Don't Start a LinkedIn Group Until You Do This

By: Michelle Davidson

You might be tempted to create a LinkedIn group as a way to generate new business. After all, conversations in groups can help you demonstrate your expertise, showcase your personality, and lead to business conversations with prospective buyers. Further, if it's your own group, you can control who participates and guide the conversations they have.

But running a group requires a lot more work than participating in a group, warns Neal Schaffer in a recent podcast interview, How to Use Your LinkedIn Profile to Generate New Business. You can't simply create a group and expect people to come or conversations to take off.

"I know huge corporations that have started LinkedIn groups only to find that nobody joined them, or once people join them it's like a ghost town," he says. "So, you really want to do it only after you have [planned]. And you want to take a strategic approach to it."


Listen to the complete interview here:


If you create a group that is just your company name, your audience is going to question joining. If they can connect with you via your company page, why should they bother with a group that just represents your company? You must give them a compelling reason to join.

Before you create a group, consider the topic, issues members can talk about, your audience, and whether you have the time and resources to maintain the group.

Even before you consider those things, however, evaluate your activity on LinkedIn, Schaffer says.

"It really starts with are you yourself participating," he says. "Are you yourself posting status updates, engaging with people on LinkedIn, joining groups, monitoring conversations, and posting your own discussions? If you have that down—you have that daily LinkedIn habit down—where you're spending a little bit of time and you're doing everything you can, and you don't see you're getting the best out of it, at that point I'd say think about starting your own LinkedIn group."

Michelle Davidson is Editor of RainToday. As such, she oversees all of the articles published on the website and publishes the weekly newsletter, the Rainmaker Report. She also produces the site's weekly podcast series, RainToday's Sales Tips & Techniques Podcast, and the site's webinars. You may contact her via email at and via Twitter at @michedav.