As I mentioned the past few weeks, I have compiled a list titled The 15 Reasons Why LinkedIn Isn’t Helping You Hit Your Sales Quota.
This week I’ll address another one of the reasons you might be failing to achieve your goals on LinkedIn — and this applies to everyone, whether you’re in sales or not. If you’re not selling a product or service, you’re selling yourself or your company/organization.
Reminder: If you haven’t checked out the first video in my FREE three-video series “Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn,” click here to check it out — and download your own “15 Reasons Why LinkedIn Isn’t Helping You Hit Your Sales Quota” tip sheet.
This week I’m going to address the opportunity you’re missing if you’re not getting involved in the right LinkedIn groups. In the off-line world, this would be akin to not hanging out with the right people and not saying or doing the right things.
How to Find the Groups That Are Right For You
LinkedIn currently has over 2 million groups, and you can join up to 50 at any one time (this does not include subgroups).
Here are some of the ways to uncover the best places to hang out.
- 1. Use specific words and terms in the Group Search function. Try some of these:
- Schools you have attended
- Associations and groups you belong to
- Your city, state or region
- Your industry
- Your customers’ industry (this is often an overlooked opportunity)
- Your hobbies or outside interests
- Certifications you have earned
- Types of software or other tools you use in your job
- Events you’ve attended or will be attending
- Review the groups listed on the bottom of the profile of any person you’re already hanging out with or would like to hang out with.
- Check out “Featured Groups” on LinkedIn company pages.
- Look at LinkedIn’s “Groups You May Like” feature. This usually shows up on your home page.
For more ways to find the best groups, download my worksheet “LinkedIn Groups: Ca$h In On This Powerful Tool.”
How to Engage in LinkedIn Groups
After you’ve found the best places to hang out, it’s time to get involved.
Each group has a different feel or culture, and it will be pretty obvious what type of activity is appropriate. However, here are some general do’s and don’ts to help improve your effectiveness when hanging out in groups.
Do this in your groups
- Get involved in discussions where the right folks are talking about the right topics. Of course, you’ll need to have expertise that will add value to the discussion. Also, consider sharing a link to a place where they can get more information on the topic being discussed.
- Invite fellow group members to join your network. If they’re a particularly good target, mention in your invitation that you’re in the same LinkedIn group or refer to a comment they made in a group discussion.
- Use the Member Search function within the group to find potential future connections.
- If you’re looking for employment, check out the group’s Jobs tab.
- Start your own discussion, and be sure to follow the ongoing conversation. Before starting a discussion, however, check out the group’s rules, because some group managers have specifically outlawed links to your website or other things they feel are too self-promotional. For more on this somewhat tricky subject, read Cheryl Snapp Conner’s Forbes article LinkedIn Ruckus Redux: Site-wide Moderation Policy (Quietly) Evolves.
- Suggest taking the conversation offline when it’s appropriate.
- Send direct messages to members and share helpful information and/or resources.
Don’t do this in your groups
- Spend most of your time in group discussions selling your products and services.
- Share any confidential information.
- Make hurtful, personal or overly negative comments in the discussions.
- Think that you have to get the daily or weekly LinkedIn email notifications regarding all the activities in all 50 groups you are in. This will be overwhelming. Pick a few of your best groups, and follow those. Check the others out when you have some extra time.
- Think less of group members who have decided they don’t want to receive direct messages from other group members.
- Hesitate to end your membership in a group if you feel you’re not getting any results. There are usually several groups in the same space. Find a new one that’s a better fit for you.
Now that you know the best ways to find and interact in groups (one of LinkedIn’s most popular features), go join some new groups and start making friends!
This article was originally published on Wayne Breitbarth’s PowerFormula.net.