If you’re waking up with the new updated LinkedIn layout, one of the best features will now be missing from your free version – the mini CRM that allowed you to manage your relationships on the platform.
Previously, underneath each profile that you visited was a section where you could make notes and reminders about that connection. It showed your most recent interactions and could be ‘tagged’ with a series of labels that allowed you to filter your connections by the things that were common to them.
But not any more – unless you want to pay about £75/month to get the LinkedIn Premium Sales Navigator package.
So what can you do to replace LinkedIn tags and notes?
Get The Free Sales CRM from Hubspot
Fortunately, Hubspot have stepped into the breach with their free CRM which actually works much better than the old LinkedIn version, in most cases.
One of our LinkedIn training clients wanted to find a way to keep a record of which of her LinkedIn contacts she had made contact with in a particular area and what the outcome had been.
The Hubspot CRM works beautifully for this and will be far more effective because she can actually see all the connections that she contacted in one place. On LinkedIn, she would have had to look at each individual contact to see that she had contacted enough people and acquired enough bookings.
Create your new pipeline and stages
Next click Settings in the black navigation bar and then Deals from the left hand sidebar.
Scroll down to the +Add another pipeline link and click it
Give your pipeline a relevant name.
Work out what stages to monitor
In this case it was:
- No response
- An acceptance and an agreed date
- An acceptance but need to agree a date
- A decline
So now create each of these stages and add them to the pipeline
Remember to add a column at the beginning so you can add the contacts you are going to be targeting. If you forget, add this deal stage at the bottom and then use your mouse to drag the field to the correct position at the top of the pipeline list.
Add the LinkedIn connections that you want to contact
Click on Contacts in the black navigation bar
Click the orange Add contact button at the top right
Fill out all the information that you have for this connection. It will start by asking you for the email address, first name and last name. Then it will open out for additional details.
Turn the contacts into deals
For each connection who you are planning on targeting, go to their contact card and create a deal. You will find the Deal option in the left hand column of the contact card - just scroll down. There is a clickable button that says Create a deal.
This will then give you a pop up with fields to fill out. Give the Deal a Name - probably the name of the contact and a clue about your objective. There is also a field for Amount. If you add in the potential value of this particular contact, your deals will be prioritised on your dashboard. Those with the highest potential yield will be placed at the top of each stage of the cycle.
Make sure you select the correct Pipeline for your deal.
Place the deals of all the people that you want to target into the Contact column of your pipeline and decide who you want to call first.
As you start to get responses, move them into the correct column.
Once you have made all your calls, you will be able to see at a glance who and how many have accepted, who and how many have declined and who and how many you need to go back to again because there was no response.
I am sure that you can think of lots of ways that you can use this simple pipeline to manage some of the stages of your work. You may currently use a spreadsheet to store this info but this form of online CRM makes it simple to share your work with other members of your team and is also more accessible than many spreadsheets.
A Simple Replacement for LinkedIn Tags and Notes
Each time you make a useful connection on LinkedIn, you can add them to your Hubspot CRM. You can even add new properties to your Contact cards to allow you to create the same filtering effect as the tags that you used to use.
The Contact cards also allow you to add Reminders about birthdays and other important information, as well as nudges to remind you to keep on building that relationship - these are Tasks that you can set up for a particular date and time. You can even Schedule consultations straight into the calendar of your prospect.
LinkedIn used to automatically add records of any private messages to the CRM. But, if you have the email of your connection – and you will have if you are a 1st degree connection on LinkedIn because you will be able to see this on the right hand side of their profile – you can use the free CRM to send a certain number of emails each month and these interactions will all be recorded on the Contact card.
The free Hubspot CRM allows you to store up to 1 million contacts. Yes, that's for free.
What’s not to like?