I’m surprised at how many people don’t know about the LinkedIn Publishing platform (or LinkedIn Pulse).
Did I say surprised? Sorry, I forgot I was talking about LinkedIn, which is probably the most counterintuitive social platform out there.
Let’s be honest: they’ve built an amazing platform (my favourite one), but they have a lot to improve in terms of usability.
Actually, that’s good news if you’re considering paying attention to this social platform.
LinkedIn is not just a social media platform – it’s a content platform, too.
If you do your homework, you can use LinkedIn to stand out as an authority in your industry, build your credibility and expand your professional network.
Which equals a ton of business opportunities for you.
But not so fast – before that, before you boast in front of your colleagues about how many clients you’re getting from LinkedIn, you have loads of work to do.
So let’s talk about how to create and promote your content using LinkedIn’s Publishing platform.
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What is LinkedIn Publishing?
That’s a great question. Not many people know about this powerful LinkedIn feature, and only a few people use it correctly.
B2B marketers pay close attention to LinkedIn as a content platform. And the truth is that this social network is becoming one of the best places to create and distribute content – In my view, not just for B2B, also for any content marketing strategy.
I am sure that you’ve heard that blogging is the most powerful way to build your personal brand (or corporate brand) and establish your brand as an authority.
That’s true. Creating content, specially unique and valuable content, is probably the most powerful marketing tool, if it’s done well.
If you can establish yourself as an authority in your industry, you’ll stand out from your competitors and gain access to great business opportunities.
That’s all cool. But what if you’re an employee and don’t have time to set up a blog, pay for hosting, create a nice web design, and so on?
This is where the LinkedIn publishing platform comes in. It removes all of those excuses from the equation.
On LinkedIn, you can:
- Share a link from an external post
- Post an image
- Post a Video
You can also write an article and host it on LinkedIn.
Why should you do this? Here are a few reasons:
- Your content will be added to your profile.
- Your post is visible for the whole LinkedIn platform (even people outside of your network).
- The content will be public outside LinkedIn as well, which increases your scope.
In other words, this is probably the most simple way to start creating content that builds your authority and credibility in front of potential clients, peers, collaborators, recruiters and your industry in general.
Why should you post content on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a powerful way to build your professional credibility and establish yourself as a top performer in your industry.
LinkedIn is one of the favourite social media platforms for B2B marketers who want to distribute content. According to LinkedIn, 95% of B2B marketers use the platform to spread their content.
This is no surprise when we consider that 500 million users use the platform, and 40% of them it every day.
These are just a few facts about the power of LinkedIn. You can see more detail in the graphic below:
Finding and accessing LinkedIn Publishing
A few days ago, I was talking with someone about LinkedIn and how you can use it as a content platform if you don’t have a blog or a website.
That person’s first reaction was, “Can I blog my own content on LinkedIn?” The second was, “Where is that feature?”
That’s very common. The LinkedIn publishing platform is tricky to access. Let me show you how to do it.
Access from the feed page
When you log in to LinkedIn, you go directly to your feed page. There you will see the most recent publications posted by your connections.
You can also publish a post, share a link, upload a picture and, as you can see in the image below, write an article.
For some reason, people don’t realize this button gives you access to your own publishing platform. And to be honest, it looks more like a regular posting button, like on Twitter or Facebook.
Do you want even easier access? Ok, copy and paste this URL in your bookmarks. Then you’ll have direct access to the platform, and will be able to post a new article instantly: https://www.linkedin.com/post/new
I made a quick video to show you, step by step, how to access, write, publish and share on the LinkedIn Publishing platform.
Write a Catchy Headline
Most people will only read your headline. And most of those people will never read your full content.
That’s the reality, and, for content creators, it’s kind of frustrating.
But that’s the way it is.
Of course, you can improve it. There are a tonne of books and resources out there if you want to improve your copywriting skills (the Boron Letters, Scientific Advertising, Ogilvy on Advertising, and many others).
I am not a skilled copywriter (I wish!) and I can’t teach you this skill. But I’ll tell you about a great way to start exercising your “copy muscle”.
Approach your topic from different angles – and always with your reader in mind.
Then write down 5 different headlines for every piece of content you create, and notice the differences among them. Ask a friend or colleague for advice, and use the best one.
But never run with the first headline that comes to your mind.
Here are the most common headlines types. t will help you to find different perspectives.
“How to”: Educational content that shows your audience how to do X or Y.
Example: “How to create great content, step by step”
“Numeric headlines”: Listing a number of key factors is a good way to structure your content and deliver information.
Example: “5 tools that every online entrepreneur should use”
“Question headlines”: You answer a common question that the audience has —be sure to mention the question later.
Example: “Is LinkedIn Premium worth it, or just a waste of money?”
As a quick exercise, you can rethink every headline using these 3 different approaches. That will keep your “copy muscle” in shape, or at least help get it moving in the right direction.
If you want quick feedback about how powerful your headline is, I recommend that you use CoSchedule headline analyzer. It’s free, but you’ll need to register first. (Don’t worry, they will not spam you later.)
Use CoSchedule to test the power of your headline text
Choose a featured image
In my video tutorial on how to publish on LinkedIn, i told you how to add an image to your article—please, watch the video if you haven’t done so yet.
Visual content improves your engagement and encourages your readers to continue reading your content.
Just as important as a good headline, adding an appropriate image will leverage your impact, given that 80% of your audience will read the headline only.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy a Photoshop license and watch 100 tutorials on YouTube to learn how to use it.
I’ll leave you with a couple of free options you can use to find great feature images for your LinkedIn articles.
You can get more professional later – but first, why not keep it simple?
Use Canva to create images for every social media platform. They offer hundreds of templates.
The other option is Pablo from Buffer. It’s even more simple. You’ll find a crazy number of free images that are just the right size for various social networks.
Promote your content
A final point here.
When you publish something, you have the option to publish it both on and off LinkedIn. I think I don’t need to tell you how important this is, and how by publishing off LinkedIn can you reach a lot more people with your content.
How do you do it?
- Go to “Post Settings”
- Select the option “Public”
Now your content will be visible to anyone on or off LinkedIn.
I also recommend that you promote your content enthusiastically on LinkedIn especially to your connections and potential clients.
A great way to do this is by sharing your content on LinkedIn Groups.
Here’s an easy and quick way to share your post in multiple groups at once.
When sharing your content:
- Select “Post to groups”
- Include every group that you are in. If you are a member of several groups, start typing each group name in alphabetic order: a, b, c…
- Include a Title and a brief description.
- Hit share.