Bronwyn Cook is our BBN Coordinator in Australia and we are very proud to share Bronwyn’s personal experience and journey to becoming one of Australia’s top 10 LinkedIn Agency Influencers. We asked Bronwyn to tell us what the program was all about.
So over to Bronwyn and congratulations on an outstanding achievement.
My LinkedIn Agency Influencer program experience by Bronwyn Cook
Last year (gosh, if feels strange typing that already) myself and my fellow BBN Australia colleague Rhys Gilmer participated in the LinkedIn Australian Agency Influencer of the Year program.
The program (note: not competition) ran for 5 months and attracted over 370 participants across nearly 30 media & marketing agencies in Australia. The aim of the program was to encourage, enable and educate Australian agency professionals to “publish content, build their own brand and elevate the brands they work for on LinkedIn”.
Each month, a top 10 leaderboard was published and participants were ranked on a total score that combined ‘passive’ activity, publishing activity and social activity. At the end of the program, the overall top 10 (based on the average of our score over the program) were rewarded with a lovely dinner ceremony and the overall winner was announced. Their prize? A trip for two to New York, including a visit to LinkedIn’s new office in the Empire State Building.
Okay, let’s get real now. Basically we were measured, rated and ultimately rewarded for our effective use of LinkedIn. Whilst it was a great program (note: not competition) to be a part of and certainly our competitive streaks came out, it ultimately feed the beast that is the LinkedIn content engine – with one published post alone receiving over 30 000 unique views!
To be honest, even though I registered for the program it wasn’t until I somehow made the August leaderboard (half way through the program) that I decided to give the program a red-hot crack.
So what did that actually entail?
- Attempting to share at least one piece of content – via a status update – every weekday. Thankfully I pretty much live in my LinkedIn and Twitter newsfeeds, so finding good content to share was never a problem. And having Hootsuite to schedule in these status updates made it easier also.
- Attempting to publish at least two pieces of long form content – via LinkedIn “articles” – at least twice a month. This is where some months it was easy and some months it was hard. Sometimes the inspiration and content for the article was easy to come buy and sometimes I’d stare at my keyboard for (what felt like) hours trying to think of what to write.
- Rally my professional network for their support of my efforts. This was probably the part that required the most effort for reward. Many of the other agencies that had participants in the top 10 were from huge global agencies and had a much wider network to help support their publishing efforts.
The first few days of October & November were filled with many refreshes of the inbox to find out the results of the latest Leaderboard. I also used the “Profile Views” chart as an indicator of measuring my LinkedIn activity week to week – as it not only measures your profile views, but also your actions (likes, connections, comments etc) – which were a large percentage of the program scoring algorithm.
The most tense time though was mid-November, when the final, overall program Top 10 were announced. Thankfully I made this Top 10, with a final ranking of 7th and the overall highest ranking female.
So, what did I actually learn during these five months?
Don’t be afraid to publish. As long as you aren’t saying something offensive, rude or derogatory amd are writing “professionally” relevant material – then publish away.
Promote, promote, promote. Even today I read “spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it.” I would re-share content on LinkedIn at least twice and then again on Twitter at least another three times.
The David’s of the world can “win”. Over the length of the program, my 8 published articles only received a total of 1239 views. Articles from the other program participants sometimes received that number of comments on just one piece! But it was the combined, consistent activity that proved successful. BBN Australia ended up with not one but two people the over top 10, against other much larger global agencies like GroupM and MediaCom.
Women are sadly lacking a voice. Over the course of the program, there was only one month where two women were on the leaderboard, otherwise I was just one woman and nine men. The overall Top 10 consisted of only two women. I actually wrote one of my articles about this very topic and was completely disheartened to read these two comments “Women are far less likely to put forward their opinions” and “Women get harassed online so they self-manage this by not speaking up”. One of my goals as an agency influencer in 2017 will be to actively promote & encourage more women taking part in the program and in turn more of a voice & presence on LinkedIn.
Sometimes writing is hard! But not impossible. And we are all capable of it.