Showing Up as a LinkedIn Thought Leader with Tania Bhattacharyya
March 1, 2023
LinkedIn is no longer your stuffy corporate grandpa.
Or at least that’s what Tania Bhattacharyya, the founder of Lumos Marketing, tells me in this episode of the Talk Copy to Me podcast.
You see, LinkedIn once was a place where people went to show off their resume-like wins and connect with people in their larger network—individuals in their local community and people that went to the same college as you did. Heck, if I remember correctly, when I first used LinkedIn, you couldn’t even add your own image to your profile—but my memory could be faulty here. It was a professional’s stomping ground for social proof: Your profile was a resume on speed and you could also give and receive recommendations that posted right to your profile.
LinkedIn was once the place you went when you were looking to hire or be hired. But that isn’t the case any longer.
There’s been a massive shift in the past 5-10 years on LinkedIn where it’s become a true SOCIAL network. Professionals of all types—founders, individual contributors, small business owners, freelancers, and everything in between—come to LinkedIn to connect, meet new people, and share thought leadership.
Which is exactly what Tania and I talked about today. And before you groan at the term “thought leadership,” let me assure you that this conversation is about thought leadership in its truest, purest form. We talk about how to determine what you want to share, what you want to be known for, and how to go about doing it in a way that feels good for both you and your audience. There’s no salesy suggestions here.
If you have something you want to share…if you have a message that’s bursting inside of you…if you have expertise that your audience really needs to know, then this episode on being a LinkedIn thought leader is for you.
Here is what Tania and Erin want you to know about being a LinkedIn thought leader
The history of showing up and sharing thought leadership on LinkedIn
How the pandemic changed how people approached vulnerability on a professional platform like LinkedIn
How to show up as a whole hearted and multifaceted professional while still showcasing your expertise
Why the two words “thought leadership” can often evoke an eye-roll (and how to avoid that when you actually want to grow your thought leadership)
How to define true thought leadership in 2023 (and hopefully into the future)
Why LinkedIn’s longer “shelf life” makes it an ideal place to share content for maximum visibility
How to be “lazy” on LinkedIn in a very strategic way
Why intentionality and engagement will give you the best experience on LinkedIn
How certain scientific laws are directly applicable to showing up on social media
Other podcast episodes and resources mentioned in this episodes:
Lauren Griffiths, a working mom of three who changed her LinkedIn profile picture to show what she truly looked like as a work-from-home mom. (Go Lauren!) Here’s the article she wrote that explains her decision; don’t forget to dive into the comments section.
Brene Brown’s quote:
“One day you will your story of how you’ve overcome what you‘re going through now and it will become part of someone’s survival guide.”
Quotes about LinkedIn thought leadership from Tania and Erin
“[LinkedIn Thought leadership] is a consistent practice of really sharing your passion, your lived experience and your credibility, to build trust and community, as you imagine and shape the future together for the better.” – Tania Bhattacharyya
“LinkedIn is still unsaturated, you can post content on LinkedIn, and it has a very long shelf life.” – Tania Bhattacharyya
“People say content is King…and I think engagement is Queen.” Tania Bhattacharyya
“What I’ve found on LinkedIn is people tend to be kind. They tend to be generative…People are trying to build bridges versus tearing them down.” Tania Bhattacharyya
“Everything good starts with a conversation.” Tania Bhattacharyya
“It’s just the practice of showing up and potentially saying the wrong thing.” Erin Ollila
“If we want to be seen as an expert, we have to be willing to say things that other people can object to, because it is a great place for those more dynamic conversations where we want to hear people’s perspectives.” – Erin Ollila
“We’re taught so much to look for the quick wins…And so much of what I know about marketing is it’s really the long term efforts are what determines success.” – Erin Ollila
Dust off your LinkedIn profile for SEO and for your future thought leadership efforts
“I do recommend for a homework assignment just dusting off your LinkedIn profile if it’s been a while since you’ve touched it. And the reason for that is—speaking on SEO and Google—LinkedIn is such a trusted site in the eyes of Google.”
She continues by saying, “As your thought leadership efforts snowball, as you get on stages, and as you really grow your brand and show up and get visible, people are going to Google you. And LinkedIn is probably going to be the first or second thing that comes up. And so my homework for you is just dust off that profile, make sure it demonstrates how you want to be seen by the world, because people are going to end up there, even if you don’t use LinkedIn often.”
Tania is the founder of Lumos Marketing, a thought leadership consultancy for social impact entrepreneurs ready to stand out as they stand up for their mission. Her superpower is helping overlooked experts gain clarity in their message, confidence in their voice, and the ability to create powerful content that changes hearts and minds. She consults with a hybrid approach – offering personal brand messaging strategy with coaching to dismantle imposter syndrome.
She also hosts the podcast The Campfire Circle which explores the idea of replacing the ‘boardroom table’ as the ultimate space of leadership with a campfire circle: a place to share our stories, build community, and spark visionary ideas.
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
Learn more about Erin’s VIP Day options if you’d like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you with your marketing
Here’s the transcript for episode 057 on being a LinkedIn thought leader with guest expert Tania Bhattacharyya
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Tania Bhattacharyya, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk copy.
