Being a Connector Adds Value to Your Network
ETP Professional Member since 2008
I came across the book “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell during my Knowledge Management training days. A great read, it conveys the concept of “The Connector”. According to Gladwell, “A Connector is a person in the community who knows large numbers of people and who is in the habit of making introductions. He is essentially the social equivalent of a computer network hub.”
Maybe you know someone who seems to know everyone, but is s/he a Connector?
Here is my dilemma! A fellow Chamber Member recently requested that I connect him to one of my Level 2 LinkedIn (LI) connections. Always willing to help as it also keeps my network alive, I agreed to help him with his request but in turn I asked him if he could perform the following steps so our intended connection will be more effective and productive for all the concerned parties:
- To channel his request through the introduction feature in LinkedIn.
- To be specific with his request, such as, “I would like to have a personal conversation over the phone to gather more information on the company culture.” or “Please connect me to Mary Smith who works in the department I have an interest in, etc.”
- To state how he, the requester, can bring mutual benefit to my Level 2 person. Stating the mutual benefit will greatly persuade my Level 2 person to have a discussion with him.
- To ask himself this question. If seeking a specific position is there a fit? To follow Rod Colón’s 7Step Job Search Methodology — does he meet at least 70 % or better of the job requirements?
Sounds good, so what is my dilemma? I am sure some of you may have a similar one. Having a prolific list of connections, over 500+, I have my senior moments, too, and at times forget how each of the initial connections was made in past years. To start a connection, I certainly would want to initiate the request with an introduction with a personal touch, such as, “Hi Alan, hope you remember our time together at Right Management where we worked together on …..”
So, how do you establish a system that would help refresh your memory on how the initial connection was made? Well, start your invitation to connect by customizing it. Don’t be one of the masses who just send out the initial LinkedIn invite with the canned phrase that goes along with it. You know, the one that says, “I use LinkedIn to keep track of my professional network, and would like to add you . . .” or “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” Talk about impersonal.
If you customize your invite it will definitely increase the chances that your invitation will be accepted. For example: “Hi Kris Anne, I was working in LinkedIn and saw your name. Always good to see a past colleague and hope you remember our time together at …….” This is one key that would help me remember later on the initial connection context.
Here is how to find and then use that information. The steps may vary as LinkedIn changes over time; the concept is the same though:
- Log in to LinkedIn and click on the Inbox tab.
- Use the Search Inbox feature on the left side, not the top right search box and type in the name.
- This gives you a list of the invitations you made to people with part of their names; scroll down to find the person you are looking for.
- Click on the hyperlink text line below that person’s name (the subject line you used in your initial invitation will appear), hopefully also personalized.
- You will now see the original invitation and if personalized the context you used to invite them.
- Now you are ready to forward the request for introduction from your requester (remember the Chamber Member) to your Level 2
LinkedIn connection in a more personal way.
Being a connector not only helps you keep your network alive, you add extra value which increases your personal net worth.
Need more information on using LinkedIn to grow your network? Connect with the Empowering Today’s Professionals (ETP) team and you, too, can become a connector!
For a limited time you can submit a complimentary (free) application for Basic Membership with Empowering Today’s Professionals. If time is critical, save time with Professional Membership as the recommended level PROVEN to get INTERVIEWS quicker.