5 Steps To Connect With People Outside Your Network On LinkedIn

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Once you move beyond the generic “add connections” option that LinkedIn has, you might want to specifically search for and increase your connections with people aligned with whatever connection policy you might have.  The challenge is that restrictions exist within LinkedIn that may prevent you from inviting others you don’t personally know.  You are entitled to try to connect with people without knowing their email address, but once five people respond to your invitation to connect by nothing that they don’t know you, your ability to connect will be restricted.

Once you’ve decided to connect with professionals that aren’t part of your network, chances are you will initially find them by doing advanced people searches.  If you are already an experienced user, you’ll likely encounter people you might want to connect with everywhere on LinkedIn.  These people often appear on the “people you may know” widget that is featured prominently in the top right-hand corner of your LinkedIn home page and in group discussions.  So, once you find someone with whom you’d like to connect, follow these guidelines to complete the connection:

3) Warm leads are always the best:  As in real life, a “warm” lead, someone your target connection actually knows who can make a personal introduction on your behalf, often leads to the greatest success.  Rather than relying on a cold call or email, get in touch with the person who connects the two of you and ask him or her for a formal introduction.  If your targeted user is a third-degree connection, find someone who could facilitate an introduction between you and a person who is actually connected to your targeted user.  Your eventual goal is to be introduced to your second-degree connection who can then facilitate the introduction with your third-degree connection.

4) Join the same LinkedIn Group:  A simple tactic you can use to contact someone is to join one of his or her LinkedIn Groups.  Of course, this only works if your desired contact has the default settings on, which allows group members to send messages to each other.  At present, the option to send a message to a group member does not appear as an option when you find a common group member on an advanced people search result; instead, you will be prompted to send an InMail. No worries: Simply navigate to the same Group that you a member of, do a member search, and you will have the option to send a message from that user interface.

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