One of the best things about LinkedIn is how it helps you get in touch with new people who can drive your career forward. The ability to send messages to others is a valuable feature, but unfortunately it’s one that LinkedIn will often want to charge you for…that is, unless you’re ‘connected’ to the person in question.
This doesn’t sound very sociable for a social network, but in some ways it’s understandable that LinkedIn would want to limit people’s ability to message each other. You can probably imagine the kind of low quality messages that get sent around, when so many people are desperate to connect with someone they think can help them get ahead in their career. Charging for messages (or ‘InMails’) means that people are less likely to bother strangers unless there’s a real benefit to it, not to mention that it also provides a nice revenue stream to the owners of the site.
However the good news is that it is often possible to message non-connections for free, just so long as you do a little research first. This might not be practical if you want to send out hundreds of messages every hour, but for targeted missives to people you really want to get to know, this could be just what you need. Here are all the ways we know of to message someone on LinkedIn for free.
Connect with them
The most obvious start is to send your contact a request to connect, and see whether they accept. Many people accept virtually all of their requests, so you’ve got nothing to lose by trying…and once the connection’s made, you can message each other as much as you like for free.Demolition movie download
You can add a ‘personal note’ that goes along with your request, so a cheeky little trick is to put forward your message in that request. This makes it likely that your contact will see what you have to say, even if they don’t want to connect.
Look for an Open Profile
Open Profile is a feature of LinkedIn that makes people more visible – and more contactable. Although it’s a paid feature, the result is that anyone else can message that person for free. If your contact is using Open Profile, it couldn’t be easier to get in touch.
To find out if that’s the case, just click the Send InMail button at the top of the profile. You might be taken to the standard payment page, but on occasion you’ll find yourself taken straight to a messaging screen. (Many users of Open Profile choose to advertise the fact with ‘LION’ in their name or title – which stands for LinkedIn Open Networker. If your contact is a LION it’s your lucky day!)
Join a group
Another option is to take a look at the groups that they’re a part of. LinkedIn considers joint membership of a group to be a sign that two people have something in common, so they relax the rules on messages.
Some users keep their list of groups private, but many do not. Scroll down the profile page until you see your contact’s groups. If you have a group in common already that’s great, but if not you’ll need to go into a (preferably open) group and click Join. Per LinkedIn’s rules, there is a 4 day wait between joining and getting the ability to message, in order to prevent abuse.
Once you’re in however, you should be able to search for your contact (in the top bar, go to Search then Members), and select Send Message. You can send 15 introductory messages per month this way.
You might not be able to get in touch with a stranger; but perhaps you’re connected to someone who knows them. If the person you want to get in touch with is a second-degree connection, you can ask your mutual friend to put you in touch.
All you have to do is go to your target’s profile and find the Choose A Shared Connection option. Your mutual connection can send a message that goes to both you and your target.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can get in touch with a new person on LinkedIn without paying for costly InMails. Whether you’re pitching a business opportunity or just looking to get back in touch with an old colleague, you’re almost sure to find a way to get their attention.
As LinkedIn super users, we like to think we’ve got a great handle on how to get the most out of the world’s largest professional network. You can join over 10,000 other users in following our company page to get more great advice and links throughout the week!