Read time: 3 minutes
🔨Is Linkedin thought leadership content broken?
Something a little bit different for you today.
Each week, Joe and his mate, Richard Wood (the managing director of the growth agency, Six & Flow) get together to discuss how we can take a more human approach to marketing. Their conversations are recorded and the result is a podcast called Humans Come First.
For this week’s summary, we’ve wrapped up the key takeaways from a recent episode on thought leadership content. Listen to the episode here, and scroll on for the learnings.
😴 Richard thinks thought leadership content on Linkedin is broken, and Joe is exhausted by the whole process
With over 82,000 Linkedin followers between them, Richard and Joe have put in the hours to build audiences that want to hear what they have to say on Linkedin. Over the years, they’ve both gained huge value from posting and connecting, and both see it as a useful business tool.
But, more recently, Richard explains that he feels like everyone is parroting the same ideas, content and formats back at each other on repeat and repeat, ad infinitum. Scrolling through the news feed used to mean reading lots of individual voices. Now, we’re seeing cookie-cutter sameness. What used to work, doesn’t deliver the same value as once before, and it’s becoming harder to justify spending lots of time creating thoughtful informative content.
As someone who has been posting daily on Linkedin for the last 7 years, Joe explains how recently he’s been left feeling incredibly confused about the types of posts that perform well on Linkedin. Seeing people share the same copycat posts and get great engagement can create feelings of jealousy, confusion, and disillusionment.
⁉️Start by asking why
Joe suggests that he’s trying to overcome these feelings by considering what his motivations are for posting on Linkedin. Starting with asking why Joe explains that he’s found his motivations to be both internal and external.
- Internally, he loves to write about things he cares about like marketing, his family, and introversion. It’s cathartic and helpful.
- Externally, the TMM community benefits from it too. When Joe posts, he gets responses, likes and engagement. That engagement drives revenue and grows the community, which ultimately makes it more useful to the people in it.
We shouldn’t diminish the value of likes and engagement and say they don’t matter. They can lead to new connections and real life opportunities, and they can signal that you’re building something that is valuable to people.
⚽ On playing the game
So, what do you do when your posts aren’t working the way you want them to?
Joe and Richard agree that to a certain degree, you need to play the game, which means understanding what works well and what doesn’t on Linkedin at the moment, and tailoring your content plan to include it in a way that feels authentic and sensitive to you.
Then, create content designed to perform well that is relevant to who you are, and use the platform that gives you to talk about things you care about, work you’re proud of, or sell products and services to meet your business objectives.
🧍Know what you stand for
Playing the game will get you exposure, but once you’ve got it, do you know what you’re going to do with it? Joe describes a brand as ‘the shape you turn up in all of the time’. Create work that allows people to recognise what you stand for, so that when they need a product or service that is related to what you do, you’ll come to mind.
We’ll finish with this from Joe –
“There’s a value in knowing who you are and building a brand of significance around it. I think that is ultimately the thing you have to be doing on these platforms if you’re going to see any kind of outcome that is beyond internal satisfaction in the creative process. If you’re looking for that external reward – whether money or fame – you’ll need likes or engagement. So, be open to playing the game a little, but play it from a place of knowing what you want to get out of it.”