Do you have more than 100 connections on LinkedIn?
If so, do you also remember who each connection is and how you know them and what your last communication with them was? You may be missing a fabulous free tool within LinkedIn. It’s available to all users though it does sometimes have a tendency to temporarily disappear due to a bug that has remained unfixed by LI for a long time. Not to worry – usually just refreshing the page will bring the feature right back. If not, wait patiently and it’ll be back by the next day! (I have become very philosophical about the various bugs in this free tool!)
So where is this fabulous feature?
On the profile page of each of your connections, right under their photo there are two tabs – “Relationship” and “Contact Info”
Click on the “Relationship” tab and it will open up some options
LinkedIn automatically records the date when you connected on LI – don’t you just love a step where you don’t have to do anything? But it’s worth noting that you have this information in case you want to jog your memory about when you met someone.
The rest is up to you.
You can “tag” a connection as part of a group you belong to or under a category like “prospects”. I’ll write more about how you can use the connection tagging feature in a future blog but for now let’s just consider it a useful reminder of how you know them and a way to group people.
You can also write a note about how you know a person. Don’t worry – this is confidential – only you can see the notes unless like me you share your screen when you’re teaching!
Recently it was recommended that I contact a well-regarded local coach for some valuable advice about working with a particular organization. I hadn’t thought of her since I’d connected on LI several years before and wouldn’t have remembered her but my little note in LI (actually written 3 years before but an update in LI changed all the dates) reminded me how impressed I’d been by this coach and workshop facilitator. With this info in hand, I was able to phone her and mention how we’d met and reference the flattering comment I’d noted then. She may have been charming and helpful anyway but it certainly didn’t hurt that I could mention this.
When you don’t know your connections well
The notes section is also a way to handle having connections to people you don’t really know well but have met through an association or at a networking event.
If someone asks me if I know this woman I’d just met and if I introduce them to her, I can answer that we met professionally and I’d be happy to connect them but that I didn’t know her well. That keeps my credibility and still allows me to be helpful and continue to add new LI connections.
4. MESSAGES SENT WITHIN LI
LinkedIn keeps a record of any emails that are sent within LI.
5. HOW YOU MET
But wait, there’s more!
At the risk of sounding like a hawker on a shopping channel I will also mention that you can set things up so that LI will remind you to follow up with a connection. Just click on the “Reminder” button.
LinkedIn is a tool for you to use. Take advantage of it.