30 short, useful, actionable LinkedIn tips in 30 days from Doctor LinkedIn™, David Petherick. #30×30

#18/30: Add all your email addresses

This might seem very mundane, and not really a great way to improve your profile on LinkedIn. But you’d be wrong there.

When a new member joins Linkedin, or someone is looking to grow their LinkedIn network, one of the first things they do is to connect with people on LinkedIn who meet two criteria:

  1. The new members’ email contact list contains the person’s email
  2. The person is already a member on LinkedIn, and has registered that email address with LinkedIn

LinkedIn positively encourages this behaviour for all of its members – it’s the menu item called Add Contacts below My Network and it suggests connections based on who’s in your email address book.

So I recommend you do two things:

  1. Add your email addresses (work and personal) to LinkedIn.
  2. Tell Linkedin you are happy to have people connect with you if they know those addresses.

If you don’t, your network’s going to be smaller. You will miss out on connecting with the important people that you should have a connection to: people who already know you.

1: How do I add email addresses?

It’s easy – go to your Privacy & Settings and click to manage these. You reach this by clicking your little photo at top right.

It’s essentially the first thing you see: first tab, first section, first item. Click to make changes here, and scroll down for the option to add a new address.

A simple dialogue box opens, and you then enter your email address. This triggers an email to that address, used to verify it.

When you receive the verification email, you click on a link that verifies the address with LinkedIn, and this email is then added to your LinkedIn account.

But you’re not done yet!

2: Adding permission to be ‘found’ by email address.

Head off again to your Privacy & Settings and click to manage these.

This time, select the Privacy Tab in the centre and then choose the sub-section titled Data privacy and advertising, as shown below.

Click to change the settings for suggesting you as a connection based on your email address. I recommend you set this to the default of ‘Everyone‘ so that anyone on LinkedIn can ask to connect with you if they know your email address.

It’s important to note – you can still refuse to connect with someone.

Leaving this open to Everyone just makes you easier to find, and allows people to ask to connect with you on LinkedIn. It’s not going to mean a flood of dubious connections being added to your network.

If you prefer to limit things, you can choose either 2nd Degree Connections, or Nobody. The latter setting means that even if someone has your email address – you’ll never be suggested as a possible connection.

  • While you’re there, take a look at the option for a suggestion based on your phone number. The Same logic applies – if they know you, they know your number – so make it easy for people who know you to connect. Or if you prefer, lock this option down.
  • Tediously, the phone number that is actually used can’t be viewed, verified or changed here – it’s in a separate location of ‘Contact Info‘ which you can add or change only when editing your profile. And it’s not necessarily the phone number you will use to secure login to your account if using two-step verification.

3: In conclusion

The great advantage of putting these settings in place is that you will be suggested as a connection to people who already have a connection with you through previous email contact or phone contact. In short, people who know you.

That’s one of the most powerful elements of LinkedIn – when it works to connect the real world digitally. And there’s nothing better on LinkedIn than having connections who already know you, like you, and trust you.

A footnote about email

I have a number of email addresses, but they all are managed easily through one single Gmail account. I can often tell just from the address used in the email what the subject and context is, because I own more than one domain name, and therefore can set up email addresses easily such as ‘linkedin@mydomain.com’ which I can filter and manage readily.

If you are looking to manage your email more efficiently, I recommend my joint venture service I Own My Own Name which I have operated since 2006 providing quality website, blog and email hosting. At the very least, I recommend owning your own personal name as a domain for search visibility. My own davidpetherick.com ranks on Page 1 of Google in a search for my name – and I’m certainly not the only David Petherick in the world. It just looks like I am.