What Does 1st 2nd 3rd mean on Linkedin? [Networking Tutorial]

“Your network is your net worth”

I bet you’ve heard this quote before and it’s quite an accurate statement.

Growing a network that enriches you and your business is key.

The best part is that networking in the digital age is easier than ever before thanks to LinkedIn.

However, most people find it a bit complicated and have different questions including what does 1st 2nd 3rd mean on LinkedIn, how do I prospect, and more.

Well, in this post, we’ll answer that and give you practical advice on how to make the most of these connections.

What does 1st 2nd 3rd Mean on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has proven to be the leading professional network with nearly 800 million users on the platform.

It allows you to showcase your expertise, connect with like-minded individuals, and generate great leads.

With the growing number of LinkedIn users, the degrees of connection come in handy to better differentiate them.

You’ve probably seen “1st” next to someone’s profile and wondered what does the 1st mean on LinkedIn?

You can think of it as categorizing from family to friends and finally to acquaintances.

This is the easiest way to answer the question what does 1st mean on LinkedIn in relation to 2nd and 3rd-degree connections.

However, this is not necessarily an accurate depiction of how the platform works so let’s take a deeper look at their meanings.

What does 1st Mean on LinkedIn?

If you’ve been wondering what does 1st mean in LinkedIn, here’s a simple way of looking at it.

1st-degree connections show you that you are directly connected to this person.

what does 1st mean on linkedin

The scenario here is you either accepted a connection request or sent a connection request that was accepted.

With such connections, communication is made easier since you can directly message them through LinkedIn messaging.

Additionally, you can also view their posts and interact with the content they put out.

What does 2nd Mean on LinkedIn?

When it comes to 2nd-degree connections, these are people who are not part of your LinkedIn network.

They are, however, directly connected to your 1st-degree connections.

what does 2nd mean on LinkedIn

To add these people to your network, all you need to do is send them a connection request.

It would probably be a good idea to personalize your connection request to better stand out.

Communicating with 2nd-degree connections can only be done when using LinkedIn premium.

how to connect with 2nd degree connection on linkedin

This is because you get access to the InMail feature that allows you to send messages to people outside your network.

With these connections, you can also view their posts especially if you follow them or someone in your network interacts with their content.

What does 3rd Mean on LinkedIn?

Now that you can clearly answer what does 1st and 2nd mean on LinkedIn, let’s get into the last group.

3rd-degree connections are people you don’t know directly but could be connected to your 2nd-degree connections.

what does 3rd mean on linkedin

This is the simplest way to better understand what does 3rd mean on Linkedin.

However, keep in mind that this does not apply to all 3rd-degree connections.

With this group, having a personalized message when sending a connection request is your best bet.

When it comes to communication, just like with 2nd-degree connections, you’ll need to have access to the InMail feature on LinkedIn.

The Best Way to Contact 3rd-degree Connections

At this point, you already have a clear idea of the connections on LinkedIn and how they relate to your existing network.

The point of being on such a platform is to connect with these people and add them to your network.

This goal may be influenced by different desirable outcomes from lead generation to impactful collaborations.

But, you may wonder how best to contact those 3rd-degree connections and make the most out of them.

For this, you’d first need to understand LinkedIn how you’re connected 3rd degree.

As earlier mentioned, these may either be people that are directly connected to your 2nd-degree connections or not.

3rd degree connection on linkedin

So how do you differentiate them? 

For those connected to your 2nd-degree connections, you’ll find that you can see either their full names or the first name and the first initial of their surname.

Attempting to send a connection request would best work for those profiles where you can see their full names.

On the other hand, when it comes to 3rd-degree connections that are not connected to your 2nd-degree connections, you’ll find that they are listed as LinkedIn Members.

How to Successfully Contact 3rd-degree Connections

Attempting to blindly send connection requests is worth a shot but not the best option available.

To increase your chances of success, using LinkedIn sales navigator is the best way to go.

You can think of this as using an advanced LinkedIn search engine with valuable tools designed to give you the advantage.

With sales navigator, you can easily search for prospects using over 40 filters, save your searches, and make lead and account lists.

When it comes to using LinkedIn sales navigator to contact 3rd-degree connections, the lead and account list feature is going to come in handy.

sales navigator search filters

The best way to go about this is to find specific people you really want to connect to.

Paying attention to this is going to make the search easier and more precise.

At the end of the day, you wouldn’t want to be wasting your time on LinkedIn connecting to people who don’t contribute to any of your end goals. 

Once you have clear search results of your 3rd-degree prospects, create a list that will then help you keep tabs on their activity.

Any activity with regards to the people on that list will feature alerts to keep you up to date.

lead and account list alerts

This strategy is designed to help you interact with their content, increase your visibility, and provide you with relevant icebreakers. 

When a 3rd-degree connection posts something you find interesting, contribute meaningfully to the discussion.

With this, you can then opt to send a connection and reach out through InMail with the incredible icebreakers you’ve gathered.

For a deeper dive into InMail killer strategies, Check out our guide on using sales navigator InMail credits

However, if your goal is lead generation, the best option would be to first contact them through email.

This will provide the best chances for a response compared to using InMail when prospecting.

To contact 3rd-degree connections via Email, you’ll need to extract the search results you get on sales navigator.

Evaboot is a great tool for this that will help you clean your results and double check the quality of your leads.

Afterward, you can use Dropcontact in conjunction with Evaboot to get all the contact information of your prospects.

Once you have their Emails, you can then proceed with your outreach efforts and only use InMail as a last resort if your Emails are not answered.

How to Prospect Taking into Account the LinkedIn 1st 2nd 3rd Criteria

When it comes to prospecting using sales navigator, the filters available allow you to be more precise and narrow down your search results.

You’ll often find that sales navigator will generate a lot of results and feature some that don’t fit your specifications.

This is why going further to split your search using the different filters goes a long way.

One of the ways to do this is by using the relationship filter.

filter degree connection sales navigator

This filter allows you to choose different options which include 1st, 2nd, 3rd-degree connections, and also members of the same LinkedIn group.

With this, your prospecting efforts are made easier allowing you to target specific people who will be interested in your offer.

sales navigator relationship filter

At the same time, doing this allows you to exclude people you already know and have in your network.

You can then focus on reaching out to those 2nd and 3rd-degree connections that fit your needs.

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