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LIONS on LinkedIn – what are they and do they bite?

One question I am often asked at events is what a LION is and is it a premium feature? In short no, it’s not a premium feature it is simply one approach to making LinkedIn work and tends to be quite emotive in discussions.

LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networker and the people declare themselves (and in some cases don’t) as LIONS or open networkers. The approach is one where they connect with everybody that they can, either that they ask to join their network or accept all invitations – they believe that bigger is better or that there might be someone useful in their network that they can find one day if they find they need them.  Last time I checked the most connected man was from Australia with over 44,000 connections at level one!

This is also often found in the people with an old school internet marketing approach or simply trying to build a bigger list. You give someone all your personal LinkedIn details when you connect so I advise caution with those you don’t know.

They certainly won’t bite you, but equally they will probably not help you, imagine the amount of introductions they must be asked to pass along? Imagine how well or perhaps how little they know all of their “connections”? Imagine the quality of the introduction they will give you to someone they know. No they don’t bite but equally they don’t help you to move forward either.

In fact did you know that it breaks LinkedIn’s own terms of service to connect to someone you don’t know? See 7B here.

I am definitely not an open networker, I take great pride in speaking to everyone I have connected with, it is important; you would never deal with anyone on the basis of a LinkedIn connection alone would you? You want rapport, trust and relationship before you part with your money.

I think reputation and trust are a form of currency, how about you?



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  • I think it depends on how you use Linkedin. I am an open networker on the advice of someone else, and it has led to leads. Like in life, social media is about what you put in. So you connect with someone you dont know? Then get to know them. Coffee in real life works for me!

    • Thanks for your kind comment Cemanthe, the whole open network thing is a choice and for some it works and I am delighted that you have got some leads from that approach. I have to say that I don’t subscribe to that approach personally and I have had much success on that path and indeed helped thousands of others to get success on the trusted network approach too but each to their own.

      Thanks again got the comment and have a great week ahead.

      Best wishes,

      James

      The Linked In Man

  • Hi James

    Thank you for the reply. Yes indeed. I think there’s no right or wrong in this instance, merely how you prefer it. However, that said, I’ve been pondering your thoughts, and may scale down my network! 🙂

    Cemanthe

  • I’m an open networker. I think the benefit is that you show up in more LinkedIn searches

    • That is actually not the case, as searches are based around a demographic or search criteria and hence that informs the search results not the chosen strategic approach of LION or not. It is a myth I often hear which was one of the reasons for the blog. Thanks for the kind comment Kenneth. Best wishes, James – The Linked In Man