If you’re a professional looking to network with others in your field then you are probably already utilizing LinkedIn’s 225 million user database. If you’re ultra-savvy, then you’ve probably even gotten your profile up to “All Star” status (If not, click here for your LinkedIn To-Do List). However, if you’re not participating in LinkedIn Groups, then you are missing out on a very valuable networking tool.
To find and join a group is simple. From your linked in Home page, you can type in any subject in the search field. If you are a real estate agent in Los Angeles who wants to network with other real estate professionals, then you can put in terms like “real estate professionals Los Angeles” into the search bar. If you are an event planner in Cincinnati, then you’d type in something like “event planning Ohio”. You get the idea.
After you’ve typed in the terms, you will see a dropdown menu of options. In the “Groups” category, click on a group that seems relevant to your field and that has a fair amount of members for you to interact with.
Once you get to the group page, there will be a button to click to join the group. If you see a little padlock on the group, don’t panic. It simply means that you must request to join and be approved by a group administrator. Most administrators set this step up to make sure that all involved in the group are actually working professionals in the field that the group pertains to. Once accepted, you can begin posting (and reading) relevant and helpful articles, tips, and tricks of the trade!
So now that you know HOW to join, it’s time to talk about WHY you should be participating in groups on LinkedIn. The concept is pretty simple. If you walked into a party and stood in the same spot all night only talking about what you’ve done and what you are looking for, you would probably have people ignoring you or avoiding you all together. Now if you walked into that same party with lots of helpful advice and began dispensing it to those who needed it and interacting with insightful questions to the party guests, then you are more likely to make meaningful connections. Meaningful connections could later on turn into business, collaboration, or even business collaboration!
So it’s time become a Groupie! Get out there and connect!
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