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:

Solving The “I don’t know what to write about on LinkedIn” Problem

“I don’t know what to write about.” is one of the two objections I get when I talk to people about writing content for LinkedIn or elsewhere.

If you are one of those people, here is an exercise that will help. Take out a pad and pen, or open a new document on your laptop. 

Answer these questions. Take your time. 

1) What is the specific problem that your product or service solves for your client?

If you can’t answer this one, your problems are bigger than not knowing what to write about! 

2) What issues do your clients face?

What do they need to do that they can’t do now? Or what they want to do, but they don’t have enough information to tackle it yet. Note that the answer to these questions may be as simple as “increase sales by 5%” or as complex as “address new market opportunity.” 

3) What is their current solution? 

How are they addressing the issues in question number two currently? 

4) Why are they unhappy with it?

This is the “gap” question, and it is critical. What is your prospect’s perceived gap between where they are now and where they would like to be? 

5) What information do they need?

In order to close the gap, they need to do something. The information they need may range from something as simple as “how do we get a little bit better at what we are already doing” to something more open ended like “is it possible to close the gap?”

6) How do we reduce the fear of making a wrong decision?

This is where we come in. We are in possession of the information they need to feel comfortable with the decisions they are making. In the end, it’s all about risk. And your customer wants to know how they can lower the risk of doing something.

7) What kind of information will help the client?

What specific information can we provide that will help them in their decision making? 

8) Is it targeted at a specific personna?

Who does your information target? The user, the buyer, the technical influencer? You may need to tailor your content for the specific audience you have in mind. 

9) How does this content help me reach my business goals?

What specifically does providing this content do for me? Provide credibility? Proof that they belong in the funnel? Proof they don’t? 

10) Does this information help the client?

Sanity check: this had better help the client and not just help me!

And another thing: At the top I mentioned two objections I always get. The other objection is “I don’t write that well.” Which is b.s. Everyone of us can tell stories, it’s in our nature as human beings. A lot of my work with my clients is helping them see that they have a lot of good stories that their prospective customers would find interesting and educational. 

For all you reluctant writers and publishers ut there, repeat after me: 

“This isn’t’ rocket science.”

Have a process.

Work the process.

Get feedback.

Adjust the process.

Repeat the process.


The Curse Of Second Guessing Yourself


This is for anyone who writes or has considered writing on LinkedIn. When I talk with people about publishing on LinkedIn, this idea comes up a lot. 

When I publish an article, a post or one of my newsletters, I want to educate and inform the people that read it on how to more effectively use LinkedIn, or at least to get them to question how they are using LinkedIn. 

Probably the biggest question I ask myself after I finish writing something is “Is this good enough?”  

Often I will look at what I have written and say to myself “this one seems pretty thin” and wonder whether this is something I really want to publish. Then I go ahead and publish it anyway and the article I questioned will get a pile of views and drive a ton of engagement. 

It took me quite a while, but eventually I figured out that I was fighting my instincts. My instincts, my gut feeling based on having written and published hundreds of posts and articles about using LinkedIn, and having reviewed the feedback each and every one of those had received, my instincts were telling me that this was a good post. But the “intellectual me” was overthinking things and thinking that this post or article was mundane. I was forgetting that my readership doesn’t live and breathe LinkedIn all day every day like I do. 

It is way too easy to overthink this stuff. When I am sending an outreach message, I ask myself what the other person wants, and how can I show them that I can help them get it? I don’t have exotic tricks and word games and closing techniques and hokum like that. There are best practices to follow in order to get your message opened and read, but it really is that simple. 

So today’s message is: It’s simpler than you think.

There’s a reason you have a gut instinct – it’s based on your experience.

Go with that instinct.

It may not be correct or the best move all the time but you will save a huge amount of time and angst in letting your instincts guide you. 

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.

Want more like this? I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two to four articles, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page: