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If you only share original content on LinkedIn, you are my hero. Most people just don’t find the time to write enough to be considered active.

This is why likes and shares are your friends. But be careful. After all, when it comes to LinkedIn, you are what you share.

Watching your feed and sharing helpful information can keep you visible on LinkedIn from day to day. (We’ll talk about original content creation in the next article in this series.)

This is the second of three articles with steps to make your LinkedIn profile work for you. Here’s the first article, explaining how to make your LinkedIn profile work its hardest.

Everything you do on LinkedIn reflects who you are…and aren’t

In my last article, I quoted Artie Isaac, who says, “Looking at my LinkedIn profile is a lot like meeting me.”

The same is true of the content you share. It should reflect who you are. If it doesn’t, you’re not standing out from the other 10,000 mortgage brokers in Canada.

Your likes and shares are valuable

Your likes and shares affect what people in your network see. They’ll understand what’s important to you and how you see the industry. It might help them decide if you are somebody they’d like to work with.

Plus, when you like someone’s content, you approve it AND you help promote them.

Your LinkedIn account reflects you, so you need to know what your brand is

What do your clients say about you? What do they value? That can help you decide what you want to reflect about yourself on LinkedIn.

In turn, that can help you decide what to like and share.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share anything outside of the mortgage business. If it reflects you and your personality, it will help people get to know you.

Just do it with a plan in mind and keep it in proportion with the other topics in your feed.

Know who you’re talking to, even when it seems like nobody is listening

Who is your client, or prospect? What are they interested in? Make a list of topics THEY want to know more about.

Concentrate on finding content (either from your network or in credible publications) that supports those topics.

Build a steady stream of great content to your feed

Who you follow affects the quality of what you see. If there are leaders in your industry, trade publications or important groups to follow, make sure you’re following them.

like share followThen, be selective with your shares

Like I said, they’re valuable. They are how people you don’t know decide they’d like to work with you. Here are 8 points to consider before you like or share.

Is it:

  1. Relevant – is it what your audience wants to read?
  2. Timely – it doesn’t have to be new, but if it’s older, has it been overused? Is it obviously out of date?
  3. Reliable – consider the source. Is it credible? Is it biased? If it quotes Gandhi, did Gandhi actually say it?
  4. Convenient – before you share, make sure any links aren’t behind a paywall. Check that it’s easy for your audience to read, without a lot of ads.
  5. Appropriate for LinkedIn – is the content going to build your professional reputation? Is it more suitable for Facebook?
  6. Too promotional – you should like and share your company’s content, but don’t over-promote yourself. Every so often it’s fine, but it shouldn’t overshadow other, neutral content.
  7. From a competitor – does it quote a competitor? If you check carefully, was it written by a competitor?
  8. Political or controversial – It’s OK to be controversial if you want that to be part of your professional persona.

LinkedIn like featureFinally, go beyond the “like”

A like is a good way to start interacting. After all, it’s basically an approval of what the person has said. Your audience can see what you’ve liked. A like can help a colleague gain exposure too, so they’ll be grateful for your support.

But if you really want to have an impact, go beyond the like and give it a comment and/or share. This is where you can add your own commentary. And don’t miss the opportunity to add your spin or your feedback. If you’re stuck for something to say, pull out something you’ve learned or found interesting. Presto, there’s your commentary!

Clearly, even when it’s not your own content, you can really build your brand and professional profile on LinkedIn. And remember, if it’s not within the scope of yourself or your team to manage, professional help is always an option.

Watch for our next article about creating and getting the most mileage from your original content.

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