When you think of LinkedIn influencers, you probably think of individuals like Melinda Gates or Daymond John who have millions of followers.
But there are also many B2B brands that are considered industry leaders on LinkedIn.
Individuals tend to become influencers on LinkedIn organically through their work, accomplishments, celebrity status, or online presence.
Businesses, on the other hand, become influencers on LinkedIn by positioning themselves as experts in their field.
They show audiences they are a trusted source of information, guidance, and industry news, which quickly translates into more leads, sales, and brand recognition.
If you’re wondering how to become an influencer on LinkedIn and position your brand or agency as an industry leader, this guide will show you how.
Learn how you can grow on LinkedIn and establish a strong presence in your niche with our guide on Hidden LinkedIn Drivers Of Growth: Endorsements, Recommendations, And More.
What are the Benefits of Being a LinkedIn Influencer?
If you’re wondering if it’s worth establishing your brand as an influencer on LinkedIn, here’s why you should give it some serious thought.
1. Reach key decision-makers
Influencers are followed by CEOs, CFOs, and team leaders who are the key decision-makers in businesses. These individuals pay attention to what influencers say and trust their judgment.
It’s difficult to reach these high-profile individuals without being an influencer since they likely won’t be a connection. This means they’re less likely to see your posts or even know about your business.
Becoming an influencer quickly increases your brand awareness and positions you as an industry leader.
2. Your opinions carry weight
As an influencer on LinkedIn, you have the ability to recommend products, services, and put your business directly in front of these business leaders, knowing they trust your judgment.
Your impact tends to grow and your reach far extends that of other businesses on the platform. This is because you’re seen as a trusted expert with their finger on the pulse of your industry.
3. Grow your network
Influencers have some of the largest networks on LinkedIn, so it gives you the opportunity to grow your own community.
Networking should be your main goal on LinkedIn. The platform is an opportunity to connect with ideal leads and grow your brand.
This process is usually slow and takes time, but as an influencer, your network will expand much more rapidly.
5. Easier promotion
Influencers have significantly higher engagement rates, so your posts will be seen by more people in your network.
Whenever you share a promotion or product, it will get higher engagement, be seen by more people, and help you reduce your overall marketing spend.
This higher engagement will quickly translate to more traffic on your website and more lead inquiries.
How Do You Actually Become a LinkedIn Influencer?
Hopefully you’re sold on the benefits of becoming a LinkedIn influencer. So the next question is, how do you actually become one?
Create a strong brand presence
It all starts with a strong, clear USP that people immediately understand and want to follow.
WeWork is a great example on LinkedIn. With over 750K followers, they’re an industry leader in the hospitality industry.
They have a clear brand and message of being the “workplace of tomorrow”, and their entire presence on LinkedIn is branded, down to their custom hashtag they encourage people to share (#wework).
Create a killer LinkedIn profile
Don’t underestimate the power of an optimized LinkedIn profile. Everything from your profile photo and banner image to your skills and description should be branded and optimized to interest followers.
Lyft does this incredibly well on LinkedIn. The branding is on point with a fun, colorful aesthetic that represents the brand well.
They share pictures of life within the company to show a human side to the business, and each part of the social media profile is optimized for the rideshare industry.
Check on your competitors
Whatever industry you’re in, there will be influential companies with large followings already doing well on LinkedIn.
Find these competitors in your niche and figure out what they’re doing well.
- What keywords are they using in their profiles?
- How have they branded their graphics?
- What posts are getting high engagement?
- What kind of high-quality content are they sharing?
You never want to copy a competitor or imitate their style, but knowing what they do well and what you can do better is great market research to optimize your own profile.
Create a content strategy
People follow influencers on LinkedIn to stay up to date with the latest industry news and trends. So it’s important to have a regular content calendar and keep your followers updated.
Creating engaging, helpful content that solves problems and gives opinions on industry news is how you build a reputation as an influencer.
You should share on a regular basis so people begin to learn when to expect a piece of content from you. This regularity builds trust and encourages people to check in with you every week.
Create engaging and relevant content
Mix up your informative content to keep it fresh and interesting and make it as engaging as possible.
Here are some ideas of the type of content you can share:
- Blogs on LinkedIn Pulse
- Inspirational content
- Industry updates
Try to post content that no one else in your niche is sharing. Shock, entertain, and educate your target audience to keep them engaged and coming back for more.
Increase your connections
You get a maximum of 30,000 first-degree connections on LinkedIn. The more connections you have, the wider your reach and impact, so getting as many high-quality connections as you can will help your brand solidify as a successful influencer.
The best way to grow your connections quickly and efficiently is through automation.
