How many connections should I have on LinkedIn?

by admin on November 28, 2010

This is another question I get very frequently. And like most of my answers I give about LinkedIn, it begins with “it depends.”

It depends on your purpose/objective for being on LinkedIn. There are only two purposes for being on LinkedIn:
1- To find people
2- To be found by people

If you’re purpose is to “Find” the right people, then the more connections you have the better the chances that one of them will lead you to the people you want to find. If you just want to be “Found” then the number of connections really doesn’t matter.

Size does matter

This is the quality vs. quantity debate. However I say that it is not an either/or. It can be a both/and. You can have Quality AND Quantity. But that is a subject for another post.

So let’s assume that you are on LinkedIn because you want to find the people that will either help you (or members of your network) achieve your business objectives. So how many should you have? Since the maximum number of contacts that you can currently have on LinkedIn is 30,000. and the minimum you need  to have your profile be 100% is three (since you need at least three recommendations to have a 100% profile),  the answer is somewhere in- between.

My recommendation is that the minimum number you should have is 501. Why 501? Because LinkedIn will show the exact number of connections you have until you get to 500.

154_connections

However, once you have over 500 it will stop showing exact connections and show instead 500+ connections.

500+_Connections

This is important because as people find out that LinkedIn invitations are limited,     – currently you only get a 3,000 lifetime supply – they become much more strategic as to whom they invite. They then want to maximize their network  reach with their remaining invitations and will therefore avoid inviting people who have few connections. Once your profile shows that you have 500+ connections, you will receive more invitations to connect – which will help you save your invitations plus expand your reach.

Please let me know your thoughts in this matter.