Why I don’t connect with LIONs on LinkedIn

By Melonie Dodaro

Are you familiar with the term LION on LinkedIn?

Or maybe you’re wondering whether you should connect with LIONs or even perhaps if you should become one yourself?
I often have people asking me these same questions and I want to share with you today, what I tell them.

What is a LinkedIn Open Networker?

So what is a LION? A LION is defined as a LinkedIn Open Networker. Basically a LION is someone who will accept a connection request from everyone and anyone who sends them one.

Typically there are three types of people using LinkedIn. The first type of people are LIONs those who will connect with anyone. The second type are people who will only accept connection requests from people they know (in real life). The third type are the people that fall somewhere in between these two extremes. I personally lean towards the middle.

Benefits of a Large Network

When I first started using LinkedIn I realized the importance of growing a network. The reason that this is so important on LinkedIn is because if someone is using LinkedIn’s advanced search to find a person or business that does what you do and you don’t show up in those search results, that is a lost opportunity.

The only way that you can show up in the search results is if you are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree connection with them or belong to the same group. If you don’t, you will simply not show up in their search results.

The same applies if you are looking for specific types of people to connect with on LinkedIn. For example, if you want to use LinkedIn as a lead generation or prospecting tool which is what I suggest and explain exactly how to do in my book The LinkedIn Code.

If you are looking for your ideal clients using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, you will only find people who are in your 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree network as well people you share a group with. So it is important to grow your network.

There is no need to “guard” your network, LinkedIn is not a personal social network like Facebook and you shouldn’t be sharing personal information on it. It is a win-win situation when you are growing your network.

Quality vs. Quantity

Now having said that, quality is actually more important that the quantity of your network, and you do need to be selective.

I am much more selective now than I was when I started using LinkedIn, when choosing who I will connect with. Typically, I don’t connect with a lot of people who don’t send a personalized connection request, explaining why they want to connect with me.

I also don’t like connecting with LIONs and here’s why: Someone who declares themselves as a LION is saying that they will connect with everyone and I don’t want to connect with someone who has such a low quality network. I like to connect with people who have put some time and effort into making sure they are connecting with the right people.

There is no benefit for me to connect with someone whose network is mainly filled with garbage. There are shady characters on LinkedIn, just like on any other social media platform. You will find numerous spam and fake accounts on LinkedIn and personally I don’t want to be connected to this.

LIONs are easy to identify, as they will often display this in their profile in a number of places including their name field, headline and summary section.

It is important to note that adding LION to your name field is actually breaking LinkedIn’s Terms of Service, as nothing should be in that field except your name.

Adding it to your headline may turn off a lot of quality potential connections as well as waste valuable space where you could be creating a headline that really speaks to your ideal clients.

Two Important Tips to Ensure Your Connection Request Is Accepted

By using these two tips when connecting with potential connections on LinkedIn, you will greatly increase your likelihood of being accepted.

– Avoid adding the term LION in your profile.

– Always send a personalized connection request (include in your message why you want to connect with them)

Melonie Dodaro is founder of Top Dog Social Media that helps brands and businesses, use social media marketing and social selling to boost visibility, attract new customers and increase revenue. Melonie is also the author of The LinkedIn Code. To learn more visit www.TopDogSocialMedia.com.