I get this question all the time: what’s the difference between followers and connections on LinkedIn?

From the LinkedIn Help Center: followers and connections are well-defined.

Similar to what happens when you follow an Influencer, your followers will receive your posts, articles, and shares in their LinkedIn homepage feed. Members don’t have to be connected to you to follow you and receive these updates.

On LinkedIn, the basic type of connection is a contact you know personally and who you trust on a professional level. Once you’ve “connected” to them on LinkedIn, you are considered a 1st-degree connection.

A connection gets access to your posts and other material you offer to LinkedIn’s 756 million members as a whole. Not being very selective.

Notice in the definition of connection the face that they are someone “you know personally.” That you trust. Being very selective.

So it’s not just me preaching not to connect to anyone who happens to approach you. If you have heard me speak in public or read me here, I liken a connection as someone who knocks at my door who I actually admit into my metaphorical house.

Welcome, only when I know them from business, or make a distinct, deliberate decision that we need to further some prospective area of common discussion, and then at my own decision.

Followers do not get past ringing my doorbell. No admittance.

Choose carefully.

As I like to say, don’t get a reputation as a promiscuous linker.