Have You Backed Up Your LinkedIn Connections Lately?
My previous two posts Don’t Lose Access to Your LinkedIn Account – Create a Backdoor and Why LinkedIn Gives You Five Email Addresses discussed the importance of protecting your work. Jim Ange commented on the post and said this is your personal IP (Intellectual Property) and he was right on target. This is your IP and something you should be protecting.
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Whether you have 100, 200, or 30,000 connections you should be periodically backing up your LinkedIn connections. As Jim Ange said this is your IP and it is up to you to protect your information.
Why Do You Need to Backup Your Connections
Some may question the need to backup their connections; however, there are at least four excellent reasons:
- LinkedIn looks to be a solid organization, but things change especially with the Internet – you can’t take it for granted;
- Periodically someone crosses the line with LinkedIn, not saying you will, but something you do or say may be misunderstood and all of a sudden you have no access;
- Your account becomes corrupted or somehow inaccessible and you can no longer see your connections; or
- The LinkedIn network gets spammed, destroyed (they are on the West Coast remember), or some other catastrophe strikes.
We have all been subject to computer errors human or otherwise and suffered the loss of information. LinkedIn is the Rolodex of the 21st Century; can you afford to lose your Rolodex?
Why Has LinkedIn Made it Easy to Export Your Connections
The people at LinkedIn are no dummies after all; they included the export feature so, if something were to go wrong, they have the escape clause of saying you could have exported all of your connections. If you didn’t perform an export that’s a choice you made! It’s not their fault.
The Steps to Export Your Connections
- Go to your LinkedIn contacts page
- In the upper right corner of your contacts page it says “Add Contact” and “Settings”, click on “Settings”;
- In the right hand column is the option to “Export LinkedIn Connections”, click on this option;
- You have several format options to choose from, select the best option for you and then click “Export”; and
- At this point you have a file saved on your local computer with all of your contact information.
You can stop and know your information is residing on your computer or you can take it a step further and import the file into your address book, MS Excel, MS Word, a CRM application or any number of other applications.
JibberJobber Contact Management Software
First to make it clear I have no financial interest in JibberJobber and I am not compensated for this recommendation!
My personal favorite is a product from my friend, Jason Alba at JibberJobber.com. Jason has a web based application which allows you to import your LinkedIn contacts. Initially Jason designed it for job seekers, but I see it being much more. I particularly like the feature which allows you to build your contacts into a hierarchical tree showing who connected you to whom.
If you have ever read Malcom Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point” he talks about connectors, mavens and salespeople. Using the hierarchical tree you can identify the connectors in your network who have worked on your behalf to help you build through introductions and referrals. Surprisingly you will find a handful of people who have been particularly instrumental in the process.
LinkedIn provides you the ability to backup your connections. I encourage you to take action and protect your IP!
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My name is Tom Staskiewicz and my goal is to help everyone do a little better, get a little further and reach the success they are destined to achieve! Whatever I can do to help you or anyone to move forward in reaching your goals; I’m all for it. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.
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