LinkedIn is typified as a networking platform for those hoping to make connections either to push product or pursue other employment opportunities. While this is certainly an integral component of the utility of LinkedIn, it is certainly not its sole function. LinkedIn can also be capitalised on as a reputation builder – particularly for those striving to reach CEO level. If you have aspirations to become a leading voice in your field and demonstrate your senior level expertise, LinkedIn’s professional groups offer an array of opportunities to accomplish this. Engagement LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic way to engage and become part of a senior level industry community. These groups offer outlets if you really want to become a part of the wider community you work and recruit in. If individuals regularly engage within the group and are helpful to those who present queries, other group members will take notice. Being helpful might mean sharing relevant news or information on a regular basis; similarly it might mean helping to answer the questions other group members are asking. Actively participating will increase the likelihood that others will turn to you for advice and knowledge within the field. A Means for Recruiting LinkedIn Groups can be a great tool for headhunters in its relation to recruiting senior executive talent. Group membership provides greater visibility to the individuals they hope to recruit and bring into organisations. Further, group membership provides headhunters and recruiters with a way to ascertain things about persons of interest. Individuals can be more accurately gauged based on their experience, specialisms or interests as exemplified within group activity. For example, a lawyer that is a member of a human resources group might be more likely to concentrate in employment or corporate law, even if this person does not explicitly say so as such on their personal profile. Knowledge such as this can be important in future corporate ventures or employment openings. Create a Group There’s no better way to set you up as an industry leader or thought leader than by being the person who started a group in the first place. Becoming a creator of a LinkedIn group enables that individual to freely post whatever they please in the group, as well as have the ability to send out weekly messages to group members. Even my crucially, as a group leaders one has the freedom to post without any threat of moderation. This enables individuals the opportunity to share ideas on any theories or topics one pleases that may not be orthodox opinion within the industry’s community. While it may be controversial at first, with the potential growth of the group comes the likelihood of the evolution of industry philosophy, with the group leader as one of the advocates for this change. It must be noted, however, that the administration of a group is not an easy pursuit. Operating as the head of a group requires a substantial commitment, particularly in time. One must dedicate time and effort to resolve petty issues within the group, balance personal opinions/beliefs with more
neutral professionalism, and create an entity that can attract a broader following. This can be a difficult fine line to balance upon; however, to become a leading voice within any industry requires perseverance through such tasks. Going the Extra Mile Becoming a thought leader or a prominent executive requires going the extra mile. This type of individual must market his or her self to other through bold engagements and thought provoking commentaries. LinkedIn’s group membership provides an ideal online tool to accomplish this notoriety. By putting one’s self in the public eye here, they can enhance their reputation and become the senior executive they aspire to be.