B2B Thought Leadership: How to Standout on LinkedIn

Posted by Pamela Keniston

A powerful LinkedIn summary can help you stand out as a B2B thought leader.

As a B2B thought leader you no doubt strive to clearly define your leadership in a way that sets you apart from the swarms of self-appointed experts that flood today's business world. And it's likely you're using online platforms that enhance the validity of your brand, providing solid proof that you can deliver what you promise. 

According to Social Media London's handy-dandy infographic, Linkedin currently has more than 200 million users, and it's safe betting that you're among them. It also notes that 64% of Linkedin users are located outside of the United States, making global partnerships easier than ever. In fact, networking is seen as one of the prime functions of Linkedin. How can you gain more acess to this ever-growing pool of potential connections?


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Using Topics and Key Words to Become Visible

Just like any tangible tool, Linkedin is most useful when wielded properly. Creating a powerful summary in your profile is crucial to B2B thought leadership. Leaving your summary blank is equivelant to sitting down at an interview and just handing over your resume without a word.Your summary is essentially your first impression. It's that moment where your potential employer asks you to tell her about yourself. You certainly don't want to draw a blank when that happens. 

Follow these helpful tips to create a killer Linkedin profile summary and watch your success as a B2B thought leader skyrocket:

  • Define yourself clearly. When considering ourselves in a professional light we tend to define what we see one-dimensionally. We may think in terms of concrete facts; what we have accomplished, where we have worked. However, that tells others little about us a person. Think of how you would like to be perceived; who you really are. This is the topic of your summary.
  • Use your words. Key words, that is.Choose words that are likely to be used in search engines. For instance, instead of "marketing director", choose "experienced marketing director". Once you have nailed down a few words that clearly define you as a person and what you do, utilize each of them at least three times throughout your summary. This is what we refer to as search engine optimization, or SEO. It means that when using those key words in your summary, your page will have a better chance of being found by those who are searching for those key words.
  • Use all 2,000 characters allowed. Linkedin generously allows 2,000 characters for a summary, which means ample opportunites for using your keywords. It's as if you have a silent audience that is asking about who you are. One or two sentences will likely not provide the "wow" factor they are looking for. 
  • Tell a Story. Since you are not meeting face-to-face it can be difficult to let your personality shine through. The next best thing is to tell a story that will articulate who you are. People love to read engaging content, and your goal is to make it compelling enough for the reader to reach out to you. Linkedin gives us some great examples worthy of imitation.
  • Break it up. One long paragraph is going to make the reader quickly hit the back button. Break up your summary into headers, and even sub-headers. Make sure to include your key word in your heading for SEO purposes. Everyone is pressed for time these days, so be curteous to the time limitations of your audience and make sure they can hit the highlights of your summary quickly, if need be.
  • Create and share content. Linkedin has made it possible for users to share their content on its website, which is great news for B2B thought leaders.Include links to your posts in your summary. Remember to sprinkle your post with keywords and link to your profile. Share your content via Facebook and Twitter to increase visibility of your brand. 

Linkedin is an incredible tool for today's B2B thought leader, and using it properly can yield the greatest success!


How have you used Linkedin to promote your thought leadership? Let me know in the comments below!

[Photo credit to Flickr user Xianrendujia]






Jul 3, 2014

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx