Linked-Invisibility? Why Proactive Visibility is Key to your LinkedIn Success

I have a secret to share with you.

Over 59% of my network are missing out on a huge opportunity on LinkedIn. And perhaps they might not deem it a negative, but in my opinion, you should try to leverage every chance for success you get.

I know this because I subscribe to LinkedIn’s premium service called LinkedIn Sales Navigator (commonly abbreviated to LISN). This is a fantastic premium offering from LinkedIn, and is similar (but not identical to) a CRM system. Best of all, this not-quite CRM works in harmony with your LinkedIn account, helping you to intelligently connect the dots between yourself and your network.

The only downside (and I’ve been using LISN for many years, so do feel I am qualified to this opinion!) is that you really do need thorough training in all its elements to really make the most of the value offered and understand the power of this platform.

Thanks to LISN, I know that nearly 60% of my 1st degree connections haven’t engaged with LinkedIn in the last 30 days. I can even drill into the data right down to the very person! You can run, but you can’t hide with LISN…

I digress…

Now, despite that introduction, this actually isn’t a post about LISN. It’s a post about visibility. Last month’s post looked at the value of prospecting, and how taking a slightly unconventional approach can yield incredible fruit.

However, to be good at prospecting on LinkedIn there is a ‘hidden’ requirement, if you will – that many people fail to take advantage of (59% of my network, as a case in point!).

Now, a quick note. On LinkedIn, we’re often really good at finding things: researching, exploring, and targeting, as well as making contact with others – but we can still be very disappointed with our prospecting results. We’re doing everything right, so it seems, but something isn’t clicking.

For nearly a decade and a half now, I have observed that the key missing ingredient is this: proactive visibility.

Most folk think that having good visibility is showcasing your product and services in some way, but this is just one side of the coin. It’s the other side that makes all the difference.

Knock, knock! (read on)

Most people put an enormous amount of effort in prospecting, yet spend very little time in making themselves a go-to resource.

To be successful on LinkedIn, we have to recognise that demand and opportunity are often both more subtle than we might first realise.

You need to show others that you are approachable – not only will it communicate your value, but your network becomes more familiar with you and your work.

You become well-recognised, even more approachable, demonstrating your ability to support as well as your authenticity, professionalism and credibility.  Proactive visibility makes you the go-to, trusted provider for your ideal clients.

Who’s there?

Creating content (posts, comments, and so on) and putting yourself out there – despite there not being any ‘direct’ communication per se, can be a strange one.

If you feel a bit uneasy thinking about putting yourself out there proactively, you’re not alone. Most people feel a bit uncomfortable – and some just freeze! The public visibility of LinkedIn makes them feel very awkward – but the good news is that their fears are unfounded.

To tackle proactive visibility, we first have to break through your limiting beliefs of what those words actually mean.

Visibility on your terms!

You can take baby steps to build up your visibility by doing what feels comfortable for you. The only thing you absolutely cannot do is nothing. So let’s deal with the visibility fears that hold you back.

Many people wrongly think that proactive visibility will put a target on your back, and involve writing blogs for hours on end, but in all honest, these folk could not be more wrong.

It is a massive mistake to think there is only one way of using LinkedIn. News flash: there isn’t!

Most people are followers of followers, of even more followers. It’s a herd of sheep – so by sticking your neck out, its natural that you feel vulnerable.

And yes, when you’re building bridges on LinkedIn, you’re bound to attract a few trolls – but that’s why you have the remove connection feature. If they aren’t a connection, you can just block them, pop them in a circus cannon and blast them to another proverbial planet.

Rest assured that when it comes to proactive visibility, your only competitor is yourself. You get to decide your own strategy – so ignore the noise on LinkedIn. Ultimately, most people want to be recognised for their expertise and be a go-to resource. So why sit in the shade sulking, and let others steal your sun?

Visibility on my terms who?!

Do the numbers make you nervous? I’m often surprised by the amount of people who find themselves manipulated by numbers on LinkedIn. Obsessed with views, likes, impressions – but these vanity metrics are a form of manipulation. Wouldn’t you rather have one view and one comment from the right person in the right market, than hundreds of LinkedIn seals clapping over the same fish?

Shield yourself against manipulation by creating visibility on your terms. Get clarity on your target audiences, then begin building your network in those sectors. Choose your people, then be diligent in anticipating and meeting their needs as best as you can.


Visibility on your terms is SO much easier than you think!

You need a strategy for success. Try a blend of all or some of these and experiment with what serves you best.

The Basics

Like, comment, or share. This is super-easy, and anyone can do it.

Take a couple of minutes to review your news feed and notifications. React and engage with other people’s content. This activity will be seen and so will you. Just 10 minutes every day of deliberate engagement will pay dividends in days. Keep going.

Content Curation

Another strategy is to curate content – a marketing term for “sharing other people’s stuff in a smart way”.

Do some research and find some really interesting content that you think your audience will react to and find valuable. Remember – your headshot and strapline will accompany anything you share.

Set up some content gathering sources, and research other websites and leverage content aggregators like Flipboard, Feedly, Google alerts and many more.

Quick Posts

Got a good thought? Write it down on LinkedIn and post it. No links, no images, just words. This post can be an observation, a thought-provoking comment, recognising someone, and more.

If you fancy taking it up a notch, find a great image. Many people use this simple visibility option to massive effect. An image is worth a thousand words, after all!

Write an Article

Now this takes a bit more time, but make life easy on yourself, invest £10, and buy “How to Write Copy that Sells” by Raymond Edwards on Amazon. You’ll thank me later.

One of the biggest reasons that your long-form posts get no engagement (and take you so long to pull together) is because people don’t write with structure in mind. This little book will give you a structure that makes life so much easier.

If you write slightly more general articles, you can tweak and repurpose the article on LinkedIn by revising it for different audiences and their needs. Do the work once, and iterate. It does need to be well written to start with, though – you don’t want to iterate on a poor piece of work!


Now, this lives under Creator Mode, and is one of my favourites.

You do need to be in Creator mode, but this allows you to publish an article (just like this one) as a newsletter.

This is an excellent way to draw in and attract loyal subscribers who really do want to learn from you – and having previously circulated newsletters outside LinkedIn, let me tell you that this LinkedIn newsletter solution is my favourite of them all.

Why? Well, inside LinkedIn there are no bounces, no firewalls, and you know that those who are subscribing to your content are there for a reason – and it’s almost always a good one.

A Word of Encouragement

This will feel like a lot! So break it down. Capture your ideas on a piece of paper or a word document, and every time a good idea comes to you, grab it in writing. Over time, you’ll have gathered a huge inspiration bank that you can draw from when you’re feeling low on ideas.

Once you’ve done that, start slowly. Perhaps engage on other people’s content every other working day. Then post once a week. Then do one newsletter or article every other month.

By building those proactive visibility muscles slowly but surely, you’ve paving the way to sustainable, long-term success.


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