Tania Bhattacharyya 00:24
Hello friends today i have Tanya Bhattacharya here, you may know her as the founder of Lumo smarketing, or the host of the campfire circle podcast. But what you might not know about Tanya was that she was actually voted the most unique in high school, which I’m I’m going to be honest with you when I read that. I was like, Yeah, I’m pretty sure anyone who would be voted that would be an immediate friend in my book like, I just think it says it so many unsaid things, but so we can make them actually said things tell me what that meant for you. Why do you think you were the most unique in high school? You know, I’m so glad you brought this up. Because this is such a funny kind of memory in my mind. Like I was very off the wall zany, wacky, like like weird things like weird cartoons when we were weird stuff, right? Yet when I got voted that and it got printed in the yearbook, i My immediate reaction was not necessarily a positive one. I was like, Oh, my gosh, I stand out. That’s like I you know, it’s not necessarily a good thing to stand out when you’re in high school. And you’re awkward, even though I did even though I just naturally and innately did. And that has been an unlearning process that I’ve had to had, especially as I grew my personal brand, because we know right, uniqueness and having a differentiating part of you know, what we do is so important in growing a brand building a business serving our people. But in the moment, we kind of just want to, like fit in. Right. So that’s something we have to unlearn. I’m so glad you brought that up. What a what a blast from the past, what a memory. And I think it’s so funny how you just describe that, because when I read that I had an immediate positive reaction, because I was like, Oh, that’s my girl, right? Someone who’s going to stand down and just be themselves, like unabashedly themselves.
Erin Ollila 02:14
So it’s really interesting. And I will, I can understand everything you said, I can empathize with and understand, because I probably too, would have had some of those feelings, and have had them in different ways, right. But it’s really interesting to see the things that we may not see as perks or positives about ourselves, the, the people around us or just even if they’re not in our network, but they’re viewing us as like our audience, they see as positives, right. And I know this is a far stretch, but it is very true. Like we talked about for me on the podcast, we talked about websites like how to bring personality into our marketing, all these types of things. And everyone knows that I’ll say like you bring your own personality, like personality is not just extroverted human right? And we want to repel people, we want to attract people. And how do we do that though? We do that by being unique, right and unique means so that’s why I said, Well, what is what is the unspoken unique here, because for some people, like using an example, he said, unique could be like how you dress right? Like you’re wearing like wild outfits, other people, especially people who might be introverted or shy, or not really have a public persona per se, they might show their uniqueness in their thought leadership in the way that they research things the way that they look at research and interpret it definitely. So I think it’s really lovely way to start our conversation, right? Because LinkedIn itself is known for a lot of thought leadership, I really want to encourage people, not just on this particular episode, but all of the social media episodes, that the key of being successful is determining how you want to show up and doing that no matter what the platform is, no matter what the societal expectations are, right? Like if you can be true to your own presence, whether that is personally or the way that your brand or your business’s brand appears. If you can determine that and show up in that way, you’re likely going to be successful and how you are unique is going to be so different from everyone else. So we just kind of have to own that.
Tania Bhattacharyya 04:32
Oh, I couldn’t agree more. That was so well said you know, and there’s and you’re right, there’s no one right way to show up. The one right way is what is true to yourself, the way that fits your strengths, your needs, your abilities, your preferences, and I especially love how you said that it doesn’t you have you have to be extroverted, it doesn’t have to be like an extroverted personality thing. I’m like deeply introverted. I’m an INFJ. And I have found that listening quality, that dreamy quality that thoughtful quality can actually serve us really well in this work. showing up.
Erin Ollila 05:00
Yeah. And I think it’s so interesting because LinkedIn itself, people have a lot of preconceived notions about it. Right. So one thing that we had discussed before we started talking was you had said like, you know, LinkedIn isn’t tick tock stuffy, corporate grandpa anymore. And I was like, Yes, I want to get to that in one tiny second, right. But the other thing that I think is vital, these two things are going to I think drive our conversation is the idea of like, you can be lazy on LinkedIn, which to me encourages people to show up in the right way for them. I know I’m kind of throwing so much at you right now. But can we maybe have a conversation about like, but let’s start with how people think of LinkedIn and why they may be wrong with their with the notion that they have.
