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Is it time to become a LinkedIn influencer and boost your career?

by | Oct 31, 2023

Two women holding a LinkedIn logo
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In recent years, LinkedIn has become more than just a platform for job searching, career networking, and sharing news from business leaders. It’s now content centric, with more and more users becoming creators and influencers. LinkedIn has supported this shift by adding Creator Mode, a suite of tools that allows users to host live events, build newsletters, and collect followers (not just “connections”), all on the platform.

Some marketers are making the most of these changes to establish their voice, access new career opportunities, and engage their audience. Should you join them and start investing time into growing your personal brand on LinkedIn? To find out, we spoke to two popular thought leaders who’ve done just that.

Why more people are becoming LinkedIn influencers

Although the type of content that creators share on LinkedIn might look different than Instagram or TikTok (no dancing videos here), the allure is similar: by growing an audience, you can earn exposure that unlocks new career opportunities and higher earnings. And, despite being 20 years old, LinkedIn isn’t (yet) flooded with creators. It’s estimated that only 1 to 2% of all users on the site are creating content.

Madison Butler is a full-time chief experience officer and influencer who advocates for mental health, DEI, and human-centric work environments. She’s built a 140,000-person following on LinkedIn by sharing her views about workplace culture and inclusion.

By being open about her beliefs on LinkedIn, Madison has attracted not just more career opportunities, but the right opportunities—ones that align with her values. Her full-time role at cannabis-centric glass company GRAV is a perfect example.

“I am lucky to work at GRAV because they support me and my work,” she tells us, explaining that people sometimes reach out to GRAV to take issue with her content, but the company has her back. “It has taught me the value in working with and for people who truly believe in you.”

But landing a perfect-fit full-time job isn’t the only benefit of building a personal brand on LinkedIn. Madison, for example, has leveraged LinkedIn’s platform to grow her audience and her corporate consulting business.



Other benefits of being an active creator on LinkedIn include speaking engagements, work promotions, partnerships, and networking opportunities. Plus, for full-time employees who are dreaming of an independent career, it can make the transition easier—after all, you’ve already got an audience of potential clients who are interested in your expertise.

Freelance writer Kaitlyn Arford says she’s gotten more writing assignments and speaking engagements as a result of growing her LinkedIn following, which is now more than 8,000 people.

“I’ve had organizations ask me to speak to their members,” she says. “I’ve had people reach out to see if I was available for assignments. When I’m not available or well-suited for a project, I refer it to another freelancer.”

Kaitlyn provides value to her audience by sharing useful tools, insights, and opportunities for fellow independent marketers. She also leverages her LinkedIn presence to promote her marketing services and increase subscriptions to her newsletter, which she monetizes through sponsorships.

Are there downsides to becoming a LinkedIn creator?

LinkedIn has a reputation for being the most “civil” and positive social network. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges that come with being a public figure on the platform.

Kaitlyn, who emphasizes that she’s had a mostly positive experience growing her LinkedIn following, admits that setting boundaries can be hard as a creator.

“I share a lot of advice and resources for free, and I get inundated with private messages,” she tells us. “People reach out to ask about finding clients, or with follow-up questions in response to a post.” While this is a great opportunity to engage with her audience, responding to everyone’s messages can be time consuming.

Madison, who posts about difficult topics, has discovered “a darker side” of having a huge audience. “Many of us are met with doxxing, threats, and people committed to finding us offline,” she explains. Madison shares that part of the challenge is not having a designated space to talk openly with fellow creators about these issues. “I’d love to be able to spend time with other creators thinking about how to solve many of those problems,” she adds.

How to become a LinkedIn influencer

It’s worth mentioning that when Madison and Kaitlyn first started creating LinkedIn content, they didn’t decide to become influencers—it gradually happened for them through the process of sharing thought-leadership content.

“When I began writing content in 2017, I never would’ve guessed that a few years later I would be considered a ‘LinkedIn influencer,’” Madison says. “I began writing because I recognized so many parts of work were broken and wanted to be able to put my thoughts about it out into the open.”

