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How I used Linkedin to scale my business to a 7-figure exit.

I'd guess that this isn't the first article you've seen giving advice on how to 'do' Linkedin.


In fact, I'd bet it's probably not even the first one today.


Everyone has an opinion on how it should be done. And what it should be done for.


Some say it's all about the hooks, the profile optimisation or the commenting.


One thing's for certain. There's no right way to use Linkedin.


It all comes down to what you're looking to achieve. The right strategy for generating leads is going to be different to getting promoted. Some people are looking for connections and some for friends.


Opportunists (otherwise know as founders or entrepreneurs) have rightly jumped on the confusion and created an influx of personal branding agencies, despite the fact that no one really knows what personal branding is, or what it's for.


Chaos basically.


And Linkedin isn't helping matters by having a super basic algorithm that seems far too easy to fool. People see their high value, thought leadership posts get less engagement than the 47th "7 signs your boss is toxic" infographic of the week and assume it's because they're doing it wrong.


I would take a guess that I've made a lot more money from my Linkedin posts over the last few years, with my average of 1,500 ish impressions per post, than any of the influencers that you see getting 1,000,000+.


You see, the way to make money on Linkedin, is to not focus on making money on Linkedin.


Your value should be built in something real and sustainable. A business for example, or a consulting offering, or a physical product.


You won't make money from just getting lots of impressions and likes. You won't get rich from brand deals.


Think of Linkedin merely as a tool to help you grow your actual business.


You know what, rather than give you a "here's how you should do it" article to add to all of the others, I'm going to do it slightly differently.


I'm not going to give you advice, or tell you what you should do. I'm simply going to tell you what I did, and what worked and what didn't.


Then I'll leave it for you to decide what things to implement and what to ignore.


Cool with that?


Then let me tell you a story of the agency owner and the B2B social media platform...


Examples of posts from my past, asking for feedback and showing off a little bit. Nothing ground breaking, but they worked!


Connections

Forget about followers. They're 'nice-to-have'. But you don't really get to control who follows you. Connections are where you will get your wins.


Connecting with people on Linkedin allows you to quickly and accurately build up your network of perfect potential clients. I added 20 people per day. Every day. On average 35% of the connection requests accepted, meaning my super targeted network was growing by around 200 per month. Or 2,500 per year!


Imagine how much you'd be willing to pay to speak at an event where there were 2,500 of your exact target clients attending. Well, now you can speak for free, however often you like.


The sooner you start this the better. Every day missed, is 20 connection requests that you can't get back (Linkedin puts you in 'jail' if you try and connect with too many people, too quickly).


You don't have to add a personal message to the connections, and I actually find that not including one gets a higher acceptance rate. But I always did include one, as that way I know that the people who do connect, are open to hear my ramblings.


But I would never try and sell, or even give a hint of selling in these connection messages.


Content

Now you have your audience, you need to start showing them what you can do.


My overriding advice. Don't think about it too much. Don't worry about hooks, or post length, or format, or image.


My business was an Amazon agency. Therefore, our target clients were brands selling products on Amazon. And specifically the ecommerce managers within those brands. They were the people I was connecting with every day, and they were the people I was learning about as much as possible.


Because the best content strategy is one that talks to the subjects that your target clients are interested in. And most likely those subjects aren't your services or products. So this shouldn't be what you write about.


For me, the ecommerce managers had a love/hate relationship with Amazon. It was crucial for their job, but difficult to work with. But also, there was the challenge of where Amazon sits within the wider retail marketplace. And where budgets should sit - retail team or marketing team.


I started to form a list of these topics and challenges, and that became the content strategy. Anyone hiring an agency to work for them isn't doing it purely for the work. They're doing it for the knowledge, the opinion and the strategy. So I made sure all of my posts showed that I would be capable of challenging their opinions and strategies, and adding value to their business.


If you have a spare half hour you can scroll back through my old posts. You'll see that they're not optimised, or consistent, or even that good. But they hammer home the message that I have an opinion on the future of retail, how Amazon should be run and who is doing a good and bad job.


Crucially, the most successful posts I ever wrote were ones where I simply wrote what was in my head, in a way that I would have said it to a person in real life. And when I say most successful posts, I don't mean in terms of likes or impressions. In terms of money!


