Guest Column | September 2, 2021

3 Ways To Use LinkedIn To Position Yourself As An Industry Thought Leader

By Bob Woods, Social Sales Link

Leader Single Out

Consulting services provider Corporate Visions found that 74% of buyers chose the salesperson who was first to add value and insight into their situation. With that in mind, your goal as a channel professional is to be the thought leader to provide the most value and insights to your audience of prospects… first.

LinkedIn is the perfect place for you to become that expert in your industry through the content that you share. Put simply, your content must:

  • Create curiosity for your prospects
  • Teach them something new
  • Guide them to think differently about their current situation
  • Lead to your solution (not with your solution)

Your goal is to compel your audience of prospects to act based on your shares. Likes are nice and comments are even better. But it's best when your content entices them to either reach out and connect with you or to accept a connection from you. You have a higher likelihood of starting a conversation with them when they're interested enough in you to connect on LinkedIn.

With those four points in mind, you're ready to take the plunge and start posting. These content types go beyond the typical text post and will draw more attention to your shares:

Polls are great because you get to ask questions about topics your audience is interested in. At the same time, they encourage engagement among not only your 1st-degree connections but their connections as well (once your 1st-degrees like and comment). Before you publish your own poll, you'll need to define your goal from the poll and determine a topic your audience would want to vote on.

Documents that you upload to LinkedIn as PDFs or PowerPoints – I recommend PDFs – are an excellent way to share your thought leadership with others. Think of them as mini eBooks where you can dive into some detail about your area of expertise. Include text, graphs, photos, and so on to make them visually attractive. Also, LinkedIn's algorithm loves documents right now, which means they'll get more exposure in your connections' timelines than other forms of content like regular posts.

Videos that you upload to LinkedIn (as opposed to linking to a YouTube video) work very well as people love to watch them and the LinkedIn algorithm favors them in newsfeed placement as well. You can interview other experts in your field or provide your own insights. Either of these can be recorded in Zoom, as it allows you to download video files. They can be as long as 10 minutes, although I suggest keeping them between 90 seconds and three to five minutes. If you want them edited or have a certain "look" to them, you can outsource the post-production to freelancers on UpWork of Fiverr.

A different path to take involves flipping "sharing" on its head. Besides publishing your own content, commenting on other people's shares will boost your thought-leadership efforts. By commenting on other's content, you're sharing your thought leadership to people who might not ordinarily see it; namely, the 1st-degree connections of the person whose post you're commenting on. When others reply to your comment, your reach will grow even more through their connections.

When you leave these comments, you must contribute your specific expertise on the topic being discussed. A "Great post!" comment doesn't help you prove that you're the thought leader in your channel or industry. Be thoughtful and share vendor-agnostic value (again, don't lead with your solution) in these comments.

You can become recognized as a thought leader in your industry by sharing content on LinkedIn. It'll take some thought and work. When you find yourself in that 74% crowd with your prospects, though, the results you'll see in your bottom line – and your wallet – will be worth it.

About The Author

Bob WoodsWhen LinkedIn launched in 2003, Bob Woods was one of the first people to sign up. He's taken his lengthy study of the platform and combined it with his sales experience to consult and train in LinkedIn for social selling at companies large and small for the past 7 years.

If you're looking into learning more about LinkedIn and social selling for your team, please contact him at, connect with him on LinkedIn, or schedule a 15-minute call.