LinkedIn can verify your thought leadership.
Imagine just how much that’s worth.
You have an optimized profile with your case studies in tow.
And you have a little badge underneath your name that says you’re a LinkedIn top Voice in a particular subject matter.
That just gives you so much legitimacy.
In a span of 5 weeks, I was able to get 5 badges.
1 in 4 weeks and another 3 a week after that.
Was there a secret?
It was purely hard work.
Today, I wanted to show you how to get your own LinkedIn Top Voice badge.
Because we want you to get the recognition you deserve.
Is it going to be hard?
But, it’s going to be well worth it.
- LINKEDIN TOP VOICE BADGE = LINKEDIN INFLUENCER
- A Little Context: How Did I Get My LinkedIn Top Voice Badges?
- Qualifying to Contribute
- The Setup: Finding Your Niche Topics
- Contributing: How to Write
- Priming: Talking to Your Community
- Enhancing: You Need a Good LinkedIn Presence
- Is There an Easier Alternative?
- Can You Get Multiple Badges?
LINKEDIN TOP VOICE BADGE = LINKEDIN INFLUENCER
A top-voice badge means one thing.
LinkedIn recognizes you as an influencer.
You could have an optimized profile, a growing follower base, and great content.
But if you don’t have any badges, you don’t have VALIDATION.
Let me ask you a question.
Who’s voice would you take more seriously?
- Someone with 1,000 followers who says they’re an expert in marketing
- Someone with 1,000 followers who says they’re an expert in marketing and has a badge from LinkedIn saying that they are a “Top Voice” in a marketing subject
If you’re 99 percent of your prospects, you would undoubtedly pick the second person.
Now why would you do that?
Because Linkedin has validated them as someone who talks about their subject matter.
That LinkedIn validation goes a long way.
Look at other platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.
People who are verified usually:
- Build a connection base faster
- Get more business
- And are recognized by the community
And more importantly.
- They are more legitimate
The question is, how much do you want that legitimacy?
A Little Context: How Did I Get My LinkedIn Top Voice Badges?
About some time ago, LinkedIn started launching collaborative articles, which are basically AI-generated articles from LinkedIn where select LinkedIn members can come in and contribute.
It seemed a little tedious at first, but since we were already releasing so much content for the community, I decided why not to contribute personally to articles on LinkedIn for the good of everyone on the platform.
I mean the mantra has always been, “Only LinkedIn members can make LinkedIn better”.
So I got cracking.
I contributed to articles that piqued my interest.
We’re talking about multiple articles and multiple contributions.
Before I knew it, it had become a content routine.
I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
But, it sure was fun to keep contributing.
And before long I got my first Top Voice badge.
And 21 days later boom.
I was not a LinkedIn Top Voice for Brand Management.
But I didn’t stop there.
I kept going.
And just a little shy of two weeks after the first badge.
LinkedIn hit me with a notification.
I now had three more badges.
This time for “Organic Search”, “Online Marketing” and “Marketing Strategy”
I was thrilled.
We had unlocked the secret.
And this time there was no stopping us.
This might be an oversimplification, so why not run through the steps…
Qualifying to Contribute
First of all, this feature is not available to everyone.
Although, we did find a couple of folks in our network of influencers to whom this feature was automatically available. It’s not going to be available for everyone.
Take a look at this snapshot from a profile where it isn’t available.
If you find yourself in the same situation, you’ll need to ask LinkedIn to activate the feature for you.
Head over to LinkedIn’s bank of collaborative articles here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/topics/home/
What you want to do is go to an article that you fancy and react to it – which you can find all the way at the bottom – according to LinkedIn.
Next, you want to visit this LinkedIn page.
Go to the section labeled “Contributing to collaborative articles”, and click on “Contact us”.
Now, tell them why you should be allowed to contribute to articles in your niche.
We don’t want to state the obvious, but it would help if you have an active presence on LinkedIn and if your profile is optimized.
The Setup: Finding Your Niche Topics
First of all, you can’t guarantee which badge you’ll be getting.
The only guarantee you have is that if you contribute quality content in a regular manner, you will get a badge.
We found that there is strong evidence that a combination of certain topics activates a specific Community Top Voice badge.
For example, I didn’t contribute much to specific branding-related topics per se, but I was madly contributing to the topic areas of entrepreneurship, content marketing, and a few general marketing topics – admittedly most of which were related to brand management, since it is my niche.
