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You have been on LinkedIn for a while, and you have spent a lot of your time using the generic ‘add connections’ option. However, you are a little bit more experienced in the LinkedIn game now, and you want to branch out further than this. This means that you specifically want to be able to search and increase the connections that you have with people on there, depending on the kind of connection policy you have.
The only issue with this is that LinkedIn does restrict its connections based on who you know and who you don’t know. This means that you are able to try and connect with people without knowing their email address first, but once you have tried to do this with five people, LinkedIn will start to restrict your activity.
So, how do you get around this so that you can continue to connect on LinkedIn without limits, as you would like? This kind of information is especially helpful as it can be challenging to connect with second- and third-degree connections.
So, once you have made the decision to connect with professionals that are outside of your usual network, there’s a good chance that you will search for them by doing an ‘advanced people search.’ If you spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, and you know how it works, then there’s a good chance that you will come across people you’re hoping to connect with wherever you go.
In fact, a lot of them will probably come up on the ‘people you may know’ feature. So, once you have found someone with who you would like to connect with, follow the steps below to make sure that that connection is worthwhile.
Read the Contact Settings
There are a lot of people out there on LinkedIn who aren’t actually engaged on the platform. This means that they have signed up for a profile and forgotten about it, and they might have even made it clear in their contact settings that they aren’t interested in receiving connections.
However, if they have included their contact details on their profile, then you can consider this permission to try to reach out to them. However, you do want to be cautious and make sure they explain why you want to connect with them when you first reach out to them.
You also want to talk about how you can benefit them. Make it clear that you are trying to connect with them for a mutually beneficial connection.
Read Their Profile
We don’t recommend trying to connect with someone without first looking at their profile. This is because a LinkedIn profile can say a lot of things about someone’s approach to professional networking online, and if you read through their profile thoroughly, you will be able to determine just how active they are on it.
Of course, the more active someone is on LinkedIn, the more likely they are to accept your invitation, as they will understand why you are trying to connect.
Warm Leads Work Better
Of course, just like in real life, warm leads are easier to work with than cold ones. A warm lead on LinkedIn is someone who you already know, who can make that instant connection with a third party, and a lot of the time, it works out.
This means that instead of having to cold email or cold call them, you are getting in touch with someone who has already been told about you. If you are trying to target someone who is a 3rd-degree connection, then we recommend finding someone who can act as the middle person between that connection and introduce you two.
At the end of the day, the goal is to be introduced to a secondary connection who can then introduce you to your third-degree connection, so in theory, you have made two connections out of the deal.
Join the Same Group
Another simple yet effective tactic for trying to connect with second- and third-degree connections is to join the same LinkedIn group that they are in. Of course, this is only going to work if the person you are trying to connect with has their default settings switched on, which means that group members can send messages directly to one another.
Right now, this option isn’t available to group members who don’t appear as an option when you do an ‘advanced people search.’ Instead, you will have to try and connect with them through InMail. However, if you don’t want to do this, you can find them in the same group that you are a member of, and then you will have the option of sending them a direct message.
Send an InMail That Works
When you have exhausted all other options and are trying to connect with someone on LinkedIn, there is the option of InMail. This paid LinkedIn service can help you contact people who are not your first degree connections, but keep in mind that you have to have a paid account to get access to this feature.
However, if you’ve got a brand that you are trying to grow on LinkedIn, or it’s going to make a real difference to your professional career to have a lot of connections on the platform, then investing in a feature like InMail will quickly pay itself off.
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One last thing to think about before you reach out to second- and third-degree connections: don’t forget to be professional about it. Don’t forget that behind every platform out there, there is actually a real person.
This means that you need to personalize your communication with them and give them a valuable reason to connect with you. Manners are just as important online as they are offline, and LinkedIn definitely has a code that you need to abide by.
Good luck, and make sure that you stick to the rules around connecting with second- and third-degree connections, and there’s no reason why you can’t utilize LinkedIn to expand your brand. Good luck!