Would you like to be seen by a lot more of your targeted prospects on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn groups are often a very under utilized tool and yet so valuable to business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals. There is no better place to connect with targeted prospects and it’s the ideal forum to start establishing credibility with new people.
Not long ago, LinkedIn added a feature to groups called “Top Contributors” to identify members that start topics that have the most impact within the group. Not only is this a great credibility booster, it gives you the most exposure out of anyone else in the group by featuring you at the very top of the page.
In this article I’m going to share exactly the steps you can follow to become a top contributor in ANY LinkedIn group and then what you should do about it once that happens. You’ll need a heavy dose of ACTION along with this knowledge before you see results.
Join Up To 50 Groups
Before we get started, make sure you are connected to as many groups as you can up to the 50-group maximum. This isn’t just to look cool…you’ll see why this is beneficial later in the article.
Search for groups using simple keywords that would be relevant to your target market. Don’t get too descriptive or you will limit the search results. If you are primarily locally based, start by searching for groups that contain the names of cities, regions and towns in your area.
Several groups require admin approval before allowing you to post anything. If you don’t get accepted into the group within 1-2 weeks, send a message to the group admin and ask them politely if they can approve your request. If that doesn’t happen promptly you may want to withdraw your request to join as it may be a very inactive group.
How To Weed Out Low-Quality Groups
It’s pretty easy to pick out the good groups from the bad ones but here are a few of the common denominators that you’ll find in the GOOD groups:
- The quality of discussions is high
- There are people commenting and adding to the discussions
- There are regular posts that are relevant to the group
- There should be no spam due to frequent moderation – you can be a bit more lenient with this for larger groups as they take a lot of effort to moderate perfectly
Start Engaging In Group Discussions
Once you are approved to a LinkedIn group, start engaging with the existing discussions as much as possible. This will increase your exposure in the group and ensure your posts are more likely to get some love by the group regulars and keep the discussion hot.
What’s The Most Engaging Content In The Group?
Pay close attention to the most highly engaging content in the group. What are the specific topics that are evoking strong emotions and discussions? What keywords seem to be popping up in popular discussions? Answering these questions will help you get down to the core interests of the group.
Create Custom Content With One Group In Mind
Make no mistakes…this is the most important step.
You must create some sort of compelling content that is valuable and interesting to your ideal prospects. Start this by choosing one LinkedIn group you want to dominate and create something that specifically speaks to the people in the group. It might seem like a lot of work to do this for only one group but remember this: a message for everybody is a message to nobody. Also many of these groups have thousands (or more) of your target audience so it is well worth the effort.
Here are some examples:
- An accountant trying to attract real estate investors in the “California Real Estate Investing” group writes and shares an article called, “10 Tax Tips For California Real Estate Investors”
- A manufacturer of an all natural sweetener trying to attract buyers from retail stores in the “USA Retail Buyers” group writes and shares an article called “Top 5 Toxic Sweeteners With Consumer Boycotts”
Even though you are creating an article with one group in mind, the odds are very high it will be a good share for other groups as well so don’t be too concerned that your efforts are going to be overly time consuming.
Ask A Question To Start A Discussion
To become a top contributor you must successfully start an active discussion with your posts. If you post something and nobody interacts with it, you don’t stand a chance at becoming a top contributor.
I’ve found the easiest and best way to do this is to simply ask a question that relates to the group members. I become a top contributor in the “Social Media Mastery for Business Leaders” group by posting an article on the top ways people turn off prospects on social media and asking what the group members dislike.
Any topic that gets people charged up with something to say is a great candidate for getting you to top contributor status!
Leave Groups With No Conversation/Spam Overload
If a group is not being well maintained by the group moderator or is just a ghost town when it comes to engagement, spend no more time there and leave. It is just wasting your time. The groups with the best engagement have moderators that are diligent at removing spam but keeping anything that supports helpful discussion. Sometimes moderators take their job a bit too seriously or prefer to censor anything that doesn’t promote their business. Those are also not ideal groups to be in because your posts won’t get ever get approved by the admins.
The ideal group has a balance of:
- Quality and consistent discussion
- Fair and frequent moderation
- Open and honest commentary
STAGE 2: Start Finding Prospects From LinkedIn Groups
At the end of the day, you need to connect with new people if you want to generate some new business. Not every person will turn into a lead but targeted connections are valuable either way since they help spread your message and potentially lead to referrals.
Open up LinkedIn advanced search by clicking “Advanced”, next to the search area at the top of your home page.
Select “2nd Connections” and enter your postal code if your business is primarily local then click on “Search”.
You’ll see the search results show up similar to the picture below. As you can see here, over 22,000 results is a lot and not very helpful. Let’s narrow it down some more.
You can use advanced search parameters like “Title” and “Company” plus keyword searches to narrow down your results to fit the exact type of person you are looking for.
Scroll down the page until you see the “Groups” section show up in the left side column.
This will show you the search results with groups that contain the most 2nd level connections in your area. The better you choose your groups and the more groups you join, the more 2nd level connections you will find that are easier to connect with.
Getting Past The Invitation Barrier
Having a group in common with a 2nd level connection you want to connect with is valuable because you can choose that group as how you “know” that person when sending an invitation. Anyone who uses LinkedIn actively to network with new people has encountered the “How Do You Know This Person?” barrier before.
Selecting most of these options can leave a poor impression with someone you haven’t met previously, hence once of the major reasons LinkedIn groups are so important.
PRO TIP: Notice in the screenshot above how I personalized my connection request to this group member. Do this for EVERY LinkedIn invitation you ever send!
Share Your LinkedIn Tips
Have you ever reached top contributor status on LinkedIn? We want to know your secret to success! Share in the comments below.