Over the past few years I have been building my reach on LinkedIn. It has led to very valuable connections. People who share a common understanding and mission, or those whose capabilities can help me or visa versa. LinkedIn is quite different from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare and other social sites. On these others sites you can follow or fan someone or their company just because you want to. On LinkedIn, in order to connect, you need a reason. In other words, there has to be something that the two of you have in common. Either you are already friends, know each other from another source, like you worked together at a previous company, went to school together, or belong to a common group.
LinkedIn is very business oriented and is the largest database of working professionals that there is. It’s really the best place to connect to build you and your company’s professional profile. For LinkedIn to work for you, you must fill out your profile completely, and while connecting with people, ask them to write recommendations, the more, the better. 10+ will really help your credibility and visibility.
The groups section of LinkedIn is a very powerful way to reach many at once and build connections, better than searching for people or companies and adding one at a time. Let’s say you’d like to join a group on social media and marketing, or maybe you’re an animal lover like me and want to follow what’s happening through the World Wildlife Fund, you can join these groups and be connected with thousands through the discussion groups. Just put in any search criteria and the results will appear. It will display starting with the group that has the most members. When you find a group that seems interesting, look it over, read what they’re about, and what the most recent discussions were. Then join! Once in, you can either participate in discussions or start one on a topic you feel the group would like to learn about. Your discussion will be sent out in the daily/weekly digest to those thousands of members and the potential to connect to others is enormous. A discussion will list how many comments have been posted and if you add a comment, that’s nice visibility to all who are in the discussion with you. Just remember not to spam the list with selling tactics or you’ll soon be dropped from the group.
Another reason for joining groups that interest you, is that is gives you a “way in” when searching the company or people database. All those details are woven together. Let’s say you’re searching for companies in New York City who are in the marketing field. The results will be displayed and the companies will show how many employees there are and how many shared connections you have… then once opened, the people within the company will show who your shared connections are and if you have a group in common. Now you have more information and can write to connect with that person using the people you both know and the group in common. Think of LinkedIn as a place to build your business posse.
Watch my latest 3 video tutorials on LinkedIn Groups and Searching the Company/People database.
LinkedIn Tutorial on Using Groups To Connect with Others
LinkedIn Tutorial on Connecting through Groups and Creating Your Own Group
LinkedIn Tutorial on the Company and People Search Tool, Combined with Related Connections and Groups in Common