LION, an acronym for LinkedIn Open Networker (LION), is an individual who wants to connect with anyone on the network irrespective of whether they’ve worked together or met in real life.
These people are passionate about expanding their professional network, giving back, exploring new groups, engaging in discussions, and meeting new people. In fact, there are exclusive LIONs groups on LinkedIn where these individuals interact.
It’s no secret that LinkedIn is a giant network where reaching new professional heights gets easier when you have a strong footing on the platform. But, not everyone who LinkedIn identifies as a “connection” is someone you should connect with.
Some people prefer to have what’s known as an open network – that is, they allow anyone to connect with them without first being approved. And these people work as connecting keys to grow your LinkedIn network.
If you’re unsure whether someone can be a valuable connection on LinkedIn, see if they have ‘LION’ written somewhere in their bio. LION is someone who has committed to connecting with as many people as possible on LinkedIn. By definition, LIONs are open to meeting new people and building relationships with them, but there’s more to it.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about being a LION on LinkedIn. We’ll cover the benefits of being a LION and how you can connect with more people on LinkedIn.
Let’s get started!
What Is a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION)?
You’ve probably seen the term “LION” on LinkedIn but are unsure what it means. A LION is a LinkedIn Open Networker, someone who accepts invitations to connect with anyone and everyone on LinkedIn without any regard for whether or not they have a professional affiliation.
There are two schools of thought regarding connecting with people on LinkedIn. The first is the more traditional approach; connecting with people you know personally or have a mutual professional background. The second is the LION approach of connecting with anyone and everyone in the hopes of growing your network.
Here’s a quick definition of a LinkedIn Open Networker:
A LinkedIn Open Networker, or LION, is a LinkedIn user who has opted to make all of their 2nd-degree connections available to be viewed by any other LinkedIn user. This practice goes against the site’s recommended use, only connecting with people you know and trust.
While some users see LIONs as helpful connectors expanding their networks efficiently, others view the practice as spammy and self-serving. After all, the more 2nd-degree connections a user has, the higher they appear in search results and the more likely they are to view their profile by potential employers or business contacts.
So, should you become a LION? That depends on your goals for using LinkedIn.
If you want to build a large network of casual acquaintances, then go for it anyway. But if you want to use LinkedIn to create meaningful business relationships, think twice before opening up your network to everyone and anyone.
LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) Pros and Cons
The term LION describes users who have elected to keep their LinkedIn profile open to receiving messages and connection requests from anyone on the site.
While this may seem like a recipe for spam, quite a few benefits to being an Open Networker make it worth considering. Let’s have a quick look at the pros of being a LION.
1. You’ll Increase Your Visibility
By making it easy for anyone to contact you, you increase the likelihood that people will reach out — which can only be good for business. After all, the more people see your profile, the more likely someone will be interested in your professional background, brand, products, or services.
2. You’ll Grow Your Professional Network Quickly
LinkedIn is all about building your professional network, and being an Open Networker is a great way to expand that network quickly. The more connections you have on LinkedIn, the greater the chance someone will see your profile and reach out to you with an opportunity or lead.
And as we all know, it’s not always what you know, but who you know can make all the difference in landing a great job or closing an important deal.
3. You’ll Become Known as an Expert in Your Field
When you’re an Open Networker, people tend to view you as an expert in your field because you’re so easily accessible. If someone has a question or wants to pick your brain about something, they know they can shoot you a quick message and get prompt feedback.
As a result, being an Open Networker can help establish you as a thought leader in your industry — and that’s a valuable currency.
Cons of Being a LinkedIn Open Networker
Before you run an automated connection campaign to LIONs, here are some significant drawbacks that you should be aware of:
1. You Run the Risk of Connecting With Spammers and Scammers
There are plenty of well-meaning people on LinkedIn, but there are also plenty of bad actors looking to take advantage of unsuspecting users. If you make it easy for them by connecting with anyone and everyone, you’re increasing your chances of being scammed or spammed.
