If you’ve talked to me recently, you’ve probably heard me banging on about LinkedIn and how underrated, or perhaps more correctly, underused it as a social network.
While I’d like to take all the credit for some of my recent LinkedIn discoveries, the truth is most of what I learned is in no small part thanks to Lewis Howes (@LewisHowes), a living breathing LinkedIn guru (thanks also to Andrew Warner (@AndrewWarner) of Mixergy who first brought Lewis to my attention).
I’m not going to try and repeat all of Lewis’ multiple LinkedIn tips here (that wouldn’t be fair anyway) but one quick tip (which for all I know may be obvious to you) but I had no idea about in all the time I’d used LinkedIn is:
The ability to download all your contact’s email addresses to a spreadsheet.
Why might you want to do this?
- Import their email addresses to your address book. For a lot of your LinkedIn contacts, particularly the ones you worked with a few years ago, you may no longer have their email address, but you might want to email them in future and when you do you’ll probably receive a better response than if you sent them just ‘another’ LinkedIn message. (While LinkedIn is growing in popularity many people may not check it regularly or treat a LinkedIn message as a second class message still).
- Invite them, one time (but don’t automatically add them) to your email list. If it’s relevant to them and you think it will genuinely be of use to them, you might want to invite them to subscribe to your own personal or company email list. If you’ve got 500+ LinkedIn contacts (and I know some people have thousands) you could see an instant boost. Tell them clearly what’s in it for them (hopefully some amazing insight or offer or at least something unusual at least) or you’ll just be spamming 500 people who won’t appreciate you contacting them next time round. Just choose who you contact though (and why) wisely.
I’m sure you can think of many more.
How to do this?
- Login in to LinkedIn (you knew that right);
- Click Contacts on the top menu;
- Click Export Connections in the bottom-right corner;
- You’ll be presented with several options for exporting for various email programs, but if you choose a .CSV file you’ll be able to import them into a spreadsheet also.
- That’s it.
If you’ve got the latest LinkedIn iPhone App there is now also an option in that which allows you to export contacts to your iPhone’s address book too.
This is just one small, but hopefully practical tip, of what you can actually do with LinkedIn (instead of just sitting there counting the number of connections you have and wondering what it exists for, as you’re probably doing at the moment).
If you want to learn more right away I strongly suggest you check out some of Lewis’ info (a lot of which is paid content but a lot of which is also available on his site and on other parts of the web for free too).
Otherwise I hope to post some more practical tips for doing actual useful stuff with LinkedIn to help your business in the coming weeks.
Or you’ve got any (actionable) tips please post them in the comments below!