Why I Deleted 700 LinkedIn Connections

July 7, 2016
Why I Deleted 700 LinkedIn Connections

Just 72 hours ago I had over 1400 LinkedIn connections–now I’m down to just 700. That’s right, I deleted half of all my connections and am not done yet. I think I can delete another 200 connections in the coming days.

Are you thinking: Why would you do that?

Well, let me explain what happened and why I did what I did.

I thought a bigger network is a better network. I was wrong.

In the past, I would accept just about anybody’s connection request–even if I didn’t actually know that person. My thought was that a bigger network is a better network. But I was wrong. As it turns out, a smaller, deeper network is a better network.

Why I Deleted 700 LinkedIn Connections

I took a critical look at my 1400 connections and realized that I didn’t know most of these people, never talked or emailed with them and had no reason to be connected to them. And having all these ‘junk’ connections in my network made it really hard to see the true connections I had (the people I actually know).

So in a matter of a few hours I deleted 700 connections whose name did not ring a bell. Additionally, I flagged another 200 connections for potential deletion where I’m not 100% sure if we really do know each other.

And then something amazing happened. I suddenly re-discovered how many great quality contacts I had! People that are really important to me but I had forgotten about or hadn’t spoken with in a long time. I immediately asked my assistant to set up calls with these connections to get re-acquainted with each other.

So after shedding this dead weight I told myself that going forward, I will use LinkedIn as the true networking tool it is and have set these rules for myself:

  1. Smaller & Deeper

    My goal is to have a small network of a few hundred people that I personally know and can build deeper relationships with. I will continue to accept and respond to InMails as I have always done but I will not connect with someone unless I’ve had at least a conversation with that person.

  2. Mutual Benefit

    In order for me to connect with someone there has to be a mutual benefit to the relationship. I want to be able to help my connections with their goals, endorse them for their skills and introduce them to people that might be helpful to them – and I expect the same in return.

  3. Net & Work

    I will put the ‘work’ back into networking. Building and maintaining relationships takes consistent work. I will check-in with my connections from time to time and offer my expertise and skill set without a personal agenda.

Your turn now.

What else can I do to elevate the quality of my connections?

Please add your comments below and share this article if you found it useful.

Thomas Michael, CEO Thomas Michael CorporationThomas Michael is the CEO of the Michael Management Corporation, the company that killed Death-by-PowerPoint training and put the fun back into online SAP training. Tom is looking forward to getting to know his connections better and spending this summer in Germany. He enjoys talking about building better businesses.

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  • Barry Hall - Reply

    An interesting post Thomas I think a lot of people would like to do the same but might be afraid in case they miss something.
    Best regards

  • Ian - Reply

    Very good article, and so true. I keep getting connection requests on a daily basis, however the majority I have never heard of.
    I then respond that “I don’t know them.”
    Unfortunately the majority of these requests come from the recruiting industry only looking to expand their own network.

    • Rebecca Smith - Reply

      Thanks for your comment, Ian! Glad you found the article useful!

  • June - Reply

    I found your site from my pal who informed me about it. Very informative articles here, thanks!

  • J C van Leeuwen - Reply

    I am looking for a tool or process to do this.

    I want to clean up my LI connections.
    In the past i have accepted most incoming requests. But now I want to vastly improve the quality of my first level connections. What’s the most effective way to do that with 6.5k connections?

    Ideally I’d want someone to help me. Need to understand the process first and then will look to find best way to execute the process.

    If I could wave magic wand, it would be done for me. I wish there was a piece of software for it or someone to do it for me.

    • Elizabeth Frederick - Reply

      Hi JC,

      I can understand your desire for a tool to do the work for you!

      Unfortunately, I’m not aware of a tool that will do that. But you could make it a bit easier by exporting your connections into Excel and sorting them into ones you will keep and ones you will remove.

      Then maybe you could hire an intern for a short project to log into LinkedIn and make the edits.

      It’s quite a lot of work, but the value of a usable LinkedIn network is huge!

      Let us know what you decide to do!

      My best,


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