The most extensive collection of business connections most of us have is found in our LinkedIn account. You might have additional storage areas like Email contacts, your CRM tool, and your smartphone, but the largest collection is typically LinkedIn.
Over the years, the ability to download your contacts has not always been available, especially if you have a large number (1,000 +) of contacts. I have not been able to download my contacts for several years, but there is now an option for you to use. In addition, you will receive information on every other LinkedIn activity you have personally initiated since your account was opened.
You might be surprised to discover the extensive amount of information housed in the LinkedIn databases.
I recommend you take advantage of this now, in case it disappears again or you lose control or access to your account.Request Your LinkedIn Archive
Click on the Button above and request your archive. You will be asked to log in if not already in your account. It will take approximately 72 hours for you to receive an email with your information. NOTE: the information will be sent to your primary email address for your account so make sure that you have access to that account.
Or if you prefer, you can follow these steps from within your Profile:
To request a download of your data:
- Move your cursor over your profile photo at the top right of your homepage and select Privacy & Settings.
- You may be prompted to sign in.
- Click the Account tab near the bottom of the page.
- Click Request an archive of your data under the Helpful Links section.
You’ll receive an email within 72 hours when your data archive is ready to be downloaded.
The most important file of all, and the reason that I suggest this is a ‘must-do” is the file called: Connections.csv. As the name implies, this file contains information for every 1st level connection you have in LinkedIn. The file contains the following information:
First Name | Last Name | Email Address | Current Company | Current Position
If nothing else, consider it a backup of this critical data. Then consider what other uses you have for this data.
LinkedIn recently pulled the plug on companies that were importing your contacts into tools like CRM and email. This eliminated companies like Nimble, Zoho, Capsule and others from providing helpful services that used your LinkedIn Data. LinkedIn is now integrating with only two CRM tools- Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. Here is more detail on LinkedIn’s action from the team at ZDNET back in April 2014.
Once you have received your Contact information download, you are able to import them into whatever tools you desire, including those that are not supported above.
You might be surprised at the additional files and information contained in your download as CSV files:
- Account Status History – Tells you when your account was created.
- Ad Targeting – companies with ads targeted
- Ads Clicked – Ads you have clicked
- Comments – you have made within LinkedIn
- Connections – your contacts as talked about above
- Email Addresses – email you have used since you created your account and if current or deleted.
- Endorsement Info – Skill, Name and Date added
- Group Comments – as stated
- Group Likes – Like, Author and URL
- Group Posts – Date, Subject, Text and URL of the post
- Lead Generation – Campaigns Status, Campaign and Type
- Lead Information – Information others see about you when you click a lead
- Likes – all your Likes in your history
- Login Attempts – Date, IP Address and Login Type
- Mobile Applications – Time App, Device and Model
- Recommendations Given – Date and Person you recommended
- Recommendations Received – Date and Name of person who recommended you
- Registration Info – The name of the person who invited you to join LinkedIn.
- Search Queries – Date and Search Query
- Shares – Date, Title, Description, Link, Comment, Link, URL, Type and Visibility
- Skills – This is list of skills in your profile. Might not be applicable if you are a newer user of LinkedIn.
It might be worth your while to understand LinkedIn’s Data Retention Policy and how to close your account if that ever becomes necessary.
Just follow the link above and request your archive. You might not have a need for it now, but similar to backing up your hard drive, you will wish you did at some point in the future.
After you receive your archive and have had a chance to look through it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, reactions and observations about what you find.
I have been doing some deep research and learning in between jury duty assignments about the impact of “Big Data” and analytics, specifically as they already have and might impact the sales profession in the years ahead. Consider this the start of some of my discoveries about the future of sales and the massive amount of data becoming readily available about each of us and our customers.