I’ve written about LinkedIn for Journalists and LinkedIn for Writers here, among others, and today I’m going to show you a few ways to use LinkedIn to build professional connections that can lead to more work.
LinkedIn Groups are great resources created about specific topics or themes, or based on industries and professions. Groups can help you stay current with news, trends, and what’s up and coming. They are a fantastic way for making connections. You can even develop yourself into an expert through asking and answering questions posed by LinkedIn members.
Here are some ways to find the groups that are right for you:
- Determine a goal. It’s tempting to jump into any group that catches your eye, but to build your business, pick a single focus, such as connecting with potential clients, establishing your authority through your credentials, increasing your knowledge in your field of choice, and so on.
- Use search. LinkedIn continues to update functionality throughout the site and Search is amazing. There’s no harm in starting out with a broad topic such as “writing” and then becoming more specific as you go.
- Use current contacts for leads. Some people have visibility on their profile pages to the groups they’ve joined. If you have a contact with a similar business or interests, joining the same groups can increase your chances of making the connections you’re striving to make.
- Look through group listings to see how many members each group has to date and to read a brief description to see if any might be what you’re looking for. (image, click on it to enlarge)
- Join some groups. Closed groups require moderator approval. You can join Open Groups with the click of a button. Once in a group, view the members (there is a Members tab). If you see names you recognize, that’s a great start to building your connections that will build your business.
- Review the discussions and the activity in the group. Assess the potential of being a member of a group by reading discussion threads.
- Participate where you can. If there’s a current discussion that you have genuine feedback for, don’t be shy. If someone asks a question and you can answer it, do so. It’s a way to start positioning yourself as an expert. Once you start commenting, adding your own discussions, helping others out, you’ll start getting noticed.
- Stick around so people can keep the conversations going with you. Don’t join a group, pose a question, and never return!
- When you’re ready and you feel there’s a niche, you could start your own group.
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for finding others who
- do similar work
- have similar interests
- could become clients
- could be great to partner with
- can become part of your staff
- could lead you to new work
- would love to meet for coffee or lunch and share experiences
Have you started using LinkedIn Groups to build your writing business?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who continues to find new opportunities through LinkedIn. She loves writing about NH people, places, and activities. She writes fiction as Lisa Haselton, has an award-winning blog for book reviews and author interviews, and is on the staff of The Writer’s Chatroom where she gets to network with writing professionals on a weekly basis. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Biznik.