The perfect LinkedIn post…
So don’t try for it.
Over the years I’ve spoken with so many professionals who don’t share content on LinkedIn because they are frozen. They are paralyzed because they don’t know how to craft the perfect post that goes viral, shares a ton of value, drives high-quality conversation, and gets a bunch of leads all at the same time.
But they are making a simple and understandable mistake. Because if you don’t post much, it’s easy to fall prey to the thinking that each post has to do a lot of work. That makes each post harder to craft and it gets easier to put off engaging on LinkedIn. And so you put it off and the pressure to share the perfect post becomes more intense.
A vicious cycle ensues.
However, when you give up the hunt for the perfect post, you are freed up to share content more regularly. And that’s how you really drive influence on LinkedIn.
Become a Micro-Influencer
Much of this stems from the “influencers” on the platform that spend their time creating a huge network and putting out content with the sole purpose of getting views. It’s easy to look at those examples and think that you have to do it, too. But in reality, a lot of that viral content has very little bottom line business impact.
Instead of pursing a viral post that reaches a huge audience, it’s better to curate and create content on LinkedIn that positions you as a trusted resource within your existing network. The goal is to be a Sales Sherpa™ and a micro-influencer among a smaller group of 200-300 connections. These are people who can create opportunities for you, like potential clients, industry colleagues, or other centers of influence.
By staying engaged with those connections on a semi-regular basis, you ensure that you stay on their “radar”. You are the person they go to view as an expert because you are top of mind. And when they need products and services in your field, they’ll come to you.
Be Consistently Present
The best way to create this influence on LinkedIn is to post regularly. Ideally you’ll be posting between 2 to 5 times a week.
Too often, people think that every post has to get huge reach, and get a lot of engagement, and position your brand, and…everything else. But that’s tough to pull off for every post. Instead, you can strategically use individual posts to achieve different goals. For example, some can:
➤Drive reach among your prospective clients
➤Remind your existing clients about a specific service
➤Focus on a hot topic that will create conversation
➤Share a specific brand message
➤Attempt to speak to a broad audience to build visibility
If you try to do that all in one post, you’re going to have a lot more misses than hits. But if you spread those goals out over a number of posts, you’ll have a lot more success.
So not every post needs to have the same effect. Instead, layer your message piece by piece. Each time you show up for your connections, you are giving them another building block they can use as they create their perspective of your brand. And in the end, that’s how influence is created – one step at a time.
Have a Goal for Each Post
When you are creating a strategy for your LinkedIn content, you want to ensure that you are checking a few of the boxes below. Ideally each post will hit a couple, but even one is fine. Because even if you don’t hit a goal with one post, you accomplish it with the next one.
1. Demonstrate Expertise
At its core, expertise simply means that you have an insight or perspective that others don’t. And by sharing, you can give someone else the opportunity to make a decision in their life more easily, effectively, or with less risk. You’re not trying to solve every person’s problem with every post, but simply sharing information that makes them more informed.
Examples: Commenting on an article about a new development in your field, answering a common question you hear from clients, recommending another complementary product or service, sharing a success story
2. Define Your Brand
You brand is how people view you when you aren’t there. Hopefully expertise and skill is wrapped up in your brand, but there are many other components that will have an impact. Are you focused on agility or stability, being goofy and causal or a bedrock of trust? There’s no “right” brand, but make sure it’s authentic to who you are and how you work.
Examples: Highlighting company initiatives or industry/client recognition, posting about on-going educational opportunities or conferences you are involved in, mentioning your volunteer or civic activities, sharing internal employee activities and initiatives
3. Expand Your Visibility
While you don’t want to chase numbers for numbers’ sake all the time, posts on general topics that appeal to a broader audience have the chance to be shared more often. They might not pertain to your specific field but they can expose you to new connection opprtunities.
Examples: Discussing larger industry trends in your field, sharing information on general business topics like working from home, diversity, or mindfulness, talking about events or connections that are geography-based (e.g. city or town) as opposed to industry-based
4. Humanize Yourself
The mantra “LinkedIn is not Facebook” is thrown about when people see personal posts on LinkedIn (especially religious or political ones). And it’s half correct. Sharing a profersonal™ post that bridges your personal and professional life is a way to connect with your connections as a human being. These are topics that you would feel comfortable talking about at an in-person business event but don’t directly relate to business.
Examples: Promoting a non-profit or charitable organization that you are involved in, announcing a big family milestone like a wedding or a birth, praising or recommending someone in your network who isn’t a direct partner, sharing an educational achievement or career milestone
5. Create Conversation
It sounds obvious, but if you want to engage your network you have to be engaging. Your LinkedIn content can be a great way to start conversations with your connections, both with people you know well and those who are farther away in your network. Share the insights you’ve gleaned in your work and see how people respond to them. Talking about your products and services isn’t going to do it. But asking a question will.
Examples: Sharing industry news that is very specific, sharing your perspective on a specific feature or benefit in your field and then inviting opinions, asking for opinions or recommendations