Influencer marketing on social media has taken off over the last decade. For platforms like Instagram, the popularity of influencers has increased at such a fast pace that the global market is expected to double by 2025, from 13.8 billion to 27.6 billion.
But not all businesses, brands, and products are meant to thrive on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. For those seeking a more formal, business-oriented approach, LinkedIn has emerged as a platform with immense potential.
Becoming a LinkedIn influencer means having a huge audience to work with, whether you’re promoting services or sharing your words of wisdom. It’s one of the best ways to build an audience online. More specifically, it’s a way to build an engaged audience — one that trusts your insight and follows your every word.
Of course, you can’t become a LinkedIn influencer overnight. But with time, consistency, and the right strategies, anyone can build an audience on LinkedIn.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about influencer marketing on LinkedIn, including step-by-step tips to become a LinkedIn influencer yourself.
What is a LinkedIn Influencer?
Given its business-focused niche, LinkedIn might not seem like a place where influencers would thrive. But with more than 800 million members, LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site in the world. There’s no better place to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.
So what exactly is a LinkedIn influencer? A LinkedIn influencer is someone who acts as a thought leader within their industry. As a business leader, entrepreneur, or innovator, they share organic content with their audience.
While they’re content creators, they’re also value providers. It’s the job of a LinkedIn influencer to act as an authority in their niche and use their wealth of knowledge to build meaningful relationships with their followers.
Why Do LinkedIn Influencers Matter?
All influencers build their audiences through personality. Like it or not, charisma and likability always play a factor. People want to see faces and voices that they resonate with.
What sets LinkedIn apart, however, is authority and trust. People follow these influencers because they deliver something of value, whether it’s industry insights, expert tips, or a look behind the business curtain. The voices of LinkedIn influencers tend to carry more weight. People pay close attention to what these influencers have to say and trust their insight.
When an influencer promotes a product or service, this foundation of trust makes their followers much more likely to buy. That's why LinkedIn is such a powerful platform to drive lead generation, and ultimately, conversions.
Top Examples of LinkedIn Influencers
Compared to influencers on other social media sites, LinkedIn influencers are unique. Seen as more professional and authoritative, these thought leaders can capture the attention of vast audiences, including important decision-makers.
To better understand the LinkedIn influencer, it helps to take a look at a few that have made an especially powerful impact. Here are three LinkedIn influencers making waves on the platform.
1. Neil Patel
Known as a successful digital marketing guru, Neil Patel uses his LinkedIn to share insights on how brands can improve their own digital strategies. With his content, you’ll get witty expertise that makes you rethink everything you thought you knew about online marketing.
2. Marsha Collier
Marsha Collier is the queen of e-commerce on LinkedIn. As the author of dozens of “For Dummies” books, she uses her time on LinkedIn to educate readers on e-commerce, social media marketing, and everything in between. Her engaging videos, discussions, and other posts are great at breaking down complex concepts.
3. Liz Ryan
Liz Ryan is the CEO and co-founder of Human Workplace, a company seeking to reinvent the way people work. In addition to publishing her expert human resources books, she writes engaging content on everything from increasing employee productivity to navigating work-life balance.
If you’d like to see more top-ranked LinkedIn influencers, refer to our post 10 Top LinkedIn Influencers to Follow.
6 Steps on How to Become a LinkedIn Influencer
Every year, LinkedIn releases its list of “Top Voices,” or influencers who have the most engagement. But you don’t need to compete against these massive public figures or world-famous CEOs to make your mark on this platform.
To be a successful influencer on LinkedIn, you just need to carve out your own sphere of influence. If you can prove your expertise and offer top-notch value, you can build an audience of your own.
Here are six steps you can take to reach coveted influencer status on LinkedIn.
1. Create a Personal Brand
The first step to LinkedIn success is establishing your personal brand. If you can’t define your brand — who you are, the content you create, how you position yourself — then it’s going to be hard to convince others to follow you.
A personal brand is what makes you different from other influencers. It’s the core of who you are, but it’s also a strategic choice. You’re not trying to appeal to every single user on LinkedIn — just the ones that matter.
Think about your ideal customers. What do they want to learn about you? What kind of pain points do they have, and how can you position yourself to solve them?
2. Build Trust With Your Audience
The foundation of LinkedIn is trust. Without trust, you can’t have influence — let alone all the lead-generating power that can come with the platform.
So, one of your first steps should be building trust with your audience. Be thoughtful about how you fill out your bio. Make sure you spell out clearly who you are, what you do, and why you’re professionally qualified to approach your niche.
Take the same approach when it comes to your content. Before you write an article or make a post, think about how you can approach the topic in a way that highlights your expertise. You don’t need to be a top expert in everything you talk about, but you should make sure the insight you provide is unique and intentional and caters to your strengths.
3. Tell a Story With Your Content
The best way to capture attention on any social media platform is by telling a story.
Through pictures, statements, blog posts, and more, think about how you can turn content into a narrative. It could be the story of your personal hardships, your journey as an entrepreneur, the challenges of building a company, or the ups and downs of the hiring market. Think about the experiences in your life where you learned valuable lessons. You can pass those lessons down to your audience too.
Don’t just write about your accomplishments, but also consider your setbacks. People seek out powerful and inspiring stories, but they crave relatable, vulnerable, and authentic content as well.
4. Bring Value to the Table
For any content marketing, value is key. In order to brand yourself as a thought leader, you need to consistently bring value to the table.
Whether you’re sharing an experience, showcasing valuable insights, or breaking down a complex topic for your audience, everything should have value. It doesn’t always have to be educational. A funny or relatable post can have value too, even if that value is just bringing a smile to someone’s face.
5. Make Your Audience Feel Included
Becoming a LinkedIn influencer is more than just posting content people want to read. It’s also about building an audience of engaged, invested people who feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
That’s why it’s so effective to bring your audience into the conversation. Through posts and captions, it can help to directly address your audience. Ask for comments from followers where they can share their insight on an issue or offer up a personal experience of their own. This makes followers feel included and valued by your brand, uniting people into a single community.
6. Set Yourself Apart
Even if you have a powerful brand and unique, valuable insights to share, it can still be hard to break through into LinkedIn success. After all, there’s no shortage of influencers already on the platform, no matter your industry.
If you want your voice to be heard, you need to stand out from the crowd. Think about the content you see on a daily basis and ask yourself: What hasn’t been done yet? What content is no one creating?
Think about ways to inject personality into your voice, whether you want to sound witty and relatable or confident and trustworthy. Even if your content isn’t wholly unique, people will gravitate toward strong and appealing personalities.
Don’t be afraid to post content that feels controversial. If you provoke your audience into a conversation, they won’t forget your content any time soon. To be clear, that doesn’t mean posting anything offensive or deceptive. Just think about a unique take you have on an issue that might initiate thoughtful debate. Challenging the status quo can lead to powerful insights.
How to Be a Top LinkedIn Influencer
LinkedIn influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for both personal brands and businesses. With a standout presence on the platform, you can build a strong network and attract high-quality leads.
But in order to succeed as an influencer on LinkedIn, you need to put in the time and work to grow your audience. People tend to follow voices they trust, so there’s often a lot of work for a would-be influencer to do before they start gaining momentum on the platform.
If you’re ready to level up your LinkedIn presence, look no further than Cleverly. With our expertly crafted content, we know exactly what you need to build your network, get engagement, and see results. Learn more about our LinkedIn content ghostwriting services today.