So you are finally starting to feel like you understand Social Media and are now working hard to expand your network. After all your Network is your Net Worth!!
You are now looking to aggressively grow your network and increase the number of opportunities that an expanded LinkedIn network will provide you with.
Before you begin, it’s important that you take the time to read the LinkedIn user agreement which you can easily find at the bottom of your ‘Edit Profile’ page…
…. or by searching in the LinkedIn search field for ‘User Agreement’.
As you can see under Section 8. LinkedIn “DOs” and “DON’Ts.”
Under the “DON’Ts” section
- Invite people you do not know to join your network
If you do invite someone that you do not know to join your network and they decline your invitation and select the ‘I Don’t Know This Person’ (IDK) option this registers a ‘black mark’ against you, if you collect three IDK’s you will receive a notification from LinkedIn to tell you that you are nearing the limit of IDK’s and reminding you of this policy.
If you reach the limit which is five (5) IDK’s you will no longer be able to invite people to join your network unless you have their email address.
Every time you want to send a connection request you will see this image:
However if you have seen this image before, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are in the ‘Naughty Corner’ there are two other occasions when you might see this message.
The first is if you have already sent the person a ‘connection request’, the next time you attempt to connect with them, you will see this ‘message box’ the other time you might see this box is if the person has their ‘communication preferences’ settings set so that you need to know their email address to connect (not recommended by LinkedIn by the way).
When you set up your account you can choose who can send you connection requests, this feature is within the ‘Privacy & Settings’ area of LinkedIn, under the ‘Communications’ tab and in the ‘Member Communications’ under ‘Select Who Can Send you Invitations’. If the person has the second option selected, as shown below, then you will also see the same message.
Now this is where I have a little ‘poke’ at LinkedIn, but they have this rule which they enforce vigorously, but in the same breath, they are actively encouraging you to connect with people in the ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ section of LinkedIn.
As you can see here, LinkedIn is suggesting that I connect with Marcy Baardseth to grow my network and get found for more opportunities, but I don’t know Marcy. I am a little frustrated that LinkedIn tells you not do something in their ‘User Agreement’ and then encourages you to do it elsewhere on the site.
When it comes to growing your network, I would suggest that you develop a network growth strategy and stick to it. If you do happen to get yourself ‘IDK’d’ by LinkedIn, then there is a ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’.
Follow the link below…to un-restrict your account
If it is your first restriction, you can click on the link at the foot of the page and you will be directed to LinkedIn’s policy again and asked to sign and confirm that you agree to follow the policy.
LinkedIn will then ‘Un-restrict’ your account. But only once, so no machine gun connecting again.
5 Tips for avoiding IDK’s
- Only invite people you know to connect
- Personalize your invite and remind the ‘invitee’ how you know one another and why you want to connect
- If you don’t know the connection, reach out to them via an in-mail message first with a formal introduction
- Ensure that you have a professional headshot photograph on your profile so that you are easily recognizable
- Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and speaks to the value you bring your network
Good Luck and Happy Networking!