You’ve probably seen enough “Thought Leaders” on LinkedIn to believe that almost anyone with a salesy tone of voice and some copy and paste skills can claim to be a bona-fide expert.
LinkedIn is gaining traction fast, and more people than ever before are posting, liking and sharing their point of view on almost any business topic out there. Each with their cohort of thought leaders.
LinkedIn takes pressure off those that have ideas to share, but how do you become a thought leader that doesn’t get lost in the crowd?
It seems obvious, but it’s something you're going to find when you do a deep dive of these viral posters with thousands of likes. Their LinkedIn is usually very well crafted.
Some things to bear in mind:
- Keywords - Use keywords you want to be ranked for without stuffing them in every line available.
- Make sure your images are professional - No low-res photos, seemingly taken on some form of potato phone of you on a night out.
- Personalise your URL - All the cool kids are doing it.
Try and fill in any gaps where you can, get some endorsements, and don’t fluff.
This is the thought leadership bit. Writing engaging content is the basic measure of how well you’re going to take off as a thought leader. No cheesy inspirational photo quotes, no copy and pasting of better posts than yours and no complaining. Just good old fashioned, organic content for good old-fashioned organic growth.
P.s there is no such thing as “growth hacking”.
Initially a Stanford University class project, LinkedIn Pulse is the number one tool for content creators on the platform.
Get familiar with it and try to create content often in a way that resonates with the kind of audience you want to attract. It’s not rocket science, but it takes a bit of getting used to. You’re basically a glorified blogger at this point.
Articles can be as long or as short as necessary but don’t go on a rant with no end in sight. Try and remind yourself of who you want to read what your writing and make sure its original to climb that thought leadership ladder.
Posting on LinkedIn is a lot like posting on Facebook. Writing something controversial? Expect a lot of comments and a lot of engagement, but not always positive. Writing something personal? Expect nobody to care. The trick seems to be to get somewhere in between, but always link it to your industry.
Groups and engagement
Groups are a great way to engage with your industry and the kinds of people you want to reach out to and read your work.
Join some groups based on your industry don't be that guy that self-promotes. Nobody likes that guy. Be the guy that starts interesting conversations, asks important questions and talks simply.
Choose your connections wisely. It’s tempting to add everyone with a connect button to gain a broad audience to fire your content at, but try to start small.
Add some active LinkedIn users and send them a lovely message about how you want to share some of your thoughts in the future and how you would love to get some feedback on your posts. Don’t add thousands of people with the expectation that someone, somewhere must accidentally click the like button. It won't work.