In part one of this two-part series, we examined how you can provide value to your LinkedIn contacts simply by becoming a connector. If you’re able to put two people together, who can benefit one another, making these introductions is a great way to get to know people in your LinkedIn network better. This will also help to gain points with these people and become known as a valuable resource to them, setting up opportunities down the road.
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5 Steps to Success with LinkedIn Groups

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LinkedIn groups are one of the most powerful features at LinkedIn. These groups allow for conversation and interaction between people who have common interests and work in the same or related industries. One of the best way to leverage LinkedIn groups is to create your own. By becoming a group owner you become a de facto connector, and have the ability to host a community where people can help one another out.

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1: Starting a New Group

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Starting a group is fairly simple and straightforward to do. You can start of group related to any topic you like, but as a suggestion, if you’re connecting people in your local area, you may want to have a crew that is specific to your geographical location. Not only does this help you target potential group members, but it also translates in the offline world since the people you’ll be interacting with are people you can actually meet up with face-to-face. Any LinkedIn user can create a group, end users are given the ability to create up to 10 groups of their own creation.

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2: Make Weekly Announcements

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A subtle and powerful advantage for group owners is that they have the ability to send what’s called a weekly announcement out to their group members. Weekly announcements work very much like an email blast, in many ways. And while group owners are restricted to one email per week, this is a free service that can immediately help build your audience and following.

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3: Recruit from Existing Groups

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Since LinkedIn users who are active in other groups are most likely to be active in your group, recruiting from existing groups is a great way to get those power users. Find groups that have similar topics as yours, and connect with those users and invite them. And advantage of being in groups with others is that you can send a direct LinkedIn message to anyone who is an group with you.

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4: Introduce Others in Your Group

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As the conversation in your group begins to flow, leverage the strong relationships you may already have and introduce them to one another. Introduce new group members to people you know and trust. Many people get stuck in trying to build their network, so this type of assistance is usually greatly appreciated. If a group member is in need of a specific professional or service, connect away or ask the group for suggestions if you don’t have a recommendation yourself. This continues to demonstrate your value to this new community.

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5: Content Sharing to Group

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Lastly, in order to keep your group growing and thriving, plan to share one piece of relevant content to the group daily. While this might seem like a lot, it’s easily doable when you simply share an interesting article, blog post or news item. I recommend using Hootsuite to manage RSS feeds of relevant content sources for your group, then easily share these items directly to your LinkedIn Group, which can even be scheduled in advance.

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