There are many opinions about whether it’s better to have a few quality LinkedIn connections, or connect with as many people as possible.
Shouldn’t we be asking what we actually gain when we’re a 1st connection with others?
What’s the point anyway?
Read this article and you’ll realize that, if you have hope of reaping any benefits at all, you’ll need to work for them, long after you hit the Accept button.
10 Benefits of Being a LinkedIn 1st-Degree Connection
(Please note, some benefits alter, based on people’s Privacy settings.)
1. Access To Their Connections
Unless a 1st degree’s connections are only viewable to them, you can look at the 1st-degree connections on their profile and sort or search through them.
2. See Each Other’s Updates
Unless they have their activity feed shut off, when a 1st-degree connection shares an update, likes an article, or comments in a Group, you will see that as an update in your News Feed as well as in their Activity Feed, which can be found by clicking on the downward facing triangle on the top section of their profile.
Unless they have their broadcast settings shut off, you can see when they’ve made recommendations, followed companies and updated their profile, and vice-versa.
3. Expand Visibility Beyond Your Own Connections
If you’re sharing an interesting article and a 1st-degree connection likes or comments on it, that comment or like on your article will be shared with their network. This expands the reach of your content, and gives you visibility to 2nd- and potentially 3rd-degree connections.
If you personally wrote that article that is shared, liked or commented on, you can imagine the potential of having your intellectual property, your thought the, and your expertise being shared across a larger network than your own.
4. Increase Ranking on Searches
When running searches in LinkedIn, as a general rule 1st-degree connections followed by 2nd-degree connections appear at the top of the list. If your 1st-degree connection is running a search, depending upon the criteria of that search, you’re more likely to rise to the top of the search if you meet that criteria, because you’re already a 1st-degree connection.
If a 2nd-degree connection (someone who is connected with one of your 1st-degree connections) is running a search for someone like you, the likelihood you’ll rise in the search is greater if you’re a 2nd-degree connection than if you were not a connection at all.
5. Message Each Other
You can send a private individual message to your 1st-degree connections through LinkedIn. You can include them in a group message with other 1st-degree connections as well.
6. Tag Each Other
You can type a 1st-degree connection’s name into a comment and it will create a hyperlink. They will be notified you’ve done so. Also, anyone reading that content can click on that person’s name to be taken to their profile.
7. Ask for an Introduction or Recommendation
It’s always better to get an introduction to someone you want to do business with. If the person you want to contact is a 2nd-degree connection, you can approach the mutual connection to ask for an Introduction through LinkedIn.
8. Recommend or Endorse Each Other
Only 1st-degree connections can give or receive recommendations to and from each other.
Only 1st-degree connections can endorse each other.
9. Add as a Collaborator on Projects, Publications or Patents on the LinkedIn Profile
You can add 1st-degree connections as collaborators on projects, patents of publications that you showcase on your profile.
10. You Can Email 1st-Degree Connections through LinkedIn
If you have your email connected to LinkedIn, you can email (not message) 1st-degree connections in response to LinkedIn status updates.
You can also email 1st-degree connections on the LinkedIn Connected app.
The reason you would need a lot of connections is if you’re utilizing the privileges outlined above.
If you’re not sharing content on LinkedIn, actively messaging people, tagging, introducing, recommending, endorsing and engaging your network by liking or commenting, (aside from having access to their information), it doesn’t make much difference if you have 30,000 connections or 30.
Just like any form of networking, you’ll receive the most benefits from connecting if you remain in-touch and engaged with your network.
Celina Guerrero is founder of Los Angeles-based coaching and training company, Social to Sales. We help you transform your expertise into revenue through personal branding, social selling and digital influence.
Interested in learning more? Contact Celina at 310-994-8099, email her at email@example.com, or sign up for our weekly e-news and blog updates by clicking HERE.