With over 2 million groups on LinkedIn, how the heck do you decide which LinkedIn Group to join? We’re not going in there all willy nilly with the “Throw Something Against the Wall and See if it Sticks” Strategy. Ain’t nobody got time for that. We’re going into your LinkedIn Group with a plan, boo. Have you ever seen people go shopping on Black Friday? They eat dinner early. Have a nap. Pack up the sleeping bags and stadium chairs, get their blankets and cooler and sit outside so they can be the first ones in line for that item that’s going on sale. “Okay Honey, when the doors open you go to the left and grab the Tickle Me Elmo and I’ll go to the right and grab the glow in the dark Barbie. Meet you at the cash register at 0800 hours.” You’ve gotta have some sort of plan and spend some time thinking that thing out – folks have gotten hurt!
Before we log in to your LinkedIn profile, let’s put a little plan together. What are you going to do once you show up at the group? I dunno! That’s why I’m reading this blog post – whateva!!! 🙂
YOUR STRATEGY FOR GOING IN
- What are you gonna do? Build relationships and make connections with our intended audience
- Why are you gonna do it? Because if you go in there guns blazing talking about yourself and how wonderful you and your widget are, you will turn people off.
- How are you gonna do it? By being a resource, sharing information, helping people, answering questions, agreeing or offering difference of opinion . . . a different way to look at things.
- When are you gonna do it? . . . NOW (Apologies. I was a cheerleader for a brief period in my life)
1) Get the feel of the room before you walk in.
Spend a few minutes scrolling through the discussions. What are people talking about? Is there a lot of interaction or is everyone just posting stuff? Who is the most active person? You’re looking to see if this is a place you want to hang your hat for awhile.
2) Say hello!
What do you do when you show up at someone’s door? You say hello. Introduce yourself, but not like you do at a networking function, where if you don’t tell them everything you do in 30 seconds you will miss the deal of the century. Tell them a little about you (something personal) and why you’re there – you want to meet new people, share resources, learn things and what you hope to get from the group.
3) Review the rules.
Some groups frown on promoting yourself, posting jobs, etc. Not every group has rules, but look for them and abide by them.
4) Look to see if it’s an Open Group or Closed Group.
Closed groups on LinkedIn mean that only members of the group can see what’s going on in there. Open LinkedIn Groups are great when you are looking to be a resource, since your comments will show up in Google searches – as in the public – everyone can see what you’re writing whether you’re on LinkedIn or not. Keep that in mind when asking certain questions you may not want the whole wide world to see.
Before you go pouring forth all your wisdom, expertise and knowledge . . . chill. See how people interact. Read the discussions and look at the comments. Get a general feel for the personality of the group and the people who are participating. You might decide that’s not the group for you.
for relevant discussions and find 3 of them that you can join.
7) Leave a comment
Remember you aren’t promoting yourself or showing off. Think about being at an event (party, networking function), where you walk up to people and look to join and be included in the conversation that’s already going on. As people leave comments on the discussions you join in the group, you will have the opportunity to keep conversations going. Best way to do that is to thank people, ask more questions . . . just be social.
Not so bad, is it? Open your calendar, choose five 20 minute slots over the next 10 days and make appointments for yourself: “Marketing or Networking: LinkedIn Groups”. On those days, find a group you want to join and go through these seven steps.
The next time we’ll talk about how to promote yourself without coming off as salesy or pushy.
Gennia Photo credit: Robert Barney