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4 Ways to Maximise Your LinkedIn Profile for Thought Leadership

by LinkedIn Marketing, LinkedIn Profile

If you’re responsible for the LinkedIn presence for your organisation, this article will help you become the ‘go to’ for how to maximise your leader’s LinkedIn presence for thought leadership. It provides an overview of the LinkedIn Profile experience for professionals wishing to build their influence on LinkedIn.

1. Embrace the Power of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like a virtual room, and your profile is you, networking as you.  The behaviours are different to those expected of you on more ‘social’ platforms. It’s less about being a content creator and more about being a community leader.  The LinkedIn Profile can be leveraged as your 24/7 online ambassador.  As a LinkedIn member you are part of a community where you can contribute to conversations as well as share your own perspective.

Your LinkedIn profile is a professional landing page for you to manage your own personal brand.  It’s a great way for you to let people know who you are, what you do and how you can help by showcasing the relevant components of your professional experiences and achievements.  I recommend you use your LinkedIn profile to add a personal touch to give people a sense of your unique approach and perspective, as well as your subject matter expertise.

5 Ways to Maximise Your LinkedIn Profile for Thought Leadership


2. Establish Your Thought Leadership

If the communities you wish to influence are on LinkedIn then it’s time to master the mindset of a LinkedIn Thought Leader. To get maximum value from LinkedIn you need to commit to this platform as your first choice when you open your phone or look at your desktop each day. Why? Because showing up consistently and liking, commenting and posting value adding content is part of being a Thought Leader on LinkedIn.

The 2021 LinkedIn-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report* identified that “earning trust and credibility with decision-makers requires strong thought leadership — especially if you are not an established market leader”.  However, the stakes are higher than ever before and you need a strategy.  The report also identified that “a pandemic-induced glut of low-quality content is diluting the perceived value of thought leadership among B2B decision-makers.” And while “thought leadership remains critical to customer engagement . . breaking through the noise is harder than ever.”

The good news is that cultivating your personal brand on LinkedIn also has personal benefits. Establishing your thought leadership online helps you be clearer about the impact you want to have on others and the difference you want to make for your community and, dare I say, the world!  The Impact Report states that “high-performing thought leadership strikes a balance between being authoritative and provocative yet human in tone and even fun . . . and now is a good time to re-evaluate whether your thought leadership strategy is meeting your customers’ needs.”

Sharing Updates from Your LinkedIn Profile

Sharing a post from an authoritative source is a great way to establish your thought leadership by demonstrating you are part of a bigger conversation and have a perspective to add.  Your LinkedIn homepage provides daily opportunities to learn about your network and share professional updates and content.  You can post and share content on LinkedIn using the share box at the top of the LinkedIn homepage. What you share will depend on your focus for LinkedIn. Consider a mix of curated and original content.  If you’ve taken the time to clean up your newsfeed you’ll see more relevant updates. 

Consider the role of the following content sharing features to help build your thought leadership on LinkedIn:

  • LinkedIn article (or LinkedIn newsletter, if you’re in Creator mode)
  • PDF guides or reports
  • Polls designed to start a meaningful discussion
  • Videos (or LinkedIn live, if you’re approved and have access to this feature)
  • Photos of events you attend, lead or speak (make sure you have people’s permission to share these so you can tag them and use alt text in images to ensure your photos are accessible to members with visual impairments)
  • Share updates from your organisation’s company page along with a commentary. Mention people and organisations if relevant.

If you’ve activated Creator mode I recommend you share content consistent with the 5 hashtags you commentate on.  In this mode you also have the option to publish a regular newsletter and apply for LinkedIn Live.  Once you post an update, it will be shared publicly, on Twitter (if connected to your LinkedIn account – here’s how) with your connections, or with a LinkedIn Group depending on the visibility you choose.


3. Optimise your LinkedIn Profile

An optimised LinkedIn profile helps you tell a complete story and leverage the free thought leadership features available.  There are many sections you can display on your profile. The main ones I encourage you to review and update include:

  • Name
  • Profile photo
  • Profile Video (activated via phone)
  • Background image
  • Headline
  • Link in intro card (Creator mode)
  • Featured Section
  • Current position
  • Education
  • Location
  • Industry
  • Contact Info
  • About Section
  • Open to: Providing services, hiring and [finding a new job, which is more relevant for job seekers than small business owners].
  • Experience: Professional positions and experience, including jobs, volunteering, military, board of directors, nonprofit, or pro sports.
  • Education: School and educational information.
  • Recommendations: You can request professional recommendations from your peers.
  • Certifications: Industry specific certifications or licenses you’ve attained.
  • Honours & Awards: Showcasing milestone achievements.
  • Organisations: Show your professional memberships and involvement with communities that are important to you.
  • Skills & Endorsements: A relevant list of skills acts as social proof and can be associated with specific roles.
  • Volunteer experience: Highlight your passions and how you’ve contributed to the community.

Creator mode enables you to unlock an additional suite of features for your LinkedIn profile. Activating this feature requires a strategy to achieve your LinkedIn goals.  Read more here about How to Decide if LinkedIn Creator Mode is for You.


4. Stay Informed with the LinkedIn Newsfeed

Your LinkedIn newsfeed contains updates from your network, companies, and interests that you follow, recommended content, and sponsored content.  You can customise your feed experience to ensure you’re engaging with conversations that matter to you. Unfortunately you can not influence the promoted posts in your newsfeed.

Take control of your LinkedIn newsfeed by reviewing My Network and curating which connections and companies you follow, newsletters you subscribe to and groups you contribute to.  Your LinkedIn activity is what you follow, like, comment on, and who you message.  This activity impacts the types of content seen in your feed. 

5 Ways to Maximise Your LinkedIn Profile for Thought Leadership

Here are some ways to control and customise the content that appears in your feed:

  • Follow, unfollow, or mute people and companies: If you want to get updates from a member or company on your feed, you can choose to follow them. You can also ‘ring the bell’ on the profile of an individual you follow or are connected to (see image above) to ensure you see all of their updates. You have the option to unfollow or mute an individual or company if you no longer want to see updates from them on your feed.
  • Tell LinkedIn what you dislike: If you see content in your feed that you don’t believe to be high-quality or relevant to you, you can hide the post by selecting I don’t want to see this from the More dropdown on the upper right of the post. Upon selecting this option, you can let LinkedIn know more details, such as not wanting to see this topic anymore. Unfortunately you can not stop receiving promoted posts, as this is how LinkedIn funds the platform and why your membership is ‘free’ (assuming you are yet to invest in LinkedIn Premium or Sales Navigator).
  • Flag inappropriate content: You can report inappropriate or offensive content to help keep LinkedIn constructive and safe. Here’s how.
  • Sort updates: You can control if your feed shows recent updates or top updates at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. This feature is only available on the desktop experience.
  • Communication settings: Some of your feed updates may be delivered as push notifications and/or emails. You can control these by customising your email settings and push notification settings.


*Source: 2021 LinkedIn-Edelman B2B Thought Leadership Impact Report

Feature Image Source: Urlaubstracker

Karen Hollenbach

Karen Hollenbach

As the Founding Director of Think Bespoke I help individuals and organisations unlock their potential with LinkedIn. Sign up to my E-insights for LinkedIn tips.

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