After writing 30+ newsletter articles on marketing, product, and growth topics, I would like to talk about something that started it all: LinkedIn.
Building an audience on LinkedIn has given me immense opportunities, especially access to brilliant thinkers from whom I have learned and become close friends. It also helped me gain access to investors and raise funding for GrowthSchool.
In this article, I will share my process of organically building my audience on LinkedIn.
🥅 Goals and Audience
What are your goals for being on Linkedin (or any other platform)? Some common goals are:
- Find a job.
- Build a network of mentors.
- Find clients for your business
- Build a personal brand and audience.
Or no goal at all. You might say - I am writing for myself and nobody else, and I don’t care. Great! At least have that clarity.
Once you have a specific goal, identify the audience who can help you reach that goal. For example, your goal is to get a job as a marketer. Then your audience would be your peers (who can refer you to the position), recruiters (who can approach and hire you), and hiring managers (who will be your potential managers).
📔 Pick your Niche
You have identified your audience and the goals. Now time to think of the niche you want to write about.
Niche = What you are good at + What you are interested in + What your audience is interested in.
Think of the tone that would resonate with your audience. If you write about pure marketing, you will compete with many people. Mix it up. If you worked on marketing, write about the intersection of marketing and another field. Ex: great ways to speed your marketing efforts using AI.
With such topics, you will be able to stand out and build your area of expertise.
👤 Optimize your Profile
Remember the goal and audience. Before you start posting, optimize your profile for the target audience you want to interact with. A few things to remember:
- Have a clear professional headshot.
- A clear headline about who you are professionally and what you do.
- A good banner image
- Add the work experience section, skills, awards and other salient points in your profile.
You also need a well-written ‘About’ section. It must contain:
- Your impact: Companies created, revenue generated, code shipped and impacting # of users.
- Bullet list of your wins.
- A snapshot of your journey.
Now set up your writing system. It need not be fancy. Even a pen and paper can be a good start. Write down the key points of what you wish to convey.
Say you want to write about recent news like IPL. Based on your goal and audience, write about it with your lens:
- A software engineer: the potential tech behind IPL streaming.
- A marketer: Ads and campaigns in IPL - the analysis
- A product manager: critique of the product - what you like and don’t
Further, you can write 4 buckets of content:
- Education niche content
- Personal stories
- Trending topics
- Case studies of your work or breakdown of someone else's work
Or you can just write what you are learning on the go. Your perspective is critical - news is the same for all, but the opinion differs.
TIP: First, write the key content points and then the introduction. The first two lines must make people curious and engage people. Spend a good time refining the intro.
💬 Engage with others
In every topic, you will have someone who is your role model. Meaningfully engage with their content. Put your notifications on when that person posts, and try to be among the first few people to reply.
- Put a meaningful reply. Not a ‘great thought’, ‘agree’, ‘interested’ etc.
- If the person replies to your comment, acknowledge it.
- If you have an opposite POV, do share it respectfully.
TIP: Find people in your same niche with a slightly bigger audience and start engaging with them. After you get 3-4 replies, DM them and offer help. Build a relationship - as they grow, they will engage and help you grow.
🏃 Be Consistent
This is the simplest way to grow. Just keep at it. But this is the most challenging part too. Look at any creator you admire and their output so far. To grow organically, you have to keep shipping continuously.
Don’t worry about the number of likes, comments etc that you are getting. Only take genuine feedback that will help you improve your content.
Growth is excruciatingly slow in the beginning, but it compounds well later.
Create content for 30 days and continuously keep posting. Don’t look at any metrics at all. After 30 days, look at how your audience has grown. If you have written decent and helpful content, I assure you your audience will grow.
Be kind. Be helpful. Provide value. Do it over and over. Whatever it be - job, getting clients, investments etc. You will get it if you keep at it.
Tool of the Day
This Chrome extension will help you optimize your LinkedIn profile to get more recruiters to reach out. You will also be able to increase your search appearances and secure more career opportunities!