Declaring LinkedIn Bankruptcy; And Why That’s A Good Thing – by Todd Schnick

Todd Schnick

After roughly ten years, I had nearly 3,000 connections on LinkedIn. One day I realized I barely knew any of them.

Yeah, I used to have “Connection Envy,” this notion that my self-worth was comparable to the size of my network.

And it was completely useless.

Many of the connections were from past eras of my career that were no longer relevant to my current focus and work. And I grew increasingly tired of the sales hack who would invite me to connect, and then immediately send me a lousy “copy + pasted” sales pitch as soon as I accepted the invite. It was tiresome and annoying.

So, I trashed my whole network. Eliminated. Deleted. Killed. Dead. Gone. I declared LinkedIn bankruptcy.

In the end, I was gone for about two months. I long thought that I would ultimately start over here, but part of the experiment was to see if I missed being on LinkedIn. And let me be honest and say, “yeah, kind of.”

Two things still really annoy me about this platform:

  1. As soon as I came back and relaunched, I immediately received hundreds of invites from people I used to know, and be connected to here. These were people who I hadn’t communicated with in YEARS. Yet, they still wanted to connect, even though we were no longer meaningful to each other (in a business context). I have to believe they simply wanted to continue building their number of connections to appear viable to the LinkedIn marketplace. These days, I am NOT accepting those invitations.
  2. People still blast the feed with endless amounts of content (sharing articles or posting their own material). I mean endless. Are they even reading these pieces? How do they have time to do their work? And why aren’t they engaging on these postings? I’ve left comments on several of these, and I have NEVER heard anything back. What’s the point of sharing here if you won’t engage? What are you trying to accomplish?

But I did miss elements of this network. I missed a collection of innovative business leaders and thinkers. And I missed a platform so well designed to enable me to connect people who could actually grow my business. At the end of the day, I was not longer seeing and hearing from these connections. I grew weary.

That all said, there are some things I hope to do AND accomplish here:

  1. I will know my connections personally. Or, I REALLY want to get to know someone. I will NOT connect with someone just to connect and build follower counts.
  2. Through engagement, I want to advance my business relationship with my connections. Over the past year, I have simplified my business offerings, and I want connections here more in alignment with that work. I will ONLY connect with people who currently are in potential alignment, or could be. I mean, honestly, aren’t you on LinkedIn to develop your business?
  3. I will publish content unique to LinkedIn (I repurposed everything in the past). What you are reading now is my first piece for Todd LinkedIn 2.0.
  4. I will be merciless with my connections. If someone spams me, they will be removed. If they talk only about politics, they will be removed. If they post fifty articles a day and clog up my feed, they will be removed. And if someone’s own business goals are no longer in alignment with mine, they will be removed.

I am going to give this six to nine months. If at the end of this stretch nothing has changed, I will likely decide to throw in the towel with LinkedIn once and for all.

There is a lot of potential here. The people have to decide to leverage the platform in the way it was intended. If we all do that, much coolness can happen here. If we don’t, it will prove my initial instinct that it’s just like every other social network…

I hope that initial instinct is wrong…

 

Todd Schnick is a writer, speaker, marketing strategist, and radio-show host and producer.  You can find him at his website Intrepidnow.comLinkedIn and Twitter. Todd’s books The Zen of Sales and Live the Intrepid Life are available at Amazon.com.

 

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