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.
Why Contact All of Your 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections?
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?
Is it Possible to Contact All of Your 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections?
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.
Ways to Contact 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections
Other than that, the only way to contact 2nd degree and 3rd degree connections is to:
- Send them a LinkedIn connection request including your message when you do so,
- Send an InMail, for which a paid account is necessary,
- 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
- You can find their email address if they have listed it on their profile and send them an email.
Unfortunately each of these methods must be done on a one-by-one email basis, although certain LinkedIn tools allow you to automate the option 1. above (but proceed with caution…).
Other Ways of Promoting Your Message on LinkedIn
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 LinkedIn poll on it
- Starting a LinkedIn Group and promoting it there
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.