By now, you've likely heard about the importance of being found on LinkedIn. Whether you're exiting the military and looking for a first job, looking for a better job or looking to keep your job, LinkedIn is a powerful positioning tool to help others learn more about you and what you offer.
When it was launched in 2003, LinkedIn had the reputation of being only for job seekers. Today, it's a very different social networking platform. Business leaders, global professionals, decision-makers and even the media scour LinkedIn for information, insights, inspiration and resources to help them grow.
A professional platform, LinkedIn is traditionally not where you'll find the social or uber casual content of sites such as Instagram or Facebook, where users share vacation pictures, recipes and political messages. Instead, LinkedIn focuses on business, commerce and professional development for its 930 million members in 200 countries.
What Is LinkedIn Creator Mode?
In 2021, LinkedIn introduced "Creator Mode" to the platform. The tool allows users to grow their reach and influence by offering several benefits, including:
- The "connect" button changes to a "follow" button, increasing the number of followers a user has. You do not have to approve or initiate followership like you do with connections (which are either "accepted" or "ignored").
- When someone sends you a request to connect, the site automatically makes them a follower. If you ignore the request, they remain a follower until they choose not to be. This helps grow followership.
- You can turn your profile image into a brief video. When visitors come to your LinkedIn profile, instead of seeing your static headshot, they'd see a short video of you introducing yourself, speaking about your talents and passions or any other message you want to share.
- You can access features of LinkedIn such as LinkedIn Live programs and the newsletter feature. If you plan to share content regularly, these features can extend your reach and visibility, as well as promote your area of expertise to target audiences.
- You can access deeper analytics on how your profile is performing, as well as other Creator Mode-only tools LinkedIn regularly introduces.
Who Should Use LinkedIn Creator Mode?
As listed above, there are many benefits to using the Creator Mode feature on LinkedIn. Some questions to ask yourself before you opt in:
- How are you using the site? Are you looking to grow your connections with individuals who could network you into a job opportunity? Perhaps growing your personal "connections" serves you better than increasing your followership. Even if someone is a follower, you still can connect with them, but the relationship starts off more removed than engaged.
- If you're positioning yourself as an authority in an area, will you be publishing content that you want potential employers and influencers to see? Then, using the newsletter tool might be a reason to turn on the Creator Mode feature.
- Are you looking to leverage your prior military connections to grow your new career? Consider whether an initial "follow" option, instead of the customary "connect" button, will be a positive feature or a deterrent to growing your network.
- If you're in a career already, would having this feature turned on help your positioning as an authority or influencer? The optics of the initial "follow"-only option can send the impression that you're popular and therefore limiting the number of connections you seek. Note: Be sure you've met the 500+ connection threshold, or this could work in the reverse for your positioning.
- Would the newsletter feature empower you to create more thought leadership content, share more video and lead you to be more active on LinkedIn than you otherwise are?
- Would having a video message from you increase your relatability, approachability and authority with your current boss, team and network?
Not everyone needs to use Creator Mode, but if it makes sense for you and your positioning, consider giving it a try. You can always turn the feature off later if you don't find it beneficial.
The author of "Success After Service: How to Take Control of Your Job Search and Career After Military Duty" (2020) and "Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition" (2014), Lida Citroën is a keynote speaker and presenter, executive coach, popular TEDx speaker and instructor of multiple courses on LinkedIn Learning. She regularly presents workshops on personal branding, executive presence, leadership communication and reputation risk management.
A contributing writer for Military.com, Lida is a passionate supporter of the military, volunteering her time to help veterans transition to civilian careers and assist employers who seek to hire military talent. She regularly speaks at conferences, corporate meetings and events focused on military transition.
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