It may not seem like the most obvious choice for creators, but LinkedIn is also looking to tap into the emerging creator economy, with the launch of its own ‘Creator Accelerator’ initiative to support in-app talent, and keep its top voices posting to the platform.

LinkedIn Creator Accelerator program

As explained by Andrei Santalo, the head of community at LinkedIn:

In addition to the tools and resources already available to creators, we are launching the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program today and spending $25 million to assist artists in growing their audience and amplifying their voice. Up to 100 creators from the United States will be accepted into this 10-week incubator-style program, which will provide them with coaching, access to a built-in creator network, opportunities to be featured on LinkedIn channels, and a $15,000 grant to help them share content, spark conversations, and build communities.”

Over the last several months, LinkedIn has been working with artists to create the new initiative, with the platform announcing a new position focused on “facilitating development for creators” in February of this year.

Which would be the role that Santalo is now in, after coming across from Instagram in May, and Santalo describes his mission at the company as ‘building, scaling, and leading a new global team supporting content creators in growing their audience and communities’.

Anybody who has something to say and is influencing professional discussions about the workplace may be a creator on LinkedIn, according to the company. If you are someone who has the creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication necessary to create a meaningful community (and who resides in the United States), we encourage you to apply.”

For artists, publishing TikTok video, uploading images to Instagram, or developing augmented reality experiences on Snapchat are all much more appealing than any of these other options. However, although uploading business-related material to LinkedIn is not as fashionable as it used to be, there are many individuals who have built their professional identities on the network who will find the possibilities provided by the new effort to be very appealing.

It goes without saying that the ultimate aim is to encourage these famous individuals to continue contributing to LinkedIn more often, which will aid in driving on-platform interaction.

LinkedIn is already experiencing high levels of user activity, with in-app sessions increasing by 30 percent year on year. As other platforms work to create a more sticky environment for creative talent, LinkedIn is also aware of the value that can be gained if it can provide more incentives to keep them around for a longer period of time.

Somehow, this is less essential for LinkedIn, at least in a competitive sense, since where else are you going to post your business think pieces if not on the social networking site itself? However, since these artists may earn money by guest-blogging and publishing on other websites, it makes sense for the platform to offer a more direct incentive, even if it is not in the same kind of competition for creative ability as the big video applications like YouTube.

The next stage will be to offer additional tools to producers in order for them to optimize their LinkedIn results. Just today, LinkedIn announced the addition of long-form articles for business sites, which will help the company grow its content bank. The company is also searching for the next item to replace LinkedIn Stories, which it said will be phased out at the end of this month.

On this front, LinkedIn recently purchased the how-to video platform Jumprope, and it is probable that the company will seek to integrate similar capabilities into its creative tools in the not too distant future.

Jumprope screenshots

Indeed, in the announcement that Stories would be shutting down, LinkedIn noted that it had learned two key things from its Stories experiment:

  • Users want their Stories-like content to live on beyond the 24-hour window, and be available on their profile
  • Users want more creative tools to make engaging videos across the platform

So while LinkedIn Stories will soon be gone, that’s not the end of LinkedIn’s experiments with video tools, and again, it does seem like Jumprope’s platform provides a strong indicator as to where it’s headed, likely with more on-profile video tools and options to help creators showcase their expertise, and build their personal brands in the app.

In addition to its Creator Accelerator initiative, LinkedIn is also running a series of creator-focused events this month, which could be worth tuning into:

  • On Friday 9/17, our inaugural INFused event will bring together Black creators on LinkedIn, giving you the tools to connect, inspire, and engage your audiences. Learn more here
  • On 9/24, our Community Management team is hosting Top 5 Things Creators Need to Know, a LinkedIn Live show diving into how to amplify your voice and grow your community. You can sign up here
  • And later this month, we’ll kick off the Create Learning Week, packed with daily, live learning sessions about creating on LinkedIn: from building your presence to writing in the professional context to making the most of video on LinkedIn. It’s free to all LinkedIn members. Learn more here.

New opportunities to engage, and new insights to help optimize your strategy. And amid the coming economic recovery, in the wake of the pandemic, you can expect to see LinkedIn get even more focus, and see even more usage, which could be an important point for those considering building their own professional brand.

You can find out more info, and apply for a spot in the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program here