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What are 1st, 2nd, 3rd Connections in LinkedIn?

What are 1st, 2nd, 3rd Connections in LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media network professionals use to create a robust network. This guide will help you learn:

  • The meaning of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd LinkedIn connections
  • How you can reach your 1st and 2nd-degree LinkedIn connections
  • A few tips on how to grow and expand your LinkedIn network
  • How you can build your 1st and 2nd degree LinkedIn connections

Let’s get started!

1ST-Degree on LinkedIn


The LinkedIn users you directly connect with are your 1st-degree connections. You may have sent this LinkedIn user a connection request or accepted their invitation.

Related articles: Best LinkedIn Invite Message to Build Your Network Fast

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You’ll notice a ‘1st-degree’ icon next to your 1st-degree LinkedIn connections indicating you’re part of each other’s network.

LinkedIn lets you contact your 1st-degree connections directly by sending them a message.

2nd-Degree on LinkedIn


Your 2nd-degree connections do not belong to your network. They are “friends of friends” and connected to your 1st-degree relationships.

You’ll notice a 2nd-degree icon if you search their name or visit their profile. You may send them an InMail or introduction if you have a LinkedIn premium account. Otherwise, you cannot contact your 2nd-degree links.

3rd-Degree on LinkedIn


3rd-degree connections are also not part of your network. These LinkedIn users are people connected to your 2nd-degree connections.

You’ll see a 3rd-degree or + icon next to their name on their profile’s search bar. LinkedIn does not allow you to message your 3rd-degree connections, but you can send them an InMail.

Out of Network on LinkedIn

Some LinkedIn users do not follow within the above-mentioned degrees of connections. Out of network members are those who do not belong to your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd LinkedIn connections.

Although you cannot send them a message, you can connect with them via InMail.

Related articles: Ways To Leverage LinkedIn InMail More Effectively

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Followers are LinkedIn users that select the option to follow your public updates and latest posts. You can tweak your follower settings by visiting the ‘Settings’ page.

Fellow Members of Your LinkedIn Groups

Fellow members of your LinkedIn groups are users that belong to your network because you’re in a similar group.

You can check the ‘Highlights’ section of a LinkedIn user to identify which groups you have in common. LinkedIn lets you connect with fellow group members by sending a message or through the group.

How to Reach All 1st-Degree Connections on LinkedIn

Let’s discuss the different ways you can reach out to your 1st-degree connections:


LinkedIn’s algorithm controls the ranking of your post, meaning its distribution is limited.

Thus, LinkedIn posts are the lowest solutions to reach your 1st-degree connections. But it’s also an excellent way of engaging them and establishing brand authority.


Sending personalized messages to your 1st-degree connections is an excellent way of fostering deep relationships – it’s also time-consuming. We recommend you to use Octopus CRM LinkedIn automation to outreach your connections fast, save your time and engage more users.


The best way of reaching your 1st-degree connections is by using the notifications button. If you change your job, birthday, or any other special event, LinkedIn will notify your network.

It also means you’ll receive notifications about their special events. Sending a meaningful text congratulating a LinkedIn user can be a fantastic way of growing an organic relationship.

Use Paid Campaigns

Running a paid campaign includes finding the email addresses of your LinkedIn users into a CSV file and uploading it to LinkedIn’s campaign center as your target audience.

After creating your target audience, LinkedIn enables you to connect with other users in the following three ways:

  • Sponsored Content
  • Sponsored Message
  • Text Ads

How to Build Your LinkedIn 1st-Degree Connection Prospecting Process

Here are a few ways you can improve your LinkedIn 1st-degree connection prospecting process:

Send Warm Introductions

Being a social seller is learning the best ways to send warmer introductions to prospects. So, how do you achieve that on LinkedIn?

You can achieve this by tapping into your network and asking colleagues to introduce you to potential clients.

Prospect for Talent

Go through your 1st-degree connection list to identify talent within your industry. Prospecting for talent goes beyond the traditional job opening conversation.

It focuses on having meaningful conversations with talented people to build relationships. So, even if they are not looking for a move, you can recruit proactively when they are available.

How to Reach All 2nd-Degree Connections on LinkedIn

Reaching your 2nd-degree connections on LinkedIn can be challenging since you can’t send them a message.

Here are several ways you can contact your 2nd-degree connections on LinkedIn:

  • Send them an InMail inmail-salesnavigator-linkedin
  • Send your LinkedIn connection a message by contacting them through a similar LinkedIn group
  • You can pinpoint their email address by visiting their profile

How to Build Your 2nd-Degree Connection Prospecting Process

Here’s how you can build your 2nd-degree connection prospecting process:

  • Build a solid LinkedIn network
  • Leverage the demographics of your target audience
  • Establish a process to follow up on your Introduction requests

Should You Reach Directly 3rd-Degree Connections    

If you want to connect with a 3rd-degree connection, it’s wise to choose one of the following options:

  • Send them a personalized InMail
  • Contact them through their mobile number or email while referencing their LinkedIn profile

Tips on How to Expand Your LinkedIn Network

Here are tips you can follow to expand your existing LinkedIn network:

  • Personalize your connection requests to grab the user’s attention
  • Follow up on in-person networking opportunities foster deep relationships
  • Invite engagements by posting informative yet exciting content
  • Explore LinkedIn groups to connect with like-minded people
  • Engage with your existing connections with meaningful comments
  • Post eye-catching visual content to increase the aesthetic of your LinkedIn profile


Growing your LinkedIn network can be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be!

Before engaging, ensure you are purposeful, targeted, and offer high value. Include you have a tangible reason to connect.

Remember to personalize your connection requests and post often to grab the attention of other LinkedIn users and expand your network.