Yes, voice messaging…on LinkedIn – you read it correctly. While it is only available to your 1st-degree network, it is a great way to re-engage with all of those connections you have been ignoring.

LinkedIn’s primary mobile app is offering all kinds of cool features to get on your connection’s radar. Voicemail, video messaging and even calendar integration for suggesting times and dates for a conversation is making it easier and easier to connect better and build relationships faster. For this post, however, we are focused on the voice message feature for business development.

First, let’s talk about why voicemail on LinkedIn instead of the phone:

1.    Almost no one is using this feature on LinkedIn, let alone know about it so you look really smart! What a great way to stand out!

2.    It creates curiosity and gets a much higher rate of replays than a typical phone message.

3.    Your connections can easily click through to see your profile, learn more about you and make an informed decision about “calling you back”. Whereas a typical phone voicemail limits them to hearing only your words with no other supporting brand.

4.    Once the voicemail is sent, you can send content, insights or additional value that you could never do on the phone.

5.    The voicemail doesn’t get deleted, it lives in the inbox and can be accessed immediately, weeks, months or even years later.

Next, leverage LinkedIn’s voice messaging to start more conversations:

1.    Determine what message will bring value to your network. Just checking in won’t cut it. Possibly pair it with a blog post that you or your company wrote that would be of value. If you don’t have original content consider curating from another site, just be sure it offers outstanding thought leadership or insights. Or, consider inviting them to an upcoming event, business card exchange, webinar or trade show. The best voice messages for business development offer value to your recipient. DO NOT PITCH. Do not talk about how you help people just like them, or how you can save them money, resources or time!  

2.    Find the right 1st degree connections that you’d like to send a voice message to by utilizing LinkedIn’s search filters. The challenge is, unless you have Sales Navigator, filtering your connections down on mobile isn’t an option. So, start on the desktop for the search and go to mobile for the message.

a.    Click on the search bar on the top left side and click on People in the dropdown.

b.    Click on All Filters on the right

c.    Choose 1st Degree Connections on the left

d.    Complete your other filters like location, industry etc.

e.    In title on the bottom of the search-filters add your buyers’ title or use your search string to get a more robust search.

f.      Click Apply

g.    This will provide you with a list of targeted connections that are ready to engage. Now scroll through the list and look for the little green dot by their profile picture – this tells you that they are online right now (the green dot with white dot inside means they are on mobile). The likelihood of quick engagement will go through the roof if you are sending messages to people who are active on LinkedIn in real-time.

h.    Identify whom you’d like to engage with, and look them up on the mobile app, click on message, click the microphone and record your voice message and send.

BONUS: Personalized video messages used the same way will get an even higher level of engagement! From the app click on the camera instead of the microphone and choose video.

We’d love to hear how you are using LinkedIn’s voice messaging for business development – share in comments below! 

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.