Linkedin is weird- here’s what I learned

linkedin growth tips

Some universal truths.

Smooth peanut butter is better

LinkedIn posts, that start..

like this 👇

will 9 times out of 10….

be shit.

Don’t say the quiet bits out loud

Linkedin is weird

I joined LinkedIn back in 2016 after a well-meaning/pushy aunt let me know I needed to have a digital footprint that wasn’t just MCR lyrics as FB status updates.

It wasn’t hard to figure out the high-school hierarchy of the platform.

Product Managers with snarky substacks = S tier
Exited Founders/VCs with podcasts

= S tier
Engineering Leaders/CTOs/Consultants/Change Management

= A tier

you get the point.

All the way down the bottom was the freelancer. The content creators. The people without a team. So what did they do?

Started calling themselves “founders” and “CEOS” (of 1 person businesses).

linkedin is weird

Then came the broetry.

image 18

There’s a strange pull to LinkedIn that a lot of us can’t explain. When you ask someone why they’re on there, they’ll respond similarly to “why are you on Facebook”.

  • It’s a necessity
  • It’s fear of missing out (on updates, on competitors, on job opportunities)
  • It’s because it’s the done thing (where else is there to go to be a functioning adult online and communicate that’s SFW?)

It’s cringy though. So you scroll. You might give a like to a friend if they post a mandated job announcement, or if an influencer says something interesting.

You don’t post though because that’s for weirdos or desperate people who want attention or people with too much time on their hands.

Right?

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/simeon-chan-127a37127_anyone-else-finding-that-linkedin-is-slowly-activity-7126134837765103617--FcB?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_desktop

LinkedIn really flies under the radar as the social media platform that’s absolutely the most unhinged.- Emily Murnane

Activating Goblin-Mode (growing linkedin followers)

In less than three months, I’ve gained over 1,000 followers by being myself🌈

I got sick of reading broetry, bullshit “hooks” and vapid humblebrags.

I figured if I was going to make connections/ grow my consulting client base, I wanted to do so with people who:

1) would be confident they knew the real me

2) would be comfortable with my style/personality

The catalyst for consistent posting was insomnia. I was up at 3 a.m and saw a post by a founder.

The post was around how to approach job-hunting at a startup. The founders advice was along the lines of “go the extra mile, don’t just send a resume”.

I agreed wholeheartedly. I wrote a comment that read a lot like something I’d send a friend, complete with Charlie Day meme.

advice on how to pitch a startup CEO for a role
the comment that started it all

I screenshot it a week later because I was amazed at how many people reached out based on that one stupid comment.

After my comment, I just kept doing it.

I didn’t follow a “strategy” or target specific people. If I see something I think is funny, I say something. 98% of the time, I am appropriate and don’t overstep with trolling or flippant remarks.

I believe chaotic marketing has a place but you also have to have an opinion, showcase what you can do, and show who you are.

The kind of people who connect with me are generally within my “ICP”.

I use LinkedIn as my big experiment ground. Having both a wide set of interests & skills, a key learning for me was not to “niche down” but rather to experiment with how I deliver knowledge.

I’ve learned that video is not for me. I’ve noticed my tendency to skip over depth in subjects and try to cram in breadth.

As a generalist, I want to talk about everything, which is a tightrope walk between sharing too much and not enough.

image 19

Memes, Canva, and the real me

I post memes. I whip up (shitty) Canva visuals. It takes time, sure, but not too much. I enjoy it. LinkedIn has become my online portfolio, a place where I can be authentically me (to a degree*)

I do worry about the invisible jury of silent scrollers, the ex-bosses with their opinions and eye-rolls. Or even ending up on r/Linkedinlunatics💀.

Then I realise I’m overthinking it, I don’t matter that much, and to get over it.

Moaning about LinkedIn is a sport on the platform. It’s easy to get a crowd of people to agree if you post something edgy and ~ divisive ~. What builds your self-confidence, credibility, and relationships is sharing, with wild abandon.

I’ve learned something crucial- people are desperate to drop the corporate charade.

If I can be the class clown that gives others a nudge to be themselves, I will.

image 16
all class

Vanity metrics aside, I’ve also had (in 2.5 months)-

  • 10+ partnership inquiries
  • 4 job offers (straight up, sans interview)
  • 6 contract/project offers
  • a handful of A++ people I can call for brainstorming, referrals, just a good chat
  • an opportunity to learn in new industries
  • I’ve joined @Huddle as a freelance consultant

The journey of commenting/posting what I want= profit isn’t linear.

I’m learning what I want from remote work, I’m learning my offering. Every day, I benchmark myself against my peers.

image
me benchmarking against my peers

I identify gaps in my knowledge, see if I even want to improve or if I’m comfortable being crap at some things.

If you approach posting as giving people insight into what it’s like to engage you- whether as a contractor or FTE.

How to Goblin- corporate edition

I hear you.

“I’m not in an industry where I can do this”. “It’s fine for you to post memes of the simpsons, I’m a professional though..”

Fair play. Your competitive advantage is the way you share knowledge. It doesn’t matter if it’s your own. This means you can build a voice, and show your knowledge by simply documenting. Speak of something someone else has done. 
Teardowns, case studies, hypothetical approaches. 
All ways to inject your own opinion/methodologies without going “full goblin”.

Commenting and posting on LinkedIn has taught me more about myself and my career than any ‘professional’ posturing ever did.

And for the record, you won’t catch me dead teaching a LinkedIn course. 😉

Say hi over here or email