Tania Bhattacharyya 05:45
That sounds good. That’s a great place to start. Oh, my gosh, well, you know, I think there’s a lot of misconceptions and preconceived notions about LinkedIn, because LinkedIn did used to be this way at a certain point. So people don’t realize that LinkedIn came out the same time as myspace 2003. So it’s just been like plugging along, it’s been steady Eddy, it’s been there in the background. And traditionally, right when it first came out, it really, really was used to be a space for professional folks, whatever professional means, right? I don’t, you know, to build their networks and grow their platforms, and perhaps get jobs, you know, you know, find employees. But over the years, they’ve really been putting the social back in social media and investing heavily in creators. So like, Mindy Kaling is on there, as like a LinkedIn partner, Ryan Reynolds is on there. They’re, they’re, they’re building their brands as business owners, right? There’s definitely like a business twist to what they share. But they’re just like having fun, they’re just like posting pictures, or just like, you know, like, showing off their brand, which we can absolutely do, too. And, you know, I’ve definitely noticed this, you know, since the since 2020, since beginning of the pandemic, just like the actual corporate working world, there has been much of a humanization of it, you know, like you and I can see your living room right now you can see my living room. And that’s the case for professional working teams. And so similarly, like, we are getting more used to being able to share authentically and vulnerably what we’re learning, like, where we may be messed up things about our family life, things about our vacations that maybe tie back into our vision and our mission and why we do the work that we do. So it’s totally okay to do those. And I love that you brought up the potential implosion of Twitter, that is happening, yes. And people are losing trust on Facebook, people are complaining about like changes to the Instagram algorithm. And it seems like over the last couple of weeks and months, I have noticed a big influx of people starting to join LinkedIn that maybe I got to know on clubhouse that maybe have like, you know, very listened to podcasts that use other platforms before, they’re starting to play around with LinkedIn as maybe like the potential last platform before everyone gives up social media. They’re there to network. They’re there to find, you know, people to collaborate with and, you know, grow their business. And so it’s just, it’s a different vibe. It’s a different concept on LinkedIn, and one that really lends itself well to really growing that thought leadership brand, like you talked about.
Erin Ollila 08:09
Yeah, I think that’s such a good point. And I do you know, it’s funny, because I came to this conversation, from a conversation that I had with someone else, where we were recording the episode on Twitter, which is you know why it’s in my brain of how I think the Twitter implosion is going to drive a lot more creatives to LinkedIn. And in that, I think it’s going to change how people show up, or at least, and I think I would say I’m hoping I’m hoping that it will bring a lot more of that human aspect, that personal aspect to LinkedIn, because I’m totally fine. With LinkedIn being the quote, unquote, professional place, like, it can stay that way. I would just love for us to be able to bring more of ourselves into this professional social media sphere. I remember very early days of the pandemic, there was a post that went viral and it was a woman and I don’t remember her name, if I can find it, I will definitely add it to the show notes. But a woman who changed her like a very brand professional picture to be like her and her pajamas or like a hot mess or something, right. And boy, was there a reaction to that? And I was just so fascinated at the time because I was like, honestly, a lot of the reaction I saw was very negative. And I was like, pals, you do recognize that’s what you look like this very moment, typing about how this woman isn’t professional. Like you’re at home in your boxer shorts. You’re at home in your like, I forget what they call them, but you know, those like pajama blankets,
Tania Bhattacharyya 09:36
right? Like, oh, yeah, like a Snuggie.
Erin Ollila 09:38
Thank you snug. Why are we giving this person this very brave woman a hard time to show up on a professional platform looking exactly like you look right now as you’d be right here. And again, this is way back way back in the early days of the pandemic coming to this conversation exactly where we are talking about Twitter, people coming to LinkedIn, the pandemic and just global population change of like, how we’re looking at things like bringing diversity into board rooms and how we show up as a community and as a whole to horrific events like the George Floyd murder and all of these things, I think that’s really changing the professional atmosphere of LinkedIn. And I have high hopes, I would say, but I’m so curious to see how it pans out. And I can’t really wrap my brain around how it will pan out, and how it will change how people communicate on LinkedIn.
Tania Bhattacharyya 10:33
Yeah, it’s gonna be really interesting to see, right? It’s gonna be really interesting to see. But you’re right in that after in the aftermath of 2020, and kind of the multiple triple pandemic we were facing. Because, you know, at the time, before I started my business, I worked in residential mental health care, I was a fundraiser and a marketer. So I wasn’t in direct services, but I was at a, you know, mental health care organization. And so at that time, we were wrestling, of course, with the pandemic, of course, we were wrestling with the, like, long overdue racial reckoning in the country. But we’re also wrestling with a deep severity of mental health diagnosis that was just, you know, and especially working in the trenches of it, I don’t even really have the words to describe the severity of illness that was that we were experiencing at that time. And when I would go on LinkedIn, you know, I was seeing people having conversations about these very tender, very vulnerable topics, and people would flock to add their thoughts to the conversation. And then it wasn’t like a, what I’ve found on LinkedIn is people tend to be kind, they tend to be generative. It’s it doesn’t turn into like a poop flinging thing, like I’ve seen on other social media platforms, people are trying to build bridges versus then versus like tearing them down. And so you know, I’ve seen beautiful things happen, I’ve seen connections occur, I’ve seen people meet each other in the in the comments section, and then post, LinkedIn lives about a topic. You know, I’ve seen a lot of relationships get formed, because I think that I think Instagram is all about visuals. And this is coming from someone who’s not an expert on these other platforms. But to me, it appears that Instagram is all about visuals, that’s the currency of Instagram. Tick tock is all about like entertainment, and like short form, video, and like, things like that. And I feel like the currency of LinkedIn is really relationships, I think that is where the secret sauce of LinkedIn lies. And so yes, like creating content is important. But if you’re not nurturing the community that is coming up alongside you, and you know, raising their hand to say, Oh, I’m interested in what you have to say, I think you’re doing yourself in your business a disservice. Because I think that’s the true magic, is being able to share these authentic, vulnerable things, whether it’s a mental health story, whether it’s a story about our family, like, Whatever, whatever it is, people will come to you and say, Me too, or oh, this is interesting to me, because and then that becomes a relationship that you can nurture offline, right, and you can cultivate them into whoever they’re meant to be in your, in your world, whether it’s a kind person in your life, or a client, or a referral source, or a collaborator or an amplifier, or whatever, you know, whatever. So I think that’s the power. That’s the power there.
