Question 1: What is LinkedIn Answers?
LinkedIn Answers is an often-overlooked section of the professional social network, available from the ‘More‘ menu option of the site.
Despite being a little bit hidden away, it is a popular and active – and extremely useful – section of the site. Chances are, if you have a question about your industry or any aspect of the digital world, if you post a question here, someone will provide you with exactly the answer you’re looking for.
And of course, being an expert in your own field, the opportunity exists for you to show your own knowledge – and have the fact that you’re a ‘Top Expert‘ associated with your LinkedIn profile, for all those prospective clients and employers to see.
Question 2: Where do I start?
LinkedIn Answers is split into sector-specific categories, and sub-categories within those. Drilling down into the area of interest will reveal a list of open questions, together with indication of how many answers have already been provided.
If you look down the list, you’ll very likely see a question which you know the answer to. This is your opportunity to show your ‘expert‘ status!
First, check the answers which have already been submitted. There’s little point in answering a question which has already been answered well by another user – your response should always have something useful and new to add.
Once you’ve found a candidate question, type in your response, using the ‘website resources’ fields to link to pages which back up your answer – again, only include links to your own site and pages if they are relevant.
You also have the option to send the asker of the question a personal message as part of your response. This is optional and up to you – there’s little real value in doing so, but if you’ve got something to add you don’t want displayed to all viewers of the question – such as your phone number – you can put it here.
As the answers rack up, the asker will be able to rate the responses. If your answer is the most useful, they’ll very likely rate it as a ‘Best Answer‘, which in turn will help you achieve that ‘Top Expert‘ status.
Question 3: Why use it?
Most LinkedIn users will be familiar with Recommendations – personal testimonials written for you by clients, colleagues and friends. Whilst recommendations are good – sometimes you don’t know whether to completely trust them or not: have they been provided in a ‘you write one for me, I’ll write one for you‘ capacity?
Being a ‘Top Expert‘ in LinkedIn Answers however speaks volumes: you’ve been awarded this because of your specialist knowledge and your helpfulness – great things to wear on your LinkedIn sleeve with pride…and proof for people who look at your profile that you really know what you’re talking about.