Invitation Frustration

Posted on October 8, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Firstly I must apologise for the lack of posts recently, I am currently busy writing a book (watch this space) which has been exhausting my writing energy quota. Poor excuse I know but there you have it!

Inviting someone to connect.

Here is the dilemma;

You want to connect with someone on LinkedIn so you click on the “connect” link on their profile, before personalising the message (which everyone should always do) you are required to state how you know someone (see below)


The problem is that they are not a colleague or someone you played tick (you might have called it tag!) with at school, they are not someone you have done business with nor are they a friend. You do not have their email address (which is required for “other”) and you do not share any groups with this person so it seems that your only remaining option is “I don’t know X” which is also not true as you have spoken to them or met them briefly. So what do you do?

Some people decide to lie and opt for one of the first four options.

Some people decide that a less dishonourable lie is to opt for the last one. When they click on “I don’t know” they are confronted with the following abrupt and somewhat annoying message;


I won’t get into why LinkedIn insist on this ridiculous idea of only connecting with people you already know, that’s a different subject but it seems very odd that for people who are not friends, colleagues, classmates or customers/suppliers but who have met (at a networking event for instance) there is no suitable reason to pick.

There are various solutions that avoid having to go through this process as follows;

  1. Invite via a mobile app
  2. Click on the “connect” link in the “people you may know” section

The problem with both these options is that they do not allow you to send a personalised message, the recipient will get the lazy message “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” which most people agree is worse than saying you are a friend (when you’re not)!

So what can we do?

Enter LinkedIn Contacts, LinkedIn’s newest and best ever feature which saves the day!

Here is how its done;

Step 1

Go to Network and then click on Contacts


If you haven’t already done so, click on the yellow ‘get started’ link to launch LinkedIn Contacts


Wait for Contacts to ‘do its thing’ and magically transform your LinkedIn account to a free, live CRM (Contact Relationship Management) programme.

Step 2

Go to the profile of the person you wish to connect with and save them to contacts by clicking on the star symbol on the left of their profile (see below)




Since publishing it appears that some profiles are no longer showing this star, if this is the case you can ‘save to contacts’ by hovering over the triangle next to ‘Send InMail” and save from there (see below)

save to conatcts 2


Now click on “Tag” and then “add new tag”.


You will only need to add a new tag once, from this point onwards you can use the tag you have created. In the box type in an appropriate name i.e. “connect” or something similar, then click save.

Step 3

You will now see the new tag showing on the profile (see below), click on this and you will be taken into LinkedIn Contacts and a list of everyone who you have assigned this tag to (if you remember to delete the tag after sending an invitation then this list will only be the one profile).


Step 4

Once in the list of contacts you can see (once you hover over the contact) a link to connect. Click on this and you will be able to personalise the invitation, without the need to state a reason.


The best of both worlds!


If you want to be tidy you can now go back to the contact and delete the “connect” tag (this can done in LinkedIn Contacts).

So there you have it. A bit long-winded? Maybe but I think it is a good discipline to tag everyone you are interested in any way. You can create up to 200 of your very own tags i.e. “prospect” or “potential employer” etc.

I hope that is of help to you.


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10 Responses to “Invitation Frustration”

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Great post! Many thanks for the tip. Cheers.

Brilliant tip and will be very useful!!

Great tip Mark! Thanks for the update! Keep them coming!

You are my Jedi when it comes to LinkedIn!

Great tip there Mark

An excellent tip, I’m sure I’ll use today!

Bingo. Works like a charm! Thanks a bunch!

Hi Mark.

Does this process work for all LinkedIn accounts or does it depend on what level you have / geography. I ask because the ‘star’ does not appear on profiles. This is what I have found:

1) I am able to add new Tags in the “Connections” page by selecting “Manage” option in the Tags area. These new Tags then appear in the Tags list.

2 However, when I am in a profile I want to connect with, there is no option relating to tags. The only relevant option I have is to “Save profile” which appears by pressing the little drop down arrow on the “Send Inmail” button.

3) Selecting “Save profile” then offers me an option to “Manage Tags” which takes me through to the folders I have set up in “Profile Organiser” (not the Tags)

3) As such, the only “Tags” that are populated in the “Connections” page are the default ones (Group Members / Friends / Partners / Colleagues / Classmates / Untagged), and nothing appears in the Tags I have created (see point 1)

4) However, if I select a profile from these default Tags, I then get an option to “Edit Tags” which then allows me to ‘move’ the profile to one of my newly created Tags.

5) I don’t have the options that you refer to in the second half of your article to connect at all though.

It would appear that my options are different to what you have outlined. Please could you advise.

Luke Collard

Hi Luke,
Its tricky to evaluate the exact problem without seeing some screenshots but it sounds to me that you haven’t started using LinkedIn Contacts. Click on Network>contacts and see if you can see the yellow button to start using LinkedIn Contacts (as shown in the main article). If you don’t see this then you don’t yet have the new Contacts feature (although I thought everyone had it now). This is not related to the level of your account or geography, roll out of new features is much more random than that!
Interestingly the ‘save to contacts’ star has now disappeared on some profiles (bizarrely not all!) but you can still save the profile under the drop down list next to ‘send Inmail’ that you also refer to.
Feel free to email me some screenshots if you need any further assistance.

Excellent tip, I have done this with a couple of new contacts and worked like a dream. Totally agree with your comments as I have struggled with this one as well. Thanks for sharing, Jane, Marketing Manager, Hallidays LLP, Stockport.

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