If you want to position yourself as a thought leader and establish your personal brand, chances are you’re on LinkedIn. That’s great, but how are you positioning yourself as a thought leader and building your thought leadership platform there?
That’s great, but how are you positioning yourself as a thought leader and building your thought leadership platform there?
Do you know where to start? What to do? When and how to do it?
If you’re like the many leaders, executives and professionals I coach every day, you’re busy and want a proven step-by-step system, plan and roadmap to get you positioned as a thought leader, fast!
I’ll show you how I did it and how I now show my coaching clients to position themselves as thought leaders and cultivate their personal branding.
But before I do, want to know why I’m an expert on positioning yourself as a thought leader on LinkedIn?
I’ve been on LinkedIn since 2006, have a Fortune 500 pedigree (KPMG, Citi, Schwab), have a Top 1% LinkedIn Most Viewed Profile and speak globally about how to “hack” LinkedIn for improved results. My clients call me the “LinkedIn Jedi Master.”
So here are five ways to build your thought leadership platform on LinkedIn, plus bonus insider tips, that will get you off to the races right now:
1. Your LinkedIn profile to position yourself as a thought leader.
All LinkedIn roads lead here. Do your background, headshot, headline, summary, experience and interests position you as a thought leader?
Be engaging and compelling. Does your custom background tie in with your brand? Use your website banner for online consistency. Does your headshot engage your ideal audience? Is it compelling to them? For example, if you’re a startup tech professional, you’d likely have a different headshot than if your ideal audience was corporate attorneys.
Your headline is your thought leader and expert billboard — your opportunity to create a slogan for your personal brand. The top portion of your profile is your first chance to grab attention and powerfully position yourself as a thought leader and expert. You have 120 characters in your headline and 2,000 in your summary. Make the most of this valuable real estate that shows up in search results by maximizing your keywords and using a call-to-action. Write your summary as a sales page, not a resume. Engage your viewers and make taking the next step with you compelling. Lead them on a journey with your story.
Remember, your profile always appears in Google search results for your name.
2. Focus on LinkedIn articles/publishing to position yourself as a thought leader.
These are a powerful way to showcase your expertise and are searchable by all LinkedIn members and Google.
Again, use your keywords, have a call-to-action at the end, and share valuable content your audience finds compelling. Examples of articles to post are all around you. What are current industry conversations that you have a unique perspective on? What conversations with other thought leaders can you mine for themes to expand on? Do you know what not to post?
Trust me, pitch articles will damage your thought leadership reputation and will only make people ignore you. Ideally, you have a balance of quantity and quality: a good basis for viewers to get a sense of your expertise and personal brand.
For instant articles (I would suggest posting a maximum of one per day), repurpose your existing blog posts or other articles to LinkedIn. But be sure to include wording such as “Original post can be found here” along with a hyperlink, so you’re not penalized by Google for duplicate content.
3. LinkedIn posts/updates are another way to position yourself as a thought leader, in a shorter format than LinkedIn publishing.
The difference between sharing a post and an article is that a post is a shorter format (think Twitter) and a LinkedIn article is longer format (think blog post).
Add your own comment to any article you share, whether from Harvard Business Review or Forbes, to further enhance your expert status.
As always, you want your posts to cultivate your personal brand.
- * What does your ideal audience want to know about?
- * What conversations are they having online?
- * What conversations are you having with them?
Let them source and drive your content.
4. Join LinkedIn groups and add interests in your industry to position yourself as a thought leader.
Use the search field on the top left of the LinkedIn website. Start with keywords like “leadership,” for example, and select groups from the drop-down menu. Join all the groups that are relevant to get visibility and access to members (give yourself a maximum of 100.) Use the LinkedIn share icon to send articles to all your groups with a single click.
Be sure to follow leaders in your industry too, like Elon Musk or Guy Kawasaki.
5. Your LinkedIn contacts are the lifeblood of your thought leadership platform.
So if you want to build your thought leadership platform or personal brand fast, these five ways to leverage LinkedIn will get you started. And you’ll be thrilled by how easy and fun it is…especially when you start getting recognition in the most unexpected places!
And…if you’re interested in getting more details on how to quickly and easily position yourself as a thought leader LinkedIn, click here to qualify for your complimentary LinkedIn Results strategy session with me. We’ll explore what you can do to have a results breakthrough. I have a limited number of appointments available. So only if you’re serious about dramatically improving your results on LinkedIn and ready to take the next step, should you apply for a time to talk.
Christine Hueber is the founder of ChristineHueber.com and is known by her clients as the “LinkedIn Jedi Master” because she shows them how to “hack” LinkedIn for better results.
Image courtesy: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg