The next area to explore is Linkedin Groups – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/.
Again, these are found via the URL above or via the dropdown menu when you click on “Work” in the top menu bar.
Although Groups have been around probably since the very early days of Linkedin and over recent years, their prevalence has waned, they are still a good resource for you.
One, because they provide you with a subset of the Linkedin community that share your interests. Two, they provide you with a mechanism to build up your profile with this group of people by sharing relevant information, engaging in discussions and answering questions and three, you can connect with all of the group members directly – as such, your ‘reach’ within the Linkedin community of 660m people increases exponentially.
There are groups of all types and all sizes – some are sector focused, some are functionally focused, some are geographical in perspective whilst others niche down to a special interest group.
As I stated earlier, the emphasis of the groups has waned in recent years and many groups, even those with many thousands of members are not that active. However, they do still offer you an opportunity that you should at least explore.
Go into your Linkedin account and think of a ‘special interest area’ that you’d like to explore further.
Let’s pick something random like “photography” or “ERP Integrations”
Within the top search box, key in your ‘special interest area’ and as you type, Linkedin will present a number of options (see opposite).
Click on the link that states ‘your interest group’ in Groups and you will be redirected to a page that looks something like this.
As you scroll down the page, you see all of the groups on Linkedin that align to your area of special interest – as you can see above there are circa 3900 on Photography alone!
In this case, I’d start to look at each one. There may be some that are more active than others. This doesn’t necessarily align with the numbers of members so don’t get sucked into just joining the biggest groups.
Most Groups are ‘closed’ and you need to apply – this is often as simple as clicking on the button “Request to Join”
Once you have been accepted, then you need to start to engage. Remember, I said ‘engage’ not ‘sell’. View groups as a way to meet people, engage with them to build up trust and never ‘pitch them’.
Doing so is like the equivalent of asking someone to marry you on the first date -it’s just not done and don’t be surprised to get a virtual ‘slap’ if you do so.
So how do you go about building your presence in LI Groups – some of these sessions in the LI Learning Centre are very helpful.