Are you considering growing an audience on Linkedin? In recent years LinkedIn has become a huge opportunity for businesses to connect with each other and for professionals to grow their professional brand.
The growth of LinkedIn
If you’ve not heard of LinkedIn you are probably living under a rock! Alongside Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for professionals to connect, collaborate and socialize.
LinkedIn has 630 million members. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second – which is an insane growth of users!
LinkedIn is a fantastic source for generating new leads for your business. Hubspot found that LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Facebook and Twitter.
This data shows that LinkedIn is a prime opportunity for professionals and businesses who want to explode their online influence and/or sales.
Not everyone, however, should be looking to grow a LinkedIn audience. There’s been a load of backlash recently as users are concerned that others are using Linkedin like other social media networks.
“This isn’t Facebook” is commonly posted in articles and posts. This, however, doesn’t mean that we can’t use Facebook like techniques or methods to grow an audience. We just need to steer clear of cat videos and family holiday shots…unless they are used to emphasize a business message. In which case they can be very effective at engaging an audience.
Before you believe the hype of “You must be posting content on LinkedIn” you’ll need to work out whether the effort will be worth it for your particular business or marketing and career goals.
Who should be growing an audience on LinkedIn?
It’s becoming an increasingly common recommendation – especially if you are listening to the LinkedIn “experts” trying to sell you their wares.
Don’t be fooled, not everyone should be growing an audience on LinkedIn. It takes a load of effort over a long period of time to do it properly! Depending on your goals you may be better off focussing on another channel altogether.
Here’s a list of who should consider growing an audience on LinkedIn:
- Entrepreneurs – I have had a huge amount of interest in my startup, verbalize.science, based on the content that I’ve put out on LinkedIn. I have never sold or tried to get people to use my service. I’ve shared my journey and struggles resulting in people connecting with me!
- B2B (Business to Business) Companies and professionals – It’s no secret that LinkedIn is business-focused. If your company provides services or products for business customers LinkedIn will be a fantastic place for you to promote yourself!
- Job seekers – Connecting with potential employers and positioning yourself as an expert for a particular role is a fantastic way to use LinkedIn.
Here’s a list of people that should probably NOT use LinkedIn
- Companies that rely on local foot traffic – Cafes, homeware store, and your average mom and pop shop could probably find more success with other channels (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc).
- B2C (Business to customer) businesses that don’t sell to professionals.
- People who want to grow an audience using gifs and funny videos – Head over to YouTube and Facebook. You’ll find a more receptive audience there!
Now that you have decided that LinkedIn is right for you. You are going to need to focus on this very important aspect of using LinkedIn effectively – positioning yourself or your business as an expert!
Becoming an expert in your field
No matter what your product, service, or profession LinkedIn will be most effective for you if you are the go-to person for a particular service or knowledge-base.
You’ll need to decide what you want people to know you for. As annoying as it is, people like putting others in a figurative box. When someone talks to you what do you want them to say about you?
For example, I wanted to be known as an entrepreneur who has a startup helping scientists communicate their value to the world. Therefore, I started sharing my entrepreneurial journey. I talked about my business learnings along the way. I shared my frustrations and progress.
To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be known as when I started. That’s because I didn’t really know who I was professionally.
You see, I had left science research to forge my own path! No matter what content I put out however, I was authentic when communicating with my audience. It was through the content that I found out where my value was for my audience.
Through the process of putting out regular content, I have had a number of people offer me work. Either through my start-up verbalize.science or in my capacity as an expert communicator.
After you have decided what you want to be known as you’ll have to work out how you want to connect with your audience and the content you’ll make for them.
Choosing a Content Strategy
The number one rule here is: make it sustainable and create something that you like creating. Create something regularly and without fail. Post to little and you’ll struggle to get noticed. Post to much and people will say that you are spamming them.
For content types, you have the options:
- LinkedIn Articles – Do you like writing? Give this one a shot!
- Videos – Do you like presenting and prefer talking over writing?
- Vlogs – This content is based on unedited and raw idealogue content. I’ve seen this work well with experts who share their knowledge with others. Think small snippets and
- Infographics and Images
In my case, I really like making videos and recording video content. Therefore, a vlog made complete sense for me. I decided to bring a new style to LinkedIn that I’ve seen work really well on YouTube. Inspired by Casey Neistat, I chose a daily journal vlog style.
I posted every weekday and have seen a huge amount of engagement for my content. Although, the growth has been anything but linear!
Like most things online and in the SEO space. You have to appease certain algorithms before social media sites let you loose on their audience. Here’s the growth I experienced during my time posting content on LinkedIn.
My results from over 125 videos
I’ve been producing content on LinkedIn for the past five months and, although I knew it was going to be hard work. I didn’t know just how hard it would be!
Here is the number of views for each video I have achieved:
For a full run down, check out my detailed post on the first 100 videos. I have only really seen a significant increase in views since video 106.
I’m not one to get swept up in vanity metrics and I think that like and comments are way better for determining if you are making progress! This is the number of likes and comments for each video.
You can see that my audience has started to engage more with the content that I have been producing. From video 100, I noticed an increase in engagement.
Persistence and consistency win when growing an audience. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t see results straight away. Looking at the above graph to can see that it wasn’t until video 71 that I really started getting nay engagement – that’s about 140 hours worth of editing and nearly 3 months of consistency before I started seeing results!
You’ve got this! Get creating.
The top rules for how to grow an audience on LinkedIn.
During my LinkedIn content push – I have seen it all! From Linkedin pods, constant selling and reuse of other peoples content without acknowledgment.
There’s no secrets or hacks for LinkedIn that work in the long term! Growing an audience relies on trust and good old fashioned relationship building!
Here are my top rules for making sure you stand out for all the right reasons.
1. Connect with people
Don’t be shy. Connect with potential customers, employers, and even competitors. Create your own tribe of people that care about what you do and what you can offer them.
Don’t just connect randomly though! You have to be as strategic as you possibly can be. This will ensure that you are building an audience that actually cares about what you are doing! This means they will engage with your content and please the LinkedIn algorithm. Win/Win for everyone!
2. Be social
Social media is exactly that – social. Even though you are creating a load of content, make sure you engage with other people’s posts. comment rather than liking or reacting – it’ll help get you noticed!
A big one for me is making sure that I reply to anyone who takes the time to comment on my videos or posts.
3. Don’t sell
I’ve seen it a load of times! Rule one – Don’t sell! At least, really early on! Building an audience that grows to know like and trust you will take time.
Don’t sell for at least 6 months. Focus on being helpful and responsive to inbound leads for your help or services.
No-one likes being sold to and people are savvier to a hard to sell than ever before! Patience wins in this game!
4. Be authentic
Authenticity is the key to being liked and trusted. I don’t worry about revealing a little bit about my life or things I like doing.
People often come up to me in real life and ask about my dog, my bike and the co-working space that I’m in. I’ve also pitched my business to people that I didn’t know were watching my videos. The result is that they immediately trust and like me – because I’ve been building a relationship with them for a while!
Sometimes there’s value hidden in content production that you never get to see or sense until it pays off!
Let me know how you go building an audience and if you need help get in contact – I’d love to help!