If your goal is to improve your online presence, as well as that of your business, and establish yourself online as a thought leader – to show authority and drive influence within your industry – then LinkedIn is an ideal place for promoting your personal brand and networking with your peers.
One of the best ways to showcase knowledge and expertise is by publishing blog posts on LinkedIn’s blogging platform – or Pulse, as it’s now known. A social hub for professionals looking for professional advice, you can use Pulse to drive a focused business readership to your thought leadership efforts.
The advantages of using LinkedIn Pulse are that both your connections and followers get to see your published posts and often the reach is greater than on any business blog – plus you can drive traffic to your business website through web links and calls to action.
Engagement can shoot up through comments on posts, giving you the chance to take the conversation with commenters offline and grow those relationships. Pulse is a great way of showing who you really are and building your profile – you become the trusted advisor who has something useful to say.
But here’s the problem – what if you’re not a writer or blogger and don’t know where or how to start?
We’re all told that we need to write more content to boost our profile, but what if you have a phobia of writing? What if you’ve never published anything online before? How do you know what to write and whether your post will be any good? Our worst fears might be realised if we publish something terrible and end up looking like an idiot rather than expert.
If these sound like your fears and you’re unsure where to begin or what to do, follow these five simple steps to becoming an online influencer through LinkedIn Pulse:
1. Identify your purpose for blogging and make a decision
First, you need to understand why you want to blog – is it to increase brand visibility and promote your business to a much wider audience or do you have something important to say?
While most people share updates and some will have a go at improving their profile, taking that first step to blogging is a whole new ball game. The key is making a commitment to sharing your know-how, then following it through. Once you figure out your purpose for blogging, make that decision to get started.
2. Understand what it is you want to say
What are you going to talk about and how often you going to say it? Are you going to write about an aspect of your industry, which might appeal to a niche market but probably won’t drive significant reach, or are you going to write on broader topics – sharing your many years of business experience on topics such as employee communication, sales excellence and project management hacks?
A combination of both is best – and a focus on quality, insightful writing that will start a conversation. Always repeat the mantra – is it useful, interesting, audience-friendly and unique? Aim to write fortnightly to start with, then adjust based on audience response and your own workload.
3. Know your target audience
There’s nothing worse than writing for the wrong audience – they won’t respond and your post views will tank. Determine your ideal reader (customer, colleague, employee?) and ensure your blog posts are professional and business-focused.
If you plan to write for your peers, show them how they can get better at what they do. If you’re writing for clients, current or potential, don’t give them the hard sell – talk to them about the issues they face and ways to fix them, whether it’s through the work you do or not. Give them business advice and industry updates or insights first.
4. Outsource your writing to a professional
If you’re time poor or inexperienced at blogging, then it makes sense to engage a content writer. A professional will work with you to develop your thought leadership ideas, draft the articles in line with preferred style and voice, while using relevant keywords, catchy headlines and appealing images.
A professional will also edit and proofread the piece, then publish it for you on Pulse. This not only frees up your time for the work of running your business but ensures that someone with digital content skills can get your first few blog posts off the ground.
5. Learn from the professionals then jump in yourself
Once a content writer has published a few posts for you and you’ve been part of the content creation process, seen how it’s done and figured it out, then it might be time to try writing a blog post yourself.
With increased confidence and a growing audience, you can build on the work of your contracted writer and start to write from the heart and with conviction about issues and topics that matter most to you and to your reader.
If you’re ready to promote yourself as a true industry expert and start blogging online, LinkedIn’s Pulse platform could easily be the best way to maximise your online efforts to drive visibility and customer engagement – and all with fairly minimal effort.
If you’re still unsure where to begin, let’s have a conversation about getting you started blogging on LinkedIn today.