LinkedIn Top Voices: How to Earn the Badge and Whether It’s Worth the Effort

LinkedIn Top Voices: How to Earn the Badge and Whether It’s Worth the Effort

We all want to be recognized as a “Top Voice” in our industry. 

Sometimes this means winning awards through industry associations. Other times it’s through your reputation in your network. And for some… it’s the LinkedIn Top Voices badge.

You’ve probably seen them before, the little badges that appear at the top of profiles, highlighting a skill that the person excels at. 

But what do these LinkedIn Top Voice badges actually mean? How do you get them? And should you try to earn one? All those questions and more answered in this week’s Sell with Social. 

What are Top Voices Badges?

First a quick distinction between the various types of Top Voices badges. 

  • There are blue top voices badges, which are applied through an invite-only program by LinkedIn’s editorial staff.
  • There are gold top voices badges, which are community badges earned through contributions to community content.

While both badges are highly visible and great to have, we’re focusing this article on the gold community badge. As this is the one you can actively earn through a dedicated content/engagement strategy. 

How my "Top Social Selling Voice" Badge appears.

LinkedIn Community Top Voices badges are awarded to members who make significant contributions to AI-generated collaborative articles on the platform. These badges recognize individuals who actively participate in the creation and dissemination of collaborative content on the platform. 

Benefits of Earning a LinkedIn Community Top Voices Badge

Securing a LinkedIn Community Top Voices badge can be a powerful tool that enhances your professional standing on the platform and provides visible proof of a skill. Here are the key benefits of earning a badge:

  • Prominent Badge Display: The Community Top Voices badge is prominently displayed on your LinkedIn profile (just under your headline), immediately signaling your expertise and authority to anyone who visits your profile. 
  • Recognition of Effort and Expertise: Earning this badge serves as social proof of your active participation and valued contributions within your professional community. It implies your knowledge and skills, building trust and credibility.
  • Boosted Visibility of Contributions: Contributions made by badge holders often see increased visibility in the LinkedIn news feed. This enhanced exposure means that your insights and comments are more likely to be seen and engaged with by a wider audience.
How contributions can appear on the newsfeed.
  • Opens Doors to Speaking and Writing Opportunities: Being recognized as a top voice can lead to invitations to speak at industry conferences, participate in panels, or contribute to professional blogs and publications.

How to Earn LinkedIn Community Top Voices Badges

Earning a LinkedIn Community Top Voices badge requires strategic and consistent engagement. 

LinkedIn’s help article on the topic outlines the quantifiable criteria for earning the badge, stating, “Within a skill, you must be in the top 5% of contributors and one of the first 2500 badge holders in order to be eligible to earn a badge. We determine the top 5% of contributors by looking at a variety of factors including quality, engagement, and quantity of contributions. Quality contributions contain but are not limited to, personal examples, unique perspectives and professional opinions.”

Which is a long way of saying, we have an algorithm that determines eligibility based on your activity on community articles. 

So here’s a practical guide on how to earn a Top Voices badge:

Step 1: Identify Your Niche Skill

  • Choose a Specialization: Select a skill or topic where you have expertise, preferably a niche with less competition. This strategic focus increases your chances of standing out. For instance, don’t choose “Marketing”, instead go for “B2B Marketing Strategy.” 

Step 2: Engage with AI-Generated Collaborative Articles

  • Follow Articles on Your Chosen Skill: Regularly check for AI-generated collaborative articles related to your chosen skill. I recommend bookmarking the topic page.
  • Actively Contribute: Dive into the discussions by commenting with valuable insights and detailed explanations. Your contributions should enrich the conversation and provide substantial takeaways for readers.
Example of a contribution I made to an article.

Step 3: Amplify Your Contributions

  • Share Your Insights: After contributing to an article, share your comments with your network. Encourage colleagues and connections to engage with your contributions by liking and commenting.
  • Leverage Engagement: The more interaction your contributions receive, the more likely they are to be noticed by both the community and LinkedIn’s algorithm, which favors highly engaged content.

Step 4: Maintain Daily Engagement

  • Consistent Participation: Make a daily habit of contributing to new and ongoing discussions in your area. 
  • Track Your Progress: Keep an eye on the engagement levels and adjust your strategies as needed to maximize impact.

By following these steps and persistently contributing to discussions with high-quality content, you will increase your chances of becoming a LinkedIn Community Top Voice, earning you recognition and credibility within your professional community.

From my experience, this can be done in about 30-60 days of consistent effort. 

Is Pursuing a LinkedIn Community Top Voices Badge Worth It?

Which brings us to the final question regarding the top voices program - is it worth it?

There is a lot of time and effort that goes into earning these badges. And as you’ve likely already noticed, the badges are not an accurate way to prove that somebody is knowledgeable on a topic.

So let’s quick down the pros and cons, and then you can decide if it makes sense to pursue for yourself:

Pros of Earning the Badge

  1. Visual Appeal and Professional Credibility: The badge adds a visual element of recognition to your profile, enhancing its appeal and professionalism. This can be particularly impactful when networking or being considered for new opportunities.
  2. Social Proof of Engagement: The badge acts as social proof that you are an active, engaged, and valued member of your professional community. It signals to others that your contributions are well-regarded, which can enhance your reputation and influence.
  3. Increased Visibility and Engagement: Earning this badge typically leads to increased visibility of your contributions across LinkedIn, resulting in higher engagement levels. This can amplify your voice and extend your reach within and beyond your network.

Cons of Pursuing the Badge

  1. Time and Effort: Achieving a Top Voices badge requires consistent, active participation in discussions and article collaborations. This can be time-consuming and may divert attention from other professional activities or personal commitments.
  2. Focus on Activity Over Quality: While the badge recognizes high engagement, it doesn’t always distinguish between the quality of contributions. High activity levels can sometimes overshadow the substantive value of insights provided, leading to a focus more on quantity rather than quality.
  3. No Direct Correlation to Expertise: Being an active contributor doesn’t necessarily equate to being an expert in a field. The badge recognizes visibility and community engagement more than it does actual expertise or knowledge depth.

Making the Decision

Deciding whether to pursue a Community Top Voices badge depends on your professional goals and personal circumstances.

If building a visible, influential LinkedIn presence aligns with your objectives, and you have the time to commit, then earning this badge can be a valuable endeavor.

However, if your primary focus is to demonstrate deep expertise or if time is a constraint, you might consider other ways to showcase your skills and knowledge that require less ongoing engagement.

I can tell you that I personally have not made a substantive effort to continue contributing to community articles. I've found that the time it takes each day to follow and engage with content is not worth it for a simple badge on my profile. So I contribute much less now, even if that means my badge will go away!

For this week’s action items, I want you to explore the community collaborative articles and decide if a Top Voices badge is worth you pursuing.

Here are the steps to take:

  1. Review Collaborative Articles - Go to the collaborative articles on LinkedIn and filter down to a topic that interests you. Review the articles listed there and see if anything stands out.
  2. Make a Contribution - Select an article that you feel comfortable writing about, and find a spot to contribute. Make your contribution insightful and easy to read (for better engagement). 
  3. Consider Pursuing a Top Voice Badge - If you enjoyed the process and desire to get a top voice badge, then bookmark the skill topic page that you want to earn the badge. Make a daily habit of reviewing the current articles and contributing your insights.

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