Where do good LinkedIn content ideas come from?

August 30, 2023

Podcast Episode 44: Where do good LinkedIn content ideas come from?

I just finished this book called Yellowface by R.F. Kuang. My friend Aila Malik recommended it to me and at its heart, one of the things it’s about is storytelling and where ideas originate from. 

There’s a quote from the book “I don’t create so much as I collect. The world is already so rich. All I do is distill the messiness of human life into a concentrated reading experience.” 

So that got me thinking, “Where do good LinkedIn content ideas come from?”

What makes LinkedIn content good or bad? 

I think first we need to break down and define: what even is good LinkedIn content? Really, good isn’t the right word because that’s so subjective – it’s more like, impactful or useful or having the ability to move people forward. 

Because thought leadership itself is action-oriented. That’s what makes thought leadership different from simply being an influencer or just simply being the smartest person in the room as a subject matter expert. The whole goal of thought leadership is getting people on the same page to move forward in alignment with a vision. 

So, powerful thought leadership content needs to build trust. It needs to provide value, either by sharing a unique perspective that makes folks think in a new way, or by sharing how-to information that helps people grow. It should be something that can be added upon to create conversation and dialogue – in the form of comments and DM’s. Maybe it’s sticky and by nature people want to repost and share it to organically get it in front of new, like-minded people. 

What it DOESN’T need to be is perfect. It doesn’t even need to be always necessarily super well thought out in order to be good, impactful, or useful. Sometimes those off the cuff thoughts are exactly what your audience needs to hear at that moment. And that being said, I think most of all, the measure of good content is that it’s deeply resonant with your ideal audience – the people you serve and support.

Highlights from the podcast episode: 

Ideas for LinkedIn Content

Much like the quote from the book, ideas for LinkedIn content comes from the messiness of human life and in our cases, the messiness of entrepreneurship and running social impact businesses. I think they come from solidarity with your target audience and your mutual vision, from being strategic in your thinking as it relates to where your company, and maybe most of all, it comes from you sharing the stories of what you’ve grown through to become the guide you are today. 

So enjoy this episode and if you’re wanting to go deeper into sharing your stories and perspectives on LinkedIn to attract inbound opportunities, I encourage you to sign up for the waitlist for October’s LinkedIn Content Sprint. Doors open for registration on Sep 19 and we only have 20 spots available, because it does include unlimited 1:1 copy coaching from me, personally. 

If you’re an impact driven founder with a story inside you and a status-quo shifting opinion, join the Sprint. You’ll batch 24 strategic, timeless, and re-purposable pieces of content for LinkedIn that will build trust, community, and influence in your sector. 

Online tools to inspire LinkedIn content ideas 

So the first place good LinkedIn content ideas come from is from a deep shared understanding and really solidarity with your target audience. Who is it that you’re writing for? What are they facing right now? What are they googling in the middle of the night? What are they asking their business mastermind buddies about right now in Slack and struggling through, together? 

I think one basic place to start coming up with ideas are the online tools we have available to us. These are great when you have writer’s block or feel like you’ve talked about everything already. One of my favorite websites or tools to get new ideas is called www.answerthepublic.com and it was created by Neil Patel. OK so I’m going to actually navigate there right now and tell you how I use it. 

It says here on the website – Discover what people are talking about, and there’s a place here for me to type in some keywords. If you’ve been listening to this podcast for any amount of time, you know I help social impact entrepreneurs use LinkedIn to build their influence and visibility. 

So, I’m gonna type in LinkedIn. It looks like there’s a search volume of 11 million so that’s good, people are wanting to know more about this. So as I scroll down, there’s a wheel here and it shows me what people – what all kinds of people – are searching for as it relates to LinkedIn. Some interesting things that are popping up here include:

  • “Can LinkedIn premium see anonymous.” This could be a whole post about the “Who Viewed Your Profile” section and what you can do in this area to follow up with people. 
  • “How LinkedIn algorithm works” – What would make sense for me to do here, based on my perspective, is sharing about the algorithm but then really talking about how it doesn’t matter and instead, we should focus on resonance with a small group of superfans vs. reach with all of LinkedIn. 
  • “Which LinkedIn learning courses are the best” – I love that one, and can imagine a great post where I share some of the best courses about LinkedIn and thought leadership and tag the course creators. You could do something like this for your own topic. That would help build a relationship with those folks, who could become amplifiers and referral partners over time. 
  • “LinkedIn where are saved posts” – Oooh great question, I wonder if folks even know they can save posts or to encourage their readers to save a post. 
  • “Are LinkedIn messages private” – ok that’s interesting, I haven’t done any content really about LinkedIn messaging and DM’ing, that would be good to do. 

