Ignoring invitations to connect
Missed connections aren't only experienced by Craigslist weirdos. While you don't have to accept everyone who invites you to connect (and you shouldn't, says van Rosen, because there are always scammers lurking on social networks), you're potentially leaving money on the table by overlooking opportunities to connect. And you'll never know if you have 1,200 invitations to connect sitting in your inbox. LinkedIn recommends you only connect with people you know, but von Rosen says that's bad business.
"You want to connect to people who make sense to you and your business," she says. "[They could be] a good prospect, vendor, or employer. They might be a good gateway person for job-seekers. They might not be the person who hires you, but they could know someone who can hire you. Gateway people are awesome to connect to."
Not taking relationships offline
The guy with a million Facebook friends and Twitter followers with no friends in real life is a sad, sad person. OK, probably a rich sad person. But a sad person nonetheless. Turns out that there's a LinkedIn equivalent to this person. "You've gotta take [your relationships] offline," von Rosen says. "You have to at least take it off LinkedIn and into a private email eventually. You've gotta take it to a phone call If you can."
If your connections just sit there and you don't do anything to follow up with them, they're pretty worthless as a business relationship.
Von Rosen says that when she talks to the people who do business on LinkedIn, all of them say they have at least had a phone call with the business contacts they met through the social network. Taking the active steps to create a real business relationship starts with a phone call or a personal email. Racking up those connections is a step in the right direction, but it's not the endgame.
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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and needs to update his profile. Follow him to custom URLs and unanswered connections: @LeeBreslouer.