I was recently watching a Hoarders marathon with a shameless degree of righteous indignation. There is something oddly comforting in seeing someone struggle with whether or not to throw away a laundry receipt from 1974. After running the DVR well dry, I took my better than an elderly woman with an extreme doll collection attitude to LinkedIn. I felt so great about myself, so superior – until it hit me. I was actually no better than that hoarding granny. I was a connections hoarder.
Though it’s not a disease categorized by the American Psychological Association, LinkedIn Connections Hoarding (LCH) is a growing epidemic within social media circles. As it turns, I am not immune. What are the signs that you may have LCH?
- Increased Signs of 1st Degree Non-Recognition – This occurs when you sift through your connections and realize you have never seen or heard of many of them
- Swelling of the Contacts Count – Symptoms include having too many connections to effectively and personally engage with and cold sweats caused by having way more than 500+ connections and not knowing exactly what to do with them
- Lingering Soreness and Irritation – This is often attributed to seeing hiring managers and bosses who gave you the snip among your connections
Fortunately, LinkedIn Connections Hoarding is highly treatable. And unlike those anxiety-inducing pharmaceutical commercials, treatments will not hamper your ability to breathe, eat, sleep, or um… perform. Here are some ways I got my LCH under control:
1 – Actively Monitoring Connections – Ever since my LCH awakening, I have taken it upon myself to review my connections weekly. This goes beyond simply deciding if you know a 1st degree connection well enough to justify keeping him or her; it’s important to quantify business value. LinkedIn is a business network. It’s not a place for your best buds. If your friends can’t help you drive leads, prospects, or sales, they shouldn’t be connections.
2 – Organization – Tidiness is the enemy of hoarding. This is also true of LCH. By properly tagging your connections, you’ll have an easier time managing them. Streamlining your connections management strategy could simplify advanced prospecting.
3 – Fight LCH with LCA (LinkedIn’s Contacts Application) – Relatively new to the LinkedIn landscape, the Contacts tool is essentially a one-stop shop to import and maintain your address books, emails, and calendars. What’s more, you can record the details of meetings and appointments as well as be notified of changes to profiles. Take that 1974 laundry receipt!
So you see there is hope for LinkedIn Connections Hoarding. If you are among the thousands, perhaps millions of LinkedIn users paralyzed by LCH, the steps outlined above could go a long way in helping you get it under control. And since I highly doubt that a reality series devoted to LCH will be green lit anytime soon, stop procrastinating and take control of your network. Now excuse me while I organize my DVR.