We are so excited for you!
You’re not only on LinkedIn (seriously, so 2012), but you’re using it—regularly—for networking, recruiting and, ahem, boosting your personal brand and visibility with high-quality industry content. Good for you!
But what about the Groups? Sure, sure, you’ve probably joined a few (don’t those logos look impressive all lined up on your profile page there?). But are you truly using them?
Groups can be among the most valuable resources for network marketing and personal brand building—but unfortunately, most people don’t take full advantage of them. Actually, a lot of people don’t know how to proceed once they join one, and so they end up not using them at all.
Well, today we’re going to change that. Whether you’re looking to connect with new people, or trying to gain a new reputation as a leader in the network marketing industry, here’s how to max out the value of your LinkedIn Groups.
First, Which Groups Should You Join?
The Groups that will likely be most valuable to you are these related to the network marketing industry, entrepreneurship, your partner company and your (current or desired) geography. If you can find a combo Group that hits both your industry and your geography (e.g., Maine Center for Entrepreneurs), this is where you’re most likely going to get the most value.
From there? Join a few, and then pay attention to the discussions that are happening. There are tons of brilliant, thoughtful, well-moderated Groups on LinkedIn. And some of them flat-out suck. You’ll realize pretty quickly which ones are which; the lousy ones are usually dormant or slammed with spammers. Exit stage left on those, and spend your time and energy on the others.
Here are four PowerUp tips that you can do once you join a Group that can seriously boost your social recruiting and personal branding.
1. Engage in the Conversation
When you walk into a room, you wouldn’t just stand there hoping no one will notice you—you’d jump in and mingle. So please, take a spin through the conversations and posts in online discussion threads. See any that are interesting, or to which you could add some value or insight? That’s your cue to join the discussion and share your expertise.
PowerUp: You may meet potential high-caliber recruits and you can begin to position yourself as someone who is a knowledgeable, relevant and engaged entrepreneur.
2. Post Your Own Questions, or Share Content
Same deal, but one step bolder. You actually start the discussion thread with the hopes of involving fellow members of the Group in the conversation. Ask a question, share an article, or introduce yourself if you’re new to the group. Just be mindful of the specific rules and spirit of any given group (e.g., does the Group love discussing recruiting strategies, or is it more of an inspirational Group ), and post thoughtfully.
PowerUp: Another great way to brand yourself as someone who knows their stuff and enjoys what they do. You can imagine that people who hate their chosen field or aren’t very good at what they do are not spending much time “talking shop” in industry-specific LinkedIn Groups, right?
3. Contact (and Connect With) Fellow Group Members
Find someone in that Group who may be beneficial to talk to or know long-term? Strike up a little exchange with him. Through your joint group affiliation, you’re able to email people directly, even if they aren’t members of your network. You can also then approach in a way that starts out with, “You and I are both members of the New Jersey Entrepreneurs Network. I happened to notice you are in business development at XYZ Company, and I thought I’d introduce myself!”
PowerUp: Other than the obvious benefit of knowing that person, by approaching through the shared group affiliation, you seem less like a cold call and more like “one of my people.”
4. Consider Starting Your Own Group
This can be an exceptional way to brand yourself in your field—after all, nothing says “I am a thought leader” quite like running your own Group. However, if you’re going to dive into this one, be committed to being an exceptional moderator and one who regularly engages your members. Otherwise, stick with being a “regular” in established Groups.
PowerUp: You are not just a thought leader, you are a leader. And could enhance your opportunities to meet incredibly interesting and helpful.