Social sellers: Save your LinkedIn data before it's too late!by
Whilst, LinkedIn announced back in September that very soon there are going to be some major changes, it looks now that those changes are not only imminent but could have a big impact on your existing data.
Should we be scared?
I remember not so long ago how LinkedIn, without warning, wiped out several years of hard work for us and our clients when we had built-up a high 'expertise ranking' through answering questions on LinkedIn, when they were removed and eventually replaced with endorsements.
Similarly, I'm sure many of you will recall when recommendations on company pages were wiped out without much notice (April 2014). Luckily, at the time, we grabbed several years testimonials and placed them here and others did the same to avoid losing that data forever.
I'm not scaremongering for the sake of it, as I believe that during the ten years we have been active on LinkedIn it has been a major source of leads for us and our clients and that's why I think it is worth taking action now.
The recommendations I make below are based on what we have gleaned from those currently working on the beta changes, but the fact that LinkedIn has indicated implementation is imminent means we have taken action already and would recommend others doing the same.
So what should you do?
Here's a quick rundown and we will add to this post if more information becomes available.
There are ways of easily taking a PDF copy of your information, which we will touch on in a second, but to make it far easier to copy and paste content at a later date if necessary, saving the content to your local Drive will make things a lot easier.
- How to make a copy of your profile's web pages
Instructions: Go to your main profile page and click the blue button 'View profile as' Then, in most browsers, right-click the mouse the click 'save as' and then choose a folder on your local drive where you want to save the web pages, so that even if your profile is lost you would have all the information accessible through that folder.
You can follow the same process for both your Company pages and your Showcase pages and as you can see above, you can view the pages by clicking on the main HTML document, which will then allow you to view the files saved into the individual folder as a re-constituted profile page in your browser (I used Chrome without problem for this).
2. Grab a free archive of your data
If you didn't know you could do this already this may come as a pleasant surprise.
Here is the list of .csv files, highlighting the level of detail that gets delivered to you in a zipped file:
This will send you your data in the form of a zip file at a later date which would include all of your first level connections as well as all of this other useful data.
As you can imagine there is going to be a lot of requests for this which may mean that this service is occasionally unavailable, but keep trying.
LinkedIn will send you a zip folder which will contain all your data just in case you want to save it for future reference.
Be careful how you use this though.
I know some people have been tempted to simply upload the contacts data into an email marketing system and indiscriminately start blasting out email "because they can". Be careful - that's SPAM.
However, from a social selling perspective having this data available in an easy format to review and take a qualitative approach (perhaps via segmenting via Marketing Automation) would seem to make a great deal of sense.
This is what I got in my mail inbox with 5 mins followed by a second email:
After a few hours I got another email that took me to part 2:
3. Get a PDF copy of your profile
Even though you've saved the web page copy of your profile to your local drive (if you've done 1 above) it may be that you'd like this packaged up in a different way. You can download a PDF which will be 'words only', as the images logos etc aren't included but it does usefully include all the recommendations that you had in the past which you can of course copy and paste from the PDF elsewhere if needed.
Instructions: Simply go to your profile and hover over the drop down arrow to the right of the blue button marked 'view profile' and then select the save to pdf option.
We have been on sales navigator for some time because of the added features that come with it, and obviously the fact that LinkedIn has for several years now been gradually reducing the functionality available on the FREE option and migrating and enhancing this in the paid options has not gone unnoticed.
I can only see this trend continuing and you have to weigh up the business benefits of taking a paid option versus the extra time it takes to try and achieve your goals on the free option.
My best advice would be, take a free trial and work out for yourself the cost benefits pros and cons of using sales navigator
However, given that many years effort was lost in the past, when such LinkedIn 'upgrades' happened I don't intend to suffer myself this time!
One feature I've loved in LinkedIn for many years was the ability to tag and add notes and, for many businesses, that haven't yet invested in a CRM this was an excellent substitute.
Whilst LinkedIn has not categorically confirmed it, the 'word on the street' is that tags and notes will be going away at the end of March next year but this feature will be retained and enhanced within sales navigator itself.
This may explain why they had made the importing of sales notes and tags from your LinkedIn account to sales navigator so easy. You can find the instructions here
My recommendation is, upon reading this blog post and any others, take action now otherwise you may find you are repenting at your leisure.
Slidedeck - LinkedIn's recent announcement:
Rob lives and breathes Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Social Selling, Mobile Marketing and Reputation Management. Rob is a professional speaker who regularly speaks in North America and across the EMEA Region., an author (...
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Thanks Rob. Some common sense exercises there that I'll pass onto colleagues in my team. Hopefully they'll listen to me for once!