LinkedIn groups are a fantastic way to connect with like-minded business owners and also with potential customers and clients. The best way to think of a LinkedIn group is to imagine they are huge virtual networking groups (and you don’t need to speak with everyone or sit through those painful 60 second introductions!) If you join a LinkedIn group you can network with in them – its great! If you want to see how I use LinkedIn groups check out my free LinkedIn training videos
LinkedIn groups are essentially forums on LinkedIn that professionals can connect to. The purposes of doing so are to share useful and relevant content, request answers to problems, discover new contacts and also to demonstrate yourself as an industry leader. If you want to do any of these things and are not currently utilising the benefits of being part of LinkedIn groups then it is certainly something that you should consider. Doing so is a very modern way of networking that can quickly lead to long lasting business relationships, as well as an increased web presence.
Joining LinkedIn Groups
If you are not currently a member of a LinkedIn group then the first thing you want to do is use the search function on the homepage to find relevant groups. You will then be able to request to join a group. Once your request has been approved you will be able to participate in existing discussions as well as start your own.
Participating in LinkedIn Groups
One key thing to watch out for when you are an active user in a LinkedIn group is to not post anything that may be perceived as spam. The very point of your presence within a group is to provide value to the other members whilst also gaining useful insights from others. It is not to blatantly sell your products and services or to continuously promote yourself or your business. Doing so will likely result in you being removed from the group by the administrator.
Connect with Other Members
Connecting with other members of the group in a genuine way is one of the best ways to use this platform for lead generation. Be sure to reach out and introduce yourself, being careful not to be overly self-promotional. Let your fellow group members know why you have joined the group and what you hope to gain from it. It is also useful to give a brief explanation of how you feel you can help other members of the group.
Demonstrate Your Expertise
Once you have established yourself as a member of the group, you should then make an effort to comment on existing threads. Offer your agreement to valid points made on discussion posts and try to engage other members in conversation. If you have something original and insightful to say then do not be afraid to do so. You will likely find that comments of this type can give fresh life to the discussion and guide it in a whole new direction. By showing that you have a lot to offer in terms of your thoughts and opinions, you are also showing that you are someone worth doing business with.
Lead generation from a LinkedIn group may be a slightly longer path to sales than you are used to. However, the results of networking in this way can far exceed traditional routes. If you are new to doing so then take it slowly. Do not join too many groups at once as you run the risk of overwhelming yourself and not being able to be as active in all of these groups as is beneficial. Make it your mission to conquer one group at a time and also be sure to enjoy the process of this communication!