You might be overlooking a simple, powerful feature of LinkedIn that will help you introduce two of your connections who don’t know each other, but should.
A friend of mine (to protect his identity and introduce a bit of mystery into this post, let’s call him “A”) called me a few weeks ago to update me on his move to a new city. While we were talking, I realized I had another friend (let’s call him “B”) who would be a great person for A to talk to. I remembered that B was in the same state, but I couldn’t remember where. I took a quick look at my LinkedIn connections and found that B actually lived in the same city that A now did.
As I described B to A and gave A the details of B’s LinkedIn profile, it became obvious that the two had much more in common than I had imagined and that I definitely had to make a direct introduction with the goal of getting these two people to have lunch or meet in the real world.
Since I was the common connection between the two on LinkedIn between A and B, A could have made a request for me to pass along an introduction to B. That would work, but A would have to write the introductory note, send it to me and then have me pass it on to B.
What I really wanted to do was make the introductions right then. The key to the introduction was communicating the “resume” information and common interests and experiences. However, what I didn’t want to do was write a long, rambling email about how the two had so much in common and should try to get together, etc.
LinkedIn has a simple tool called “Sharing a Profile” that did exactly what I wanted.
It worked like this:
On A’s profile page, I put my mouse over the small inverted triangle next to the “Suggest connections” box under the profile picture, since I was a first degree connection. In the case of second degree connections, the inverted triangle is next to the Send A InMail box (although I think this method probably makes the most sense when dealing with a first degree connection)
On the dropdown menu that appeared, I clicked on “Share profile.”
On the message window that appeared, I type B’s name in the To: field and customized the message to make it more personal than the default message it. Then I hit “send.”
If you have any trouble with this, check LinkedIn’s excellent Help section for “sharing a profile” in case something has changed.
The next move, of course, is up to A and B, but I felt like a business matchmaker because I had, in a small amount of time and in an easy way, both made the introduction, gave A and B a lot of information, and maximized the chances that they would get together as a result of my efforts.
Sharing profiles is a great example of a way to use LinkedIn to help make things happen in the real world. My introduction should make it easier for the result I really want – A and B getting together for lunch – rather than that A and B simply become LinkedIn Connections.