A segment of a social network (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
The number of your LinkedIn connections is a critical factor in your long-term marketing success on this unique social network. If you connect with someone that has 10k 1st level connections on LinkedIn. That person's 10K 1st level connections automatically become your second level connections. their 2nd level, automatically become your 3rd.
The larger your network, the larger your reach of potential prospects. Or, to put it another way, large networks command a larger sphere of influence. With large networks it is apparent that you cannot know everyone in your network personally, but the advantage in my opinion outweighs the benefit of a smaller network of known associates.
As your network grows it will be more attractive for others to connect to you in order to widen their sphere of influence. For example, it is clear that a certain point, you will have to make less effort to find connections. (It has been reported that this usually happens on LinkedIn when 3,000 or more 1st level connections have been made).
3,000 connections may seem like a big number if you rely only on friends and associates. If you could add 30 connections per day, however, then it would take you only about three months to accomplish. Not bad, right?
The larger your network, the more invitations will come to you, instead of having to reach out for every one of your connections. It is healthy for the growth of your network to have a mix of incoming and outgoing connection requests. If you only send out connection requests and never receive any incoming requests, it may look unbalanced to LinkedIn. You might want to check your profile to see if there is anything that would prevent someone from connecting to you, if you notice this happening.
Every time you post on Pulse inside of LinkedIn, your post automatically goes out to all of your first level connections. If you have 10k connections, you have the chance for your content to be seen by over 10,000 people! You will likely get many more views, likes, and comments with a larger network receiving your posts. LinkedIn is much more likely to promote your content on Pulse, with a greater number of views.
If LinkedIn does promote your post, it could potentially be seen by tens of thousands of people. It is not an easy task to get a blog post to command that kind of attention on a typical hosted WordPress blog. It takes quite a bit of time and effort.
One caution here. You will inevitably get more spammy type messages in your inbox. How long does it take to click delete? If anyone becomes annoying and sends you repeated messages, you always have the option to remove them from your network. In my opinion the rewards far outweigh the risks, so I am busy building a large network on LinkedIn. See the following links to find out more about the best ways to do this.