LinkedIn should not be underestimated as a business development tool! Today, I want to focus on one feature: LinkedIn groups.
The Power of LinkedIn Groups: On LinkedIn you can join up to 50 groups. The advantages range from connection making (you can contact anyone in your group as if they were 1st degree contacts), a resource go-to (you can query your peers and get sound advice very quickly) and business development.
Check out this helpful video from LinkedIn’s YouTube channel, then read on for a discussion.
How would you use LinkedIn for business development? You can pick a group and elevate your visibility by asking questions…and answering them. I took these sample questions from various LinkedIn groups I belong to:
1. Ask questions of your peer group
- What keeps you from creating or upgrading your branding?
- What are your favorite small business blogs?
- Give your Top Five Guerrilla Marketing tips for Small Businesses
2. Become an expert answerer to others
- What are some good repeat business & referral ideas?
- What program or company do you use to handle your e-mail marketing?
Several colleagues of mine post and answer questions in LinkedIn groups regularly, and have gained new clients this way. The key is to do this in groups that are not strictly your peers, but groups where the members are likely to need your services.
A few times a week, try surfing your LinkedIn groups to see what you can contribute. If you try this approach, come up with a consistent schedule and try to stick with it…weekly at least. By offering value in these forums, you increase your own perceived value, and build your brand.
What has your experience been using LinkedIn groups for business development?
PS – For more on LinkedIn, check out my guest blogs here (LinkedIn: Part 1) and here (LinkedIn: Part 2), which will give a good LinkedIn overview, help you tune up your LinkedIn profile and maximize your use of this powerful networking tool.