Influencers have taken over every social media platform as more and more brands rely on them to promote their products. Most people are familiar with influencers on casual social media apps such as Instagram or TikTok.
However, not much has been said about Linkedin influencers whose function and style of posting may look quite different from your typical mainstream influencer.
What exactly is a Linkedin influencer?
Unlike influencers on entertainment platforms which can gain an audience simply for their content or passion for certain subjects, Linkedin influencers earn the title “influencer” because of their achievements in their professional lives.
While influencers on other platforms can quit their nine-to-five jobs to promote products and create content on their pages full-time, Linkedin influencers are defined by their professions outside the title of “social media influencer.”
Linkedin influencers are thought leaders in their industries, individuals who have made names for themselves in the business world like Bill Gates and Sir Richard Branson.
These professionals use Linkedin to share their insights about pressing issues related to their industry, give company updates, or give their followers a glimpse of what it’s like to run a successful business.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbranson/
For example, one of Sir Richard Branson’s most popular posts is about the difference between a manager and a leader. Big names like Branson and Gates have an audience that spans across industries and ages, much like your mega influencer doing social media marketing on other platforms.
The Linkedin Influencer Program
Not many know that Linkedin created an invite-only influencer program meant exclusively for the biggest names in business around the globe. Currently, the program only has 500 or so members whom the platform deemed as the world’s best and brightest thinkers.
Linkedin created the influencer program in order to allow “ordinary” people to learn from these leaders and engage with them through comments and reactions. Influencers who are part of the esteemed program work with a team of editors from Linkedin to write articles and short thought pieces.
This means that if you’re not a mega-successful CEO or a globally renowned businessman, the likelihood of being invited to the program is non-existent. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t be a Linkedin influencer in your own right.
Most Linkedin Influencers who aren’t part of the program create their own content and build their own following by sparking conversations.
Why become a Linkedin influencer?
Linkedin has dominated the professional networking space for close to two decades. It’s the platform to be to find a job and meet key people who can help you further your career or business.
Here are the benefits of becoming a Linkedin influencer:
- Get noticed by industry leaders – If you’re trying to advance your career or business, becoming an influencer on Linkedin is a useful way to get your name in front of relevant people.
You are more likely to get noticed by a potential employer or investor on Linkedin compared to any other social media network. While people are on other social media platforms to casually browse, people are on Linkedin to make business decisions.
- Gain credibility – There’s no denying that the term “influencer” has gained a stigma, but this stigma doesn’t apply to Linkedin influencers. Since Linkedin influencers are often well-respected industry leaders and changemakers, being identified as one is always a positive thing.
Being a Linkedin influencer will mean that your voice matters. Compared to influencers who may “specialize” in a particular niche as a hobby, Linkedin influencers are viewed as learned professionals or qualified experts.
- Connect with brands – There are a ton of B2B brands that are looking to tap on more professional influencers to test out their products. For example SAP, a software development company e.g., SAP Spartacus, features multiple industry leaders on its page.
How to become a Linkedin Influencer
Becoming an influencer on any platform takes a lot of time and effort, perhaps even more so on Linkedin. You must come from a credible professional background before considering becoming a Linkedin influencer.
If you’ve decided that Linkedin is the best platform for your voice, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Optimize your profile
Your profile on Linkedin is your own personal brand. How would you like to present yourself to the world? If a stranger lands on your page for the first time — would they be inclined to follow you?
Update your profile photo
As much as we’d all like to use a younger-looking photo as our profile pictures, it’s much more professional to use a photo that accurately represents who you are today. So, if you’re still using your graduation photo from a decade ago, you’re way overdue for an update.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonsinek/
Linkedin recommends that your face should take up at least 60% of the photo and that you should be wearing clothes that authentically represent you. Unlike other social media platforms where it’s perfectly acceptable to use group photos, it’s not recommended on Linkedin.
Similar to photos used for your resume, always use those with neutral backgrounds that don’t distract from the main attraction — you. And of course, never use low-quality, pixelated images.
Pro-tip: Use the background image as an extension of your profile photo. Often overlooked, background photos are real estate space to highlight your contact details, your latest project, and your business.
Prioritize your headline
Your Linkedin summarizes who you are, and it is the first piece of information that people read about you on search. Think of your headline as your hook; how do you get people to click? If you don’t edit your headline, it will automatically reflect your latest job title and employer.
It’s a great idea to highlight your achievements, awards, and exciting facts. keywords or words you’d like to rank in on search are also excellent additions to your headline.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/earlforlales/
Linkedin user, Earl Forlales, highlights his being part of the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list.
