Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Things to consider BEFORE importing your Gmail contacts into LinkedIn


March 19, 2017

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I spent the last few days working on some training on how to build and grow audiences so the timing was perfect to be prompted again by LinkedIn to connect with all of my Gmail contacts. Hm. Sounds like another way to grow audience. 🤔

And that is one way to continue growing my community and the people who have the chance to see my posts and of course vice versa – me seeing their posts. And of course it’s so simple. This is the prompt on the network page:

Click continue and since I’m never really logged out of Google I get this screen pretty quickly: 

Wow. Almost 400 new LinkedIn connections. Of course, I can’t write custom notes using this feature. And some won’t accept the invite. 

Related: How to maximize LinkedIn

And why are there so many? I must email a lot! 😱🤔 Gmail saves all emails that you email or reply to. So that’s a nice feature so we don’t have to save those contacts manually, but it also can add very weak connections to our somewhat permanent contacts. I can just imagine  saying that a weak connection we don’t remember is evidence of one thing or another.

Somebody emails me once to see if I could speak at their conference for free.

I reply “no.”

And now they are in my contacts. If they are on LinkedIn they are in this grouping above. 

I did go ahead and continue and did not deselect anyone from those 400 people. And people started accepting my invite. Who are you again? 😂 Rephrasing: Thanks for connecting. 

It’s really a nice way to connect further with people but can also be seen as spamny if neither party remembers how we even know each other. 

It’s another example of the advantages and disadvantages of using mostly hands-off automation versus unchecking people one by one. 

On the next screen the system offered to invite a few hundred more people who didn’t have LinkedIn accounts yet. I didn’t do that one,  mostly because I remember getting emails like that at my work email – which isn’t linked to my LinkedIn account and I didn’t want to add it!

And then LinkedIn keeeps emailing reminders that the sender is still waiting for you to accept. So annoying. 

But if there’s mutually beneficial reason to be connected this is a great way to offer those connections and add them. And if somebody is in my Gmail contacts, chances are there is some connection. 

I have to admit though that it’s weird to not recognize some people who are accepting requests. It’s also weird to see that people I know and I know know me check out my profile and then don’t accept the request. I won’t take offense but interesting. I know not everyone loves me. ❤️❤️❤️

Related: “Mean things” people have said to me on Twitter 

I wouldn’t recommend to sync Gmail contacts constantly but doing it once a year or less – why not? That’s not that often and if somebody is in my contacts we likely have communicated – even if neither of us remembers it. 

It’s yet another way to deepen connections. 


Christoph blogs on The Authentic Storytelling Project and is a globally recognized content marketing expert. The IMA named him Internet Marketer of the Year in 2015. He works with healthcare organizations and other brands around the globe.

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