How Not to Be the Madman Talking to Himself on LinkedIn
Imagine a man pacing frantically around a fire telling a story with passion and demonstrative gestures. Now imagine there’s nobody else around… He’s just talking to himself. What would you feel?
We won’t concern ourselves with an in-depth analysis of what your feelings reveal about the type of person you are. Many people would feel sorry or fear his next move. Some would want to help. Regardless of what you might be feeling, I’m almost 100 percent confident you would not listen closely to what he’s saying nor trust his message.
Why not? Because your inner voice would be saying, “If he was so good, his message so clear and useful, why is nobody listening?”
Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Sun Tzu -- we would not think so highly of them if they had no students or followers while they were alive. This concept remains today. It’s human nature.
LinkedIn created a huge opportunity when it opened up its publishing platform to all members. It also created a huge challenge.
I use LinkedIn almost daily and have checked over 1,000 articles now. Over 90 percent get less than 100 readers. A majority of those get less than 50 readers. But the research data shows it’s important to reach these members and be seen as a leader.
A 2013 survey of LinkedIn users showed 61.8 percent rated LinkedIn as extremely important or very important when it comes to growing their networks, developing businesses, or finding employment.* LinkedIn members in the U.S. have an average household income of $83,000 per year and twice the purchasing power of the average U.S. consumer, which is higher than other social platforms.**
These numbers and common sense tell you of LinkedIn’s importance to your career and business development. They also paint the picture of inefficiency and wasted effort. I illustrate by asking you this question…
“Do you ever sit down with the intention to create a crap article (or other crappy piece of content)?”
I have never met anybody who did. Some of this is our ego and over estimation of our own capabilities. But I see so many articles, with useful and obscure data or ideas I never would have found on my own, not reaching the people who could benefit from them. At StandOut Authority, we’ve been researching how the LinkedIn Pulse distribution formula works because many of our clients see and want to unlock its power.
Related: 5 Tricks to Stand Out on LinkedIn
Three keys to being an esteemed leader on LinkedIn.
- Look at Pulse categories it would be advantageous for you to publish in. Monitor the types of article titles that get featured. Copy and paste those into a text file. You’ll pattern your title after these (not copy, but model).
- Promote your article on all your social platforms. Have a list of 10 or 20 people you can ask to like and/or comment on your article the day it’s published to give it that “first mover” boost. LinkedIn editors look at how many people are interested in an article the first hour and first day it’s published. Then they determine if they’ll feature it in the relevant Pulse category (this gets you much wider readership). Weave in a quote from an industry influencer (if you can). Tag the influencer in your LinkedIn post about the article. They’ll be more likely to promote your article to their larger following.
- Post-Publishing Article strategy (what almost nobody thinks about). Use your article as a resource in other communications to clients and potential clients for months or years after you publish it. This assumes the article is an evergreen topic.
One of our clients, Bobby Welch, is a mortgage coach excelling at post promotion. I helped Bobby weave two of his LinkedIn articles into a messaging campaign to mortgage sales managers. He’s now getting about six new phone appointments per week because of this post publishing promotion strategy. He’s also woven these resource articles into the welcome message members of his group receive as well as his postings to LinkedIn mortgage groups where he’s a contributing member.
There seem to be less maverick thinkers now. We seem to be more “herd mentality” today than ever before (though it’s hard to compare versus 1,000 or even 100 years ago). When you see one guy dancing weird by himself you probably think he’s just a crazy guy. As soon one person joins in, the original guy is not so crazy. People look to the followers first to see if the leader is worthy. Then they’ll consider the leader’s message to see if it’s worth listening to.
If you can get 500, 1,000, 5,000 or more LinkedIn members to read your article, you get this social proof that bestows leadership status. People are looking for any shortcuts they can in our overstressed over-stimulated digital world. Social proof is often the shortcut they look to first and most.
You have a worthy message. If you’re going to spend time and money creating articles, you deserve to reach those people your message could help.
We prep our clients that this is similar to a mini book launch. Writing and getting the book published is 10 percent maybe 20 percent of the journey. 80 percent to 90 percent of the journey is the promotion strategy and skillful execution after you publish. That’s what leads to an impactful message and profitable results for your business.