Last Updated on November 30, 2020 by Chris
We're doing our best at This Week in Blogging to cover a wide breadth of topics with our interviews, and, with this interview, our aim is to offer some insight on LinkedIn for bloggers.
For a long time, LinkedIn was the stuck up platform that you immediately thought of as useless the moment you stepped out of company culture and into content creation and blogging. But that's a tired trope that doesn't necessarily hold weight anymore. LinkedIn has been on a massive growth spurt as of late, and in the process, the door has opened wider as to just who LinkedIn is for, and who it can serve.
It used to be a headquarters for the powerful narcissists of business, but nowadays, it's a more creative, vulnerable and supportive space than it's every been. More than anything, LinkedIn has finally made it kosher to sprinkle in a bit of personal with the professional, while staying focused on being a “business platform.”
Our thoughts aside, we wanted to chat with someone for whom LinkedIn has been a game-changer. Enter, Katherine Banks, a social media marketer who specializes in travel destinations at Traveling Greek, but is known in particular for her unique usage of technology (blockchain + AI) in her content creation strategy. Thanks to Katherine for joining us!
1. When did you first realize that LinkedIn may actually be a very useful tool for someone in blogging, content creation, or social media?
I realized it in 2017 when I became interested in Blockchain technology, and realized that the serious tech people were all there. As a social media manager building a business, I found that my ideal customers were right in front of me, so I started reaching out.
2. We recently did a poll which suggested that 60% of bloggers and content creators were not even on LinkedIn. What would you communicate to those individuals, and why should they reconsider?
You need to be on LinkedIn, today!
Serious business people are on LinkedIn. Travel bloggers will know that destinations, hotel personnel, tour operators, and all marketing managers (an initial point of contact) are on LinkedIn.
There is no longer a reason to search for contact information on Google with the answers at your fingertips at LinkedIn.
3. For our readers and subscribers who want to give LinkedIn a go, where should they start? Furthermore, in your opinion, what are some effective best practices for the platform?
Get on the platform today and build out your biography. Remember, add the most relevant recent experience to your profile, and make sure your skill set is very clear. Underneath your name, you’ll have several lines to describe what you do and that information alone will determine if people keep reading.
In order to request a connection you must have a common link, and business people ALWAYS check to see who you have in common. Get recommendations from former colleagues or previous employers (you don’t need a million, but a few high-quality recommendations will go a long way.)
This is the place for you to brag! If you’ve won some business related awards list them.
Your profile page also includes a section that allows you to ‘Feature’ posts that you’ve created, so if you have written a piece that has gone viral, feature it! There is a section that allows you to write original content and, as writers, we should (note to self: I need to write an article.)
Ageism in the business world still exists. If you don’t feel comfortable listing your education, don’t. Your experience is what matters and what you bring to the table in terms of quality.
Finally, our world has become increasingly volatile, so stay away from politics (unless that’s your niche). You can post your political views on Facebook, Twitter and everywhere else you like, but on LinkedIn it’s inappropriate because the only thing that belongs on a business platform, is business.
4. Why do you think that LinkedIn is so overlooked by the blogging demographic?
In the past, LinkedIn didn’t monitor connections and their behavior appropriately resulting in excessive spam. Those that had that experience never went back. You have to be extremely selective when adding connections, and only add those that bring value.
A real professional will not spam your inbox and if you have someone that does, they can easily be removed.
5. If I’m not unmistaken, you have made six figures through LinkedIn alone in the last 18 months. Can you speak to some of the ways in which you’ve established revenue streams on the platform?
As a Social Media Manager I am always looking for quality clients. I am contacted 25-30 per week with inquiries and I turn almost everyone down. My comfort level is tech brands (AI, Blockchain and EdTech), so I stick to what I know. What I have realized about myself is that “no amount of money is worth promoting products (or destinations) that I don’t believe in.”
I have to know and understand the technology (same with destinations).
I also am very nuanced in my choices. I choose to connect with people that I find valuable, but who also can gain something from me. I want to assist anyone I can (with contacts, landing a role or building the confidence that will lead to success).
6. When we look at the ecosystem of social networks that are available to bloggers and content creators, what makes LinkedIn unique?
There is no gimmick.
You don’t have to battle algorithms to be seen.
You can easily connect with a CEO and start a conversation.
7. Where, in your opinion, is LinkedIn headed? Do you feel as if it's only going to get better from here?
LinkedIn is constantly evolving and rolling out new ways to connect and create value for business owners. Make sure you join groups that are important for your personal business, moving forward. You are there to build on the success of others and to learn best practices.
The platform can only get better as more and more quality people realize its potential and join in an effort to jumpstart their businesses during and after the pandemic.
8) What one thing people interested in LinkedIn should know?
The amount of followers you have can’t easily be found. At first glance, only 500 connections will show, so there is no competitive mindset. It doesn’t matter how many followers you have because you determine by engaging with connections exactly how important that connection will be.
LinkedIn has actually set a limit on followers (30K) so you want to make sure that every, single person is relevant to your business.
If you enjoyed this, and are interested in more platform specific interviews, feel free to check out our interviews on YouTube tips for bloggers, Patreon tips for bloggers, or Pinterest tips for bloggers.