LinkedIn Family are the Friends you Choose

When I was completing my coaching certification 10 years ago, it was quickly determined that I was an extrovert, mingler, conversationalist, presenter, and engager. I never doubted a single word! I love meeting people. When I was a young child, I remember that I would always want to bring people together. In grade one, I remember us all having our designated seats, in the classroom, but I did not like it because I wanted to talk to everyone.

In my adult life, I have made friends on the subway, in a bathroom lineup, on a train trip, at Tim Horton’s, on the street, and tons online, especially on LinkedIn. If someone had told me years ago, when I became a LinkedIn Trainer, that it would also become a place for my beloved LinkedIn family, I would have probably shown a bit of doubt; not initially believing that I would find a second family made up of amazing friends, I have chosen, from all over the world.

Not everyone will become a friend on LinkedIn. But I always know that when I make new connections, the possibility could be there. The great thing about having friends on LinkedIn is that these relationships are bonded in social reciprocity and scratching each other’s back. One of my mentors once told me, “Whatever situation you find yourself in, make sure to build your own board of directors (or influencers) around you that will have your back.”

I have a big network but never boast about the numbers.

There is no real value in the numbers. Numbers are impersonal and meaningless. The quality of LinkedIn rests in the quality of the connections, not the quantity.

There will be strangers who come out of no-where and offer support, but most of the time, it is the members of our LinkedIn family that we can truly rely on.

My LinkedIn family has been there to:

  1. Support me through thick and thin
  2. Engage with and share my content
  3. Back up my initiatives and help me reach my goals
  4. Offer moral support
  5. Introduce me to new people I should know
  6. Give advice when I need it the most
  7. Send opportunities my way
  8. Make me laugh
  9. Provide me with a sense of community
  10. Offer to have a LinkedIn Latte when coffee and conversation is just what the doctor ordered

There are times when I will reach out to members of my LinkedIn family before even considering reaching out to others. Most of the time, it is not a conscious choice but rather a natural unconscious one.  Honestly, when I wake up and turn on my computer, I do not even think about the distance or the fact that all interaction is happening online.

I get catapulted into this “LinkedIn” world, which often feel more like home, and talk to people who know me better than some of my closest friends. I am not saying that online LinkedIn friendships replace offline friendships. I am just challenging the stigma around online friendships in general.

Community can be built anywhere and so can friendship bonds. My LinkedIn family has changed my life. The platform is just simply a tool but the power it has, to bring like-minded people together, is where the worth and value really lies; it is where the magic happens. My community on LinkedIn has helped me find purpose and meaning, break free from the limitations in my mind, find the courage to be myself, discover opportunities to grow and advance both personally and professionally, and helped me find my voice.

If you are not feeling that LinkedIn is giving you all that it could be, the frustration may come from standing in your own way by having a tightly wound mindset that is holding you back. If you change your thoughts, you can ultimately change your LinkedIn life and start reaping the rewards.

LinkedIn is a great tool but the relationships your build on LinkedIn-Priceless!


Shelly Elsliger
Shelly Elsliger
Shelly Elsliger is an engaging LinkedIn Trainer and President of Linked-Express. She coaches executives, diverse leaders, aspiring women leaders, business students and job seekers, as well as corporate teams; inspiring them to maximize their professional branding potential and their social influence on LinkedIn. Shelly is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF), recognized as a Woman you Need to Know by the National Women Speakers Association, a Forbes Writer, a Women of Inspiration Winner 2019, and on the list of globally recognized LinkedIn Training Experts. She is also the LinkedIn Trainer for Rotman Commerce at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario and the Founder of the #DecidetobeKind Campaign to stand up against bullying on LinkedIn Shelly’s diverse experience as a professional LinkedIn Trainer and Coach allows her to bring a unique breadth of knowledge, as well as an aspect of fun and passion, to all her workshops and speaking engagements especially "LinkedIn in High-Heels: Rise Up and Lead Online"; her signature workshop aimed at helping women business leaders successfully rise up, own their space and find their voice online. Her motto:"Instead of waiting to be noticed first, be a Leader in your space-Lean-In, Listen-In, and Link-In!"

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  1. It makes little sense and is just a term of vanity to have numbers of thousands of connections, except for some categories.
    It is therefore advisable to filter a lot of valid contacts from non-quality ones. You can meet extraordinary people with whom you can establish a useful and pleasant connection.

  2. Oh I know this is all true. I am happy to be part of your network to Shelly.
    I feel the same passion. We all have a different view but when we all look through the eyes of compassion, that view is so much better. Linkedin changed my life and helped me in more ways than I could have imagined. You being one of the great friendships here. Outstanding. I have grown as well but because I care about people… this speaks to me. The value from the friendships here have been a greater blessing. Thank you for this and all you d9 here. You are simply contagious with your kindness my dearest. I just love you!