Looking for ways to grow your visibility as a trainer and build your expert reputation?
One option that can deliver great results in this area is publishing LinkedIn articles. To help you, I’ve put together a beginner’s guide.
Why publish articles on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is the social network for anyone looking to build their network and influence in a business-to-business (B2B) context. As a freelance trainer, it’s safe to say that your clients are on LinkedIn.
Publishing content adds an extra dimension to your profile and is an effective way of demonstrating your knowledge and expertise in your field.
What should you publish on LinkedIn?
The accepted advice is that posts published directly to LinkedIn rather than links to external content get more visibility in the platform’s newsfeed algorithms. In my experience, this isn’t always true. Sometimes external links get more views than articles posted straight on to LinkedIn – it all depends on the platform’s algorithms.
To address this, I publish a mix of external links and original content. This can be articles, infographics or Slideshare presentations – anything that my audience will find useful.
For the purpose of this blog, I’ll be talking about publishing articles.
I share articles on LinkedIn that have also been published on The Trainers Training Company blog but usually several weeks apart and featuring a backlink to the original article.
You can totally avoid any duplicate content issues with the search engines by publishing distinct content on your website and LinkedIn. I like giving people on LinkedIn the opportunity to access content they may have missed over on my blog but you don’t have to copy my approach.
How do you publish LinkedIn articles?
Publishing content on LinkedIn is pleasantly straight forward. Just follow these simple steps:
1. Make sure that you can publish
Your first step is to make sure that you have publishing capabilities on LinkedIn.
Publishing isn’t available everywhere in the world yet but if you’re based in the UK, you should be fine.
You must also be logged in as an individual rather than posting under your organisation’s name or from their company page.
If you want to share content via your training company’s page, you can publish content under your own name and then share via your organisation.
2. Check your privacy settings
Before you publish on LinkedIn, you will need to consider your privacy settings. Do you want people outside your network to be able to read your content? Would you like your articles to appear in Google searches?
If people outside of your network follow an article, your subsequent content will show up in their newsfeeds even if they’re not connected to you. This is an excellent way to grow your reputation beyond your immediate network.
To show or change your public profile:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- On your profile page, click Edit public profile & URL on the right-hand side.
- Under the Edit Visibility section in the right rail, click on the Show/Hide boxes to select which sections you’d like to display or hide. Note: Your basic information displays by default.
- Clicking on Public will make your profile searchable on and off LinkedIn – you can still determine which elements are visible by clicking to Show or Hide them; click to show Posts & Activities to ensure your articles are visible to search engines, etc.
3. Select ‘Write an article’
You can tell at a glance whether you have publishing permission because you will see the Write an article option at the top of the newsfeed on your Home page within the status box (see the screenshot below).
Click on Write an article.
4. Add an eye-catching header image
You should now see the LinkedIn publishing screen where you can write or paste your original content.
The grey placeholder above the headline is there for you to upload the ‘hero’ header image, which can be full-screen width or the width of the article, depending on what looks best for your chosen image.
Hit the blue ‘+’ button to open and insert a picture that best reflects the content of your article.
Aim for a picture that’s eye-catching and in keeping with the overall message of the page.
I’ve created an example and headline below.
I’ve added the red arrow to show you where to click if you want to change the header image to full width, article width or delete it for a different image. You’ll also see that you have the opportunity to add a caption and/or credit, if appropriate.
If you do want to add your heading into the header image like I’ve done on the example above, Canva is a helpful free tool because it has a whole host of gorgeous templates for LinkedIn banners.
5. Write a captivating headline
Where it says Headline on the publishing screen (see above), you simply need to click once and type your chosen heading. LinkedIn automatically gives this an H1 tag, telling search engines that this is the main title of the article.
Remember to go for a captivating headline that reflects what the article will be about.
6. Add your article
You can either write an article directly into LinkedIn – click where it says Write here – or do as I do, which is to write and edit my articles in Microsoft Word and then copy and paste them into LinkedIn when I’m ready to publish.
