Does becoming an influencer on LinkedIn pay off? How difficult is it to establish your personal brand on LinkedIn?
Who are influencers?
An influencer is a person who possesses some sort of knowledge/experience/ so other people want to follow their ideas/advice.
In terms of marketing, an influencer is someone who is able to sway the decisions of potential customers. Influencer marketing has been widely used for years by many brands to diversify their marketing mix with one more performance-based channel.
What about LinkedIn?
You can unlock a lot of amazing, professional opportunities for your brand to sparkle and stand out of competition if you know how to build your own professional brand on LinkedIn. Being a LinkedIn influencer means you automatically gain endorsement from the platform, and of course, it contributes to the boost to your brand image, engagement and conversions.
However, the LinkedIn audience is a different crowd and you have to know the rules to become an influencer and not end up in ban instead.
Becoming a LinkedIn influencer: things you need to know (2021)
Being an influencer on LinkedIn means establishing yourself as an industry expert. LinkedIn lets you gain actual credibility in the business world once you start gaining attention, increasing your SSI and provoking industry-related discussions.
The platform actually has its own base of influencers — the Top Voice List.
Everyone knows that getting into that list is very difficult. Although it may take years to get into LinkedIn’s influencer program, you can still become an unofficial thought leader in your niche.
If done successfully, becoming a LinkedIn influencer results in:
- a boost to the brand image
- increased engagement and conversions
- new leads acquisition and nurturing
The LinkedIn audience is a totally different universe. What works for Instagram and Facebook don’t apply here.
- They don’t care about your products
Posts with product updates, promotions, and company news belong to the company’s page.
If you’re going to gain followers by pitching your product, you’re picking the wrong strategy from the very beginning.
- They don’t like self-promotion
No one will appreciate it if you show up in random comment sections with a link to your company’s LinkedIn page.
LinkedIn is a social network.
Helping others and being selfless gets rewarded as opposed to screaming at your audience with your achievements and promoting your product here and there.
How to become a LinkedIn influencer?
The main thing you need to know about becoming an influencer on LinkedIn is that it’s not a one-day job. It may require months to establish your personal brand.
However, following best practices may be your significant shortcut. Here are steps to take.
1. Define your goal
It’s a very bad idea to start heading somewhere without a clear purpose.
Establishing yourself as a thought leader will take a lot of time and effort, so the outcome should be worth it.
Do you want to increase brand awareness or traffic to your website?
Are you working on your personal brand to get more SQL, becoming a leader in your niche or unlocking new opportunities.
Whatever it is, by having a defined purpose, you don’t risk to forget what you’re doing and why halfway.
2. Determine performance metrics
How are you going to measure your progress?
- Engagement rate
- Reply rate
- Website traffic
Defining metrics for measuring results will help you understand whether it’s worth investing your time in building your personal brand. All in all, for some people, it takes much more time to get skilled in this.
3. Realize that it’s all about authenticity
Any success as a thought leader happens not because you use the latest tool or are testing the latest tactic. It always comes down to your personality.
Pretty much like any success in marketing boils down to your team. The people.
There is no other way for sounding authentic than knowing what you’re talking about and telling it in your own words.
Even if your tone of voice doesn’t fit the “business norm.” Below is a one great picture for a proof.
Gary Vaynerchuk today has 2.3 mln followers on Twitter, 4,7 mln followers on LinkedIn.
I guess there is nothing truly awful about “saying it the way you feel it”.
But of course, effective branding is “truth well told.” The package is equally important when it comes to a personal brand as much being authentic. Personal branding works as long as there is a thoughtful, honest approach underpinning it.
4. Choose a niche & shape your USP
If you’re going to have a personal brand, it should be differentiated just as any brand.
The first thing you should do is finding your niche: you can post whatever you’re passionate about at times but it all should go back to your main field of expertise.
5. Polish your profile
A compelling title, headline and summary are things that speak for your professionalism. Your whole image on LinkedIn should magnify your talents and knowledge in a way that makes them appealing to your prospects.
6. Share knowledge to help others achieve similar results
A thought leader within a particular industry who shares organic content to a large LinkedIn audience.
Since LinkedIn values thought leaders who spark conversations, comments are the way to get organic virality on LinkedIn (not likes or shares).
How to write content that will get you a lot of comments?
Here are some idea for topics:
- Industry trends
- Know-how blog posts
Surveys work very well because you encourage people to participate, and what is more, readers are interested to see the results. They want to know what other people think on the same issue.
LinkedIn is the most convenient place on earth for this kind of interaction.
- Mind the language
Corporatized posts with language far from human will only give tiny portions of attention. The best way to get messages read is to keep it clean and simple. Stick to simple text with minimal images.
I would also add that even cliches may sound appropriate if you believe they can help people and contain your own thoughts.
People always love a fresh look at old things.
Post at least one time per 2 days.
Use up to 10 relevant hashtags in each post (after the text).
- Results measurement
If you post content consistently, eventually, you may find that your audience loves one type of content more than another.
These insights should not be used as a tool for “pleasing your audience”, they must provide a general picture of whether you’re heading into the right direction.
The thing is, your audience is your indicator of how well you work. If you see a lot of engagement, then everything is fine.
If people don’t interact with your posts, it can only mean one thing: you don’t work and learn enough. Keep going!
7. Connect with people enthusiastically but not blindly
500 is the floor for how many connections you should aim at to start.
However, adding people haphazardly may result in them clicking on “reject” much more often than “accept.” That’s why working on your connection request message is essential: failing to personalize it may eventually lead you to LinkedIn Jail.
The best advice here is to connect with people whose posts you like. Don’t add people for quantity, it will never work for you, and your newsfeed will be a one big mess.
How to write personalized connection requests
8. Comment but only if you have something valuable to say
If it’s not your first day on LinkedIn, you know that a lot of engagement comes from their interactions with other LinkedIn users.
However, commenting just to drop your name or the company’s page can never bring you any results except for spoiling your reputation for being intrusive.
Comment posts when you really have things to say — if it’s based on your experience and can truly help others. This may be a longer way, but in the end it’s going to pay off.
9. Go beyond one channel
Cultivating your personal brand is a long game that can be geared towards by unlocking other channels. Consider guest posting as one of the greatest ways to get your voice heard.
Share all your articles from other sources and add a few words to encourage people to read it.
10. Don’t like things that you don’t like
It’s very enticing to like more posts to get seen by others. However, liking posts without reading and understanding them is a very energy-consuming and worthless business.
Instead, focus on people who share things that you consider valuable and thought-provoking.
- You’ll save time dealing with useless, irrelevant content
- You’ll grow as a professional by surrounding yourself with only high-quality content
Becoming a LinkedIn influencer means strategically projecting your authentic self to prospects. It doesn’t equal showcasing what you’re not.
The whole process is time-consuming and requires your commitment. However, in the era of creators and peer to peer marketing, building your personal brand on LinkedIn is a must.