You may have joined LinkedIn, connected with friends and colleagues, and joined a few groups related to your field.
Groups are a great place to ask questions, answer question to show your expertise - and generate leads. Use groups strategically: search for the ones where your target market posts discussions and questions. Here's an example:
Let's say I am a contractor who wants to complete retail tenant build-outs. I joined the Corporate Real Estate Group on LinkedIn and came across the question posted below:
Dean asked if a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) designation added to value to a project.
As a construction professional - possibly with a LEED credential - I would feel comfortable answering Dean's question. As I follow through with an answer, I may want to know more about Dean, so I could give more details. When I click through to his profile, here is what I find:
Dean is the Executive Vice President at Great Clips, the "world's largest" salon with 3,000 outlets. He's in charge of real estate, architecture and construction. Jackpot!
Next step: connect with Dean through LinkedIn. I can send him an invitation directly since we belong to the same LinkedIn Group.
LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for lead generation and business development. Take advantage of its groups and the other networking components.