How to use messaging on LinkedIn (and why you should)

how to use messaging on LinkedIn

When was the last time someone sent you a sales message on LinkedIn within minutes of connecting with you?

Have you ever won a client by sending them a link to check out your services the day after you connect with them?

LinkedIn messaging is a fantastic tool for winning business, but only if you learn how to use it appropriately.

How can LinkedIn Messaging help win business?

Imagine LinkedIn as an in-person networking event. You arrive at the event, see someone you know and walk up to speak to them. Do you immediately try to sell them your new software tool? Or do you engage in conversation?

Let’s look at how to use the messaging tool in a non-spammy way.

Who can you send messages to?

You can send a private message to anyone who is in your LinkedIn network. You can also send a message to someone who is in the same LinkedIn group as you. For LinkedIn Premium members, you will have InMail credits. InMail credits allow you to send messages to someone who you are not connected with.

Why are you sending someone a message?

Adding a note when you connect with someone.

When I send a connection request to someone, I always add a personal note. This opens up the messaging between myself and my new contact.

I receive many connection requests from people that may go like this:

Hi Louise,

I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network, I really need to up my game on LinkedIn


Try replying to your messages as though you were talking in person.

Sharing your article or blogpost with your network

If you have written an article or blog post you think someone in your network might be interested, LinkedIn invites you send the link to your contact using messaging.

Messaging someone who is interested in your Event

to find out more about using LinkedIn Events, check out this article :

Group Messaging

You can create a group conversation with up to 50 participants. This might be a topic relating to all the members, a group workshop or members of your team.

  • Click on new message
  • Add participants
  • Name your conversation if relevant
  • To remove someone: click on the ‘…’, select Manage Participants and right click on their name to remove a member

LinkedIn Messaging on your Mobile

What extra options do you have on your mobile app?

Add a little extra to your messages. You can add an attachment in the form of documents, photos, or gifs

Why not send a voice or video message?

To send a video message, click on the Plus sign on your LinkedIn mobile app. Select Video, record and send.

Share your Availability

Click on Availability

Select the day and time you are available

Send these to your connection


Your connection will receive a message with your dates and times to select from:

sending available dates and times for LinkedIn messages
Availability function on LinkedIn Messaging

Messaging Settings

Messaging sttings on LinkedIn

You can adjust your Messaging settings in your profile.

Click on your Me icon, and on the drop down menu, select Settings.

Under Communications, you can see the above options

What is an Open Profile?

With a LinkedIn Premium account, you can set your profile to Open. This means that anyone is able to send you a message for free, even if they are not in your network.

Read Receipts

In order to have read receipts (when LinkedIn notifies you that your contact has read your message) BOTH you and the person you are messaging, have to have Read Receipts turned on.

Reply Suggestions in your Messages

If you have reply suggestions turned on, LinkedIn will offer you three suggested replies for your messaging. This is aimed at busy people and comes from machine learning on your previous style/conversation:

we’ll suggest three smart replies that are relevant to your conversation for you to send on the spot, to acknowledge and respond to your messages efficiently.

LinkedIn Help

What is the difference between InMail and LinkedIn messaging?

LinkedIn InMail comes with a premium account and allows you to send a message to someone who is not in your personal network.

With the LinkedIn Premium monthly account, you get 15 InMail credits a month. If you don’t use them within the month, they build up in your account.

What do you SAY in a LinkedIn Message?

Keep it simple, say why you are reaching out, and don’t jump straight into sales mode. Your LinkedIn messages are private – only you and person you are messaging can see what you have written. People can forward your message to someone else and of course, people can capture your message and post it online!


Want to learn more about using LinkedIn?
Check out our LinkedIn Learners Lab

Group coaching, regular Q&A calls and support to help you build your profile on LinkedIn