LinkedIn Follow vs. Connect: Which One Is Right For You? [+7 Actionable Steps]

LinkedIn Follow vs. Connect: Which One Is Right For You? [+7 Actionable Steps]

LinkedIn Guide

Table of Contents

You should read this article if…

…you’re also caught in the LinkedIn Follow vs Connect dilemma

First off, let me tell you - you’re not alone. I’ve been there too, and it’s not easy to pick.

A lot of people I know were quick to switch to the Follow mode because “everyone else is doing it” but the thing is - is it really helping your goals? Are you achieving the most from your LinkedIn profile?
In this blog, I'll share my take on these choices. No jargon, just a friendly chat. Here’s why you don’t want to skip this one:

  • We’ll look into the subtle differences between Follow vs. Connect on Linkedin and figure out what they mean.
  • We’ll discuss whether you should Follow or Connect on Linkedin.
  • Connect vs Follow Button - We’ll see which one should be the default for your profile.

And it's not just theory! I’ve also put together 7 Actionable Steps to boost your connections or followers.

Why should you be sticking around to take tips from me you ask?

Ok. Fair question. So I don’t mean to brag but hey, I've been hanging out on LinkedIn for a solid 8 years now, and I've got over 10,000 LinkedIn connections over the years, so you can trust that the info you find here has been put to the test. 😉

So pour yourself a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s get started!

Two people excited to begin something new.
Source: GIPHY

What's the difference between Follow vs Connect on Linkedin 

LinkedIn Follow vs. Connect…what’s the distinction between the two? Does picking either make a huge difference? Let’s first see what each of these means.

What does Follow mean?

When you Follow someone on LinkedIn, it's like having a front-row seat to their updates

You see their posts, articles, and activity in your feed. It's an easy way to stay in the loop.

But it's a one-way street – you see their stuff, but they might not see yours unless they personally visit your profile.
Now, I bet you're wondering why would I even want to follow someone?

Picture this: you follow thought leaders, influencers, or potential prospects in your industry, and you make it a habit to engage with their posts.

This does 2 awesome things for you:

  1. You stay updated with all the latest industry insights.
  2. Those influencers or potential leads start recognizing you.

So, if down the line you decide to hit them up with a connection request, an InMail, or even an email, they're way more likely to reply since they already know your name.

Also, a super important thing to remember is

That leads us to the next question: what does “Connection” mean on Linkedin?

What does Connect mean?

While Follow was like keeping an eye, a LinkedIn connection is more like, "I know this person, either from work or just in general." 

It's a two-way street where you can check out each other's updates, shoot direct messages, and even give props (aka endorsements) or recommendations. 

But you might also be wondering why you should Connect on LinkedIn when you can just Follow what they’re up to. 

Great question! 

One of the biggest difference (advantage) you’ll have when you Connect with someone is you’ll be able to direct message them. And this can come in very handy while you are looking for business opportunities, jobs, and collaborations. 

Can you both Connect and Follow someone on LinkedIn?

An expression of utter confusion.
Source: Tenor

The answer is simple: Yes you can.

When you hit the “Connect” button on someone’s profile that also offers the Follow option, you're actually doing both at once!

But you can of course change your mind anytime.

You can choose to unfollow them while staying connected. In this case, their posts won't pop up on your feed, but the door for future communication remains wide open.

And like we just discussed, if you're following someone, you can always switch to a connection by simply sending them a connection request when you're ready. 

So, the power is in your hands. You can Connect and Follow, or choose one

Connect vs Follow button on LinkedIn - Your Default Choice? 

To begin with, LinkedIn, by default, sets you up with the "Connect" button, as it’s your best bet when it comes to maintaining long-term professional relationships. 

However, if you are aiming to be an influencer or a thought leader, then manually changing your Connect button to Follow will help you achieve your goals quickly. 

Aaaaand that’s why I have put together an easy step-by-step guide to help to switch from Connect to Follow. 

How to change the default button from Connect to Follow?

Now there are 2 options to make the 'Follow' button show up instead of the 'Connect' button on your LinkedIn profile.

You have two options to change the default connect button to follow.

Option 1: Changing Privacy Settings

You can manually change your privacy settings on LinkedIn with just a few clicks to make Follow as your default. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1:

Go to your Privacy Settings.

The settings and privacy options in your profile
Source: LinkedIn

Step 2:

Click on the 'Visibility' tab.

The visibility option under settings.
Source: LinkedIn

Step 3:

Then scroll down and select 'Visibility of your LinkedIn activity,' which is the second option.

Options under the visibility of your LinkedIn activity.
Source: LinkedIn

Step 4:

Look for the last choice on the right side called 'Followers' and click on it to open it up.

