Way back in 2013, I wrote an article for this site titled “If Salespeople Should be Blogging, Why Aren’t You?” Consider this a follow-up. I’ve been writing now for about 7 years. This has included my own blog, guest articles for a number of other great sites including this one, and even a book. Never saw that one coming.
Becoming a writer was never a part of my to-do list, and I am also not a marketer. I bleed salesman red through and through. As such, I don’t really have the chops, nor even the inclination, to micro-analyze what works, and what does not, regarding the types of articles that are attracting my readers. Rather, I write and then I observe.
I watch for opportunities and, often, they will find me. I have been fortunate enough to have my efforts generate revenues from both writing and consulting. I’ve been surprised, on numerous occasions, by the unexpected. Articles that I think are great, go nowhere. Other times I will write something, not be real optimistic about the product, and then … bam! It takes off.
Recently I was able to identify one avenue that has consistently paid off for me in views and engagements that are so far in excess of any other writing that I have done; it’s mind boggling. That platform has been writing on LinkedIn where I have followed a program of creating original articles as well as repurposing articles that were originally published on my website.
Why do it?
I am by no means a writing machine. On the contrary, writing does not come that easily for me. I struggle with topics and content, and it generally takes me weeks to create an acceptable original piece. It’s a love/hate relationship and, on some days, it is more the latter than the former. I am insanely jealous of those who seem to write so effortlessly.
Now, I can’t speak for you but, I don’t do a lot of things without some sort of expectation for a positive return. My efforts need to be productive. I also strongly believe that the major difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that, generally, successful people will do what unsuccessful folks won’t do, even if they don’t want to do it either.
- It’s easy – LinkedIn’s interface is very simple and very similar to word processing programs that you would be familiar with. If you prefer, you can compose your article in Word or Google Docs (my favorite) and then easily copy and paste that to LinkedIn.
- You demonstrate your expertise – When you educate, not sell to, others about your services, you become a recognized expert and somebody who these folks will think of when the need arises.
- Convert your profile into your personal website – What do you find on a website? Contact info, about, services, testimonials, and a blog. LinkedIn checks off all of these areas, and it comes with a pre-populated CRM right out of the box! LinkedIn is your personal brand.
- You publish to your target market – Assuming that you are connected to the right people, your target market, you will be writing directly to these select few. Compare this to the odds of your article being discovered via a Google search.
- Articles give your profile that extra boost that sets you apart – Images make your profile more visibly attractive. Images with great content are the one-two punch that will elevate you above others!
- The engagement and views are outstanding – By simply going to your post, you will easily see the article views, likes, shares forward, and comments. I’ll share some stats with you shortly but, you will be amazed at the results.
- Your people share to their markets (connections) – When folks share your article directly to their own connections, you are receiving their stamp of approval and your visibility is greatly extended to an entirely new group of potentially important connections.
- Substantial increase in profile views, followers and connection requests – Quality article activity is like supercharging all of these metrics. Keep in mind that your articles are both visible to, and discoverable by, the entire LinkedIn community.
- Your rankings will rise dramatically in all areas – LinkedIn will tell you what your activity has been so that you can easily correlate these to results. If you have not activated analytics as a part of your profile views, you should. LinkedIn will rank you against others in your network as well as others on LinkedIn, who have similar profiles to your own.
- Improve your Selling Skills Index – I’m not even sure how many folks are aware of this free LinkedIn service. Check yours out!
On January 12 I published an article to LinkedIn titled “If I were to Hire a Salesperson Today”. The stats below reflect activity on this post between then and February 5. This article was originally published on my website on October 8, 2015. To date, this post on my site has had a total of 26 views, and no comments had been left. On LinkedIn, over 5,800 meaningful actions!
More evidence – The week that my article published, my activities were up 375% and my profile views increased by 700%. My profile rankings increased to the top 1% of professionals like me and to the top 10% when compared to all of my 1st. degree connections. Invitations to connect quadrupled and a number of folks have reached out to me regarding my services. Coincidence?
How to do it
- Create original content specifically for LinkedIn – Honestly, it I had to do it all over again, I would probably do a much larger percentage of my writing specifically for LinkedIn. Still might. My personal goal is two articles monthly.
- Repurpose existing content with or without edits – If you are not repurposing content, you should be. Take some of your best articles from other platforms and then republish those to LinkedIn. Make sure that your content is quality. Just schlepping something over to LinkedIn could do more harm than good.
- Be sure to add images and tags – Images add visibility and tags are searchable. You can even add videos, slides, and hyperlinks.
- Stay on brand – What do your readers expect to see from you? What do you want them to see and learn? This is an opportunity for you to let others know about your services so, don’t squander that.
- Educate rather than sell – Education is today’s selling model and is a major part of your social attraction strategy.
- Promote your article – Be sure to share your article on platforms other than LinkedIn. Your article has a URL so you can share it … anywhere and by any means. I happen to love Buffer and its power scheduler (create a series of shares for this update over a time period) is awesome!
- Watch for comments and reply – Use their name in reply or they will not be notified. You will also not be notified if they do not use your name so … visit your articles often to check for these.
- Look out for sales and connection opportunities – Don’t ignore likes, shares, and comments. Do your research. These folks tapped you for a reason and if you want to reach back, do so while the iron is still hot.
- Take a look at your analytics – LinkedIn will provide specific and in-depth analytics for every article you publish, and they are easy to read and understand.Hell, I can’t decipher anything past pageviews on Google Analytics.
- Your article will have a fairly short shelf-life so keep on publishing! – Like everything else in life, it’s “What have you done for me … lately?” If you wish to build an audience, you must write consistently.
Every article that you publish on LinkedIn will not be a home run but, don’t get discouraged! Even the best batters don’t always hit one out of the park. The beauty of publishing on LinkedIn is that, given the wide array of benefits that every post can and will generate, you can’t be hesitant about stepping up to that plate. It’s tough to hit a grand slam if you never swing the bat.
Are you publishing on LinkedIn? If yes, what have your experiences and results been? It would be wonderful if you could share those and any other tips with our readers!