Choosing Which LinkedIn Group(s) To Join

Due diligence comes first.
While a LinkedIn Group may look perfect for you, always do a little bit of extra research as it may save you a lot of aggravation later. Here are the things you should look for:
Group description. The description will give you clues as to what the purpose of the group is. Sometimes the description doesn’t match the group name.
Group rules. This will tell you how the group owner expects the group to behave. Whether the owner and his or her moderators actually enforce those rules is another matter altogether.
Group owner and managers. You can click on these people’s names, so do so. Find out who they work for. This will give you clues as to their motivation for being involved with this group. Groups owned and run by your competitors will probably not be glad to see you. Don’t invest your time in building visibility in a place where your welcome is uncertain.
And one that doesn’t mean as much as you think:
Number of members. This is a double edged sword. A large group will have more potential people to reach, but it will be more difficult to be heard above all the other people starting discussions. It is not uncommon for some of the really large groups to have hundreds of posts a day.
LinkedIn Groups have fallen on hard times the past couple of years. An ugly combination of group admin indifference, ham handed management by LinkedIn, and spammy users has resulted in a bad reputation for LinkedIn Groups. However, there are some absolute gems out there, typically groups where the owner is the main admin and heavily involved in the day to day discussions in the group. Two well run groups that I am a member of are “Step Into The Spotlight!” a group for marketing and branding and “Sales Playbook!” a group all about sales. The two owners have completely different styles but manage to run groups with multiple ongoing discussion threads.
These two groups are examples of what well run groups can be like. Unfortunately, they are the exception rather than the rule.

The Open Profile Hack For Sending Free Messages On LinkedIn

Nice, but definitely not free.


Did you know that you can send messages for free to some LinkedIn users that have Premium subscriptions? They are called Open Messages, and most people don’t even know they exist. 

Any premium LinkedIn member can choose to be “Open Profile.” If someone is Open Profile, they can be sent a free message, called an Open Message by any LinkedIn member. 

This is an elective choice that Premium members can make on their accounts. But if you were paying for a LinkedIn premium membership, wouldn’t you want to make it easy for people to contact you? I have a Premium Subscription myself and I get a half dozen messages every month from people who would not otherwise be able to contact me through LinkedIn. 

Open Messaging is a little sneaky. 

If you have Sales Navigator or a Business Premium Account you will be shown people who are Open Message. On their profile will be a green box that says “OPEN”, just to the right of the gold colored “IN” badge. Click on “Message” and a message box will appear. 

For free LinkedIn users, there is no OPEN designation visible, you have to click to send a message and you will find out then whether that person can be sent a free message or not. 

A ways back I ran an intensive outreach campaign. Over a four week period I sent just under two hundred outreach messages to second and third degree connections. I looked for Open Profile people in my searches and just sent my outreach messages to them. Yes, in essence I sent almost 200 InMails…for free.

This isn’t something you can use every day, in every situation. But any time you come across someone interesting or in a search with a premium subscription, it is worthwhile clicking on “message” to see if you can send them one for free. 

Take your edges where you can get them. They add up.

Subscribers to my “Advanced LinkedIn Strategies and Tactics” newsletter saw this post a couple months ago. If you are interested in subscribing to may of my three newsletters on using LinkedIn for sales and marketing, click here.


Rule number one for any database: it goes bad over time


And at its core, LinkedIn is a database

Today’s post starts in the old paper catalog days, ventures more into the email database realm, but come back to LinkedIn, so stick with me for a couple minutes. 

My first job in high tech sales was selling the company’s low end products – those under $1200 – to catalog companies. This was 1985, and there were maybe twenty big ones specializing in datacom and telecom products. I would typically be allotted a quarter, a third or half a page for a photo of the product and the accompanying copy. 

I learned a lot about the catalog business (these were my customers after all) and one of the basic principles was that their mail lists “went bad” at the rate of two percent every month. Every month two percent of the people on the mail list would change companies, jobs or addresses so that a catalog was undeliverable. If a catalog company had a hundred thousand people on their mail list, that’s two thousand people that disappeared every month, and sending two thousand catalogs out that were not going to generate any revenue was something these companies wanted to avoid. 

So imagine my surprise when I was reading a post on Hubspot’s blog and they said statistics show that 22.5% of email databases go bad every year. Things haven’t changed much in 35 years!

So what does this have to do with LinkedIn? Just this: 

LinkedIn is a database that updates itself.

When someone changes jobs, one of the first things they do is change their LinkedIn profile (if this wasn’t the case you wouldn’t see recruiters paying eight thousand a year for access to LinkedIn). 

This is one of the great things I love about LinkedIn as a database. It is the most up to date one there is. This is the jumping off point for all my searches.