The One Mindset You Need to Succeed on LinkedIn
Everyone wants to build a robust presence on LinkedIn which increases engagement, helps position you as the expert in your field, and ultimately generates more business.
But in order to do so, there is one mindset you need when creating content in order to get traction on LinkedIn.
If you’re an investor, executive, or entrepreneur, LinkedIn is the most consequential social media platform to be on today, and in 2022 if I was going to pick one social media platform to focus all my energy on… it would be LinkedIn.
Some basic LinkedIn stats for 2022, so that you understand how important this platform is right now. As Hootsuite mentions:
“LinkedIn has 810 million members. To put that number in context, Instagram currently has over 1.2 billion users, and Facebook has almost 3 billion. So LinkedIn may not be the largest of the social networks, but with a specific business focus, it’s an audience worth paying attention to.”
And when it comes to influencing and engaging decision makers (the hardest and most sought after demographic…), according to Findstack: “A article published by LinkedIn 2016 stated that there are 61 million high-level influencers and 40 million decision-makers on LinkedIn. In the last 4 years, the number will surely have increased even further.”
So, if there is one platform you need to double down on in order to build thought leadership this year, we know it’s LinkedIn.
And there is one fundamental mindset that you need to think about before you embark on your LinkedIn journey when seeking to make a major professional impact on the world.
That mindset is how you can be a value-adder… how can you add value to your community’s feed.
If you are truly interested in having your ideas embraced, and shared on the Internet, you need to understand that it’s about scaling value… and engaging content is the medium in which to do so.
Before you press that ‘Post’ button you need to think (even if it’s for 1-2 seconds), if that post is adding value to someone’s life.
Is it making someone’s life just a little bit better for reading it?
How can I add value?
When I was younger, I used to be obsessed with this idea of being a “superconnector” (or whatever that means), but then realized a few years back that content (whether it was digital content or the facilitation of networking events), was far more valuable to my community than one to one introductions.
Content, (in this case, digital) was scalable, touched more people, and was accessible for basically an indefinite period as long as it was online. Producing consistent content also created the additional benefit of being top of mind for professionals in my network, and helped in building my expertise online.
Oftentimes, when we don’t let our egos get in the way of who we think we are… and actually listen to what our audience wants, we get better results than we could ever imagine.
In that circumstance, it was content creation.
But let’s first define what “value” is, as it’s annoying sometimes when people write that, as if it’s some intangible thing.
Basically, the definition of adding value (and let’s use it in the context of business), as found in a Google search is: “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.”
So, the premise, from a social media perspective, is to ask does content you post “inform, educate, or entertain”?
You should consider hitting one of those benchmarks when you’re creating content, in making sure you’re at least putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. You add value by asking yourself if the content you’re posting is somehow improving the lives of the people you’re looking to engage with.
If the answer is “yes”, then press the ‘Post’ button 😊
Questions to ask yourself come from empathetic thinking
In my work with clients building their thought leadership online, I have noticed that sometimes they are not educated on why empathetic thinking is so important online.
Woman’s entrepreneur coach Lauren Schaff sums up this idea beautifully in a LinkedIn article on the importance of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes: “So the next time you post, ask yourself: does this educate my audience, or entertain them, or make me relatable, or inspire others? If the answer isn't yes to one of those questions then think twice about posting it on social media.”
I believe what is key in order to succeed across all social media platforms is empathetic thinking. In this me-focused era it’s hard sometimes to look pass our own noses, but in order to have impact, and build an audience online, understanding how someone may react to your content is something you need to embrace.
As this article published by the University of California notes on the importance of empathy:
“Empathy is our ability to sense the emotions of others and understand what they’re feeling and why. It’s a mechanism that can help us come together in life’s most dramatic moments — like natural disasters or personal loss — and also improve more mundane situations like scrolling through Twitter.”
I don’t think it’s necessary to worry about every post, as many of them will not land, but this is something to keep in mind when you craft content.
Think about the last time someone posted something deeply vulnerable or that touched a nerve within your being. They were able to connect with you on that most human level because they understood the same emotions drive every single one of us.
While positively impacting people in such a manner may be a lofty goal to aspire to, (and may not be something you believe you can accomplish with social media), it is a worthy aspiration to have when posting online.
What not to do…
As many professionals feel uneasy about this, when posting content you believe is boasting it’s OK to write about your accomplishments and share them with the community. Most professionals with a healthy sense of self will celebrate alongside you.
As a general rule of thumb, I believe it’s better to keep it to the 80/20 rule of posting other’s content versus your own. And if something feels cringy, then just give it some time before pressing the ‘Post’ button. Like anything in business, trust your instincts, and remember, you could always delete a post at any point.
But there are some behaviors we should look to avoid on LinkedIn. We have all seen this, someone posting an obnoxious humble-brag which is lacking complete self-awareness. Or worse, some half-baked sales pitch for a service no one is interested in.
The latter is probably more egregious, as it is in the same vein of the ever-constant spam messages we all get in our LinkedIn inbox daily.
You cannot take the good without the bad, and LinkedIn has it’s share of bad as well; the spamming of your inbox is the price we pay for using the platform. So that’s another reason it’s so important to be thoughtful regarding the content you’re posting online.
We are all human, not every post will land… and it’s OK to brag once in a while, so don’t worry so much and be kind with yourself.
How do you actually put this mindset into practice?
Having an empathetic value-add mindset without action and execution is worthless.
When you’re thinking empathetically and thoughtfully, and you have the right mindset towards the type of content you’re posting, it’s time to take massive action.
When looking at the kind of content you could create, the following ideas below could offer a good start:
-Sharing an article (with your analysis) of a topical subject in your professional area of interest
-Creating a video where you give a review, or testimonial of a service or product which you believe will impact your audience in a positive way
-Reporting or sharing an accomplishment of someone you work with (I work with a number of VC clients, and I think it’s always a great idea when they post their portfolios’ highlights as it helps promote their investments in an authentic fashion)
-Writing a micro blog within the LinkedIn post with your insights and perspectives (the more contrarian the better, as it will be more engagement) … I think this is an underutilized way to really build thought leadership as most professionals are not going to dedicate the time to doing this
This is just a sampling of ideas, there are many ways to engage, and build an audience on LinkedIn. The benefit of creating engaging content includes increased awareness for your personal brand, which leads to better business development results.
We are all busy professionals, and ultimately what we’d all like to do is generate more business opportunities, to grow our business. If you are not using LinkedIn effectively in order to do this, you’re basically leaving money on the table.
If you’re committed to building thought leadership this year on LinkedIn and would like to accelerate your results, you can learn more about how we can work together by clicking here.