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How to Create a Leadership Series on LinkedIn

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Your leaders are some of your most effective brand ambassadors, recruiters, and company and team promoters. And, there’s a platform built for their thought leadership: LinkedIn.

There’s never been more of an opportunity to shine a light on your leaders while promoting your brand to a built-in audience eager to hear from them. A leadership series on LinkedIn brings your leaders out of the C-suite and into the everyday lives of their connections.

What is a leadership series on LinkedIn? 

A leadership series on LinkedIn is a collection of social posts, in a variety of formats like video, long form writing, articles, pdfs, or photos. Each piece of content in the series is posted over time by the leader and can also be shared or posted by the corporate LinkedIn channel. The intention of a leadership series is to give the audience insight into the leader’s perspective and the culture at their company. 

Sharing a leader’s perspective and experience is the most important part of the leadership series. Personal and professional stories are the best performing social content. They are also the easiest way to humanize leaders.

The challenge is to get your most effective team leaders to tell personal and professional stories on social media, consistently. Communications and marketing leaders, they need your help! 

Here’s how you can help leaders tell effective stories on LinkedIn. 

Step One: Select Your Leader Storytellers

We’ve learned that you don’t have to be extroverted and charismatic to tell great stories. When you use a thoughtful and facilitated process (more below), you can get a great story every time, from every person.

However, there are some things to consider when choosing your first leader to create a leadership series on LinkedIn. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Start with a leader that’s “grown up” in the  organization or industry. They can share insights into how they grew their career that will give their stories added relevance to your employee population. We like this story from Mike, who grew up in the automotive industry and is now a senior leader:
  • Pick a leader driving an important company initiative. Their stories will mutually benefit from concurrent company marketing campaigns or the timeliness of a current event people are already talking about.  We like this story from Ann, a company leader who shares a personal story to underscore the importance of mental health while promoting Trane’s wellness program:
  • Choose a leader with a large LinkedIn network. It takes time to see success on LinkedIn, but starting with someone who already has a large network is an advantage if you’re trying to show quick results and impact for buy-in for more leaders later.
  • Identify a leader who has something to gain. Find a leader who can personally gain something  from participating in the series, like a new service to promote, a new role they’re stepping into, or if they’re growing and recruiting for their organization. We like this from our partner Jill Shabelman, who wrote a LinkedIn article about her employee advocacy experience that informed a course Stories Inc. launched.
  • Look for a leader who wants to reward and recognize their team. It’s natural for those that aren’t content creators to feel like they don’t have anything to say or don’t want to feel like they’re bragging. This isn’t an ego exercise; there’s a greater purpose in posting. By activating a leader on LinkedIn, they are highlighting their team’s great work. Telling stories can be about recognition, too.
  • Select leaders who love your company and show them they can help. Bashful leaders should know sharing their stories helps their company and their colleagues. Leadership stories attract and engage candidates, customers, and more. Also, your exec will score major points with their marketing leaders: employee and leader stories outperform all other content on social channels. And, leadership stories likely support and promote company or team initiatives, so a leadership series is a gift to communications teams who are constantly searching for ways to connect with their audience and get their messages out. 

Step Two: Make it Easy for your Team Leader to Tell Stories

It’s intimidating to post on LinkedIn. Even the most excited participants don’t follow through with posting consistently. And, even the most eloquent, socially-savvy leaders don’t always know what to say. Sometimes posts aren’t successful right away which is a blow to an ego and it can feel like wasted time. That’s why leaders need some help!

Here are ways to uncover the best stories from your leaders: 

  • Facilitate the interview process! It’s not only easier for the leader to have a conversation with someone as a way to think about and tell their personal stories, but you’ll get better content.
  • Make it easy for them to participate. Is there a leadership retreat already scheduled? Find a time to interview one leader (or more!) while they are already participating in all-hands or corporate events.
  • Real stories perform best. Remind your storytelling leader that the most popular content, always, is personal and professional stories. They are the experts of their experiences. It’s very easy for leaders to fall into well-spoken paragraphs about their organization. While it may make them sound smart, it won’t create a lasting impression for their audience. 
  • Set the stage. The more conversational the storytelling, the better. That means you need to set the stage. You need to put your leader at ease so they can be themselves on camera. Do your homework while preparing questions ahead of time and give them the confidence you are prepared… but also steer the conversation to stories that appear during your interview. Quick tip: schedule a short prep call ahead of your interview so your storyteller knows you  before sitting down to the interview. It helps build easy rapport on both sides.

Step Three: Create Great Content 

One of the golden rules of content performance on LinkedIn is to interact with your posts once you’ve published. But, no one will be motivated to do that if they don’t feel well represented and excited about the content itself. You also won’t benefit from a corporate channel boost if the visuals aren’t in line with company branding. 

To create the best content, you need to:

  • Care about good production. People don’t share content that’s dimly lit, or if their sound is off. There are ways to film virtually that still result in good visual content, although filming in person is always best. Your corporate channel also won’t share it if you don’t abide by brand guidelines and quality standards.  
  • Focus on substance. Use real stories and human moments from the interview to bring out the best from your leaders. 
  • Make it count for your company goals. Capture the human moments, but also tie it to a cultural or company takeaway. When your exec is participating because it’s also beneficial to their team and/or company,  the content needs to be clearly connected to that goal. 

Step Four: Launch, and Maximize Opportunity 

Even the best content may take a while to catch maximum attention. Here are some basic LinkedIn tips that will help you make the most of your LinkedIn series launch. 

  • Post Monday through Friday during business hours, considering many time zones. 
  • Let others in your company know the post is live so they can like and interact with it.
  • Engage with comments and questions. It’s important for the leader to engage with their post during the first hour (at a minimum).  
  • Time your post launch to coincide with times others may be talking about the same subject. 
  • Make sure the video or photos look good. If not, delete and fix it until it’s correct. Sometimes LinkedIn changes the way they display visuals so  be prepared to fiddle with the post until it’s correctly displayed in both mobile and desktop views. 

Step Five: Post Consistently 

It straight up takes time to build and engage an audience. Even a leader with the most connections won’t benefit from the algorithm rules until they are publishing consistently over time. 

That’s why a series is so important. From even a half hour interview, you can uncover many different stories from your leader that will fuel their posts. 

From there, you will be able to create a wide variety of content types, the most popular being video clips. But LinkedIn articles, posts with photos, and videos of varying lengths all serve as a way to build and engage an audience. 

You have a tremendous opportunity in front of you right now: leadership stories are the most popular content on LinkedIn, and the algorithm is prioritizing thought leadership from individuals. With the right leadership storytelling content, and following these best practices, you can humanize your leaders while promoting your brand and culture messages. 

Need help creating a LinkedIn Leadership Series? We’re happy to help. Reach out and schedule time to talk!