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Tue 16 Dec 2014 02:23 PM

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Rami asks: How to use LinkedIn as a networking tool?

Dear Mr. Jafar, A lot of people use LinkedIn as a networking tool but I still shy away thinking that I should first meet the person before sending him or her an invitation to connect. What do you think? How can we use LinkedIn as a networking tool? Best, Rami

Dear Rami,


I do agree that meeting someone in person beats an online introduction any day, however, in today’s fast-pace digital world it is very difficult to meet everyone you’d like to in person. I believe tools such as LinkedIn are very good for finding certain people relevant to your business, and fast.


However, the way in which you connect to someone is even more important. Rather than “cold-calling” a person, it is always preferred to connect to them through a common contact, or one that can make a relevant referral. That is where the strength of tools such as LinkedIn come to light. You are easily able to find common contacts and take these routes to get an affective introduction to the right people.


With the advent of social media, the traditional 6 degrees of separation have been drastically shrinking with a recent study suggesting there are on average 3.74 degrees of separation between any one Facebook user and another. This number is probably much smaller when looking at a single region, country, or industry.


Hope this helps.


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