Creating and Growing a LinkedIn Group
LinkedIn groups can be a great way to present your expertise and thoroughly engage with potential clients. It can help your increase your influence and your LinkedIn connections. And luckily, starting one is not difficult!
1) Pick a topic you’re an expert on. Don’t be too general, because that will make it difficult for people to distinguish if your group is to help the general population, or if it’s just a networking group for others in your industry. For example, choose "Planning Your Perfect Retirement" instead of just "Retirement".
2) Let people know you’ve created a group! Your clients can’t join if they don’t know the group exists, and they definitely can’t invite their friends. You should post about it on your LinkedIn page, as well as all your other social media accounts. If you send out an Ezine, include a note about your new group in the next edition!
3) Decide whether or not to pre-approve members. Some experts may not be concerned about this, but it can be a very handy tool to help you devote your time to better leads. You can create a group policy that specifies your criteria, and then only approve members who meet those criteria. Being selective will help you focus your efforts. Who wants to spend a lot of time working with someone in California, when you only work with clients on the Southern East coast?
4) Take the lead. Now that you’ve created your group and it has members, it’s time for you to start posting and responding. You can post a short synopsis of an important tip or point, and then invite your group to add their comments and questions. Make sure to respond to comments and moderate the group (especially discussions your members start!), and you’ll be well on your way to establishing trust with your members.
5) Send group announcements. The members of your groups are clearly interested in what you have to say, so make sure you share your opinion! Group announcements are the perfect way to let members know about your new blog, book, video, or any other bit of expertise you have to share. Just don’t send them too often, or people will leave the group! Anywhere from once a week to once a month is a good number to aim for.
There are five tips for creating and maintaining a LinkedIn group. And don’t forget to join existing groups that meet your interest! After all, participating in existing groups is a great way to connect with new people!