Beyond The Numbers Game

Let’s play a little game of What If…

Imagine this: You have a vast network of 10,000 connections on LinkedIn, like a colossal army of Avengers, ready for battle. But none of them truly engage.

Now, consider a small crew of 100 connections, like the Guardians of the Galaxy. They’re not just numbers, but genuine allies, like Rocket and Groot, who genuinely care about your quest and what you bring to the table.

Rocket & Groot

Image Credit: My Cast IO | Marvel

Who would you rather have in your corner, fighting alongside you? Or in LinkedIn terms, engaging with you? Most people think it’s just a numbers game. While having a ton of followers and connections may look good for your online presence, that won’t matter if:

🔵 None of your followers engage.

🔵 No one feels like it’s a safe place to speak up.

🔵 Your audience feels lost and has ZERO clue about your brand whenever they hop on your profile.

My unpopular opinion: the true value on LinkedIn isn’t found in accumulating connections, but in building deep, meaningful relationships.

Going Beyond the Surface, The Hidden Value of LinkedIn Connections

A few weekends ago, an experience reinforced my belief in the power of high-value relationships. A think tank I had previously engaged with reached out to me, not just as another contact in their network, but as a trusted partner they wanted to collaborate with. This wasn’t a coincidence; it was the result of investing time and effort into nurturing genuine connections.

Joshua's friend, Jesse Elder, playing the piano

I only took one picture the whole think tank weekend and it was of my good friend Jesse Elder playing the piano. This was a nice reminder of being present.

And while I thought it was going to be just another weekend where experts and pros such as Dave Gonzalez, Jesse Elder, Alex Charfen, Dane Maxwell, Elliott Pittman, ✔ Gene Naftulyev, Jon Morrow and Nick Coats would be talking about their own successes in their industries, I happened to take home a lot MORE than I thought I would. It felt like a community, like brothers who were genuinely there for each other—all dads, all entrepreneurs, coming together to offer support. Thank you, Dave Gonzalez, your three-day think tank was a certified game-changer.

Quality Trumps Quantity Every Time on LinkedIn

With more than 1 billion users worldwide, LinkedIn has become the 6th most popular social media platform, you have a big opportunity to connect and build core relationships with people. According to a recent report, the average LinkedIn user spends 7 minutes and 42 seconds on the platform, that’s eye opening and makes me now reflect on who am I connecting with in those 7 minutes and 42 seconds?

It’s about having connections who genuinely understand your professional goals, who you can collaborate with, and who can potentially open doors to new opportunities. These are the connections that matter, the ones that bring about real, impactful results.

(💡 Reminder: Nurture existing connections by maintaining regular contact. Congratulate them on milestones, lend support during challenges, and stay engaged in their lives.)

LinkedIn Etiquette 101: Treat Connections as Humans, Not Leads

Advisor Tech Tips Putnam Investments

Image Credit: Advisor Tech Tips Putnam Investments

Be Selective:

When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, think of it as the beginning of a potential long-term relationship. Look for individuals whose work you admire, who share similar interests and you can learn from or offer value to.

Don’t just select people you can immediately sell to. While our long-term goals on any platform include converting connections into loyal advocates, we need to treat them as human beings first. Don’t look at people as dollar signs but look at them as people you can learn from or eventually offer support to.

Engage Meaningfully:

Once you’ve connected, engage with their content thoughtfully. Comment on their posts, share their articles, and participate in discussions. Don’t ChatGPT your way into their comments section and write like a robot. Engage like you care about what they say. And remember—don’t make your comments about you. Show that you’re interested in their work and value their insights, laying the groundwork for a stronger connection.

Offer Value:

Always think about how you can offer value to your connections. This could be in the form of sharing relevant information, offering your expertise, or introducing them to someone in your network who could help with their goals. Whenever you think, “I’m giving this away for free,” redirect that thought. When you provide value without charge, you establish credibility and authority. By building on these foundations, you create a connection that encourages potential clients to authentically reach out for your services.

Personalize Your Interactions:

When you message your connections, make them personal. Mention something specific about their work or a recent post they’ve shared. This shows that you’re paying attention and not just sending out mass, generic communications.

When was the last time someone sent you a message that was generic AF, obviously AI written, and literally just included 2 words from your profile, with the hopes that it sounds personal? Every time someone DMs me and asks about my so-called (non-existent) coaching business, I ignore it. Obviously, I’m no coach, and this person did not take the time to browse through my posts and get to know me first before pitching themselves straight away. Make sliding into someone’s DMs worth their time. 💥

The Impact of High-Value Relationships

There’s a tangible impact that happens with high-value relationships, using my recent experience as an example. The think tank that reached out to me did so because over the years, I’ve engaged with their content, shared insights, and offered feedback. Our relationship evolved from mere LinkedIn connections to collaborative partners.

When they needed someone with my specific expertise, I wasn’t just another name in their list of contacts; I was the person they thought of first. This is the power of high-value relationships—they make you top-of-mind for opportunities that align with your skills and interests.

Another example was my time spent at the Genius Network event hosted by Joe Polish, creator of the Genius Network®. Not only did I get to share a 10-minute talk about the transformative power of LinkedIn and engage in captivating discussions around fitness and health, but I also had the chance to sit down and spend some quality time with the legendary Les Brown.

2023 Genius Network Event

2023 Genius Network Event hosted by Joe Polish.

The morning of the event I was geared up to do a training session for Evan Carmichael‘s fantastic group. As I walked in, Evan threw a curveball at me: “Would you mind if Les Brown joins us?” What was I going to say—NO? We’re talking about Les Brown, a man whose career I’ve admired for years! Spending time with Les was like attending a masterclass in life…

high value relationships

Me, Evan Carmichael, and Les Brown. High-Value Relationships!

While it’s easy to get caught up in the vanity metrics of growing your LinkedIn connections, remember the real magic happens when you focus on the quality of building relationships.

These are the connections that will show up for you, advocate for you, and open doors to opportunities that numbers alone could never unlock. In this digital world we live in, where everything can feel transactional, let’s not forget the human element that drives genuine connection and collaboration. After all, at the end of the day, it’s not just about being connected; it’s about being connected in ways that matter.

Building Human Connections Online

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