Indeed, LinkedIn is the best social media platform that you can use for many different purposes. It is beneficial for marketing, networking and allows you to make new business relationships. Moreover, you can share your expertise and experience with others on LinkedIn.
But, do you have any idea about LinkedIn’s private mode? How does it work? What happens when you activate it? Is that good or bad for your profile? Here’s everything you should know about LinkedIn’s private mode feature and how to use it in the right way.
What Is LinkedIn Private Mode?
In simple words, LinkedIn Private is used to hide your activity on the network, and you can browse anonymously. You can also view other profiles anonymously via this feature.
By default, your details and profile are visible to others when browsing. This also means when you visit other profiles, LinkedIn stores your personal information, and the user whose profile you viewed can also see it. They can also access the information by using the ‘Who viewed your profile’ feature. Usually, this is useful, but if you want to remain anonymous or don’t want them to view your details, the private mode is the solution.
LinkedIn Private Mode – What you will get?
When you activate the private mode, and you visit any other person’s profile or page, they cannot identify you in any way. Instead, they will see you on the list as an Anonymous Member of LinkedIn.
The private mode function on LinkedIn comes in handy if you don’t want to share your information with others. Apart from the private mode, LinkedIn offers other visibility options as well. Those options are:
Public version – others can view your name, LinkedIn tagline, profile picture, occupation, and location.
Semi-private mode – others can view your occupation, current organization, job title, and location.
Private mode – none of your info is shared with the others when you browse in the private mode.
Mostly, people use this feature to keep an eye on their competitors. The Private mode is not the best choice when you are looking for networking.
How to Enable LinkedIn Private Mode?
You can use LinkedIn’s Private mode through your computer or laptop as well as from your smartphone.
Using Private Mode On Desktop Computer:
To activate LinkedIn Private Mode on your laptop or desktop, follow these steps.
First, log in to your LinkedIn profile page.
Go to the drop-down menu under your profile button located in the upper-right section.
Here, select ‘Accounts,’ then go to ‘Settings & Privacy’ using the drop-down menu.
Tap on ‘Privacy’ at the top, then look for the ‘How others see your LinkedIn’ option.
You might see an older version of LinkedIn if that’s the case with you. Look for the Visibility option from the left menu and select Visibility of your profile & network option.
Then, select the Change button next to the viewing options.
From here, you can choose your preferred browsing mode. You will see three modes in this tab that are: Public Mode (your name and headline will be visible), Semi-private Mode (your profile characteristics will be visible), or Private Mode (no personal information will be visible).
All changes are saved automatically on LinkedIn. Remember that whether you pick private or semi-private mode, it will deactivate the ‘Who viewed your profile’ option and remove your LinkedIn previous history.
Using Private Mode Via Mobile:
If you want to use private mode on your smartphone instead of your PC, follow these steps to enable LinkedIn Private Mode from the mobile app.
- Open the official LinkedIn app on your mobile and tap on the profile button.
- Then go to ‘Settings.’
- Scroll down a little bit and look for the ‘Visibility’ option.
- From this menu, you can select profile viewing options.
- Choose one of the three browsing modes: Public, Semi-private, or Private.
Why you should use the Private Mode on LinkedIn
Some of the primary reasons why you want to hide your identity on LinkedIn are given below.
Suppose if you are already employed but still want to look at other job opportunities in your work industry and don’t want your manager or colleagues to know about it, the private mode is helpful for you.
Suppose you are an active recruiter or sales personnel who wants to remain hidden while generating potential leads. In that case, you should browse in the private mode before you finally reach out to those prospects.
This unique function comes in handy in many situations, and you can enable or disable it anytime. However, keep in mind some important things if you decide to turn off LinkedIn’s private mode and switch back to the default public version.
Similarly, this mode might not be the appropriate choice in some cases, which we will discuss next in this read.
When to turn private mode off
Never browse in the private mode on LinkedIn if you intend to bring in revenue for your business. When a prospect sees your personal details like name, tagline, and image in its notification, it enhances your presence and helps catch their attention.
Browsing in a private mode means wearing a mask and going into a social event. And when you browse LinkedIn, you are actually networking online, so what’s the point in hiding your identity there?
Furthermore, if you are using LinkedIn to find new and potential clients, ensure that they know you are and what you are looking for. So, the private mode will not be suitable in this case until and unless you are spying on your competitors.
On the other hand, remember that if you stay anonymous on LinkedIn, it will limit your engagements with others. So, this function is not recommended if you want to use LinkedIn primarily for networking purposes. It will stop you from making potential business relationships, conversations, and opportunities.
How to Make the Most of Private Mode
If you have decided to remain anonymous on LinkedIn, you need to work smart and follow some rules when using the Private mode. Let’s check out some tricks and tips that will help you to take maximum advantage of private mode.
For Beginner Users
If you’re a beginner or new to LinkedIn, you can gain various benefits from the Private mode. The features hide you from others and help you stay anonymous while you build your network.
We also recommend using the Private mode if you are working somewhere but looking for new work opportunities and don’t want your colleagues or employer to find about that.
If you are an HR representative or recruiter and want to hire new employees, LinkedIn Private mode is suitable. You can use Private Browsing Mode when searching and compiling a list of appropriate candidates. Then you can switch back to the public when reaching out to those shortlisted candidates.
For Advanced LinkedIn Users
If you are an experienced LinkedIn user, you might want to stay anonymous when browsing other people’s profiles. The Private Mode is the best way to do this. You can use it while seeing other people’s profiles and switch back to the normal mode so that others can view your credentials.
The LinkedIn private mode also works for lead generation
During the lead generation process on LinkedIn, you should deactivate the private mode at first.
And then, you can turn it on when doing outreach.
Here is the reason:
When you are creating or compiling a cold audience list, it’s better not to show that you’re going to reach them as it will ruin the surprise.
Instead, when you are using an optimized LinkedIn profile, and you have a ready list of leads with a personalized message for them, you can turn the private mode back on.
This way, when you view their profile, they will receive a notification that you viewed their page or profile. Then, via your connection request message feature, you can start the conversation with them.
This approach works in almost all cases, and here is why:
It looks more personalized – By mentioning anything unique or specific from your prospect’s profile, they’re more likely to start a conversation with you.
It looks authentic – As you were browsing in a Public Mode, prospects will get a notification that you viewed their page or profile. They’ll know you are an authentic person and weren’t lying, and you actually explore their profile.
It strikes them – By accepting their authority or appraising their efforts, most leads will be happy to connect and talk with you.
Competitor research via LinkedIn private mode:
This is the most effective and easiest application of LinkedIn’s private mode.
If you want to keep an eye on your competitors and their activities, you don’t want them to know about that, and Private Mode allows you to do just that by hiding your details.
In the End: Should You Use Private Mode?
LinkedIn is all about socializing and growing your network to find new opportunities.
For that reason, we will recommend not to use the private mode. However, if you still want to use it, avoid using it for too long.
After all, if someone receives a notification that you viewed their LinkedIn profile, they will probably respond and view your LinkedIn profile in return.
Then, if you are using a fully optimized profile and treating it as your business’s landing page, they might send you a connection request by themselves. But that will not be the case if you were using Private Mode. As no one likes to connect with an ‘anonymous.’
However, if you are more concerned about your privacy or spying on your competitors, or performing valuable research, LinkedIn’s private mode is the best way to stay anonymous from others.
In the end, this whole thing depends entirely on your usage, purpose, and goals.