LinkedIn groups can be a valuable tool at any stage of your career. And yet ironically, finding the top LinkedIn groups doesn’t start by searching LinkedIn. It starts by defining your goals — and figuring out how Linkedin groups can help yo get there.
This article will show you how to use LinkedIn groups to meet three common goals:
- You want to build a network and learn (beginners and shifters)
- You want to expand your career success and get feedback (risers)
- You want to leverage LinkedIn to generate revenue (sellers)
Before you get started joining any groups, you have to make sure your profile sends the right message.
Your profile should add value
The goal of your profile is to explain what value you have provided to clients and companies in the past, and to announce the value you can provide to new clients in the future. You do this by adding case studies, proof points, and specific results you have brought to prior teams. Change your tagline to highlight the value and expertise you have. Update your summary to reflect what you’ve helped clients and companies achieve. I’ve helped individuals on my sales team update their taglines to reflect their expertise in project management, saas, resource planning, and more.
Of course, you’ll also need a professional photograph and a way to get ahold of you listed. You need this profile before you can begin joining groups. Once yours is ready, determine your goals.
Beginners and shifters: Top LinkedIn groups for industry education and growth
Whether you’re fresh out of school, experiencing a career shift, or taking on a role that requires new skills development, LinkedIn groups can be a valuable tool.
Finding the groups you need to join begins by identifying
- Your industry
- Your peers
- Groups your peers joined
- Which groups have the highest participation
You can base participation on a couple factors. First, see how many people have joined the group. How updated are the posts? And how many people comment on the posts? Are the comments valuable?
Once you identify high-participatory and relevant groups, you’ll know which to join. You’ll get daily or weekly emails from the groups you join. Now, the onus is on you to make your goal a reality. You have two roles to do this: Consume and contribute. Every day, take 15 minutes to peruse new content in each group. Answer other people’s questions and provide value to them. If you have nothing valuable to say, consume the content and learn.
If you’re not getting or giving value, leave and find another group.
Risers: Top LinkedIn groups for gaining feedback and networking
As your career takes off, you’ll use LinkedIn groups for a new goal: gaining feedback on your job and networking.
You’ll want to look for management and executive groups. Small, local groups with high participation are ideal. Look for national groups with local chapters. If you can’t find a local chapter, start your own. Part of the goal here is to bridge the gap from virtual to in-person relationships. Local chapters often have a LinkedIn group as well as regular, physical meetings. If you can’t find one of these, start a small and informal meetup that can serve as the foundation for your LinkedIn group.
When you get executives participating in a strong virtual and in-person network, you open a ton of doors. You can get valuable input on real challenges you face today, without risking leaking confidential information. And not only will you be building your network, but you’ll have a new place to source quality referrals for your company.
In the local Orange County chapter of AA-ISP, which I started on LinkedIn years ago, we do all this. We meet in person, bounce ideas off each other, and recruit quality referrals. Today we are 40 strong and constantly offering value to each other’s careers. Remember: It’s not the size of the group that matters in this stage. It’s the quality of their participation and passion. Our only goal is to provide professional value to each other. It comes back in dividends.
Sellers: Top LinkedIn groups for revenue generation
I never let my teams do hard sells on LinkedIn. Instead, I tell them to add value. That’s it.
My sales representatives are subject-matter experts in their industries, their product, and best practices for using their product. As such, they provide answers, guidance, and feedback to people who need it in related online communities. This means my teams join industry, best practice, local, and other groups related to their expertise. They provide value -- in the form of articles, insights, case studies, videos, and more -- to people asking questions. If they have nothing to contribute, they consume and learn. So they’re even more expert in their niches.
In short, they become resources for these LinkedIn groups to rely on.
In the past two weeks, my team has booked three demos from LinkedIn groups. People posted that they were looking for a solution, and my team responded that if they were curious, we could offer a conversation. Then we linked to our website.
That’s it. There’s no hard pitch. There’s only an offer of value. That pays back with new opportunities.
Your core takeaway for joining LinkedIn groups
The top LinkedIn groups for you will be different than those of your peers, depending on your goals. Remember that joining the best groups will depend on you
- Defining your desired outcome
- Emphasizing the value you add
- Giving and getting value out of groups
LinkedIn groups exist to add value to their members. If you want success, you have to own that and put in the time. Have a reason for which groups you join and what you can add. Be courteous and knowledgeable. Be a part of the community, and give to it.
The technology is at your fingertips.