LinkedIn’s list of 150 Global Thought Leaders includes Naomi Simson of RedBalloon and Matt Barrie of Freelancer.com. This list includes people like Barack Obama, Richard Branson and Deepak Chopra.
LinkedIn is encouraging other to apply for this program. For this article, Simson was interviewed to find out more about the program as well as gain insight on how to become a LinkedIn Influencer.
1. Investing the time and energy
LinkedIn is looking for high quality and wants to be known for its content as well as engaging users. In the Influencer program, the opportunity is given to publish to 175 million users. With status updates and groups a user is already able to publish links and company information, so LinkedIn is looking for more original content from the elite who make the cut into this program.
Simson of Red Balloon described how it is expected for her to submit up to three articles each week during the beginning six-week period in order to demonstrate the quality and quantity of her work. Therefore it would be important to set aside time to make sure that this can be accomplished adequately.
Simson stated that she felt this was an opportunity to allow the first group chosen to lead by example. She views this as a worthy investment in business and leaders because of the value it can bring. With that being said Simson doesn’t feel that this task is a chore or an intimidating requirement, but she is inspired to contribute her knowledge and insight to the given audience.
2. Demonstrate prior work
The content written specifically for this program is not the only thing that will be evaluated prior writing experience will also be part of the selection criteria as LinkedIn expands the program. Currently the application for the program asks for examples of professional content you have previously written or published.
This means a track record in publishing compelling content is essential. When looking at Simson’s prior work, her biggest strength is in blog posts. She not only publishes on her own site naomisimson.com which started in February 2006 but also other publications such as BRW. The amount of content she has produced includes over 700 blog posts and numerous articles and publications.
3. An insightful message
It is important to remember that this program is not for advertising or marketing a specific business but to be influential in an area of business. Applicants are asked which industries they feel they would be influential in and be able to provide insight into. They also request sample topics that the applicant would be interested in writing about. Therefore, an applicant is forced to refine their focus instead of just giving the generic answer of everything.
Once a marketing message is presented, the message is immediately cheapened but the medium is invalidated. This is why Simson cautions against using this as another marketing channel for business. She also suggest that by keeping marketing away from a message, creating a networking channel, agitating change, inspiring debate and encouraging discussion can all be achieved from this opportunity.
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