We all know someone who says they’re going to write that book…someday. They’re going to give a TEDx talk…someday. They’re going to make a difference in the world…someday.
Maybe that person is you. You have good intentions but you get busy and things don’t happen.
I know how it goes, because I’ve been there. Every highly influential person has been there. Perhaps the only difference between those people and you is that they’ve failed more times than you’ve tried.
A lot of bright, intelligent people who are capable of becoming highly influential get through the first four Systems of Influence and then they stop. As a result, their message doesn’t reach their audience, nobody knows they exist, and nothing happens. Their vision never becomes reality.
Highly influential people have an Action System that makes it easy for them to create compelling content strategically, and regularly. Today, you’re going to create yours.
[taken from LinkedIn short email course, needs rewrite and expansion for book]
LinkedIn Overhaul Step #5 — Your Action Plan
The idea of writing a 500-page masterpiece can be paralyzing. Instead, write a short book of poems or stories. Long projects are daunting. Start small. — Jeff Goins
How might you apply Jeff’s advice to your own content on LinkedIn?
Here’s one way I did it for myself. If you want to copy this idea and adapt it for your own genius zone and audience, feel free.
A few months ago I decided I wanted to see if I could build a following of people on Instagram who were interested in LinkedIn tips. When I started posting these tips to my Instagram account, I didn’t know how many tips I would create…actually, scratch that. I knew I would create at least one, and then try to do one a day after that. I thought I might make it through one week, maybe two.
I created a very simple content calendar in a Google doc that looked like this:
I create a simple graphic that contained the tip, and then posted the text with it on Instagram and added some hashtags.
It took me all of perhaps 10 minutes to create this post.
The next day, I created another one. I knew it would only take a few minutes, after all. Then the next day I created another, then another, and so on. After a week or two, I realized I wasn’t going to stop, so I began posting the graphics and text to LinkedIn each day as well, where they’ve generated several hundred thousand views. You can find them by searching for the hashtag #linkedindailytip.
I stopped at 60, not because I ran out of ideas, but because I was afraid if I didn’t stop I might go to 90. 60 seemed like a good number to stop at.
I’m now beginning a second series of tips. These tips will help you solve that problem of saying “I don’t know what to post on LinkedIn…” It’s going to be a series of prompts to get your creative juices flowing to help you come up with tons of interesting content to post. I know it will work, because I’ve already done it.
The point of sharing this is that it shows how a simple plan that doesn’t require a lot of time can lead to a lot of compelling content. In fact, the simpler your plan, the better.
If you want, you can adapt my action plan for yourself. If you find yourself saying the same things over and over to clients and customers, you’ve probably got the material in your head to come up with a great series of tips. This is just one way to get started, the important thing is that your Action System works for you.
Homework: Create Your LinkedIn Action Plan
As we create your LinkedIn action plan, keep in mind the following:
- Start small and keep it simple.
- Be strategic. With the first email in this series we established your vision. Every piece of content you create for LinkedIn should help make that vision reality. The heart of strategy is knowing what not to do. If you have an idea for content, but you can’t tie it to your vision, don’t do it.
- Analyze. How will you measure success? Set standards ahead of time so you know whether your content is having the desired effect or not. Hint: Don’t use “likes” as your metric. I also wouldn’t get to hung up on the number of comments early on. You might use a simpler, more realistic measure like saying that if each post generates at least one thoughtful discussion or high quality connection, that’s good enough for now.
- Repeat. Each time you create content and complete your analysis, incorporate the feedback you’ve received and make the next piece of content better.
Alright, let’s do this!
- Create a content calendar. Use whatever technology works best for you. I like the simplicity and features of a Google doc. You may prefer a spreadsheet, your calendar, writing it in a journal first, or some sort of project management or organizational software. It doesn’t matter as long as it works for you. At a minimum, it will need to be easy to access, easy to use, and help you keep track of what you’re posting and when.
- Create a 1-month plan. Specify which days you will post on. This will depend on how much content you can create each week. I wouldn’t recommend posting more than once per day on LinkedIn until you feel quite comfortable with what you’re doing. I rarely post more than once a day myself, as I find the content pieces seems to interfere with each other. However, I would post once a week at a minimum.
- Create your first post. What’s the smallest step you can take? Is it a 1-minute video? Is it a quick text post? If you’re not sure where to start, follow the advice given by Marcus Sheridan in his book They Ask, You Answer and answer a common question your audience has.
