Do you used Linkedin? If so, Linkedin Groups is a great feature to network and get to know professionals in industries beyond your current circle. It’s also a great way to promote your own professional skills, whether those are in music, marketing, movie making, or anything else.
As a member of nearly two dozen Linkedin Groups, I almost always see the same top post in every group: a callout for members to post their social media sites in a discussion group and to encourage those individuals to follow one another. The reality is that it doesn’t work.
How often do you see people posting, maybe even posted something yourself and then followed through by looking at each of the few hundred comments to check out each person’s page? Even the people who start these groups don’t see a substantial increase in their numbers (they usually have far less followers than comments on that thread).
So how do you get real followers?
1) By creating real value: Actually participate in group discussions and add something meaningful, don’t just use Linkedin Groups as a megaphone to promote yourself. This is the foundation of everything else here.
2) Building up your brand: Your Linkedin profile is part of your “brand” or how people view you. Look at the tip above: do you want to be associated as someone who only promotes their own products/services or do you want to be viewed as someone who contributes to others?
3) Make it two ways: You can’t expect others to blindly follow you if you aren’t taking the time to follow them first.
4) Create a niche: Stand out from the crowd by offering unique insights, especially on something that you specialize in
5) Don’t add to the noise: Simply posting your twitter handle and expecting something to come from it isn’t going to help you – if anything, it’ll actually be counter productive.
6) Get to know the mavens: Follow and interact with the top influencers of each Linkedin Group. That will help build your credibility. See what kinds of posts they are making, how they are enriching the rest of the group. Learn from that.
Linkedin Groups can be a great resource for professional networking. But the key is networking, as in working with others. Remember, treat social media more like a telephone and less like a megaphone.
Simon Tam is owner of Last Stop Booking and author of How to Get Sponsorships and Endorsements. Simon’s writing on music and marketing can be found at www.laststopbooking.com. He is on Twitter @SimonTheTam