In one of my previous posts, “If You Build It, They Will Come,” I discussed the advantages of starting your own group on Linkedin. But, you’re group could probably be the newest among tens of thousands of groups now established on Linkedin. How do you get members to join?
First, do not use the standard Linkedin process to invite members to the group. It won’t work.
If you are following the advice from my previous blog, then your group is likely targeted to a very specific demographic. So, you simply can’t just invite everyone that is currently connected to you to your group, correct? Unless you are already networked with that demographic.
- Invite SOME of your connections: Search within your network on Linkedin. Using the advanced search feature, find the specific members that are connected directly to you and send them each individual messages inviting them to join the group.
- Email your Database: If you already have a prospecting or marketing database that fits this demographic, send them an email message with a brief message describing the group and inviting them to join as well. Be sure to provide a direct hyperlink to the group’s page.
- Emoticons & Hyperlinks: Add the group’s hyperlink to everything; your email signature, your website, your Facebook page, etc.
- Inmail Linkedin Members: Search for Linkedin members outside of your network and message them directly. For this, you will need to upgrade your Linkedin account. I receive an allotment of about 70 Inmails per month from Linkedin for my account. Unfortunately, Linkedin does not provide a reasonably priced account for that many Inmails. You may upgrade to the 1st level which I believe costs about $30 per month but only gives you 3 Inmails per month. There is a possibility that Linkedin will send you a promotion with a special pricing to upgrade. You may attempt to send messages through introductions, but a very low ratio of these get forwarded on.
As far as your message goes, it must be brief. Don’t talk about your company and don’t make your message more than 2 paragraphs long. Simply state that you thought they may be interested in joining your group, give the name of the group and tell them to join at the hyperlink you provide. Remember, you are doing them a favor by offering information that may be worthwhile to them.
It will take time to grow your group depending on your outside database and how much effort you put in to inviting people to join the group. Linkedin has made some changes and with the growth of membership and aggressive marketers on Linkedin, it isn’t as easy as it was 4 years ago to build a group’s membership. My golf group that I started quite a few years ago currently grows at a rate of 1,000 new members each month with no effort on my part. So, with time, your group will hopefully grow on its own.
For those of you with some experience building your groups, would you mind sharing what you’ve done? Please feel free to comment below.