For over 12 years,  I have been active in forums, chat boards, blogs, and now on LinkedIn helping create intelligent conversations about franchising.

Here are some useful ideas about how find people who could do business with you on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has a cap of 50 groups you can join no matter what level of subscription you have. And remember the subgroups you join do not count against the maximum 50 groups allowed by LinkedIn.

Here's how LinkedIn describes their groups.

"LinkedIn Groups provide a place for professionals in the same industry or with similar interests to share content, find answers, post and view jobs, make business contacts, and establish themselves as industry experts.

You can find groups to join by using the search feature at the top of your homepage or viewing suggestions of groups you may like. You can also create a new group focused on a particular topic or industry." (For more from LinkedIn see : http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1164/kw/groups)

In my experience the quality of groups ranges from well managed & moderated to abandoned & desolate. Picking groups is trial and error. I've joined groups with a high member count only to find it full of spam or little to no worthwhile activity. And I have found small member groups with terrific engagement and value.

I also manage a number of groups and one in particular gets over 100 requests to join a day and only 10% are a fit and get in. The other 90% are spammers or people with dubious LinkedIn profiles.

So what should you do to make the best of your groups and do some marketing since you are on LinkedIn for commercial purposes otherwise you'd be frolicking on Facebook looking at funny cat pictures.

  1. Join target groups where the people you could do business with are members

  2. Carefully read the group description & rules 

  3. Invite the Group Owner and Group Managers to Connect with you

  4. Introduce yourself with a brief description and why you joined the group

  5. Start engaging by gaining group credibility

    1. Scroll through the existing Discussions and add value with your comments

    2. Go to the Group Members tab and start connecting with people who fit your targets

  6. Content Marketing 

    1. Posting interesting articles - frame them with why you think the topic is read & discussion worthy 

    2. Posting your original content is better and you still need to tell people why it's read & discussion worthy

    3. Respond to people who comment on your articles

    4. Check and confirm your Discussions You Started are posting and not stuck in Moderation purgatory

Groups are where you can really showcase what you are about. And generate client/customer leads for your business or practice.

If you aren't in any groups yet join 5 and begin. 

If you been in groups for a long time go through your group inventory dumping the obvious deadenders and start talking with people who pay attention to you & want to do business with you.

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