What was originally intended to be the world’s largest networking medium, has in recent years taken criticism as being a secondary Facebook, and at times convoluted. Many of us struggle to remember how, or why we chose to connect with someone in the first place, making the extended limbs of our network even more useless.
The connections we make on LinkedIn have the potential to be our next big client, close deals and grow the network of our business. Knowing all it takes is a little fine tuning and knowledge, we’ve decided to go in depth on LinkedIn’s relationship tab, and how you can master it to only keep the connections that matter.
First things first.
Think of it as a convenient tool to simply break down how you’re connected to someone. Regardless of what membership you have with LinkedIn, free or premium, this feature will be available.
This is a great way to:
• Add important details about the relationship
• Set reminders to interact in the future
To find the tab you must be online, or using the desktop version, the tab is not currently available on mobile. Click on any one of your connections and the tab will be visible just beneath the profile photo. What’s nice is all the information found here is exclusive to you and your individual connections.
Knowing where the tab can be found is half the battle, let’s examine what it can be used for.
Networking moves at the speed of light, and sometimes just knowing the date in which you connected can be enough to strike a memory as to why, or why they should no longer be considered network worthy.
For instance, many young entrepreneurs may forget the name of a person, but if a date coincided with a conference or time period in college, the connection may make more sense to keep around.
This is one of four sub-tabs found under the relationship tab. If you’ve gotten serious about marketing yourself and building a stronger network, knowing exactly who’s in it, and what they do is a valuable asset. Think of it as a digital business card filer.
The information you include in this tab can be professional, personal or anything that helps you keep track of the relationships your building.
What kind of notes would be applicable here?
➢ Think quick references and filter skills they have listed that would be applicable to you.
➢ If you’ve been building a series of conversations on the phone or over email, keep refined notes.
➢ Write down questions, ideas, or projects you may approach the contact with.
If there comes a time when they contact you directly, you’ll have the ultimate notebook filled out right in front of you. When notes no longer apply to the relationship, they can be easily deleted.
Rather than crowding regular calendars with complex task lists that are strictly oriented towards business, many have benefited from using the LinkedIn reminders tab as a way to maintain leads right next to a contacts profile.
Set a reminder to contact a connection so that you can meet in person.
Set a reminder on one, or several, contacts who you feel need to see it right away.
Set reminders to follow up in appropriate intervals so you don’t wait too long, or call back too soon.
The reminder tool is the most under-utilized feature LinkedIn has to offer, but perhaps one of the most effective. Storing reminders for ourselves ensures good actions don’t go to waste when they manifest at first as ideas. Our minds are already too busy nowadays, so taking away some of the energy required to remember tasks is a beautiful thing.
Different than taking notes about the contact, recording how you met someone should be an immediate action as it’s easy to forget why you’ve connected in the first place. Include as much information as it takes to feel like you can validate the connection at a later date.
Maybe they said something in person that really sold them to you. Maybe they came across your work through another client and are now interested in working with you, a detail that acts as effective marketing analytics as well.
Was there someone who introduced you? Sometimes knowing the intermediary will help get you a client by acting as a reference when you say,” Oh yes, so-and-so introduced us at the Small Business Event and said I might be able to help you out with XY&Z.”
This process can be time consuming, but the personal tid-bits about how you connected, are just as important as why.
Your connections on LinkedIn are your resources, and knowing which contacts can be approached for a specific reason in a split second is invaluable.
Depending on each contact, you can add an entirely new tag, or build off a tag you’ve been using. Categorizing every one of your connections with tags that correspond to the operations of your business will make it easy to get in touch with multiple connections at a time without having to remember who’s worth connecting for what.
LinkedIn was built on the premise that networking should be efficient, and those we’re connected with serve a purpose. By using the relationship tab, your saying the connections I have not only have a purpose, but I know exactly what that purpose is.
A true force with all the bells and whistles you need to achieve your mission and goal.Kevin, Battle Buddy