When you do business with someone IMMEDIATELY add them to your Linked-In. Doing an Add while you are fresh in their mind. If you wait a year they may have forgotten you and the contact will be “lost”, or atleast more work to re-acquire later.
There are people I was great friends with 5 years ago, that I wouldn’t know how to track down today. This is even more of a challenge with my Female contacts because many of them have gotten married and changed their name.
Getting your contacts in to Linked-In often requires that you evangelize Linked-In a little. Many of my contacts from the Mid-West aren’t LinkedIn so I have to sing them the praises of LinkedIN.com.
It may seem second nature to those of us living in Silicon Valley, but a lot of people don’t think about the advantages of knowing:
- When a person leaves a position
- Who in your Contacts is Job hunting
- Which of your Contacts know which of your other Contacts
- Which professional Organizations your Contacts are members of
These are also all reasons to use LinkedIn for your contacts rather than FaceBook. Facebook is great for the friends in your life, but often you do and say things on FaceBook you wouldn’t want your boss or a perspective client to know about. Even things like Political View can be a problem in the work place, so sticking with LinkedIN has some advantages. The Mormon Restaurant Owner you did Graphic Design work for, is probably not amused that you participated in a Prop 8 Boycott. This is just one example… All those racy photos that get tagged of you at the Hooters, or the break up drama from your Girlfriend of 3 days… Those things just don’t belong in your professional life.
So get your contacts in to LinkedIn.com Evangelize the service to your contacts who aren’t members, and don’t accept “well I’m on FaceBook.com” as an excuse.