LinkedIn and the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

People often ask how LinkedIn can be used to connect to the right business they need to be communicating with. They wrestle with how focused they need to be, who they should add or should they be accepting connection requests from strangers.

I was playing the game six degrees of Kevin Bacon recently which works on the principle that any actor (such as KB) can be connected to any other actor in the world in six steps or less. For example I linked Kevin Bacon to Dennis Hopper in two steps as he stared in JFK with Kevin Costner who in turn starred in Waterworld with Dennis Hopper. This got me thinking about LinkedIn and why it may be a great strategy to keep adding as many new business connections as possible.

Let’s say your business wants to collaborate or target prospects in other companies to grow. One of the challenges is getting in touch with the decision makers in those companies and having a natural way of connecting with them. If we play LinkedIn like we play the Kevin Bacon game we can assume that simply by having an aggressive strategy of adding connections and growing our network that at some stage In the future our network will reach a size that can put us in touch the people we need to be communicating with.

Imagine I need to contact the head of a large firm as a prospect for a new product or service we offer. This week I might add everyone who sends me a request and throw out 5 or 10 a day of my own at random based on mutual connections. One of these may turn out to be married to someone who then becomes an available mutual connection for me to add. Next I add some mutual connections of theirs and their plumber leads me to a guy who works in an office who leads me to the PA of the HR person in the company my prospect works at. Its organic and provided I go about it in a friendly social way before long I can connect to anyone I want in just a few clicks.

What’s your strategy to grow your own connections in business?

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