Reach for the Stars
My previous blog in this series focused on the number of LinkedIn connections that you have. This blog will take this one step further and look closely at the quality of your connections by conducting some simple analysis.
Having read the first blog, you will now realise the importance of having a 500+ LinkedIn profile. It gives you an enormous “tick” when someone views your profile. It simply says “this person is a credible individual”. However, to really benefit career-wise from LinkedIn, amongst other things, you also need to consider the quality of your connections too.
The first thing I recommend that you do is conduct an analysis of your connections which takes about an hour to complete but it is well worth the time and effort. If you have a “white belt” or “yellow belt” linkedIn profile (see previous blog) this won’t take you as long to do. If you are a blue or black belt, I recommend that you use a sample approach as completing the whole analysis will take you considerably longer.
The aim of the exercise that I am going to describe below is to gain an insight into your connections. Once you have gained this valuable insight, you can begin to develop a strategy that will deliver positive results for your career.
Start by logging into LinkedIn. Once you are logged in go to the contacts >> connections tab. At the bottom of the screen you will see a
xxxx outstanding sent invitations | Export Connections section
Press Export Connections and import the data into your favourite spreadsheet. If you need more information on how to do this, email me.
The spreadsheet list of your connections should be in the same order as the ones on your LinkedIn profile.
Add two extra columns to your spreadsheet on the left hand side ie the first and second column and label them “Connections” and “Belt” respectively
If you are using Mac Numbers or MS Excel copy the following formula into all of the rows in your “Belt” column
=IF(A53<100, “white”, (IF(A53<200, “yellow”,(IF(A53<300, “orange”, (IF(A53<400, “green”, (IF(A53<500, “blue”, “black”)))))))))
Add the corresponding number of connections for, ideally, all of your connections or at least 100 manually. If anyone has found a way of exporting this data please let me know.
Then at the bottom of the “Belt” column, add a short piece of code to add up all the different belts so you end up with a table like this:
165 White 28.1%
132 Yellow 22.8%
67 Orange 11.6%
53 Green 9.1%
40 Blue 6.9%
125 Black 21.5%
Again if you need help on developing this, email me. Alternatively you could use a simple tally chart with a pen and paper but I recommend the spreadsheet method as you can use it for other exercises and analysis in the future.
This may take a while for you to complete but is worth the effort, I promise you.
So what does the information tell you?
It gives you an insight into the quality of your connections and a pointer to what you need to focus on with regards to making future connections.
Your target is to have more than 80% of your connections as black belt and less than 5% white belt. Additionally, the perfect profile is have more than 80% of your black-belts sharing at least one skill with you. I call this “80:80 rule of LinkedIn connections”.
This 80:80 rule is what I will show you in our 30-day LinkedIn career programme. I will lead you through day by day for 30-days to develop your profile and connections and advise on which skills to choose and how to create the perfect top-of-search profile.