1. Video is the future of content
TikTok is the fastest-growing platform in the world and 80% of US adults use YouTube. These are really significant numbers and they are just going to get bigger. Clearly, video is the future of content and communications.
But there’s a lot to think about, especially if you are new to this format. During the programme, I challenged myself to create a video each week.
These are a couple of things I learnt:
- Don’t get hung up on not having fancy equipment, your phone will do. Getting started is more important than having the right camera lens.
- Lighting makes a HUGE difference, to the quality of the video and how good your face (and skin) looks. Invest in ring light and also try to find good natural lighting.
- Sound – if you can get a microphone or alternatively I have found that Descript‘s Studio Sound really improves sound quality
- Composition – think about your shot and how you frame your face
- Teleprompters – I find remembering scripts quite difficult, so at the start, I used a teleprompter called BigVu.
- I tried out two different editing software – iMovie and Descript. I found iMovie more intuitive, but Descript had much cooler capabilities
- The quality of your recording – high definition definitely looks better but takes up more storage space
Shout out to George Downs at WSJ for being so encouraging, supportive and enthusiastic about my journey!
2. Newsjacking generates current conversations
I found that posting something that going on in the news led to higher engagement and comments. Lots of people have thoughts they would like to share on current events, so start that conversation.
I posted two news events:
- Heartstopper star Kit Connor ‘forced’ to come out as bisexual
- My predictions for the Autumn Budget
Thank you to Sam Shead for including my comment right at the top of your LinkedIn summary.
3. Make content accessible
The world and systems we operate in make people disabled. So we need to change the systems to be more inclusive – this includes content. Accessible content makes for better content for EVERYONE – I certainly appreciate captions.
Here are just a couple of ways you can make your posts more inclusive and accessible:
- CamelCase hashtags – when using hashtags, capitalise the first letter of each word. (Screen readers aren’t able to identify the individual words in a hashtag otherwise.)
- Include ALT text and image descriptions.
- Beware of overusing emojis
- Use inclusive language
- Break the sentences down like paragraphs so its easier to read
A HUGE thank you to Jamie Shields Shield for your incredible content and practical tips, you are an absolute star and a ray of sunshine.
4. Don’t just entertain; teach – find your niche and share your knowledge
This was a key learning from the phenomenal Paul Carrick Brunson. If you are posting on LinkedIn you should always ask, what value can you bring to the world?
I tried to talk about inclusive language, white supremacy, neurodiversity, creativity and entrepreneurship and my experience on the LinkedIn Accelerator programme.
This should be central to anyone’s content marketing strategy.
5. Going viral(ish) is cool, but a little overwhelming so look after yourself
One of my posts had close to 500 likes and over 34,000 views. This was the first time this happened to me, and I was both excited and a little overwhelmed. To reach so many people with just one post is amazing. Shout out to LinkedIn for Creators for liking and commenting on the posts, this was definitely the reason views skyrocketed.
But I also had a load of random men sending me DMs on LinkedIn who I had never met before, which definitely made me feel uncomfortable. It’s honestly why I left other platforms and I can only image what other people (trans activists, people of the global majority, people with disabilities) have to put up with.
6. Celebrate your achievements
Don’t be afraid to celebrate wins, big and small. LinkedIn is definitely a platform for that and I love that so much.
I celebrated reaching 600 subscribers to this newsletter, getting on the programme and getting off of it!
7. Get outside your comfort zone, build in public and experiment
Things don’t have to be perfect, one video or post will turn into 5, which turn into 50 which will turn into 500.
Here is a list of things that didn’t quite go to plan:
- Under estimating how difficult video editing is….
- Having no clue about the tech to set up a LinkedIn Live properly
- Timing – I would have loved to have launched my podcast this side of Christmas, but I’m so exhausted that I think it will have to wait for
- Trying to collaborate more with other creators!
- Being more strategic with my content, instead of waking up each morning and losing a couple of hours to mild panic
8. You can make amazing connections online
So remember to comment on people’s posts, send those direct messages, and have virtual or in-person coffees. Be supportive of each other.
Special shout out to my creator group 🧙🏽 ♀️ Sabrina Chevannes (EMBA, MCIM), Claire-Elizabeth Carpenter ✨, Trina Nicole and Luke Manton, to Dr. Jonathan Ashong-Lamptey for your wonderful enthusiasm and support for my podcast idea, to Bella Ikpasaja (she/her) FRSA, CIPD Affiliate for being such a sweetheart, for Nick Raeburn and Hayley Hudson for bringing so much delightful energy and being so welcoming. And to so many others who I met in person for the first time last week!!
9. Protect your time
I’ve definitely spent more time on social media during this process and would like to spend less. I actually deleted the LinkedIn app off my phone for a while on the programme to curb my useage, which definitely helped!
I’m going to take a proper break from social media during the Christmas holiday, to reflect and revive myself.
10. This is only the beginning
This whole process has definitely inspired me to up what I offer on LinkedIn. I’m super excited to be doing my first LinkedIn live with the fabulous Ayan Said 🌍🦋 and will be launching my podcast idea next year!
I’m also prototyping content coaching ideas for social activists and changemakers…
So watch this space.
This article was written by Emily Horton, the founder of the inclusive communication agency More Diverse Voices.
Over the past 7 years, she has helped charities, think tanks, policymakers, investors, and fast-growth tech companies find their voice. She has helped craft thought leadership pieces, reports, press releases, social media campaigns and pitched stories to the press.
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