One of the ways to grow your business network is by joining relevant industry groups on LinkedIn and networking with other members. However, LinkedIn's philosophy is that you should only send connection invitations to people with whom you already have a prior relationship. While this is obviously the best case scenario, it is seen as a limitation to many networkers. One way around this is to join open networking groups called LION groups. This stands for LinkedIn Open Networking.
Basically, by joining these groups,you are saying that if you receive an invitation request that you won't say that you don't know the person and you will just accept them. Make sure you read the rules of each group as they may differ.
To find LION groups, just go to the search box in LinkedIn at the top right corner and click on groups. Then type in "LION" and you'll see a bunch of open networking groups.
While I don't recommend this as your sole networking strategy, it can help you to build out your business network.
If you have participated in LION groups on LinkedIn, please provide your comments as to experiences, either good or bad.