Advertising
Advertising

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 8 Ways to Use the New LinkedIn Contacts Feature for Your Business

Ask the Entrepreneurs: 8 Ways to Use the New LinkedIn Contacts Feature for Your Business

Ask The Entrepreneurs is a regular series where members of the Young Entrepreneur Council are asked a single question that aims to help Lifehack readers level up their own lives, whether in a area of management, communication, business or life in general.

Here’s the question posed in this edition of Ask The Entrepreneurs:

What is one way that you’re actively using the new Linkedin Contacts feature to be a more effective entrepreneur?

1. Using TripIt

Andrew Schrage

    The new contacts feature is integrated with TripIt, which allows users to get reminders of contacts located in an area they’ll be visiting on an upcoming business trip. It even offers a form letter you can use to contact fellow members and let them know when you’ll be in town.

    Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

    Advertising

    2. Remembering to Stay in Contact

    Thursday-Bram

      I try to stay in close contact with my connections, but it’s hard to remember to do so on my own. With the contacts feature, however, it’s easy for me to see when last I talked to a person. Whenever I have time, I scroll to the bottom of my contact list (the people who I haven’t contacted in the longest time) and start sending out messages.

      Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

      3. Reaching Out to Contacts When Expanding

      Chuck Cohn

        When we consider expanding to a new city, I check my contacts in that city and set up a call with them to pick their brains on their views of the city, suburbs we should target, local universities or high schools we should know and any other information that could increase our success when we launch our tutoring services there. It gives you a reason to stay in touch with your contacts.

        Advertising

        Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors

        4. Connecting With Other Entrepreneurs

        Manpreet Singh

          Whenever my company Seva Call launches in a new city, I check the city on LinkedIn for my closest contacts. Then I can talk to these contacts about what might benefit my launch in that city while also seeing what opportunities I can provide them. It’s a win-win and keeps me in touch with other entrepreneurs trying to expand.

          Manpreet Singh, Seva Call

          5. Saving Time With the Daily Rollup Email

          Advertising

          adam lieb

            I love the daily rollup email I get from LinkedIn Contacts. By having my meetings and contacts emailed to me first thing in the morning, I save the time looking up contact information and meeting times. It isn’t a huge time saver, but it sure feels efficient.

            Adam Lieb, Duxter

            6. Using ‘Warm Calling’

            Jared Reitzin

              I love LinkedIn, and to me, it’s cold calling 2.0 or what I like to call “warm calling.” I reach out and request that someone connect with me. I would say this works 75 percent of the time. After they add me to their network, I follow up with an email I get from their vCard or another message through the site. I have won some very big deals starting from a simple message on LinkedIn.

              Jared Reitzin, MobileStorm Inc.

              Advertising

              7. Merging Contact Info

              doreen-bloch

                LinkedIn Contacts allows me to efficiently manage my connections and create new ones through the merging of all contact information stored in my emails. I can now easily sort and search through all of my contacts to find that one connection for a press release or new joint campaign. As an entrepreneur in a digital world, it’s smart to stay organized, and LinkedIn Contacts helps me keep it all tidy!

                Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

                8. Organizing all My Contacts

                Natalie McNeil

                  With well over 1,000 people in my LinkedIn network, it was getting difficult to actively maintain relationships and remember where I met each one. Now I can organize my contacts by tags and use those tags to search for people when I need to reach them. After an event I just spoke at, I tagged the contacts I met there so I can segment that group. Now I’m on a mission to organize all my contacts!

                  Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

                  More by this author

                  9 No-Brainer Ways to Track Employee Time Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Things Entrepreneurs Should Stop Doing Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Best Note Taking Tools Ask the Entrepreneurs: 12 Tips for Mastering Public Speaking Ask the Entrepreneurs: 9 Tasks You Should be Outsourcing

                  Trending in Productivity

                  1The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It? 210 Best Time Management Books Recommended By Entrepreneurs 3What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating) 46 Simple Steps to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals 5Secrets to Organizing Thoughts and Ideas (So You’ll Never Lose Ideas!)

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                  The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                  It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                  Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                  “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                  In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                  New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                  There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

                  Advertising

                  So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                  What is the productivity paradox?

                  There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                  In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                  He wrote in his conclusion:

                  “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                  Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                  How do we measure productivity anyway?

                  And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                  In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                  But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                  In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                  But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                  Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                  Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

                  Advertising

                  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                  There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                  According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                  Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                  The paradox and the recession

                  The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                  “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                  This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

                  Advertising

                  According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                  Looking forward

                  A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                  “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                  Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                  “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                  On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                  Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next