Should you be a creator on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn has evolved from its beginnings as a successful job-seeking tool to a powerful platform to build your business network, elevate your brand and learn about your industry and competitors. Keen to expand its appeal further, LinkedIn is seeking to transform into a destination for inspiring content, encouraging members to activate ‘Creator mode’ to unlock additional features, publish content and transform how they and their businesses are perceived on the platform.  But what are the key differences, benefits and potential drawbacks to becoming a LinkedIn Creator for your personal and business brand – and should it be part of your marketing strategy?

What is the difference between LinkedIn Creator mode and normal mode?

The LinkedIn platform has become a cornerstone of many professionals’ working lives, enabling users to keep in touch with – and in front of – their networks. However, the creator feature opens up the site’s possibilities far beyond job searches and digitally connecting with clients, suppliers, (former) colleagues, associates or relevant influencers.

The key difference between the standard professional networking setting and the Creator mode is access to additional tools to expand your network, increase reach and push content to your followers, including:

  • The opportunity to contribute to collaborative articles
  • Access to LinkedIn Live
  • Facility to host Audio Events
  • Ability to publish newsletters
  • Use of the Follow link on your profile

Who can become a LinkedIn Creator?

If you have more than 150 followers, abide by the Professional Community Policies put in place by LinkedIn and actively engage (like, comment, follow, share) across the platform regularly, you will have the option to become a ‘Creator’.

A business profile or a personal profile can become a Creator. We would recommend for larger enterprises the Creator mode is activated on the business page, to keep content streamlined. For SMEs, posting from your personal page can be a great way to forge a human connection to your LinkedIn network.  

What are the benefits of becoming a LinkedIn Creator?

Becoming a LinkedIn Creator gives you access to the marketing tools listed above, which can all help to grow your following and promote your business. It is primarily designed to reward users who contribute to the platform with content and thought leadership and makes you eligible to be presented to other users of LinkedIn by being featured as a suggested Creator, making you more visible on the platform. LinkedIn provides lots of supporting articles to explain how to utilise Creator mode to your advantage.

What is the difference between LinkedIn creator mode and normal mode?

Your profile will change in a few ways once you change to Creator mode:

  • Follow button: Once you become a Creator, users will be able to follow you as well as connect with you. Almost half of your future connections on LinkedIn are estimated to come from profile viewers (rather than people you have met/been introduced to and opt to connect with), so this button is designed to grow your audience.
  • Number of followers: The number of followers that you have will be displayed once you are a Creator, appearing next to the number of connections. This is to allow successful thought-leaders to exhibit their following to the masses, as opposed to simply stating 500+ connections.
  • Hashtags: A notable Creator mode feature is the ability to add up to five hashtags that help you to succinctly define your chosen topics and interests to your profile viewers. This feature also makes you discoverable to new audiences when they search for these topics.
  • Activity section at the top: Your profile will be reordered to showcase your Featured and Activity section first. It takes the focus away from your ‘About’ section and comments on other people’s insights and shifts it towards the content you have recently created.

Things to consider before becoming a Creator

The LinkedIn Creator mode essentially makes you more visible, more discoverable and displays your followers more explicitly. This can be a fantastic way to grow your following further and demonstrate your expertise, reliability and superior standing within your industry. However, there are some negative factors to reflect on if you are unable to contribute regularly and engage with followers successfully.

  1. Are you engaging enough? The increased prominence of ‘Feature’ and ‘Activity’ sitting at the top of your profile page when you become a LinkedIn Creator could be an important change to consider. Of course, prioritising your best and most current posts at the top of the page is a positive step to promoting yourself, but only IF your posts are getting good traction. Some people use indicators such as engagement levels, following and likes to qualify you as a candidate, supplier or client; if these analytics are low, you could be damaging your reputation on the platform as a whole.
  2. Are you committed enough? If you are not able to create at least two posts a week, Creator mode may be best left alone – or handled by a social media expert. By not keeping up with content creation and implementing a strategy to display core brand values and actively engage with the platform, you risk your credibility.  

The LinkedIn Creator mode can transform the way you use the platform. The best way to utilise this tool is with a fully joined-up strategy; this may require expert input to maintain the outputs required to maximise the benefits for your personal and business brand.

Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds Communications offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing, and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Greater London.

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How to build your brand with LinkedIn newsletters

The LinkedIn newsletter feature is a tool that can be used to bolster your following and maximise reach effectively and efficiently. You may even be able to amplify the value of your existing content for very minimal effort to increase your ROI, which sounds like a win-win. However, there are things to consider before you simply start repurposing content to ensure the resource you invest in LinkedIn newsletters aligns effectively with your goals. We guide you through the nuts and bolts, but also the strategic thinking you need to undertake before hitting ‘publish’.

What are LinkedIn newsletters?

The LinkedIn newsletter feature is a way to push your content out to your LinkedIn-based followers in the palatable format of a newsletter, which is fully integrated into the LinkedIn platform. Newsletters differ from a LinkedIn Article as they do not publish to your connections’ timelines automatically; instead, your LinkedIn followers (which may be similar to your email database list, but crucially, could also be far more diverse and extensive) can subscribe to receive push, in-app and email notifications for newly published newsletters. This direct reach is an active way to get in front of your audience – for free.

The newsletter reach is not limited to tailored audience methods or ad targeting, which helps you reach a wider audience. Anyone who has a connection to your followers can view your LinkedIn newsletter, extending the reach beyond your normal target audience.

By speaking about professional topics which engage your target customers, clients, colleagues, followers and sector influencers, you can successfully grow your audience and build a community that regularly engages with you on the platform. A well-structured, insightful LinkedIn newsletter can generate leads, increase traffic to your website and grow your following and influence on LinkedIn.

What content should be in your LinkedIn newsletter?

A LinkedIn newsletter can be used as a secondary place to publish newsletters previously sent to your email database or to reposition articles or insights that you have previously published on LinkedIn. The input of copied text is straightforward and easy to format, which can make it a great way to increase the reach of your content for minimal effort, simply by publishing it to another platform.

However, while a simple copy and paste exercise is resource efficient, you need to consider your audiences on LinkedIn and what you want to be known for on the platform, and whether your existing content aligns with that. For example, if your existing content is largely being sent to prospects and is structured to encourage them to make the final decision to purchase, it may not be relevant if you want to become known as an oracle for latest industry trends.  

The starting point is therefore to be very clear about what you want to achieve through LinkedIn newsletters, given who follows you. If your existing content aligns well with your LinkedIn audience and your platform/brand goals, then great. But if not, you may need to identify and source/create content that will support these goals; this may mean a fresh content creation strategy, or it could be as simple as signposting sector developments that are not widely known, for example news of products that are in Beta-testing.

The nuts and bolts of creating LinkedIn newsletters

If you have 150 followers or more, are active on the platform and abide by the Professional Community Policies put in place by LinkedIn, you will have the option to become a ‘Creator’. With creator tool access you can begin to build your newsletter. If you would like more information on what the Creator mode is and how to use it to bolster your business’ presence on the LinkedIn platform, read our insight here.

At the top of your LinkedIn homepage, below the ‘Start a post’ box, is a ‘Write article’ button. Once you click on this you will be directed to the newsletter template, ready for you to input your content.

Here are some tips on creating a successful LinkedIn newsletter:

  1. A succinct title: Choosing a title which offers a clear solution, or presents a theme or subject that will interest your audience is vital to draw your readers in. Pose a question your target audience is likely to have, then offer solutions within your content. It’s important to remember that all your newsletters will have the same title, so it needs to outline the overarching themes of your content/expertise that you plan to explore across your newsletters, rather than the specific content of a particular newsletter.
  2. Engaging Images: Uploading your logo will increase engagement and brand awareness. Additionally, by uploading a cover photo for each article within your newsletter you create natural breaks in the page, making it more reader-friendly. Choosing images of your staff or friendly faces adds a human element to the text and connects with the reader. Be sure to select images that are bright, relevant to the text and authentic – avoid stock images wherever possible.
  3. Additional context: Include a short description or pose a question when you share your newsletter with your audience. This will encourage engagement with the post itself and increase the chances of connections clicking through to the newsletter. Use the post to showcase your expertise to resonate with your audience and to indicate how reading your newsletter will add value for them.

