Why Writing Good Content Is Worth The Effort


Because it yields results way out of proportion to the time and effort you put into it.

When you put the time and effort into your writing, it shows in the results.

When you think hard about what your prospective reader really wants to see, it shows in the results

When you take the time to think all around the subject you are writing about, it shows in the results.

When you write from the standpoint of thinking “What’s in it for them? And how do I give it to them?”, it shows in the results.

When you get input from your readers, and take that into account when you write, it shows in the results.

When I write, I have two things going for me: After writing hundreds and hundreds of LinkedIn posts, articles, blog posts and now newsletters, I have a pretty good idea what my readers want to know more about.

The second thing I have going for me is I am willing to take the time to write it out and explain my thinking. I take my first draft and put it away for a week and come back to it with fresh eyes. Then I usually take that draft and edit it again before it goes in a newsletter or on LinkedIn or my blog.

I write three newsletters a week, a blog post or two, and usually an article or post on LinkedIn. Writing, editing, and posting takes me around 12 hours a week. That is significant. And it is also untouchable. If I have work for my clients that is cramping me for time, then I write in the evening or on the weekend, but that writing is going to get done, and I am going to put the time into writing it that it deserves.

And it shows in the results. The average open rate for consulting and coaching newsletters is nine percent. The open rate for my three newsletters is just under forty percent (and by the way, thanks to all my subscribers for that).

Put the time and effort into your writing. It will show in your results.

Should You Have A LinkedIn Company Page?  

This may seem like a silly question, but there is a case to be made for not having a company page – or as LinkedIn calls them these days a “LinkedIn Page.”
Here are the pros and cons of just what you can do with a Page and what a Page can do for you. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.
Con – Your reach with your Company posts will be pretty poor
The fact is LinkedIn just does not distribute company page content that much. Yesterday, I got a notification that one company I follow had published a post. This company publishes two or three times a week. This was the first notification I had received or post I had seen this year. Your organic reach just isn’t there. I have even seen conjecture that LinkedIn will go to a pay-for distribution model like Facebook’s.
Con – It takes work!
Setting up a Page is easy. Populating it with really good content – on a regular basis – is another story. Pages need content, and the more the merrier. And that content needs to do one thing: show the visitor that you have the answers to their questions. Your content should be “benefits loaded”, that is less about your capabilities and more about your customer’s results. Even for companies that have that mindset, coming up with a steady stream of that content is a lot of work.
Pro – A Page allows your Company to be found on LinkedIn
Your description and the keywords, phrases and the company specialties you list all provide “hooks” that searchers on LinkedIn can use to find your company. I think this is a vastly undervalued part of a LinkedIn Page, and many companies do not take advantage of it. And it only takes five minutes to set up or fix.
Pro – You can use it to establish your credibility
This would be the role of that content I talked about above. Establishing credibility is a missing part of many companies’ sales process. You need to have credibility in order to be considered your prospect’s purchasing team. A Company Page is a good place to start that ball rolling, because then you can send them…
Pro – You can use your Page to send people back to your website
LinkedIn doesn’t really give you much room to stretch out and write posts – the character limit for Page posts is 700 characters including spaces and punctuation, and you can’t say very much in that amount of space. The solution is a teaser for your content and then have a link back to the content on your website.
Conclusion & Recommendations
A company page is good for credibility, but not for reach. For companies with the resources to keep up with the commitment to write good content, a Page is worthwhile. If you work for yourself, I would suggest that you can do a good job building your credibility without a Page by publishing articles – which can be found via LinkedIn Search, and are also indexed by Google Search.

A LinkedIn feature that should be ignored: Your weekly search stats

Why being a grain of sand in this photo can be like being found in LinkedIn Search Results

 

This just in: No one is searching for you.

Every week, LinkedIn slips you a notification that says something like: “You appeared in 412 searches this week”. You can then click on it and go to learn more about “your searchers”.

Take it from someone who knows: “You appeared in 412 searches this week.” is about as disingenuous a statement as you will ever read. 

Here are five reasons why “Your Weekly Search Stats” should be ignored:

  1. You are not told where you ranked in those search results. LinkedIn doesn’t say whether you were on page 1 – and likely to be seen listed in the results – or on page 27, where you will hardly ever be seen. When was the last time you performed a Google search and reviewed all the results?
  2. LinkedIn shows you five companies where your searchers work. This has absolutely zero value because you don’t know what these people were searching for. Was it the HR department looking for employees? Was it someone researching an industry? A vendor doing research? A salesperson looking for prospects?
  3. LinkedIn shows you what your searchers do. Again, with no context, what am I to think of this? Six percent of the people whose searches I turned up in last week were “Founders”. Of what? IBM? Fred’s Flower Shop?
  4. LinkedIn will tell you what keywords they used to search. In my case they were VP Marketing, Coach and Consultant. The last time I was a VP Marketing was the late 90’s.
  5. And this is the biggest one, which ties all the others together:

Most LinkedIn users have no clue how to search effectively. 

They put titles in the search box instead of searching by title…they search too broadly by geography…and they get too many results, most of them garbage results. Those are the searches you showed up in. 

Let me summarize with an example: I just stopped writing for a moment, hopped on LinkedIn and did a search for people in North America. So congratulations, if you are a LinkedIn member and live in North America, you just showed up in my search results….with 180 million other people. But my search will be one of the ones you showed up in when you get your weekly search stats next week. 

You may turn up in LinkedIn search results, but that does not mean the searchers are looking at your profile. Or even looking for you at all.

I publish weekly newsletters on using LinkedIn for Sales, LinkedIn for Marketing and Advanced LinkedIn Strategies and Tactics. Each of these 3 is typically a two or three minute read and contains useful ideas you can put into practice right away.

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