LinkedIn Question: How to Contact 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections All at Once?

LinkedIn Question: How to Contact 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections All at Once?

Just got this question from a new member of my LinkedIn network today about how to contact someone on LinkedIn, so I thought I would share my answer with everyone.

If you have something you want to tell everyone, or something that you want to sell, it makes sense that you want to go beyond your first level network to the millions (in my case almost 18 million) of people that are in your 2nd degree and 3rd degree network.  But how to contact those in your 2nd degree and 3rd degree network directly, all at once, in an efficient manner?

Unfortunately, this cannot be done, and LinkedIn intended it to be that way in that they want to limit what they see as potential spamming. If you understand what is LinkedIn, you’ll see how it doesn’t make sense to be able to freely contact people that you’re not directly connected with.

As you probably have figured out by now, you can download your 1st degree connections from your “Contacts” or “My Connections” screen and then contact all of them at once.

If you are a LinkedIn Group manager, you can download all of the group members and contact them at once. (note: LinkedIn has since discontinued this functionality)

Other than that, the only way to contact 2nd degree and 3rd degree connections is to:

1) send an InMail, for which a paid account is necessary

2) if you are in the same LinkedIn Group with them AND they have allowed Group members to access their email address you can send them a message, or

3) you can find their email address if they have listed it on their profile.

Unfortunately each of these methods must be done on a one-by-one email basis.

The only other way of advertising what you are doing is:

  • Putting it on your profile (look here for more LinkedIn profile tips)
  • Conducting a poll on it
  • Starting a Group
  • Placing messages on Group Discussion Boards

Contacting 2nd degree and 3rd degree LinkedIn connections is not easy, but following the above steps you should be able to contact those that you feel are strategic to your objective.  I realize that there are no quick fix solutions here, but part of the challenge (and fun!) of working within LinkedIn is to find creative ways around the barriers.  Let me know if I missed any!

Hero Photo by Eunice Lituañas on Unsplash

How To Contact Someone On LinkedIn FAQs

How do I send a message to someone on LinkedIn?

You can only send a message to someone on LinkedIn if you are connected with the user you want to send a message to. To send a message, simply go to the user’s profile and hit the blue message button located at the top part of his/her profile. For non-connected users, you can send them a message through InMail if you have a premium subscription. Alternatively, you can pay $10 to buy an individual InMail message.

How do I contact someone on LinkedIn for free?

LinkedIn only allows connected users to send a message to each other for free. If not, you can either upgrade to a premium subscription or buy an individual InMail message. To send a message to your 1st-degree connections, go to their profile and click the message button beside the users’ profile picture. You can then compose your message and hit enter to send your message.

How do I talk to someone for the first time on LinkedIn?

Whenever you are talking to someone for the first time for whatever reason, it is important to leave a good first impression. However, it may be difficult to do it online, hence, giving you more reason to put more effort into the message you will send to that person. To connect with people outside your network and give them the reason to connect with you, it is best to always personalize your introduction and message.

Can you message someone on LinkedIn for free?

Yes, you can send a message to someone on LinkedIn for free if he/she is in your first-degree connection. Meaning, you can find the user within “My Connections” or your contacts. If you don’t find him/her there, the ways you can message the user is through an InMail or paid account, or contact them directly via email. Some users give their email addresses on their profiles and in LinkedIn groups.

Can you message someone on LinkedIn If you are not connected?

No, you cannot message someone on LinkedIn if you are not connected with him/her not unless you are a premium user. LinkedIn takes spamming and other abusive behavior seriously, hence, the reason why you cannot just send someone you personally don’t know a message. Doing these can actually lead to account suspension or worse case-scenario, account closing, and termination.

How to contact someone on LinkedIn that is a 2nd or 3rd degree connection? Possible to contact all of your LinkedIn 2nd & 3rd degree connections at once?

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.
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