Assuming that you understand what a LinkedIn Open Networker means from my “What is a LinkedIn LION?” post, and you want to use this terminology in your profile to increase your network as I mentioned in my “How Do I Grow My LinkedIn Network?” post, the next logical question you may have is “How Do I Become a LinkedIn LION?” Unfortunately, there is no official answer for this, as the history is that open networkers have always been frowned upon by the powers that be. Since that time, LIONS’ LAIR became the default place for open networkers to register, but there is no official group that oversees and manages them. With that in mind, if you would like to be recognized by others as an open networker, you can do any or all of the following:
- Register on the LIONS’ LAIR website as an open networker.
- Register on LinkedIn LION groups that I have indicated in my “How Do I Increase My Network?” post.
- Include the terminology “LION” in your profile so that you can be found by others looking to connect with other open networkers.
The final option is the tricky one as it in essence becomes an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) project for your profile. But if you go to the Advanced Search and just enter “LION” as a keyword and press enter, you can see which profiles will show up on the first page and get an idea of how to effectively portray yourself as one.
At the end of the day anyone can claim that they are and thus become a L.I.O.N. by doing any of the above. This raises the risk that someone who claims to be an open networker by putting the proper terminology in their profile may not actually be open to receiving invitations or may give you the dreaded “IDK” response to your invitations. If this makes you feel insecure in connecting with other open networkers, you’ll want to make sure to “check out” their profile for Recommendations, common connections, and other personalized information before contacting them or sending them an invitation to connect.