Career Advice

How “Posts” on LinkedIn Can Help Fast-Track Your Career
Carl Friesen posted on July 08, 2016 |

Are you looking for a way to get noticed by your ideal employer or client? Do you want to stand out as offering a distinctive difference compared to the rest of the crowd?

One way to achieve this is through a little-known feature on your LinkedIn profile, called “Posts.”

 

What are LinkedIn Posts?

Posts are LinkedIn’s way of helping you publish your ideas in an article format. This can be a great way to boost your career, provided you do it right. This is because while your Posts appear on your profile, they also get sent to all of the people you’re connected to. Sharing posts widely means your Posts can also get noticed by people outside your network who are interested in your subject matter.

Posts help add weight and sparkle to your profile. If someone met you at a professional event, or has heard about you via referral, and wants to know more about you, your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places they’ll look. Having Posts on your profile indicates that you’re well grounded in your field, that you “give back” and that you offer extra value through your work.

Writing a Post on LinkedIn is easy. Just open up your profile in “edit” mode and look for the box that says “Write a New Post.” Click on that link, and LinkedIn offers you a space to put down your ideas. Also keep in mind that you’ll need a picture to go with your Post.

When you’re done, click “Publish” and your Post will appear on your profile. It will also go into the news feed of all your connections.

 

The Key to a Successful Post: Write About Problems Your Ideal Client is Facing

So how can you make sure that your Posts will help your career? Pick the right topic.

Don’t choose topics based on how interesting they are to you. Rather, you should start by thinking of the kind of person you most want to reach – your ideal employer or client. Next, think about the issues they’re facing, the questions they’re asking – and there’s your topic.

A successful post is not about you; it’s about them.

 

As an example, let’s say you’re a geotechnical engineer with a focus on contaminated soil remediation. You want to move away from just cleaning up contaminated sites, and more into achieving better use for the property. That might include sites such as former industrial lands, or brownfields, located along waterfronts in major cities.

The people you want to reach are property owners and developers. You want them to know you can help them deal not only with the contaminated soil issues, but also with earning a solid return on their investment.

So you do some research and you find that one of the biggest problems these property owners face revolves around dealing with stakeholder issues – the reaction of people owning adjacent properties, community groups, municipal politicians and other people who may be affected by a development proposal.

This means that a good way to show property owners you can help them is through preparing a Post that shares your ideas on stakeholder engagement. You would acknowledge the problem, and describe steps you’ve taken to successfully build bridges within these communities.

 

How to Find the Right Problems to Cover in Your Posts

How do you find the right problems to address in your Posts? Start by looking at the world through the eyes of your prospective employer or client.

Taking their perspective is a good idea in any case, because employers or clients are more likely to hire you if you convince them that you can help them.

For more on this mode of client-centered thinking, see my previous article “3 Rules for Choosing Your Next Speech Topic.”

That article indicates that a speech topic should match your audience’s concerns, be in a field where you have credibility and should meet your business objectives going forward. These same rules apply to creating LinkedIn Post topics.

As some places to start your search, there are three main “news generators” that can help you find topics that are of pressing concern to the people you want to help.

Regulatory changes. Organizations today are hedged around by a thicket of regulations – environmental protection, water quality, indoor air quality, health and safety, employment standards and many others. All of those regulations are subject to change. Generally, things tend to become tighter and more restrictive.

You can help your clients by keeping an eye on regulations that affect them, and then providing your recommendations on how to stay on the right side of those regulations. One way to communicate your ideas is through Posts on LinkedIn.

New laws. The courts are a machine pumping out new legal precedents, rulings and other news that affects your potential employers and clients. If you’re not a lawyer, you’re not in position to offer legal advice, but you can provide the people you want to serve with solid recommendations on what they can do to avoid problems, or access opportunities, based on new laws.

New technologies. Materials science is constantly evolving, opening up new possibilities for structures and products. So are software platforms, and 3D printing is having a huge impact on many industries. New business models (think Uber or Airbnb) often disrupt the established industry. In each case, there are winners and losers. Your Posts can have huge relevance for the people you want to serve, if you can point out the impacts of new and changing technologies.

 

How Do You Design “Problem” Posts?

Here are some thoughts on how you can develop a “problem” LinkedIn Post.

Develop a clear image of the people you want to serve. Learning about their industry, their profession/occupation, their geographic area and many other factors will help you understand their world.

Think about and research the problems your prospective clients face. Particularly, focus on new or developing problems that those people are facing. You may want to talk with some people familiar with the issues, just to be sure you’re dealing with real, pressing concerns.

Develop your Post. Describe the problem and why it should matter to the people you want to reach. Describe the implications, and then share your informed opinion on how the situation will develop. Finish off with the payload: your recommendations on how they can either avoid a problem or access a benefit.

Add tags to help people find your ideas. At the end of your Post, LinkedIn allows you to choose up to three “tags” or keywords that will help people outside your network to find your wisdom. So, think of the search terms that someone might use on Google to find information on your topic, and insert those into the spaces LinkedIn provides.

You’ll need a picture to go with your Post. You can use a stock image, but be sure that you have the legal right to use that image. Or you can do as I do, and take your own photographs that you can use to draw attention to your ideas.

LinkedIn Posts are a powerful aid to getting noticed, in a good way, by potential employers and clients. They add weight to your profile on LinkedIn, and help you stand out as someone who offers solutions, not just someone who performs a function.

 


About the Author

Carl Friesen is the founder of Thought Leadership Resources, which provides educational materials to help professionals such as engineers, lawyers, consultants and architects learn how to get noticed and stand out as thought-leaders. To learn more, visit www.ThoughtLeadershipResources.com.

For more ideas on building your career, get your copy of “Fast Track Your Engineering Career,” an e-book offering practical ideas for developing a reputation as a leader in your field.

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