A couple of weeks ago Mat Siltala wrote a useful post with tips for using LinkedIn. I thought I would add one additional tip for you today. I have found that creating groups can be a great way to capture and then speak to an audience.
The Tip is to create a LinkedIn group, that does not yet exist, but that should exist. The key to this strategy is coming up with a group that people are going to want to be a part of. For example, recently I realized that my alma-mater law school (The University of Alabama School of Law) did not have a group on LinkedIn. This surprised me as most of the large schools do have at least one group with many members. So, I decided to create the University of Alabama School of Law Alumni Group. In just over 2 weeks I have had 16 requests to join, so as of today our group is 17 members strong. Until today I had done NOTHING to promote this group. Other LinkedIn members simply searched for this group expecting to find it. However, now that I have a decent number of members in the group I am going to actively work to take things to the next level. Today, I distributed a simple email to my law school email list inviting all alums to join my group. I am hopeful that we have about 100 members by the start of 2009. This group will most likely be several hundred members strong by the middle of next year.
So, what is the point? Are you kidding? Hundreds of lawyers, working at dozens of firms and companies (which all need Internet marketing) who now know and interact with me on a semi-regular basis. Go create a LinkedIn group, that does not yet exist, but that should exist. I guarantee you people will join. This is one of the few “Field of Dreams” opportunities on the Internet. Build it and they will come.