Erin Ollila 13:09
I think you’re right, I think seeing people talk about things like this, and more, is allowing the connections to be built for one, but at a deeper level than I think you could get elsewhere. Right? Because it’s not just a quick like, let’s like like this post or, you know, let’s send a quick like heart DM to like our thumbs up to let you know you’re supporting someone, it is really engaging in saying like, I see you as a whole person.
Tania Bhattacharyya 13:35
Oh, my gosh. So it’s like you just gave me like a beautifully plated Thanksgiving dinner. And I don’t know what to think my fork into first. Like, I feel so excited about what you just said, because this is, this is the heart of why I do what I do, right. And there’s this quote that I love by our fairy godmother, Brene Brown, which is, you know, one day you will tell the story of what you overcame, and it will become someone else’s Survival Guide. And I think that’s so true, not just in life and self actualization, and showing up as the highest version of ourselves, right to make the biggest impact we can based on our, you know, based on the gifts we’ve been given, but also in growing our business, right and growing our business. And your example is perfect, because if we have traversed the road and struggled through what we’ve what we’ve struggled through and created the systems to make us successful despite that, and and because of that, I think that we then have positioned ourselves as a guide to be able to hand over the framework of what we’ve learned and help somebody in our exact position, which they can see relatability and resonance in our story as we begin to share it authentically, loudly vulnerably boldly, and really attract the right people.
Erin Ollila 14:38
Yes, so much. And this brings me to such a great point. That’s LinkedIn specific because I hear as a content creator for some of the bigger brands I’ll be asked a lot to do some ghost writing for like CEOs on quote unquote, thought leadership. So that’s one aspect. Secondarily, my tiny air clients, when we talk about like how they want to show up host their website update or, you know, if we’re working together more long term like how they are showing up and how it’s affecting their business, I’ll hear so many people be like, Well, I just need to create some more like thought leadership content, or I need to like, think about my thought leadership on LinkedIn. And no one knows what they’re talking about when they say, like, and I know that that’s not an insult to them. That’s like them coming to me and being like, what is thought leadership. And I have a love and hate feeling toward the term thought leadership, because I think of all the bullshit that’s in this online marketing world about what thought leadership is, but I think I’m bringing this up, because it’s what you just said, it is kind of like determining, like, what is my whole self that I want to show, you know, like thought leadership, in my opinion, is not saying like, let as an example, here’s a case study, and here are my feelings about this case study. That’s not leadership. And I love case studies. So I’m not saying you can’t use them as inspiration. But I think if we, as business owners, or people in the marketing world helping business owners look at what’s important to this business, like, what, what are the stories that stand out based on all these things? I think that’s a great path to go down to if you’re thinking about creating LinkedIn specific thought leadership,
Tania Bhattacharyya 16:21
for sure. I mean, the concept of thought leadership can be kind of like airy fairy kind of like, you know, wispy, I don’t know how else to describe it. But you’re right, that’s exactly what it is. And I think that to me, like I define it is it’s a consistent practice, right? It’s not something you do one time. And it’s a consistent practice of really sharing your passion, your lived experience and your credibility, to build trust and community, as you imagine and shape the future together for the better. And I think there’s a couple of things about that, that are important. If you’re putting out thought leadership, it’s not to, like the only reason can’t be to sell your service, or you’re trying to change the world in a certain way, and nudge the world towards a more just future that is different from the status quo, if something is wrong, and you’re pissed off about it, or you’re upset about it, or it’s hurting the people that you serve and care about. And so you’re sharing your innate gifts, to be able to create a ripple effect out in the world. Right? Would you agree with that?
Erin Ollila 17:22
Yes, I would absolutely 1,000,000% agree with it. And I loved how you phrase that so much. So as you just said, all of that I just kept constantly writing quick quotes, couple words, quote, so that I can go back to my transcription later and pull them out. Because I was like, wow, were lovely. In it, for lack of other words, that was a lovely way to describe it.