There’s 700 results here, I could keep going but there are some really interesting tidbits here and little nudges for content ideas – mostly those how-to content ideas but you can always include your own point of view and share the unique ways you think about your work. 

So, what’s the keywords you could type into here, and get like, hundreds and hundreds of content ideas for? 

LinkedIn content ideas from your target audience

But like I said, this is the basic way to come up with good LinkedIn content ideas. It’s OK to be basic, but the BETTER way to come up with content ideas is to actually be in community and ask your people. You know, dreamy past clients, friends who have commonalities and shared backgrounds with the types of people you want to work with, etc. 

You could do this 1:1, like a mini market research call. You could do this with several people, like in a focus group. You could do this with past data like notes you keep from your discovery calls, like in Honeybook. Or, notes from prior applications if you have a group program, which I use Airtable for. 

Most of us have all the raw material available to transform into a wellspring of valuable information and content, which then positions us as a go-to and in-demand voice in our sector. Opportunities follow. Clients follow. Self-actualization and embodied leadership can follow. 

Yea yea yea, it’s easier said than done, I’m not saying it’s easy but I am saying it can be simple. 

Storytelling on LinkedIn

When all else fails, I think that many of us expertise-led small businesses have gained that expertise through our own experiences of living through the problem we now help solve for other people. So, tapping into your own stories, finding the message contained within those stories, and using them to guide others into solutions – those are the best pieces of LinkedIn content, in my humble opinion. 

Auntie Brene Brown says “One day, you will tell your story of how you overcame what you went through and it will be someone else’s survival guide.”

So where do we capture these stories from? I mean, I think some good places to start would be to poke through your photo albums, camera rolls and Google photos, ask your parents or the people who knew you when you were younger about funny memories that stick out, get together with old friends and ask them what they’d come to you for advice on and why, read your old diaries and journals – if you dare, daydream, think about why you started your business and what that low point or turning point was when you decided something had to change for the people you serve. What were some of the stories you were facing and how do you see them play out now?

Creating intentional space for LinkedIn content ideas 

This does require space. I did another podcast episode about intentionally cultivating your creativity a a thought leader, and  it’s really important to have designated time and space in your calendar to allow for these nuggets to emerge.  Everyone can intentionally create space for openness and letting these ideas download from the universe. You may just need to be more ruthless with the things you say no to. This work of tapping into our creativity to consistently come up with good LinkedIn content ideas – I think to some extent it’s innate but it can definitely be nurtured. We’re all born with this sense of curiosity and wonder. We all have a tendency to seek meaning. Sometimes, the systems we live in have burned that tendency out of us or squashed it – yes. But we can find our way back there, and I think that element or practice is important to having these good, sticky ideas emerge. 

Strategic LinkedIn content for your business

Ok and finally, to close us out – let’s talk about how being strategic can lead to good LinkedIn content. To just break this down to its most obvious level, what do you have going on in your business like 6-8 weeks from now? Are you launching something? Is a client contract ending soon so you’ll have space for another long-term retainer client? Ummmm what else – are you taking a sabbatical or parental leave and so people have gotta sign up with you now in order to get in the door? What are the cycles and seasons of your business: do you do a lot of 1:1 VIP Days at the end of the year in December to set people up for their next year? If so, then maybe now would be a good time to start seeding some stories about them, in September and October. 

Repurposing LinkedIn content for fresh posts

At its worst, content marketing can feel like a treadmill, always needing to come up with new and fresh ideas to deliver to your audience. But it doesn’t have to be this way, especially if you already have some packaged thinking already put together. I want you to write less, and share more. Have you ever done a webinar or workshop for a group? Or created a video for a client or a group of people? ALL of those things can become stubs for multiple pieces of content. 

  • Take an old webinar and turn it into a LinkedIn carousel, sharing a story about that webinar and some of the top questions or audience feedback that came up when you’d give that workshop. 
  • Check Google Analytics to see your top performing blogs – or check your LinkedIn analytics to see your top performing posts – and literally just post an update with a fresh new image. 
  • Take your amazing testimonials from a sales page, and share the story as a very short case study in a LinkedIn post. 

Remember, people need to hear something multiple times for it to stick or to take action. I actually just did a version of this using my podcast analytics; I saw how many people listened to the episode I just did about updating your LinkedIn profile – which turned out to be the most listened to one by the way – and just turned it into a free email challenge, using the same transcript and words from the article. Get creative with it. 

There’s a couple resources I’d recommend you check out if you’re wanting a deeper dive on LinkedIn content ideas and staying consistent. 

That’s going to be: 

Check em out, and I’ll see you next time!

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