Understanding Your Contact Options
Before you start communicating with another LinkedIn member, you need to understand your available options for contacting that particular person. When you view member profiles or their summary information from another part of the site, the icons next to a member's name tell you how you're connected (see Figure 6.1).
Figure 6.1 The icons next to a member's name tell you how you're connected.
These icons identify 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections; fellow group members; and LinkedIn premium account holders.
The links that display to the right of a member's name let you know what contact options are available. These include
- Send Message. Send a message to a direct connection or group member.
- Send InMail. Send an InMail to someone who isn't in your network. This option doesn't appear for members to whom you can send a message because it wouldn't make sense to pay to contact someone you can communicate with freely. If you click the Send InMail link and don't have a premium account, LinkedIn prompts you to sign up for one before you can proceed.
- Send InMail (Free). Send an OpenLink message to a member of the OpenLink Network. LinkedIn members who hold premium accounts can offer you the option of sending them free InMail. See Lesson 1, "Introducing LinkedIn," for more information about the OpenLink Network.
- Get Introduced Through a Connection. Request an introduction to this member through a 1st degree connection.
- Add [person's first name] to Network. Send an invitation to connect. See Lesson 3, "Adding and Managing Connections," for more information about sending connection requests.
- Forward This Profile to a Connection. Forward a member's profile to a member you know, as a way of informal introduction.
These are the link names that appear on an actual profile. The link names in search results are sometimes abbreviated.