I saw a question on Reddit recently from a seller who wondered whether or not to create content on LinkedIn. The seller worried that writing about topics like quota, rejection, or prospecting might sound too salesy and might hurt his pipeline.
The truth is that many sellers have fear around the concept of creating content because we worry about how the audience will accept our ideas.
Middle school prom
Not only should we post our own content on LinkedIn; we should also engage with other people’s content.
Unfortunately, many of us treat LinkedIn like a middle school prom. We stand around the edge of the room watching each other, too afraid to dance. We might speak to a friend or two, but we’re afraid to look stupid, so we don’t dance. Instead, we let everybody else enjoy themselves.
We don’t want to look stupid on the dance floor, so perhaps we look stupid on the sidelines instead. We’re afraid of the critics who might make fun of our efforts
Engagement doesn’t involve moving around the room and saying hi to people at the dance. On LinkedIn, clicking “like” for a few posts doesn’t qualify as engagement. It won’t sustain relationships. It’s basically an indication of approval.
Engagement requires you to bring other people into the conversation. If, for example, you’re in the water industry, and you see an article about the danger of water purification tablets, you can tag another colleague who wrote about the same topic.
The author of the piece will take note of your efforts to bring someone else to his page, and your colleague will take note as well.
Talk to people and work to create lasting relationships.
The question on Reddit came from a seller who worried that his prospects might tire of always seeing sales-related content. But consider your own news feed. Are you annoyed by the fact that you frequently see the same faces over and over again? Or do you simply choose to read things that are relevant and skip over the ones that are not?
On the other hand, when one of those people shares something that helps you or connects you with someone else, that brand sticks in your mind. When you need help with something, you’ll remember the guys who showed up in your feed.
When you post content and engage with other content, you stay top-of-mind with your audience.
Make sure that you’re posting the right kind of content for your audience. Gear it toward your prospect. If you’re targeting salespeople, it’s ok to post sales content. But if you’re targeting decision-makers at Fortune 500 companies, don’t post about yourself. Post what the leaders in that industry want to know or read.
Gear your content toward the people you want to attract.
Don’t be paralyzed by the fear that your content won’t sound perfect. Understand who you’re targeting and who you want to attract.
LinkedIn provides 36 billion impressions per month. That’s 468 billion impressions per year, or 9 billion impressions per week. Users see content 9 billion times per week.
Now factor in that there are 500 million people on LinkedIn, and only a fraction of them are active there. Of those, only 3 million people share content weekly. So those 3 million people who share content weekly are getting 9 billion impressions.
The rest of us are afraid to share content, so we’re sitting on the sidelines.
Grab your reader’s attention, but be intentional about the stuff that you share. Post things that your prospect wants to read. You can certainly share industry-related content from magazines, but your content doesn’t always have to tie back.
Consider these options for content:
- Answer frequently-asked-questions about your industry
- Share content that your industry would want to know about.
- Share videos you create from your smartphone in which you answer questions.
- Post complementary content that is indirectly related to your industry.
- Repurpose your company’s own blog content.
Seek to be helpful.
Also, consider asking your own audience questions about what they are doing and what they’d like to see. If you tag people in a post and ask them about the CRM they use, you’ll initiate engagement. As more people comment, it will gain more visibility. If someone from outside your own connections engages with it, reach out to that person and request a connection.
Your challenge for the upcoming week is to share one piece of content every day.
- Monday: share an industry-related piece that includes something interesting.
- Tuesday: answer a frequently-asked-question.
- Wednesday: answer a common question using video.
- Thursday: post complementary information.
- Friday: share something your company has created.
At the end of the week, if you don’t have any impressions, keep posting. You’re going to connect with new people. Ask your teammates for ideas if you can’t think of anything to post.
“Create Content on LinkedIn” episode resources
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