However, this doesn’t mean that I would be able to activate my entrepreneurship badge first, it doesn’t really give you a choice but rather looks to see what topic buckets you’re contributing to before the algorithm makes a decision as to what badge to assign to you.
So your first step should be to identify what type of content you want to contribute.
If you have a niche, you need to start contributing to the parent of that niche.
For example, if you specialized in SEO, you better earn your chops by contributing to content marketing, social media marketing, etc.
It tells the algorithm that you are well-rounded in this space and that you can be trusted.
This is How You’ll Be Going About It:
- Pick three categories that you are an expert on
- Pick topics from these categories where you actually have an actionable viewpoint and can add value
- Aim to tackle two topics from each category that you have
- Add three contributions to each topic
This means that you will be contributing 3-4 times to 2 topics in 3 different subjects 5 days a week (because you deserve to have a weekend.)
If you run the math at one paragraph per contribution, that’s:
3 * 2 * 3 * 5 = 90 contributions a week
Yes, that’s a looooot by any standard, but it’s what I personally did to end up with my Top Voice Badge.
Contributing: How to Write
Here’s the critical part of contributing.
You can’t just write for the sake of writing.
It needs to be something that actually contributes to the AI-generated community article.
Think about it this way, LinkedIn is giving you a structure to follow and all you have to do is make sure you fill it well.
Many think that this is a great place to add anecdotes, but I usually stay away from that, since the goal is to provide value for the reader.
Also, don’t think you can parrot off what’s already been said in the section that you are contributing to.
That adds no value.
You need to be able to add something new, something that reads well, and something that is in your own voice.
Also, get this.
Contributing also follows a writing framework.
You need to be able to hook your readers in since they will be the ones evaluating if what you’ve written down is good enough to deserve an insightful upvote.
If you have good content, don’t hide it under a layer of meaningless introductions.
Want to get their attention, give the intro as short as possible then hit them with the plan.
- Write it yourself, it needs to be in your own voice so that you can maintain your brand – that also helps if people want to come in and check out who wrote it.
- Keep it short and optimized for mobile, you need to make it as accessible as you can for your readers who are on mobile.
- People also don’t like reading things that are too text heavy, it makes things difficult to read and can seem intimidating. The easier it is for them to digest, the more likely it is for them to read and react.
- It has to offer a fresh viewpoint, don’t be a parrot.
- Match the tone with the audience, don’t alienate your audience.
Priming: Talking to Your Community
At BAMF, I have the pleasure of collaborating with a lot of influencers who are also contributing to these articles so they were able to react to my posts whenever they ran into them.
This was absolutely fantastic in enabling me to get my badge. (Shoutouts all around!)
In order for your post to have validation in the eyes of LinkedIn, your contributions need to have some validation.
This is in the form of upvotes.
The more of them that you have.
The more likely it is that your content was worth the read.
Now want to know the other great thing about having some validation right off the bat?
It shows other people looking at your contributions that they are worth reading, so you set off a chain of validation and upvotes!
So what do you do if you don’t have a network to help you get some validation every now and then?
You can always upvote your own contributions since LinkedIn doesn’t really show who upvoted who.
Enhancing: You Need a Good LinkedIn Presence
Look, LinkedIn’s algorithm is advanced.
If you just up and start contributing you might not get anywhere with what you’re doing …let alone be allowed to contribute.
So you need to follow the tenets of LinkedIn optimization.
Get your profile right, be active, and engage with people.
There is no other way.
I will not advise basic users to try to get a Top Voice as their time is better spent trying to increase their reach on LinkedIn and optimizing their initiatives.
Only then can you try to jump for a LinkedIn top Voice badge.
Is There an Easier Alternative?
Honestly, just a few days ago there wasn’t.
But we got together as a team and decided that we were ready to roll out and help other growth hackers get the Top Voice badge that they deserve.
So, as of now, we’re accepting inquiries on how to get your LinkedIn top voice!
Yes, everything is DFY.
We’ll set it up, keep it running, and make sure you maintain it.
Can You Get Multiple Badges?
Based on what we’ve seen, you can get multiple badges.
From what we can see from LinkedIn profiles with badges is that there is a dropdown indicating you can select which badge to display, hence inferring the possibility of having multiple badges.
The LinkedIn Top Voice is one of the most coveted badges on the platform because of how difficult it is to attain and maintain.
However, the validation it brings goes beyond your normal forms of optimization.
That’s because it’s the platform itself handing out the awards.
People on the platform already trust the platform.
And imagine LinkedIn itself telling your followers that you are not just a thought leader, but one of their “Top Voices”.