Are you trying to establish yourself as a “thought leader” on LinkedIn? Have you tried publishing content? In 2014, LinkedIn allowed only “big name influencers” to publish content until they opened up the option to all LinkedIn members. What does this mean? You can publish long-form original content that is not only pushed out to your connections – it can also be picked up and shared with thousands of LinkedIn users.
Now that anyone can publish, the space is getting a little muddy and more “thought leaders” are emerging. I don’t pretend to be a thought leader, but I was “awarded” publisher status in June of 2014 and have since published 32 articles. Results have ranged from 50 views/1 like/0 comments to 6300 views/267 likes/52 comments, so I’ve seen the gamut of responses. I’ve also learned some valuable lessons about what makes a published post more or less viral.
Below is my list of tips and tricks to get the most out of your writing efforts…
Great, helpful, actionable content
It all starts with this. Beware of publishing “salesy, pitch-ey” messages as you’ll only get people to click through and read once. After that, you’re damaged goods and people won’t even bother to look at your content. Your #1 goal should be to help people navigate the industry, not sell your product/services. The selling will happen in due time, but only if you’re providing solid and helpful content first.
Know your audience
It’s really important to keep your audience in mind as you’re researching topics and writing articles. Write about issues that matter to and will help your key audience.
Remember your English 101
Nothing screams “unprofessional” like spelling, grammar and punctuation errors! If this isn’t your strength, brush up on the basics or have an “English-freak” friend help edit.
Determine your brand and topics. Then, stick with it. It confuses people if you write “5 Tips for Choosing a Rock Star Insurance Broker” one week and “3 Reasons Why I Love Sailing” the next.
A catchy headline & image
These 2 ingredients are possibly the most important secret to getting readers to engage with your content. The image and headline need to work together, be intriguing and draw people in fast to get them to read.
People are busy, so put your main points into chunks and bullets so it can be quickly scanned and easily read.
When you publish makes a big difference. There are a lot of opinions about this, but I’ve found that Thursday through Saturday posts get the least readership. Tuesday and Wednesday tend to get better responses because they have longer shelf life throughout the week.
Keep it simple, succinct and speak like a normal person. Skip long, technical words and ask yourself, “If this article came across my feed, would I read it?”
Get people talking
We’re in a somewhat controversial industry, so state your opinions and ask for comments. Any interaction with your article sparks the algorithm to serve your content to more people.
Tell them who you are
Many people won’t go to your profile page to learn more about you. A well-written “About the author” blurb is a necessity. This is where you can tell who you are, why you write and it’s a great place to sneak in a phrase about what you do/your product. If you use a lead generation platform, drop a call-to-action image at the bottom or in the middle of your article.
Sometimes an article just hits at the right time and gets served to the right audience. Sometimes it just doesn’t.
As a result of my ability to publish, I’ve been in contact with many of our current clients who haven’t “converted” and I’ve been able to make new connections with clients who aren’t yet working with us. While I haven’t attached revenue and profit numbers to those interactions, I can confidently say that, based on in-person interactions, the articles drive awareness for my company and services.
Stay tuned for more! I’ll have more learnings to share in an upcoming article! Did you miss my first post in this series? Be sure your LinkedIn profile is set up properly and professionally.
Now, it’s your turn! How do you use LinkedIn to build your business? Are you a LinkedIn Author/Publisher? What tips do you have?