Do you ever feel like you’re talking to yourself when you post something online?
Is your content creation process something like this:
Like many creators, I put my heart and soul into every piece of content I create. But when your audience is small, many of your posts go unnoticed.
So you can imagine my surprise when LinkedIn’s editorial team chose me as one of 10 LinkedIn Top Voices for Job Search and Careers in 2022.
It’s 2023, and still, one of the top questions I get is: You don’t have a lot of followers; how did you become a LinkedIn Top Voice??
So let’s rewind a few years:
I had always used LinkedIn mostly to see what former co-workers were up to, to find candidates, and I occasionally shared an interesting post and added my thoughts to it.
But then 2020 happened. Amidst a Global Pandemic, like most of us, I had a TON of free time. That was the year a lot of people found themselves jobless and navigating a very tough job market. I wanted to help, so I decided to start creating content. I had a pretty strong personal brand and had experience creating content for brands, so why not use my free time to teach others how they could leverage the power of social media to get noticed and make more money?
So I did just that. I mostly create video content because video is the easiest way to get your audience to know, like, and trust you, and it’s also a great way to reach people you would otherwise never reach.
Slowly business leaders and brands started to notice my content. I was suddenly invited to be a guest on podcasts, Live Shows, and was hired to deliver private workshops pretty consistently.
Still, I only had about 1,400 followers on LinkedIn by the end of 2021. But the platform was working for me. Most of my clients and partnerships were coming from LinkedIn posts.
On the first working day of 2022, I got an email from the LinkedIn News Editorial team that said:
CONFIDENTIAL: you’ve been selected as a LinkedIn Top Voice
I immediately thought it was Spam. But for some reason, I opened the email, read it, and saw that it was LEGIT.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that question: how did I manage to get my content noticed even though I have a small audience? I’ve reviewed everything I’ve posted since 2020 and all of the results from posting and have broken it down into 3 specific lessons I’m sharing with you today.
Here’s what you can do to build a personal brand you can leverage to make an impact, get noticed, and make more money, even if you have a small following.
I’ve helped a lot of people build their personal brands, and before working together, some of the biggest challenges they face are:
Talking about every single skill you have, is a great way to become forgettable. It’s also a great way to get bored with your own content.
Choosing one thing to be known for is hard if you’re someone like me with a ton of experience doing very different things. And I’ve heard this advice many times online, but I always remember a conversation with my friend Kat Kibben back in 2020 when I started creating content. Kat told me: You have to choose ONE thing to talk about. Become the expert in that one thing so that when people need help with that thing, they remember you and buy from you. In Kat’s case, that’s Job Post Writing. In my case, that’s using Video to get noticed. To this day, no matter how many pivots I’ve had in my business, anytime someone online asks about how to leverage video to get noticed, someone tags me or shares one of my videos.
I tie all of my content back to using video. All I ever talk about is how to leverage video. Someone invites me to a podcast to talk about salary negotiation? Sure, I’ll go, and naturally, we end up talking about how using video can give you negotiation power. Want to talk about candidate experience and attracting talent? You guessed it; we will talk about how video will help you personalize your candidate experience and attract candidates that are the right fit for your company. And I don’t even have to force the conversation in that direction (I never do). I’m so obsessed with leveraging video for your personal brand that I can naturally tie it back to anything I talk about.
Being obsessed with a topic is how you stay motivated and avoid getting bored with your content. Most creators lose motivation because they are tired of talking about things they aren’t really that interested in.
The second thing that has helped me get noticed even though I have a small audience is:
It’s very tempting to see what another creator is doing and copy it to try and mirror their success. A lot of people do it. The problem with that is that you’ll end up looking and sounding like everyone else, and trust me, that’s how you end up with content that everyone scrolls past. It’s also exhausting to keep up with creating content using a voice that’s not your own.
On the flip side, many creators try so hard to stand out that they end up creating content that is so different and highly produced that it’s impossible to keep up with creating it consistently.
Building your personal brand and creating content is not supposed to be a complicated and time-consuming task that takes over your life.
If you focus on being authentic, you’ll come up with content ideas just by living your life and doing your work. You’ll also be able to create content quickly because all you’ll have to do is speak how you speak and turn that into content.
But how do you do that if a big part of being a good content creator is consuming content? How do you make sure that you’re not drowning your own voice?
That brings me to the third thing that has helped me get noticed online even though I have a small following, and that’s:
Developing storytelling skills is crucial for content creators. I believe storytelling is one of the top skills needed to succeed in business, period. Years ago, I read a study about how people are more likely to respond positively to a call to action if their blood is flooded with the empathy hormone oxytocin. And that the best way to get someone’s blood flooded with oxytocin is to tell them a story. Because when the brain hears a story, it releases oxytocin – it immediately relaxes the body and makes people more receptive to information.
Knowing how to tell a story also helps set your content apart from that of other creators. Even if 2 creators post about the same thing, they will never share the story the exact same way. Incorporating storytelling into your personal branding efforts helps ensure that your stories are unique, authentic, and helps showcase your personality. That’s how you build authentic connections with your audience, and that’s how you become MEMORABLE.
If you’re a great leader, you’re probably good at storytelling already. Think back on how you got to where you’re at. How you get buy-in for new projects? How you get your team to come together and work towards a goal? How do you get investments? I’m sure you’re using stories. Now you just need to incorporate that into your content, and people will remember you and what you have to offer. You’ll stay top of mind and become the go-to person for your specific skills.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. There are a few more things that are important to do if you want your content to get noticed. But I believe these are the TOP THREE things you absolutely must master if you have a small audience and want your content to get noticed.
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Branding Tips to go from Overlooked to Noticed & Paid!