Today’s blog post has been contributed by Lisa Hendrickson, the owner of Call That Girl! (CTG) based out of Minneapolis, MN. CTG does local and nationwide telephone supported computer repair/troubleshooting.
My personal experience with using LinkedIn Groups has been more than exciting and has also brought me to my first “eye-opening” attention grabbing numbers of making more than $10,000 from using LinkedIn. What was my investment? TIME. Period. I did not put one dime into LinkedIn and have yet to do so. I still am using the free account as well.
When LinkedIn started using discussion groups, I found that the biggest three groups in Minnesota had no management or organizing going on. At that time, I was organizing social hours for the underground discussion groups that were formed when groups were launched. I talked to the manager about what could be done with a group (at that time, October 2008 with 4,000 members) and he put me on as Manager from there, we moved ahead.
Being a manager of a large group has some responsibility. I moderate the forums and make sure people are posting in a business manner. I remove spam and people who are not posting appropriately. I also send out weekly announcements of our events and on-goings within the group. On occasion, I will send out messages from members that are sponsoring free events to help promote. I also do most of the “question/answer” for the group and as a local guru, I get asked to help people figure out their settings and problems they need help with. To close this, I also forward many introductions requests, recommendations and help people connect with others when they need a referral. Whew! That’s a lot of work…but it has paid off for me. I use LinkedIn as one of my main marketing tools now. With the exposure I get, I also get “free advertising” per se.
When I moved into managing, we were doing bi-weekly luncheons and as I found my business was picking up and could not attend all of them, I brought an event organizer, Suzy Feine to help out. Suzy turned our little luncheons of 15 people to attendance of 80-100 for each event. Our lunches have become very popular and usually only cost the price of lunch. We have since added on having hosts of the lunches. To call it a year, we are also have a Holiday Extravaganza that is expected to have over 400 people and 50 exhibit tables. LinkedMinnesota is now getting exposure as being on the “good networking groups” to join and it’s free!
How things can change in just over a year! We now have over 11,000 members and continually keep finding new ideas for the group to do on a very affordable level that has value for everyone.
Tips for you all? If you have the time, energy and the desire to get more involved, either start your own group or find a group that you enjoy being in and ask to be on the management team and step up and help. Many owners are doing nothing with the face to face events and using it only online. Turning a group to face to face really brings Linkedin to life, and that’s what makes it worth it. Seeing folks happy and enjoying utilizing this great online tool.
In addition to Call That Girl!, Lisa is also an avid user of LinkedIn with over 2,400 contacts, 110 recommendations, current manager of LinkedMinnesota (with 11,000 members) and founder of “Project Link It Forward” a pro-bono project helping LinkedIn members learn how to use LinkedIn to network to new opportunities. Her stewardship to help is one of the back end marketing techniques that has had a big pay off. Lisa is also uses the Big 7 for social media and is considered a trailblazer when it comes to using these tools. You may view her Word Press website/blog at http://www.callthatgirl.biz. Invite her to connect at http://www.linkedin.com/in/callthatgirl.