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Image courtesy of Ambro/

There’s good news if you’re keen to follow up on useful contacts before you lose their business card or forget what made them interesting to you. LinkedIn just made it a whole lot easier to connect via business cards. Using Evernote’s mobile app you can scan a business card and connect with your new contact directly. You can even make notes to help you recall your conversation or the reasons for your interest in this contact.

But while this is an excellent tool for connecting efficiently, using the invitation template risks starting the relationship off on a colder note than making a friendly personal approach by personalising your LinkedIn invitation to connect.

Well, would you like it if someone you had a great conversation with at an event then later sent you an impersonal invitation? As a LinkedIn user recently complained, “The biggest turn-off for me when considering an invitation from an unknown contact is the lack of personalised content in the text”. If it’s someone who’s actually met you the turn-off will be greater.

But there are situations when using this service will be welcome. For example if you’re actually with the person you are sending the invite to at the time when you send it, you’re simply formalising the connection.

Want to give it a try? All LinkedIn members who use CardMunch and choose to transfer their existing scanned cards into Evernote will receive two free years of Evernote’s premium business card scanning service. LinkedIn members who do not use CardMunch will receive free Evernote business card scanning for one year if they connect their LinkedIn account with Evernote. The perfect chance to work out best practice for connecting!

We’re pretty certain you’ll agree that there is a time and place for using the template, but to start a new relationship on the right foot a personalised invitation is still best.

HOW TO: If you don’t use CardMunch, and want to give the Evernote business card scanning service a go, here’s how to do it — You will need to download the Evernote app onto your mobile, go to the camera tool, scroll to ‘Business Card’ and then take a photo of your business card. You will then (hopefully!) be able to input your LinkedIn sign-in details and start using the business card service free for one year.

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