What kind of LinkedIn'er are you? Do you set it and forget it for the day when you may actually start looking for a job? Or do you stir constantly, with an always-on consumption and update of projects, skills, and shared articles? LinkedIn wants you to be the latter, as it increases its aspirations of changing the way members see its service. LinkedIn wants you in the feed, sharing, writing, and commenting on your professional life the same way you do with your personal life on other networks.
To this end, one tactic LinkedIn has used is creating an ever-evolving, invite-only collection of influencers who share thoughts and insights on their relative industries and specialities. Some of these are the usual suspects like Richard Branson, Guy Kawasaki, and Arianna Huffington, but there are others who may be more difficult to find, but offer tip-worthy advice worth seeking out.
So, if you are in marketing or advertising, here are six influencers to follow on LinkedIn (that you may have never heard about).
Want to build your personal brand? Follow James Caan
Serial entrepreneur and investor in people with passion -- 1,328,984 followers
Not the actor, but equally as affecting. He publishes every few days and considers himself a "Serial Entrepreneur and Investor in People with Passion." James uses LinkedIn to market his own business, but in doing so he surfaces things we sometimes forget, because we get bogged down in our daily workload. He forces us to take a step back, think about our personal brand, ways to impress our boss, loyalty -- things that don't necessarily cross our minds while we're developing ad concepts or working on an RFP. James is dialed in, like a walking best practice, keeping videos and posts targeted and short with a high production value. There is a veneer to James, like his actor namesake, that is filled with showmanship, and that's what makes the information entertaining to read and watch. James also is full of practical advice; some that may even help you answer that awkward interview question, "What is your biggest weakness?"
Want to be happy? Follow Naomi Simson
Entrepreneur, founder, director, blogger, author, speaker -- and mum --764,699 followers
"Entrepreneur, founder, director, blogger, author, speaker -- and mum" is how Naomi bills herself. All in all, she does supply a well-rounded perspective based on all those roles she plays. Naomi has worked for big brands in the past, and her sweet spot seems to be on work-life balance and overall happiness. She addresses gender roles and talks about issues that continually need to be discussed. Naomi ties business advice into pop culture ("3 business lessons we can learn from Nick Kyrgios' 'Impossible' Wimbledon win") and puts a new face on old information, making it easier to read and remember.
Want to build relationships? Follow Beth Comstock
CMO, GE -- 234,568 followers
LinkedIn is chock full of business pundits, professional speakers, and people who talk the talk, but don't necessarily walk the walk. So it's refreshing when people like Beth find the time to publish and share insights. As a marketer, it's valuable to hear directly from a CMO whose job is to keep one eye on the speedometer and the other on the road ahead. Beth spends time deconstructing partnerships and relationships in business ("Can this marriage be saved?"), and gives us tips and advice to make that shared road a successful one. This year, my agency, RPA, presented at Cannes about the importance of the agency-client relationship ("Naked at Cannes"), based on a worldwide survey of agency people and CMOs. What were the results? A strong relationship is how the best work gets done, and Beth gives us direct insight into how to build trust and business relationships across the board.
Want a better job? Follow Jeff Haden
Ghostwriter, speaker, Inc. magazine contributing editor -- 294,769 followers
Let's face it, most people are on LinkedIn for a job search, and Jeff Haden is the man for that. Jeff bills himself as a "Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Contributing Editor," and many of his posts focus on top questions to ask during a job interview and simple tricks to immediately boost your confidence. He also brings humor with articles like, "The Monty Python Guide to Business Communication." So whether you are looking at immediately finding a new job or making yourself more desirable to hire ("9 Sales Skills You Absolutely Must Have Even If You're Not in Sales"), Jeff lays out some advice that is valuable, funny, and easily retained.
Want to be a socially responsible marketer? Follow Katya Andresen
CEO at Cricket Media/epals -- 981,000 Followers
Katya is CEO at Cricket Media/epals and brings a global and altruistic perspective to marketing. She posts often and gives advice about career curveballs and overcoming tough tasks. Katya shows us not only how to use our abilities to help ourselves, but also how to help others along the way. Her posts are filled with mantras that make us think about (even if we don't always do) the right thing. She helps our worldview expand beyond the insular world of marketing charts, graphs, and qualitative/quantitative. She reminds us that there are people beyond those numbers -- and those people mean something.
Want to understand your audience? Follow Barry Schwartz
Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College -- 10,904 Followers
Barry is a professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College, so technically he isn't a marketer. But is he? I've always believed that psychology plays a major role in how people adopt and react to marketing messages. The smartest marketers are the ones who understand human behavior and deliver work based on that insight. Some of my favorite marketing authors (Seth Godin, Chip and Dan Heath, Malcolm Gladwell) all come at marketing through the lens of psychology and human behavior. Barry doesn't post that often, but he gives us a direct line to understanding the human condition. He looks at incentives ("Why even smart incentives are dumb"), ethics, and practical wisdom.
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Headshot images via LinkedIn.