For the purposes of this post, the focus is on business growth and connecting with prospective clients.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
-Join groups that are populated by prospective clients. Don’t limit your group membership to your own professional industry organisation ? unless you only want to speak to your competitors.
If your business services the hospitality or catering industry, join the groups where the restaurant owners, chefs and food service people are.
If you are an accountant and you specialise in medium sized business-to-business clients, you probably won’t find them in your CPA group, but you might find them in a business network group.
-Once you have joined the group, get involved:
- Engage in conversations
- Start discussions
- Ask/answer questions
- Post news articles. If you are a member of more than one group, and your article is RELEVANT, cross-post your articles across all groups. This simple strategy can increase your reach to tens of thousands, rather than a few direct contacts.
-Review the people who engage with your content, and (if suitable and relevant) invite them to connect. It is (mostly) free to connect if you share a group together, allowing you to save InMails for more targeted connections outside of your network.
-Search groups through the ‘advanced search’ function and narrow down members to connect with based on your specific need or circumstance (industry/role/company size etc…)
-Connect with relevant people and build your connections
-Treat each post as a marketing ‘touch point’ that communicates your unique value, interests and expertise
-Be patient with the process and accept it takes time to build a genuine network
-Be helpful, decent and non-judgmental
-Remember to respect the individuals privacy and connection settings, do not spam or bulk-post marketing messages
Once you have mastered group membership, you may wish to consider starting your own group. Before you do, take a look at this (article coming soon)