2. It Can Make You Look Desperate or Self-Promotional
When your LinkedIn profile says that you’re open to connecting with anyone and everyone, it can send the message that you’re desperate for connections — and that you’ll accept just about anyone, even if they’re not a good fit.
Additionally, constantly sending connection requests to people who don’t know you can come across as self-promotional and annoying.
3. It Negates the Power of Quality Connections
One of the critical values of LinkedIn is its ability to help you build strong, quality relationships with other professionals. When you add just anyone to your network, that dilutes the power of those relationships.
Furthermore, it becomes trickier to keep track of all your connections when they’re not grouped in any particular way.
How to Find LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) in the Search?
Imagine you’ve been on LinkedIn for a while now, and you’re starting to get the hang of things. But there’s one thing you’re struggling with: finding those elusive LinkedIn Open Networkers (LIONs).
LIONs are open to connecting with anyone and everyone on LinkedIn. They’re a valuable resource for expanding your network, but they can be hard to find. Fortunately, a tool exists to help you locate LIONs: the LinkedIn search bar.
Here’s how you can use the search bar to find LIONs so you can start growing your network:
- Go to the LinkedIn homepage and click on the search bar.
- Type in “Member Directory” and press enter.
- On the search results page, scroll down until you see the “People” section. Under “people,” select “All Filters.”
- In the “All Filters” menu, select “Open Networker.”
- Press enter, and voila. A list of LIONs will appear before your eyes.
Now that you know how to use the search bar to find LIONs, it’s time to go forth and expand your network! These valuable connections may help you attain your professional goals faster than ever.
How to Identify if Someone is a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker)?
If you cannot find LIONs via the LinkedIn search bar, no sweat because there’s another trick you can follow.
Some LinkedIn users are more interested in amassing as many connections as possible without any regard for quality. These LinkedIn users are the ones you should target.
Here’s how you can tell if someone is a LION:
Check Their Connections Count
One of the most obvious ways to tell if someone is a LION is by checking their connections count. If they have over 5000 connections, that’s usually a good indication that they’re not too picky about who they add to their network.
Look at Their Profile Photo and LinkedIn Bio
Another dead giveaway that someone is a LION is if their profile photo is just the default LinkedIn logo. This usually happens when someone hasn’t bothered to upload a real photo of themselves, which likely means they don’t spend much time on the platform.
See How Active They Are
If someone rarely logs into LinkedIn or doesn’t update their profile very often, there’s a good chance they’re not too invested in the platform. That could mean they’re only using LinkedIn to add as many connections as possible. You can check when someone was last active by looking at the date next to their name on their profile page.
Check Out Their Summary
Many LIONS will have generic summaries that don’t give you much information about them or what they do. If someone’s summary reads something like “I’m a sales professional,” with no other details, it’s probably because they’re trying to cast as wide of a net as possible.
On the other hand, if someone has taken the time to write a detailed summary that gives you insights into their work and personality, they’re likely more interested in quality over quantity when it comes to their connections.
By following these simple tips, you can easily identify whether or not someone is a LION on LinkedIn and direct an automated connection campaign to LIONs on this platform.
But how to use LION for LinkedIn outreach, you ask? Well, it is a good idea to incorporate trusted best LinkedIn automation tools like Dripify in your outreach campaigns. This tool allows you to automate many different LinkedIn activities, including messaging and connecting.
By pairing Dripify with LION for LinkedIn outreach, you can leverage your 2nd, 3rd-degree connections to expand your network.
For now, though, if you have some pending LinkedIn connection requests, scour through and see which ones seem like LIONs. Then you can accept these 2nd and 3rd degree connections to expand your professional circle.
Decide on Your Networking Strategy
So, how do you decide on the right LinkedIn networking strategy for your business? Read on to find out!
Connecting With Individuals
The most basic — and arguably most important — LinkedIn networking strategy is connecting with individual users.
