Many companies wish to have visible experts, also known as thought leaders, present on LinkedIn as this both benefits the company, the employees’ brand, and contributes to better premises for a strong positioning. But how do you become a visible expert? What does it take, and how do you keep nurturing this position? In this article, we present you with the purpose and key points of being a visible expert.
The competition for people’s attention on LinkedIn is intense and is not predicted to change anytime soon. Thus, the need to create valuable content and act as a visible expert for yourself and your company is more relevant than ever in relation to gaining peoples’ attention and engagement. This is underlined by the fact that 70% of visible experts are found through search engines, webinars, and LinkedIn.
What is a visible expert?
A visible expert is someone who is actively present on social media, for example, LinkedIn, and who takes the lead in sharing enriching content of trustworthy character to represent themselves and their company well. Being a visible expert is about tapping into the talent, experience, and passion of your industry, and consistently address the major questions and topics of your target audience through sharing various content and engaging in conversation.
One way to characterize visible experts is through the five levels depicted in “The Five Levels of Expertise” pyramid. In the model, visible experts can be placed on five different levels depending on their success with being the person other people seek out for industry insights. The five levels are:
- The Resident Expert
- The Local Hero
- The Rising Star
- The Industry Rockstar
- The Global Superstar
The breaking down of subject-matter experts into five silos helped the authors of The Visible Expert organize their findings and conclusions into a cohesive narrative, and I strongly recommend the book.
The value of visible experts
So what are these personal and company-related benefits gained from being a visible expert? First of all, being a visible expert can open doors to other companies and markets which you possibly want to be in contact with, or connected to, on LinkedIn for various purposes. Once these doors are open, there is a better chance of exploiting these contacts and connections when being active and present on LinkedIn, as you might have caught the attention of the relevant influencers and connections. Second, 60% of the asked experts in the study said, that visible experts increased the companies’ growth rate and business development. Third, visible experts will lead to a strengthened position in relation to building both the companies and the personal brand. Thus, investing in resources to develop and gain visible experts can have several different positive effects on your company.
The steps of becoming a visible expert
The first step, to become a visible expert, is to identify the specific audience connected to you and your brand and identify who is most likely to appreciate your expert knowledge on the relevant subjects. Once the audience is identified, the second step is to uncover the topics experiencing the greatest interest, and to prioritize these when creating content, such as articles, and engaging in conversations and discussions. The third step is to post, share, engage in conversation and discussions, and be actively present on LinkedIn on a continuous basis. The continuous bais is important to emphasize as only regular activity, and keeping up a certain pace significantly benefits your own, and your companies’ position.
Thus, there can be significant value in being a visible expert or having them representing your company as gaining peoples’ attention, and being visible can create various beneficial opportunities for sales and Social Selling efforts, amongst others.