The other day I was using Google to search for guidance on a difficult client situation, when I came across Ilise Benun's post on the Creative Freelancer blog, "Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Client."
Ilise runs a LinkedIn group called Creative Freelancer Conference, built as an extension of the annual HOW Design Live and Creative Freelancer Conference. In the blog post, she repeated a question from one of her LinkedIn group members - with permission, of course, and with a link to the member's website.
At the end of the post, Ilise wrote, "This question has gotten a number of helpful responses from other creatives. Any advice for Stacey? Join the CFC LinkedIn Group to take part in the conversation."
I was very impressed by this clever combination of LinkedIn and blogging, and I asked Ilise how the blogging strategy is working for her. She replied:
"The LinkedIn Group I moderate for creative freelancers is a place where members engage in very rich discussions. But that group is restricted to members so it’s not accessible to those outside the group or to the search engines. By reposting on my blog, I’m trying to make the material available to a wider audience and grow the LinkedIn Group as well. And it works!"
It certainly worked on me - I joined the group! It also helped when I saw that several people from my network were already members.
By the way, if you're thinking about starting your own group, check out these tips for effectively managing a LinkedIn group.
As a perfect follow up to my previous post about how to turn your Facebook activity into blog posts, here are a few other ideas for doing the same thing on LinkedIn:
Whether you answer on LinkedIn or not (note: doing so would be great for attracting new connections and showcasing your expertise), browsing the questions about your industry is a great way of making sure your blog content is relevant. If one person asked, many are wondering!
[Update January 22, 2013 - LinkedIn is closing its Answers section at the end of January 2013. Instead, look for relevant questions within your LinkedIn groups.]
Follow LinkedIn's Thought Leaders
LinkedIn now features regular posts from some fascinating and inspiring business leaders. Write a response to one of these articles on your blog, or just see how they inspire your own ideas.
Review Your Endorsements
Is there a skill you'd like more recognition for? Write a blog post that demonstrates that skill. You could tell the story of how you used that skill to help a client, or write a "how to" article that highlights your knowledge and expertise.
When you're active on LinkedIn and other social networking sites, you're creating valuable content that can benefit both your business and your website visitors. Be sure to take that extra step and convert your social networking activity into blog posts.