Why “LinkedIn Contacts” is good for You (and LinkedIn)

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I was getting caught up on my emails today when I stumbled across a new function on LinkedIn. Last week LinkedIn launched the mobile app “LinkedIn Contacts” which syncs all of your contacts in one place. Its been getting some buzz and well deserved, I think. I like the idea of one place for all of my contacts (a la Brewster or the site – ConnectedHQ). However, since I spend so much time on LinkedIn, I find this to be the most convenient for me.

LinkedIn has made it easy for me to keep track of who I am connected to by allowing me to add notes and track the history of my LinkedIn relationships. (You may not have this option on your profile yet, so don’t be confused by the screenshots.)

At the top of a LinkedIn profile is a “Relationship” tab next to the “Contact Info” tab. (As shown below).

On the “Relationship” tab you can add four types of notes:
# A generic note (Which can be anything, umm… thus generic)
# A timed reminder (Get an email reminder with a note tied to the profile in a day, week, month or recurring)
# How you met (Make a note on how you met this person.)
# Tag (Add a keyword that is relevant to this profile)

LinkedIn Contacts
No worries about the notes you make. They are visible only to you! For example, only I will see the note about this reminder to followup with her. Umm… unless I post more screenshots about notes I make about her. (smile)

LinkedIn Contacts

As you add notes to the profile, a timeline of your relationship history is formed. (As shown below)

LinkedIn Contacts
And the best part for me, as soon as I added these notes on my desktop, I did a search and found them on my mobile app. (Very convenient.)
LinkedIn Contacts

I like this a LOT! Why? I tend to have a short attention span and might forget how I know you and… squirrel!

I also think this is a good move for LinkedIn. Why? I will be going through my contacts and adding notes and tracking my relationships (for sure) with this app. (I’m sure I won’t be the only one doing this.) Translation, more time spent on LinkedIn gives LinkedIn more opportunities to push advertising my way.  But that’s not the only reason why this is good for LinkedIn. It could be another revenue stream. (Huh?)

# Let’s say “Sanjay” wants to connect with people at Microsoft but he has no connections 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. LinkedIn could say (for whatever amount of money) that they could suggest 3 people with close ties to Microsoft based on relationship factors. Sanjay says, “Okay, I’ll pay.”

# LinkedIn sends me an email that says “Sanjay would like to connect with you because you are heavily connected with certain people at Microsoft. Specifically, he wants to talk to you about…”

# LinkedIn does not identify me as the person with the close connections that Sanjay craves. I do not know who Sanjay is unless I agree to help him. At most, I know that he works in a certain industry.

# I then have the option to accept or refuse his invitation to connect. Sure, Sanjay can do that now via a regular introduction but with this LinkedIn function, he KNOWS for sure that he is connecting with someone that can truly help them. (Of course, being able and being willing are two different things but, I digress.)

# The option to get these anonymous intros would be in my settings and I could opt out anytime (of course).

Okay, am I crazy, or could this work? Hmm… forget the crazy question and just ponder with me if it could work. I would love to hear your feedback.


P.S. Did you know that I will have a book out soon?

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One comment

  1. Brian

    I think your idea could work. I just tried out the LinkedIn contacts today, and I see some obstacles that LinkedIn will have to overcome before I really begin using this. The first reason, is I’ve been doing this on my Android phone already. So, LinkedIn has to get me to change my behavior. Second, that’s going to be hard for them to do with the user interface I experienced today. If I can add meta data from the contacts list, ok. I’m likely to use it. However, if I have to go to each profile of my 500+ contacts, I’m not going to jump full in. That’s just to much time for me to spend back filling data I already have access to. My other concern, is that as I’m viewing a profile to enter my notes/information, I will now show up as someone viewing someone’s profile. While I’m not a recruiter, I could see a side affect of recruiters entering data as something that may increase contact activity. I know that when a recruiter views my profile, I reach out to find out how I might be able to help them. I’m probably an exception to this, but something people might want to think about.