How to use LinkedIn to become a leader in your space

by Black Hat Middle East and Africa
How to use LinkedIn to become a leader in your space

Welcome to the new 89 cyber warriors who joined us last week. 🥳 Each week, we'll be sharing insights from the Black Hat MEA community. Read exclusive interviews with industry experts and key findings from the #BHMEA23 keynote stage.

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This week we’re focused on…

Your career. 🚀

And by you, we mean: a cybersecurity professional with ambitions to share their experiences in a meaningful way, and enhance their career by becoming a thought leader in their space. 

Some of the most sought after leaders in cybersecurity become sought after because they did something big early in their career. A major hack, a huge vulnerability discovery – and their career took off from there. 

But that isn’t the only way to become a thought leader in this space. Through our conversations with countless security leaders across all niches in the industry, we’ve noticed a number of qualities can all enable an individual to shift from doing the work to doing the work and raising their profile at the same time:

  • 1️⃣ A commitment to professional development
  • 2️⃣ Insatiable curiosity and willingness to not always be right
  • 3️⃣ A passion for creating more awareness around a particular issue or area of interest
  • 4️⃣Having unique experience to share – whether it’s technical experience or soft skills
  • 5️⃣Being a strong communicator – through speaking and/or writing

But how do you go from no platform to…thought leadership?

You don’t have to get booked to speak at a global cybersecurity event to start building your platform. That happens later. 

Instead, use the platforms that are easily available to you right now – and specifically, we recommend LinkedIn. 

The cybersecurity community on LinkedIn is growing. It’s becoming a really vibrant, active and interesting place to be – and there are people on there who want to hear what you’ve got to say. 

You don’t need to start posting long-form educational content straight away. Just get on LinkedIn and start interacting – respond to other people’s content with your good ideas and alternative perspectives. Be positive and supportive, and celebrate others’ success. Build your network not just with any old contact, but with people who post content you’re interested in – and with people who post questions you know how to answer. 

Then once you’ve got a feel for the platform and you’ll be able to start sharing your own thoughts – and you’ll know there are people in your network who will be interested and responsive. 

But…make sure you do have something to say 💭

It’s OK to spend a few months (or more) building your network and interacting with others on LinkedIn without actually posting anything of your own. 

In fact, that’s preferable to posting just for the sake of posting.

Take the time to think about what you can share that’s genuinely valuable to the audience you’re building. You might already be really clear on this – but if you’re not, it’s OK. There’s no rush. You can begin to grow your professional profile simply by responding to content on the platform, and start creating your own content when you’re sure you’ve got something to add to the global cybersecurity conversation.

In fact, the more active you are on LinkedIn before you start posting, the better – because your posts will be eagerly received.

💡 Work to your strengths 

Then when you are ready to create your own posts, do it in a way that makes it easy to communicate the value of your content to your audience.

Do you speak well, but hate writing? Make short videos and post those.

Do you communicate well in writing? Go for it.

Are you more of a visual person? Create simple graphics and make carousels to showcase your thoughts – Canva is great for this if you don’t want to work with a graphic designer and don’t have the skills yourself. 

Communicate your way.

And finally, be your human self

One of the biggest mistakes people make on LinkedIn, especially in a largely B2B sector like cybersecurity, is not making it personal.

Because content that reveals some of your own unique experiences, your humour, your voice; and even your own vulnerabilities, now and then; is more engaging than dry, facts-only, corporate content. And more engaging content drives…well, more engagement. More comments, shares and likes – which will get your content in front of more people’s eyes.

If you don’t know where to start interacting on LinkedIn…

Start with us! Every week we share ideas, news, and interviews with top cybersecurity experts. Comment, share, and use our network to start building your own.

That’s what we’re here for, both at Black Hat MEA and online: creating opportunities for you to connect, learn, and cultivate a thriving career in the industry.

Do you have an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover? We're eager to hear it! Drop us a message and share your thoughts. Our next newsletter is scheduled for 31 January 2024.

Catch you next week,
Steve Durning
Exhibition Director

Join us at Black Hat MEA 2024 to grow your network, expand your knowledge, and build your business.

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