Tania Bhattacharyya 17:44
Well, I think of I mean, this is the thing I sit and think about all the time. And the reality is I’ve built my business off of thought leadership, because the read The reason I started my business is, you know, I was in the midst of the pandemic, right? I looked around as in the nonprofit space as the mental health care space I was at, you know, I was I was, you know, in a lot of different kinds of spaces, actually, all in the helping space on social impact. And I kept seeing amazing visionary, hardworking, credible, smart, you know, just keep going. Women who were in the fray, like they were doing incredible things. And nobody, like they weren’t on the news, they weren’t like, you wouldn’t see them pop up, necessarily, they didn’t have the voice at the table that they deserved. And a lot of that is systemic. But I think that if we’re going to change the systemic, we have to start at the individual level, and start to dismantle some of the systematically limited beliefs that we carry around, oh, what I have to say, is an important, oh, I have nothing to say, Oh, if I start talking, people are gonna think I have a big ego or think I’m full of myself, because those were all of the things that have been baked into our world, and that we have like been swimming in and that we have been conditioned into that keep the status quo exactly where it is. So we can begin to dismantle those and live, you know, embody a different type of value envision, then I think that the world has no like, where to go like it like it’s, it’s going to shift, you know, we’re going to start attracting a community that believe what we do, and they’re going to start advocating for our common vision. And so I think that’s how we shape the future. I think that’s how we change the world is to simply beginning to share, and maybe nobody shows up at first, maybe we get no likes, you know, and that’s enough to stop some folks and I get that right, I get I really, really get that. But if we can keep going right? If we can stay consistent, the right people will begin to show up. And they will begin to become advocates, they will become clients, they will become whoever you need to grow your business and more importantly, to spark the impact that you’re trying to make through your business through your consultancy, right.
Erin Ollila 19:42
I think a lot of people think well, What content do I create for this platform? So yeah, there’s the thought leadership idea of like, how do I show up and be fancy or be an expert, but then there’s actually the practical strategic like, oh, gosh, what do I actually say? And that 100% is what holds my clients back, especially the women who are successful. They think they need to create a plan on how they will share these leadership like things that we’ve just discussed. But in our conversation, what I’m hearing a lot of and I think what you just really touched on is, I don’t know, if we have to plan this out, I think sometimes just kind of showing up is really what needs to be done. It is the reinforcement of consistency and consistency building a muscle for the Creator. And yes, we are creators, right? It’s just the practice of showing up and potentially saying the wrong thing, right? We have to start having conversations about racism as an example. And, and people have to, like white people specifically have to be willing to say the wrong thing and get corrected? Well, let’s take that idea and shift it to how we show up professionally on LinkedIn, I think we have to even if we want to be seen as an expert, we have to be willing to say things that other people can object to, because it is a great place for those more dynamic conversations where we want to hear people’s perspectives. And I think that maybe the idea of content planning is maybe making it harder for people. So like I know, something that you are passionate about is being lazy on LinkedIn, do you think you could? I don’t know if I don’t know if what I’m saying is correlating into what you mean. But do you think you could describe it? And is what I’m suggesting kind of what you mean about how to show up in a in a different way on LinkedIn?
Tania Bhattacharyya 21:39
Yeah, let me talk about being lazy on LinkedIn. And I think I can tie these two thoughts together, because they are somewhat related. So you know, LinkedIn can feel overwhelming, right? It can feel very overwhelming for a variety of reasons. And there’s things about it that make it possible to be quote, unquote, lazy on LinkedIn, which what I mean by that is just showing up for an intentional hour on the platform and letting that be enough so that you can spend the rest of your time dreaming, resting, doing the work that you do, being with your family, like taking a nap, you know, doing whatever it is that you want to do, and not like giving your time to a social media platform. And there’s a couple of reasons why that works. So getting into some numbers, there’s 830 million active LinkedIn users, and that number might be a little bit higher now. And only 3% of those active users actually post their own content. And that’s interesting, because what that means is that we’ve got a lot of LinkedIn lurkers, the majority of people on LinkedIn are lurking, right? They’re watching, they’re reading, they’re internalizing, they’re consuming, but they’re not necessarily like, all over your content. They’re just watching. And so there’s a couple things about that one, LinkedIn is still unsaturated, you can post content on LinkedIn, and it has a very long shelf life. Just this morning, I got on a call with someone I’m working on a project with, she was like, I loved your LinkedIn Post this morning. And I was like, oh, you know, and I started asking her questions, she was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m talking about the post that you did about your mom and your grandma, like giving an homage to them. And I was like, Oh, I posted the two weeks ago, that’s like, old but she saw it today. LinkedIn is serving up that to her today as fresh content. So it’s kind of like it has a longer shelf life. And you know, people, professionals on LinkedIn are busy, like, they’re, they’re busy, they’re doing a lot of work. And so they pop on there when they can. And so your content just shows up when it does. And so for that reason, you don’t have to post every day, you don’t even have to post multiple times a day, I encourage my clients who are busy social impact professionals, and maybe their nonprofit founders, maybe they’re like, they’ve created a mental health app or something like that. They don’t need to be on LinkedIn every day, they can if they want to be like, I’m not stopping you. And it’s just very intentional. And I do getting back to your earlier comment. I do encourage my clients to batch like when I work with them, and one of the things that I do is I will help them create a quarters worth of content at a time. And what I mean by that is 12 pieces. And it does follow a trajectory like it does follow a you know, brings people readers through a journey of just getting to like, get to know them and build trust. But what I love about that is it’s it’s flexible, is it’s helpful to have somewhat of a plan, but pivot as the news News’s and the world does what it does, so that you don’t have to start from scratch and that you can like jump into the fray with something that’s kind of like kind of ready to go and speak to an important issue in your field.
