Ready to take the next step up in your career, from a specialist or subordinate role to a managerial role? One way to do it is by establishing your professional brand online as an expert in your field. LinkedIn offers an exceptional platform for developing your brand as a thought leader. You can capture the attention of hiring managers and recruiters by publishing articles on your LinkedIn profile.
While this may sound intimidating if you’re not a writer, it’s also a remarkable opportunity that wasn’t afforded to your predecessors. If you’ve ever played Chutes & Ladders, think of this as a new ladder that just got added to the game. Of course, you do have to have some expertise in your industry, or at least within a particular niche.
What Can You Write About?
To develop your brand as a thought leader, you can write about tips for doing your particular role more effectively, best practices, case studies, and your observations of industry and professional trends that affect the work you do. Think about some of the biggest problems your industry needs to solve and your original solutions. Anticipate changes in the industry and what organizations and professionals will need to do to adapt. Is digital transformation driving changes in the needed skills? Talk about your own professional experiences and what you have learned, and what you might advise to someone coming up on the rungs below you. When you do decide on a particular direction, make sure that you stay focused within a narrow range of topics so that you become known for something specific.
Consider the audience you would like to captivate and the followers you would like to capture, starting with recruiters and hiring managers. Think about the position you are aiming for as your next career step and the expertise those recruiters are looking to see from industry professionals they might consider hiring. You don’t have to be actively searching for work; in fact, being a passive candidate makes you even more attractive to many employers. Ponder the subject matter that you would be demonstrating expertise in on your next job interview.
Headlines shouldn’t be an afterthought; they are actually the most important components of your articles. You want yours to be as concise as possible, while capturing the most important message of your article and giving people a compelling reason to click. As you research content, also take a good look at the ways in which compelling headlines are expressed. What is it about some of the headlines that make them more click-worthy than others?
Once You Capture a Following, What Next?
Now that you have established a small, but growing following, there are a few things you can do to take your thought leadership to the next level Join relevant LinkedIn groups and professional associations. Get active in the LinkedIn groups and contribute to the discussions. Answer questions and share resources whenever possible. This will make others curious to check out your profile, where they will discover your content.
The content you promote on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be all your own. With followers, you’ll want to engage with them regularly. So share links to valuable industry resources, articles in trade publications, infographics, and video content. You can even post provocative questions or quotes that are sure to generate discussions. Use images to make your posts visually compelling.
By emerging as a thought leader, you won’t just attract the attention of people who might be in a position to hire you in the immediate future. You’ll be top-of-mind throughout your career whenever local opportunities emerge. In addition to jobs, these opportunities may also include speaking engagements, leadership opportunities, and other projects that can also enhance your career!