You cannot become a thought leader unless other people can find out what you’re thinking. In-person meetings put severe limitations on the expert who hopes to share what she knows with a national audience.
In the recent past, this challenge was met with company websites, executive blogs and the more contemporary social media. But when it comes to sharing thought leadership with a business audience, nothing comes close to LinkedIn.
But can you guarantee your thought leadership will be found? The internet contains mountains of information, so why would publishing through LinkedIn be the best method of distributing what you write?
I can offer four reasons why this is true.
1. LinkedIn Dominates the Business Community
While LinkedIn may not be the most high-volume social network on the internet, it is the social platform most commonly used by people in business looking for information relating to business.
Whether searching for tips, strategies, insight, motivation or tools, there is no other website that traffics as many professional readers looking to expand or enhance their businesses. LinkedIn boasts 467 million members in more than 200 countries within a community that is current, rapid and active.
2. Ease of Publishing
LinkedIn offers an easy, streamlined tool for creating professional posts. A well-crafted LinkedIn post looks and feels more like a professional article than any other social media post.
While there are numerous publishers putting out content across various markets (the most well-known of which are trade journals), by utilizing LinkedIn, thought leaders and innovators can avoid the gatekeepers of the trade journal industry. They don’t need to know someone within industry publishing. They don’t need to prove themselves to be taken seriously.
3. Direct Access to Readers at Your Fingertips
If you are a business- or progress-minded person with content to offer, LinkedIn provides immediate access to anyone who may be interested in what you have to say.
With trade journals, readers often need to subscribe or pay to access articles. In contrast, LinkedIn provides you easy access to your LinkedIn connections as well as countless others. And with quality content output, your base of connections is likely to only grow.
4. Offer Your Own Thought Leadership Instantly
If there are tips, tools or philosophies that have proven useful to you, it is probable others will find them useful as well. With LinkedIn, you can create content of value, and you can make that content instantly available to others. LinkedIn thought leaders can focus on what they know best and go with their gut, offering their genuine insights to a wide audience.
But as much as I like LinkedIn as a medium for thought leadership, I still must offer you this caveat: you must promote the content you create. Without effective promotion, it will take too long for you to build your audience. You always have the option of sharing your LinkedIn posts on other social media platforms, blogs or websites, and you can even pay to create sponsored content on LinkedIn to increase your reach. With effective promotion (which is not particularly difficult and does not require you to hire an agency), your reach will be multiplied and your content development efforts much more successful.
Bear that in mind, and then as long as what you are publishing on LinkedIn is professional and helpful the possibilities are wide open. It is about you, your brand, and what you have to offer.