I always encourage my clients to scour their connection lists and cull out the ones that no longer make sense.

They may have at the time you connected, but they no longer bear fruit, or never did.

I assigned my latest client to do just that, and she saw the benefit of my advice, and off she went to perform this rather boring task.

I assured her that no one she disconnected from would receive a LinkedIn message advising them that the connection had been severed. In honesty, all she would see is a “2nd” after a now-disconnected colleague’s  name when looking at their profile, showing that their mutual “1st” level connection status had been adjusted to reflect reality, not a false hope something might someday stick..

That’s normally it.

Well, not quite.

After clearing out the unrequited love she thought would ensue from connections that didn’t pan out, dead wood, so to speak, she emailed me:

Hi Marc,

I went through my 2500+ connections today and culled the herd. I removed anyone I had not had direct contact with or connected with me and hadn’t communicated for a long time.

You were right, it took a few hours. And it was easier to perform this while watching TV as it is a dull exercise.

Just FYI it seems connections and followers are related.

Prior to the culling I had 2630 followers. Now I have 1395. Not that big of a deal, but thought you’d like to know that it seems followers includes connections.

What? Huh? How did I not realize this–and as I embarrassingly pursued the topic on LinkedIn Help, I found she was indeed correct. I had just never spent any time thinking about this, with the aim for my clients to clear the bushes, so to speak.

I emailed back:

Yes you are correct and thanks for keeping me honest…from the Help Center: “By default, you will follow your 1st degree connections, and you can always unfollow them.” Here’s the link:  https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/a527006

To me this feels like double counting and shows the sheer numbers of LinkedIn followers is not a pure  number. So caveat Linkers.

Yes, I am still learning. It’s a process, and I hope I never stop.