How to Be a LinkedIn Influencer—Without the Official Invite
If you’re not utilizing LinkedIn in your communications plan, you’re missing out on a simple opportunity to expand and strengthen your nonprofit’s online influence. Remember, LinkedIn is not just a resume dump—it’s a tool your organization can use to increase visibility, demonstrate thought leadership and build community.
So how do you leverage this often overlooked tool to meet your organizational goals?
In short. Fake it. Act like one of LinkedIn’s highly influential Influencers.
About 18 months ago, LinkedIn launched the Influencers program, which allows selected thought leaders to publish and share original content directly with LinkedIn users. Influencers are personally invited by LinkedIn to participate, and it’s unclear how they are chosen.
Yet, the benefits of being a chosen Influencer are clear: LinkedIn reports that the average Influencer post receives 30,000 views— and top posts receive more than 2 million views. This type of online reach for a nonprofit leader can go lengths both in building awareness of the organization and positioning its head as a thought leader in the community.
The LinkedIn Publishing Platform was already a good way for the leader of your organization to publish valuable content of interest to your target audience. But by utilizing this platform as if a member of the coveted and secret “club” of official “LinkedIn Influencers,” including Bill Gates, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation CEO Risa Lavisso-Mourey, and Arianna Huffington, you can take your own first step towards making the most of your LinkedIn profile.
Answer the right questions.
When you sit down to brainstorm powerful content to share with your audience, focus on what questions they want answered. Will the answers be relevant to a larger population on LinkedIn? If not, how can you leverage your target audiences’ questions—and your expertise—to engage more LinkedIn users?
Initially, the posts you write might not directly pertain to your nonprofit’s work but instead focus on your industry at large. Start by focusing on topics that will generate wide-reaching interest and engage the most people on this platform such as leadership, trending media topics, or professional development.
Beth Kanter, a leader in the nonprofit world, is a LinkedIn Influencer who does this extremely effectively. Take a look at Beth’s published articles to see how she connects popular topics to her nonprofit work to engage her 347,000 followers.
Build curiosity among your audience.
If you go to the Pulse homepage on LinkedIn—where all the top posts are displayed—you’ll notice something key right off the bat: Every headline entices you to read more. For example, take a look at some of the top posts of the week:
Headlines like the ones above are engaging and interest a wide variety of people. Regardless of what topic you’re writing about, make sure your headline is simple and builds curiosity. Focus on what will make your audience want to know more.
How else can you “fake it” as an unofficial LinkedIn Influencer?