Contacting LinkedIn Contacts – Cheating the System

December 16th, 2009 | by Jason Alba |

Last week I wrote about LinkedIn Companies, and the work I’m doing prospecting people on LinkedIn.

I was comped an upgraded account on LinkedIn (thanks LinkedIn!) and have really loved it… I have the ability to communicate with people I’m not connected with quickly, easily and immediately.

However, if you don’t have an upgrade there is a way to cheat the system.  Actually, it’s not really cheating the system.  And if you had my LinkedIn DVD or LinkedIn book you’d already know this… it is a powerful almost-loophole to help you contact people in LinkedIn.

Did you know that if you are in the same LinkedIn Group as someone you can message them for free, no matter how you are connected?

It’s perhaps the most compelling reason to join multiple LinkedIn Groups.

Here’s how you can apply this:

Let’s say you find a target contact… but she is a third degree contact.  You don’t want to do a LinkedIn Introduction (for various reasons)… you’d rather contact them directly.

Go to their LinkedIn Profile, scroll down to their Groups, and find Groups that might be relevant to you (in other words, Groups you would join whether they are in them or not).

Then, join that or those Groups.  Hopefully you’ll find a Group that let’s you in right away… if so, you can then message that key person right away – all because you are in the same Group!

Pretty cool, huh?

Remember, you can only join 50 Groups at a time, so you might find yourself joining and leaving Groups the more you do this… I haven’t had to do that because I have the upgraded account, but it’s a simple fix to the problem :)

  1. 6 Responses to “Contacting LinkedIn Contacts – Cheating the System”

  2. By Julie Walraven on Dec 16, 2009 | Reply

    I’ve been using that tip for awhile. I don’t know if I learned it from you or just stumbled on it. I know that I have been frustrated when someone I know from Facebook or Twitter or a blog says join me on LinkedIn and I couldn’t figure out how to say I knew them. Once I started using the groups as the connection, it solved the problem. We all want to avoid the dreaded “I don’t know you” and the possible penalty of being dropped from LI.

  3. By Winnie on Dec 16, 2009 | Reply

    Jason, I just discovered this “loophole” this morning before finding your post. I’ve reached out to a person who’s in a group and have my fingers crossed. I’ll let you know how it goes. This is definitely a plus and an incentive to not just join but to be active in groups so the people you contact recognize you as an active person.

  4. By Bill Kerschbaum on Dec 16, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks, Jason! I was just trying to find a way to connect with someone the other day. I know who he is, but didn’t have anyone to introduce me. I’m going to check this out!

  5. By Jay Ehret on Dec 20, 2009 | Reply

    I recently had someone “cheat the system” and spam me. At first I couldn’t understand how I was getting this guy’s stuff. Then I realized it was through a group and I immediately un-joined the group. Cheating the system = Spam loophole.

  6. By Jason Alba on Dec 21, 2009 | Reply

    That’s too bad Jay – I advocate people getting in touch for legitimate reasons, definitely not to spam… if you are sure about that I’d submit a complaint to LinkedIn – the seem trigger-happy to get rid of the bad apples.

  7. By Steven Burda, MBA on Jan 10, 2010 | Reply

    yes, there are many.

    i can add a few too.

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