If you could be Richard Branson, wouldn’t you be?
Well you can’t. But you can follow in at least one of his footsteps now that LinkedIn is opening up its publishing platform. By expanding their content platform beyond the “influencers” with which it started – including Bill Gates, President Obama and others who need another pulpit like they need a … – they are giving a pulpit to the 275+ million everyday LinkedIn members.
Given the nature of the LinkedIn audience and, importantly, that audience’s expectations of the LinkedIn world, this is a very promising development. Your LinkedIn profile can become, it seems, a sort of individual professional blog, with your posts permanently attached to your profile.
The expansion isn’t complete yet. LinkedIn says they’ll roll it out to all members over the next few months. For now, they’re ramping up slowly. So it remains to be seen whether this becomes a truly useful content marketing tool or another social network experiment that lands quickly on the discard heap.
My sense is it will work, and if it does, you will have the ability to establish and burnish a reputation as a thought leader in your industry, as well as build and strengthen relationships with colleagues, vendors and potential customers.
Either way, it certainly seems to point to a future where we’re all publishers, and a future where those who aren’t comfortable expressing themselves in writing (or visually) will be at a great disadvantage.