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Join author Richard Colback as he shows you how to get started with the world's largest professional networking site, LinkedIn. The course demonstrates how to build a profile that will get the attention of employers, recruiters, fellow professionals, and potential clients. Richard walks you through creating an account, adding pertinent information such as skills and work experience, making connections and joining groups, accessing LinkedIn from apps, and monitoring your stats to continuously build a better profile. Along the way, learn to grow your personal brand and become a more visible community member by participating in group discussions, asking and answering questions, and engaging in other ways that add to your profile's integrity.
Starting a group on LinkedIn is easy. However I recommend doing a little preparation in advance. You should have a clear idea of the purpose of the group and its target membership. This will help you to provide initial members and prospective members with a description and guides on how it'll operate. There are also several settings options and these will need to be selected to support your targets and objectives of the group. For instance an open group will allow greater growth and brand awareness, versus a Members only the group, which will allow you more control over the topic as well as the membership.
To start your group, come up to Groups and down to Create a Group. If you prepare to materials in advance this process can relatively quick. We've prepared much of this information in advance; I'll be copying it from another folder across to this page. When you select a logo remember that's going to appear quite small on the page. So you use a high quality logo as the visual will be the first impression members will have of your group. You'll need to name your group and choose a group type. There are various options given below, you should think carefully about the type of group you select, as this is one of the filter criteria that people often use when searching for group.
There are two sections of text and first is the Summary and the second is the Description. Your Summary should use some keywords, so that group will show up in searches and attract people to click through and read further information in the group description. It should also represent your group well so you attract the right membership base to meet your objectives. The group Description allows your members to see more detail and could be used to outline the group culture, membership criteria, rules and typical background of members. You can also place the rules in a separate section and I'll demonstrate this later.
If there is a website for your group, you can enter in here. And by default the email from your account will be used as the Group Owner Email. The next set of options, allow you to control how people access the group. By default the Request to Join selection will be made. So the people wishing to join the group will need to be approved by you before they can have full membership. This allows you some control over the members that join so that in the early stages you can ensure your criteria and focus on that. I recommend allowing your members to display the group logo and also displaying your group in the Groups Directory, so you can build the brand and reputation of the group as quickly as possible.
If you started with a small and selected group of the members, you might also wish to allow these members to invite others to join the group; this setting can be changed later. It's also possible to enter some domain names and this may be useful if the group has been setup as an alumni group or group for a specific set of companies to participate within. This are usually sharing with the @ and then the name of the company or the name of the domain a .com, .org and so on. Occasionally, your group will have a physical location; this may be a group that meets on a regular basis, such as a social group or networking group where the interaction for meetings is a key part of the process.
Finally, you should check to confirm you have read the terms of service and select if you have an Open Group, where the discussions will be posted and shared in an open form or Members-Only group where the discussions are private and cannot be seen by anybody outside of the group. With a new group it's helpful to invite people, so you have a membership base that can support the discussions and the conversation in the initial stages. You can Batch Invite people if you already have this information saved in a file or you can Pre-Approve People and invite them through another system.
When they accept the invitation they will automatically be accepted into the group without having to go through the extra step of having you approve them again. I also recommend adding some group rules. As these can give further guidance to members on the topics and format of content that you expect to see in the group. If you have changes to make after setting up the group, there are options to make these adjustments however there are only a limited numbers of rebrands allowed for a group, before the group becomes locked.
Once this happens, the only option remaining is to remove your group and restart. A group with a well-defined summary, description and initial membership base is far more like to succeed, so take your time to prepare these steps before starting your group.
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