“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well, I’m the only one here.” –Travis Bickle (Robert DeNiro), Taxi Driver
Yes… I’m talking to you! It (may) be time for you to leave LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is not a spectator sport
Do you respond to messages from your first connections? Do you offer or provide help when asked by someone in your network? Do you post or comment on anything? If you answered “no” to these questions, then yes, I am talking to you!
LinkedIn’s mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” Are you participating with and taking advantage of this great business tool?
You will need LinkedIn
Most professionals, at some point in their career, will need LinkedIn one way or another whether it’s to find a job, get information or to build business. If you’re not responding to LinkedIn requests today, it makes it much more challenging for you to reach out for help… to the same people you’re ignoring today… when you need them.
LinkedIn users can be described in the following ways:
- Active Networkers: Continuously building a productive/active network including finding connections for themselves and making connections for others. Share information through blogs, articles and comments; responds to legitimate requests.
- Passive Networkers: Collect names for connections list and pride themselves on the number of connections they have. Don’t do much beyond name collecting. Rarely post, comment or participate in the LinkedIn community.
- Anti-Networkers: Should leave LinkedIn. Collect names, but rarely offer anything to their network. Most annoying of all… and rude as well… is the total lack of response to requests made to them through LinkedIn.
- Cold calling, overly aggressive salesperson: It’s all about the sale…little, if any, value shared and no authentic relationship building attempted.
The Value of LinkedIn
The real value of LinkedIn is when connections communicate with each other and share their knowledge in a way that benefits their network and beyond.
To be clear, not all requests need to be acted on… especially from people trying to sell you something or people you don’t know or are not connected to at all…but the courtesy of a reply, any reply, to members of your network is part of being professional.
Recently, I sent a request to some of my network that stated “I value your experience and expertise and would like your opinion on a project I’m working on. I promise I am NOT trying to sell you, but I would value your opinion”. I received responses from 2 of 10 connections. I wasn’t expecting 100% “yes let’s talk” responses, but I received nothing from 8 out of 10 connections. It doesn’t take much. The response doesn’t need to be lengthy, we’re all busy, but if you invited someone or accepted their invitation to connect, then you owe it to them to respond when they reach out to you… even if it’s to say you can’t help with their request.
So is it time for you to leave?
If responding to messages from people you are connected to is too much for you, then it may be time for you to leave LinkedIn. It’s not doing you any good and you, certainly, are not contributing to the most important networking tool in the world.