Linked in. I’d been worrying that I wasn’t making the most of it. Every day I login it seems that people in my network are adding multiple connections. I’ve had a few moments when I hit myself over the head about my lack of networking skills. I’ve had others where I stubbornly defend the connections I do have by justifying that all of them I’ve worked directly with, or met face to face and can learn from them or can see potential for future working relationship. My experiences over the past 2 weeks re Linked in – asking connections about their connections with a view to getting an introduction formal or otherwise have been frustrating. I started my media career in a commission only media sales position. I had more luck cold calling people than trying to get introductions on Linked in.

I’m working with a start up – Cheekiprint –  a web based free printing network. My interest in it is primarily the media side but I’ve been looking at potential partnerships for them – businesses which offer free WIFI to their customers. Some of the responses I’ve received when asking about connections

No idea – never met them. They must have asked to be a connection and I added them.

Not spoken to them in years. So couldn’t introduce you.

I met them at a bar/conference and added them but have never really spoken with them since.

What is the point people?? Linked in isn’t about building a stockpile of connections – or is that just me? To be fair I have had one or two good experiences ( Matthew Pritchard of Kelloggs THANKYOU) but I’m suspecting that I’m not alone in finding it largely ineffective as a connector. Having online ‘connections’ is too easy. Takes minimal effort to establish one and none to maintain.

On the subject of connections. Another start up I’m working with  – condiments – approached a friend of theirs with their product with a view to selling some in his general store. He called a friend of his who owned a cheese making company. They all went along to see him. He loved the product and ordered some (YEY) While they were talking a connection of the cheeseman – one of his buyers from London – popped in. He introduced them and there are talks of a formal tasting with company buyers.

That to me is using connections to their best advantage. The relationships were working relationships – active and operational. Peppered with generosity, trust and openness to co-operation, to introducing people and helping.

So holding the mirror up here, I’ve just deleted two connections I ‘ve recently added. Not actually done any business with them yet although talked a few times about media campaigns. I wouldn’t be able to introduce them to any of my connections and back them up. I want to be trusted. If 50 connections is all I have so be it!