Content for content’s sake is a waste of time for the writer and the audience.
I’ve been helping businesses with social media marketing for well over a decade, mostly on LinkedIn, so I’ve been keeping a close watch on the way content is used on this platform.
My work focuses on helping business owners and leaders build an authoritative presence and generate leads so I’m not going to comment here on how to use LinkedIn for job search. I’ll leave that to others.
I’ve noticed that there are about 5 different approaches to this so let’s have a little fun and give each category a bit of a personality. Obviously none of the names are real but you may recognise yourself in one of these avatars.
Some of them are simply getting it wrong. That’s not meant to be critical but if it resonates perhaps it will prompt you to change your approach.
Some of them are doing it very well. If that looks like you I hope it will encourage you to keep going even when it may not feel like you’re always getting the results you want as quickly as you want.
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint so settle in and commit to the longer game.
Let’s meet the crew…
He’s had his business up and running for several years and doesn’t take kindly to any major changes. He’s seen others get on the LinkedIn bandwagon but can’t see how it will work for him as he’s “doing just fine without it”.
That’s what he says to his mates over a beer, but inside he’s just a little scared. He doesn’t really understand social media and is afraid of looking like a chump.
So he’s grudgingly joined LinkedIn, still has the free account, has almost nothing in his profile and has never published a post or reacted to anyone else’s content. Company page? You’re kidding, right?
You’d hardly know he was there and the algorithm certainly doesn’t pay attention to him. His lack of content doesn’t do anything at all for his target audience.
Sleazy Sam (that could be either male or female – take your pick)
You’ll spot Sleazy Sam very easily. Their content almost never has any real relevance to you and your industry. They pump out masses of posts, publishing multiple times every day.
It seems as if they think just by trying to drown out everyone else – impossible, by the way – that they will dominate their niche and pick up leads. All that happens is that the audience tunes out and ignores them.
These are also the people who bombard your LinkedIn inbox with unsolicited cold sales pitches and generic, obviously mass-produced invitations to connect. They never provide context or put in the slightest effort to personalise their approaches.
They think if they push out enough attempts, something will stick. Maybe that used to work in the old days of footslogging door to door cold sales but it’s totally counter-productive on LinkedIn.
Their content is so annoying that it usually leads to them being ignored, deleted as a connection and unfollowed. Hardly the outcome they’re hoping for.
She’s basically accepted the value of LinkedIn but is terrified of “putting herself out there”.
She hates conflict and is worried that if she posts something that turns out to be controversial people will be upset with her.
So she hasn’t summoned up the courage to post anything original of her own yet. She relies on liking other people’s posts, and very occasionally steps out of her comfort zone and risks making a comment.
She hasn’t even got as far as sharing a post and adding her own point of view as a comment. Maybe in time she’ll get there with a little help and encouragement.
Her content is relevant but it’s missing the unique and interesting perspective she could bring that would help her to engage her audience and build her presence as an authority.
He’s easy to spot. Everything he posts is all about him. Enough said.
Wise Walter (hint: this is who you want to be)
His entire focus is on adding value and helping his audience with no immediate thought of a commercial return. He knows that the rewards will flow in their own time.
He posts fresh, original content that is consistently relevant to his ideal client. He watches what his network is posting and responds with intelligent comments. He shares the best posts and puts his own angle on them to prompt further conversation.
After a little while you expect and look forward to his posts because they appear in your news feed on a regular schedule and they always help you to solve a problem or add insights you can apply. The content is about you, not about him.
His content drives engagement and sets the ball rolling for offline connections that convert to revenue.
(Ninja tip from Wise Walter: End every post with an intelligent question that will get your reader thinking and prompt them to comment)
Did you see yourself here?
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