How To Create Opportunities For Yourself On LinkedIn
12 months ago I logged onto LinkedIn and thought…what the heck is going on?! The platform had completely changed. People were interacting with one another, sharing content and launching speaking careers from the connections they were making there.
I didn’t know what was going on but I knew I wanted a piece the opportunities that so many others seemed to be getting. So I started paying attention, I developed the courage to show up, and now, 12 months later, I can say that LinkedIn has completely changed my professional and personal life in ways I could have never dreamed possible. Today, I’m walking you through the 3 fundamental elements that shaped that life changing shift.
1| I commented consistently to build my reputation
When you take the time to comment on the content that others create, two things happen:
First, you begin to build a reputation from the thoughts that you share. You show others who you are and what you know.
LinkedIn is an amplification platform positioning itself for GROWTH. What does that mean? It means the algorithm favours content that it thinks you will like, engage with and will keep you on the platform longer. One way that this is done is your newsfeed is by default filled with “Suzy commented on this post” or “Brian commented on this post”. When you take the time to comment, the LinkedIn algorithm will broadcast what you’ve written directly to the feeds of those who are connected with you.
My best beginner growth tip for building your reputation and starting to get comfortable with LinkedIn as a platform is to start with commenting on posts and adding value to the discussions being had. Take time to leave substantive comments. Not just ‘great video!’. Comments are your opportunity to really strut your online stuff like Lila Smith did here on one of my videos on how to create a winning content strategy:
Second, you begin to build relationships. You can take the time to comment on what others have to say, answer questions and discover other people who are worthy of following and learning from.
2| I reached out to and connected with those who could add value to my network and I could add value to there’s
One thing I really pride myself on are my connection requests. When I haven’t had the opportunity to be acquainted with someone before reaching out to them, I always send a connection request. Why?
Because the first question that naturally pops into anyone’s head when someone pops into their Notifications that they don’t know is: Why did this person reach out to me? Take the time to give them a compelling answer to this question and they’re much more likely to accept an invitation into their network.
Take a look at their profile – is there anything that you have in common? Did you go to the same school, live in the same city, or have a similar professional background?
If the person has taken the time to craft a personalized summary, take the time to read it and either relate to it or compliment it. Trust me – they’ll notice. They always do because so few people take the time to personalize their connection requests.
If you want to advance your career in marketing, extend your network to those are leaders in the marketing industry. Doing a search of people who are local is a great place and way to start extending invitations to a wider network.
Special note for salespeople and business owners: never, ever, ever pitch or ask for a meeting in your connection requests. Use your first message to show that you’ve taken the time to get to know who they are and give them a compelling reason to want to connect with you. As a salesperson, the person on the other end of the connection request already has their guard up.
Your reason for connecting needs to shine the light on two things:
1) It’s not random. You’ve specifically reached out to them because of something that has happened in their business (like a recent acquisition, job change, new hire announcements, their company appearing in the news) or because of something interesting that you’ve interesting that you’ve come across on their profile like a great article they’ve put together and you’ve learned from.
2) It’s about THEM. This is not your time to highlight anything about yourself, your company or how you’re hoping you can work together sometime in the future – that’s a pitch. You only have 300 characters of space to use in a connection request…use it wisely.
3| I created content that positioned me as an industry thought leader
I’m now considered a LinkedIn sales thought leader because I decided to double-down on content creation (specifically, video content creation) after realizing that content creation is one’s speed pass to influence on the platform.
1) Less than 4% of LinkedIn users are creating content. This will soon change as two things will inevitably happen:
Content Creators from other platforms will soon move over to claim their territory on LinkedIn
People who are already on LinkedIn will become more comfortable and confident in creating content.
NOW is the time to establish your presence and assert yourself online using video, writing posts and writing articles while it’s still relatively easy to get people’s attention.
2) You get to showcase your thoughts in a one-to-many fashion. It’s one thing to be able to have a conversation with someone in the comment section of their post or in a direct message – but creating video and written content is like sending the same email to 1000 people but THIS way… you won’t piss them off 😶🙃
So now you know WHY you should be creating content, you might be wondering if content creation is something that can work for YOU.
If you’re looking for a job, content creation allows you to market and showcase your skills. For instance, if you are a project manager, creating videos with strategies for how to run more effective meetings or a different way to look at project pricing and forecasting, is a great way for you to showcase the fantastic thoughts and ideas that you have related to your craft.
If you’re in a leadership position and want to begin booking speaking engagements, you can start by talking about new initiatives that you’ve helped to implement and oversee at your company, what the results have been and WHY your team decided to make those changes.
If you’re a salesperson or a business owner, create content around the problems that your prospects go through on a day-to-day basis in relation to their industry/position. For instance, if you’re a rep in the digital marketing space, you know that marketing managers and VPs are constantly under pressure to get more from their marketing budgets year-after-year. Knowing that’s a problem that your prospects are dealing with, you can create content around ways to reduce costs associated with SEM spend. You’re helping a manager in tactical ways so they can do something NOW from reading/watching your content. But you’re ALSO building good-will that, for the right prospect, you’ll be able to cash in on later. Being considered a valuable resource will fast-track you to more meetings with prospects who feel they know, like and trust you thanks to the content you’re creating and posting on LinkedIn.
Now you know WHY and WHO can benefit from creating content on LinkedIn…you’re probably wondering HOW one creates what would be considered ‘good’ content.
Ask yourself these questions before you post something:
Will this be helpful and/or valuable to my audience?
Will it help make their jobs easier?
Will it help make their days better?
What is the lesson and have I showed them how they can apply this lesson in their own lives?
These questions are gut-check questions so you know, regardless of views, that you’re putting up and out content that positions you as a thought-leader and someone who people follow for their interesting content.
People just like you are changing and leveling up their lives on LinkedIn, when are you going to do the same for you and or your business?