I recently created a podcast about the similarities between hosting an event and how you interact with LinkedIn and I thought that since many of you are probably readers and not listeners, I’d share my ideas here too. If you prefer to listen to the podcast though, click here.
As many of you know, I am passionate about using LinkedIn to raise your profile and help support and develop your personal brand. LinkedIn is the number one networking tool we have available at our fingertips and now, more than ever is the time to get savvy on how to make the most of the opportunities it offers.
This got me thinking about the core aspects of creating engaging, purposeful LinkedIn content and when I jotted them down, I noticed straight away the similarity to hosting a successful, memorable event! Now before you scoff or switch off or push me aside in favour of cat videos, let me explain.
For all my event planner friends and colleagues out there, I am sure you’ll agree that the four most important aspects of a successful event (from house party to conference) are:
- Host (you, a company or organisation)
- Entertainment (music, speakers, workshops etc.)
- Frills (food, views, photo-booth – the cool stuff we remember)
- Guests (people – who’s in the room?)
Well, guess what the four most important things are that you should consider when developing content for LinkedIn… you guessed it:
- The host (you and the value you bring/offer)
- Entertainment – the actual content you’re delivering/presenting
- Frills – what makes your content different to someone else’s
- Guests – your network (the people!!)
So, what do I mean exactly? Let’s look at it from the LinkedIn point of view and break it down.
- The host, you.
This is you, your profile, it’s everything you’re saying about yourself and your thoughts, your influences and your motivations, your approaches and things that intrigue/fascinate or resonate with you.
I’m going to combine entertainment (what you’re posting) and frills (how you’re posting) here because one feeds and supports the other.
When you’re designing and sharing content, consider this – What makes it “you”? What does it say about you and how is it different to all the other content online? What’s your take on that issue?
To make your content engaging and effective, I would encourage you to ask questions from your audience (your network) – seek their feedback and thoughts and encourage (respectful) discussion on particular ideas/stories/research/points of view etc. What do you want them to do with that information? Why not ask them exactly what you want to know?!
If you share other’s articles (which I recommend you do), don’t include blank empty statements like “I like this article” – your network won’t know where you stand on particular topics – what was it exactly that you liked? Why did you share that research, what are your thoughts about it and what’s the desired effect? If you’re unclear or ambiguous with your content, you miss the opportunity to stand out and to shape your personal brand. Your frills aren’t showing, your event is a dud and no one is staying for cake.
- Guests – What is a party without the guests?!
There is no point hosting an event or party unless your guests show up to see it, so how do you make sure they (your network) come along?
If you have a small network, sharing an article or story or posing a question only goes so far. I recommend joining others’ parties! Get amongst it – follow thought-leaders and people whose ideas and approaches you admire – ideally ones with large networks of people – and comment and engage with their content. This will entice people to follow and engage with you and helps to build your network. Using hashtags also helps collate like-minded people and this can attract others to your page.
The key to being a good party host is never ignore your guests! If someone takes the time to reply to or engage with your content, thank them! Address their questions and acknowledge their support – you wouldn’t leave a friend hanging!
Remember, if no one is consuming or engaging in your content, it gets lost and your party is pooped. If you don’t have quality content and you don’t have engaged guests, well, you might as well have not bothered – your network has gone to someone else for their opinion and idea…and maybe job/networking opportunity.
So, in short, you’re the host of your party. You need decent content to attract people to your party and you need the flair and frills to make it stand out as your own, and you need the right guests and to nurture your relationship with them. This will make your party and our LinkedIn posting a success.
There you have it! The top four ways that effective use of LinkedIn is just like running a successful event.
Want more ideas? Follow me on LinkedIn to keep up-to-date with my latest lessons on LinkedIn and personal branding.
If you want to be front of mind in your industry and want to learn more about how to leverage LinkedIn, check out my LinkedIn Program.
I also run Linkedin training for groups as well as 1:1 coaching, if that’s more for you.
For now though, #StayRelevant or #GetRelevant!