Erin Ollila 24:26
1,000,000% agree here, it kind of like hurt me on the inside to suggest that we don’t have a content content plan when I just said that a second ago, because it just goes against what’s natural to me as a creative entrepreneur. So I think that when we think of thought leadership, and we think of how we’ll use it on a platform liked and like LinkedIn, we absolutely need to have an idea of what it means to us like what is the thought leadership? And how does that this definitely goes for people who are running their own businesses being Service Providers solopreneurs, even like tiny to midsize companies, but not necessarily traditional nine to five professionals, we need to think, how does the thought leadership that we’re sharing relate to our bottom line that I think people forget to do all of the time, it does not need to have an immediate tie in. But it has to be relative in some way that we’re talking about the right things when we need to. So I completely agree that we need an idea. But I do think that I think maybe what I’m trying to say is the most important part is just showing up showing up showing up showing up so that you feel better about stepping into this role as a thought leader. And I love like your what you’re saying, think of it in a quarter, and then pivot if you need to, if something comes up in the news in your life, that in your business, you can take what you’ve created and adjust it to work with what you want to speak out about at that time. I also loved what you said about like just showing up intentionally. Because I think that’s something else. That is not natural for people. It’s natural for me to lurk and mentally agree with people who disagree with people. It’s easy to repost something, let’s say someone else wrote and be like, this is interesting. But if we’re going to uplevel that thought leadership would then be me explaining why it’s interesting why I agree, disagree, why it’s confounding me in the moment, right. And that spur of the moment thought leadership. But more importantly, I think intentional, the one that goes missed often is engaging on LinkedIn. And again, I can call myself out for like, I do a lot more lurking than I do engaging, but your stats about only 3% of the people really creating content, I think supports this, right? It’s like we’re not creating, we’re watching, we’re listening, but I think if we want to get a better experience, we need to step into the shoes of talking to people not on our post on their post that I think is really the key to getting the best for yourself. The best experience is by engaging,
Tania Bhattacharyya 27:18
you know, and that’s the other reason why being lazy on LinkedIn works. Okay, so my parents are scientists, and so I grew up like learning about science, etc, etc. And there’s this concept with a temperature, like, we all know what temperature is, but how temperature is actually formed. Like when a substance changes temperature, it’s because the molecules within that substance are moving faster and faster together, or there’s more molecules in there. And I’m, I’m gonna stop being nerdy in a second. But I think
Erin Ollila 27:46
this is great. Okay, cool.
Tania Bhattacharyya 27:50
But yeah, the more molecules and the more faster they’re moving together and means things are getting hotter, that temperature is rising. And so I think that that law of the universe, that universal law, is directly applicable to this work of like community building and getting active on LinkedIn, because as we show up and continue to show up over time consistently, those those ambassadors, right, those community members who love us and support us, and we love and support them back, right, I think community care is such an important piece of growing your brand that nobody ever talks about. Like this is not an individual thing, like personal branding truly is a community activity. So the example I wanted to share was I have built some really wonderful relationships on there. And one day I went on LinkedIn, and I had like, hundreds more followers than I did the day before. And I was like, what happened? I don’t know what’s going on. And one of the people actually sent me a message and said, Hey, I’m at this conference. And the keynote speaker actually, like put you up on a slide with your picture and told everybody if there’s one thing that they do, they gotta connect with Tony Bhattacharya on LinkedIn and I was like, did they actually do that? Like how what and that is a testament to the relationships and the engagement that has I mean, and these relationships don’t happen overnight. Right? They happen over months and years right and they continue to get richer and deeper as a connective tissue builds but yeah, people say content is king and you know, I’m a I’m a writer you know, you’re we’re all about content this this podcast is about copy. And I think engagement is Queen like engagement is is key, especially on LinkedIn because again, the currency of LinkedIn is relationships.
