How many times have you heard this?  “The more you give, the more you get.”  Whether you think that’s true or not, it turns out there’s a lot of power in LinkedIn reciprocity and having the right connections can yield fantastic benefits for both sides.

Since LinkedIn is the best tool in the virtual professional networking world, one way to expand and really build your network is by interacting and reciprocating in groups.

Why join groups?

  • Engaging conversation
  • Connect and network with peers
  • Connect with prospects
  • Connect with people outside your industry
  • Get ideas or stimulate idea-sharing and brainstorm
  • Learn from others
  • Offer your advice and support
  • Provide opportunities/leads with others
  • Learn about offline networking events
  • Use the “search” feature to search within your groups to find your prospects.  Follow them.
  • Be interested.
  • Listen and pay attention to what others are talking about and sharing
  • Establish your credibility and answer questions
  • Share interesting observations
  • Share news
  • Invite others to your webinars, teleseminars or events
  • Post content that’s interesting to the audience, something they’ll find useful.  For instance, your top five resources that will be helpful to them.

Finally, after you’ve participated and established yourself in the group, it’s okay to promote — in moderation — your product or site.  Be customer focused and talk about the results.

What groups to join?

If you’re interested in being a LinkedIn Open Networker or LION, you may want to check these out:

  • TopLinked
  • Lion500
  • Open Networkers

Join groups:

  • Within your industry/profession
  • Where your customers are hanging out
  • College, high school, alumni associations
  • Groups within your city or community
  • Hobbies

I personally know someone who’s increased her bottom line by $80,000 in the past two years just through her participation in groups.

May be worth your consideration.

Social on!