If you’ve not changed your LinkedIn privacy settings, then any of your connections can see who else you are connected to. Which, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having your connections visible is a good way to represent which sectors you’re interested in, and to network. So, why hide your connections on LinkedIn?
It all centres around privacy. By hiding your connections, you’re sharing less information about yourself. Personal information and data can, of course, be harmful to you once it falls into the wrong hands. Whilst a list of your LinkedIn connections might not sound like sensitive information, there are a few circumstances in which they might be. If so, you should consider hiding your LinkedIn connections.
Every business has competitors. But, sometimes, things can get a little too competitive. If your competitors are using your connections list as a way to poach your clients and leads, then hiding your connections might be necessary.
Of course, this sort of client poaching is also preventable by offering your clients something better than the competitors. That means offering quality services or products and building a strong rapport. This way, you can be confident that they’ll stay loyal to you, no matter who else approaches them. But, sometimes, you might be better safe than sorry. Hiding your connections is a surefire way to get competitors off your client’s backs.
Building strong relationships with your contact list is one of the huge advantages of LinkedIn. It can help you to secure a working relationship for the future that benefits both of you. But, this relationship could be damaged if you associate with the client’s competitors. It doesn’t have to go as far as being a conflict of interest. Even being connected to competitors could start you off on the wrong foot with a new client.
In this case, hiding your connections might be the right choice.
Are you making changes in your career? The transitional period can be difficult to navigate, especially if you’re pivoting to a completely new industry. You might have to start changing up your personal brand- which means building a new LinkedIn network.
In this case, it might be helpful to hide your LinkedIn connections. At least until this change has been better established. It might be difficult to be taken seriously in a new field if all of your connections specialise in a completely different area. It could single you out as an outsider. By hiding your connections, you could be giving yourself the opportunity you need to pivot into a new career, without having to build up your network from scratch.
On LinkedIn, you can’t pick and choose who can see your connections. They’re either public or private. There’s no middle ground. So, think carefully about who could be seeing them. If you find yourself in any of the above situations, having your LinkedIn connections on display might do more harm than good. In this case, hiding your connections could be the right decision.