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Practice Management > Building Your Business

10 Hidden Tricks to Be a LinkedIn Power User

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You’ve bought into the LinkedIn concept as a business tool. You like the free version. You can do just about everything, but you have some questions. Here are some answers:

1. How to disconnect with someone.

We’ve all been there. You accepted an invitation. Afterwards, it just doesn’t feel right. Maybe you connected with me! I’m getting annoying! What can you do?

Action: Drop them as a connection. The Profile page has a “More” tab. One of your choices is “Remove Connection.” You can also get there through “My Network.” View your list of connections. Click on the three dots (…). You will see “Remove Connection.”

2. How to stop hearing from someone.

You are getting too much from this person. Maybe it’s not relevant at this moment. You still want to stay connected, just not see their posts all the time.

Action: Posts on your home page have three dots (…) to the right. One option is “unfollow.” They will remain a connection, but you won’t see their posts. There is an unfollow choice on their profile page, too. It’s under “More,” but doesn’t have the explanation.

3. Try connecting with a high-profile person.

Ever search for people at a specific firm and discover their profile offers the option to “Follow” instead of “Connect”? You can often try connecting using a different route.

Action: On their Profile page, click the “More” tab. One of the options should be “Connect.” In the text box, put together a compelling reason why they should connect with you. It might require you to know their email address. You might know how their company structures their email addresses.

4. Determining who to connect with.

You want people working at a certain firm or doing a specific job as connections. You search and find many. I prefer second-level connections because it shows shared connections and their names.

Action: Your personalized message makes the case why they should connect, along with the number of shared connections. The fact that they see familiar names or many, many shared connections can work in your favor.

5. You have shared connections, but can’t see them.

This happens to me occasionally. We are second-level connections, but I don’t see who we know in common. Here’s the likely reason: They have shielded their list of connections. Even when you are connected, you still won’t be able to see them.

Action: Since they will likely be able to see my shared connections, I include in the invitation “We have at least one shared connection.” If LinkedIn shows us as second-level connections, this should be true.

6. Pulling back LinkedIn invitations.

I send out lots. I tie it into my systematic marketing strategy. If I am messaging people who are “National Sales Managers,” I also send out invitations to other people with the same title. Every Friday, I pull back invitations that haven’t gotten a response for a month.

More on this topic

Action: Visit “My Network.” When you view invitations you have received, you should see “Manage Invitations” with “Received” and “Sent.” Click “Sent.” You will see a list of those outstanding and the number of weeks. If you click “Withdraw,” a box will appear telling you that you can’t resend an invitation for three weeks. Click “Withdraw.” Think of it with the logic you apply to seminar invitations. They didn’t attend, yet you consider them an important prospect, you send another invitation later, wording it differently. Eventually, you drop them entirely.

7. Finding LinkedIn groups to join.

This isn’t intuitive, but it’s easy. You would think there would be a “Scan for Groups” tab. Instead, there’s a “Create Group” tab. Not what you want.

Action: You know how to search for a person. You put their name in the Search field. Try entering the name of your college. You should see a Profile page listed, but also LinkedIn groups. Your alumni association should have one. If you enter “Insurance,” one of the results is “Insurance in Groups.”

8. Gaining name recognition in groups.

Obviously, you can post in the group. It’s important to read the rules of the group. This is in the section “About This Group.” You often need to scroll lower for “Group Rules.” Some don’t allow postings about webinars or selling product.

Action: An excellent way to gain name recognition is to comment on other members’ posts. This often gets a dialogue going. You are sharing ideas. When people comment on your posts, reply to their comments. This might be a good person to extend an invitation to connect, since they took the first step and engaged with you.

9. Leaving a group.

Ever get the feeling you are talking to an empty room? You post. Few others do. No one comments on anything. There are thousands of members, but they aren’t engaging. You decide to leave.

Action: Your home page or “My Network” page shows the word “Groups.” Click on it. You will see a list of your groups. The three dots (…) to the right of a group name offers three choices; “Leave Group” is one of them.

10. Getting into a group that hasn’t accepted you yet.

Some people might not be paying attention. Your request has been sitting out there for weeks or months.

Action: The group’s profile page shows the group administrator or manager. They are often a second-level connection. You also know the number of your connections who belong to the group. Consider sending them an invitation to connect. You have (X) shared connections. You are also asking to join the group. You’ve read the rules. That might prompt them.

LinkedIn is an excellent tool. Sometimes it can take a little effort to get it to do exactly what you want it to do.

— Check out How I Added 100 New LinkedIn Connections in 22 Days on ThinkAdvisor.