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Creating a LinkedIn group to build your business

By Alexandra Gavril - September 2, 2013

LinkedIn groups are the most powerful tool on LinkedIn. Hands down. You can build leadership by creating engaging discussions around topics of interest, share your expertise, promote your business and grow your network. In fact, when used right, it can even help you build your entire business, promote and sell products and services and become a leader in your niche. And all around your LinkedIn group.

So, if you’re interested in creating a LinkedIn group to build your business, here’s how you can get started:

Start a new LinkedIn Group

Before you create your LinkedIn group, you might want to first brainstorm some topics that you want to discuss in your group. Take some time to do some research and see what’s out there. You might discover that the group you want to build already exists but don’t give up just yet. Check to see if it’s active as there are so many individuals or brands who abandon groups soon after they’ve created them.

After you’ve done your research and have found the topics you’ll be bringing into discussion, it’s time to pick a name for your group. Of course, you could use the name of your business but there’s a downside as it can turn away potential members who might think your group is just about promoting your business and nothing else.

Create an open group with member pre-approval

I highly recommend creating an open group with member pre-approval so you can decide who gets in and who doesn’t fit in. Plus, you probably know by now that people always want to be part of something exclusive so when you set pre-approval for member you’re making your group more attractive to potential members.

Focus on quality members, not quantity

Don’t make the huge number of members your group’s goal. Create a niche group where not everyone can get it but only people who are genuinely interested in listening and contributing.

When you have a small group of people, you will notice camaraderie developing among the members, especially when you’re discussing informal, non-technical topics like ‘what business you’re in’, ‘how many years of experience you have in the business’ and so on. When you encourage your members to share stories and experiences and expertise, you’re building a strong community of people which is one of the things you want to achieve with your group.

Promote your group

After you’ve created your group, have also added some content and questions and members started joining your group, you can finally start promoting it. Mention your LinkedIn group everywhere you can – on your other social media sites, in your email signature, in your marketing resources, on your website. You could even do a blog post about it, letting people know what they should expect to find there and why they should join.

Contribute to their success

Isn’t that one of the main reasons you created the group, to help members in your group succeed? It’s what leaders do, they help their community rise to the top.  So, help your members with advice and resources and be the one who helps them achieve their goals. By providing valuable and useful advice you can build stronger, more meaningful relationships, which is what business is all about.

Generate leads

It’s true what they say – the more you give, the more you will receive. And it’s also true within a LinkedIn group. When you help your members with advice, referrals, valuable information that can help them achieve their goals, be sure there will be reciprocity. They might send you leads in return or become customers themselves.

Your turn now. Are you using LinkedIn groups? How has it helped you build your business?