If you are a B2B sales professional in the hospitality industry, there's no better social…
While the power of LinkedIn cannot be disputed as the best B2B platform, LinkedIn is still relatively new to many of its B2B users. In fact, on the daily I receive connection invitations from those in my industry whom I’ve known for years, but are just now receiving an invite to join their network. As many newbies come to the platform to see what the buzz is all about, one feature they may find themselves asking questions about is LinkedIn groups.
Groups is one of LinkedIn’s most underutilized features. There can be great ROI in using groups, but a strategic approach rather than a haphazard one is a better way to make this happen for you. Let’s take a look at how you can capitalize on LinkedIn Groups!
How to Use LinkedIn Groups to Attract Your Ideal Client
- Engage in the right groups – there are a plethora of LinkedIn groups, for every industry and talent. The key to engaging in LinkedIn groups is to ensure you’re spending your time in the right place. While some groups may speak to your passions and interests, ensure you also spend time in groups where your ideal community is hanging out. If you sell paper clips to administrative professionals, spend time in groups where the admins are hanging out, in addition to the groups that teach you how to sell more paper clips.
- Listen in on conversations – once you find groups that have engaged members who contribute to a 2-way dialogue, ensure you spend time being the “fly on the wall” and listening in on what they are discussing. You can learn alot about your ideal community from the questions they ask in a group, and from the answers and solutions they provide each other. Ensure you “like” those posts; this is a great first step to getting your name recognized in the group community.
- Contribute where appropriate – once you’ve established some rapport in the community as someone who engages with likes and comments, its time to contribute with value-add posts and commentary to the discussions between members. Groups are not the place for a hard sell of your product, but rather to establish trust with the group members through contributing insights and expecting nothing in return. The return on your investment will be actualized as you continue to build trust with the group members.
- Ask permission to send a message – after spending time in groups, you’ll start to recognize and get to know the active group members. If a group member genuinely could benefit from your product or service, it’s best to ask group members permission to send them a direct message to further the discussion, rather than sell directly on the group’s post. This shows respect, and will not violate the group’s rules of zero self-promotion
- Provide something of value outside of your paid product or service – We often default to our product or service as being something of value, and while this is very true, it isn’t the ONLY thing that our ideal client will find value in. Learning what your client’s pain points and challenges are outside of your product, and then providing insights or resources for that challenge is a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. Yes, your paper clips can help your admin clients bundle wayward papers, but providing a link to a resource that discusses free CRM tools to help manage their business may be just the thing they need to solve their larger problems.
- Be on the look-out for other great connections – Groups are a great place to connect with other like-minded individuals including mentors, mentees, potential collaborators and thought leaders. Widen your scope and be on the look-out for great connections!
- No self-promotion – The cardinal rule in groups is no self-promotion. It’s a rule I’ve seen broken time and time again. Unfortunately, the self-promotion posts get very little engagement, and aside from it creating ill-will with the group members, it could get you booted.
By regularly contributing to the conversation, asking questions, offering resources, Groups can help put a spotlight onto your own personal brand and the value you can bring to a potential client. There’s a time to passively listen and a time to actively engage and be present in Groups! While LinkedIn Groups can appear a bit clunky, there’s great value there. Consider it a mining mission, and you’ll be rewarded greatly!
Are you interested in growing your LinkedIn network of connections and followers? Join me on a 5 Day LinkedIn Challenge and start growing your LinkedIn presence!
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