The money doesn't tend to come from the people that engage with your posts however. But from a mysterious, confusing and beautiful thing called the Linkedin Lurker...



Lurkers

If I was to take a guess, I'd say my Linkedin posts brought in around £5m of revenue.


Inbound.


That's over 4 years that I ran my agency. Not a bad ROI for something that cost nothing and took me a few hours a week.


But over the 4 years of posting, most of that revenue came within the final 18 months.


So that means a long time of writing posts, with relatively low engagement, and no financial ROI. This is where most people stop. Or at least change their strategy to seek likes and comments over genuine opportunities.


But it's impossible to think that all of your perfect potential clients are in the market for your services on day one. Plus, they need time to build trust in you. And if you don't know who they are, then the only way to build that trust is through your content.


95% of that £5m revenue came inbound, from people that I never spoke to before, never knew had seen a post and certainly had never engaged with the content.


I know it's super hard to do, and I even struggle with it now. But you really need to not worry about likes, comments, virality or even impressions. As long as you do a good job with building the right connections, then even if you only get 100 impressions on a post, that's still a lot of potential customers.


Value

I found the best way to write good content was to think of it in my head as free value that I was giving away. It stopped me thinking about whether something would bring in sales, or if it would get likes. I purely though of it as free value that is building trust.


But, as my business started to scale and we were chasing bigger and bigger numbers, I didn't want to just rely on lurkers getting in touch in their own time. It was time to start being a bit proactive with the conversion rate of the content.


The best success I had was to create some additional value, that a client could buy for a very small, low friction amount of money. It's commonly known as a lead magnet, but I didn't know that at the time!


This often takes the form of an audit, or a consulting call, or a very small piece of your overall service proposition that can be sold separately.


Now it was time to use it.


CTA

If you're posting content but not getting any inbound enquiries then it's likely that you're just not asking for them. I don't mean a full sales pitch as a post. But some kind of call to action that identifies who you want to contact you, and for what reason.


As soon as i started adding these to posts, the enquiries increased.


What doesn't work: "Click here to book a call"


What works a bit better: "Click here to book a call to discuss your Amazon advertising"


What works best: "If you're a brand doing £100k/m on Amazon then book a call to learn how we can increase you ROAS"


In my opinion, every post you do should have a CTA somewhere. Even if it's just to follow your account. If you are genuinely focusing on creating free value for the viewers, then you should give them a way to get more if they want it.


Now, you might not be ready yet to start driving sales actions from your posts. No worries, there is one subtle way you can do it in the meantime. Ask for feedback of something that is showing them what you do and why you're valuable.


Maybe you've created a new creds deck. Or a video. Or created a new product offering. Take a look at the middle post in the image above.


I made a video that showed everything about what we did and why brands should work with us. But I didn't ask for feedback on our offer. I asked for feedback on the video. Far higher response rate and any feedback you get is the start of a conversation that can lead to more.


Hiring

Of course, Linkedin isn't all about selling. It started as a job site, and is still super valuable for hiring great talent.


The great thing about the above strategy is that what works for clients also works for hires. The majority of our 'big hitter' hires contacted us off the back of the content that they were reading.


Exiting

And if you needed any further evidence of the ROI available with a bit of effort on Linkedin, there comes the exit.


Around 2 years in to my 4 year business journey, I connected with the CEO's of all possible companies that I thought could ever want to buy mine one day. They also saw the content, the wins, the thought-leadership. And when they needed to buy an Amazon agency, we were front of mind.


13 companies made acquisition approaches, and all 13 of them were people I was already connected with on Linkedin.


Summary

Linekdin is such a huge opportunity for business owners. But it needs time and consistency, even when it looks like you're talking to yourself.


Of course everyone is busy, and offloading parts of Linkedin to agencies, freelancers etc makes sense. But my advice is to offload the connecting, the advertising, the profile optimising first, but keep hold of the content writing as long as you can manage.


Bad content written by you will get far better results (money, not likes) than content written by someone else. In the same way that it's likely that no one can pitch your services like you can. The same is true with your content.



See, cheeky little CTA above. Practicing what I preach...


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