How to Discover the Power of Your Professional Voice via Professional Networking and Content Creation

I joined LinkedIn in 2006. That is nearly 20 years ago!

Besides the typical sharing of news/events and commenting on people's achievements, I never wrote anything there.

And why would I? Everyone would read it and judge me!

It is better to hide and avoid being judged, right? It could harm my professional appearance! What if my colleagues read what I wrote there?

These were my thoughts until I started writing daily and publish not only on my personal website, but also on Medium.

And I learned a valuable lesson: No one cares!

I haven't figured it all out. I'm far from it! However, I made some small steps to get me started writing there, and I have seen tiny successes, so I want to document my journey.

If it just gets one person writing and sharing her voice, it is a win in my book.

How to overcome your mental blocker and start writing on LinkedIn

When LinkedIn introduced the collaborate article feature, I was intrigued. Then I looked at them and found the quality lacking. The questions felt like the typical AI generated average grey sludge.

I observed colleagues contribute and saw it showing up on my feed.

What a clever marketing ploy! Generate articles via AI, get people to contribute, and award them a badge.

I won't fall for that, surely!

However … there came a point in my writing journey, that I wanted to also start using my voice in my professional life. Get experience using writing to share my thoughts.

The collaborative articles seemed like a fantastic place to start! It wasn't as intimidating as writing my own full article or creating a thread.

This is how I decided to try to contribute and get a badge in my chosen field.

Use collaborative content as stepping stone

There is a vast variety of these articles out there. They all look the same.

They are in collections or topics and are questions within a question. Let's take Active Listening as an example.

At the moment of this writing, it appears to contain two articles.

Two articles, or questions, that then each contain sections, also questions, which one can contribute to.

When I started, I picked a topic I'm an expert in, searched for a couple of interesting looking questions. Questions that my customers typically are talking to me about.

Break Down Barriers

I chose articles where existing contributions lack my view point.

Then I started to write a few paragraphs for each. I started with 3 separate articles.

My plan for now is to contribute to these articles weekly. One contribution per week.

My main goal is to establish the habit of writing on LinkedIn. To get over the barrier I put up for myself.

Since I started, I gained the Community Voice badge in my chosen topic and also already wrote my own first thread.

If you want to follow the same path, remember, while the goal might be to run the proverbial marathon, your first 5k is going to feel amazing! Running for the first 5 minutes continuously is a feast!

Contributing to these articles, is my way of running for 5 minutes. The badge was a medal for completing my first 5k.

Remember, if I can do it, you can too!

Your Action Items:

1. Find your topic: Go to the topics list and decide on 3 topics that could be good fit for you.
2. Dive into existing articles: Explore existing collaborative articles to see if they appeal to you and your style.
3. Pick one topic: Decide which of these topics is best for you. Make sure your skills in your LinkedIn profile match these! Then start contributing.

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Last Update: December 16, 2023