I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read.
I don’t work for LinkedIn– I am just a person who offers a service to help people craft professional LinkedIn profiles. Regardless, I feel your pain. You see my account was once restricted too. It happened because I was rather loose and carefree in my LinkedIn invitation requests. That was back when I was young and naive and I sent invites to lots and lots of people despite not knowing or trusting them all that well.
You see, this is against LinkedIn’s User Agreement:
Any other use of LinkedIn contrary to our mission and purpose (such as seeking to connect to someone you do not know or trust, or to use information gathered from LinkedIn commercially unless expressly authorized by LinkedIn) is strictly prohibited and a violation of this Agreement.
So this is what happened: You sent invitations to connect with people who you didn’t know or trust. These people then marked you as either SPAM or I DON’T KNOW.
Once you get 5 people marking you as either SPAM or I DON’T KNOW, your account becomes restricted. This means that you must enter a person’s email address if you ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn as a friend.
LinkedIn does this because they don’t want you SPAMMING their membership despite how good-natured your connection request may be. SPAM is considered unsolicited bulk email correspondence and a definite no-no.
The good news is you may be able to unrestrict your account. By visiting this link, you must promise LinkedIn that you will be a good person and won’t ask people you don’t know or trust to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Sometimes this link works… sometimes it doesn’t.
When my account was restricted, I had no choice but to live with the restriction. And live with it I did for well over a year. But one day, the sun rose, birds sang and my account magically unrestricted itself. It was a good day that day.
So what do you do?
1. Live with it. Stop inviting people you don’t know well to connect with you on LinkedIn. Or at the very least, join a similar group to the person you are inviting so you can state that you belong to a similar LinkedIn Group. Or you can invite LIONs to connect with you. LIONs typically include their email in their headline and summary so it’s an easy copy and paste.
2. Lie. Rather than saying you are friends with the person, state that you worked together at the same company or went to school together… even if you didn’t.
3. Grovel. Contact LinkedIn’s Tech Support and plead your case. Ask them nicely to remove the restriction. They might take pity on you and remove the restriction upon your LinkedIn account.
It seems to me that you are trying to be a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) but aren’t entirely aware of the etiquette. Lucky for you, I wrote an entire blog post all about How to be a LinkedIn LION.
I also wrote a book: 12 Mind Blowing Strategies to EXPAND Your LinkedIn Network. (Proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Donna Serdula Pizza Fund).
I wish you the best of luck! And if anyone reading this has any questions about LinkedIn you’d like me to answer– COMMENT in the comments section below… just scroll down! 🙂
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