I have to admit that until recently, I hadn’t been too fussed about the posts I was seeing about LION networking. The reason is that I am fairly discerning with growing my network. I like to see what shared business interests, connections, goals, and values are there before I accept or request a connection. I generally prefer to either have met someone or engaged with them in some way (this could be reading articles that really resonate with me) before I bring them into my fold.
However suddenly I have seen more and more of them. Perhaps this is because as my own network increases I am more exposed to those who follow this particular “strategy” through shared contacts. I had read a few articles from Jo Saunders recently which peaked my interest, so I made a point of looking into it to see what I thought and add my own research into the mix.
I found some who love it, and many who don’t. I have also found some areas of disconnect within LinkedIn’s own terms and conditions (T&C’s). LION (L.I.O.N) is frowned upon because the T&C’s say that you should know someone or request an introduction to them; however the ability to mass email without personalising and the “people you may know” as well as bypassing a personal introduction when using the app seem to contradict this somewhat.
My approach is to look at it logically and for me, the LION strategy does not align with my personal values and principles. I am always open to meet people I don’t know, therefore I joined the openlink network, however I want the connections to be value to both of us. If you enjoy using the LION networks then that is absolutely your right, but please don’t send random invitations to those of us who haven’t joined.
I see no real value in growing massive numbers of connections just for the sake of it, in fact that creates more work down the track if you find yourself needing to “cull” connections. Then there is the real problem that this form of connection exposes us to bots and scrapers which mine our data. Many of these Bots send spam emails and inappropriate content, and I am sure, that like me, the last thing you need is more spam to deal with. Time is precious and we all want to use it to learn and grow our businesses, and connect with others in a collaborative way.
How can you tell? Well usually the words LION or L.I.O.N feature in their profile name or headline and they tend to share posts which ask you to add your email to them (or create groups for this purpose). Another big giveaway is a connection which comes with “because you are a trusted friend” – this is the default when a mass connection email is sent out and a good indication that the person isn’t really seeking you out based on merits!
I’m not LION to you when I say it just doesn’t do it for me. What is your experience of LION?
by Fiona Lucas