Where the Followers option is located.
Source: LinkedIn

You'll see a part called 'Make follow primary' with a simple choice of 'Yes' or 'No.' Pick 'Yes' to switch to change your default button to  'Follow' button instead of the usual 'Connect' button.

You can also go directly to this setting on LinkedIn by using this link:

Here’s what your profile will look like when Follow is the default

A profile with Follow activated looks like this.
Source: LinkedIn

Option 2: Turn On LinkedIn Creator Mode

Coming to the second option now.

By turning the Creator Mode ON on LinkedIn, you automatically set your default as Follow instead of Connect. Just follow these 5 simple steps!

Step 1:

  • Go to your LinkedIn profile.
  • Click on the "Me" icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
  • Then, click "View Profile."
The view profile button.
Source: LinkedIn

Step 2:

  • Now scroll down till you see "Resources."
  • Once there, look for a button that says "Creator mode: Off."
  • And now click on this button to turn the creator mode ON.
The creator mode as turned on.
Source: LinkedIn

Step 3:

  • Now you will see a preview of how LinkedIn creator mode will change your profile.
  • If it looks good then click "Next" to continue.

Step 4:

  • When you go to the next screen, you'll be asked to add hashtags for the topics you tend to post about the most.
  • You can pick up to five topics.
  • After selecting your topics, click "Done."
  • If you ever want to change your topics later, you can simply unselect one of the green topics and add a new one to replace it.

Step 5:

  • Follow the instructions that come up next to finish setting up LinkedIn creator mode.

And that's it! You're all set.

Should you Follow or Connect on Linkedin? 

Now we’ve come to the part where we need to decide whether YOU want to Follow or Connect with someone on LinkedIn.

Truth be told, the only way to arrive at an honest answer to this question is by asking yourself a couple more questions. 🥲

5 Questions to Ask

Here are the 5 questions you need to think about while deciding whether you should Connect or Follow someone on LinkedIn. 

Each question is followed by an answer I’ve put together from my experience:

  1. How much do you trust the person you’re about to connect with?

A lot of people just want to pitch right after connecting, be careful while accepting connection requests.

  1. Do you wish to see the other person’s updates and posts?

If they post insightful stuff you resonate with, definitely worth a Follow!

  1. Would you like to send direct messages to them?

If they are a potential prospect or recruiter, it makes sense to send a connection request.

  1. How important is your privacy for you?

Follow them to keep a distance and yet know what they’re up to.

  1. Do you plan on growing your network in the future?

Connect with more people. LinkedIn shows your posts & profile to the connections of your connections, too.

Found your answers? Awesome! Now, you’re all set to make the choices that work best for your LinkedIn profile.

Is Follow Better than Connect on LinkedIn?

So, first off, when it comes to your profile, there's no strict rule saying one is better than the other here. 

But even then, to narrow it down, it all comes down to this:

Stick to the default Connect option:

  1. To build more relationships 
  2. Explore potential prospects/leads/partnerships. 

Your chances of making meaningful connections with new clients, and interacting with people who’d like to hire all increase with LinkedIn Connect. 

Switch to Follow:

  1. To let people engage with your content without any effort from your side. 
  2. Grow your network beyond 30,000 connections.

How to remove Connections or Followers on LinkedIn?  

Sometimes we come across some *ahem* let’s say “interesting” people on LinkedIn who make us want to remove them from our network immediately. 

And, removing is important because you need to be surrounded by the right set of people

Animation of someone pushing the delete button repeatedly.
Source: Tenor

So here’s how you can go about it:

Removing Connections

Here are 4 easy steps to remove the Connections that aren’t serving any purpose on your LinkedIn profile.

Step 1: 

Click ‘My Network’ at the top of your homepage.

Step 2: 

Then, you’ll need to click ‘Connections’ on the left side.

Connections option under Manage My Network
Source: LinkedIn

Step 4:

Now click on the 3 dots next to a connection 

Step 5:

And then finally on ‘Remove connection.’

How the remove connection option appears.
Source: LinkedIn

Here’s how you do it

Removing Followers

There are only 2 options when it comes to unfollowing someone

Option 1: 

Head over to their LinkedIn profile

Click on “More” and then look for “Following” on the drop-down menu. Now when you click this a pop-up will appear with “Unfollow” in its bottom right corner. Just click it, and you’re good to go.

The Unfollow button looks like this at the bottom of the page.
Source: LinkedIn

Option 2: 

Go to ‘My Network’ like you did when you wanted to remove a Connection, but this time select ‘Following and followers’.

