Most professionals these days have created accounts on LinkedIn and established connections with various co-workers, friends, clients and the like.
But how many connections should the average LinkedIn user have? Social media expert Neal Schaffer of Windmills Marketing has an answer, and it might scare you: You should have 10 times as many connections as your age.
(Before you call into question Schaffer’s credentials to make such a statement, consider that he’s authored two books on LinkedIn and in January was ranked at No. 28 among Forbes’ top 50 social media power influencers.)
How did Schaffer arrive at that number? He says it’s not a stretch to meet 10 to 20 new people each year, given that these could be co-workers, clients, members of your church or parents of your child’s friends, for example. At some networking events or conferences, it’s not out of the question to meet 10 new people in just a day or two.
“You always need to be meeting new people,” he said. “It’s just a question of getting these new people into your LinkedIn network.”
For help with that, Schaffer recommends an app called CardMunch that can be used to scan in contact information and save it in LinkedIn. With the iPhone app, you take a picture of a business card and its information is uploaded to the site and converted to a contact automatically. It also shows you LinkedIn profile information and connections you have in common.
Finally, you may be wondering how many connections Schaffer has on LinkedIn. He says he’s up to about 29,700.
Bonus: Check out the video below, in which Schaffer for the first time publicly revealed his “10-times-your-age” LinkedIn metric. The crowd’s reaction around the :25 mark is well worth a few seconds of viewing.
[Photo from flickr user mivanov]
Excellent post. I recommend people go for a thousand. 7 new contacts a week over 3 years will do it...or even half that rate in 5 or 6 years will do it...not all that difficult. And, yes, 'weak' contacts (not strangers, but people you have made some connection with at some level...F2F, telephone or email) are often the most magical..famous sociologist Mark Granovetter says it is so...people who find work through networking, most often--84%--of the time find it from people they barely know, 'weak links to distant networks.' Go for it, try batting a thousand! Darcy Rezac, Author: Work the Pond! (Prentice Hall NY).