No, I’m not talking about the animals. I am talking about LinkedIn Open Networking, or LIONs. A LION is someone who is open to connecting with people on LinkedIn even if they don’t know them personally. They grow their network with people that could be beneficial to their career or otherwise of importance. There are some pro’s and cons to using this online networking technique, and I’m here to explain them to you.
The Pro’s of being a LION
As an open networker, you are putting yourself on the map. The more people see you, the bigger the chance they might want to work with you. People are not going to look for you themselves. So adding relevant people to your network can increase your (online) visibility.
Another advantage could be the fact that your content will be picked up in new networks. If you’re one who publishes articles or updates on your timeline, it could be profitable for certain people to see it. Whenever other LinkedIn users like your updates, your content could spread to interesting connections. Your credibility will grow and your skills will be noticed.
The Cons of being a LION
The reputation of LIONs has been on the decline. Mostly because people view it as pointless. Connections should be about quality, not quantity. Having more than 1000 connections in your network could come across as either very accomplished or indiscriminate.
Next to sending invitations, a LION also receives just as many. This can be great if the people that connect with you are relevant to your field, but it can also mean that you receive lots of spam. Your inbox may explode. Sending and receiving lots of invites may come across as spammy, and LinkedIn (and its community) does not appreciate that.
Should you be a LinkedIn LION?
I’d say: use the best practices. Don’t just go around adding and accepting everyone. But you could look for useful connections, and send them a message letting them know why you think you could be beneficial online connections. Would you consider being a LinkedIn LION?