How to be more influential on LinkedIn

By Managing Director Elisha Fiorentino

Being influential on LinkedIn is vastly different from being an Instagram or Facebook Influencer where you post a picture of yourself with a product and tout the benefits with a discount code. 

Linkedin is 277% more effective than Facebook in generating leads, according to statistics published by SuperSprout. That’s a big number. So it begs the question, why aren’t most of us leveraging the power of LinkedIn? Is it because you don’t know what to post? 

Do you know what to post that will motivate three-quarters of your audience to take action and either a) comment b) like or c) reach out and contact you?

Many LinkedIn users simply post articles they’ve written and bash out a few well-chosen hashtags in the hope someone will read their blog or article, comment share and the leads will come rolling in. We’ve even tried this ourselves and the results weren’t anything to write home about, yet people continue to use this as a LinkedIn strategy, and wait for connections and LinkedIn leads to reach out.

For a long while now, LinkedIn groups have been getting rave reviews as the place to interact and generate leads—like a virtual BNI but from the comfort of your own home, while it’s a worthwhile strategy to try out, it also requires a lot of work and there are other ways to gain attention on Linkedin.

Most people when they join LinkedIn are focused on making as many connections as possible and go crazy inviting anyone—even the nerdy guy from high school because he now has a fancy pants title. You may think the more connections you have, the more leads, but it’s not quite that simple. It’s easy to look at someone’s profile and see they have 500+ connections and think that person must be extremely influential. But don’t equate numbers with being an authority in their industry. Being popular on LinkedIn comes from sharing insightful comments and articles that set you aside as a thought-leader.

What counts is your knowledge and your opinions.  Counting followers is simply a boost to your ego. In the industry, we refer to it as vanity metrics. They make us feel good about ourselves. However, the number of followers you have doesn’t indicate how many people there are in your network.

What is the difference between Linkedin Followers vs LinkedIn Network?

Linkedin Followers

Following a profile or business on LinkedIn allows you to see their activity and posts on your newsfeed, but it doesn’t mean they are following your content. Just like Instagram when you follow someone, they don’t necessarily follow you back.

LinkedIn Network

When you are part of a LinkedIn Network, you know and trust each other. It may be you’ve worked together at a former place of employment or went to high school together. The people in your LinkedIn network are referred to as first connections.

What if you’re in a super niche industry?

If you are in a niche industry such as scuba diving pizza delivery in the Whitsundays, there won’t be many others in the same industry and won’t come as a surprise that you’re going to have a smaller network. We can’t stress enough that It’s more important that you have a targeted network of Superyacht owners and people who live in houseboats, rather than people that will never require your services sharing and commenting on your status updates and post activity.

Our egos have conditioned us to seek out vanity metrics. Back in the days when social media platforms first became popular, it was almost a competition to get as many followers as possible. More followers and friends equated with popularity. Even today, we still have a tendency to think that influencers with bigger audiences will have more effect, but it’s better to have an audience that’s actively engaged.

It doesn’t matter if you have a small network of even 12 people. Provide your own thoughts and insight into industry related posts, you will have more influence than you would with a network of thousands, that may or may not be interested in your content. For success on LinkedIn

How can I be more influential on LinkedIn?

To become influential on LinkedIn to get views and shares you need to present yourself in a way that is professional. This is not the social media platform to model your favourite bikini in front of a bathroom mirror, or upload a wedding photo.

  1. The first thing you will want to do is craft the words to summarise your experience and background. Keep it professional without over-exaggerating your skills. Because it’s a business network, it’s likely you will encounter people you have previously worked with, so if you lie or over-inflate your experience, they’ll know. The last thing you want is to be known as disingenuous. 
  2. Next to your profile summary your profile photo is one of the most important elements of your Linkedin profile. Use an up to date headshot, not a full body photo of you climbing Mt Killamanjaro. Make sure you look approachable, that means smile but not like a crazy maniac. Avoid taking selfies and don’t group a group photo.
  3. Now don’t go crazy and just add anyone that walks the planet, make sure they are people you know, or know of.
  4. Ensure you post regularly. Linkedin recommends once a day, but if you don’t have enough quality content or the time, 1-2 times a week should be sufficient. You don’t want to be posting for the sake of posting. And when you do share articles, be sure to add your personal insight or make it an article that links to your website.

Creating a receptive LinkedIn audience won’t happen overnight, but it can happen if you dedicate the time and effort it requires. At a minimum try to set aside at least 15 minutes a day to engage with your followers whether it’s through a direct message or by commenting on their posts.

When you take the time to do this, you’ll find you’ll generate more leads, more people seeking your opinion and more people wanting to take you up on your products and services.

If you are keen to grow a presence on LinkedIn, but you are time-poor, have no interest in social media at all, or simply can’t be bothered, contact me today to discuss how I can leverage the traffic on your LinkedIn to generate leads and #growyourbrand