If becoming a LinkedIn Influencer is one of your goals for 2023 then you have come to the right place. Before we get started, it’s important to note that this is not a quick-fix guide to turn you into an influencer overnight. It can happen: a ultra-viral video, a huge investment in your company or a popular article about in the press can all catapult you to ‘influencer’ status rapidly; but that’s not something we can optimise or plan for!
This guide is all about putting in the work to build a community and become a leader in your space. This brings me to another important point – consider your motivations for becoming a LinkedIn influencer. If this is a vanity project, the hunt for likes and comments, it’s likely that you won’t stick at it. In a game where consistency is key, that simply won’t get you where you want to go. With that said, you can still take plenty of advice from this article that will make your LinkedIn more popular and with it, those all-important engagements.
How to become a LinkedIn Influencer in 4 steps
- Step 1: Be the expert
- Step 2: Build your community
- Step 3: Create value-driven content
- Step 4: Dedication & consistency
Step 1: Be the Expert
There are two kinds of LinkedIn influencers – the “I can post about anything and everybody listens” kind, and the “I’m an expert in my field, so listen to me!” kind. For 99% of influencers, you have to start as the latter before you’re trusted enough to become the former. Even the megastar influencers (Branson, Huffington etc.) got to those lofty positions by conquering their respective fields first.
Now, being an expert is easier said than done. It takes years of work and experience. Perhaps you already are an expert in your field – if so, you can skip this next part and head straight to building your community!
Not an expert just yet? Read on.
Some influencer guides, courses and coaches will tell you that you can shortcut this by reading and regurgitating a few key books in your chosen subject. However, this is not a school project. The aim isn’t to ingest just enough information to pass a test – your goal is to build a community who trust you and what you have to stay. Starting that process by being disingenuous is, I would argue, not the right way to do that.
Instead, read those books and ingest that knowledge – and yes, post about your learnings! – but include your community in that process. The chances are that when you get started, you don’t have a huge following anyway; so who exactly are you putting a on performance for? You’ll connect with your audience better by including them in the journey. Read the books, listen to the podcasts, post about what you’re learning and ask questions of the people reading your posts. Engage with them and learn together. That way, you’re learning how to become the expert your community needs, whilst also building the foundations of your follower base.
Step 2: Build your community
With any luck, you’ve been doing this already – whether you meant to or not! Connecting with people, engaging with their content and posting are all ways to build your community and if you’ve used LinkedIn at all then you should already have some experience with this.
When it’s time to get serious with community-building there are a number of ways to go about this. One of the more popular routes is to find an already established community and become a fixture within that group: sharing, engaging, forging relationships.
This method works well because the audience has been gathered for you! If you want to be an influencer in web3 and you find a great and active web3 group on LinkedIn then you’ve got a ready-formed group of people interested in your particular subject, ready to speak to.
The drawback to doing things this way is that you can become limited by the size of the group and the willingness of the group owners to let you take centre-stage.
If you’re in a niche that has a number of groups, my advice is to become active in a few – don’t spread yourself too thin and definitely don’t just copy and paste the same posts in each group. People will notice this and earmark you as a spammer! Tailor posts to groups, reply to people’s questions and provide value where you can.
Never underestimate the power of networking – both in-person and via LinkedIn itself. Send connection requests to people that would benefit from your content, and get to know them. Especially in the early days while you’re building a base, forging these relationships is crucial.
These people may go on to be your advocates, sharing your posts, commenting, engaging – all important stuff for improving your reach and overall growth. Having a team of individuals that have spoken to you and connected with you that are likely to support your content is a real boon in the early days.
LinkedIn users, for the most part, are not confined to LinkedIn alone. They will often use Twitter, or Facebook / Instagram / TikTok (depending on the demographics of your target audience). My advice is not to chase all of these platforms at once, you’ll burn out and waste a lot of time. Pick one, or perhaps two others that have the audience you want and post, network and engage on those too. Make sure you link to one platform from the other (put your LinkedIn profile link on your Insta bio, for example) and allow one to help you build the other.
Step 3: Create value-driven content
So you’re an expert in your field, or you’re learning to become one, and you’re building your community – what do you share with them? My advice here is to begin with a value-driven mindset. Think about information that you can share that will provide real value to those consuming it. Here are three high-level bullet points to consider when creating content:
- Relevant: The first question you need to ask yourself is “what does my audience want?”. You should be on the right path here already, as you’ve already chosen your niche, but dig a little deeper. What problems are your audience facing? Is anything changing in your industry? How can you provide them with content that improves their day? If you provide genuine, relevant value they will return.
- Unique: There are a ton of other people out there vying for your audience’s attention, so be unique. That doesn’t mean you can’t cover the same topics and stories as others (but if you can find totally unique content, great) but give your unique perspective on it, or find the angle nobody else is covering. Find a way to stand out from the crowd.
- Engaging: Hopefully if you’ve got points 1 and 2 covered you’re already halfway to engaging your audience, but the work doesn’t stop there. Great content engages, enthralls and keeps the reader or viewer on the page. This includes using effective storytelling techniques such as using anecdotes, metaphors, similes and personification when describing concepts or ideas rather than just stating facts without context or meaning behind them. In other words – entertain while you inform!
Step 4: Dedication & Consistency
As I said at the start, there is no magic formula or quick fix. Even a viral sensation can be lost to the background if they never hit those heights again. Becoming a LinkedIn Influencer is going to take hard work and dedication. It’ll be hard not to give up at times but if you stick with it, I promise that you will see results.
Don’t be disheartened if your early content doesn’t get much engagement, or your group posts fall flat. You need to persevere, keep posting and always analyse your content to see where you can improve. It will take time, so keep at it!
These steps above tell you how to become a LinkedIn influencer – it’s now up to you to head out there and put in there work. You’ll need to be passionate about your topic, willing to work hard at it, and have some promotional skills. You’ll also have to be willing to build a community of connections and followers who will share and promote your content for you. And lastly, you’ll have to create a lot of value in content that people want to read.
Catering yourself toward the needs of others will only further establish your credibility as an Influencer on LinkedIn.
I hope this article has encouraged you to take the plunge into becoming a LinkedIn influencer. It’s not an easy process, but it can be done with dedication and hard work. If you follow these four steps, we guarantee that your content will get noticed by other users on the platform, which will help boost your brand and authority as well!