Above the header image, you’ll see a formatting toolbar that relates to the text:
You can use this to add heading tags and formatting to your headings and sub-headings, as well as using bold, italics or underlining for emphasis and visual interest. It’s possible to add in numbered or bullet-pointed lists, pull out quotes or add hyperlinks to the text.
Simply highlight the text you want to change and click on the appropriate option in the formatting bar.
7. Add visual elements for interest
Adding images, videos or other visuals to a LinkedIn article is super easy. Just click on the little square symbol with the plus sign in the bottom right-hand corner and you’ll be given the choice to upload the following:
As with any online article, visual elements are a great way of breaking up the copy to make it easier to read, easier to pull out the key points and more engaging.
8. Share a draft (OPTIONAL)
If you want some feedback about an article from your inner circle before it goes out to your wider audience, you have the option to share a draft. You’ll find this under the More dropdown menu to the left of the Publish button (see below).
Choosing this option will give you a unique URL that you can share with the people who have agreed to give you feedback.
Also, if you can’t complete a post in one sitting, don’t fret. LinkedIn auto-saves as you type and will save unpublished articles to your Drafts (found to the left of the More dropdown menu – see above).
9. Publish your article
Once you’re happy with your article, it’s time to publish it to your audience.
Before you do, remember to add a call to action at the end telling your readers what to do next – this might be to comment, pop over to your website or join your community. It’s also a good idea to include a short one- or two-sentence biography about who you are and what you do.
Hit the Publish button on the top right menu and it will bring up the following pop-up screen:
Here you can add a description of the article (much like a meta description) that tells your network what it’s about and acts as a call to action to click through.
Add in one or two hashtags that reflect the main topics on the article – you might find my guide to using hashtags helpful with this. Using hashtags helps your article to surface people who are looking for content about a specific topic.
10. Share with your network
Once your article has been published, LinkedIn gives you the option to share it with your social media networks. This is a helpful way to alert people to your fresh content.
Once your article is published on LinkedIn
Every article you publish on LinkedIn will be added to your profile where it is viewable to anyone within your network or searching for relevant content, depending on your privacy settings as discussed above.
Your articles should appear in the newsfeeds of your first-degree LinkedIn connections. They may also appear to wider connections, depending on the platform’s algorithms. If you’ve set the visibility of your Posts & Activities to Public then your articles should begin to appear in relevant search engine results.
If you need to edit an article
Whether you’ve spotted a typo or you want to update or add to your content, it’s easy to edit published articles in LinkedIn.
- Click on the Me option in the main menu
- Choose MANAGE>Posts & Activity
- Go to the Article tab and locate the article you want to edit
- Click on the Edit button with the pen icon
- Go into the text to make your changes
- Hit Publish
Monitoring your LinkedIn articles
As with all of your activities to promote your training business, it’s essential to monitor how your articles perform on LinkedIn.
The Dashboard on your profile page gives you a quick overview of how many people have viewed your profile and posts, and how many times you’ve shown up in searches.
However, more detailed information about your articles is available.
On your profile page, you’ll see a panel for Articles & Activity:
Click on See all articles and it will bring up a chronological list (most recent first) of the articles you’ve published to date.
In the bottom right of each article panel, you’ll see a little graph symbol indicating the number of views for that article:
If you click on this, LinkedIn will tell you which companies your audience work for, their location, jobs, comments, who has shared your content and what was said about it when it was shared.
This information can give you a powerful snapshot of your audience, including which topics resonate with them.
My own experience is that more than 9,000 people outside of my network now follow me on LinkedIn because of the content I publish. Combined, their followers amount to hundreds of thousands who can potentially see the content that I share.
It’s a struggle to think of other professional platforms that can offer this level of exposure and reputation building.
Have you published on LinkedIn before or have I convinced you to give it a go? Feel free to share your content in the Comments below or tell me more about your experiences in this area. I’d love to hear from you.