By John Sonnhalter, Rainmaker Journeyman at Sonnhalter
LinkedIn certainly is the most popular social site for professionals with over 347 million people participating. Certainly there must be someone in that mix you’d like to talk to. It’s a great resource for product and industry knowledge, especially if you identify, join and participate in groups that share your same interests.
It’s easy to do … just go to the search box at the top of the page and type in some key words about the groups you’re looking for. The groups will come up in rankings according to size. Look and see if any are appropriate and join. Some groups are open (anyone can join) and some are closed and you have to apply.
Once you’re in, you should monitor the conversations and jump in when you have something to contribute. The key is to contribute good content, not a sales pitch. You want the others in the group to recognize you as an expert eventually (it takes time).
If you have an issue or want to share something relative with the group, do so. Most groups review content to make sure it’s relevant. Once it’s posted, it doesn’t stop there. Make sure you respond to those that make comments and get a conversation going. After all, that’s the real end game here, that is to start relationships that might lead to business down the road.
What if you can’t find a group that covers your interest? You always have the option of starting a group. It’s a lot of work, but a great way to distribute content and identify like-minded people. Content Marketing Institute had a post outlining 17 tips for starting your own group. The post gives you guidelines on how to start it the right way, ways to promote and manage it and what to do if it’s not working. It’s worth the read if you’re thinking about starting your own group.