Do you know people who downplay their birthdays? I am not one of them. I love celebrating my birthday and having people make a fuss over me. That’s why I was excited to receive 45 “Happy Birthday” wishes from LinkedIn Connections yesterday.
Ever since LinkedIn unveiled the Contact Reminders feature last year, I’ve been training my clients to use it to strengthen their business relationships. Whether you’re using the free version or LinkedIn Premium version, it is a super-easy way to stay in touch. Every morning, I log into LinkedIn and go straight to the Contacts section. (Have you ever wondered why “Connections” are under the “Contacts” tab?)
LinkedIn is like my Executive Admin, telling me which of my Connections recently:
Got Promoted: “Congratulations on the well deserved promotion”
Moved: “Good luck in your new locale”
Mentioned in the news: “Nice mention in the WSJ”
Are having a birthday that day: “Happy Birthday. Send cake!”
You can send a default note in just two clicks – if you do not customize it. I recommend you do customize the note, however. That way your message doesn’t end up looking like everyone else’s.
There’s no easier way to nurture your existing network. Just think about the math. If I spend 5 minutes a day sending little notes to 8-10 people over the 225 business days each year, I’ve practically covered all my LinkedIn Connections…or Contacts.
Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of this feature. Most of the well-wishers simply sent the default “Happy Birthday” message. A few of them added a custom message. I sent a “Thank You” message back to people, congratulating them on using this great feature. In a few cases, it triggered conversations in relationships that had been dormant. About a third of the wishes came from comments to my LinkedIn update posts (see image). Either way, it felt good to get 45 extra birthday wishes yesterday.
Now if LinkedIn could just figure out a way to send a chocolate birthday cake through the Internet, it would really be something!
How are you using the Contacts Reminder feature to strengthen your existing business relationships?