As a follow up post to Paul’s article on How To Close A LinkedIn Account, I thought I would share this! So often when something is wrong with technology, cars, AC units etc… the human response is to turn it off and turn it back on again to see if it works! Well I decided to test this age-old technique on LinkedIn!!! Now this is not to say that my LinkedIn account was broken by any means! Although in saying that, I did identify a few glitches with LinkedIn during the experiment that I submitted to LinkedIn as tickets and they acknowledged that these are problems they need to fix!
Why Detonate Your LinkedIn Account?
You may be asking: “Laurence, why on earth would you delete your LinkedIn account?”…well the main reason is a current client engagement that required me to do this as part of research for the engagement. Now I get to blog about some of the other findings…However, I can think of reasons why some of you might follow suit. One of the biggest problems with LinkedIn are the LIONS…or LinkedIn Open Networkers. These are the people who will connect to anything with a digital pulse! There really is no value to the relationship as they have no intention to build a relationship. For any of you who have been through one of our custom LinkedIn training courses in Philadelphia, Texas, Chicago, New York, Boston, and Wilmington (I think that’s everywhere we have been training of late! ) you will know that the most effective uses of LinkedIn are:
- identifying connections who can get you in front of a prospect
- identifying prospects who a connection could introduce you to, and
- being a resource to your connections by way of referrals, information, and simply caring about what they are doing!
Well, some people prior to our training may have connected with every person who sent them an invite, which really reduces the value of your offer to introduce people to your connections when you constantly find yourself telling them, you don’t know Mr. X, but you are connected to him. Well in that instance, you might want to start from scratch!
The LinkedIn Reboot Checklist
In my scenario I had 866 connections, about 6 recommendations, 100’s of endorsements and a custom URL /laurencebanville. I also managed 2 groups, and was a member if about 20 groups. You will lose all of this. Even recommendations you wrote for others will disappear. This was the main downside to this experiment for me, but I had other motivations. However, as you will learn later, it was all worth it! So here is the checklist:
- Export all of your connections to a CSV file (note if you need to purge the list do it here)
- Copy and paste all the recommendations you have written/given (I just put these on my desktop for now)
- Copy and paste all the recommendations you have received
- Switch ownership of groups you started to a trusted person who can switch them back
- Note any messages you sent and need to follow up on
- Also note invites to connect you have sent that are still pending
- Create a new account (Note you will need a second email address to do this)
- Copy and paste your profile from the outgoing profile to your new profile
- Import your CSV file
- Select all and invite to connect with a custom message
- Go to your old account and remove your email primary email address from it
- Assign that email address to your new profile
- Deactivate your old account
What Did This Achieve?
I am about 48 hours post relaunch at the time of writing this blog post and of my 866, I have about 329 connections back. There is a steady trickle of connections coming back in. Next week I will do another blast of invitations to those who have not reconnected. After that I will focus on reconnecting with those people via email and in person.
So what did this on and off experiment achieve? – The biggest benefit to me getting in front of all of my connections again. Reinforcing what I do on a day to day. Top of mind. Within 48 hours the move has generated 3 new business opportunities that I would not have been able to generate otherwise. For one hour’s work, that’s not bad!
In addition, I have data for my client engagement that I can use. I also identified some glitches within LinkedIn such as their mass / bulk delete connections feature doesn’t work. Also
Should You Do It?
I think the answer to this depends on your situation. If you have lots of connections that you don’t know – do it. If you have been using the quasi CRM feature religiously with notes on connections – then I would hesitate to do it as you lose all that tracking work. If you have a specific scenario, feel free to send it over and I can give you my advice.
Thanks to ExteriorServices.io for their help with this post.