Professional Networking: LinkedIn Groups

One of the potentially powerful features of LinkedIn is the option for you, as a professional and a leader, to join Industry or Shared-Interest Groups so you can read or participate in the discussions taking place in your field and see who’s doing the talking! I’ve embedded LinkedIn’s clear and helpful tutorial below on how and why you might wish to use LinkedIn Groups.

Don’t dismiss this without watching this video, and don’t equate LinkedIn Groups with the Group function in Facebook. It’s an entirely different and more professional interaction and can involve as little or as much time as you wish.

Depending on the purpose of  the Group (which should be declared when you go to its page), LinkedIn Groups can offer you:

  1. Visibility and the building of your reputation as an Expert
  2. A place to find — or share — tips, techniques, and best practices
  3. A place to seek a job or post job openings (though not all groups have a JOBS tab)
  4. Quickly discover the most popular discussions in your professional groups
  5. Have an active part in determining the top discussions by liking and commenting
  6. Follow the most influential people in your groups by checking the Top Influencers board or clicking their profile image to see all their group activity
  7. See both member-generated discussions and news in one setting
  8. Easily browse previews of the last three comments in a discussion
  9. Find interesting discussions by seeing who liked a discussion and how many people commented

When I’m looking for Groups I might wish to join, I consider the description provided by the Group manager, look at the length of time it’s been active, and look at the number of members. If it’s an open group, I look at the activity to see if discussions are interesting and informative. It’s easy to leave a group you have joined if you decide it doesn’t fit with your interests or priorities. Most groups require you to express an interest and be approved by the group’s manager.

For example, one newly formed group I have joined recently called Coaches and Consultants for New Horizons has been helpful because group members are generously sharing their experience with various webinar sites, marketing tools, and other programs. Sometimes people abuse a group by blatantly marketing themselves instead of joining in a legitimate discussion. If that happens too much, it’s time to think about leaving that group and joining another one.

Of course, you can start your own group too, but you should participate in one or more groups a bit to get the hang of it first.

Friends of AvoLead is a LinkedIn group established for connecting like minded individuals who share AvoLead’s values of Abundance, Evolution and Leadership. It is for sharing and networking by individuals who want to advance partnerships and authentic leadership. If you fit that description, we welcome you!

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One Response to “Professional Networking: LinkedIn Groups”

  1. One additional way to learn about Groups in your industry is to scan the LinkedIn updates that you get by email. You can control how often these come — I have mine set to come once a week.

    These updates will include mentions of Groups that people in your network have joined over the past week. It’s easy to click on the group name and be taken to the page that tells what the purpose of the group is, who else from your network is in the group, and how many people are in the group all together.

    Besides seeing who’s doing what, it may bring someone’s name to mind with whom you’d like to connect, or it may bring a group to your attention that could be valuable for you.

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