Use the About section to tell your story
Don’t define yourself by your profession. While there might be over a million people like you in terms of job title and educational attainment, your story makes you unique. The About section on your profile gives you 2,600 characters to tell that story.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tanmoy0101/
Tanmoy Saha, Director of Recruitment of Peloton, talks about his hobbies and interests in his about section. Instead of using the typical “I’m data-driven…” and buzzword-filled spiel, Tanmoy chose to be casual and honest, making him seem approachable and down-to-earth.
Talking about who you are beyond your job is a great way to appear relatable and adds more layers to your character.
Pro-tip: If you’re looking to showcase your professional identity, consider utilizing a powerful video presentation maker. If you have a video or presentation that summarizes who you are, Linkedin allows you to post outbound links.
Fill in your skills
Your skills section is probably the easiest part of your profile to optimize. List down the top skills that people can endorse you for. However, don’t get tempted to list as many as possible, this can make your profile look clunky and unprofessional.
Pro-tip: Make sure to clean up and update your skills section regularly.
List down your certifications
Under your profile’s Recommended section, you can list down your licenses and certifications. This can help you stand out and connect with clients who need someone with your particular credentials.
Solidify your target niche/industry
Finding your specific niche is simple — what is your expertise? For instance, if you’re a copywriter for an advertising agency, you can focus on posts about the advertising industry and share experiences about your day-to-day experiences as a copywriter.
You can even choose a more specific niche. For instance, going with the copywriter example, you can be an advertising copywriter, an SEO copywriter, a product copywriter, and so on. Narrowing down your niche can help your content stand out. Apply these best SEO copywriting tricks quickly to ensure that your copies get the attention they deserve.
Narrowing down your niche can also help your profile perform better in search. If clients are looking for a specific specialty, like virtual assistants, your profile and posts have a higher chance of appearing on searches if you use defined keywords related to your niche.
Have a unique voice
Regardless of what social media platform you decide to use, having a unique voice is important for any type of influencer. Your posts should be engaging and should reflect a personality that will keep your audience wanting more.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ziad-ahmed/
Ziad Ahmed is one of the youngest “Top Voices” on Linkedin today. The Yale University graduate started a consultancy while still in high school and continues to empower young people through his posts.
What makes Ziad’s voice unique is his use of Gen Z slang and unique perspective as a young leader.
Grow your network
Linkedin is, first and foremost, a professional networking platform. Building your network on the platform is more than just having thousands of connections; it means starting conversations, commenting on posts, hosting events, and letting your voice be heard in your industry.
Of course, networking isn’t all about growing your personal network. It’s also the act of being a connector and bridging connections between people.
Pro-tip: Take your circle to Linkedin. If you have a big following on other social media channels, consider cross-posting and inviting them to follow you on Linkedin. If you meet someone in person, ask for their credentials and continue the conversation on Linkedin.
Post share-worthy content
Linkedin isn’t much different from your regular social media platform; content is always king. Post original content your audience can learn from and always include a visual element to capture their attention.
When posting videos, always consider that most viewers watch with the sound on mute. Include closed captions or in-video graphics to highlight messages.
Linkedin recommends communicating your most important message in the first 10 seconds of the video because audience attention will drop beyond that point. A study shows that videos below 30 seconds experienced a 200% lift in completion rates.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariannahuffington/
Arianna Huffington, former President of Huffington Post and current Founder and CEO of Thrive, regularly posts snippets of her interviews accompanied by additional insight through short captions.
Aside from videos, high-quality photos or informative infographics are always appreciated.
Engage with others
Becoming a Linkedin influencer follows the rules of traditional networking. Your mindset shouldn’t always be “me, me, me!”; it’s also vital to uplift others.
If you find a post that resonates with you, share it on your page and credit the author. If you read something insightful on your timeline, add a reaction and express your support through the comments.
Pro-tip: Another great but underutilized way to engage with others on Linkedin is through endorsements. If you’ve had a positive experience with a colleague, don’t forget to leave them an endorsement!
Being supportive of others is also a great way to build your network. Who knows? You might encourage people to do the same for you.
Share personal experiences
If you’re looking to become a Linkedin influencer, you probably achieved a certain level of success in your professional life. Linkedin users are always looking for insightful and inspirational stories, not only from CEOs or Fortune 500 executives but also from people like them.
Personal experiences don’t always have to be out of the ordinary or special; posting something relatable is always valuable. After all, you don’t want to appear out of reach.
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bardo-wu-8302031b9/
Sharing something as simple as a new position or a memorable experience at work is a simple way to get started on Linkedin content.
Linkedin is a fantastic platform for professionals who want to expand their business or their career. While you won’t get as many offers for sponsored posts or paid opportunities compared to other social media platforms, being a Linkedin influencer rewards you in different ways.
The professional networking platform allows you to connect with potential investors, partners, and B2B companies. If you simply want to share your business or career-related knowledge with the right audience, there’s no better place than Linkedin.