There are many social media platforms out these days, but if you’re a business or a professional, LinkedIn is the premier network. LinkedIn was launched in 2002, and has made a lot of headway in becoming the leading professional networking site.
No matter if you’re a business looking for leads and business connections, a recruiter looking for top hires, or a professional looking for your next career move, LinkedIn offers a variety of ways to connect with people across industries on a global scale.
It has become increasingly popular for B2B marketing and lead generation as well, as there are many different potential clients on the platform and it’s an easy way to connect with them and reach out.
Since LinkedIn is a professional platform, it has some best practices and functionalities that you won’t see on other social media networks. It can be tough to connect with people who aren’t already in your network in some way, but there are definitely some strategies and tips to help you connect with anyone on LinkedIn.
In this article, you’ll learn 5 tips for connecting with people on LinkedIn through best practices and a variety of platform-specific categories. Let’s take a look.
How do You Connect with Someone on LinkedIn?
If you’re just starting out on LinkedIn, it can be a bit confusing in terms of connecting with people and adding them to your network. LinkedIn has a variety of connection degrees that drive who you can connect with, so understanding this is the first step.
Let’s look at the three different degrees of separation that LinkedIn uses for connections:
- First Degree Connection (1st Degree): A 1st degree connection on LinkedIn is a direct connection showing that you’ve had some kind of one-to-one contact; this can be created through accepting their invitation, or them accepting yours. When you have a 1st degree connection, you can message them directly and have pretty much any type of communication on the platform.
- Second degree Connection (2nd Degree): A second degree connection on LinkedIn is someone who is connected to one of your 1st degree connections. You can send them an invitation or introduction on InMail in order to change them to first degree connections.
- Third Degree Connection (3rd Degree): A third degree connection is, based on example, someone who is connected to one of your 2nd degree connections. If you want to make a higher connection with this person, you should follow the same steps as you would for a second degree connection. It should be noted, however, you cannot simply send them a connection request. You have to message them first.
Now that we know the basics of connections, let’s take a look at five tips for connecting with anyone on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Connection Tip 1: Use Personalized Messages
The most important thing when connecting with people on LinkedIn is to use personalized messages. You can send anyone a message on InMail, and your reputation and request will be better served when you take the time to personalize at least some elements of your message.
Nobody likes spam, and LinkedIn is no different. You’ll set yourself apart with a personalized message and people will be more likely to accept you, especially if they’re a 3rd+ connection.
LinkedIn Connection Tip 2: Connect Directly on the Profile
If you want to connect with a 2nd degree person, you can simply connect directly with the “connect” button on their profile. When you do this, you can also add a personalized message, which is recommended, especially if you don’t have a close relationship in real life or you’ve never met in person.
LinkedIn Connection Tip 3: Browse
If you’re looking for new connections in a certain market or niche, you can simply use the toolbar to find people that may interest you. Since these people will likely be strangers, you should always send a personalized message along with your InMail.
LinkedIn Connection Tip 4: Use the “People You May Know” Feature
A useful way to grow your network, you can see many LinkedIn suggestions when you click on “My Network” at the top of the main page. LinkedIn will auto-populate a variety of different people you may know.
You can also add your email address on the bottom left side so that LinkedIn can use it to continue to make more suggestions for growing your network.
Once you add those people on the “people you may know” page, your network can continue to expand through more 2nd degree connection opportunities.
LinkedIn Connection Tip 4: See Who is in Your Groups
Another way to find new targeted connection possibilities is through your groups. If you look at posts and groups that you follow and see who engaged, you can find new people to connect with on the platform.
Again, it’s always beneficial to use a personal message and explain the reason for your request.
How to Cancel a LinkedIn Connection Request
Once in a while, you may accidentally send a request, or later realize that you don’t want to connect with this person after all. There’s a simple process that allows you to do that without much trouble, so long as the receiver hasn’t responded to the request.
The process is as follows:
- Look for the “My Network” Icon on the top navigation bar (next to “home” button) and click on it
- Your invitations will appear; click “see all” at the right side of the invitations box.
- It will populate requests you’ve received, but at the top you can click “sent,” which will show what you’ve sent to others.
- Next to the receiver’s name, click “withdraw.”
When you do this process, make sure that you want to withdraw it, because once you do you’ll be unable to send them another invite for 3 weeks.
One thing to keep in mind when you are connecting with people on LinkedIn is that they are using this platform for business purposes, and they are probably not looking for a bunch of sales pitch messages.
Don’t spam people you don’t know, and don’t go right to a sales pitch. This will not deliver results on LinkedIn, will not foster connections, and will actually make you look bad.