5 Easy Steps to LinkedIn Publishing

Tracy Enos      Thursday, August 10, 2017

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I am going to be blunt here because I am more than a little perturbed. There is a lot of misinformation out there about LinkedIn. I know, because I have asked a few hundred people about it…and boy did I get some insight and a few expletives!

They told me what their problems are. What their questions are. And they told me exactly what was holding them back in their business.

The amazing thing is – even though you have probably been told otherwise, the solution is just not that complicated.

Which is GOOD - I like to keep things simple and to the point. I like to find a system that works, and I like to apply that system over and over. I figure if I find something that’s working, I just need to find a way to use that system more often.

This is the part that makes me mad… when I surveyed those hundreds of people about their publishing on LinkedIn, I kept hearing a few common complaints:

 

“My content will never be as good as “Guru X or Influencer Y”

 

Of course, they didn’t really say “Guru X” or “Influencer Y”. They gave me an actual name but I went ahead and changed the name to protect the guilty.

That’s what really makes me mad. There are people running around that are trying to make all of this look a lot harder than it is. There are various reasons for this, but the bottom line is that they all have a vested interest in making publishing look difficult.

If you have studied marketing and publishing at all, you probably know what I mean when I say “Guru.” These are the folks who do their best to create this impression that you need to have some “supernatural” skills to write good content.

They would have you believe that they are like some modern-day sorcerer that can turn lead into gold. But instead, they are using ink on paper, or pixels on a computer screen.

Well, here’s the thing – they are sorta half-right.

Because once you learn how to write good marketing content, then you literally can sit down, write some words out, and then watch those words turn into big-time cash.

But I have always been a bit obsessive when I go about learning things… and this was right up my alley – I poured myself into studying LinkedIn Publishing, and I got good at it – very good, and so have my clients.

 

 

I don’t tell you that to brag and I don’t always drink my own Kool-Aid… the reason I tell you this is because I am about to break all the rules with this article – and I just want you to understand that I know what I am talking about…

 

OK, First The Good News…

 
OK, first things first – there is a LOT of money in publishing. Good content has the power to completely transform a business. If a business is just starting out, it can put that business on the map.
If a business is slowly dying on the vine, good content can turn that business around.
Are competitors giving you problems? Well, you know the answer – you are just one article away from leaving your competitors in your dust.
 

In fact, I like to say that the answer to every business problem is GOOD,    VALUABLE CONTENT.

 

So when you start to think about putting a few extra percent (or more) onto the bottom line of just about any business in the WORLD… well, you can start to understand when I tell you that we are talking about is a GREAT DEAL amount of money.

If you have that power – the power to write content that positions you as the thought leader and authority, well you can start to understand just how powerful that position is.

With all that money riding on good copy, is it any wonder that there is a huge mystique around it. And a HUGE amount of misinformation.

This is the deal – there is a saying that I learned from Dan Kennedy… He says:

 
“Beware  The  Wizard.”
 
 
By that, Dan means that you really have to watch out WHO you learn from. If you are going to spend your time and money to learn a business skill, you have to make sure that the person you are learning from is teaching from EXPERIENCE.
You also have to make sure that they actually have the skill to teach what they do. There are folks who write great content, but they don’t have a clue how to share that skill in a way that anyone can understand.
Even worse are those wizards who conspire to keep you begging for table scraps. Believe me, the results might LOOK like magic – but LinkedIn Publishing is a skill, and it’s a skill that you can learn. In fact, it’s…

 

The One Skill That You Absolutely Need…

 

Here is the thing – no matter where you are in your business, writing is the one skill that you absolutely need. And it’s the one skill that you really shouldn’t outsource (but you CAN!) If you are just starting out – maybe you are a one-person shop – then you NEED to be able to write content. You probably can’t afford a top-notch writer. And even if you can afford to get your content written by someone else, you will still need to know enough to evaluate that content. On the other hand, maybe you have a larger business with a staff. You know the only way to leverage is to outsource almost everything to employees and contractors. HOWEVER, you can’t outsource your marketing and your content. I mean, you can have someone WRITE your content – but you need to have enough writing skills to be able to hire the right person and evaluate that content. This isn’t like getting someone to run your copier.

TIP: If you must outsource, here is my favorite site to source a great writer that will create content that your readers will love: http://www.zerys.com/

 

I’ve Been There Too…

 

No matter what your writing skills, I have been there too…

Like I said above, 4 years ago I had never heard of LinkedIn publishing. So if you are a newbie with writing, I can vividly remember what it was like… all very confusing at first. But then I remember the incredible feeling of power when I wrote my first piece of content… and it started to pull RESULTS!

It was like I had the keys to the kingdom at last.

 

 

I had just learned a skill that enabled me to create cash-flow on demand… whether I was promoting my product or service, helping one of my clients promote theirs, gaining media attention, or getting paid to speak. You can learn this skill just as easily as I did. And you can feel that same incredible power when you learn how to write words that get people to send you money.

 

Street Cred… Those “3 New Clients” Worth Thousands From One LinkedIn Publisher Article I Wrote

 

Of course, if I had stayed there, at that newbie beginner level, then you wouldn’t be reading this article right now… But I didn’t – I kept at it, working at copy and studying… and now I have more people approaching me to coach them than I could ever help individually. And they are paying me good sums of money when I can fit them into my schedule. Now you might think this is a remarkable story – to go from beginner to top of the heap in a relatively short period of time… but that’s really not what this report is about. My goal here is to convince you that publishing is something that YOU need, and it’s something that is well within your grasp. And I am going to do that by sharing 5 Easy Steps to PUBLISHING FOR PROFITS that are going to give you the jump start that you need…

 
Step  1: Will This Work In My Market?
 
You have an inherent advantage in your market, simply because you are more familiar with it. So if you take your knowledge of your specific market and your specific prospects, and you learn to create good content (it doesn’t have to be GREAT content… even good content can completely CRUSH your competition), then you have the recipe for big-time LinkedIn Publishing success. You don’t need that super-human content that the Gurus and Influencers keep rubbing in your face (and shoving down your throat). If you have content that sells and you mix it with knowledge of your market and solutions to pain-points, then you have a winning combination that you can literally take to the bank. The first step in writing your articles is to Identify Your Audience. Too often I see articles that are written for their “industry” and not to their ideal client or customer. Even worse, members are using this platform to post job listings and self-serving articles. Take a moment to think through exactly who it is you want to target.  Who is your ideal customer or client? If you answered “everybody”, “any business owner” or “every U.S. based sales executive”, that’s NOT the right answer. Get the picture?! If all you can come up with is the above, take a closer look at your clients right now. Think about the types of people you really like working with and are your best clients from a financial perspective. Now it’s time to build a real prospect profile.
 
 
Here are the questions you need to answer:
 
  • What are your target industries?​

 

  • What geographical area are you targeting?

 

  • Are your prospects most likely to be hanging out in certain LinkedIn Groups?

 

  • What company size is the right fit for you?  1 man shop?  Only companies with more than 50 employees?  

 

  • What types of position titles does your buyer usually hold? Come up with the top 10-15 positions that you target.  

 

  • What level of annual revenue do your best clients have? Make sure they can pay you!

 

  • Are they married, divorced, single? Kids?

 

  • Men or Women? Age range?

 

  • What are the biggest challenges your ideal client faces as it relates to [x]?

 

  • What are the top three things that keep them up at night?

 

  • What types of products or services [in this area] have they already tried? What did they like or dislike?

 

  • What factors do they consider when purchasing a product or service?

 

  • What are their top 3 goals as it relates to [x]?

 

 

Now, take this information and build a quick cheat sheet that you can refer to. Here is a great resource from HubSpot that can help you craft a buyer persona.

http://makemypersona.com/

 

 

Step 2: Spend Time on Your Headline

 

Your headline is the single most important piece of your article. If you blow it here, then the rest of your article can be pure gold and IT WON’T MATTER. Because if your headline doesn’t work, then no one will ever read your article. So you need to spend a good portion of your time on the headline. Get this one piece right, and the rest of the content falls into place. The first thing I do is keyword research. In order for LinkedIn to promote you to its 500 million members, you need to do your due diligence. Unbeknownst to most, LinkedIn has Pulse Channels. This is LinkedIn’s way of giving you an edge over your competitors on what types of content they feature in any given day. In October 2015 I wrote my first article with a couple Pulse Channels in mind. I wrote about LinkedIn and Evernote’s partnership using the channels’ names as keywords in my article (LinkedIn, Social Media, Productivity.) Within 24 hours I was featured in LinkedIn’s Productivity Pulse Channel, it had generated over 2185 views, 63 likes, 23 comments, 500+ new followers/connections, a page 1 listing on Google for my keyword phrase, AND 3 new clients all overnight!

 

 

Here are the steps :

 

 

 

  • Research keywords phrases that offer a solution to your ideal audience’s pain points. Use free tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Spyfu.com, keyword tool.io, Google, and YouTube for popular suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Add keyword phrase in your headline- This will get LinkedIn to take notice and allow Google to index your article for your keywords.

 

 

  • Use your keywords and phrases throughout your article.

 

 

Step 3: You don’t need to be a Guru or LinkedIn Influencer

Let me say this right now… it really isn’t your fault. You have heard these amazing tales from some LinkedIn Publishing superheroes about how they sweated blood over their amazing articles. And you undoubtedly have seen examples of some of this amazing content. In fact, some of this content has been just about shoved down your throat.

But guess what?

