Seven New Insights for those Building their Brand on LinkedIn


Virality - the art and science of getting a post to go viral or trend via social media.

"I'm not a marketer, so why should I care?" ....... I hear you ask.

What get's seen and engaged with by many is what -

  • influences our decision making,
  • helps us form your opinions, and
  • drives our beliefs and behaviours

And if you're in the business of leading, influencing others or making a difference, you'll want be both seen and heard on platforms where your people are.

Does that always mean it's the best content that's seen? No. But the sharer knew (or accidentally tripped over) some of the rules of engagement, to make sure their content was seen and engaged with by many.

It's all subjective anyway. One person's share that (only gets) gets 10K views, maybe another persons viral or trending share.  So remember, it's not the size that matters, it's what you do with it that counts - how you leverage, take advantage of or re-utilise that same thinking, that really makes a difference.

Take charge of the narrative before it takes charge of you

If you're going to spend any time utilising LinkedIn why not take charge of the narrative before it takes charge of you?

The below seven key tips were in response to several of my clients who have been sharing content for a while to build their brand, but receiving minimal engagement.  

My goal?  To help us ALL get more bang for our buck when building a brand via sharing and creating content (posting, sharing, publishing) on LinkedIn.

1. The first line of your post/share/article (or headline) is CRITICAL for grabbing attention and enticing people in.  While clickbait headlines or first lines is probably not your thing, nor would it necessarily enhance your executive brand, do spend time on that opening line.

One of my more successful viral posts had initially been drafted with the 2nd sentence 1st (see right).  

However after a few days of letting it settle in draft form .... "boom"! All of a sudden I could see that a line in the middle of my post ("my financial situation sucked") was far more attention grabbing.

So I moved that one line up and ....... it made all the difference.  

One successful LinkedIn writers say he spends as much time (if not double) on the headline or opening line alone, as he does on the article itself.  

So my recommendation? Draft your share/post/article/content then let it rest - like dough rising.  Then go back to it the next day and/or test with colleagues via email and see if that helps. Don't hide your light under a bushel. Make sure your great content/insight/perspective gains maximum exposure.

2. Share at a time when there is opportunity for organic read rate

As with all social media platforms, LinkedIn has algorithms designed to assess the quality, safety and engagement quotient of your content.  Therefore the feed only shows your shares to about 10% of your network initially (a focus group of sorts). Imagine if not many of your 1st and 2nd connections are online at the time you share?  Your share will simply sink to the bottom of the feed and go nowhere.

A sneaky Saturday share that did really well. THANKS!  Key ingredients? Humour and surprise.

Plus you'll feel like it was a waste of time.  

My suggestion? Learn the rules re timing, test them, then break them with your 1st and 2nd degree connections in mind. 

  • Do your home work. Assess and understand your network.
  • Remember, you're not (necessarily) a marketer selling a product, you're a busy executive creating a leadership brand for yourself. So what works for you and your unique network may not fit the rules that marketers with products follow.
  • Share when your people are on so that you can harness an organic read rate.  
  • I find lunchtime Monday to Wednesday excellent right now. Others say quite the reverse (see graphic below)
  • Every now and then I'll share on a Friday or Saturday with something humorous or emotive AND it does well - see right.
  • Remember too, it's seasonal - and effected by weather, public holidays, news worthy events etc just like anything.  
  • One of my clients shares regularly on leadership on a Saturday and that works for her, yet not according to the experts
Is there a best time to share on LinkedIn? Learn the rules and break them according to your own network - courtesy Simply Measured

Is there a best time to share on LinkedIn? Learn the rules and break them according to your own network - courtesy Simply Measured

3. Don't hide your light under a bushel of cryptic language, or by not explaining the obvious.   Put what you want people to know in the status update box. Summarise the article or post in less than 1300 characters (if a status update), or 750 - 1000 words (if an article), so that people get the key points without having to work too hard for it. Give, give, give before asking them to do something.  

Head on into LinkedIn to read more

Head on into LinkedIn to read more

See the 6 Insights share to the right? A summary of the entire six insights are listed in the post itself, not buried in a link.

Do the work for your audience so they don't have to do the work themselves and this helps build trust.

  • Remember MOST people are skimming while on mobile devices (57% LI traffic is mobile).
  • Remember Gary V - give, give, give, ask? (jab jab jab punch. You want to be generous with your content, insights and information so that people gain maximum impact from your shares.
Your interpretation, contextualisation and summary is what people are looking for and what will set you apart. That’s part of your brand.


4. Keep your language punchy and concise.

Short sentences.

Easy to read.


Remember - 57% users on mobile devices and this is set going to continue to grow.

5. Put an extra line return in before any instructions. Make them stand out.

Such as -

► Detailed article in the 1st comment

► Comment below with your #1 career advice

I'm not a huge fan of emoticons and symbols but if that is the currency of your target market then use them. If your target market is more corporate then stick with corporate bullet points and symbology. 

6. "Video killed the LinkedIn article star" - if you are good at video, or are learning how to do video, now is the time.

Since the recent demise of Pulse on LinkedIn the long form article has lost much of it's potential to 'go viral'. This doesn't mean not do long form articles. They contribute to SSI rankings plus help you craft well thought out arguments. They are searchable via Google and frequently Google ranks LI articles higher than it will your own web or blog site.

Key suggestion:  If you are fortunate enough to have a service that has video don't be shy. Get on camera and start creating and sharing content.

7. And FINALLY - change is inevitable. The only constant is change. Deal with it.

LinkedIn is going hammer and tongs with updates at the moment. The forums are all awash with the algorithm changes plus technical glitches. Just keep on keeping on, until you learn more. Remember if something isn't working for you, it doesn't mean nothing is going to work or that the end of the world is nigh. Keep investigating, tweaking and adjusting to find what works for you right now. And even this will change in time. 

Key suggestions right now? Mix it up.
Mix up the types of ways you share.

  • some images
  • some long form published articles
  • some video
  • some links
  • some text only

Don't be paranoid about it. But do keep that in mind for the next few months.

Over to you all!!   Looking forward to seeing you create your own brand and following on LinkedIn

#LinkedInlove #LinkedInLessons #LinkedInlife

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

I'm committed to helping my clients win the promotions, raises and recognition they truly deserve. And LinkedIn is a perfect executive brand building tool that you can leverage - for free. All it take is time and focus, and you can break free of what ever pigeon hole you may find yourself stuck in.

Using LinkedIn to create a movement, not a ripple

Using LinkedIn to create a movement, not a ripple

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This article is part of my brand building series to help my clients create a movement, not a ripple. If you'd like to learn more, drop me an email below.

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months