How to Turn 300 Contacts Into 3.3 Million: My LinkedIn Network

Everyone knows that networking is one of the keys to business success these days. My belief is that it’s always been a key to business success. It’s just that what we now call networking wasn’t always called that.

It was called knowing the person who could help you, or knowing someone who knew or could find the person you needed to connect with. And that went with belonging to sporting clubs, or churches or synagogues, or political parties or trade unions or professional organisations, university alumni or other groups.

The world has changed and people have developed theories and systems to help us manage more effectively the business of networking. There are books, seminars and organisations – all just to help with networking.

The Internet has provided a platform and catalyst for exponential growth of business and professional networks.

And one of the great online networking success stories of the past few years is LinkedIn. With over 11 million members now, LinkedIn is the leading professional online networking facilitator – No 1 in the field as far as I’m concerned, with its extraordinary combination of high quality connections, sheer numbers, geographical and industry reach and built-in controls and systems to maintain the quality of connections.

Just the other week, as part of a workshop on Web 2.0 I presented at AMP Limited’s Innovation and Thought Leadership Festival, I showed some statistics from my current network on LinkedIn. It showed, as in the images below, how with what some of my LinkedIn colleagues would see as a very modest number of people in my “first circle” of LinkedIn connections, just under 300, I have the capacity to reach, fairly quickly, any of some 3.3 million plus people, in various countries and in a range of professions and business pursuits. Awesome!

And as the text in one of the images below shows, I can actually contact all 11 million plus, if I want to. I think I’ll just focus on the 3.3 million right now .

My fellow b5media blogger and LinkedIn expert Scott Allen, on his Linked Intelligence blog (a must-read for anyone wanting to understand LinkedIn and how to use it) has a very informative post with some great hints and tips from Bill Vick, with whom I collaborated on LinkedIn for Recruiting and the Big Biller Audiobook.

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  1. Thiru: I think most of us don’t use LinkedIn as effectively as we could. Worth exploring.

    Anonymous: I’m not interested in having 3.3 million directly connected or even 3,300 for that matter. The point I wanted to make is that by having just 300, LinkedIn gives me the capacity to “see” over 3.3 million and to contact any of them very quickly, provided the people in between cooperate, which by and large, in my experience, people are happy to do. Hope that makes it clearer.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The only thin is that having 300 contacts, they fell they know you. If you boult 3.3 mln contacts, they will consider you a collector, not a real contact of any sort. Morevoer LI does not give tools sufficient to master such an amount of contacts. How will you use these?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very good post. Though I have an account with LI, I have not yet used the power of it. I will use.


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