In this video, Maya shares common concerns she hears from students about publishing and how to overcome them, including: fear of publishing, the risk of damaging a brand, the risk of an employer disagreeing with the content or point-of-view.
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- I've traveled to several colleges and universities across the country, and I've worked with many students to bring their voices to LinkedIn. Along the way, I've heard some common concerns about publishing, some which you may have too. I want to share with you some of the most common concerns I've heard, from being afraid to publish to how people might receive it. Whatever it might be, these concerns are holding you back, and I want to share with you some tips on how you might overcome them. One of the things I hear the most is the fear of publishing. You just can't bring yourself to hit that publish button.
I get it, I understand. Putting yourself out there is scary. You might think, what if someone doesn't like what I write or what if I make a mistake? These are all valid concerns, but you don't have to allow your fear to keep you from putting your ideas out into the world. Sure, some may disagree or challenge your point of view, but that's okay. You might be introduced to a new viewpoint or get inspired to write something else. Bottom line, overcoming that fear starts with hitting publish. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
If you haven't published yet, I encourage you to use the writing ideas and tips I shared and add publishing to your to do list. You'll find that once you do it, the next time will be easier, and the time after that, too. Another concern I've heard is what if an employer or company disagrees with my point of view? That might be the case, but having a clear point of view is a great thing. Companies want to hire people who can think critically and come up with creative solutions. Sure, you may have detractors, but that's okay.
As one MBA student put it, in the marketplace of ideas which are online communities, well-reasoned opinion reigns supreme in engaging content. As long as you're not defaming anyone or writing anything incendiary, you'll be okay. Make sure that you have the evidence to back up your claims or opinions, and you should be in the clear. A good rule of thumb, if you're questioning the appropriateness of what you're writing about, maybe choose another topic. It helps to have a clear goal and a focus in mind when you write.
Ask yourself, who am I trying to reach? What is the point I'm trying to make? Do I have evidence to back up this viewpoint? What new insights can I bring as a young professional or as a student to this post? This will help you to focus it and ensure it doesn't run afoul with employers. Tied to this is another common concern I've heard, the fear of damaging your brand. If you think your post touches on a third rail topic, I suggest running a draft by a close friend or colleague.
Generally, you want to try and focus on topics within the professional sphere or on topics that would appeal to other students or professionals. Now this doesn't mean you're restricted to writing about just business or career topics. Personal experiences, news events, and the stuff that happens outside of the workplace is good too. Ultimately, if you think it might damage your brand, it's probably best to avoid it and not publish it. I don't work in a sexy field. This is another phrase I hear from students all the time about why they don't publish on LinkedIn, but consider this, the platform has more than 450 million professionals worldwide.
These members work in a variety of fields, HR, policy, information security, politics, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. What I'm saying is there's an audience in the industry or field that you want to work in or that you want to reach. As one LinkedIn campus editor pointed out, if you consider your LinkedIn to be your online resume, consider your posts to be your cover letters. Because posts live on your LinkedIn profile, which tells your professional story, any recruiter, potential employer, and others will see what you're writing, and if it fits your interests or the industry you want to go into, that's a win.
Maya Pope-Chappell, news editor at LinkedIn, shows newly graduated college students and first-time jobseekers—anyone who is just beginning to build a professional presence and personal brand—how to succeed on LinkedIn. She explains why, what, and how to write. She helps you figure out what topics get the most traction and shares the best practices for building an audience and establishing your brand.
- Why publish on LinkedIn?
- Figuring out what to write
- Choosing a good headline
- Publishing best practices
- Promoting your work
- Addressing comments
- Rocking your LinkedIn profile