If you are an active online professional, then LinkedIn should be your social media platform of choice. Why?
Because it gives you the opportunity to connect with people in the same industry as you all around the world.
When it comes to different marketing strategies like B2B prospecting, it’s also a complete goldmine, as it allows you to hunt down potential prospects with almost no effort at all.
However, just like any other social network out there, LinkedIn has its own set of rules, limitations, and etiquette when you are using its platform.
If there is someone that you wanted to connect with, but they aren’t already in your network, then you might think of them as out of reach. However, it might be easier to connect with them than you think.
Let’s take a look at how to connect with someone that is out of your normal networking realm on LinkedIn.
How Do You Connect on LinkedIn?
If you are pretty new to using LinkedIn, then you might be wondering how you can connect with people. You might have caught on to the fact that a lot of the time, it takes an already established network to be able to connect with people with ease, especially if you don’t know the person you’re hoping to connect with in person.
We’re guessing that you might have noticed that LinkedIn uses different degrees of connection to work out who you can connect with when you discover them in search results. We will talk about this a little later, but most of the time, you can send a connection request to people who are first- and second-degree connections, and occasionally third-degree ones as well.
There are a number of different ways that you can personalize your message when you are trying to connect with someone:
- Through their profile directly by clicking on the connect button
- Through the search results page, however, this doesn’t include a personalized message.
- By including your email and using the ‘grow network’ page
- Making the most of the ‘people you may know’ feature
- Looking through profiles
What Are the Different Degrees of Connection on LinkedIn?
As we mentioned briefly above, you may have noticed that when it comes to different profiles you discover on LinkedIn, they will either fall into the first, second, or third-degree category. This is an indication of how close you are connected with them. It makes it a lot easier when you’re trying to find the best people to connect with within your industry.
Let’s take a look at what the different degrees of connection represent:
- First Degree: People who fall into the first-degree category are those you have already directly connected with. You may have either accepted the invitation or sent one that they have accepted on their end. As a result, you can directly contact them through the message feature on your LinkedIn profile.
- Second Degree: These are people who are directly connected to your first-degree connections. This means that most of the time, you will have a mutual connection, and you have the ability to send an introduction and the hopes of turning them into a first-degree connection.
- Third Degree: These are people that are three times removed from you and who are connected to you via your secondary connections. Again, you can send them a direct message or introduce yourself to make them closer connections.
Some LinkedIn users out there won’t actually have a number next to their name. If this is the case, then these people aren’t in your network at all, which means that they can only be reached through InMail.
However, there are certain things that you can do to get around this, like if you are in the same group as someone but they’re not in your network, you are able to message them directly.
LinkedIn is a well-established professional platform, which helps industry experts connect with one another. As a result, there are a number of different unwritten rules and certain etiquette that you need to abide by.
At the end of the day, most people use LinkedIn for matters that relate to their careers, not as a way to catch up with their friends. Perhaps one of the most important things to remember about being on LinkedIn is that it’s not about selling a product. At least, not in a way that is really obvious.
When are you inviting someone to connect with on LinkedIn, or you are simply trying to expand your connection pool, you shouldn’t at any point try to spam anyone. It’s not going to work, and nobody out there appreciates it.
So, with this in mind, who should you be connecting with on LinkedIn? The answer is anyone with who you think you could have a connection well, that is mutually beneficial. For most people on LinkedIn, this means potential clients, coworkers, and employers. If you are a B2B salesperson, then it could be people who you think might benefit from what you are trying to sell.
When you are thinking about reaching out to someone on LinkedIn to make a connection, keep in mind that everyone’s connection is going to be different. This means that you can’t just cut and paste the same message that you have used for somebody else. Make sure that you customize each direct message.
Personalize Your Message
The most successful LinkedIn profiles out there will tell you everything you need to know about the person who owns them. If you have someone who is trying to generate new leads through your LinkedIn profile, then a tool like this can be really helpful. When you approach a new connection, make sure that your direct message has been personalized.
Take a look at the person’s profile, and use this as inspiration for what to write to connect with them. You also need to mention why you’re hoping to connect with them, what you think you have in common, and why you think the connection would be mutually beneficial.
If you attempt to begin a professional relationship through LinkedIn by personalizing your message, then you are immediately going to stand out from the crowd. It also means that the person that you are trying to connect with is a lot more likely to accept the invitation.
Canceling a Connection Request
Of course, every now and then, you might end up sending a request by mistake and wanting to take it back. After this occurs, there’s no need to worry, as you unsend it pretty easily.
The only other thing that is potentially getting in the way of being able to take it back is if the recipient has responded yet or not. If they have, then you won’t be able to take a back, but if they haven’t, then you’ve got a chance of rescinding it.
Here is how to cancel a connection request on LinkedIn:
- Select the ‘my network’ icon
- Find ‘see all’ right next to ‘invitations.’ You will then be taken to the ‘manage invitations’ page.
- Click ‘sent.’ This will show you all the messages that you have sent out.
- Click ‘withdraw’ next to the message you want to take back.
Once you have canceled or requested someone, you won’t be able to send another invitation to them for three weeks.
Should I Connect with Everyone on LinkedIn?
We think that you should only be connecting with people that you either know or have lots in common with. You also need to make sure that the connection is going to be mutually beneficial.
Why Aren’t I Able to Connect with Someone on LinkedIn?
If you haven’t confirmed an email address with LinkedIn, or you have sent out a connection request already, or you are connected with someone already, then you won’t see a connect button on their profile.
What Happens When I Reach 1000 LinkedIn Connections?
Nothing, because there is no limit to how many LinkedIn connections you can have.
Will My LinkedIn Requests Expire?
If your LinkedIn requests haven’t been answered within six months, then they will be removed.
Will Someone Know if I Withdraw My Invitation?
The person that you withdraw your application from will not be notified when you do so. However, they might have noticed that it was there in the first place, and therefore will notice when it’s not there anymore.
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LinkedIn is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful social networking tools out there. It’s also a great place to generate leads for your brand, but you have to know what you’re doing to get the most out of it.
If you want to move someone up the ranks and make them a first-degree connection, then most of the time, they need to be a second or third-degree connection first.
However, if you are trying to connect with someone that is outside of your network on LinkedIn, the good news is that you can send InMail to anybody. If you are part of a professional group on LinkedIn as well, you can message anyone who is in the same group as you.