Erin Ollila 29:27
Oh, I love how you just said that I think I’m just gonna put that like in a big quote like on a poster board on like the podcast page for like, anything like content is king but engagement is clean. So like you want to make this work. One thing I was thinking when you’re speaking is I you know, if I have a bone to pick with this truly the online marketing world because I think this doesn’t play out in the past of mom and pop like small businesses. But I think that we’re, we’re taught so much to look for the quick wins and like, that’s all that’s taught to us in courses, that’s all that’s preached about. unsocial is like, make money quick, like, quick, quick, quick, right. And so much of what I know about marketing is it’s really the long term efforts are what determines success. And so a lot of my clients will, you know, will have these conversations and I can hear that they’re telling me that they don’t want to do something. But they’re describing it in a way like, well, I need to do this, and I need to do that. And I, and I show up here and I act this way, right? And I’m like, yes. So what I’m hearing you say is, this is not how you want to run your business. And they will, they’ll be like, but I, but I need to do this. And I’m like, let us pump the brakes. Right? What you are thinking of in this moment is like to get success for let’s just pretend it’s a launch like a product launch. You’re working on a launch, you think you have to do these things. They’re all very short term efforts. Cool. I absolutely under, like, understand and love the idea of being strategic about short term. But what do you want your business to be like in the future? Like, what’s the goal here? Like? Is it just the launch? Like, is this just your business? Or like, how do you want to show up when you’re, you know, I’m in my late 30s, at this point. So I think about this a lot. And I don’t have an answer, but like, what do I want to be as a 68 year old business owner? How will the Erin Ollila, like headquarters be like? And I think that we need to think about these things. So not just that huge of a jump? What do you want to be doing a year from now or two years because SEO as an example, is a long term thing that I have seen for over a decade performs so wonderfully for people in a long term approach. Everything that you just said about that relationship, building, some of the relationships that have been most beneficial to me, in just from a financial perspective, people like sending me referrals, things like that. They are the long term people that I have invested my time and energy into. And there’s trust built, because we’ve proven to each other time and time again, we’re responsible that we’re dedicated, that we’re, we’re good at what we do, right? So there is a huge bottom line on any long term effort of sustainability of enjoying your work, right. So I actually think looking at LinkedIn from a long term perspective, and not that short term perspective is really going to actually give the better experience in the now and develop the better. Everything for business in the future. If we’re thinking of it as I’m not just going to go on here and selling the the messages like the DMS of LinkedIn, right, I’m not going to try to get clients from, you know, like, when a friend 100 people, you know, comment on them for a short period of time. Let’s see what I get from that. It’s the like, who in surrounding businesses would be good peers? For me? Who can I learn from? These are the things the communications, the the relationships we’re building that can just change the course of our lives of our businesses and how we enjoy doing what we’re doing?
Tania Bhattacharyya 33:06
is so true. So true. It’s like you’re not Yeah, you’re not trying to just connect with 100 people to connect with 100 people. I think it’s about intention and thinking like, who are the people that I could like, call when shit is going down? Right? Who can I call when like, I want to celebrate like this most this incredible thing? Like, who are the people that I want to write the little blurb on the back of my book when I publish it, you know, like, having those long term and I think thought leadership in general is has such a visionary orientation to it. Because the visions that we have for the future that we’re trying to create are probably not going to occur in our lifetime. There’s like multigenerational, like long term like cathedral thinking, right? Like we’re trying to set ripples in motion that we are never going to really necessarily feel the full the full wave of and that’s okay. Right? That’s okay. Because if we can spark enough interest to like, get get that movement going, Yeah, that future visionary orientation is really key in setting intentions for how you want to spend your time. No.
Erin Ollila 34:08
I love how you just describe that. And I think one more thing, just to add to that is I think we also forget about the we think about the people we want to add, but we forget about the people that we’re not even thinking of I know that sounds really weird, right? But like I think we should also say be open to the people who you’re not necessarily looking for. Last year, I was just chatting a bunch with a random stranger, Ron on LinkedIn, like we were connected people in our network. I commented on their posts, they commented on mine, and then this year, they were like, Hey, can you write these things for me, and it was a pretty lucrative, small project. But we had never talked about us working together, ever. We’d never even really talked shop. It was just more they trusted me enough from the way that we interacted with each other that it was such an easy ask for them to just be Like I know who to go to. And it was such an easy ask for me because, you know, coming from I think the marketing world, especially on LinkedIn, I would say, I am very cautious about when people approached me to work for them. Because there’s so much potential for scam, like someone just sent me a great the craziest message that actually read, very normal. But when I looked into it, I’m like, why would this company want to create an article about that topic? Like, it’s not even closely related. So there’s a lot of necessary, like, you’re just using myself as an example. And this goes for people who are looking for jobs in traditional fields. This goes for people who are selling programs that maybe someone could steal the like, intellectual, intellectual property inside of the programs, right? So instead of the fear, instead of focusing on that, why don’t we look at these, these quote unquote, strangers who are commenting on our stuff, we’re talking to them and think of them as potential, what the potential is, let’s just have a question mark on that, right. Like, we don’t know. But they could be great people. As long as we’re doing that intention, we’re doing that engagement and just accepting that they’ve come into our world for a reason. And we’re just going to kind of see how that plays out.
Tania Bhattacharyya 36:15
Yeah, that’s right. That’s exactly right. And sometimes people worry that that’s not scalable over time, like being able to have all these individual conversations, but then I asked them like, well, but what are you doing now, and it’s like, do the unscalable thing while you can like, while you have the time, because those are where the relationships come out of. And you’re right, like conversate, like, everything good starts with a conversation, you know, I learned that doing fundraising, you never know where something’s gonna go, and you never know who someone can introduce you to, even if you know, they’re not a right fit for whatever it is that you’re doing. We are so interconnected. And LinkedIn is a beautiful thing. Because you can actually see even literally see who the people you’re talking to, are connected with. And so if there’s someone in there, you want to get to know, you know,
Erin Ollila 36:57
just ask if you had to give a small homework assignment to the people who are listening, what would you give them based on what we discussed?
