Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.
The future of TikTok is uncertain. Twitter is in a period of turmoil. Instagram engagement is down. So which social platform should entrepreneurs focus on? Think of the always solid LinkedIn.
Building a strong network on LinkedIn allows entrepreneurs to make valuable connections, share insights and thought leadership, and establish themselves as industry experts.
I asked the people who are making the most noise on LinkedIn what they are doing right. Here are their tips.
Related: 5 LinkedIn content ideas for entrepreneurs to drive growth and visibility in 2023
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Gone are the days when LinkedIn was all about buttoned-up, conservative posts meant to show how professional you are. My own best performing post was one where I included my first rejection letter – from when I was 12 years old – with my thoughts on staying determined.
Honestly, I owe most of my success to Justin Welsh, the founder of The Diversified Solopreneur and creator of one of the most popular LinkedIn courses out there (it’s helped over 10,000 students, including myself, over 3,497,000,000 impressions on LinkedIn).
According to Welsh, the generic “Here’s how to become a better leader” content may have worked in the past. But with entrepreneurs starting to flood LinkedIn, it takes a lot more than the general stuff to get the right kind of follower.
“Everyone will share things like ‘The Ten Steps to This or That,'” he says. “But the person who writes things that show their unique journey will stand out and attract a tacky kind of follower who will go on their journey with them.”
Executive LinkedIn Trainer and Advisor, Tara Horstmeyer, believes that the rise of AI means video, and that going “live” will become more important as video expands the authenticity angle.
“Anytime you can visually bring out your face, your words, your voice, just your personality, it will help,” she says.
On the other hand, Welsh avoids video and instead emphasizes writing messages that go against the grain.
“It’s not just about what you write about, but what you’re against,” he says. “I write a lot about building your own business as an businessupdates.org, but I also write about the opposite of that, which is why I’m against the traditional nine-to-five. In a world of 4.9 billion people connected to the internet , contradictory viewpoints help you stand out.”
2. Remember, it’s human psychology first, then algorithm
Because LinkedIn consistently rolls out new features, it can be easy to be swayed by people who swear that the algorithm favors newsletters or that content posted through scheduling platforms isn’t seen as widely. Ultimately, no algorithm can beat a basic understanding of what moves people.
“People have worked the same way for hundreds of years,” says Welsh. “The person who grows the most in 2023 will ride the wave of trends, but also get the basics right by knowing their audience and their ideal customer profile, telling stories, being empathetic, learning copywriting and understanding the customer journey .”
3. Engagement is the name of the game
While success on any social media platform involves interaction, it’s crucial on LinkedIn. That means finding people like you and commenting on their posts, rather than just responding to comments people make on your posts.
Still, it’s not just about throwing a thumbs up or writing “Great post” and leaving. It’s about reading (sometimes quite long) posts and providing thoughtful responses.
One benefit of commenting on other people’s posts is that, according to Horstmeyer, “you find your voice, you find how you like to write and you find people.” LinkedIn’s currency, she says, is support and reciprocity. “That generosity you already give will come back to you as people start supporting your content,” she says.
Wels agrees. “If you come in, drop a piece of really high-quality content and leave, you can still reap the rewards of publishing high-quality content, but you won’t grow as quickly or gain an audience as deep as if you regularly communicates basic,” he says.
4. Embrace the journey
Unlike TikTok, where you can go viral with one well-timed post, LinkedIn has no plans to grow big anytime soon. Welsh, who has more than 340,000 followers and can draw thousands of comments and likes on his posts, has been showing up consistently for over four years.
Welsh and Horstmeyer each estimate they spend between 45 minutes and an hour a day on LinkedIn, dividing their time between posting, responding to comments, and responding to other people’s posts.
Eventually, like anything worthwhile, the unsexy act of day after day will show up, which will be effective in 2023.
“I always tell people, ‘Removing friction from consistency is the most important thing,'” says Welsh. “So, for example, I like to write, so I write – every day.”