How to use LinkedIn articles to show you’re a subject matter authority
LinkedIn articles are much lengthier than posts, designed to be more informational or educational.
BY ELIZABETH BREEDLOVE
Have you ever thought of yourself as a subject matter expert? It’s true!
No one knows as much about your invention as you. Sharing your knowledge about your invention, the inventing process and your industry is an important part of promoting your product or idea. LinkedIn articles make it easy to write about something only you know, publish your article, and spread the word about your invention.
Think of LinkedIn as your digital resume. Your profile is a chance to show off who you are, what you do and what you know. Joining LinkedIn is free and easy; just sign up for an account and the platform will walk you through creating a profile.
It’s important not to confuse LinkedIn posts and LinkedIn articles, as the two are quite different and should be used in very different ways.
LinkedIn posts can be created in the dialog box at the top of your homepage. These posts are typically shorter and more conversational. They can be used to promote content on your website, announce a new product, highlight a successful event, share an article about your invention, ask a question, or share news and updates.
At the time of this writing, posts on a personal profile are limited to 1,300 characters; posts on a company page are limited to 700. Essentially, posts are designed for brief updates.
LinkedIn articles, on the other hand, are much lengthier and are designed to be more informational or educational. At this writing, the body text of this article is limited to 110,000 characters.
How to write and publish an article on LinkedIn:
Choose a topic
The possibilities are practically endless, but here are some ideas to get you started.
- How you became an inventor
- The inspiration behind your invention
- How you work to improve your skills and become better at your craft
- News and updates within your industry
- Predictions for the future of your industry
- Answers to frequently asked questions from your customers or those who demo your invention
- Tip you’ve learned from bringing your invention to market
Writing your article
I suggest using a word processing software to write your first draft, such as Google Docs or Microsoft Word, rather than writing directly in the LinkedIn articles publisher. This way you don’t have to worry about losing your work if something happens, or accidentally publishing your article before you’ve finished writing it.
Once you’re satisfied with the contents of your article, it’s time to share it. Log in to LinkedIn and near the top of the home page, in the same dialog box where you can publish a post, you should see text that says, “Write an article on LinkedIn.” Click that text to begin publishing your article.
First you’ll need to enter your headline, followed by the body text of your article. Make sure to properly format your article, using headers, bullet points and bold and italics where appropriate, to make your article easy to read and digest.
You can also add links by clicking the link icon at the far right end of the toolbar, or you can add images into the body by clicking the icon to the left of the body of your article. This will expand a toolbar that you can use to add images, videos, slides, links or snippets.
Once you’ve pasted the headline and the body of your article into their respective places, add a cover photo that will display above your article. To do this, click in the area above your headline, then upload a photo from your computer. If you don’t have an image on hand, you can purchase an image or graphic from a stock photography website such as istockphoto.com or shutterstock.com.
You’re ready to hit the “publish” button and submit your article for the masses to read.
Time to share
Now it’s time to promote your written work.
Before you begin to share your article widely, it’s worth double-checking your privacy settings to ensure that your profile is public, so that those you aren’t connected with on LinkedIn can view and read it. To do this, click the drop-down arrow next to “me” in the top left corner of any page, then choose “settings & privacy.”
Then click the first option, “edit your public profile.” On the right side, you’ll see a heading that says, “edit visibility.” In this section, make sure your profile’s public visibility is toggled to “on,” and “posts and activities” is toggled to “show.”
You’re ready to share. Go back to the article you just published and scroll down toward the bottom until you see options to like, comment and share. Click “share” and you’ll be given the option to share in a post, share in a message, copy the link to the article, share on Facebook, and share on Twitter.
These are all great things to do, when applicable. At a minimum, share your article in a post. This will open a new dialog box where you can write a short message encouraging your connections to check out your newest article.
Make sure you add relevant hashtags to the end of your post to help your article get more views by those interested in your topic. Uncertain what hashtags to include? LinkedIn will suggest some, so start with those.
One last tip: Using LinkedIn articles isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. If you’ve written a great article that positions you as a thought leader or a subject matter expert, it’s important to keep promoting it.
Don’t be shy; keep resharing your article. Just vary the message you post when you share it. For example, if your article includes five specific tips, focus on a different tip each time you share it. With any luck, you’ll still have new views on it weeks, months and perhaps even years after you initially publish it.