Ever wondered how to connect with anyone on LinkedIn for free without having a premium account? Last year we interviewed LinkedIn expert extraordinaire Viveka von Rosen. You can listen to that episode here. For those of you that prefer to read, we’ve pulled out the top nuggets including:
- Exactly how to use hidden tactic of connecting on LinkedIn for free.
- A LinkedIn lead generation strategy you should be using.
- Some changes LinkedIn made to their Inmail policy.
- Three actions you should take immediately to get the most mileage out of your LinkedIn profile.
Free Group Messaging
If you want to contact someone outside your connection portfolio and you have no Inmails left, don’t sweat. You can still message people that are in the same groups as you for free and we hope this doesn’t go away soon.
This feature is pretty hard to find if you don’t know where to click. It is almost like this has been hidden deliberately but luckily we are going to teach you exactly how. Follow these steps:
- Type in the person’s name or title in the search box.
- Click on their profile.
- Scroll down to their groups.
- Click on one of their groups that you are already a member of or find one of their open groups that you can join. If they have no open groups that you can join then you have to join one of the private groups they’re in and request membership. Once you requested membership you have to wait until you are accepted to continue to the next step or message the group manager if you think it’s taking too long.
- Once you are in a common group with the prospect go to the groups homepage and click on the little gear icon shown in the image below.
- Now click on the number of users in the blue font.
- Type the name of the prospect you want to message in the search bar. Find them among the search results and click on the Send Message button below their picture. The send message window will pop up.
You have just discovered a way to contact any LinkedIn member for free without being connected to them and without going through annoying stuff like getting an introduction from someone.
Lead Generation Strategy with LinkedIn Search
Although LinkedIn’s interface and policies are irritating sometimes it is still the most powerful lead generation tool on the planet. You just need to follow proper LinkedIn etiquette and know who your target market’s decision makers are and you can use it to rake in some sales. To find leads type in the titles, industries, and interests of the people that fit your buyer’s persona in the search box. Click on the people that pique your interest and message them using either your Inmails, direct messages or use the free group method we just discussed. This is the most comprehensive business lead directory on the planet and it is all for free.
Play around with the advanced search option. You can get very specific with your keywords, industries, locations and much more. You can even save up to five of your searches and in the future LinkedIn will alert you whenever someone new joined that fit your search criteria.
Heart to heart tip: When you message your prospects don’t be spammy. You will struggle to make a dime and it is super annoying. Form a relationship and add value before you try to go for the sale. For best practices on this you can read about spammy LinkedIn users and how annoying they are here.
Remember – LinkedIn is about building relationships, not selling your stuff. (Of course once you have built a strong relationship, it’s easy to share your product or service with a Prospect). – Viveka von Rosen
In the beginning of 2015 LinkedIn changed their Inmail program. You can’t purchase Inmails anymore with a basic account, you need to upgrade to premium. Furthermore, it used to be that when you sent an Inmail, if you didn’t get a response in 7 days it was credited back to your Inmail account.
At present if you send out an Inmail that doesn’t get a response in 90 days you will NOT be credited for the unanswered Inmail. The good news is if you DO get a response within 90 days you will receive the Inmail credit back. And the response can either be a direct message response or a not interested response. It can be negative or positive. You just need to get a response.
The reason they reversed the policy is people would abuse this by sending a lot of spam and it would cost them nothing if people didn’t reply.
So what should the effect be on your Inmail strategy?
If you use Inmail you really have to start to personalize your messages but this is just obvious sales best practices, isn’t it? Your prospects need to be much more targeted. You can’t shoot from the hip unless you are willing to lose an Inmail. To increase your odds of getting a reply look for profiles that have a decent amount of contacts and look somewhat active. People with premium accounts are also more likely to respond.
The Top Three Actions You Should Take Immediately After Reading This Article
- Make sure that what you would like to be found for on LinkedIn is clear in the keywords you use in the title fields of your experience, education, projects, and publications.
- Grow your network by:
– Inviting people you know.
– Joining groups where your prospects might be hanging out.
– Connecting to other people with lots of connections.
– Joining large groups you might be interested in.
- Form relationships by messaging three connections you know and three connections you don’t three times a week; that’s eighteen messages you need to send a week to engage with your connections.
If you are not using LinkedIn to grow your network, stand out from the crowd and generate your leads you are making your job much harder than it should be. We hope you enjoyed this post and that you will apply all these tips and tactics immediately. Try to work a fixed period of time devoted to LinkedIn into your daily schedule. You will reap the benefits.
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