LinkedIn Creator Mode: Is It Worthwhile?

Creator Mode: the path to more engagement?


I am not sold on Creator Mode. Not yet anyway. 

Let’s talk about Creator Mode.

I got an email a few weeks ago from LinkedIn inviting me to use Creator Mode on LinkedIn. I have known about Creator Mode for a while now. It is one of a series of new features (video, LinkedIn Live, LinkedIn newsletters, Service Pages and so on) that are in various stages of being rolled out. As a lot of these things are experiments, I am usually cautious about embracing them, but I have been writing and publishing on LinkedIn for five or six years now and anything promising value for writers is something I am interested in exploring. This email prompt encouraged me to give Creator Mode a more indepth look.

In a nutshell, Creator Mode makes and allows some changes to your LinkedIn profile.

The first is you can create up to five hashtags related to topics you write about to put on your profile.

This is interesting, but strikes me as superfluous. I already use three hashtags on all my content. And if someone sees my content, it’s not like they don’t know how to then go to my profile. I don’t really see the big “value add” in this one.

Next up, the Featured and Activity sections of your profile get moved to the top so they are more visible. This sounds good, but it is not as big a deal as LinkedIn makes it out to be. When I look at my profile, under my headline are:

  1. A short section with come ons from LinkedIn urging me to add “open to work”, or that I am hiring someone, or I should add a service page to my profile
  2. A section with suggestions on how to strengthen my profile
  3. My personal dashboard section
  4. And another section showing I have things like Salary Insights turned off
  5. My About section
  6. My Featured Content
  7. My Activity
  8. My first Experience section

So on face value, it looks like I have a lot of clutter and Creator Mode would move my good stuff to the top. But all of these first four sections are only visible to me, not to profile visitors. Visitors to my Profile just see my About section as the first thing. Adopting Creator Mode appears to be just the same thing as saying “we will move the truncated two line “About” section down below your activity.” Hmm, not as big a deal after all.

Well, what else is there to Creator Mode? The default changes so that your “Connect” button becomes a “Follow,” button, “to help you engage your community and build a following.”

I find this – and LinkedIn’s seeming fixation on following – to be really odd. I don’t seem to see any more content and activity from people I follow than I do from my connections. So why would I follow someone instead of connecting with them? If I am connected to someone I can send them messages and see who they are connected with (a vastly undervalued benefit of connecting).

Unless LinkedIn is going to make major changes to the algorithm to promote following, this idea just doesn’t make sense to me. And if they were making changes to the algo, you would think they would do that first, and then offer this change to take advantage of it.

Finally, your number of followers gets more prominently displayed. The number will appear up top under your headline. This is nice…if you already have a ton of followers. I am fortunate in that I have around ten thousand followers. So for me, this would be a nice feature, and gives me a bit of credibility. But if this had been there six years ago when I was just getting going in publishing content on LinkedIn, and my followers were in the hundreds? I am not so sure.

The bottom line is I am not sold. If LinkedIn can be shown to be boosting distribution of Creator Mode people’s content, that would be a different story. Or if they were showing Creator Mode people as people you may want to follow, same thing. But to mind, it’s just not enough, there’s something missing here.

I would be interested in your comments if you have tried Creator Mode. Are people in Creator Mode getting more distribution for their posts? Other benefits?

The obligatory disclaimer: I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. For some reason LinkedIn gave me early access to the LinkedIn Newsletter. Does that make me a thought leader? I hope not. I hate that term, it’s just pompous. And don’t get me started on “guru.”

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer, or the tangent on the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two or three articles like the one above, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: