Top Sales World is the world's leading magazine and online community for those in professional sales. Once a year they publish their list of the top 50 sales and marketing bloggers globally. Last year when I reviewed the list I was struck by the fact that not one awarded author was primarily publishing on LinkedIn – the biggest blogging platform in the world.
"But if the world's #1 Blogging platform is LinkedIn, why has no-one who publishes exclusively on their platform been recognised as a leading blogger?"
That's exactly what I thought and last year I set the goal of being the first author to be be independently recognised as one of the world's best bloggers while publishing exclusively on the LinkedIn platform. Today that goal was achieved when Top Sales World recognised me in the 2016 global Top 50 bloggers in the field of sales and marketing. Click on the image below to see the full list.
I asked Jonathan Farrington at Top Sales World if anyone else in the Top 50 blogged exclusively in LinkedIn and he responded by telling me I was the only one. But why is this the case when LinkedIn boasts well over 400 million members with more that 1 million who actively publish more than 150,000 posts a week. Beyond these staggering numbers, consider these reasons for why authors should embrace the platform:
- It can reach an audience based on context and relevance with their powerful Pulse Channels and intelligent mobile apps to enhance content readership and interactive engagement. Below are the free subscription channels along with the audience numbers.
- It has unrivalled reach within the more than 400 million members. The average post is viewed by professionals in 21 industries and 9 countries.
- It maps the business social graph with deep analytics and reporting
- It engages a community in discussion while providing incredible detail about those who like, share, comment and engage in collaborative conversation.
- It is simple to use and elegantly designed for PC, laptop, tablet and mobile devices
- About 45% of readers are in the upper ranks of their industries and this includes managers, directors, vice presidents and CEOs.
These are the factors that convinced me 24 months ago to stop blogging on my own website and go all-in on LinkedIn. I decided that I needed to go and be where my clients are [LinkedIn] and surrendered the desire to capture contact details for a mailing list or newsletter... I had an epiphany:
"I must stop seeking to 'interrupt and push' with sales and marketing and instead 'attract and engage' through relevant insights and high value content."
This meant that I chose to allow my potential clients to be in complete control. I allowed them to choose whether to contact me based of the value I provided in advance of me ever charging them a fee or attempting to pitch my value or services. So, what were the results and do 'social selling' strategies actually work? Hell yeah!!!!!
I have attracted 85,000 followers of my LinkedIn blog and incredible connections in just 24 months. I have more clients than I can cope with. I've been recognised as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific. I have been paid to speak at numerous events as a direct result of my LinkedIn publishing and activity.
I have also been recognised as a Top 50 blogger globally using LinkedIn exclusively and I am in negotiation for new book publishing contracts. When I took a white paper I wrote and re-purposed it to be LinkedIn blog post,it received in excess of 235,000 reads. Click on the image below to see the power of moving away from a website where this content received less than 100 reads as a white paper and onto LinkedIn where the audience and customers are.
I've adopted an altruistic approach where I freely provide my insights and intellectual property and avoided any form of 'click-bait'. I am well on my way to one million reads of my content and 100,000 followers in LinkedIn. But publishing content is not just important for authors. Here are four reasons for sales people to write content with their managers and marketing department supporting them with ideation, proof-reading, editing and publishing tools:
- Educate yourself and develop domain knowledge and expertise
- Connect with industry leaders to build your sphere of influence
- Attract clients and an audience to support your business goals
- Build your personal brand evidencing credibility, value and insight
In an online world we are known by who we are connected to and what we publish. According to IDC research, 75% of buyers research the seller before engaging. What do they see when they view your profile? We want people to see a credible domain expert worthy of trust and an investment of time. We must also create a strong personal brand and here is how to begin.
The 'Updates' section of LinkedIn is also very powerful, and scheduling tools such as Buffer make the process easy for sharing other people’s articles, blogs, research, infographics and Tweets. Content can easily be sourced by identifying influencers in the market and individual content capture and scheduling is as simple as clicking a button in the web browser.
Sales people must consciously associate themselves with leaders who are respected by their potential clients and transform their LinkedIn profile to be a personal brand micro site instead of an online CV. Connect with leaders admired by your clients and then share their content as a 'content aggregator' who adds your own insights... working with other people's content is the easiest way to begin your content publishing journey.
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.