7 Lessons I Learned After Reaching 20k LinkedIn Followers in a Year

Some of them are so unexpected that I wonder how they can even be true!

7 Lessons I Learned After Reaching 20k LinkedIn Followers in a Year
(Image from the author’s Instagram)

Some of them are so unexpected that I wonder how they can even be true!

I’ve been writing on LinkedIn since September 2021.

Since then, I’ve grown my following to 20,000 followers and attracted opportunities worth thousands of dollars.

I have also been admitted into the first cohort of the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program in India. Effectively, LinkedIn paid me for writing on their platform.

In this post, I’ll share the seven most insightful lessons I learned in my journey of reaching 20k followers in less than 12 months.

If you’re thinking of starting to build your personal brand on LinkedIn, this post is exactly what you need. Read on until the end for a special surprise.

1. Niching down is important.

Picking a niche and sticking to posting about it for 10 weeks straight can change your life. Look at my stats before and after the 10-week, 40-post streak I went on during the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program.

Screenshot of LinkedIn stats by the author.

I’d been posting fairly regularly earlier too, but I was doing what I did for Medium on LinkedIn: pick 3–4 closely related content brackets and post about them.

But Medium is a long-form content platform where users hop on to gain knowledge. They don’t mind creators experimenting with niches and

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a social media platform. It thrives off people having minuscule attention spans, so they keep scrolling through more posts on their feeds.

When you consider this, it makes sense if you niche down on LinkedIn. Sticking to precise content brackets is a better strategy for the platform. This establishes you as a thought leader among the readers and helps you build a super-engaged loyal audience.

2. Having a recurring theme is an underrated superpower.

I experimented with a lot of content forms during the 10-week schedule of the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program.

But the most engagement came from my weekly live series Wednesday Refocus at 7. It’s a show where I invite guests from different backgrounds to make my audience aware of the possibilities beyond the “common” careers of engineering and medicine.

This shows the power of having a recurring theme every week, fortnight, or month.

This helps the audience associate you with that (in my case) day of the week. They know when to expect what from you, reinforcing your brand recall value in their minds.

3. A community can be your backbone.

The best perk of the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program was the cohort of 199 other LinkedIn creators. We had a super-engaged WhatsApp group chat where we hopped on to collaborate and co-create.

I turned to this community in cases of self-doubt or insecurities regarding analytics on the platform. It made me feel less alone and paved the way for success on this 10-week journey.

4. Experimentation is the secret sauce.

Some creators succeed with video posts.

Others find carousels to be their Midas touch.

Yet others swear by live sessions and short videos.

The secret sauce varies for different creators based on their niche and target audience demographics.

You won’t find yours unless you experiment.

So let your creativity flow wildly. Pick up different ways of presenting your content to the world. Keep experimenting until you find the sweet spot between what your audience expects and what makes you happy.

5. Give the platform what it wants.

This is the umbrella term for several pieces of useful advice like:

  1. Don’t create content solely for the purpose of directing users to other platforms. Sure, you can promote your newsletters or YouTube videos, but make sure your LinkedIn post does some form of value addition instead of simply leading your readers to your other social media profiles.
  2. Engage with other users. Leave insightful comments and suitable reactions to relevant posts. If content creators do good, the platform does well too.
  3. Use hashtags. Hashtags group together similar content for the readers. They can be especially powerful in running a series of content connected by the same hashtag. They aid in discoverability and personal branding.

6. Show up every day.

Consistency is important.

But even more important is having a long-term goal in mind, and aligning your content strategy with your vision.

7. Observe and learn.

What works today might not work tomorrow.

To stand out on LinkedIn (or, for that matter, any platform on the internet), observe what’s trending and learn how to implement the same in your content.

You can check this through the “LinkedIn News” section at the top right of your LinkedIn feed. The topics curated there have been hand-picked by the LinkedIn team and would see a boost in traction throughout the week.

Try and curate content around those genres, and you’ll see the magic happen. Don’t forget to add your personal touch to keep your audience happy.

Screenshot by the author.

Final words

Summarizing, here are the seven lessons I learned from reaching 20k followers on LinkedIn in less than 12 months:

  1. Niche down. Be as specific as you can. Hunt your ideal target audience like your life depends on it.
  2. Have a recurring theme you keep repeating every week, fortnight, or month. That way, your audience knows what to expect from you and when. It also increases your brand recall value.
  3. Find a community of creators so you don’t have to be on this journey alone.
  4. Experiment with different content forms to find the one that suits your audience the best.
  5. Give the platform what it wants. Read the rules. Don’t make assumptions.
  6. Be intentionally consistent and align your content strategy with your long-term vision.
  7. Observe the trending topics, reverse engineer them, add your personal flavor, and apply them to your posts.

What other tips would you add to crush it on LinkedIn? Do share your thoughts in the comments.

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