Why are 2nd degree connections more valuable than 1st degree connections?
The value in networking occurs when you connect with people outside of your network. This is assuming that you already know the first degree connections, and are currently reaching out to them in one form or another. Whenever you need a marketing partner, new lead, or introduction to someone in an organisation you’d like to target, you’ll be more successful if you tap into your first-degree connections on LinkedIn and ask for that warm lead. Introductions and the resulting mutual professional value is the very essence of networking, regardless of whether it is done on LinkedIn or in person.
Your LinkedIn network will quickly become a very valuable database on which to help build your career or your business, and we suggest you regularly tap into this network and leverage the power it can provide you.
Now the downside of connecting with people you have not met yet is that you may be asked by complete strangers for a recommendation, or they may spam you with emails to promote their products and services. From our experience, there is only 1% of people who will abuse LinkedIn like this, and all you need to do is dis-connect with them the first or second time they do it. The benefits far outweigh the costs.
Another valid concern of being an ‘open networker’ is that you are fearful of allowing others to see your connections, but you can control who gets to view this section of your profile. Do this by hovering over your name in the top right-hand corner and selecting ‘settings’. From there, navigate to ‘profile’ and then ‘select who can see your connections’ under the privacy controls column.