Looking to share your expertise and build authority with other business professionals on a well known and easy to use platform?

If you are an insurance agent, you likely have established a LinkedIn profile.

Most people think of LinkedIn simply as a place to enter their basic work contact information or as a job board.

LinkedIn boasts over 396 million users and has always been known as a place to list your business credentials and grow your network, but there is one feature most insurance agents don’t consider.

Insurance agents have free access to a powerful content delivering system on this business social media site they are probably already using.

 Are you Using LinkedIn Publisher?

What is LinkedIn Publisher?

LinkedIn Publisher is a build in content delivery tool within the LinkedIn platform where you can publish articles and share them with your network.

It has the look and feel of a blog post, but instead of publishing content to your own website, your new content will appear on the LinkedIn network that will be shared with your connections and become part of your LinkedIn profile.

Why is LinkedIn Publisher valuable?

When you create a new post on LinkedIn Publisher, a couple of important things happen.

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First, immediately after you hit “publish,” your connections and followers on LinkedIn will be notified that you have published a new post.

Here is an example of a notification I received from one of my insurance agent connections.

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Secondly, your post will automatically become part of LinkedIn’s Pulse network.

That means your post will be searchable by keywords or topics related to your article within LinkedIn’s Pulse network.

If your post generates enough attention, it may even be featured on the LinkedIn Pulse network, which can provide you with a huge amount of traffic and interest.

Here is a post I submitted over a year ago, which generated much more traffic and comments than a typical blog post on my website.

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Being able to share your business insights directly to your connections and followers as well being searchable is a great opportunity for any insurance agent. Creating content on LinkedIn that benefits your target audience will help build your reputation, connections, and influence.

How do you use it? 

Using LinkedIn publisher is simple. When sign in to LinkedIn, you are given three basic choices if you want to add new content to the platform.

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First, you can share an update. That is what most people do who contribute new content to LinkedIn.  This could include sharing an interesting article from the web or a helpful idea.

Another option would be to add an image. Remember, this is LinkedIn not Facebook so no cat pictures. Common images are powerful quotes and business infographics.

The last option is to “Publish a post.” This is where you create a new post on LinkedIn Publisher.

Once you click, “Publish a post,” you will be taken to a new page where you can begin creating your own post.

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Now you are ready to add your content, headline, and image to your post.

LinkedIn Publisher has a very nice built-in content editor where you can use headings, bold, italicize, underline, format, add bullet points and lists, link to websites.  You can also add images, video, and embed content.
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If you already have content available from another source like Microsoft Word or another editor, you can simple copy and paste your content right into LinkedIn Publisher.

Next, you need to add your image and headline.  

Screen Shot 2015-12-14 at 6.55.07 AMImages are vital to capture attention of your potential readers. LinkedIn recommends an image of 700 x 400 pixels.  If you don’t have the perfect size, don’t sweat it as it will still look fine, but try to get one as close a possible so that the image isn’t overly distorted.

I use a program called Canva for almost all of my images.  Not only can you search for images that compliment your post, but you can utilize the specific dimensions of 700 x 400 pixels. You can get a great looking image custom sized for only $1.00.

Once you have saved your image, simply click the image box and choose the image you want to use.  Your new image will be instantly uploaded to you LinkedIn post.

Choosing a headline is your next action. 

A good headline will often determine whether or not someone reads your post or not.  It needs to grab attention and create interest.

Using a headline like “Why Workers Compensation is Important for Business” will be far less effective than, “3 Workers Compensation Mistakes That is Costing Your Business Money.”

This takes practice and trial and error, but don’t let an important post go unnoticed because of a generic headline.

Once you have your content finished, image uploaded, and decided on a powerful headline, there are still a couple things you need to do.

There is a tagging feature at the bottom of the post. These tags will help people interested in the subjects you have tagged make it easier to find your content.  When you start typing in the subjects in the tagging area of LinkedIn Publisher, common tags will begin to pre-fill automatically.

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At this point the only actions left are to edit your post, save, or publish.

I recommend not just reading your post, but reading it out loud and slowly. Better yet, have someone read it for you to look for grammatical errors or typos.

I have a tendency to get rush this process and often find mistakes letter. It’s not the end of the world if you make a error, but LinkedIn is a professional platform and you don’t want anything the diminish your reputation.

LinkedIn Publisher has a save feature at the top right along with the publish button. If you are not ready to share with the world quite yet, hit save and come back to the post when you are ready. Note that LinkedIn Publisher does auto save your content consistently, but it’s always a good idea to be safe.

If you are ready to move forward and hit publish, there is only one thing left to do. Take a deep breath, smile about your hard work, and hit the publish button.

Once you hit publish, LinkedIn Publisher will give you one more chance to review your post to make sure you are 100% ready to publish.  Once you hit “yes” your post will be live on LinkedIn.

What are the pros/cons to using LinkedIn Publisher?

Now that I have told you what, why, how to use LinkedIn Publisher, what are some of the pros and cons vs. putting this content on your own blog or website? There are several, but I want to focus just a couple.

Pros:

  1. LinkedIn Publisher is easy to use

Many insurance agents have content they want to distribute to their prospects and customers, but don’t want to go through the process of setting up a blogging platform. LinkedIn Publisher minimizes that excuse.

Any insurance agent with new thoughts, ideas, or solutions to client issues can be up and running right away.

2.  LinkedIn Publisher provides a built in audience

If you have already spent time on LinkedIn and built numerous connections, LinkedIn Publisher provides a way to deliver new content directly to those connections. Plus, your content will become part of the Pulse network.

Cons:

  1. You don’t “own” the content.

Yes, the content you produce on LinkedIn Publisher will be credited to you, but you don’t own the LinkedIn platform. You are renting space. If LinkedIn decides they want to change the rules in the way content is shared and delivered on their platform, you have no ability to stop them.

     2. Your audience must be on LinkedIn.

Not every agent’s ideal client is own LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a rapidly growing platform, but that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. If the clients you are trying to reach are either not on LinkedIn or not active on LinkedIn, they likely will never see your posts on LinkedIn Publisher. You can share your published posts to other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but it may not be as effective.

The Bottom Line

I feel that all insurance agents should be using content as a way to grow visibility, gain authority, and build trust.  LinkedIn Publisher provides agents the opportunity to do all three.  

You don’t have be a world-class writer, you just have to have something to share that provides value to the audience you serve.

Your prospects and clients are looking for thought leaders and solution providers.

LinkedIn Publisher is a great tool you can leverage for your business to stand out from your competition and maximize your influence.

Brent Kelly is the co-founder and CEO of BizzGrizz Marketing. He helps agents stand up, stand tall, and stand out.  If you are looking to attract more prospects and retain more loyal clients, register for his free webinar, “How to Build Your Book of Business Through Blogging.”

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