Blow Up Your LinkedIn: A Simple Strategy to Build an Awesome Network
LinkedIn has come a long way in the last twenty years. It’s evolved from a CV site, into a professional network and of late has become a ‘business social network’ – to the disdain of some.
I love LinkedIn and during the pandemic, it provided a vital lifeline for businesses and people to find jobs. Prior to the pandemic, many people didn’t see this big opportunity right under their noses.
Even now, there are some who have chosen not to embrace the social platform. I believe that will prove to be a mistake for them because as the channel matures, it will become increasingly more difficult to ‘make it work’ without putting in the work.
What do I mean by that last line?
If you were on LinkedIn pre-2018, you have a home-field advantage, the platform had insane levels of reach, you could post a cat video, go viral and grow your network by hundreds each day. The hacks and shortcuts of the early days are coming to an end.
That's the nature of hacks and shortcuts, the one thing you can’t shortcut is a relationship.
Before I dig into the main strategy, let me tell you what you should stop doing…
LinkedIn Engagement Groups
People might call me a hypocrite for this one, but my stance on these is far more nuanced. I didn’t see a problem with them. In fact, I have suggested people use them to ‘kick start’ their posts and get initial traction on their content.
My support of using these was simple, if you kick-start your posts, it will help you get in front of more of your connections. Once you have built an audience you can wean off it. There is no big problem with a handful of people helping each other out.
The problem is that this concept has gone too far. Instead of a kick-start, it’s become a lifeline. Businesses now sell engagement. The other issue is as the platform has matured, getting views is more difficult, so people have pursued bigger and bigger engagement groups. Getting 5-10 people to support your posts as a ‘kick start’ isn’t a big deal. But if you start to pursue ever-increasing likes to get increased views, you must ask yourself honestly…
Why can’t I get the engagement
in the first place?
If you find yourself pushing for increased likes, you must reflect on the content and your audience. Something isn’t working. The engagement group might be hiding the problem.
I think getting support from friends, colleagues and close contacts is no big deal, but when it goes too far, it can cause more harm than good.
Tik Tok Videos and Funny Clips
This is another one I used to do years back. I teach people about the Content Sandwich. It’s a strategy of building two types of content… Engagement Content and Business Content.
In 2018, I would suggest people use clips and videos to share to help build their visibility. It works but again, it’s being taken to an extreme.
I recently saw someone advertising “How to get to 100k followers in 90 days”, part of their training was to download TikTok videos and YouTube clips to grow an audience.
The most common ones are funny or inspirational story videos.
This does work. Your account will blow up with likes, comments, views, and followers… but it will have a consequence.
You build an audience that has zero interest in your products and services.
When you start talking about your topic and your business, nobody is interested.
They came for the clips you shared, they didn’t follow you, they followed you for the clips. This is dangerous for your account as the moment you stop sharing funny clips, the audience has zero interest in you.
The Simple Strategy
So now I come to the simple strategy. It is so simple; you might miss it. For your LinkedIn account to blow up, gain an audience and the right engagement, you need to achieve one simple thing.
For you to get every post into the 000s of views, for you to get followers every day, for you to get likes, comments and reach, you need one thing.
You need 100 fans on LinkedIn.
100 people from your target audience who get value from what you share. Think about it. If you can get 100 people who appreciate and value your content (and they are in your target audience) – everything works.
So, how do you get the 100 fans?
- Write down 3-5 topics you know will be interesting and relevant to your target audience.
- Cross-check that the topics you choose tie into your goal with LinkedIn (products/services).
- If you are an expert in these topics, don’t talk over people’s heads. Experts have to translate their expertise for non-experts, otherwise, they end up creating content for other experts.
- Do this 3 times per week at the same time.
- Two days per week post things about you and your business. It’s good to make sure people know what you sell and see a bit of your personality.
- Go and outbound engage with your target audience, commenting with meaningful comments. Try to focus on 25 people at first.
- Focus on a few people and consistently engage with them 2-3 times per week.
- Keep adding value for your target audience around your key topics.
- Repeat this over and over.
That will build your 100 fans.
Will it happen overnight? No
Will it create a long-term reach and impact across LinkedIn? 100%.
If you can mobilise 100 fans over the next 3-6 months, you will find that your posts get real engagement, and you will learn quite quickly what your audience finds valuable.
Those 100 people you invest in over the next 3-6 months will blow up your account as they react, comment and share…. They will put you on a stage in front of tens of thousands.
Now, go make it happen…