LinkedIn pushed an upgraded feature through today that makes it a much more powerful small business prospecting and relationship tool in my book.
When prospecting on LinkedIn in the past you could type in a keyword or specific company search and locate people you might want to reach out to. For many folks this is the greatest benefit of LinkedIn participation. The tough thing was you had to look at the details of each profile you might find and make a decision about contacting them right then as there wasn’t a convenient way to save or group your chosen profiles for future use.
Today, LinkedIn added a tool in the paid version that allows you to create searches and then save the profiles that look interesting to folders in what it’s calling your Profile Organizer. So, let’s say you are scouting out journalists at a certain publication. You can do a search, set up a folder, and save all the profiles you like in that folder for later contact. They’ve also added a “note” feature so you can jot something of interest to yourself or even something that was said when you contacted them last. I think this feature makes the paid version worth a look. Of course, they’ve also made it free for 30 days. You activate the free trial by simply using the Save a profile feature.
The Profile Organizer shows up as a workspace under the contact tab and once active you’ll see “save profile” as an option any time you are looking at an individual or group of profiles.
The thing I like most is that this allows you to work in LinkedIn any time you have 10 minutes and makes that 10 minutes much more efficient. For me researching and contacting are two very different activities and take different frames of mind when doing them. I like that fact that I can organize all the profiles as I feel like it and then come back and do laser focused reaching out when I’m in that mood. The note taking field is what makes this CRM like to me. (Note: You don’t have to be connected to someone to save and note their profile either.)
You can read more about the Profile Organizer update here on the LinkedIn blog