I am often asked how to come up with good ideas for LinkedIn content. So here are 12 of my best and most effective tips that you can apply today.
1. Comment Gold Mining
There’s gold in them there hills!
Well, in the comments section actually.
LinkedIn is all about community and engagement and nowhere do you get more engagement and have the potential to meet and make new connections than in the comments section of a post.
It doesn’t have to be your post either.
The conversations you strike up in the comments section can lead to some great post ideas. Perhaps the post itself makes you think of something, or asks you for your opinion?
Comment away, but of course, always make sure your comments are meaningful and add value to the conversation.
And while you are there, why not turn your comment or idea into a post with your own unique spin and perspective on it.
Note: If you do refer to a post or something has inspired you always make sure you credit the original poster.
I am talking ideas here, not plagiarism!
2. Make Good Use of a Content Calendar
Having a content calendar is a great way for coming up with fresh ideas for your content.
A content calendar is a tool commonly used by social media managers to plan their content in advance.
It lists national holidays, anniversaries, special dates etc. Every day of the year it would seem we are celebrating something somewhere! Anything from world cake day to bring your dog to work day.
You don’t have to use it every day but it’s worth reviewing in advance to see if there are any special dates, anniversaries or events that you can write about in the weeks or months ahead.
Some special days may be directly related to your specific brand, others just things you find interesting (or more importantly you think other people might).
A content calendar is a great source of inspiration in any event.
3. Anecdotal Storytelling
Anecdotal stories are definitely something I write a lot, it’s my favourite way to tell a story and get a point across.But anecdotal stories are not just for skilled storytellers. Click To Tweet
Anyone can tell an anecdotal story, it just takes a bit of practice to get the structure right (i.e. know the point of the story) and to ‘find’ the right story in your everyday life and experiences.
All my anecdotal stories are things that have happened to me. Yet my life is no more or less extraordinary than anyone else’s (although currently it might be a bit ‘further down the line’ than some people would find comfortable), so in a nutshell, you don’t have to explore the world to be able to tell a good anecdotal story.
You just need to observe and analyse things a little bit more. What happened to you today on the way to work or the shops or to meet your friend? Did anything occur to you that was different about the journey?
Once you start observing things, you will see that potential stories are everywhere.
I could tell you a story about feeding my next-door neighbour’s cat.
In fact, I did, here.
4. Ask a Question
Yep. That simple.
Don’t know something. Ask.
Want more knowledge on a particular subject? Pose the question to your network.
You’ll be amazed at the response and all the many perspectives and angles you can get from asking a simple question. But don’t ask questions simply for the sake of asking them or with the sole intention of getting likes and complimentary ‘virtue signalling’ comments. It won’t do you any favours in the long run.
No. Be the genuine article.
(Oh and once you have all the answers, refer to point no.1 above)
5. Document Your Story
What’s going on with you right now?
Are you looking for a new opportunity, founding an exciting start-up, going through a new phase in your professional life you can share?
Documenting your journey and the things you learn and experience along the way can be very powerful, not just for helping those in your network, but for empowering and inspiring you as well.
You can document your story with written posts, pictures, videos or memes. Whatever best works for you personally.
Maybe you can even start your own #hashtag or following, or encourage others to document their journey too. Things are often better if we do them together and have support and encouragement along the way.
Plus, it’s great to look back on.
6. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
This is similar to anecdotal storytelling above, but looking in the rearview mirror.
We all have stories. In fact, our lives are made up of stories.
We have all had experiences good and bad and we all have different perspectives on our experiences.
Share them with the world.
What did you learn? Did it help you become who you are today? Can you share something that might be of help to others?
It was Beethoven who gave me a helping hand.
Curious? You can ‘hear’ all about it here.
7. ‘How to’ Posts & Top Tips
‘How to’ posts win the internet. And for good reason.
After all, apart from shopping, cats with moustaches and getting into pointless arguments, what else is the internet for?
I will tell you.
It’s a research tool, a treasure trove of information open to anyone and everyone (unless you happen to live somewhere like North Korea or Turkmenistan).
LinkedIn is no different. People are hungry for knowledge that can help them, and everyone knows something someone else does not.So don't be afraid to share what you know. Click To Tweet
8. Tell It Like It Is…But Differently!
Don’t be afraid to be different.
In this day and age, what is different anyway?
Thought-provoking content is valuable to others as it lets them explore their own insights and thoughts on a subject. Many times I have read a post and it has helped me to explore other perspectives, see things from a different point of view, and helped generate ideas for my own content.
9. Tune In, Drop Out.
Did you watch the TV last night, your favourite Netflix show perhaps? Did you read a book, listen to a podcast, read an interesting article online or in your favourite magazine or newspaper?
Well, guess what. Just like you lapped it up, maybe your audience would like it too.
You can either get great ideas from these sources (see my post here inspired by The Tudors), or alternatively write a post or do a quick video about what you thought, what you learned and whether or not you would recommend it to others.
Trust me. Ideas are all around us all the time.
10. Answer Your Audience
Your professional network have questions that need answering, and plenty of them.
Some of your network will also be your target audience who are looking for someone just like you, with your experience and expertise to help them.
Can you answer their most pressing questions? Can you provide some added value?
I am sure you can.
Don’t hide away.
Not sure what they are asking? See the point about ‘comment gold mining’ above.
11. Make Use of Case Studies
Case studies are a great way of demonstrating your expertise and showing how you have helped solve a problem.
A good case study will focus on the problem and the solution and give examples of how it can be applied in practice.
It’s not about showing off how great you and your company are, it’s about demonstrating value and providing others with ideas on how they can best solve their problems too.
Claire Mason’s article here is an excellent example of this working in practice.
12. Learn From History
We are all standing on the shoulders of giants. Trust me on this one. There is not a single idea you have ever had that has not been thought of in some other shape or form before.
We are perpetually regenerating the ideas of our ancestors.
Using history as a starting point, or re-telling historical stories and applying a practical perspective is incredibly compelling.
I use historical stories. A lot. I even use one in my profile summary here.
It’s not like we are going to run out of them any time soon either, as history is being created right now, right at this very moment.
Did you catch it?
Before you rush off and start creating your own compelling content on LinkedIn there are some other important factors you need to consider:
Boost your LinkedIn profile
Once you get people lapping up your content they are going to start viewing your LinkedIn profile so it needs to be compelling.
Your headline and summary are the first places people will go to see who you are, so it is important it resonates with the right people and gets them interested in you.
Put in place a content schedule
Have one. Know when you are going to post and plan ahead. If possible prepare your posts in bulk in advance. Tim Queen has some great articles on this very subject.
Be like a comedian, not a singer
I don’t mean you should tell jokes, although there is nothing wrong with being funny.
What I mean is a comedian has to always develop new and fresh content, whereas a singer can sing the same song over and over again without their fans getting tired of it.
Think of ways you can come up with fresh new content or….see the next point:
Make your content go further
Repurpose good content. This is a whole new subject but you can view an example of how I repurposed one piece of well-performing LinkedIn content here.
Be patient but be consistent
There is no such thing as overnight success, be patient, but be consistent. Don’t have a flurry of activity one minute and then never be seen again for months on end. A well-planned content schedule will help you with this task.
Be like Bruce Lee!
You don’t have to throw around any nunchucks, do flying kicks or create your own martial art, but to be successful in anything you have to apply your knowledge:
So, often attributed to Bruce Lee I leave you with this quote:
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
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