook hands, or electronically communicated with a connection they were the victim, or the happy winner depending upon one’s perspective, of the delete button. The almost number of 5,000 went down to 600. For the most part, I found that I had very little in common with the majority of my former Internet colleagues. I know there is the broad based speech about expanding one’s network across different fields of endeavor. That’s all fine and dandy but that is predicated on the notion that one’s peripheral connections have the time and inclination to delve into areas that are on the fringe of their core interests. For the most part, I think most people are just to harried to think about it. After all, Linkedin caters to the notion of direct professional to professional connectivity right?

Secondly, I decided to become much more methodical about writing and posting. Without much deviation of content, I’ve gotten more into a standardized cadence. Being consistent without crowding the airways with useless nonsense seems to be the better delivery system.

Finally, I’m methodically rebuilding my network but specifically with people of similar backgrounds and interests. In four months I’m back up to around 1,950 connections. I don’t suspect this number will get close to the 5,000 “Number” of old.

So what about the results? It seems to be working. Clicks and views are now hovering between 9% and 20% of total first level connections. The actual numbers are from 3 to 4 times greater than they were when the network was 2 ½ times larger. Either this little non-empirical experiment is being validated or I’m just getting better at what I write, what I post, and when I hit the publish key. I’ll let others make that determination. If nothing else, a Linkedin reboot seems to have worked.  You may want to try it yourself.

Steve H.

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