Most people know how much I love LinkedIn–it’s evident in how much I post and engage with others on the platform. I even launched a course on account-based marketing on LinkedIn. It was such a great experience for me and my company that I thought it’d be fun to have an expert teach you how you can do the same.
Joshua Mitchell is the head of marketing learning strategy at LinkedIn. He joined us on the #FlipMyFunnel podcast to walk us through what it takes to become an instructor and release a course on LinkedIn.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- The process for becoming a LinkedIn Instructor
- The top qualities LinkedIn recruiters are looking for in an instructor
- The benefits of releasing a course
- What makes a good course
What is your mission and vision with LinkedIn courses?
Joshua: There’s a lot of ways we reach out to find the top instructors we want for our platform, and places we go to find and discover these people. Of course, we’re looking for people like yourself who literally wrote the book on it. It’s really, really great when someone with a deep expertise like yourself is able to take time to distill what you own and what you understand into a course that can be shared with our millions of subscribers.
LinkedIn Learning publishes thousands of courses a year in English, French, German and several other languages. In marketing, we publish several hundred courses a year that are deep expertise paths inside of things like advertising, branding, content marketing, digital marketing, PR, SEO, small business marketing, the list goes on and on.
A big mission on LinkedIn Learning is to build upon the great engine of LinkedIn flagship, which is finding a job, networking, selling and meeting others. As we create content on LinkedIn Learning, we are delivering on the big vision of trying to find economic opportunity for the global workforce.
What makes a good course?
Joshua: Our process is not simple and easy. It’s multi-layered and involves some deep work to build a course we feel is instructionally sound and offers really valuable, actionable steps for those who watch it.
We work with thousands of instructors a year that come to our studios in Santa Barbara, California. The people we bring in are fantastic speakers, top professors at universities, and authors who teach and have all kinds of event experience. To bring someone in and get them in front of a camera and be able to create that one-on-one connection is really our unfair advantage. We spend a lot of time working out how are we going to make this course feel personable and approachable. We don’t want to assume anyone knows anything. We want to be able to teach them in a way that doesn’t make them feel small, stupid or like they don’t know what they’re doing.
We’re thinking: How do we create real value that maximizes your precious time. A course where you can jump in and quickly gather something you could apply to your business and life quickly. I say that because a lot of times we bring in people who are top speakers, like the people on Ted Talks. You get them in front of a camera one-on-one and it just doesn’t connect without taking the prep work to distill what you know into our format. Our format is all about that direct connection with the member on the other side who is watching this either around the globe, in their small business or in their enterprise business and trying to figure out for themselves, how am I going to solve this problem?
What does your selection process look like?
Joshua: We recruit based on several factors. Really high at the top of that list are very authentic experts who are practitioners or well-known thought leaders in their space. As you can imagine, being inside LinkedIn, we have access to the data that helps us understand who are the top people on our platform, who’s been trending in the last six months, who’s growing at a fast rate, etc. We pull a lot of information to determine who are the people we’d really like to go after, and then there’s the other side which is all the inbound.
Our instructor selection process is all about finding someone who we feel has a compassionate delivery, teaches very well on camera and feels natural. Obviously, they’re a deep expert in this area, they’re a practitioner and they’re someone who can communicate clearly and work to develop a course in our process.
I’m usually out headhunting and looking for people like yourself who are top experts and bringing them into our platform to talk about the opportunity to build a course. I walk them through what that looks like and how long the course would be, what we might cover, what we’re interested in doing, and then we work with content producers to create an outline of what that course could be. These folks are instructional designers who are all super smart, super talented and they’re incredible project managers who really bring the course to life.
They’re going to work with the instructors to figure out:
- What are you going to teach?
- What are your main points?
- Are you going to keep it short and sweet?
- How are you going to make it an actionable, stand-alone video?
Sangram: Here are my top takeaways:
- How we’re creating content has changed. How people consume content has changed and how people view authority in specific topics has changed.
- If you are planning to be or want to be an instructor, it’s not going to be easy. But, be authentic and really, really know your craft. I love LinkedIn Learning because of the emphasis on practitioners. These are the people that I want to hear and listen to.
- The pattern of habit is so important, and you can apply this to anything in your life. Whatever you want to do, do it consistently for 30, 40, 50 days. You will get better and people out there will take notice.
Joshua: Get into the habit of working up your skills to be able to quickly disseminate something into a video. Do a daily video or a weekly video. Get into a regular cadence because people are looking for those who have demonstrated a consistent ability to create content.
Also, get a good grasp on your unique angle and unique value proposition to the world that your trying to educate and become a thought leader in. What is the unique differentiator about your experience with that topic?