October 7, 2016
I previously wrote about recognizing influencers to increase your business’ reputation. The other side of the coin is how to achieve LinkedIn influencer status so you can positively influence other businesses. One thing to keep in mind is there is influencer status and then there is influencer status on LinkedIn. The two are not the same thing.
What do you need to do to gain influencer status on LinkedIn?
Of course, to go through the process of gaining influencer status, you need to start with content, just like you always do. Not only do you need to create content but you need to create fresh, compelling, engaging content on a consistent basis. The more top-quality content you produce, the higher your status as a LinkedIn influencer will go. It will also help you to boost your professional reputation in general, which is one of the main things that you are after. As is always the case, you will want to stay away from doing a “hard sell” on anyone. You will succeed at selling your products and/or services by building your reputation, credibility, trust, and by positioning yourself as a subject matter expert. Of course, remember that the writing of your content not only needs to be top quality but it also needs to be interesting. You need to connect with your reader on a human/emotional level and the story that you tell with each and every piece of content needs to resonate with your reader.
The content that you share with other people should be a combination of curated and original content. If you aren’t sure about the virtues of curated content, the only thing that you need to know at this point is that curated content is beneficial because it widens your perspective and adds value to the postings you share with other people. Of course, your original content is just as important (if not more important) for your business. There are people who feel that clear, concise, short content postings are the way to go. However, there is a lot of merit in posting longer articles as well. One of the positives of a longer post is that you are able to provide details that you just cannot supply if you have a strict word limitation. A longer post will allow you to connect with your reader in a different way. Of course, the issue with a longer post is that the reader has to stick with you for a longer time and you have to hold that person’s attention for a longer time. That is not always easy. However, if your post is really well written and captivates the reader, you should have no problem holding his or her attention. All you need to do is wow the reader with your knowledge and expertise. You can accomplish that in your sleep!
The next step
Once you have written your extraordinary post, that content will establish a connection with your reader. That is the first way to successfully connect with your reader. However, you shouldn’t think that you are home free when it comes to your influencer status. That is only the first step. The second part of your journey is your ability to successfully engage your target audience members. The way to accomplish this is by interacting with your reader. You can leave an interesting comment or a thought-provoking question. You can be confident that other people will respond to you. People love to offer their opinions and if you make them understand that what they think matters to you, you will have them hooked. The more you interact with other people, the stronger your relationship will become with them. It is important that you take a long, hard look at your content and make sure the content is appropriate for as broad an audience as possible. Always ensure your content is appropriate for anyone who might read it and also make sure you captivate those people who are reading what you are sharing and coming back for more.
Quality versus quantity is a very important concept here. You want to have a relatively wide sphere of influence; however, you need to make sure those people who you allow into your social circle(s) are connected to you for the right reasons. LinkedIn lets you connect with other people and it lets other people connect with you. That is a part of your journey to becoming a LinkedIn influencer. You can have interactions with other people on topics of your choosing and of theirs. It is very important for you to get a good sense of what other people want to read about and discuss. Your content will be driven by the results of those discussions. It is a great idea to search for other influencers to see how they do things and what makes them influencers. You can learn a great deal from them and you should take whatever makes sense as it applies to your business.
Continue to write
Remember that you need to continually post new content. Once you have established a connection with the other person, they will look forward to reading more and more from you. It is very important that you use a consistent voice in your writing (original writing) and that you do the same with the commentary that you add to curated content. It is not a good idea to simply share curated content without adding your own spin to it. Your contribution to the curated content is the reason that people visit your website. Otherwise, they would just read the article on the author’s website without any involvement from you. Always strive to do as good a job with your content as you possibly can. It will elevate your status on your journey to becoming a LinkedIn influencer and you may even make it to LinkedIn Pulse, which will elevate you even further.
Being a LinkedIn influencer is a wonderful thing for your career. Other business owners are constantly trying to connect with influencers because it helps their business. In turn, being an influencer will help your business and the businesses of other people. Although it requires a lot of effort to become an influencer, it will be well worth it because it will elevate your professional status in so many ways. However, keep in mind that although you must accomplish a great deal to reach influencer status, you still need to be invited to hold that position. It is a prestigious position to be in.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company's Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies. His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development. Mr. Cohn earned a Master's degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master's degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).