Reaching the 30,000 connections limit on LinkedIn – now what?
In this post I answer these three questions: How did I reach 30,000 connections on LinkedIn, why does it make sense to have so many connections, and what will I do now?
I reached the 30,000 connections limit on LinkedIn last week, which means that I cannot accept any further invitations. People can still follow me, but I cannot accept or submit any new invites unless I remove some of my current connections.
How did I reach 30,000 connections, why does it make sense to have so many connections, and what will I do now?
How did I reach 30,000 connections?
Being a little cocky, I can say that I reached 30,000 connections by declining more than half a million invitations. However, some of them did connect on my initiative. My guestimate is that of the 30,000, I account for ten per cent, and ninety per cent came unsolicited.
I am not and was never a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker). All invitations got carefully reviewed and only accepted if I considered that the person matched the demographic characteristics of my target audience AND was active on LinkedIn (check this post for a definition of my target audience).
My objective was never to have 30,000 connections. LinkedIn sets that limit. I aimed to connect with my potential readers first and then with people who could also benefit from reading, watching or listening to the material that I produce. If they found value, then I hoped some of them would share it with their network, helping the messages get propagated. Such a marketing strategy requires a vast network. The more connections I have within my target audience, the better. However, followers are equally important. The only difference is that I can’t send PMs to followers, which I need now and then.
Why have 30,000 connections?
I am an author. I write books about business development, marketing and sales in the software industry. There are around 4.5 million people on LinkedIn that match the demographic criteria of my target audience. I would have no reservations connecting with those that can get value from the material I produce. If my readers prefer to connect rather than follow, then why should I resist? LinkedIn sets the limits, not me.
The limit on connections is 30,000 while there are no limits on followers.
What will I do now?
It’s probably no surprise that my readers and potential readers have priority over those that do not read business books. I know that some of my connections, that match the demographic criteria of my target audience, do not read books. Some have little activity, too, which means that our mutual connection has little value for both of us.
To make room for new readers, I will try to identify the non-readers and the inactive and then remove them as connections. I am not initiating a massive purging activity but will remove around fifty connections a week to make room for additions. I am not sure how I will do it, but I have some ideas that I will test.
Update April 2020: Over the past few weeks I have sent direct messages to 200 connections a day offering a free copy of my latest whitepaper. Twenty per cent respond positively, while 0.5 per cent complained about the DM or choose to remove me as a connection. It might be the best way to get my connections cleaned up so there is room for the new ones.