LinkedIn Groups are virtual meeting rooms where people with similar interests posts around topics they want to share or learn. By actively participating in a group, you show your expertise and start to grow relationships with like-minded people. They could then value add by offering solutions to specific challenges or provide partnership opportunities to grow your business in the future.
Start by choosing the right groups to join. The most crucial first step is to Set An Objective, which develops a robust set of guidelines to follow to optimize your way of work within these groups. Once you have established that, go to the Discover option and let LinkedIn’s algorithm guide you. Based on your network preferences, skills, and interests, LinkedIn will gather groups that it thinks you would like to join. This method works extremely well if you have curated your network carefully with meaningful connections.
If your profile consists of a more diverse group of connections, you might want to try Keyword Searches instead. Use words related to your industry, interests, or desired connection job titles to filter out the noise and get a list of best-performing groups. Scroll through the list, and find the ones that most interest you. Once you’re in, pay attention to the ongoing discussions, and you will realize reasonably quickly which ones are thoughtful and well-moderated, and which ones are slammed with spammers. Remember, you can only be a member of 100 groups at a time, so curate!
If used right, groups can be amongst the most valuable resources for job search, career networking, and professional branding. Now that you are in the best and most relevant groups available, it’s time to get the most out of these groups. Here’s are three things you can do to get started:
One, Engage in the discussions. Don’t stand there hoping someone will notice you — jump in. See any interesting posts you could add value to? Share your expertise, which positions you as someone passionate, knowledgeable, and engaged.
Two, Start your discussions. You can do this by posting your questions, or sharing content you found engaging. Feel out the group, find out if they are more into debating controversial issues or is it a feel-good party, and post thoughtfully. The effort differentiates you from someone who is not very good at what they do and shows your love for your chosen field.
Three, Contact and connect. Find someone in that group who may be beneficial to talk to, and strike up a conversation. By your joint group affiliation, you will be able to email them directly even if they are not members of your network. By introducing yourself as both members of the same group, you seem less like a cold call and more like “one of their people”, allowing you to connect with valuable connections that might be previously out of your network.
The benefits of being in a group are great, once you know which groups work best for you. These groups present a covert way for you to build valuable connections, and to brand yourself as a professional who knows what you are doing.