If you also have something to talk about and are interested in growing a following on LinkedIn, here are some tips to get started.

1. Have a niche: talk about your area of expertise and passion

What sparks your interest and sets your soul on fire? What topic do you know a lot about? If you’re just starting out and you’re not sure, it’s OK to experiment and see what works for you.

Narrowing your focus allows you to build a unique brand and provide more value to your audience.

“It’s impossible to be an expert on everything,” Madison says. Her niche became DEI and work-related mental health topics when she realized many people were scared to talk about them in the workplace. “I wanted to create a space to speak about the things that we go through and experience, while also removing the stigma from it.”

LinkedIn adds hashtags to active creator profiles, showing their area of expertise and topics they frequently explore. So a good step is to think about what your labels would be. Maybe you want to talk about your industry or area of marketing, or a broader workplace topic. Choose your theme, test it out, and make any adjustments from there, but stay focused.

Madison Butler's Linkedin

Madison’s LinkedIn profile highlights her niche topics of DEI and other important topics that impact mental health.


2. Stay true to who you are

Madison and Kaitlyn agree that the best thing you can do for your personal brand is to show up authentically.

“Be yourself,” Madison advises. “It is easy to want to follow the trends and hashtags, but it is worth it to stay true to you and your messaging.”

Kaitlyn adds, “It’s a lot easier to write LinkedIn posts when you care about what you’re saying.” Plus, she says that with the rise of AI, original thought leadership will likely stand out even more. “It’s easy to see when someone has used AI to write up a post without injecting their own thoughts into the platform.” She recommends not fully depending on AI tools to create your content because it’ll come across as hollow.

3. Be consistent

To keep your audience engaged and build your following, you have to post regularly.

Kaitlyn recommends scheduling posts in advance, especially when other areas of life require more of your time. “LinkedIn has made it easy to do that right through the platform,” she tells us, explaining that the platform’s scheduler helps her stay consistent and active on LinkedIn.

You might also find it useful to create a content schedule or plan, but Kaitlyn shares that she’s found success without one. “I do make an effort to post at least once a week to promote my newsletter and then a second time to share advice.”

You can create a regular posting routine that works for you, your niche, and your audience.

Brandon Smithwrick's LinkedIn post

Influencer Brandon Smithwrick shares the impact and benefits he’s reaped by posting consistently on LinkedIn for a year.


4. Stay updated on industry trends

Keep up with industry trends and events to inspire new content ideas.

“Pay attention to what people are talking about,” Kaitlyn recommends. “You don’t have to hop on every trend, but if you can provide a valuable insight into an ongoing trend or problem, you should!”

Also, never underestimate your knowledge because what may be obvious to you could be a valuable insight to your audience.

Tools for LinkedIn creators

Here are some tools to help you find success as a LinkedIn influencer.

  • Hypefury is a post-scheduling tool that Kaitlyn recommends for brainstorming and creating new content.
  • Taplio has a whole toolbox for LinkedIn creators. They also offer free resources such as trending topics, which Kaitlyn uses to inspire new content ideas.
  • AI platforms such as ChatGPT and Bard can help you generate ideas or create outlines and first drafts of your content. Just be sure to add your own original thoughts.
  • LinkedIn’s native tools within Creator Mode, including LinkedIn Live, Audio Events, Newsletters, and the Follow link.

You’re ready to become a LinkedIn influencer!

You’ve heard it from two successful LinkedIn influencers themselves: being a thought leader can enhance your independent or full-time career. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can unlock new opportunities all while building your personal brand and reputation as an expert in your field.

Remember to be passionate, consistent, and authentic in your content creation. Another tip for success is to actively engage with your audience and other thought leaders on LinkedIn as much as you share your own insights.

Have you built a following on LinkedIn to boost your career as a freelance marketer? We’d love to hear your story at

Vanessa Awuve-Tetevi is a Senior at Valparaiso University, studying Business Administration and Marketing. She is a Content Marketing Intern at We Are Rosie and loves flexing her creative writing skills and learning what it means to be a great storyteller.

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