LinkedIn is the leading professional network on the web, so if you don’t have an account already, get one today! If you have one already, you’re off to a great start.
Whether or not you’re currently seeking job opportunities, LinkedIn is an invaluable asset for all professionals, providing you many unique features, including your own professional online resume, career and business networking opportunities and more.
One feature you may not know about or have fully explored is LinkedIn Groups. LinkedIn Groups are free to join, and you can choose to join up to 50 groups from a list of thousands of user-created groups for literally just about anything. Not only do these groups provide you access to connect with and contact fellow group members who could become future partners, employees, investors, customers etc., but the groups’ discussion board and news sections can provide more networking opportunities, answers to your questions and insightful advice, tips and support. You can also contribute answers, comments and your own expertise to the groups’ discussion boards to establish your own online personal brand on LinkedIn.
While you should definitely join any and all groups connected to your college and/or graduate school, your professional organizations or other areas or industries of interest, here are the Top 20 LinkedIn Groups ALL Personal Branders MUST Join (listed in alphabetical order) to help build their brands and launch their careers:
Career Rocketeer Career Launch Network – Fastest-growing professional network for career search, career development and personal branding, bringing job seekers and employers, recruiters and career experts together for mutual success.
Digital Marketing – Forum for best practices and trends within the world of social media and online marketing.
eMarketing Association Network – Largest marketing community on LinkedIn for all professionals interested in new internet marketing ideas, strategies and tactics.
Executive Suite – Community of over 100,000 US-based executive-level and recruiter members.
HARO – Help A Reporter Out – Network linking reporters and writers seeking sources for their articles to the experts, professionals and entrepreneurs who can help them.
Inbound Marketers – Community for those looking to reach their best customers online through techniques like inbound marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media.
Search Marketing Salon – Global network for search engine marketers interested in increasing search engine rankings, driving targeted traffic and maximizing revenue through paid search (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO), or Web 2.0 Marketing (and social SEO).
Social Media Marketing – Largest social media community on LinkedIn dedicated to interactive advertising and marketing professionals actively engaged in social media and community-oriented websites.