One of the questions I am asked frequently when running training sessions for accountants and lawyers, is should I connect with my colleagues on LinkedIn?
The answer is a resounding yes. For these reasons:
1) It gives you access to your colleagues' networks. This enables you to broaden your network, whilst identifying where you may have mutual connections. For example, a client of mine wanted an introduction to a director of a local company to me. I realised I was only one degree of separation away from this director – and I was connected via Lisa, our chief organiser, who used to work closely with this director in a past life. Without connecting with Lisa, this conversation for my client would have never have happened. Whilst this functionality may be performed for you by your firm’s CRM, often your CRM wouldn’t have this level of detail of the interconnectivity of employees networks.
2) It keeps you connected if either of you leave the firm. For example, you never know when one of your colleagues may leave the firm and go in-house. In fact ex-colleagues who go in-house are very often a good source of potential new business. Without the LinkedIn connection you may lose contact. As a result of publicising on my status update about the FT Guide to Business Networking being published, one of my old team got back in touch and booked me to work with her organisation.
3) You get to learn from each other about where and what you should be doing on LinkedIn. What groups are your colleagues in and contributing to regularly? If you are connected, then you can see this and what activity they are doing in the groups. That way you can find out what are the groups to be in, and also help out your colleagues may contributing to their discussions.
Do you agree with me?