Thursday May 25, 2017
With all the talk about social selling - it's important to note that LinkedIn is not actually about selling! It is about creating better relationships with your connections so that they begin to know, like and trust you enough to eventually buy from you.
“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust” – Bob Burg
So, first and foremost, you must know who your audience is and then create content that they would be interested in.
Some Tips to Get You Better Content and More Views!
Repurpose Your Content
It's OK to repurpose existing blog content on LinkedIn since LinkedIn articles are not generally indexed on Google. There are some exceptions (Pulse) but nothing to really worry about. (If you do want your articles indexed on Google, then consider looking at beBee. Its another social/personal branding business site. But longform posts on beBee (honey) get surprisingly great results on Google!)
When creating or repurposing blog content, make use of all of LinkedIn Publisher’s formatting features. It’s best to start with the unformatted copy and then apply headers, blockquotes, bold, italics, underline, alignment, and bullets (and numbered lists).
I wrote this article for the Social Media Examiner - and am repurposing some of it here for you!
Establish Top of Mind Recognition
Visuals can make or break whether people click on your LinkedIn Publisher articles. Cohesive, colorful, well-branded images will draw people to your article and drive them to open it.
For your LinkedIn Publisher articles, you can use your own photos or stock photos. I love Pixabay.com, Gratisography.com and DeathtotheStockPhoto.com for free stock images. You can also create custom graphics with RelayThat, Canva or PicMonkey. If you’re able to create your own image. If you are graphically impaired like me, consider hiring a graphic artist to create something special just for your brand.
To add an image to the top of your LinkedIn Publisher post, click the camera icon in the header and upload your image. LinkedIn recommends a 700 x 400 image for the header. Be sure to add images throughout your post, as well.
Support Expert Positioning
As mentioned above, if you’re already creating valuable content in the form of blog posts, newsletters, and other articles, you can repurpose content for LinkedIn Publisher. But you’ll also want to create original content for your LinkedIn readers.
One reason to publish original, unique content on LinkedIn audience is to use it as a testing platform. After you publish original content to LinkedIn Publisher, use the feedback to refine the article before you share it on your blog, as an ebook, or on a different platform.
John White, Chief Marketing Officer of Social Marketing Solutions, offers a nice blend of existing content that he has repurposed for LinkedIn Publisher, as well as original content specifically for his LinkedIn audience. John’s most-viewed post, with more than 700,000 views, 600 likes, and 1,900 comments, was repurposed from his master’s thesis.
The More the Better
Unlike what you hear about blogging, on LinkedIn Publisher the more words the better. The magic number seems to be 900-1,400 words. If you’re repurposing a blog post that only has 300 or 400 words, consider expanding your content with more examples and case studies. Or you could combine a few blog posts into one big article.
You can also add hyperlinks, images, and video and embed content with the embed code feature.
The key to creating good content is to have a clear idea of what you have to offer, know your audience and what they need, and then create solutions for them.
Good content gets noticed. John White has gained 31,000 followers since he started posting. He was at around 1,800 followers before writing his first LinkedIn Publisher post.
Create Conversions With Calls to Action
Make sure you include a call to action in each LinkedIn Publisher post, whether it’s to get more information from another link, contact you, or sign up for a free ebook or white paper. A call to action that speaks directly to your potential, ideal, or current clients will engage your audience and direct them to your funnel.
Fabrizio Poli, who brokers private jets, offers downloadable white papers to his audience. People who are successful at generating leads with LinkedIn Publisher do a combination of their own content and sharing links to external resources that both inform and build their credibility. They also include a phone number, email address, or calendar link at the end of the post, so prospects can easily contact them.
Fabrizio makes himself available in his posts by sharing his contact information and including a shortcut to booking a 15-minute call.
Sharing a calendar link can be more effective for conversions than just your contact info alone. People may not be ready to talk to you now, but might be open to scheduling a time to speak with you in the future.
It's NOT One and Done - Keep Sharing!
You can’t just post an article on LinkedIn Publisher and expect people to find it. There’s no guarantee you’ll attract a large audience. To help improve the visibility of your content and position yourself as a thought leader who garners more business, promote your Publisher content to your other social networks.
When beBee CEO Matt Sweetwood first started posting on LinkedIn, he was getting 200 to 400 views per article. After he started actively sharing his LinkedIn Publisher posts on Twitter, he drove his average to 2,000 to 6,000 views per post. The increased visibility resulted in more consulting and speaking opportunities for him. Matt also @tags the Twitter handles of people he thinks would be interested in each article.
Consider adding a click to tweet link in your article!
Think of your LinkedIn posts as you would a product you’re promoting. Share them on all of your social media sites and share them more than once. (LinkedIn even encourages sharing on Facebook and Twitter the first time you Publish! But keep doing it.)
LinkedIn Sharing Hack
To make it easier for readers to share your Publisher posts, add click to tweet links and LinkedIn sharing links within your posts to make your Publisher articles easy to share. In order to add a LinkedIn sharing link, you must first publish the article.
- Then click the icon to share your article on LinkedIn and copy the URL from the pop-up window.
- Copy the URL of your LinkedIn post.
- Go back and select Edit post. Insert the URL as a hyperlink within the text and save.
- Add a hyperlink to make it easier for others to share your articles.
Now it will be easier for readers to share your article with their audiences, increasing your article’s reach.
See an example (and please feel free to share) here 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻:
When writing a post for LinkedIn Publisher, think about which thought leaders in your industry might be a good fit for the topic and consider incorporating them in your article. This tactic is a great way to improve engagement because the people quoted or referenced in your articles are likely to share them with their own networks. (Notice how I have done that throughout this article?)
Author Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Media, frequently promotes thought leaders in his LinkedIn Publisher posts, quoting and sharing their thoughts and recommendations. Although Dave is already a LinkedIn Influencer and a Thought Leader, his generosity in adding other Influencers makes him one of the more popular writers on Publisher!
One of the best examples I have seen of this at work is Brynne Tillman's latest post: "200 Powerful Tips for Top LinkedIn Experts". Of course, all of us are sharing her post with our networks - and she is driving a TON of new leads to her eBook sign up. This is both brilliant and extremely effective!
Hashtags are BACK!
Yup - hashtags are a thing again on LinkedIn. You will not only be asked to add hashtags when you first Publish your post, but you should also add them to the title or content of your post. And here is a great ninja trick I learned today - also add them to your main image credit and captions.
So what does this have to do with social selling?
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, LinkedIn (and Social Selling) has very little to do with a sales pitch and everything to do with making yourself a resource and sharing the right kind of information to the people who need it! Publisher, in one of my opinions, is the best way to do this!