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How To Use LinkedIn Publishing for Thought Leadership

As many of you will already know, last year LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to everyone. Previously, it was only influencers who were invited, but it’s safe to say that the platform has been such a big success that it’s no surprise that LinkedIn decided to roll it out further. You don’t have to be Richard Branson anymore to post to the professional’s social network now and this means that you can use it to position your own authority.

Why Become a Thought Leader?

The internet is awash with people who post content on all subjects imaginable. Now and then you see someone pop up here, there and everywhere and they always seem to have something useful to say. These people tend to have a large social media following and write content (or post vlogs, pictures, etc.) regularly. This in turn means that they pick up regular readers who follow all of their work, and if they are doing their job properly, means also that they’re invited to all kinds of events to speak.

It takes time to become a thought leader in any industry and it doesn’t mean that you have to have a pHD level education, just that you know your industry very well, and can provide actionable and inspiring advice to others. Thought leadership on social media platforms such as Twitter also mean that you can get involved with influencer marketing and create further revenue streams for your business.

Why Use LinkedIn Publishing?

Firstly, LinkedIn isn’t a means to becoming an influencer, but it can certainly help as it gives you an opportunity to get your work in front of a wider audience than you might on your own blog. You can post content that you’ve already written on the platform, or you can post original content. All of this can help to drive further traffic to your site at the same time as raising your overall profile. Since LinkedIn is the social media site for professionals, it’s more likely that you’ll be noticed by people in your industry than on other social sites.

Getting Started with LinkedIn

Firstly, if you haven’t really fleshed out your LinkedIn profile, then do this before publishing anything on the site. Those people that read your work are likely to head on over for a nosey to see who you are and what you do, so make sure that you include the following:

  • A decent head and shoulders shot for your profile picture. Keep it professional and do use a photo of yourself, rather than your dog, a flower or a lovely landscape. You will struggle to connect if people can’t put a face to your name.
  • Brief details of your work history.
  • Details of your qualifications.
  • Volunteer work.
  • Any awards that you’ve won and details of professional bodies that you’re a member of.
  • Links to publications that you’ve written for.

A fully completed profile will also help you to get picked up in search more easily so do take some time over it. Once you’ve done this, then you can begin to plan what content you want to share with your LinkedIn audience.

You should also take the time to join some LinkedIn Groups which are in your industry niche and to get involved with discussions before you begin publishing. This will help to get your name known and so when it comes to sharing your work, others will be more willing to read as you’re a part of the community. Read the work of others too and like or comment on the ones that you enjoy – remember LinkedIn is the social network for professionals but it is still a social media site and that means that you have to get involved.

Planning Your Posts

Before you decide on titles have a look around at posts on LinkedIn and on high profile sites such as Forbes and Business Insider to see what kinds of topics do well. It’s a good idea to pay attention to the amount of shares that posts get too as this indicates that the audience enjoyed them. Make a note of the topics and plan your posts from there; posts should have:

  • A catchy title that’s not misleading
  • Good images/video
  • Great content with relevant keywords, nicely formatted and excellent spelling and grammar

When it comes to the length of the content that’s really up to you and to some extent, your writing style. Some people believe that it’s better to keep it brief but I think that it’s difficult to give anything of value to the reader in a 300-word post. However, if you are creating posts that are commentary on industry news with insights of your own then it’s possible that shorter posts will work for you. Check out LinkedIn tips for creating long-form posts that get read and shared on the site.

Do stay away from creating overly technical pieces that will only have limited appeal. With this in mind, stay away from jargon too and choose subjects that are likely to resonate with a wide range of people within your industry, from those just learning the ropes, up to those who are at the top of the tree.

Make sure that when you create the post you also include a CTA and a link back to your site so that people can further check you and your work out.

After Publishing

Once you’ve published the post, then it’s time to get promoting it. Share it on all of your social media accounts, in your email newsletter and in the discussion groups that you frequent. When it comes to the latter, don’t spam groups, only post links in the ones where it’s allowed by the group admin and where you’ve previously been involved in discussion.

Then it’s just a case of monitoring your post to see how well it does, ensuring that you get involved with comments to ensure that it gets further exposure and that you answer any questions that your followers might have. There’s no guarantee of course that you will enjoy a large amount of views, shares and comments, so ensuring that you fully participate in any engagement that your post gains is vital to its success.

How your post performs will to some extent dictate what you write about and post next so now it’s just a case of rinse and repeat.

LinkedIn Publishing is a nice platform for getting yourself and your work out there to a much larger audience than you currently enjoy. With luck, you will hit the jackpot with a post here and there and it will get plenty of exposure. But you do have to put the work in and come up with posts that are entertaining, educational and that contain fresh ideas that position you as a leader.

Image Credit: LinkedIn Pulse

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