by Nathan Egan
on March 28, 2011

Nathan Egan's Private Network

Last week I joked during a speech that I am writing a book called “The Private Network”.

I was delivering my personal branding presentation “You 2.0” for the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce. The joke was that I have time to write a book.

I do however, run a very private network and because I get a lot of questions about it I figured the least I could do is write a blog to explain it a bit.

During the presentation I made several references to the fact that I only connect to people I know and trust. I pointed out that I only have 392 connections on my LinkedIn and that it was in fact, very hard to have so few connections… I have to actually work at it; sort of a procurement and management process.

Someone in the audience raised their hand and I called on them. “So, if I send you a LinkedIn connection request, you won’t accept me?”

“Probably not” I said… “Not until we know each other better. Maybe if

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you gave me a really compelling reason in the request, but we should probably meet up for coffee or something if you want to talk ok?”

Wait, isn’t that ANTI-social? Well, yes it is. Call me a social media snob – my experience has been that quality is far better than quantity:

  • I get higher quality in-bound leads
  • I am able to do better searches (out-bound prospecting and research)
  • My network “signal to noise ratio” is very low
  • I know and can vouch for everyone in my network
  • And maybe most importantly, everyone in my network knows and trusts me

The truth of the matter is that I do occasionally let people into my network if they give me a compelling reason and seem to be of high value… and they have about 90-180 days to prove it. Otherwise, they will most likely get purged during my quarterly network cleansing.

People are still amazed that I have the “audacity” to either refuse a connection or disconnect from someone I don’t really know. I say, it’s 2011 – get over it.

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