Posted on Feb 27, 2012
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(part 5 of “LinkedIn Groups: Untapped Goldmines of Opportunity” series)

Ahah! At last! You’ve set your sights on the golden standard, dodged the Fool’s Gold and stumbled upon the Gold Nugget of LinkedIn Groups!

So now, the question is: what do you do with these groups? My next few posts will focus on how to create opportunities and make the most out of your LinkedIn Group memberships.

First up: participation.

Just being in LinkedIn Groups will get you found by recruiters, hiring managers, customers, potential business partners. If you want to take it to the next level, especially with Groups that are filled with your target market, participating in Groups will really get you noticed.

Think back to the awkward years in high-school Spanish I, when all it took to improve your grade were a few “participation points”. For the painfully shy, these points usually came in the form of food donations for Fiesta day, but nonetheless – participation points were – and they are still the key to greater success.

Participating in LinkedIn Groups is a great way to drive people to view your LinkedIn Profile.

Here are 3 Golden Rules of LinkedIn Group participation:

1. Choose Your “Mine” Wisely: Strike up and/or participate in Group discussions that are targeted towards your target audience. Looking for a job in engineering? Look for a discussion about the type of engineering you’re doing and make a helpful comment to the parties involved. Are you an employment law attorney? Go to a human resources page and answer some employment law questions.

2. Fools Gold Won’t Get Your Gold: Don’t just comment for the sake of commenting – add helpful information to the discussion. Share information worth sharing.

3. Don’t Try to “Strip Mine” LinkedIn Groups: Pure self-promotion will not get you gold. It’s a huge turn off when I see someone  plugging themselves without giving any good information to the Group Members. Remember:

4. Give Gold to Get Gold: Getting gold from Groups is about building relationships, and good relationships are built on give and take. It’s not giving just to plug your product or service.  To truly give to the members of a Group, you need to provide information or resources that help them — resources and/or information that they don’t have to buy.

With a few Golden Rules under your belt, you’re ready to participate! Stay tuned for my next post where I will help you figure out the best ways to join the conversation.

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