How Black Creators Can Expand Their Network with LinkedIn
February is Black History Heritage Month, and as both a Black entrepreneur and LinkedIn Creator Manager, it’s important for me to reflect on my own journey and to use my platform to support, uplift, and celebrate other Black voices and businesspeople.
Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to create a reality filled with Black and Brown representation and fearless women pursuing their dreams. I’ve always been a storyteller and quickly sought out ways to connect others who looked like me to opportunity. When I started TheBlondeMisfit back in 2015, there was no one to guide me or walk me through how to be a blogger. My main focus at the time was providing a space where Black girls who were eager to break into fashion could learn and stay informed of the realities of the industry. What started as a hobby became a launching pad for so many things in my life, and much of my work building my brand connected me to opportunities to work closely with LinkedIn. When I found an open role on the Community Management team, I realized I had a beautiful opportunity to not only join a company I stand behind; more importantly, I could help other voices with similar dreams share knowledge, grow their network, and access new opportunities.
Now, as a Creator Manager at LinkedIn, I’m working to do just that. It’s wonderful having my first-hand experiences that translate to my role; we’re workshopping success together for members and figuring out how people can thrive on LinkedIn.
Using your platform to grow professionally and advance in your careers
LinkedIn has been an industry leader in fostering professional and entrepreneurial growth for Black voices. As a knowledge and skills-based professional platform, LinkedIn allows members to make meaningful connections with a relevant audience that can lead to business opportunities. So many creators have found amazing success using LinkedIn’s tools, whether it’s creating content using visual features like carousels and templates, or sharing ideas and insights through tools like newsletters and LinkedIn Live.
As a creator, I live by the mantra that there is only a limited amount of time in my day, so each minute should count. For Black voices in particular, I always urge us to lean deeper into our roots and what we really want to stand for. Sometimes people are afraid that they won’t find their community if they talk about particular topics, but it really is about sharing your expertise and passion, showing up consistently, and welcoming others in. It’s not a one size fits all, which encourages authenticity and insight sharing.
My Advice for Creators
My biggest advice for Black creators is simply to start. Asking yourself what you hope to accomplish helps figure out which tools work for you. Interact with your community through visual storytelling like short-form video content, like Jaleesa Jaikaran, to shine on LinkedIn. I’m also a huge fan of LinkedIn Newsletters (now over 63K on LinkedIn!). I love how creators like Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, Frederica Brooksworth, or even Rebecca Minkoff are using newsletters to reach a wider audience while still feeling authentic to their voice. You can create articles and then repromote them through your newsletter. It’s a low-lift way that bloggers and writers can keep their audiences informed and engaged.
The beauty is, everyone can find their footing and audience on LinkedIn. I hope my experience and these tips help inspire Black professionals to find, own, and grow their voice.
By Jamé Jackson, Community Segments Lead at LinkedIn.