When you add someone as a connection on LinkedIn, they receive a notification that you would like to connect. If they approve your request, you can then start viewing their profile information and messaging them directly.
If you want to maximize your chances of getting approved when requesting to connect with someone, make sure your profile is up-to-date and complete. Include a friendly note when sending your request that explains how you know each other or why you want to connect.
For example, “Hi Joe! We met at the ABC conference last month, and I enjoyed our conversation about XYZ. I’d love to stay in touch.”
Another great way to make useful business connections on LinkedIn is by joining groups. There are groups for virtually every industry, interest, and location imaginable.
And once you’ve joined a group, you can start participating in discussions, sharing relevant content, and connecting with other members.
Just like with individuals, ensure your profile is complete before attempting to join any groups to have the best chance of being approved.
Most LinkedIn users are familiar with connecting with individuals and joining groups, but did you know that you can also follow companies?
By following a company on LinkedIn, you’ll receive notifications whenever they post new content or updates. This is a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in your industry.
Benefits of Open Networking
Open networking is when you connect with as many people as possible without worrying about whether or not you have anything in common.
It may seem counterintuitive, but connecting with as many people as possible can help you build deeper relationships because it allows you to reach more people who can help you achieve your goals.
Here are some benefits of open networking on LinkedIn.
1. Stand Out From the Competition
In today’s job market, it’s not enough to be good at your job — you also have to be good at marketing yourself. And one of the best ways to do that is by building a strong professional network.
Unfortunately, most people are still stuck in the old-fashioned way of thinking that networking only happens offline. As a result, they’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to connect with potential employers, clients, and customers.
By open networking on LinkedIn, you’ll immediately set yourself apart from the competition because most people aren’t doing it. So take advantage of this opportunity to get ahead of the competition and build relationships with the right people today.
2. Expand Your Network Quickly
One of the biggest advantages of open networking is that it allows you to expand your network quickly. And the bigger your network, the better your chances of meeting new clients, landing a new job, or making a valuable connection.
The best way to grow your network quickly is by sending personalized invitations to connect with as many relevant people as possible. Relevant connections are usually people who work in similar industries or have similar interests.
But don’t worry if you can’t find many relevant people to connect with — anyone has the potential to be a valuable connection, so don’t dismiss anyone out of hand. The key is just to get started and keep connecting!
3. Get More Eyes on Your Profile
When you do open networking on LinkedIn, more people will see your profile because it will appear in more search results.
And the more eyes on your profile, the greater the chance that someone will reach out to you with a job offer or an opportunity for collaboration.
Negatives of Open Networking
While open networking on LinkedIn can be a good way to build connections, there are also some potential downsides to this approach.
1. Wastage of Time
One of the biggest complaints about open LinkedIn networking is that it can be a huge time waster. The average LinkedIn user spends nearly 2 hours on the site every day. And much of that time is spent sifting through requests and invitations from people they don’t know.
If you’re not careful, you can quickly find yourself wasting hours scrolling through your LinkedIn feed with no real purpose or direction.
Because anyone can send you a request or invitation when you’re open to networking, you may find your inbox filling up with messages from people trying to sell you something or promote their latest project.
This can be extremely annoying and make it difficult to sort through the valuable messages from people you know and want to hear from.
3. Information Overload
With so many people sharing articles, blog posts, and updates all day long, it can be hard to filter out the noise and focus on the information that’s useful to you.
This can lead to overwhelming feelings and ultimately cause you to spend less time on LinkedIn overall.
Open networking on LinkedIn lets you grow your professional network pretty fast and enter new business or professional circles.
LIONs are LinkedIn users who are open to connecting with anyone and everyone. They understand the power of networking and the importance of building strong relationships.
If you want to grow your LinkedIn network, we recommend connecting with as many LIONs as possible. By doing so, you’ll not only improve your professional status, but you’ll also have access to a larger pool of resources and connections. So go out there and start networking! You never know who you’ll meet or what opportunities will come your way.