For many people who want to build their professional profile as a subject-matter expert, LinkedIn has become a big part of their lives. And it’s about to become bigger, as LinkedIn plans to roll out its Publisher platform to all members.It’s going to mean some big changes in how business professionals show their expertise.
As we’ve talked about in previous posts, LinkedIn is particularly important in the case of someone who has met you, or been referred to you, and is checking out what you have to offer. Your LinkedIn profile is usually their first stop online, so having published content on your profile is important for building your credibility.
This means that it’s important for business professionals to build their understanding of all the publishing tools LinkedIn makes available.
In this post, I’ll review the tools available and then discuss LinkedIn Publisher, which is likely the Next Big Thing from LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s existing tools for publishing content
Publications: you can list papers, articles and other content you’ve published elsewhere, with the option to include a live link to the content, on another website.
Uploading: To add some visual variety to your profile, you can upload content such as articles, slide shows and videos, providing a visual thumbnail image that the viewer can click on. Note: see here for a video on how to use these two tools.
Updates: You can put mention of your content into your newsfeed, so it appears on the home page of your connections - a good way to remind people what you have to offer.
Groups: While it’s not on your profile, the published articles and other content that you drop into your Groups, with your analysis, is a good way to reach out to people who are most like your current clients.
To these four we can add a fifth way to promote your ideas from LinkedIn: “Publisher.”
LinkedIn Publisher: starting small, and growing
LinkedIn’s new publishing platform, appropriately called Publisher, is a widely anticipated way to get ideas in front of others.
It started out being available to only some members. I heard about it through the Friends of LinkedIn group, and learned that it was necessary to apply to LinkedIn in order to get the coveted “pencil” icon added to one’s profile. I applied, sent along the two writing samples LinkedIn requested, and soon I had that all-important “pencil” on my profile. I understand that this way in has since been closed by LinkedIn, in anticipation of a widerrollout of Publisher.
The growth of Publisher is one of the concepts presented by Todd Wheatland (@toddwheatland), who gave a session on “LinkedIn Hacks” at Content Marketing World 2014. He said that as a regular user of Publisher, he’s seen:
More requests to Connect, from people he doesn’t know and has no direct relation with. His question was, should he just reject these requests? Mark the request “I don’t know (fill in the appropriate name)”, which would consign the unwanted would-be connector to LinkedIn’s version of Zombie status?
More harsh, discourteous comments of the sort that appears in the comments section of many articles on the Internet, but which thankfully have not been part of LinkedIn discourse.
More profile views from people outside his normal area of business interaction.
LinkedIn Publisher is becoming the default blog-publishing platform for some, Wheatland said. He added that many other people use it as a way to recycle content that they have published elsewhere.
I expect to be using it more; I’ve been getting some pretty good views on the content I’ve published there, and it’s becoming an important way of presenting my ideas to other people who can benefit from them.