Updated: Oct 12
Do you covet a fancy badge from LinkedIn? Here's how I earned my Top Voice badge in five steps.
On October 5th, I did what I do most days: I woke up and checked my LinkedIn profile.
But on that particular Wednseday, I discovered something out of the norm. Something... exciting! I had received a "Top Writing Voice" badge.
Yes, as an overachiever who values accolades almost indiscriminately, I had coveted this particular ego-boost for a while. But given how tight-lipped LinkedIn is about it's badge program, I wasn't expecting much.
So how did I earn a LinkedIn Top Voice badge? First, the basics:
What is a LinkedIn Top Voice badge?
LinkedIn's Top Voice program (previously the "Influencer program") awards two tiers of Top Voice badges to users based on expertise, skills listed in their profile and other user activity.
If you earn a badge, it is placed on discreet display just under your headline. Here's how the tiers break down:
Top Voice: The blue, invitation-only badge is for senior-level experts/leaders.
Top Community Voice: The light-gold badge is for users who make "noteworthy contributions to collaborative articles on LinkedIn," related to a skill listed on the user's profile.
What is the value of these badges? Aside from feeding one's superiority complex, perhaps it serves as a v. soft validation of expertise. Either that or its useless.
How did I earn my Top Community Voice badge?
Your journey may be different, but here's what I did:
1. Added relevant skills to my LinkedIn profile
According to LinkedIn, Top Voice badges are earned based on "a specific skill on your profile."
Yes, my LI profile states that I'm a writer in about 50 places. But it wasn't until I added writing to my "Talks about" and "Top skills" sections that I received an invite to contribute. Which brings me to Step 2...
2. Received an invitation
In order to become a Top Voice, you have to be invited to the program, but don't let that dissuade you. There are things you can do to make it happen, like being "consistently active on the platform."
As for my LI activities, I post 0-2 times a week, comment on 20ish posts per week and my follower count is always (slowly) increasing.
Here's what my invite said:
"Hi Sarah, you’ve been selected to be part of an exciting new way to share what you know: collaborative articles. Not only will you be helping others learn, top contributors will also be able to earn a new Community Top Voices badge, showing the value of your insightful expertise. Contribute by adding an example from your experience, sharing a different opinion or expanding on an idea. You can start by adding directly into the body of one of these articles..."
It's worth noting that collaborative articles are AI-generated. I imagine you have mixed feelings about that, to which I say 'join the club.'
3. Commented on LinkedIn's collaborative articles
After you receive your invite, you'll start noticing collaborative articles popping up in your feed. You can choose which ones you want to comment on, and I've passed on many of them. I commented less than 10 times before receiving my badge.
4. Got "likes" on my comments
There's no guarantee anyone will like your comments on collaborative articles, but LinkedIn helps a little by promoting them for you. Here are other ways I've managed to collect likes:
Right after my first comment, I sent the article to 10 friends and asked them to like my comment. I also posted about the experience and encouraged people read/like what I wrote. The result? Twenty-seven likes. Which was about 25 more than most of the other comments.
I write like a web writer
I write digital content for the modern audience, aka people who don't like lots of words. In short:
I start with a "hook"
Bullet points are life
Quick tips are currency
White space goes everywhere
By contrast, other contributors tend to post big blocks of text with no clear advice.
5. Received my LinkedIn Top Voice badge
This part happened without warning or fanfare. The badge simply appeared. If something exciting comes after this step, I'll update you.
How do you keep your LinkedIn Top Voice badge?
In all honesty, I don't know.
LinkedIn says the platform may "remove a member without notice." I'm guessing your badge will get stripped if you stop contributing, if you post something really bonkers, or if your average likes fall below a magic, undisclosed number. Orrr if you write a ridiculous blog post like this right here.
Want more info about my enthralling journey through the land of Top Voicedom? Come visit me on LinkedIn.