Did you know about this recent LinkedIn change?
Here is a riddle: How does a regular person utilize a CRM (customer relationship management system) to track job search and networking interactions without purchasing a formal program?
In the past, the answer I gave was to use the relationship and notes section of LinkedIn. I am a heavy LinkedIn participant so I spend time in LinkedIn. LinkedIn updated my contacts with my latest interaction. When I opened a profile I could see notes that would refresh my memory about when I met and last interacted with that person. I could add tags that would categorize people to make it easier to sort my contacts. It was great!
But things have changed. In October LinkedIn announced (or rather did not announce just snuck out word) that it was eliminating the Notes and Tags on LinkedIn profiles. There goes my free CRM!
LinkedIn is pretty subtle about these kinds of notices. I was not paying attention but a colleague, Joyce, noticed an alert in the Relationship section of a friend’s LinkedIn profile. I went to check myself. Sure enough, there was an alert in my LinkedIn as well. Probably in yours too.
You have until March 31, 2017 to download your notes and tags or you will lose all this information. This is the alert with the clickable link:
Notes and Tags on profile will be removed, but you can continue to access them. Learn more
Here’s the link to the explanation. The info is downloadable until the end of March.
What do we do with the download of this information? I am not sure how useful a downloaded Excel file will be. At this point I plan to download the information on the off chance I can use it in a CRM in the future.
How are we to track our networking interactions now? LinkedIn says we can purchase the Sales Navigator subscription ($79.99 per month) or Recruiter Lite ($119.95 per month). Not acceptable. Either option is way too expensive compared to free. I guess that is LinkedIn’s prerogative. But it leaves me with a huge problem. Here are some options I am considering:
- com recommends a software called Dux-Soup, a plug-in for the Chrome browser. You must be using Chrome, download the plug in and allow Dux-Soup to access your LinkedIn account. There is a cost ($14.99 per month).
- I can download a LinkedIn contact into Outlook then use Outlook’s tags, notes and reminders like a grown-up to track conversations and remind myself when to follow-up.
- Most places you keep an address book or calendar like Google and Apple offer simple CRM notes, tags and reminders. The trick is coordinating with LinkedIn.
This LinkedIn change benefits LinkedIn but leaves users a little bereft. What are you planning to do to replace LinkedIn’s notes and tags? How will you follow up on networking leads? Please share if you have a good idea!!