So, You Want to be A LinkedIn Influencer?

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The path to becoming a LinkedIn Influencer has been shrouded in mystery. But, a new publishing feature now allows for more people to share their expertise with connections and industry relations.

The feature comes with a slew of updates, wherein the site has expanded to feature companies, information, and individuals known as “Influencers” to make the user experience more “sticky” and engaging.

LinkedIn Influencers are an exclusive group of industry experts who LinkedIn has handpicked to become leading voices on the platform. It’s hard to sneak past the velvet ropes, as there is no application process to become a part of its Influencer collective.

But what about the rest of us?

Our opportunity to join the VIP lounge comes through the new ability to publish “long-form posts.”

LinkedIn recently invited some of its members to share said posts through the site’s new publishing tool which was only shared with select individuals.

Eventually, according to the official statement on the network, all members will be able to publish these posts “about their expertise and interests,” but they should keep in mind that “publishing a long-form post on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you’re a LinkedIn Influencer.” Fair enough.

Writing your own long-form posts (blogging, essentially) is a chance to showcase your expertise, viewpoints, and experience. These posts will eventually be embedded in your profile, so make sure they are well written, relevant to your experience and industry, and professional. LinkedIn users are also invited to comment on each other’s posts, and engage the community in lively, work-related discussion. This means that anyone who wants to be seen as more of an authority via LinkedIn should roll up his or her sleeves and start looking at blogging best practices.

These updates are helping LinkedIn become more engaging and relevant than ever. According to a recently released survey findings from the Pew Research Internet Project 28% of adults used LinkedIn in 2014, an increase from 22% in 2013. While the platform hasn’t overtaken Facebook, the numbers are up, reporting more users than Instagram and Twitter.

LinkedIn is poised to become a serious contender in establishing one’s professional persona. With more employers looking beyond the resume, the platform has already become key in finding and hiring candidates, and these latest updates will make it even easier to share your expertise and set yourself apart from the crowd.

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