Many business professionals join groups – but many don’t participate regularly. LinkedIn groups are ideal for virtually anyone in the professional world trying to build a network and knowledge. I work with authors and B2B clients, and I am sharing tips with you that I would tell them. They’re quite simple, but you’ll find making these tweaks in your approach will produce great results for building your network.
1) Join just 7 groups for optimum participation. If you already are a member of more – try to choose 7 to hone in.
2) Join groups that are local or regional.
3) Seek out groups specific to your industry/niche – unless you have a particular and strong interest in learning about something new – unless your interest is wavering, then you won’t spend your energy in that group.
4) Groups are prime “grounds” for you to position yourself as an informed industry professional and resource.
Grow influence by:
– Observe & engage first. Get to know what others in the group like to discuss about. Locate especially active participants.
– Add value added comments to other member’s comments & ask additional questions.
– Eventually, look for questions you can answer profoundly using your knowledge.
– Share valuable resources – articles, blog posts, webinars, slideshares.
5) If you are seeking to make connections, remain active and try to engage with them in the group – then look at their profiles and request a connection by indicating you share the same group. If you feel more comfortable, you can also search for mutual connections that could introduce you those 2nd or 3rd connections you’re interested in.
6) Make your engagement a targeted activity so it is easy to follow through. For instance, you could set aside 5 to 10 minutes in increments throughout the week to visit one group, or 30 minutes to an hour for all the groups (remember just seven of them!) to answer/ask questions.
7) Don’t go in with the intent to self-promote. The manager will flag you.
8) Go in with a compelling headline and profile for a strong initial impression.
E.g. Sales Director? Why not: “Director, Delivering sales growth as team leader & motivator at ____”
BONUS TIP: Do you know about CardMunch, an App that has teamed up with LinkedIn that allows you to scan business cards and keep a virtual rolodex? That’s right – look it up in your smart phone!