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Maximizing The Value Of LinkedIn Groups

If you read my previous post, you know the initial steps you need to take before becoming an active member in LinkedIn groups. I also provided some information about getting started with groups. Once you have identified and joined the groups you believe will be the most helpful to your personal branding, follow the next seven steps to maximize the benefits:

1. Adopt an authentic and consistent style. Before you start posting, think about how you will exude your personal brand in your communications. You want to be memorable, so know your writing style and use it consistently. If humor is part of your brand, inject wit into what you write. If you are organized, make sure your posts are structured with headings and lists. If you are more of the contrarian, make that a regular part of your commentary. Of course, choose a voice that’s authentic. If you really can’t tell a joke, don’t try to be funny – it will backfire.

2. Join the conversation. Before posting any of your own content, comment on others’ and use the “like” button. It’s much like the art of real networking. You shouldn’t rush into a group that is already formed and start speaking. Listen first, and then comment. Do the same when you get started with LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn Groups for Personal Branding
3. Post content of value. You build your brand by delivering value to others. It’s not about throwing stuff out there just to be visible. What you post must inspire, educate, entertain, support or challenge your fellow group members. The content you post comes in two different forms:
  • Content you create
  • Content created by others. There’s an effective technique in personal branding called  “being lazy,” which means curating the content of others by sharing it, praising it, or raising important questions about it to spark dialogues.
When posting your own content, make sure it meets the “value” test and ensure it is grammatically correct and written in your style. Posting questions to the group is a great way to spur conversation around a specific topic and see your colleagues’ various points of view.

When you post content created by others (by sharing, for example, something you read here at Forbes) remember to add your point-of-view. Just sharing content from another author will do little to build your brand. Share what you like about the article, add your thoughts, and tell your readers the parts of the piece that have the most value.

4. Respond to comments. When someone takes the time to comment on your post, take the time to respond. It’s the right thing to do, and it helps you start to build relationships with those who are interested in your content and it helps you keep the conversation going.

5. Be appreciative. Remember to acknowledge and thank those who post valuable comments and add to the conversation in your posts. It’s especially important to thank those who share your content. Also, thank your fellow group members who provide content you find useful in doing your job or expanding your mind.

6. Be consistent. When you join a group, just as you would join a professional association, be a regular part of the community. Set up a weekly calendar reminder. Consistency builds brands. You will see little benefit in being an intermittent member – posting and reading without regularity.

7. Identify brand community members. You will start to identify people who could be mentors, business partners, future hires, colleagues, trusted advisors, and mentees as you deepen your engagement in the group. Remember to add these people to your LinkedIn connections, and reach out to them occasionally to build and maintain these relationships.

Remember to make your profile relevant, authentic and accurate so your new networking contacts get to know the real you. Here’s the first step: watch my recorded webinar on creating a compelling LinkedIn summary here.



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