Tania Bhattacharyya 37:04
Social media is, and it’s an interesting time for social media. And so what I’ll say is there are people who are social media optional, there are people who are, you know, never gonna go on LinkedIn. And that’s okay, or use it, use it ongoingly. But what I would say is, I do recommend for a homework assignment, just dusting off your LinkedIn profile, if it’s been a while since you’ve touched it. And the reason for that is, because and speaking on SEO on Google, LinkedIn is such a trusted site in the eyes of Google. And so I did a poll because I was curious about this. And I asked people on LinkedIn, you know, like 150 people voted in this poll. I said, when you Google yourself, what is the first thing to come up? Is it your company’s website? Is it is it what is it? And the vast majority of people said it was their LinkedIn profile? And it was surprising. And so I actually Googled you, Aaron, right? Before we hopped on this call. So I was like, Is this gonna work. And your website is your number one thing to come up, which makes sense because you’re an SEO queen. But the second thing is LinkedIn. And so as your thought leadership efforts, you know, Snowball, and as you get on stages, and as you really grow your brand and show up and get visible, people are going to Google you and LinkedIn is probably going to be the first or second thing that comes up. And so my homework for you is just dust off that profile, make sure it demonstrates how you want to be seen by the world, because people are going to end up there, even if you don’t use LinkedIn.
Erin Ollila 38:25
Alright, I’m gonna be completely honest here. I didn’t believe you. And I googled myself. And you’re right. I’m like, huh, let me check this because I was wondering at first, SEO wise, you know, like the Google still an algorithm that presents us with similar information that we’re already looking for. So I thought, Okay, your cookie is probably our very LinkedIn based, right. We’re here to talk about LinkedIn, because you are an expert. Nope, she’s right, folks. Number two is LinkedIn. And I’ll tell you, we started this episode talking about how I found a positive in your uniqueness. And yet you found some shame in it, right? You found a positive in the fact that my LinkedIn is showing up as my number two result, right? Because, again, Google is trusting it. And I immediately went into the shame of like, shit is like, I Oh, I think I just recorded an episode. I don’t know if it went live. But my whole thing was, I’m getting so sick and tired of hearing people say that their website is like, they don’t want people to look at their website. I’m, I’m sorry, I’m done. I’m over it, like, stop it. Everyone, like it’s my new mission and 2023 to get that changed, because it is the most important part of your business. Right? If we were living in the 1980s, and we were walking down Main Street, that storefront the like, the visual of the store would be the most important part of someone’s business. But everyone is going to your website and I don’t need to stay on this forever. Obviously, I can harp on this, you know, for a while, but I’m so tired of hearing it like we need to change that even if it means pulling back and doing tinier websites like not even focusing on SEO Just pulling back. So we present the right information. But taking that and reflecting it on my own faults, dude, my LinkedIn needs some work, right? Like it really does. And that’s okay guys, right? Like, we all know that I’m, I’m the first person to point the finger my own way if it needs to be changed, but I think it’s a really good teaching moment here, right that like, I do SEO, but here I am with that being the second most search result following my website that really should be in a great shape. And while I haven’t done it, it’s not that hard to get your LinkedIn in great shape. It’s not one good homework assignment because I think it’s kind of vital for everyone in a general perspective. But I really love that you point that out because it you know, me caring so much about like SEO in the grand scheme of things. I didn’t think of that. And boy, is that important. And I think if people are going to focus on the the quote, unquote, thought leadership, if they want to be seen and found in this new year from people, yeah, we need to make sure on a minimum level, our profile presents our business and our self, the way we want to be seen from the consumers who’ll be working with us. You wowed me on that one. What is your expectation for LinkedIn in 2023? Like if you could guess what it would be like what we should we as quote unquote, LinkedIn consumers or users should expect? I’d love to hear it from you.
Tania Bhattacharyya 41:36
Yeah, you know, that’s such a good question. I wish I had a crystal ball to be able to, like tell you for sure what’s happening. But I would guess that they’re really going to continue deeply investing in creators and continuing to, like, separate their brand from what people still have that misconception around it being like that stuffy boardroom, tablespace, you know, just in the last year, they’ve came out with this mode called Creator mode that really helps people who are showing up on LinkedIn, attract more followers and be seen by more people. They’ve come out with like LinkedIn audio rooms, they’ve come out with LinkedIn newsletters, like they just keep rolling out different features that I use the word creators loosely, I don’t really consider myself a creator, but anybody showing up and trying to get visible on LinkedIn, has all these tools now available to them to be able to do that. So I think they’re gonna keep rolling out new things. And I don’t know what that’s gonna look like, per se. But, but I’m excited. I’m excited to see I think it’s, it’s a place where I have, you know, kind of put my eggs in that basket. And again, it’s been around since before MySpace or since around MySpace. So I think it’s a pretty safe bet. If you’re going to show up on social media. I think it’s the safe choice.
Erin Ollila 42:41
Tanya, thank you so much for being here today. I had such a blast of you. And I’m just so excited to get this episode live in the world.
Tania Bhattacharyya 42:48
Oh, thank you for the opportunity. I could talk to you literally all day forever about all kinds of things. All right, everyone,
Erin Ollila 42:53
you have a great day now. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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