Here’s why and how you can build authority on LinkedIn

By Jim James, Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur. 


Dina Calakovic is the Co-Founder of Authority Marketing and an expert on LinkedIn. She has over 30,000 followers and within a recent week, she was able to earn more than 100,000 engagements. She was featured in the latest episode of The UnNoticed Entrepreneur, where she talked about the difference between audience building and authority building on LinkedIn and how can entrepreneurs leverage the said platform.


Image from LinkedIn


Audience vs Authority Building

Many entrepreneurs today don’t know how to position themselves on LinkedIn. And what Dina and her team teach business owners is how to position themselves as an authority in their industry. Because when they do so, it will be easier for them to generate inbound leads, which is beneficial for any kind of business.

If you want to position yourself as an authority on LinkedIn, you need to create quality content. And this is where the difference between audience and authority building comes in.

Audience building is relatively easy because anyone can build an audience. For instance, if you’re someone who posts selfies or good jokes, your content will have lots of likes and engagements. You can build quite a huge following but it doesn’t mean that you will be able to build authority. Nobody will come to you and ask for your help.

In authority building, what you need to do is to be positioned as an expert in your audience’s mind. If you want to generate inbound leads and let your LinkedIn account serve your business, you have to accomplish that. You can do that by putting out quality content that can help solve your target audience’s problems.


What Gives Value to a Post?

When on LinkedIn, you won’t have any power if you’re solely focused on creating posts for a certain LinkedIn group. You need to create valuable main-feed posts. But how do you know if your post is valuable? It has to have actionable advice: When somebody reads your post, they must be able to apply your advice immediately.

Your content must not give a piece of advice that’s vague. For example, you may be talking about building a brand on LinkedIn. To avoid being vague, show your audience a process. Tell them about what they should and shouldn’t do. Your advice has to be specific and actionable.

Each time you write a post, go back and think: If somebody reads that, can they apply my advice right after? If your answer is yes, then you’re good to go. If not, then you need to rewrite it.


Image from Unsplash


A good post usually consists of three main parts: the hook, the body, and the summary.

The hook is the first two or three sentences before the rest of your post. Its job is to hook the reader and entice them to click on that “See more” link and keep on reading.

If you’re on your LinkedIn app, you will see thousands of posts on your newsfeed. And your tendency is to simply scroll down. Your hook needs to be able to interest the reader enough for them to stop scrolling and continue reading your post. A good hook can already accomplish 70% of your job.

Recently, Dina had a post where the hook teased about how “good marketing has very little to do with algorithms, tools, and tricks.” This is an example of a hook that breaks a common belief. When you end that hook with something like, “And a whole lot to do with…,” then your readers will be enticed to click on the “See more” link because they want to know the answer.


Screengrab from LinkedIn


As a help, she made a product featuring different hooks that you can copy-paste and apply to your industry. The goal is to make the whole hook creation — which is the first and most important part of creating a post — easier for you.

After you manage to hook the reader, you need to prove and deliver your promise. If you wanted to give good advice on how to create a good engaging post on LinkedIn, your content needs to contain that advice. Otherwise, your content will just be empty and be considered clickbait. The next time your reader encounters a post from you in their feed, they won’t open it anymore.

The goal of your post’s body is to deliver that promise and provide your audience with actionable advice.

The last part of your post should be a short punchline that summarises everything you’ve previously said. It can also contain some call to action.


On the PAC Framework and Algorithms

Every business needs to have the PAC framework, which stands for:

  • Positioning. This refers to your brand strategy; how you position yourself in your ideal customers’ minds.

  • Attracting. This is where content comes in. You need to attract your ideal clients through your content.

  • Converting. To be able to convert, you need a good copy. If you want to drive traffic to your LinkedIn or your website, then you need to have a good copy on your LinkedIn or your landing page.

When posting content, quality is a primary concern. And while you can’t completely ignore the algorithm, you shouldn’t focus on it. The only principle that you need to follow surrounding algorithm is posting something at the ideal time for your customers. If you’re based in the US and your audience is in Europe, be careful not to post anything when it’s 3 a.m. in Europe because nobody there will see your post.

Once you follow this principle, everything else should be about quality.

Keep in mind that algorithms change often and they vary on every platform. So there’s no point in chasing them. On the other hand, human psychology is something that never changes. It’s why you want to invest your attention accordingly — invest it in learning how to create good copy and good hooks and how to really provide value.


Image from Unsplash


You also have to be mindful when following trends. For instance, LinkedIn has recently been pushing the use of polls. But when you observe, 99% of polls on LinkedIn actually lack value.

If you post polls, people vote, and they see that you’re not making any use of the votes, then it will just damage your reputation. And if you weigh things in, posting polls just for the sake of doing it is not worth it if your reputation will be damaged in the process. You won’t get anything from it and nobody will reach out to you later.

If you want to position yourself as an expert, you need to post things that are of quality and have value to people.


On Format and Frequency

When it comes to doing multi-format content on LinkedIn (e.g. audio, video), Dina always advises her clients to do what works best for them. If you’re a great video person, then you should do video content. For instance, she has a client who is a voice communication coach and he teaches people how to speak effectively in public. For his posts, he needs to use videos because it’s the nature of his business.

The point is to do content formats that make the most sense for your business and you’re most comfortable with.

Remember that posting on LinkedIn and building authority takes time and consistency. Especially in the beginning, it will take a lot of your energy. You don’t want to create something that will demand even more of your energy. It will only prompt you to give up very easily.

In her case, Dina enjoys writing and she doesn’t like creating videos. If she pushed with creating videos, she would have given up a long time ago. This is why she publishes written content on her LinkedIn page.


Screengrab from LinkedIn


There’s no strict rule in terms of the frequency of posting. But if you can post more, it will be better.

However, if you’re just starting out, your focus should be on quality. Never sacrifice it for the sake of quantity. Don’t just write five posts per week just to tick the box. Instead, only write what would be quality posts for your audience. If you can only write four quality posts a week, you can simply stop there. Don’t post another one just to hit your goal of five posts a week.

Dina recounted that she started by publishing one post a week. After a month, she increased it to two posts a week. What she consistently made sure is that her posts are quality posts. Within nine months, she was able to gain 9,000 followers.


Win Outside LinkedIn, Too

LinkedIn generally favours posts over articles. So if you want to publish an article, the better platform would be your website, Medium, or newsletter. It’s also not advisable to use LinkedIn own’s newsletter feature because it’s not clever to not own your audience.

Your goal should be to have an audience on the platform and outside of the platform where you can own your audience. In essence, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket.

To reach out to Dina, you can message her on her LinkedIn account. She and her company offer personalised, one-on-one LinkedIn coaching. They’re also set to unveil a LinkedIn course soon. Apart from these, they are also providing a content matrix and framework to help you save up to 70% of your time when creating content. They are also teaching how to write copy for both your LinkedIn profile and website, including sales and landing pages.


This article is based on a transcript from my podcast The UnNoticed Entrepreneur, you can listen here.

Cover image by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash


Dina Calakovic
Dina Calakovic