I’ll preface this by saying I was young and foolish and when I started out in the ol’ marketing game I thought I needed to be on every platform and everywhere at once.

I listened to all those self-proclaimed marketing ‘gurus’ (I still hate hate hate that term) who ‘made their fortune’ off of LinkedIn and flew around the world selling out stadiums for conferences on how to make a fortune off of LinkedIn. Which ironically is how they made their fortune. But even though that was obvious to me, I still bought into the school of thought that biggest is bestest. And that unless I had 500+ LinkedIn connections and was a ‘Lion’, I wasn’t anybody.

You don’t have any friends and

Now, being the crafty youth that I was, I figured out a way to get a lot of LinkedIn connections… like a lot. And quick. Like by tomorrow.

I joined one these ‘Lion clubs’, which is basically an email swap. That kind of I’ll friend you if you friend me 90’s kind of chain mail list.

I know, I know

I entered my email address, and my name was added to a list that anyone could download and then import into LinkedIn. Which is exactly what I did… sending connection requests to a list of 5,000+ people, largely comprised of, as I was to find out, divorced American dads who think using a computer is pretty nifty.

Rarr, I’m a lion… now what?

So there I was, getting updates and a continuous slew of messages from people I didn’t know but had a business opportunity that was “just right” for me. I also found myself on every Tom, Dick and Harry’s email list for everything from marketing tips to how to sell real estate (turns out, not that hard).

Stranger danger

Much like the internet itself, the misconception that the majority of strangers are interesting, worth my time, or out to help me in anyway made the entire platform useless to me for years. Up until I said, no more. It’s either delete my account or clean the hell out of this connection list of mine. So off I went.

Time to take out the garbage

It took me 1 hour to figure out how to remove my connections (LinkedIn, like Facebook, is a tricky dick and likes to move stuff around that involves deleting any information), another hour to write a script that could go through my connections to bulk delete people added from a certain time period, and then 6 hours to sift through the remaining chaff – looking for names and faces I would actually want to follow, have done or will do business with and just generally care about at all.

I was left with 495 connections (not bad considering Dunbar’s number is 150), but just shy of my getting my Lion status back. And you know what? I’m totally fine with that. I’m actually even using LinkedIn again… and waiting… just waiting for someone I don’t know to ask me to connect.


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