In your market, you probably don’t need that amazing content. If your content is 80% as good as the super-guru or influencer content, then you are going to clean up… and CRUSH your competition. And let me tell you – it isn’t very hard to get your content 80% as good as that super-hero or influencers content. Your copy doesn’t need to be perfect– you just need to follow a basic formula. You don’t need to turn your content into art. You just need it to sell. ONE MORE KEY PIECE: good is good enough! So many times I have to coach and consulting clients that keep going over a piece of content time after time after time. They keep tweaking it and changing it and working on it. But they never get it out in the market. And I will tell you this, if you never finish your article and publish it, you will NEVER make any sales. It is better to get a piece that is 80% right out into the market, then have a piece that is 99% right that you never publish. Good is good enough!

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2016 CASE STUDY: Recently one of my private coaching clients published his first article. It was a very structured article with around 2500 words. We made some minor tweaks to the headline, copy and shortened it by 1000 words. Within two days he has had over 600 views, 86 likes, 17 comments, 32 shares (this is what makes a post go viral). Most importantly, in 24 hours he was approached by a major military trade journal that asked him if they could repost his article in their journal.

Here’s the link to the article: http://bit.ly/2dtiHdz

 

Step 4: The Reader’s Path

 

This is one that even some of the “experts” miss… your readers will take different paths through your published article. In fact, they will have an almost infinite number of paths through your content. But there are TWO PATHS that your copy ABSOLUTELY must be written for…

 
 
The Linear Path and The Skimmers Path
 
Some of your prospects will read the entire article straight through from top to bottom. This is the easy one that most people write for. However, many authors (even some of the gurus) completely forget about the Skimmers… and depending on your market and your message, the Skimmers might represent the MAJORITY of your readers. The Skimmers will glance over your copy, quickly moving through various sections. Sometimes they will immediately go to the end and read the “Call To Action”, and then go back and breeze through the article. You NEED to write for both the Linear readers and the Skimmers. If you don’t, you will kill your response. If you can hook both types of readers (and maybe even CONVERT those Skimmers to Linear readers)… then you really have a winner.
 
 
Here is the formula for a great publisher article-
 
  • Source great photos and credit the source- DON’T use photos from Google Images. You run the risk of copyright infringement. My favorite source is http://www.123rf.com
 
  • Keep your article to 300 to 2000 words- more is okay, remember over 52% of members access publisher from a mobile device

 

  • Break up your content with headings, bullet points, videos, photos and quotations
 
  • Use only 2-4 short sentences per paragraph- chunky paragraphs are hard to read on mobile devices
 
  • MUST DO: Add a short bio and CTA (call to action) at the end of the article. Test different CTA’s to see what encourages your audience to respond.
 
  • Try publishing on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday in your prospects time zone
 
  • Respond to ALL comments and inbox messages in a timely fashion
 
  • Review each published article’s stats and create a spreadsheet to help you identify where your audience is finding your article, what industries are reading them and the geographic location. Fine tuning your articles over time with increase your network and leads.

 

 

Step 5:  Promotion

 

This is something that so many people mess up… well, it just has to be on my list of steps. The big problem for most people is that they push “publish”, and that’s it, so they don’t do anything, they just throw the article out there and HOPE for the best.

 

This is a big-time mistake.

 

First, there is a reason there is a CTA at the bottom of the article…. and it’s not  a “build it and they will come strategy.” I call that HOPE MARKETING. You build value, expertise, and solutions in your published article, and after you do that… then you need to cross promote it. Of course, there is a lot more to this subject than I can go into in this article, but take it from me… you need to have a plan for how you are going to promote, and you need to have a structure for how you do this. Again, this is NOT rocket science and you cannot guarantee LinkedIn will pick up every published article and promote you… but you can’t ignore it either. You build value in your published article, and then you must promote.

 

Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Alert your email list of the new article- This strategy is all that my good friend Bob Lovely (https://www.linkedin.com/in/boblovely) does to make a healthy five figures each month in coaching fees. He does not have a smartphone, website or fancy software. He uses Gmail and the power of LinkedIn only.
  • Share to all your other social media- Use Hootsuite, Buffer or some other automated software to schedule your postings. Share several times.
  • Share to your relevant LinkedIn Groups- Tip: Only post to a few groups at a time or you run the risk of the article not getting posted.
  • Email your first connections in LinkedIn- Choose the connections the article relates to and not “everybody”.

 

 

Make More Money, More Often, With Less Effort

 

 

Obviously, this article is more an “expose” than an end-to-end guide. My goal was to open your eyes and clear up a lot of the misconceptions about LinkedIn Publishing. The key to making more money, more often, and with less effort is consistency. Make an effort to publish once per month. I don’t always drink my own Kool-Aid and practice what I preach, but I know and understand the formula. Remember… It’s not black magic. And once you get the basics of publishing down, then you can literally write your own check anytime you want. That’s it for now… now it’s time for you to get to work on some publisher content that sells!

 

 

Best regards,

Tracy Enos

LinkedIn Expert Adviser

 

Articles By The Author

5 Easy Steps to LinkedIn Publishing

Thursday, August 10, 2017


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