Zopto allows you to send personalized, automated campaigns to targeted audiences on LinkedIn.
This not only helps you make connections significantly faster, but it also ensures you’re connecting with your ideal audience, helping you curate a network of warm leads.
Engage with your audience
Even as an influencer, it’s crucial to maintain a relationship with your target audience by engaging with them on the social media channel.
No one wants to be talked at, so make an effort to engage with followers on your social media posts, in private messages, and in groups to show there is a human presence behind your brand.
Here are a few ways you can keep your audience engaged:
- Reply to post comments and keep the conversation moving
- Be active in groups within your industry
- Reach out to potential collaborators
- Respond to any genuine direct messages you receive
- Comment on other people’s posts with genuine thoughts
- Direct message leads to grow your network
As a professional network, building trust is a key to becoming a social media influencer on LinkedIn. People want to follow industry leaders who know what they’re talking about and share reliable information.
The more you can build trust, the quicker you’ll grow a following. Here are some strategies you can use to help build trust for your brand:
- Share information about the people within your business to show a human presence
- Get more endorsements and recommendations
- Be active on the social media channel and reply as often as possible
- Share industry news with your own views and opinions
- Share case studies about previous client success stories
- Personalize your connection requests
Be authentic and have fun
Just because LinkedIn is a professional platform aimed at B2B businesses doesn’t mean you have to take a sterile, corporate approach to your profile.
People connect with the people behind the brands, so be authentic and have fun on the platform. Don’t be afraid to make your target audience laugh and show the human side of your business.
Ripple is a great example. They are a financial settlement solutions provider, but regularly share updates about life in their office and videos that show the people behind their brand.
Promote your work
Although it’s important to position yourself as an expert by being a go-to source for industry news and helpful resources, don’t forget to promote your work.
No one wants to be sold to all day every day, but without sprinkling in promotions, your followers won’t know what they can buy from you.
Keep promotions to a minimum and focus on giving value to your audience. But never be afraid to show your audience what fantastic offers you have for them.
Keep up with and stay ahead of current events
It’s crucial to be ahead of current events in your industry. Influencers earn their spot as industry leaders by being at the cutting edge of the latest news and trends and share those with their followers.
This is the main reason why CEOs and business leaders follow influencers – it’s a quick and easy way to stay up to date.
Make sure you know exactly what is happening in your industry and share updates regularly so your audience depends on you.
Mistakes That People Make When Trying to Become an Influencer
Now we know how to build your reputation as an influencer, let’s look at some of the most common mistakes you should avoid.
Using Hashtags Poorly
Just like any other social network, hashtags are a great way to reach new audiences on LinkedIn.
However, you shouldn’t load your posts with hashtags just to show up in searches.
To use them correctly:
- Compile a set of key industry hashtags
- On each post, add just one or two hashtags
- Mix up using popular tags with less popular ones to improve your chances of showing up in searches
And don’t forget to create a branded hashtag for your business that you can encourage users to share. This will eventually lead to invaluable user generated content you can use later in your influencer marketing campaigns.
Not posting regularly
Influencers post regularly. It’s how they become thought leaders in their industries. So plan out a content calendar and stick to it – the more consistent you can be, the more people will come to expect your content and look forward to it.
It’s best to post two to three times a week at minimum on LinkedIn. But focus on quality over quantity and plan out the type of content calendar you know your marketing team can stick to.
If you try to please everyone, you’ll fade into the background. We’re not suggesting posting extremely controversial topics for the sake of views, but if there is an industry standard you disagree with, share your thoughts.
Or if you’ve recently had a failure with a specific project, share why and how you’re improving.
People like to be shocked and entertained when on social platforms, so the more you can stand out from the crowd and go against the status quo, the better.
Not automating LinkedIn growth
The biggest mistake brands make when attempting to become influential on LinkedIn is doing it all manually.
From posting valuable content to reaching out to new connections to responding to messages, you could easily spend hours on this one platform alone.
To save time and speed up the process, automate as much as you can.
Automate your content strategy so you post on a regular schedule without the need for manual posting.
What’s more, Zopto is a great tool for automating and personalizing connection requests so you can steadily grow your network on autopilot. This takes one task off your to-do list and will help you become a social media influencer that much quicker.
Becoming an influential brand on LinkedIn is an art. It takes dedication and time, but once you’ve established your brand as an industry leader, your marketing, promotions, and lead generation becomes that much simpler.
Establishing trust with your target audience on any social media channel is a great way to grow your brand, but no other platform performs quite like LinkedIn when it comes to B2B markets.
Ready to get started boosting your LinkedIn presence? Automate your LinkedIn outreach campaigns with Zopto today!