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Grow on LinkedIn, the right way

LinkedIn is the go-to platform for people who consider themselves "writers." But the increasing percentage of aspiring writers makes it difficult to stand out or gain clients.


80% of direct messages on LinkedIn about closing leads are from people who aren’t sure of their skillset or are unclear about their business goals. Some are valid concerns, yet most are fears stopping them from eating their share of the pie.


I don’t mean to be too professional or casual in your efforts to stand out. Some people have gone viral or received praise for sharing their stories. However, sharing personal stories is not possible for 80% of users and it is not a long-term strategy, especially when you own a business.


LinkedIn headquarters from a writer's perspective

But you can use the “compounding effect” to increase your chances of gaining traction.


When writing on LinkedIn, what is compounding?

I created my LinkedIn profile in November 2022. I had another engineering-focused profile. I could have used it, but I made a new one. Oblivious to the fact that it will take months to grow an audience.


Before resigning from my design role at an MNC, I decided to work as a copywriter in June 2022. I assumed that finding and closing clients would be easy. I was able to sign an agreement in a month. But it turned out to be a nightmare from a business and service point of view.


Frustrated, I went for in-house positions at digital marketing agencies to learn how things function in the creative industries. I realised this road was worse than my last engineering job. The pay was equal to non-skilled labour, while the business owners lacked experience.


Flatlay of a writer's desk with a Mac keyboard, 2 pens, and a notebook

A copywriter in training looks for tangible metrics to gauge copy’s effectiveness. But it wasn’t true for the firms I worked for. So, on a gloomy evening, I deleted my engineering profile to create my copywriter's page.


Note: LinkedIn doesn’t allow operating two profiles under the same name. A fellow freelancer was banned for this reason.


My main aim was to test my writing’s effectiveness. I wasn’t focusing on the follower count. The metrics I was after were impressions and engagements. As on a social platform, these are the indicators of success for a post.


One day I shared my results on LinkedIn. It was a post explaining how I increased the average impressions of my posts from 500+ to 1000+ in a week. It got better results than my other posts that week. I wrote a new one with a different hook but similar information. The post performed better than I had expected.


I again experimented with three LinkedIn posts explaining three different types of ad copy. They all gained the most traction.


LinkedIn headquarter window displaying the message "welcome to linkedin"

So on a fine Sunday, I sat down to understand why it was happening. I scrolled down my profile and figured that I had been doing it without a strategy. I had posted several posts on “improving skills” that gained the highest engagement.


This was how I coined the term "compounding effect" and added it to my content strategy book. Later, I heard Alex Hormozi explain similar concepts.


In content creation, compounding is to build on an idea to reinforce the message or build relevance with the audience.


You can use the effect in 5 different styles.


1- Your LinkedIn growth trajectory

People in your audience want to know how you're building or growing on a platform. It can gain the most engagement as the topic is broad and interests a large pool of your followers.


But it only gets viral or semi-viral when the information is practical. Don’t attempt it with a copy-paste strategy from any big account.


2- Your clients' success stories

If you position yourself as an expert in the field, people will wish to learn from you. Sharing your clients' wins builds trust with the people in your network


These posts receive love and hate and gain the highest engagement, but they don't always receive the highest impressions.


3- Your happy/sad life events

This one is tricky because every personal story will not receive traction. You can associate it with the hook of the post, the audience’s interest and the post’s relevance. But these posts humanise your brand.


I have talked about freelancing, travelling, and my corporate experience to give people an idea of my work ethic, business values and hobbies.


A writer romantically strolls through a green forest

4- Your strong opinions

My posts on improving writing and copywriting skills fall into the opinionated category. They are the experiences or practices I follow. Yet they are the most engaged posts of the month.


Share opinions when you are coming from a place of credibility. Don’t talk about a topic when you have neither experienced nor practised it.


5- Your opinion on virality

I have grappled with this concept from the start. I am not against it, but when understanding the mechanics of virality, I saw creators on various platforms explode with the most generic content.


It is good when it serves a purpose. But generic virality can dilute your LinkedIn brand messaging. Aim for targeted virality.


I have never used a similar message or angle while formulating a post around an idea. In my strategy book, compounding does not mean repetition. Most importantly, you can repeat yourself but try to change the format, post it after a month’s gap or merge it into a broader topic.


If you have questions on this topic, we encourage you to reach out to Samra on LinkedIn.

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