I hope you found last week’s conversation that shared my five-year revenue mix to be useful and inspires you to create your own complimentary revenue sources. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that I have made my cash flow less lumpy plus, I feel like I am always doing something fun and different.
On to this week. In the past few posts, I’ve covered strategies like practice revenue, fees, and pricing. I thought I might switch gears today, and talk to you about something more tactical and, perhaps, more practical: how to find the right content, tools, and time to regularly post sharable news on your LinkedIn feed.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Oh … next Monday is Memorial Day and the unofficial beginning of summer. I will be back in two weeks … enjoy the long weekend.
And as long as we are talking about LinkedIn, I thought I would pass along this article: How to Stay in Touch with Your LinkedIn Contacts. It’s about one person’s process to connect differently and more intimately with his LI contacts and the surprising results he achieved.
My take: Don’t try to connect or communicate in a way that is not authentic to who you are or the conversations you want to attract. But if you want to escalate the quality of your interactions, don’t be afraid to try something that stands out from your crowd.
So I am not going to start by listing all of the incredible LI user statistics. Suffice it to say that LI is the go-to social media platform for BVFLS professionals like us and our audience of clients, prospects, and referral sources.
That said, let me say this:
- Your killer LI profile won’t matter if you do not regularly share useful content to your audience, e.g., the short updates you see other people posting.
- LI research indicates that industry information gets the most user engagement and is more likely to start online conversations.
- One status update per day is plenty; spend more time Liking, Commenting, and Sharing other people’s updates (so they do the same to yours).
So you are probably thinking, “You’re right, Rod. I should be posting more often on LinkedIn. But where do I find the content? And, is there a tool I can use? And, where do I find the time? Geez, I need a process.”
Well, here’s my current process.
The first part is determining what your audience would like to read. Because I cater to my coaching audience, I share content related to leadership, marketing, productivity, etc.
The second part is finding respected sources, which I obtain primarily through seven free online outlets: Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Inc., Psychology Today, and Success.
So depending on your practice, what content would be valuable to the people you serve or want to serve? And what reputable online industry journals, magazines, or newsletters can you access?
There is a fantastic, time-saving tool out there that will store, schedule, and share your content; it’s called Buffer. The version I use is free, and here’s how it works.
- When downloaded to your computer, Buffer functions as a web browser extension.
- The initial set up requires you to pick the social media accounts you want to post to, the days of the week you want to post on, and the times of the day you want to post at.
- To share an article, simply click on the Buffer icon and it will do the rest.
Here is a screenshot of what I will post today:
- The bottom of the post is the clickable graphic to my online source. Buffer captures the article title, image, link, and a snippet of the opening paragraph … you don’t have to do a thing.
- The middle of the post shows my pre-selected 11:45 am publishing time.
- The top part of the post is my take on, or a quote from, the article. This is important! Don’t just give your audience a link to an article – tell them why it’s worth their time to read.
My free account lets me schedule up to 10 posts in my queue. Since I post one update every work day, I can store up to two weeks of content. And I can share my posts on multiple social media platforms; in addition to LinkedIn, I also share my content on Google+ and Twitter.
As posts are published, you can go back into your history and see how they performed. This allows you to gauge how your audience is reacting to what you are sharing and, if necessary, make adjustments.
Here is one of my recently published posts with the free-version analytics. I’ll take 6 Comments, 12 Likes, and 36 Clicks!
Of course, going with a paid version of Buffer gives you more options. For example, the next level up from free costs $10/month and allows you to store 100 posts in your queue and schedule them on up to 10 social media accounts. These features are useful if you have an audience that spans multiple time zones and you want to publish the same article on different social media accounts several times per day.
When do you do all of this? Why anytime you want! You’re probably reading the articles any way to stay abreast of the news in your practice area. Now just add a few seconds to click the Buffer icon and type a relevant thought.
I schedule the time to “load” my Buffer account early on Sunday mornings when there is little going on.
Experts in your practice area or industry niche are sharing valuable content to their audience of leads, prospects, clients, and referral sources.
It gives them the patina of authority because, well, they are frequently posting the information and adding their comments and insights. And you’re not.
If you want more visibility and credibility in your niche, you must jump into this kind of publishing routine. I’m trying to show you how easy it can be.
In real life
Sharing my content the way I just described is the only thing I automate on LI. Everything I write and everyone I respond to is the real me … meaning I make the time to do it.
And more than half of LI user interactions occur on the mobile app. It’s a great way to use dead time (I’m particularly productive in grocery store checkout lines) to interact with your audience.
– If you like what I write about, tell a colleague.
– If something resonates and you want to reach out directly, email me.
– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
– If you want a sense of how well your practice is working for you, take this Practice Self Assessment.