8 Secrets to Becoming a LinkedIn Group Star!

It’s kind of an understatement to say that LinkedIn groups have become popular: there are over 1.9 million of them.  They cover (obviously) a wide range of topics.  The best ones are thriving communities where industry professionals interact with one another and share valuable ideas and insights from their professional worlds.

LinkedIn Groups

For some an online community such as LinkedIn can be ominous to the point of non-participation.  This means missing out on the valuable connections and learning that LinkedIn Groups have to offer.  LinkedIn is much more than an online resume site and the groups are a major part of the community.

So here are some hints you can use to get more out of your LinkedIn Group experience:

  1. Join groups that match your interests.  With 1.9 million groups there a good chance you will find a group that matches your interests exactly.  Search out those groups.  If there are several groups in your topic area, try them a few at a time.  Leave groups that do not keep your interest.
  2. Not all groups are created equal.  You may join some groups to keep in touch with college or company alumni or to get updates from a specific organization.  Not every group requires frequent interaction; the LinkedIn tools allow you to choose the frequency of interaction.
  3. Watch a group’s behavior before posting.  You’ll want to fit it, not stand out, at least at first.  Watch the tone and style of posts and comments, etc.  See what kinds of topics get commented on most often.
  4. Stay on the topic of the group.  The best groups do not approve posts that are not of specific interest to the group members.  The closer you stay to home with your post topics, the more often you will be approved and the more often group members will comment on your posts.
  5. Do not “self-promote” Unless the group was specifically created to post your home carpet cleaning business or your catering success, you should not be sharing it.  You should post things that will be interesting to other readers.
  6. Bring new information to the group.  Find and post articles that bring new ideas to the group, don’t rehash the same old topics.  You also want to look like a thought leader and by posting articles about new concepts and up-to-date marketing techniques, etc., will help you get there.
  7. Post insightful comments.  The writer certainly enjoys the “Great post, Bob” comments, but the whole community on the group enjoys a well thought addition to the discussion.
  8. Focus on creating and participating discussions.  The best contributions are those that promote interaction and discussion between group members.  It’s a beautiful thing when it works.  You should look for these discussions and get involved.  When creating a discussion, ask questions that are food for thought, make it easy for people to comment.

LinkedIn is here to stay and offers each of us an opportunity to promote our personal brand and grow our networks and the LinkedIn groups are central to that.  Each of us should spend some time learning to get the best from the LinkedIn community.  The effort pays off!

Have you gained from the LinkedIn groups?  What are the topics you like to see?

You can connect with Eric on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ericlundbohm/

Follow his updates on Twitter @lundbohm

6 Problems to Avoid on Your LinkedIn Profile

I have been looking at a lot of LinkedIn profiles lately, as part of a project I am working on.  Because I think so highly of LinkedIn and believe heavily in their mission, I am shocked to see that some have taken their profile entirely too lightly.

Linkedin page

I covered the “why” LinkedIn is important in another article and I also wrote about the pictures on LinkedIn profiles, so we should be past those two issues.  Here are 6 issues that many profiles have and you should take a moment to make sure you do not have.

  1. No contact information.  Yes, it’s true other LinkedIn members can send you messages if you’re connected and  “Inmails” if not.  However, to not put an up-to-date email and phone number (even your mobile phone) on your profile is to rob the reader of normal avenues of contact.  What are these people afraid of?  Someone actually calling them?  Isn’t that the whole point?  I find this one hard to believe, but it happens more than you’d think.
  2. Out of date information and links.  Check your profile carefully.  Make sure the company website link is actually your company’s website, not the one from 2 jobs ago.  Remove old or invalid emails.  Make sure you are actually linked to your former employers, if possible.  You’ll be easier to find, the company’s logo will display, etc.
  3. Overuse of one or more terms.  Many LinkedIn profiles read a bit like resumes and often repeat the action word or phrase of the day, such as “responsible” the most used word on LinkedIn, follow by “strategic” and “effective” as two and three.  There are “word cloud” technologies that can easily help you understand the word frequency on your profile.
  4. Don’t let every sentence begin with “I” This is a tough one for some of us.  It is hard sometimes to do that, since you are the subject of everything on the LinkedIn profile.  However, with some clever wording and sentence planning, you can do very well without much effort.
  5. Being too informal.  We are somewhat accustomed to an informality on social networks that, since everyone in our network is a friend, is commensurate with friends.  Do not assume that informality transfers to LinkedIn.  In is a place where professionals look to connect with other professionals.  Informality at some level begins to detract from that.  Plus, your LinkedIn network likely has many people who do not know you well or are just getting to know you through your LinkedIn profile and activity.
  6. Having picture issues.  I recently wrote an article on LinkedIn photos so I won’t overdo it here.  However, it’s quite clear that the profile picture is the first and most viewed item on the page.  To let it be less than it could be is a huge lost opportunity and, if your picture is bad enough, a potential distraction.

Improving your LinkedIn profile is very often well worth the effort. Like it or not, your LinkedIn profile will be viewed by virtually every person you interact with for the rest of your career.  The sooner you get it right, the better!

What is the status if your LinkedIn profile?  Do you have any of the 6 issues?

You can connect with Eric on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ericlundbohm/

Follow his updates on Twitter @lundbohm