During the past two months, I’ve been working with some great beta testers for a new service I’m offering. The service is monthly ghostblogging + content marketing and the goal is for The Pocket PhD to take all of your content marketing off of your plate.
It’s going great!
As part of the service, we create three LinkedIn posts per week for each client. And while it’s true that meeting with us for a 30-minute content strategy session yields you 12 custom-written LinkedIn posts per month (and two blog articles), there’s just one thing we can’t do for you. We can’t publish the posts for you.
No, it’s not that we don’t know how (obviously) or that we’re too busy building our ghostwriting empire over here to be bothered to post for you. It’s that we believe LinkedIn works best when you engage and post your own content. It’s one of our die in a ditch beliefs.
As you can probably imagine, this can be a sticking point for clients who aren’t already using LinkedIn consistently. So we’re working on a plan to help you move past the LinkedIn mindset blocks. This is my first attempt to do a bit of block-busting.
Common LinkedIn Mindset Blocks:
1. What if LinkedIn doesn’t work for me?
This is a common question we business owners ask whenever we’re trying a new business strategy. And I applaud the spirit of this question. After all, why would you waste your time posting on LinkedIn if you weren’t seeing results. So, this mindset block could be rooted in truth.
LinkedIn might not work for you.
The real problem with this question, though, is that it’s vague. Too often when we ask, “what if [this platform, strategy, plan] doesn’t work for me?” we’re asking it without a clear idea of what “working for me” looks like. And vague questions are absolute magnets for self-fulfilling prophecies.
If you have this question in the back of your mind when you start using LinkedIn, you’re going to give up as soon as you see evidence that it isn’t working for you. A poor performing post, some random people cold pitching you with annoying DMs, no one clicking on the link you shared — almost anything could count as confirmation of your hypothesis.
But if you take a moment to write down three answers to the following question:
What would it look like for LinkedIn to work for me?
Then, you can start with a set of goals and make a real determination about whether it’s working for you based on metrics you care about. I also suggest that you try your experiment for at least three months consistently before deciding whether it’s a success or failure.
In other words, give yourself a real chance. It takes time for the algorithm to start working in your favor.
2. What if my audience doesn’t want to read my content?
I can also appreciate the spirit of this question. You definitely want to share content that your audience wants to read. But there are a few reasons you might have this mindset block, so we need to dig a little deeper.
Is this coming from a lack of confidence?
- If it’s coming from a lack of confidence, then it can help to spend more time engaging with LinkedIn posts. Look for posts from people you admire and start writing substantive comments (in other words, don’t just like the post or write, “good point”). Once you spend a week or two engaging in conversations, you might gain the confidence to post your own content.
- It may also help to simply dive in and start posting. Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen? LinkedIn posts, like all social media posts, have a very short shelf life. So if people ignore your posts at first, chalk it up to you getting to know your audience better. Keep posting until you get some traction.
- Also, if we’re creating content for you, you can be confident that what we’re writing is designed to stand out to your ideal audience. Creating remarkable content your audience wants to read is our jam.
Is this coming from a worry about who you’ve connected with?
- Maybe you’ve changed careers and are worrying about your colleagues from your previous career feeling “spammed” by your posts. First, this is a problem for the algorithm, not you. Your academic friends aren’t likely to see your promotional business posts (to pick a totally random example) unless they start reacting to your posts or engaging with them. Second, the reason you use LinkedIn is to avoid spamming the inboxes of people who don’t want to read your content. They can scroll right on by — no “unsubscribe” button needed.
- Also, maybe it’s time to clean out your list or be more intentional about who you’re connecting with. Don’t worry. You can disconnect or ignore connection requests. They won’t get a notification that you’ve done so.
3. What if my ideal client isn’t on LinkedIn?
If your ideal client isn’t on LinkedIn, then this is another good reason to let yourself off the hook about not using the platform and put your efforts elsewhere. But, again, my warning about vague questions stands.
How confident are you that you know who your ideal client is?
I feel confident that I can pick my ideal client out of a crowd, but I’m much less confident when it comes to profiling that person. Now, sure, part of this comes from the nature of the work I do. Almost everyone has thought to themselves “I have a book in me” at some point in their lives. So my ideal client IS on LinkedIn. But my point is that unless you have your ideal client persona absolutely nailed, you may be making a hasty judgment about whether they’re using LinkedIn.
There are all kinds of professionals using LinkedIn these days. So if you still believe LinkedIn is only for job seekers or for “suits,” then you haven’t used the platform enough. What do you really have to lose by giving LinkedIn a shot for three months?
4. What if the trolls come after me?
I’m sure that there are trolls on LinkedIn. I’ve heard stories about trolls on LinkedIn. But I’ve personally never experienced what I would call “troll-like” behavior and I’ve never seen anything close to what you might see on other social media platforms.
LinkedIn is a professional platform and most people see it as something like a living, breathing, digital resume or personal branding platform. This really cuts down on the number of people being jerks.
Still, your experience might be different from mine. My advice: think about how you might deal with this worst case scenario ahead of time.
- Maybe when the trolls come, you’ll want to take a week or two off.
- Maybe when the trolls come, you’ll choose to focus on those who love your content and benefit from it.
- Maybe when the trolls come, you’ll want to contact your “posse” (a list of friends who can come to your defense).
- Maybe when the trolls come, you’ll get curious about them and turn this into a lesson learned for your audience.
Having a plan can make all the difference when our worst nightmare comes true.
5. What if it goes well, but I get overwhelmed and want to quit using LinkedIn?
Social media can be overwhelming and it is overwhelming by design. The dopamine hits feel good and make you want more and more — suddenly the number of comments your posts received a month ago are no longer good enough. It can be a vicious cycle. But it doesn’t have to be.
Taking breaks is okay! If you can’t easily detach yourself from thinking about those vanity metrics or it all becomes too much, sometimes the best thing to do is to take a break. Know that taking that break might feel hard at first (you’re going to miss those dopamine hits). And expect that once you come back, you’ll notice a dip in your numbers. Avoid playing the comparison game, set some new goals, and get back in the saddle again.
Finally, give yourself permission to quit if LinkedIn isn’t working for you. When you reach the point of overwhelm or near burnout, you’ve likely been using the platform long enough to go back to question #1 and make an informed decision about whether it’s working for you.
- If it’s working, but you feel burned out, think about how you can make it feel like less of a burden. Maybe creating content is a struggle. Can you hire professionals to do the content creation?
- If it’s not working and you feel burned out, well, then it’s time to try a new marketing strategy. Maybe you need to use LinkedIn differently. Or maybe you need to go in a totally different direction. Give yourself permission to change course. What’s working for you today might not work a year from now.
Whether you LOVE LinkedIn or see it as a “necessary evil” of some kind, we all experience mindset blocks from time to time. I hope my block-busting attempt gives you a new perspective.
If there are other mindset blocks you experience that I’ve missed, I’d love to know. DM me on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilycrookston/) or shoot me an email (email@example.com). Fair warning: I’ll probably make a LinkedIn post about it.
And if you’re looking to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level, contact us. We offer three services:
- LinkedIn Roadmap
- LinkedIn Roadmap + 3 months of LI content
- Monthly Ghostblogging + content marketing
We’re ready to show you what we’ve learned in the past 12 months!
Photo credit: https://www.123rf.com/profile_romastudio