While at the LinkedIn Lunch I attended, one of the topics we discussed was connecting with new contacts on LinkedIn. One of the people had a few comments about the import contacts tool available in LinkedIn.
This tool allows you to import your contacts from Gmail or other email programs. Essentially what it does when you follow the process is to access your email contacts and send a LinkedIn Connection invitation to each one.
While this can be a fast way to build your number of contacts – as with most things in life – even your LinkedIn contacts should be more about quality than quantity. And, one comment that came directly from Steve Watt, LinkedIn Canada’s Marketing manager, was “Even though we have that tool, I don’t recommend using it,” so that may be a good indicator on whether or not you should be using this feature to build your contacts.
There are a few pros and cons to using this tool which I have listed below but, in my opinion, the only one that you need to think about is the ‘Risk’ one I listed.
- Takes less time to send invites to connect.
- Can help build your number of contacts faster.
- You don’t send a personal message with these invites – it is a mass sending of the invites.
- No control over the contacts that get selected from your list.
- Risk of getting marked as “I do not know this person” by the invitees.
My advice? Don’t do it! The last item in the CONS – “The Risk”, is too much risk.
If your invite gets marked as “I don’t know this person” by too many people, LinkedIn might freeze or suspend your account, which is what happened to the fellow that brought this up at the meeting. It may be possible to have it unfrozen, but that will take time and effort to fix. If you made a point of looking for contacts that fit your market and your ‘Friending Policy’ (your stated policy on who and what type of people you are looking to connect with) then generally you will have little risk of account suspension, or worse.
Decide what type of people you want to connect with and then search them out via your groups, connections or through the Q & A system in LinkedIn. Be on the watch for people that resonate with you and what your goals are for using LinkedIn. Always send a personal invite message letting them know why you would like to connect. Be personal, Be real and Be You!
The Quality of your LinkedIn Profile depends upon you!
If you have any questions about using LinkedIn, feel free to book a strategy session with me to learn how we can help you build a better Linked In Profile and how to network and use this medium to build and grow your business.