With 414 million users and counting, the worlds largest professional network, LinkedIn, is an invaluable free resource for small business owners.

From building and maintaining a professional network, reconnecting with past colleagues to discovering new career and learning opportunities,

LinkedIn can be a small business owners best friend. However, one aspect of this powerful professional social network often gets overlooked - LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn Groups are a type of forum within the network that professionals from the same industry or interest can connect and share content, ask questions, and establish relationships.

It’s basically a continual, online digital networking event. And, according to LinkedIn employee Koka Sexton, you are 74% more likely to get a meeting with a LinkedIn connection as opposed to the traditional cold call, so what are you waiting for? 

There are thousands of LinkedIn groups, so to help you get started, here are three LinkedIn Groups to join today to help your small business. 

1. Small Business Marketing Network:

With over 20,000 members and counting, this is one of the larger LinkedIn Groups specifically created discuss and share content around small business marketing.

This group is a great resource for more general, non-industry specific content. However, with so many pre- existing members and high levels of daily activity, your specific questions and content can get lost, so we recommend you simply consume content here, and focus on creating it in smaller networks to grow your own personal network and brand.

2. Small Biz Forum

At half the size of the previously mentioned LinkedIn group, the Small Biz Forum describes itself as a place for ‘small business community to share resources and help each other improve their businesses,’ and it truly is.

Featuring content and advice aimed at all levels of professionals, this is a great place to feel comfortable giving and asking advice, discussing business trends and seeking out new opportunities.

The Small Biz Forum is one of the better general small business groups to make and grow personal connections, so don't let this one pass you by. 

3. Sales Best Practices:

No matter what industry or niche your small business is in, Sales is without a doubt an important part of any small businesses success.

Sales Best Practices is a LinkedIn group dedicated to helping you gain and retain new customers. This group's content goes way beyond basic sales information, and dives deep into value of digital marketing, acquiring qualified leads through SEO, cold calling, sales tools, team management, customer relationships and more. 

As we mentioned above, these LinkedIn Groups are just a suggestion to get started. Once you feel more comfortable navigating and participating in LinkedIn Groups, we recommend you join some that are more specific to your particular industry or product. You can find them through search, or the entire LinkedIn Group Directory can be found here.

And while you're cruising LinkedIn for your next business mentor or career opportunity, don't forget to check out High Level Marketing's page for more valuable small business content. 

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Next read: Should You Promote Your Business on Your Personal Facebook Page?