How many times have you either misplaced a business card, or looked at an old business card and forgot why you spoke to that person? When managing your business contacts, you need a system, otherwise it’s easy to lose track of what you are doing.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool business owners should be using for networking purposes. When used effectively, you can create an organized system that categorizes your contacts into easily defined lists, called ‘tags’.
If you only have 50 connections on LinkedIn, managing them may not be overwhelming. However, as your profile grows and you connect with more people, you will find the level of difficulty will increase. When you have 500+ connections, it’s hard to keep track of who is who.
The best way to organize your contacts is by sorting them into lists. You do this by adding ‘tags’ to each contact on your LinkedIn Profile. Once logged in to your account, on the top navigation bar, under ‘Contacts’, click ‘Connections’. A complete list of your contacts will show up, alphabetized by last name.
To add tags to your contacts, check the box next to your contact’s name. To the right of their name click ‘Edit tags’. From here you can add the appropriate ‘tag’ to your contact. You may have some default tags already created, however, the blank box lets you create new tags as you see fit.
Tags are the most important part of an organized LinkedIn address book. You want to arrange your tags so you can easily find people. For example, if you have a group of contacts who are warm leads for your business, tag them ‘Warm Leads’. If you have a group of contacts that once expressed an interest in your business and you don’t want to lose touch with them, tag them ‘Interested’.
Other useful tags are referral partners, work colleagues, school (or organization) alumni. You can even tag people according to industry or location. You have the freedom to create as many tags as you want, and add whomever you want to each tag. LinkedIn also lets you add the same person to more than one tag.
The real power lies within the simplicity of contacting these people. You can send direct messages to any or all your contacts under a certain tag. For example can send a message to everyone tagged ‘California’ reminding them of your upcoming workshop.
Sorting your contacts will help you stay organized and keep track of your networking. I urge you to try this powerful method from now on as you connect with more people.
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