This is the third post in a three-part series detailing how lawyers can start successful LinkedIn Groups as part of their business development strategy.
In our previous posts, we looked at some preliminary steps attorneys can take in order to start a LinkedIn Group. Once you’ve started a LinkedIn group, it’s important not only to actively manage it, but also to grow its membership. Tracking membership can be done through the group’s statistics page on LinkedIn. There are a variety of ways to grow your group’s membership, including:
1. Continue inviting members online
- Some groups find that the first 500 or so members come primarily through direct invitations, so continue inviting your LinkedIn connections to participate, providing that the group reflects their area of interest.
- Use the “Share Group” feature (look for an arrow found at the top right of the group’s discussion page). Regularly share the group on LinkedIn. Entice people to join and give them a reason to join the group, such as how it can help them in their professional development. Treat this and all posts as a conversation, not too formal.
- Share the group on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, and use hashtags to help posts appear in searches.
2. Market the Group
- Target networks outside of LinkedIn, such as through your practice group newsletter, email signature or on your web site biography.
- Make a special attempt to attract high-profile members. When your community starts getting well-known industry leaders to join, their connections, followers, and friends will soon start joining.
3. Go Offline
- Mention your group offline, too, at both professional and social events (as appropriate).
- If you find that people are interested in joining your group, but are not sure how to join, create a cheat sheet that gives step-by-step instructions for joining. Sending this cheat sheet is a great opportunity to follow up with them after you’ve met in person.
4. Engage Group Members
The more active your group, the more likely people will join it. I looked at a group the other day and decided not to join it since there hadn’t been an update in six months. Don’t let this happen to your group! Think about ways to increase the group’s engagement without increasing your workload.
- Offer a couple of group members the opportunity to provide commentary on a regular basis. For instance, if your practice is in the tax industry, ask an accountant to provide a tax tip every Tuesday. This will not only help the group stay active, but the accountant will benefit professionally from the enhanced visibility.
- Ask a couple of colleagues from outside your firm to post information periodically. To help make it easy for them to participate, keep an eye out for articles that might be of interest to them. When you see one, send it along and ask if they could post it to the group page with a comment.
LinkedIn Groups offer a unique opportunity to build a network that is directly in line with your business development goals. I hope this series has provided you with the information and insights you need to create a thriving LinkedIn Group!