How do people find newsletters on LinkedIn?

Users can access the newsletters to which they have subscribed by clicking the ‘My Network’ button at the top of the LinkedIn homepage and selecting ‘Newsletters’ from the list displayed on the left-hand side of the page; this reveals a full list of their subscribed newsletters. Another interesting point to note is that readers don’t need to be logged into LinkedIn to access the page, so you can share the LinkedIn newsletter link across other social channels and via email to increase engagement.

LinkedIn newsletters can be a brilliant way to repurpose, redirect and re-engage your LinkedIn network, maximising reach and generating engagement. If you would like strategic, smart advice on developing an efficient, effective, multi-channel marketing plan, our team can assist.

Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing, and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Greater London.

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Tips for creating a website that will deliver on your business objectives

When the time comes for you to create or refresh your business’ website, it can be quite the task. With so many elements to decide on, sometimes the original objectives can be lost – this can result in a website which doesn’t serve your business’ needs which can be a costly mistake to make.

So, here we have some tips on how to identify your main objectives, and then optimise your website for those chosen business objectives. By remaining focussed on the overarching aim of your new website, you ensure the investment of time and money is worth it – read on to find out more.

Objectives are key

Objectives can help keep a business focussed, and remaining focussed when building a business is key, as there are many plates to spin. Determining your wider business objectives prior to building a website is a great way to ensure the new website serves your business in the best way possible, and this synergy is what will propel your business to the next level.

So how do you define your objectives? A great way to start is by making sure they are SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Timely

By following the above rules, your objectives will be hugely beneficial when applied to both your planning and practice within your business. From these newly set objectives, you can start to consider how your website might contribute to them. For instance, if you want to increase your online sales by 40%, you may want to look into how the User Experience (UX) could influence a higher rate of sales, either through upselling or specific tools at different stages of the customer journey.  

What purpose does a website serve?

Websites can have many different functions, depending on the type of business you have. For example, for many, their website is the main way customers can purchase products, but for a service led company their website is a digital shopfront, a place for perspective clients to peruse their services and gather information. However, there are a few main functions which a website should fulfil – regardless of the industry you are in.

  • Visibility: A website is an online presence for your business. A place for people to find you, from wherever they may be in the world.
  • Availability: By creating a website you make your product or service available to people. A channel by which they can buy your product or access your services is vital to any business. Becoming accessible to a wider audience is key to the growth of your business.
  • Engagement: A successful website is a place where your customers/ clients and perspective customers/ clients can get to know your business, and understand your ethos, values and brand better.
  • Build relationships: With the right website design you can both market your services or products to your audience as well as interacting with them. A great website can help build other channels for marketing such as newsletters and blogs, allowing you to build on your brand even further and offer your audience more than just a blurb on your business.
  • Money maker: Ultimately, a website is another marketing tool. Likely your most important one. By ticking all of the above boxes and optimising SEO and the User Experience, your website will generate incoming sales and turn visitors into customers.

Designing your perfect website

With clear objectives for your business as a whole, now is the time to discuss with your website designer how the new website can support those objectives. Here are some examples of how your website can support your objectives:

  • Increase inbound sales = Improve leads: include content designed to boost your standing in search engines. In addition to this, a regularly updated blog page with SEO optimised content will further boost your chances of appearing high in Google searches.
  • Increase average value of sale = optimise UX for upselling: discuss with your designer how you can lead customers to purchasing more of your product or service through savvy UX and a smooth customer journey.
  • Increase database = ensure there is a data capture form: if you want to expand your reach through weekly or monthly newsletter or targeted direct mail a data capture tool is a great element to incorporate. But remember, you want to be offering value to your website visitors to encourage them to sign up, so content is key!

A thoughtfully designed website can take a lot of time and expertise, but the investment is worth your while. A website which is fully optimised to help you reach your wider business objectives is a priceless tool and one that will guarantee a ROI. If you start to lose sight of your initial objectives and find yourself cutting corners your business is bound to suffer in the long run. So, if you want strategic advice on how to build the best website for your business, a team that can help you stay on track, get in touch with Sharp Minds Communications.  

Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing, and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Greater London.

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