We know that March is an important month for basketball fans, but for Optimized Career Solutions, “March Madness” means something entirely different! It’s really a spring awakening of what drives your passions, a motivation to go out there and do whatever it takes to reach your goals. This month, we’re focusing on how to do just that, using an extremely powerful tool for professionals across the globe: LinkedIn.
If you’re just joining us, check out our first blog post on how to optimize your career with LinkedIn and settle in for part two! Today we’re going to talk about how to be an industry leader in your field. You didn’t think optimizing your career with LinkedIn was as easy as just setting up a strong profile, did you!?
Don’t worry—you know that with Optimized Career Solutions, you never have to reinvent the wheel. With over 7+ years of experience (and TONS of research), we’re equipped to give you the tools you need to become an industry leader without burning yourself out.
Here’s what you need to know to become an industry leader on LinkedIn:
1. Create Posts and Articles, and Know the Difference
What’s the difference between posts and articles, and which should you create more of?
Posts can range from text posts to photos or videos that are organic—coming from you. We advise our clients to think about their accomplishments and own them, publicly! Maybe you’ve won a leadership award or you’ve recently been a keynote speaker at a conference. Maybe you’ve recently earned a promotion or certification… whatever it is, talk about it! Don’t be afraid to show it off and invite your audience to “like” your accomplishments. You never know whose timeline your work will end up on!
Posts can also be something that you want to share that isn’t necessarily organic. Perhaps you’ve found an article that is relevant to your field that you have an opinion on. We recommend pasting in the link to that article, writing your professional opinion, and sharing it out to your network. Maybe ask a question to engage your network and get the conversation going. If you want to really build your network, we recommend posting organically or sharing content around 3 times a week.
Articles are longform and tend to be 3-5 paragraphs long. If you don’t have your own website or blog, this is an excellent platform to share your expertise and wisdom in your field and show others that you know what you’re talking about. Great ideas for articles can be lists, your experience on a specific topic, or anything else that you want to speak about in more of a lengthy format. In fact, what you’re reading right now is considered an article!
As we mentioned, we’ve done our research and we’re here to deliver the good news about LinkedIn algorithms: as it turns out, LinkedIn doesn’t favor a specific kind of content over another. That means that as long as you are creating content—whether articles or posts—you have a good chance of being seen!
However, LinkedIn algorithms do tend to favor engaging content. Whether you create a post or an article, make sure that there is a call to action, whether you’re asking a question or asking for advice, invite your audience to engage!
2. Connect With Your Audience Using Videos
One thing that we at Optimized Career Solutions have seen first-hand is that people like to feel a personal connection with content creators. One way to foster this relationship is by creating videos. Keep your videos between 2 and 3 minutes long—you don’t want to lose the attention of your audience, either.
What to talk about? Anything that’s related to your field! Perhaps you’ve thought of something interesting to share via post or article… transform that into a video. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you look and sound professional as well as have good lighting. But don’t sweat it too much—this isn’t Hollywood! As always, progress is better than perfection! Making a video is a great opportunity to show that you are a real person who can add value to the industry. Videos can also cultivate a warm energy toward your audience, further inviting engagement and connections.
- Be Strategic about Hashtags
We’ve all seen those posts from Instagram influencers: you scroll down and see a small paragraph of hashtags. Unfortunately, this will not help you on LinkedIn. LinkedIn tends to favor posters who use only 1 to 3 hashtags. In fact, if you look at the top posters and influencers on LinkedIn, you’ll notice they only utilize a maximum of 3 hashtags.
Additionally, you want to make sure that you are using specific hashtags. Using broad hashtags like #Management or #Design will throw your content into a vast ocean of other posts in that field; whatever you have to say will get lost in the fray! But most people on LinkedIn are following hashtags that are relevant to their niche. For instance, you might want to use #BrandingManagement on your branding article rather than #Marketing to narrow it down and make sure your content shows up where it counts most.
4. Don’t Just Join Groups; Engage!
There are, quite literally, millions of LinkedIn groups to join. Did you know that you can even join as many as 100 groups? We will always encourage you to do what it takes to expand your audience and your network, but we do advise that you think strategically, especially when it comes to joining groups. You don’t want to join so many groups that you tend to ignore them—don’t overwhelm yourself when you don’t have to!
Just like with hashtags, use search terms that are specific to your field or interests, and go from there. Look for groups that will actually interest you so that engaging with them doesn’t feel like work. Join groups that seem to have a strong following, and then actually engage with them. Share your articles and posts with these groups, and spend some time commenting and liking other people’s content to get your name out there. Being a part of a group is much like being a part of a community. Support other people and you will find that they are much more likely to support you in return!
- Do Your Research
This is probably the most important rule of all: educate yourself. The more you learn, the more equipped you are to not only be a stronger leader of your industry but to share your valuable insight with others!
Head on over to Google to do the work, but make sure you’re finding articles that are credible; for instance, look to see if the author has cited any sources. Then, follow the links to those sources, and so on. This is a great way to create LinkedIn content for yourself as well; if you’ve found a particularly interesting article, share it on your feed and add your thoughts!
Additionally, we advise our clients to go as far as to stay organized in their content creation and their research. You might find that building a spreadsheet will go a long way: keep track of everything you’ve found and all your notes so that you can return to them later and mine them for your own content.
Are you ready to get the most out of LinkedIn and optimize your career? We LOVE to hear from people who are not only passionate about their careers, but want to transform their lives. Connect with us on LinkedIn and learn more about how you can be an industry leader in your field!
If you missed it, our Founder, Kara, launched a mini video series in February called “Falling in Love with LinkedIn” where she shared her favorite LinkedIn optimization tips! Make sure to head over to Kara’s LinkedIn and connect with her there and catch up on the mini video series to make sure you’re optimizing your LinkedIn profile!