Reaching the top 1% of the industry - lessons from my journey

| 19 Sep 2017

I am in the top 1% of my industry, according to LinkedIn's SSI Rank. What does that mean? How did I do it? Here are my thoughts and lessons I have learnt along the way to help you in your journey.

What is SSI?

First of all, what is SSI? It stands for Social Selling Index, which is LinkedIn’s way of measuring the four key pillars of how effective you are at:

  • Establishing your professional brand
  • Finding the right people
  • Engaging with insights
  • Building relationships

You can check your SSI score here.

What does it mean? 

The four pillars are crucial to social selling success. LinkedIn’s research and statistics show that as a person’s social selling index rises, so does their success. The SSI is an important tool for professionals to measure how their efforts add up.

SSI was developed by identifying the top professionals, analysing their usage habits on LinkedIn, and determining how they use the platform to drive successful outcomes. The formula behind is based on the social selling activities these professionals rely on, effectively connecting the dots between those efforts and their success.

As a gauge, you may be interested to know that SSI leaders generate 45% more opportunities per quarter, are 51% more likely to exceed their quota, and that 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.

Source: LinkedIn

Of course, there is no reason to and no point in blindly chasing a score, but the SSI can be a good indicator of whether you are on the right track.

There are plenty of resources available on ways to network better on LinkedIn. It may also be worth revisiting our previous article “LinkedIn's Relationship Manager shares how to increase profile views by 14X” if you would like useful tips on how to improve your personal branding on the platform.

But I believe my personal experience and mindset could offer more interesting insights. Here are three key thoughts:

We are all selling something

Why do I, as a “non-salesperson”, even care about SSI score? I believe that at the end of the day, we are all selling something. This applies whether you are an agency leader or someone climbing the corporate ladder.

We may not be selling physical products or services, but we are selling ourselves – expertise, knowledge, leadership qualities and the list goes on.

And I believe my activities on LinkedIn, and more generally on social media, have opened doors. People have reached out to me, and I have reached out to people, to make connections that have turned into friendships. I have received interview requests, article requests, and I’ve also reached out for quotes and insights which were unique and exclusive. Opportunities which otherwise may not have happened.

Keep working on it

It is easy to feel lost and discouraged when you are starting out. Am I posting too few? Too many? Do people even read them? Am I doing this right? Why am I not seeing any results? Why do people keep telling me that I'm doing it wrong? Am I wasting my time?

Do not be disheartened. As you embark on your journey, you will find many “experts” with differing views on what works, what are the “best” platforms or even very fundamental questions like whether being on social media or LinkedIn is necessary?

We have all been there. It is a never-ending journey. I still wonder and ask myself the same questions. Algorithms may change and “social norms” on social media platforms may also change. So keep working on it, keep trying, keep testing and keep finetuning to find out what works for you. Learn by doing, be authentic and enjoy the process.

Keep trying to help

I have also found that a change in mindset can do wonders. Some people look at it from the angle of “What can I get out of my network?”. I look at it from the angle of “What can I do to help?”.

Are there people that will benefit from being connected? Can you help to make that connection? If someone asks for your help, is it within your means to do so? Can you help to share an article or news? What works offline, works online too. Extend a helping hand, and people will remember you for it.

Case in point. There will be different reactions to this very article that you are reading. Some will see it as being self-promotional. Some will ask: what’s the big deal about being in the top 1%? Experts may even laugh at the content.

But because I am coming from the angle of “What can I do to help?”, even if I can just help some readers – even if I can just help you – interested in getting better at making meaningful connections on LinkedIn and found what I have shared useful, I think it is an article worth writing. 

If you are wondering or need a reminder on the importance of riding on LinkedIn, you can revisit “Not on LinkedIn? You're missing out on the world's largest professional network”.

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