Two tips for using LinkedIn to build your community network

LinkedIn has become a powerhouse for connecting professionals with various audiences. In this post, I am sharing two tips that work well for me.

#1 Choose groups from your target audience.

Most users will join groups that support their profession, like joining a communications group if you are a communications professional.  But look at this strategically…

It is important to blend your groups with both your profession and also with your target audiences.  For example, if you are a home staging small business (a business that stages homes for sale for realtors), your ideal groups would be other groups in the real estate industry.  Here’s another example, if you are an accountant with a private practice. Your audience might be small businesses who need accounting services. Your ideal groups would be those that local small businesses have joined.

LinkedIn’s advanced search functionality makes it easy to find ideal groups.  Just enter in your city in the search field and begin searching through the groups to find your audience. Once you join a group, it’s important not to bombard the members with your infomercial. Begin by joining discussions and getting to know members. Offer free assistance or advice if there is an area where you can help a member.  Remember, you are building relationships.

#2  Connect with your ‘local’ community.

When searching for people to link with, search by your city.  As a small business owner, reach out to connect with other professionals in your city with a simple invitation that reads something like: Hi Amy, I own ABC company here in Dallas and I saw we have a lot of connections in common.  I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn too.

Once Amy accepts your connection, send her a message thanking her and ask her to reach out to you if there is ever anything you can do for her.  People always forget this step!

I have more LinkedIn tips to share coming soon.  In the mean time, warm up your coffee and start connecting!

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