Brand Yourself a LinkedIn LION or Just Connect to Them

By Donna Serdula

Surely you’ve noticed people on LinkedIn with the moniker “LION” next to their names or have it listed in their summaries. No, these people are not actual cat lovers. LION is short for LinkedIn Open Networker. A LION is a person who is willing to connect with anyone on LinkedIn, regardless of whether they know you or trust you.

The one rule LIONs follow is never mark any incoming invitation as SPAM or I Don’t Know. When a person marks an invite as SPAM or I Don’t Know, that’s a black mark against the user. If too many people mark you as SPAM or I Don’t Know, LinkedIn restricts your account and you will only be able to add people if you enter in their email addresses.

It’s easy to become a LION. All you need to do is add LION or LinkedIn Open Networker to your profile and never choose SPAM or I Don’t Know on an incoming invitation to connect.

However, there are pros and cons to becoming a LION. It’s something that you need to consider long and hard. If you are only looking to grow a strong network, not a ginormous one, becoming a LION may not be the best option for you.

Instead of labeling yourself a LION, you can choose to just connect to LIONs. By searching out LIONs and adding them to your network, you are expanding your second-degree network and growing your total LinkedIn network in the process.

Because it’s easy to spot a LION, it’s easy to find them on LinkedIn. By doing a simple keyword search for “LinkedIn Open Networker,” you’ll find a slew. Send them a connection request and a short personalized note and they’ll be happy to add you to their enormous network.