The power of LinkedIn originates from a user’s connections. I recently told my intern, Joel, your career is only as strong as the breadth and depth of your network. This fact is especially true with LinkedIn. Using it properly makes it a tool to launch a new career, meet new people and share ideas. Once a person has built an audience of “like-minded” professionals, the next step is broadcasting engaging and compelling content to interested audiences. Enter blogging…
Blogging is the ultimate resource for sharing information. I have been blogging for 2 years and it has changed my career trajectory. Blogging is merely a diary of your thoughts, ideas or beliefs. Most people immediately think, “Who wants to listen to / read my diary.” Answer: Professionals. Business owners. Recruiters. Hiring managers. When you produce thought provoking content and back it up with facts and data, students, teachers, executives and other professionals want to read it. Think of writers / bloggers like Guy Kawaski, Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin or Sir Richard Branson. Millions of people (audience) read their blogs (content). Enter the equation:
LinkedIn + Blogging = Subject Matter Expert
When blogging and LinkedIn are combined, a powerful reaction takes place:
- Branding – Whether employed or unemployed, professionals want to be known as leaders in their field. Blogging is the missile that is launched by social media (e.g. – LinkedIn). Relevant content shared consistently with an audience makes people believe you know what you are talking about. Be careful: when branded in a positive professional manner, people will have higher expectations of you. Be prepared to deliver.
- Marketing – Traditional outbound marketing broadcasts a message to people – whether they want to hear it or not. It is centered on the marketers message. Newer inbound marketing techniques focus on the wants and needs of the audience. Combining LinkedIn with blogging is a way to market your skills and services in a non-obtrusive manner. People learn you’re knowledgeable without you having to announce it.
- Selling – Chemical reactions take energy. Selling through blogging / LinkedIn takes energy also. Give away more free information than you sell. Give 85 parts “free content” through LinkedIn and blogging to your audience. Combine this with 15 parts selling of workshops, products and services. This equation yields a successful selling strategy in most industries. It empowers the consumer with the choice of what and when to buy. Although this method is very non-traditional, it is becoming the desired approach for on-line consumers.
Twitter and Facebook are wonderful platforms, and I use them on a regular basis. However, professionals are becoming more connected through LinkedIn. They are connecting across oceans and industries. They desire no discussions of Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian. By combining a universe of connections with a wealth of data through blogging, a recipe of expertise is created.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.