The Following and followers options under Manage My Network.
Source: LinkedIn

When you click it you’ll find a list of all the people you are following. Now just click on ‘Following’ 

A list of people you are following on LinkedIn.
Source: LinkedIn

and Unfollow from the pop-up like we just did in Option 1.

When you remove a connection on LinkedIn, will they still follow you?

The answer to this question is yes

If you’ve enabled the Follow option on your profile then anyone can Follow you, even if you aren’t connected to them.

Now you know how to grow your LinkedIn network and get rid of the people you don't want, but how do you get 10k+ connections?

Sending 10k+ requests by hand would take forever. How can you make this happen automatically?

7 Actionable Steps to Increase Your Connections or Followers

Having a big network on Linkedin gets you more leads, calls, and business. But it doesn’t happen overnight.

Don't worry, you don't need years either. With some automation and an optimized LinkedIn profile, you can do it in months.
Ready to start? Here are 7 steps to get a 10k+ LinkedIn network:

1. Create a list of people you want to reach

  • Start off by connecting with the people you already trust.
  • Then, find your tribe by joining LinkedIn groups and going to LinkedIn events.
  • Make a note of people who comment on your posts and interact with them regularly.
  • Search for the people you want to connect with using LinkedIn Search filters and/or Sales Navigator.

2. Send the Perfect Connection Request:

  • Your connection request will be your first impression, so don’t start pitching immediately. 
  • Make the message personal and real to avoid looking spammy.
  • But writing unique connection requests is time-consuming, you can automate it with Salesrobot. It works with regular LinkedIn accounts and Sales Navigator accounts and sends highly personalized connection requests and InMails on autopilot

3. Automate your Connection Requests

  • Since sending manual connection requests is super time-consuming, Salesrobot also automates your connection requests, Inmails, profile views, and comments.
  • It’s the safest LinkedIn automation tool that sends requests with personalized messages on autopilot and gets you 100s of warm connections/leads every month
  • PS: If you're in a LinkedIn group, Salesrobot will help you send unlimited personalized connection requests to everyone in the group.

4. Share your LinkedIn profile everywhere:

  • If you want more people to follow, add a "LinkedIn" button to your website, blog, and newsletter.
  • Put it in the footer of your website to make it easy for people to find and follow you.

5. Optimize Your Profile:

  • Establish your personal brand by telling people what sets you apart from the others.
  • Recruiters/Prospects look for specific keywords. To figure these out visit other profiles related to your field and make a careful note of the phrases they use to describe their skills and use those instead of buzzwords
  • Complete your profile so that LinkedIn’s algorithm notices you. 
  • Want to learn more about profile optimization? Read how to improve your LinkedIn profile.

6. Enable InMails for Your Profile by Default:

  • Enabling Inmails means anyone can reach out to you. This is especially important because prospects might want to talk before connecting.
  • An open line of communication can work wonders.

7. Post Regularly:

  • To grow your followers, focus on posting engaging content and stay active.
  • Try to post at least once a week with high-quality content.
  • This helps you look genuine and keeps your followers interested.

Bonus: Here’s everything you need to become a LinkedIn influencer.

With these 7 steps, you can build your LinkedIn network to 10k+ in less than 9 months.

Final Tip - Linkedin Follow vs Connect: Which one is right for you?

I know I know! We’ve already talked about it just a little while ago, but I think it’s important to revisit what we just discussed and sum it all up.

So, LinkedIn Follow vs Connect, which one do you think is right for you?

If you're still unsure, this next part should clear things up completely.

Here’s the thing:

Connect with more people…

If you're in sales, job hunting, or a student and want to connect with potential customers or recruiters. Once you connect, you can build a strong connection that'll boost your chances of getting more business.

Focus on Following other people… 

If you're more into keeping tabs on what's happening in the industry without getting too personal.

Let people Follow you by default…

If you’ve already made a name in your industry and want to become a LinkedIn influencer or thought leader

It is your LinkedIn journey, and no matter what you choose - Follow or Connect - your ultimate objective is building a solid network that helps you achieve your goals faster. This is where Salesrobot can also help you by automatically letting you message 100s of people on Linkedin.
If you’d like to explore this further, sign up for our free 14-day trial

No credit card or phone number is needed — just your email, and you're ready!

Get free leads for 14 days

Get Started
Stop relying on personal connections to get more customers

Start generating high-quality leads in next 60 mins
(like our 3000+ users do)

More insights

Thoughts, Notes & Tutorials

Get free leads for 14 days

Get Started
Stop relying on personal connections to get more customers

Start generating high-quality leads in next 60 mins
(like our 3000+ users do)