December 21, 2014

17 Ways To Master LinkedIn’s Professional Publishing Platform

publishing on linkedin

When LinkedIn launched as a professional social community  in 2003, it claimed a place in the social space that was not yet represented. LinkedIn is exclusively focused on professional B2C and B2B connections and activities.

LinkedIn’s long form publishing, originally opened to “influencers” was opened up to 25K+ LinkedIn members early this year and will continue to roll out to all it’s members.

LinkedIn has quickly become a major publishing resource with some of the best content on trends, business insights, careers, work, jobs and professional development. You can use LinkedIn’s new publishing platform to get your message out on these and related topics or simply to build your expertise and professional brand.

What makes the content unique and interesting is how personalized and specific it is to each publisher’s real life business and industry experiences.

Master LinkedIn

Respect the Community Focus and its Etiquette

This community is 100% focused on people making business and career connections and learning about the most current information and trends. So, no family picnic photos, silly vacation faces or dog tricks here. (Yes, this stuff actually does show up from time to time.) And don’t use it for other more self serving activities either.

Show and Tell What You Know in Your Articles

Take what you know about business and your unique experiences and help people get better and more proficient in their work and life skills by sharing your experiences and insights. LinkedIn is a powerful collective of knowledge. For example, Alen Mayer uses the platform to share his own techniques for persuading customers to buy or use a product or services and boils these down into actionable advice for his readers.

Make Your Content Support Your Network

We build our professional network one connection at a time. Knowing the overall mix of your community can help you focus your content. Are they managers, new hires, CEO’s or seasoned sales reps? For example, business coach Jim Barger uses the platform to write about how to outdistance competitors in articles like “Smack You in the Face” Customer Service.

Use Your Unique and Individual Point of View to Set You Apart

LinkedIn welcomes and encourages the individual perspectives of its members in their articles. Whatever your take is, bring it on. This approach is what sets LinkedIn apart from other content sites. It welcomes high level industry influencers and real, regular people who have valuable expertise so that we can learn from each other.

Include Visual Accessories to Support and Enhance Your Content

LinkedIn allows for and supports images, video, charts, surveys and infographics to be uploaded from your desktop or mobile phone and placed throughout your article. These visuals can support and enhance your article flow and ideas and can keep readers engaged.

Share Advice From Specific Experiences You Have Had

We all learn through our good and not so good experiences and both have value and merit to inspire and motivate. If you have had a particular experience with a company, client or vendor that has a good story and lesson, that can make for great content. Of course, the reverse can also be true.

Share the Trends You See in Your Industry

Some of LinkedIn’s Top Infuencers offer insights and ideas about where they believe things are headed based on the trends they are seeing in their own companies and industries. You can create this kind of content too. You don’t need to be a Richard Branson a Jack Welch or a Jeff Haden to share meaningful insights about the niche you occupy.

Write About Problems Solved, Skills and Solutions Used

Everyday we face problems, challenges and situations that take specific skills, qualities and intangibles to solve. The LinkedIn community is full of business professionals just like you, and chances are they’ve experienced similar problems in their careers. Share your problems, how you solved them and the skill sets you used and highlight them in your articles. Take the example of serial entrepreneur James Caan, who took a negative critique about one of his presentations and turned it into an opportunity to figure out a better approach.

Use Humor, Storytelling and Visuals to Get Your Point Across

Liz Ryan CEO and Founder of Human Workplace, is a great example of how to use a personal style to set your content apart. Ryan writes in a conversational way as if she is sitting right across from you sharing a cup of coffee. She adds her own original, amazing art to soften the difficult ideas and adds humor to get her points across. She shows her visual storytelling in articles like “Are You Managerial Material” with images supporting her content throughout.

Always Review and Edit Your Articles for Spelling and Grammar

There is no spell check on the LinkedIn publishing platform. So it’s best to write your article in word or some other format where you have features that flag misspelled words and grammar inconsistencies. Remember, this is a professional platform, so be vigilant about making sure your content reflects this.

Attribute All Examples, Surveys, Studies and Quotes

Always link your information and source it if it is not your own. When you use surveys, studies, quotes or graphs, make sure you are giving them the proper attribution.

