In-Person Networking and LinkedIn

A recent participant in the #linkedchat Twitter Chat that I moderate for Viveka von Rosen on Tuesdays at 8:00PM EST asked a great question for these times. 

She asked, “How does LinkedIn work with the old fashioned type of in-person networking?”

Her question is very relevant for a time when many are jumping into social media with both feet and are sometimes forgetting about the “social” aspect.

Some LinkedIn instructors and users drift into a “LinkedIn Only” approach to building connections.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, it happens!

This situation arises when someone relies solely on LinkedIn to grow connections and, once this is accomplished, fail to go to the next level let alone having a phone conversation or meeting face-to-face over a cup of coffee in Real Life (RL) as our Second Life  friends would call it.

Engaging in-person on LinkedIn can work two ways.

First, there’s the classic meet in RL and then connect on LinkedIn.  The important thing here is to keep the relationship going by phone, text, email, or over coffee.  (I admit it, I’m a big fan of doing business in Starbucks!)

Next, are those whom you meet through LinkedIn initially.  (Sorry LinkedIn, it does happen!)

After the initial connection try to get an in-person meeting either by phone or over coffee.

By now, some of you may be saying that you couldn’t possibly meet every first degree connection that you have because there are so many spread over long distances.

Yes, you can’t do everyone.

Instead, focus on your critical few.

These are the influencers, subject matter experts (SME) potential clients or employers who are important to your goals and objectives.

And, remember, there is the telephone for those whom it’s not practical to meet in-person.

You want these critical few to always know you well enough that at a minimum they’d be comfortable to at least refer you to another connection should you need it.

LinkedIn is only a tool, a very powerful tool when used properly, but still only a tool.

My first introduction to professional networking in my career was the classic book by Richard Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute?    

This book is still the bible for career networking and has been updated many times over the years.

Buy, beg, or borrow this book and read it!

You won’t regret it and it’s an excellent complement to LinkedIn!

And while you’re at it, don’t forget your overall social media program either!

If you need help then don’t be shy about asking for it!

I’m always willing to help you out!

That’s it for now!

In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!

I look forward to any and all comments that you may have.  I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.


I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me.  Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.

I can also be reached at

My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.

Stay well!

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