I Built a 22,000 Contact Network on LinkedIn. Here’s Why You Don’t Need To. Part 1

22,000 people is a big network to maintain. Do you need this many people in your network?

TL;DR I grew my LinkedIn network to 22K contacts. You *might* grow yours to advance your career.

“You want to have as large a LinkedIn network as possible,” he said.

At the time, I didn’t understand.

What was this investor was telling me?

I’d been on the professional social network for a few years. I’d cultivated a decent group of contacts.

“A large network,” he explained, “makes it easier to get introduced to people who can make a difference for your business. Or career.”

I could agree with his logic. It made sense at the time.

“How do you do that?” I asked.

“Work on it every day.”

I asked a few more questions and learned he had grown his network to just over 3,000 contacts.

He repeated:

“A large network will give you greater access.”

My competitive fire was sparked.

I was determined to grow a larger network.

I became a LinkedIn Open Networker (a L.I.O.N.) and spent one year sending out invitations and helping others grow their own networks.

It took about 15 minutes a day.

The result?

By the end of the first year, my network had grown to 7,500.

By the end of the second year, it was more than 10,000.

At the beginning, I wasn’t selective at all about inviting people in my network.

I started with the people known to have the largest networks, moved my way through the LIONs in my industry, and accepted everyone who asked to join my network.

Today, my network is nearly 22,000.

Do You Need A Large Network?

Before I give you a few tips to grow your network, let me ask Do you really need that big of a network?

[To be continued]