When it comes to your interactions on LinkedIn, you may be wondering how you find thought leaders, interact with those thought leaders, and get to a point where you are considered a thought leader yourself.
Why is thought leadership so important?
There are many profound reasons why thought leadership and interacting (and being) with thought leaders is so critical to your professional success. First of all, it is an important way to build your credibility (or to establish it) and to boost your reputation and trustworthiness. The first reason to do that is to ensure that when your prospective clients and existing clients need what you are selling, you and your business come to mind for them before any other business does. Top of mind is an extremely important concept here. Just like anyone else in any other business (around the world), you need to prove your worthiness. There isn’t a person anywhere who will trust you right off the bat without your proving that you truly know what you say you know and that you can truly do what you say you can do.
It is also extremely important to understand that your being the most wonderful, talented, knowledgeable person in the universe will not help you with the other person if you are not able to do one critical thing. You need to be able to solve the other person’s problem(s). We call this concept “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me?). If you can figure out a way to solve the other person’s problem(s), you will be golden in their eyes. Of all of the social media channels that you may choose for your particular business, when it comes to professional interactions (and all things related to the professional world in your particular niche or industry), LinkedIn is at the top of the list.
How do you create thought leaders on LinkedIn?
Well, one thing that is absolutely for sure is the fact that you have a tremendous amount of potential thought leaders from whom to choose. LinkedIn is a wonderful, rich, exciting breeding ground of thought leaders. You just have to know what you want and need and exactly where to look for them. You may be concerned about your approach (you may feel insecure about how to approach your potential thought leaders) but if you are down to earth and genuine, you won’t have any problem at all.
LinkedIn sees the value in people interacting with thought leaders and has made it as easy as possible for you to do so. It has many features that will help you to grow your relationships with thought leaders quite painlessly. The number of people who are connected to LinkedIn is huge and you need to understand the potential that you have in front of you and to take advantage of it as much as you can. Go ahead, start leveraging!
It is time to recognize the value in LinkedIn
If you are not using LinkedIn the way that you should (or how much you should be using it), it may be because you have managed to convince yourself that it is not a powerful tool for your business or that it doesn’t work as well as some of the “prettier” social media channels. Please don’t let that fool you. LinkedIn is an extremely powerful, effective, exciting, successful social media channel and it is critical to your business that you understand its worth.
There are several things that you can do to make that happen.
Leverage your LinkedIn presence: Your LinkedIn profile is extremely important to your presence on LinkedIn. It isn’t enough for you to have merely started to create a profile. It must be complete. That is the only way that other people can get to know you initially. The next step after that will be their interacting with you and starting to build a relationship with you.
Share updates with your LinkedIn connections as often as necessary: Updates are very important; however, it is also important to remember not to share updates too frequently. Too much of a good thing is too much of a good thing! Your updates must be top quality, relevant to your target audience, and you should share updates consistently. You want to cause the other person to feel that he or she can count on what you are sharing and look forward to it.
Share fresh content: It is acceptable to publish recycled content at times but make sure that you don’t do that instead of posting original, fresh content. Nothing can replace that. You will notice that people respond positively to your original content.
Learn to recognize who are the most appropriate thought leaders for your business: Of course, it goes without saying that not all thought leaders will be appropriate for your particular business. Choosing the best ones for you and your business will require thought (in some cases, a lot of thought). You need to ensure that everyone gets the most out of the relationships that you all share with those thought leaders and you as a thought leader, whenever that is relevant.
Many approaches to becoming a thought leader: There are several ways that you can positively influence the situation. You can use the advanced people search, create a LinkedIn group, set up a survey to become acquainted with what your relevant people think, optimize everyone’s LinkedIn profile, and marry your business to your LinkedIn group.
Interacting on LinkedIn and having thought leaders be a part of those interactions is very important and it will elevate your business to the next level in an effective and interesting manner. You need to recognize LinkedIn’s positive attributes and to take full advantage of them, which includes maintaining your relationships with thought leaders, whose interactions can be invaluable. The high volume of interactions on LinkedIn will enable you to develop solid relationships with your thought leaders and bind them to your other connections online.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies. Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. He also reduced company travel and travel costs by introducing and implementing various collaboration technologies.
His expertise includes business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.