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While we teach this on our Blue Belt course, this is a question that keeps getting asked, and we were quite surprised that we haven’t answered it already in our blog, so here goes!
YOU CAN message people directly in LinkedIn if you both share a group, rather than having to be their 1st degree Connection.
So when you’re searching for a candidate or prospect using LinkedIn but aren’t connected to them, look out for your shared-group connections first, because you can message these people the easiest. To do this, conduct your search, and in your results along the left margin, click on “Group Members” to filter all those who are in your shared groups, and then further down click on “Groups” to select which exact group you’d like to filter by. However, LinkedIn will not give you the option here to send them a message, just an InMail or Get An Introduction. You’ll need to go in to the specific group and search for them again in order to send them a message.
In three steps, here’s how:
- In the group, click on Members. Type in the person’s first name and surname in to the keywords and click Search. (NOTE: Do not click Advanced Search)
- By hovering your mouse over the person you wish to contact’s name, to the right hand side will be a button with “Send Message“. Click on this.
- Type in your message, and then click Send.
It’s that easy.
So, why might you choose to Message someone instead of Adding them as a Contact? Well, you probably don’t know them so they may refuse your connection request and this will get you thrown into the LinkedIn “sin bin”, preventing you from adding any more contacts unless you provide LinkedIn with a suggested email address for the recipient. Also, adding a stranger as a contact is just bad practice, is against LinkedIn’s user agreement and it just plain annoys some people.
When you send someone a message in an attempt to drum up leads and candidate activation, please personalise it. You’re beginning a relationship here. See this post that Jonathan wrote last week on how to improve your cold-candidate approach response rates.
Side note: Group Members do have the option of disabling messages from fellow Group Members, so in the unlikely event that you hover over someone’s name using this method and don’t see a “Message” button, they have opted out and you are stuck! Well, only if you haven’t taken our Blue Belt course that is! (shameless plug!!!)
Have you been communicating with LinkedIn group members as a way of lead or candidate-generation? What’s your response rate been like? If you’ve any advice let us know in the comments below!