Since Covid-19, I’ve had a number of people comment on the way I post on LinkedIn. To say I’ve shifted from shoptalk is an understatement.
Gone are my LinkedIn how-to posts. I’m no longer writing about “3 Easy Steps to LinkedIn Profile Optimization.”
Instead, I’m calling out users who send InMail messages as though they’re DMs on Tinder, posting photos and videos of my yoga practice, about my sobriety from alcohol (three years and counting), and (humbly) articulating my passion around race relations in our country.
The shift in my “LinkedIn persona” was actually noted this morning when I was one of three guests in a roundtable discussion. The host mentioned that his employers had looked at my LinkedIn activity and said, “Wow, she’s really out there.”
In another instance, a close friend and colleague mentioned he’s specifically seen me flourish since I began showcasing my personality on LinkedIn as though it’s given me freedom.
In addition to that, many followers have commented that they greatly appreciate my authenticity and the way I’ve “put myself out there.”
So … what happened?
Why did I abandon all of that “professional” talk? Is it helping or hurting me as a business owner?
First, my business is doing great. I continue to receive inbound leads, my clients are happy, and my business has actually generated more work since the pandemic hit.
Does that mean you should follow what I’m doing to the letter and you will find the same success? Not at all. In fact, I would advise against it.
You can, however, follow my framework, a distinction the amazing Carol Cox made for me when putting together my Signature Talk. A framework includes parameters, not a specific step-by-step process.
Defining the specifics is for you to do.
Let’s dig into my framework for posting on LinkedIn and how it’s worked for me.
1. I’m Being Me
This is — without a doubt — the most important concept to grasp. If you try to be anyone other than yourself, you won’t hit the mark with your audience.
You may not be completely ineffective, but it you probably won’t reach your full potential. I am in awe of the way we can tell through the written word on social media whether a person is being authentic.
It’s just obvious.
If you try to be anything other than who you truly are, you will come across as awkward, forced, or just plain uninteresting.
Who am I?
I am a writer and study of human behavior, including the Enneagram. I am a massive extrovert – like 85% when taking the Myers-Briggs. I love snark, making people laugh, and fighting others. I’m a personal development junkie and love sharing my findings with others.
That mixture has given me a certain gift for generating content on LinkedIn, both for myself and for my clients.
2. I Like to Think I’m Entertaining
No, you don’t have to be a unicorn to be successful on LinkedIn.
When I work with clients, I take inventory of their personality, their target audience, and what they are selling to determine whether their platform should be entertainment, information, or inspiration.
Each of those three elements must be taken into account. You could have two employees within the same company taking completely different approaches based on their personality. One might be goofy, the other very serious.
I have said to clients, “I’m suggesting he post this, but I would never suggest you post it!”
Target audience is also important. You don’t want to offend the people who are paying you. In my line of work, I can pick and choose the personality of the people I work with, so it actually benefits me to show more of who I am. Not only will it attract the people I do want to work with, it will turn off the people I don’t want to work with.
But if my target audience is 100-percent serious and can’t (or won’t) take a joke, it’s probably not a good idea to show my crazy side on my LinkedIn profile.
3. I’m Rolling with It
Yes, that is an actual item in my list.
What I mean by “rolling with it” is that I am constantly evolving, and I suggest you do the same. Just as we’ve all had to do in this Covid-19 environment, I have subconsciously pivoted with my content as I respond to the success and failure of my posts.
One example: I rarely post videos even though creating videos on LinkedIn is a “best practice.” Making videos takes a lot of time and effort and my audience responds much faster and with more excitement when I instead post a GIF and a one-liner.
Post what you’re going to post and notice what gets a great response. I posted tongue-and-cheek today that “snarky posts about gross people using LinkedIn as though it’s Tinder will outperform how-to and warm-and-fuzzy family posts 10-to-1.”
… and it’s true.
Build Your Own Fanbase
What I do on LinkedIn works for me and I wouldn’t suggest exactly what I do for anyone else. I do, however, suggest my framework: be yourself, be worth following, and be willing to adjust (aka don’t be set in your ways).
If you follow that framework, you will accrue an audience that likes you for you. You will build a fanbase. Cheerleaders. They will want to see you succeed.
Relax and have fun. See where it takes you.
About Chrissie Zavicar
Chrissie Zavicar is the President and CEO of e-Link Consulting, which works with businesses to increase LinkedIn visibility. To learn more about e-Link’s services, visit e-linkconsulting.com/services. She is also the President of Team 84 Marketing, marketing/advertising agency working with small-to-large-sized companies in the Detroit area.