Don’t Make Your Content Too Short, but Just Long Enough

LinkedIn does not have a limit on word count, but suggests posts that seem to do the best are more than three paragraphs. Use the range of 500 to 1,200 words as a starting point and then research posts in your field that get good response to see how long they are.

Use Consistency to Build Your Following and Credibility

As with all brand building and content marketing growth, consistency is key. Make a commitment to post weekly, monthly or as regularly as you can. The more consistently and regularly you publish, the more you build, serve and grow your community. The most successful publishers on LinkedIn produce content consistently. And the result is an admiring audience.  For example, J.T. O’ Donnell, a LinkedIn career influencer has built a loyal following because her relateable articles like You’re More Talented (and Beautiful) Than You Think, Can a Job Change Your Life?, and 10 Things to Do This Summer to Advance Your Career just keep coming.

Share Your LinkedIn Content Through All Your Channels

Share, promote and market your content through all of your media channels including your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, emarketing, YouTube and when you are networking.  Always link your LinkedIn articles back to your profile to build interest. Use publishing on LinkedIn to open the door for writing for other social and industry blogs. Don’t be shy about promoting yourself and tooting your own horn a bit. Just don’t go overboard.

Use Current, Relevant and Real Time Sources

Make sure all the sources and resources you use are the most current, relevant and buzz worthy you can find. Within the last 12 months is a good time benchmark. If you post daily then you will need to cover the news as it happens. Many publishers take the headlines of the day and create their own article spin on them, as Gerard Baker, Editor in Chief of the Wall Street Journal does in his 10 Point article template.

Create Great Headlines for Better Engagement

A great 5-10 word branded, keyword worthy article headline is magnetic. It screams “must read this”. It might not be what someone was looking for but, because of the title, they are compelled to read it. Great titles create curiosity about the content inside like “Project Management Lessons from Gandalf” and “9 Brands People Love Enough to Stick on Their Car Windows.” Who could resist?

Use the LinkedIn Help Section To Learn More

If you have a question about LinkedIn publishing that isn’t answered here, visit LinkedIn’s help section and search for more information. Just search under Professional Publishing Platform and you’ll find plenty of content to help you master LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Photo via Shutterstock

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Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a past staff writer for Small Business Trends covering marketing, branding and social media topics. She is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly. Her book #trusthewhy Fundamentals, Values and Humor Get You Through Anything and award winning "Career Transition: Make the Shift" (2011) are available through all major book sellers.

20 Reactions

  1. I’ll be honest. I have an account on LinkedIn but I don’t know how to use it. Maybe it is because I think it is more for connecting. I did not know you can publish content in it as well.

    • Aira, LinkedIn is a an excellent professional community for building credibility, telling your career story and learning about the latest trends in your business. May I suggest getting with someone to assist you with getting more active on LinkedIn.

    • Hey Aira! You’re kind of like me! I giggled when I saw we could now publish on LinkedIn. Now I am just thinking about what to write. Deborah Shane has some really good insight here on how to start. Kind of reads like a “Let’s start with the lower diving board” suggestion which some of us need. I’d love a new connection on LinkedIn and we could both see how it works.

      Thank you so much for the article, Ms. Shane! I was just talking about this yesterday with a friend. Time to put on my big boy hat I think and start writing.

  2. What a timely article? I just published my first post and am thinking about the next one. It’s such a great opportunity for broad exposure to your expertise. I read on a LinkedIn help article that they would like for you to have the Share In button on your blog and be active with a LinkedIn Company Page to also get more exposure for your posts. Have you heard anything about that? I can see why they’d like you to do these things.

    Thanks for so many other great tips on this topic!

  3. I am honored! Thank you for including me in your article!
    Seriousily, you gathered so many good information and I wish you wrote this many nights ago when I was learning about LinkedIn.
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Great article, Deborah. You have some great suggestions on how to get started. I just started posting my blog on LinkedIn. I think the one point that I would most agree with is to put in visuals.

  5. I really enjoyed this article Deborah. I’m just reacquainting myself with LI and I needed some helpful information on ways to incorporate what I’m doing with my blog and podcast within the LI framework. All 17 of these tips are extremely helpful. Thanks again!

    • Thank you Randy. So glad it helped and you are using this format to grow your brand and learn from others. All the best!

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