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Image credit: eskay / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: eskay / 123RF Stock Photo

Put your megaphone away and realize what you really need.

I had a great conversation last week with a potential client who is both a solopreneur and a senior director for a large sales organization. She is quite remarkable and as she outlined her various roles and “personas” I was struck not only by her experience but the “content” she had created over the last few years. To her, it was stuff she had written, presented, shared over the years as she recruited, instructed, and coached her team. To me, it was a treasure. It’s her work and if woven together and packaged correctly, it’s her marketing and thought leadership for the next year or more.

It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the art of positioning and if you read my recent post,  We May Not Be Able to Help You, you will begin to understand why.

Brian Horn’s recent Huffington Post article, Authority Marketing is a New Focal Point for Entrepreneurs, lays out the foundation of those without and those with content, and, consequently, authority. It’s a game-changer, leveler, whatever you want to call it, but content changes the playing field and everyone has the potential to create this type of branding for themselves.

I see self-proclaimed authorities, “gurus”  (one of my least favorite words) and experts all over the place. In fact, just this morning I was reviewing an online learning platform and decided to check out the already-present LinkedIn instructors. One of the instructors, who described himself as the highest ranking in LinkedIn, is someone I can’t find on LinkedIn. Really? I found his LinkedIn Company Page where he describes his photography and website design company, but no mention of being a LinkedIn trainer. Be careful what you say you are, people will check it out.

If you are who you say you are and you have in some manner or medium shared that information previously, dust off those articles, presentations, videos, book outlines, polish them up, and consider sharing them to build further influence, thought leadership and authority in your area of expertise across the largest professional network in the world. Move beyond your own geographic and physical boundaries. Be a global business citizen.

Here are some ways to build your authority and influence with original content in LinkedIn. Remember, the content needs to be valuable to your network, differentiate you, teach and/or inform. Keep the hokey and the silly on another platform, from what I hear, it annoys more people than it entertains. Be intentional with what you add to your Profile and share with your network.

What types of content should you share on LinkedIn? This is a sampling of our favorites:

  • Great presentation deck
  • Video
  • Podcast
  • Case study
  • Blog post
  • Publications you have written for
  • White Papers
  • Interesting projects
  • Shout outs recognizing others

May I add that quotes, although good and inspiring are becoming a bit overdone. If it’s what you are known for and is part of your brand, go for it. My friend, Ann Quasman uses them all the time and they are part of who she is, so they work. I pay attention to hers; they inspire and entertain me. Others use them as filler, a way to create an update and presence quickly. When I see a CEO or executive posting quotes, I think it’s someone else posting on their behalf (which is not inherently bad, it’s just they don’t know what to post).

Push yourself beyond what’s easy and now a bit trite. At least share why this quote resonates with you. Better yet, author your own quote.

Where should you share original content? Consider the following:

  • Your Summary or Experience section
  • Your Status Update
  • Your Company Page
  • Groups you belong to
  • Add links in the following sections of your Profile
    • Contact Area
    • Certifications
    • Projects
    • Volunteer Experience
  • Your new Post section. If you have a pencil in your Status Update box, you can begin sharing long-form content within LinkedIn.  Posts will allow you to be featured on LinkedIn.
    • Remember, if you place it in LinkedIn first, they own the content. We advise posting on your website first or other platform first.

The other day, my colleague, Lindsey, in Greenville, SC told me that the article I wrote a week ago was being sent out to other LinkedIn members as recommended content (those I am connected with and those beyond my network). How terrific is that?

recommended content

As a small business or solopreneur, you may not be able to support and budget for ongoing campaigns or purchased content, but you can take what you know, package it, and share your knowledge encouraging others to reach out to get to know and talk with you. Not everyone will become a client, but I guarantee your name will carry greater authority as a true professional than it may have before. Isn’t that the goal anyway?

How are you moving your authority and influence forward? Would love to hear what works for you.

Until next time, happy connecting.