Becoming an Influential person on any Social Media network is no easy feat. Each one has it’s own culture, demographic and best way to market on.
For example let’s say you’re a comedian and you post funny images / videos on Instagram where you get a heap of engagement from a younger demographic… Unfortunately you won’t get popular on LinkedIn posting the same content.
People are in different head spaces when they use various social platforms, with Instagram the members using the site aren’t so interested in reading an article on ways to grow their businesses.
Generally people using that platform are looking for a bit of entertainment, a bit of a distraction from what they are currently doing – it’s an escapism network.
So what about LinkedIn then? What are the key elements to becoming an influential user on the platform?
How do you engage and get traction through the 3rd largest social media platform in the world?
Well, in this article I will dissect the 7 key ingredients I believe it takes to become an influential LinkedIn user.
This is based on researching the highest fliers who get the most traction and engagement on the platform.
Before diving into those key pillars though, this article is written from a professional stance, meaning that these elements of what make you popular on this platform are based around your professional life versus your personal life as LinkedIn is a professional social network.
The demographic for LinkedIn are older users who are career minded, so remember that this is the headspace people are in when using the platform.
Understanding this is key to recognising how to best get engagement on LinkedIn.
Become A Master
Before all else, you need to be a master of your craft to become influential on LinkedIn. All the power users are people who have had some great success in their careers.
Within LinkedIn it’s tough to get traction just based on your content – even if it is fantastic. You need some runs on the board to build your credibility and trust in what you are saying.
When I look at some of the LinkedIn influencers such as Pete Cashmore, Ryan Holmes & Jeff Weiner – they’ve all had great success within their chosen fields.
This is a big step, but it’s time to get some runs on the board. If you are a young and seeing this as a long road to take, there’s no shortcuts in business and success. I’d highly recommend reading Robert Greene’s Mastery to understand what it’s going to take to become a master in your field.
I see far too many people become educators before they are practitioners and to me that is downright unethical.
There are some great marketers out there who have cracked personal branding / self marketing and are marketing themselves as experts in certain industries without the required experience necessary to really provide solid advice to people.
One of these industries is the business coaching industry. There are far too many people who market themselves as business coaches when they have only had a few years experience in business or for some – none at all.
They might have started one business tasted a little bit of success by making $100K, get bored of that business (or maybe it failed) and think, I can show other people how to start a business and then clean up on selling education.
Become a practitioner then become an educator and to become an educator you need 10+ years experience in an industry. As you would have felt the hard times and the good times and can navigate people through that with your experience.
Just like how Robert Green talks about in his book Mastery. At the moment that particular industry is full of the blind leading the blind.
Have A Compelling Mission
Of the most influential users on LinkedIn they all have a compelling mission that they are working on. They are movers and shakers in their industries.
So once you have mastered your craft, it’s time to get clear on your mission. What is it about your craft that makes you so passionate and how can you communicate that passion and mission through your messaging?
The influencers are clear on their mission, they are passionate about it, and they can clearly communicate that mission with their followers to get them bought into their messages.
Equip Yourself With 3 Key Skills
The most influential LinkedIn users have a few key skills; they can market themselves, they can sell and they are great communicators.
If you can’t market yourself, you aren’t going to be able to get people to notice what you are doing and saying. Influencers understand the importance of personal brand so they work on this as a centrepiece and put massive effort on getting themselves known in their industries.
If you can’t sell yourself you’re not going to be able to get people to ‘buy’ into what you are saying. We are all in the business of selling, you’re selling people everyday – influencers know this and they are constantly selling their messages to you.
And finally if you can’t communicate in a clear, simple and succinct manner people aren’t going to understand what you are saying. All influencers are amazing communicators.
To become an influential user you need to be publishing your thoughts and ideas through the pulse on LinkedIn, some of the most influential users are publishing through the platform on a monthly basis.
Now you don’t want to get caught into the trap of publishing too much content, it’s better to have quality over quantity. Putting up one solid piece of content per month is much better than 5 small pieces per week.
Through their content they are great storytellers so start to master the art of storytelling. It will make your content much more engaging and will help your followers also connect with you on a personal level while still being professional.
All great influencers are amazing storytellers.
A fast way to get followers on LinkedIn is to get media attention in industry related online publications with large distribution.
Connect with the media and start making commentary on topics related to your industry.
When the media links to you most influential LinkedIn users have a personal website which links back to LinkedIn as the main Social Network to connect with them. If you don’t have a personal website yet, just get the media to link straight back to your LinkedIn profile.
This will start to build your following on LinkedIn.
The best influencers know the value of partnerships, they connect with other influencers and they begin exposing each other to their databases through content.
This can include interviewing the other influencer through a podcast, writing about them, doing an email blast about their upcoming book or even as simple as posting content when they met up for lunch.
All this content is strategic to expose one another to their databases to lift each other’s influence by leveraging one another.
Start off small, don’t go chasing someone like Richard Branson early on, find people with similar sized followings as you and work your way up.
Like I said earlier becoming an influencer is no easy feat and it’s certainly not easy on LinkedIn – but how do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
The most influential LinkedIn users are active, they are updating their statuses regularly and commenting on other influencers posts.
When they do this they leverage the fact that a lot of other people will be reading comments on the other influencers posts and therefore start to follow them if they add good comments.
Spend time on a daily basis being active and give quality comments on other influencers posts and status’.
The work you do will pay off in the long run, especially if you are trying to build your influence from the ground up.
Soon LinkedIn will start introducing video and live video as a way that you can do status updates. If you aren’t good on camera – start practising because the way we will communicate in the future will be video.
Master this art now and become an amazing communicator on camera so you can be ready to take advantage of this when it happens.
So to conclude the science of becoming an influencer on LinkedIn it may seem like a long road to success, but let’s face it – building an influential personal brand takes time.
There’s no easy shortcuts.
Get the runs on the board, equip yourself with some key skills and get yourself out there.
LinkedIn is a different beast to say a Facebook which is rife of people selling hopes and dreams.
People who have built followings based on pyramid schemes where they teach people how to make a million, by teaching other people on how to make a million selling other people on how to make a million.
With LinkedIn experience and credibility is what gets you far your professional kudos are what stand out. So if you think there is an easy shortcut – think again.
But this is what we love about LinkedIn.
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