LinkedIn Contacts – Private or Public?

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When working on a project for a client recently, I made a discovery that surprised me about LinkedIn Contacts. In this week’s episode, I’m sharing that discovery and letting you know how to make a choice between Private or Public too…

Watch this to find out more!


Hi, and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax and to help your business grow.

In this week’s episode, I wanted to talk to you about LinkedIn contacts.

The majority of people are aware of LinkedIn and its purpose to build and engage with your professional networks. So it is social media, but on a more professional scale. The tone that you would use on LinkedIn is very different to what you would use on Twitter or Instagram, but LinkedIn is a really good way of getting to meet and build relationships with people and can be a really good source of business.

Chris and I have been using LinkedIn for many, many years, and we’ve got thousands of contacts between the two of us.

Over the last couple of weeks, I was doing a project for a client and it meant that I was going through my own contacts, but also having a look at other people’s contacts too. I was helping them with their dream list for a particular project, and I realised that whilst my contacts and connections on LinkedIn are hidden and so that only I can see them, and Chris’s are the same, there are an awful lot of people on LinkedIn and people at quite a high level within their own industries that don’t have their connections buttoned down, so anybody can see their connections.  Some of these people have thousands of connections!

I was really quite surprised because, to me, that was something that I made private very, very early on.

The reason I did that was because I wanted to protect the relationships that we had with our clients. Obviously we’re connected with the majority of our clients, but also I just thought it was good practice because I didn’t want to highlight and make public all of the people that I was connected with and enable other people to piggyback the work that we’ve done in making those connections and building them.

That said, we will make introductions, and we will give introductions and recommendations if anybody needs any kind of contact. We will very happily go through our contacts and find the right people, but we want to do that knowingly, rather than let people target our client list or our connections list. So we went into the settings and we changed things so that people can’t see them.

Now, you may think that that’s protectionist, or cynical, or you may feel that that’s antisocial. A lot of people that I’ve spoken to since realising that this isn’t the norm though have said that they didn’t realise you could do it.

So my message this episode really is just to make you aware that you CAN do it and see whether it’s something that you think you may benefit from doing.

It may be that you get lots of calls and lots of messages through LinkedIn asking you to introduce somebody to a third party. If you’re happy to do that and that isn’t a distraction, then that’s fine. But if you’re not happy to do that and it is a distraction or an interruption to your day, then you might want to just close the connections and make those private.

If you do want to make your LinkedIn contacts private, then it’s really, really easy to do.

All that you need to do is go into settings and into the security and privacy, and then you can just change. It’s a question of who can see your connections, and you just change that to being only you. And that’s where you go into that section is to be able to actually change all of your security and privacy settings.

You can actually also from there download a list of all your contacts too, which might enable you to just go through and review them and decide who should be on your dream list and which of those contacts might be really good to make sure that you’re engaging with more frequently.

But do think about whether you want your connections to be visible or not and what the risks are to you. It may be very different to you. To be fair, it may be very different to us now than it was in the past, but we’ve left our settings the same. So you can make them private if you want to.

I’ll leave you to work out whether that’s something that you want to do, and I’ll see you all very soon.

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