In 2014 I started writing posts on LinkedIn. They all sucked. Most of them were re-shares of other people’s content.
My ideas about business back then were naive, stupid and mostly ego driven. That was the very issue with everything I was doing on LinkedIn.
It was all about me because that’s what everyone was preaching. I was listening to everyone else instead of listening to my gut feeling.
I changed all of that in 2016.
It resulted in me gaining millions of views on LinkedIn.
Here’s what I did, one step at a time:
Step 1: Try to help one person.
I too wanted to help millions of people on day one. It’s not going to happen. Quit reading the picture quotes that always tell you to “Have a huge impact” or “Think Big.” It’s total BS in the context of social media and getting started.
Instead, write that post with one person in mind. What’s one question you could answer and who would benefit the most from that answer.
That’s what I asked myself.
When I coached a graduate at work, I’d write solutions for them in the form of LinkedIn posts.
When I was asked for my opinions on digital marketing by the Head Of Social Media, I’d write the answer in the form of a LinkedIn post.
“I started out only ever wanting to help one person at a time”
What ended up happening was that those answers applied to more than just the person I’d written it to. That’s how you beat the mental block of doing your first post or trying to help one person.
Step 2: Shoot videos that are not your best.
Be raw, authentic and real.
That’s why I shoot videos with average lighting or dark circles around my eyes or in my pyjamas or without my hair combed. That’s who I am in my rawest form. All the perfect lighting, rehearsed scripts and lack of bloopers translate to one thing:
“You don’t look real to people.”
I’ve probably just pissed off every YouTube famous person in the world with that advice.
All the perfectly written posts, brilliantly shot videos and stunning photos are making us see something that doesn’t resemble reality. Eventually, we become numb to the perfection and switch off from what’s actually important which is:
How can you help all of us?
Okay, I said it again. Just want to make sure you didn’t forget my point.
Step 3: Share posts that have no benefit to you whatsoever.
Someone needs a job? Help them.
Someone needs to raise money for their business? Help them.
Share posts that help other people and that are ideas you believe in.Helping other people on LinkedIn is how you ultimately get closer to your own goals. Those same people you help will become your advocates.
When someone tries to bully you, these people you helped will step in without you asking them to.
If your account get’s hacked, these people you helped will tell you.
If you lose a loved one or go through a disaster in your career, these people will be the first ones to reach out.
“Ultimately, you get stronger on LinkedIn by helping others to be stronger and doing things that have no benefit to you”
Step 4: Commit career suicide.
You probably can’t believe I said that. Why the heck would anyone tell you to do this? It’s simple: career suicide in the modern business world is about being vulnerable and showing your emotions.
It’s about sharing the moment before you give a presentation when you’re scared out of your mind.
It’s about sharing how you got rejected for tons of jobs right in front of the very people who could hire you or even work at the company you’d love to work for.
It’s about completely rethinking everything you’ve ever done and doing something totally different.
It’s about not trying to replicate everybody else’s success thus making you like everybody else.
Step 5: Ignore what the LinkedIn algorithm is doing.
Don’t try and game the algorithm.
You’re not smarter than AI or the machine that is LinkedIn. Quit trying to do that. Forget the viral videos; forget the latest trend of short posts; forget trying to be funny with memes.
The only trick to the Linkedin feed is to be yourself and help a few people in the meantime.
Chasing algorithms only leads to inaction, copying, not being yourself, boredom and all the crap you don’t want.
Step 6: Don’t re-share your posts on social media.
It distracts you. It makes you focus on too many platforms. You’re only one person and probably have enough on your plate with your career.
Pick one social media platform and post on there.
Re-sharing is overrated. Content posted on one platform often won’t make sense on another platform. You don’t need to be on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc, to please the social media gods. You just need one platform where you help people.
Step 7: Forget about a personal brand.
I’ve never seen anybody be inspired by someones ‘personal brand.’
Stop using that phrase. Just stop now for the love of god!
No one goes on LinkedIn (or any other platform) to hear about your personal brand and how you make yourself look good. It’s meaningless x 1000.
Give up creating a personal brand.
Leave your ego behind.
Don’t worry about vanity metrics.
Help people. Be good to people. Support causes you believe in. Help people, help people and then help some more people.
“Find out the problems people are dealing with and then share your solutions to them in the form of stories”
Remove your ego from the equation.
Step 8: Ignore the analytics and data that impacts what you post.
These are a distraction. Who cares how many shares or views you got.
I’ll say it again: All that matters is did you help one person?
Do that. Repeat. Do it again. That’s the millions of views equation. Views are a reflection of how many people you’re helping.
Analytics can’t tell you how to help people — only you can do that using your brain and your intuition. There are so many random factors in analytics that will distract you from the truth.
Maybe you posted at the right time.
Maybe someone with a gazillion followers liked your post.
Maybe your post was re-shared by a publication.
It really doesn’t matter what the analytics say; it matters whether you helped someone other than yourself.
Step 9: Don’t post pictures of you hanging out with cool people.
It doesn’t matter where you went for dinner or what event you went to. How are you helping people? What can you teach me?
Selfies only tell the story of one’s self and the ego that goes with it. That’s not interesting to most people.
Step 10: Don’t have a mentor or coach.
Go on Linkedin and scratch your itch. Forget about having a strategy or listening to people who have done well on the platform.
You’ll figure out Linkedin when you figure out yourself.
1. Who are you?
2. Who are you becoming?
3. How do you help people?
4. What have you overcome?
5. What have you learned?
6. What do you know that nobody else knows?
7. What inspires you?
There the questions you need to answer and following others in the hope that you can chase somebody else’s success on LinkedIn is pointless.
Step 11: Give up chasing trends.
Trends don’t last.
Trends are a distraction away from how you can help people.
Trying to be like everybody else and chasing trends is how I got lost on the platform. I started trying to be somebody else because the trend said to do X.
The real me is quirky, a bit crazy, stupid at times, outspoken and a mixture of introvert and extrovert. Turns out that was more interesting to people than being a trendsetter and saying what I thought people wanted to hear. There are enough people doing that already.
Trends are ridiculous. Make something that lasts.
Step 12: Make your one sentence headline about how you can help.
Not “Growth Expert.”
Not “Strategic Advisor.”
Not “Award Winning.”
Describe in the one sentence LinkedIn gives you to write your headline, to talk about how you help people. Link that to something you’re freaking obsessed with. Mines inspiring the world through entrepreneurship and personal development.
That’s how I help people and that’s what I love like my puppy dog that died in 2005. What do you love and how can you help?
Always remember it’s not about you.