September 21, 2016
When LinkedIn opened the LinkedIn publishing platform to everyone – consultants, business leaders and their sales, marketing and business development teams were getting hundreds to thousands of views. But now, many are struggling to get even 100 views. And, we find that people are beginning to post less because their efforts are not driving sales results.
The problem was that everyone was just using the LinkedIn platform as an extension of their blog. They were sharing every piece of content on the LinkedIn publishing platform even if it ineffectively took away from any positioning work that may have been completed on their profile. They were publishing articles without any thought of how it would challenge their prospects’ thoughts and actions and drive demand for an alternative option. They’re simply following the actions of other LinkedIn experts and social selling experts.
A Review of the Content That’s Being Published on the LinkedIn Publishing Platform by the Experts:
• Viveka von Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing in an Hour a Day and one of the most well-known LinkedIn marketing consultants talks about how to customize your invitations on LinkedIn. Can’t that be found on almost every social media consultant’s website?
• Melonie Dodaro – a contributor to LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog and best-selling author of the LinkedIn Code shares on the LinkedIn publishing platform seven messages that you should not send on LinkedIn including the default message (like this hasn’t been written about a million times in the last five years.) In her posts about LinkedIn profiles (as well as the posts from fellow Social Media Examiner contributor Stephanie Sammons) you’ll find tips about having a professional photo, a strong headline and a summary that is written in first person that is prospect-centric. Notice the same old information just written by another author.
• Christine Hueber, who self-proclaims herself as the No. 1 LinkedIn All-Time Top Female Expert mainly uses the LinkedIn Publishing Platform to promote her events, workshops, webinars etc. Most of the posts are blatant self-promotions even though B2B buyers are calling for more value. They want relationships first. They want to see real, differentiated value and how you turn their vision into results they want to achieve. When Christine provides any value in her platform posts, it is generic value. For example, in a post where she talks about how to increase your website traffic 500-plus percent with a simple strategy – she talks about consistent, compelling blogging (like no duh!) and then you have to sign up for a strategy session to learn about an effective system that makes blogging easy, fast and fun.
• Donna Serdula, a LinkedIn profile makeover expert, uses the LinkedIn publishing platform to share information about completely overdone topics like ‘Should Your LinkedIn Profile Be Written in 1st Person or 3rd Person.’ She also discusses things like the Microsoft Acquisition of LinkedIn, the LinkedIn lawsuit and how LinkedIn caps the number of searches you can complete with a free account. Now, how do these topics relate back to driving demand for LinkedIn profile makeovers?
• Kurt Shaver (founder of The Sales Foundry) and many others ineffectively newsjack and push out content. When the news broke, about the Microsoft and LinkedIn acquisition, everyone started creating and sharing articles and posts about it. Kurt Shaver, started writing posts about how it’s mostly a tactic to beat Salesforce (who cares except for anyone in marketing automation) and Why Microsoft Buying LinkedIn is Like the Warriors Signing Kevin Durant. This may have gotten 2,000-plus views, hundreds of likes and comments and even Jeff Weiner’s attention, but if there is no next step action what good is it? If the acquisition isn’t changing anything now or in the near future for my prospects, why would I write about it?
How I’m Using the LinkedIn Publishing Platform Differently
On my LinkedIn publishing platform you’ll find posts that challenge a Forrester’s analysts thoughts that LinkedIn is just for brand awareness and I debate Jay Baer’s idea that social media should be a volume play. I have posts that show how most LinkedIn profiles are worthless as sales and marketing tools as I focus on how they are failing to communicate real business value – this post has doubled our LinkedIn profile makeover project revenue. I talk about how B2B buyers are calling for a change in how you sell and market to them on LinkedIn and what those changes should be. I evaluate the actions taken by CMOs at top companies like Xerox, Lithium, XOJet, Wiley and G2Crowd and show how they are struggling to get past brand awareness.
The content I’m sharing is not the same old LinkedIn content. It’s provocative. It’s challenging. It opens your eyes and makes you question your approach (which is the first step in the challenger sales).
Each piece of content is designed to drive next step actions beyond the view, like, comment or share. It’s meant to be used in part of the nurturing program to move buyers forward. And, each piece is meant to position me as the unique LinkedIn expert.
Additional Social Content Mistakes the Experts Are Making
David Meerman Scott (best-selling author with more than 250,000 books sold worldwide, keynote sales and marketing speaker) believes that only 10 percent of the content you share in social media circles (including LinkedIn) should be your own. Wayne Breitbarth (author of The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success) believes that for every 10 updates, six should be for content you didn’t create.
This positions you as a resource rather than a thought leader! LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to go directly to key decision makers and communicate to them your business value. Your business value shouldn’t be that you can curate content that would be relevant to them.
Keep in mind that a recent LinkedIn study shows that 80 percent of IT buyers say that thought leadership content is crucial in their decision making process – and I’m sure that if LinkedIn completed the study in other industries, they’d get similar results. If thought leadership content was key, why would I focus on sharing other people’s content more?
Now, take a look at the content you’re publishing and sharing on LinkedIn
Is your content just driving awareness instead of next step actions and revenue? Are you making the same mistakes that even these experts are making?
Maybe it’s time that you take a different approach.
Kristina Jaramillo, Managing Partner at GetLinkedInHelp.com, provides LinkedIn profile makeover training to sales teams so they can attract key decision makers, communicate their business value and move sales conversations forward. Check out Kristina’s latest free LinkedIn profile makeover webinar to see how your profile is worthless as a sales and marketing tool plus get more examples of profiles that are driving results: http://freelinkedinmarketingtraining.com/linkedin-profile