- Create your next four posts. If you have a long list of questions customers ask and which you can answer then this will be easy.
- Post, and engage. After each post, it’s critical that you respond to anyone who comments on your post. Even if all they say is “Great stuff!” then follow up with “Thank you! What was the most interesting part to you?” Do anything you can (without being awkward) to get a discussion going. As you do, the post will attract more attention and more comments you can respond to.
- Analyze. Give each post 2–3 days, which is when traffic to a post tends to taper off. What worked? What didn’t? Why?
- Repeat. After the first week, create your content for the next week, building on what you learned during the first week.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be in the 1% of top content creators on LinkedIn within one month, and I guarantee you’ll already see substantial results flowing to you because of your content. After a year, you’ll be in the 0.01%, and the results will be even greater.
[Thinking about putting productivity and planning in here.]
There is one main reason why we procrastinate: It rewards us with temporary relief from stress. — Neil Fiore
Confidence is a habit that can be developed by acting as if you already had the confidence you desire to have. — Brian Tracy
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success. — Pablo Picasso
Writing is mostly learned through practice; talent often boils down to having the discipline to write regularly and frequently. — Jane Friedman
Burning the ships
5 Simple Steps To Escape The “I’ll Start Tomorrow” Trap
You’ve probably heard something similar to the following phrase:
Write. Write now. Edit later.
No action can be action
Hope, fear, and confidence (Brian Tracy quote)
Why we get paralyzed
What holds us back from our potential
Public speaking #1 fear
Fear of being “that guy,” don’t want to be self promoter
Anything we do repeatedly gets easier
Tools to help you act and avoid paralysis (affirmations, positive self-talk)
Why you have writer’s block
Journaling, other helps to step back and see yourself objectively
Your content creation setup doesn’t need to be perfect
Story of how I became a coach:
Ever wanted to be an executive coach? Who would you coach? What would your focus be?
I never thought about it until 2015 when someone offered me $1K/month to coach her.
“Me?” I asked. “Coach you on what?”
“I want to get into Forbes and other publications, like you have. I want to market my book. I want to build up my personal brand. Can you teach me how to do it?”
I told her I’d think about it. Then I turned her down. I wasn’t sure coaching was my thing. Plus, I didn’t feel like I knew how to be a good coach, and if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right.
Then another person asked if they could hire me, and another, and another. I looked into it seriously, and decided to give it a try.
The first thing I did was I got my own coach.
Then I read all the executive coaching books I could get my hands on.
Then I signed up clients. Today I charge $5K per month and require a 12-month commitment. My goal is to get to $10K per month within the next year.
Sure, the money’s good, but as I believe any coach will tell you–we don’t do it for the money. We do it because it’s a ton of fun to see someone’s life change and be part of it.
[Pasting Productivity system here, or in other words removing productivity as a separate system.]
System 7: Productivity
The more productive you are, the more opportunity you have to serve others with your influence. If you are restricted from producing as much purposeful content as you could, your influence is limited, and the world is poorer for it. Your Productivity System helps you influence more, faster.
“If you have more than three priorities, you don’t have any.” — Jim Collins
Kimanzi writing 15 articles each week
Murray Rothbard writing tons of books
It’s not about being super busy, it’s not about producing huge volume for the sake of volume, it’s about impact (look at To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee’s success with just one book — https://www.bustle.com/articles/142981-did-harper-lee-write-any-other-books-heres-why-the-author-didnt-continue-past-the-mockingbird)
Writing half hour per day or two pages per day, first thing?
Morning routines, Hal Elrod, Miracle Morning
Physical fitness, role in productivity, clear thinking
Getting enough sleep, Arianna Huffington, Michael Hyatt
Cleanliness, neat environment, Steve Jobs spartan environment (but also look at opposites, prolific writers who created in messy offices), different minds (photographic vs. process thinking, Zen and Motorcycle Maintenance)
Less is more Leo Babauta, Zen state of mind
Dave Allen — GTD
- The ONE Thing book
What if you could influence more?
Tools — content calendar
The Power of Habit
Putting your audience to work
Cloning yourself, working with an assistant
Priorities, first things first, big rocks
Workspaces, David McCullough shack, others in cafes, offices, studios, etc.
Ryan Holiday note/card system