How to Get Followers on LinkedIn: My Journey to 97k

In the world of LinkedIn, I was once a mere spectator—scrolling through an endless feed of motivational quotes and generic networking tips.

But one day, I decided it was time to take center stage and make a name for myself.

Fast forward to today, and I’m now a proud member of the elusive 97k club, boasting a following larger than the population of Monaco!

So how did I, Sam Szuchan, transform from a humble LinkedIn lurker to a content-creating superstar?

In this article, I’ll share my journey and spill the beans on my top strategies to help you become a LinkedIn sensation.

Let’s dive in and explore the road less traveled, where we’ll ditch the cliches and embrace a world of unique insights and expert advice.

From optimizing your profile to nailing your content strategy, we’ll explore the very tips and tricks that propelled me into the LinkedIn stratosphere.

A Quick Pre-Game Pep Talk

Before we dive into the juicy details of growing your LinkedIn following, let me introduce you to my secret weapon guaranteed to transform your LinkedIn game from zero to hero: LinkedX.

LinkedX is my comprehensive LinkedIn online course that takes you by the hand and guides you through the ins and outs of building an impressive following and, more importantly, monetizing the attention you get.

We’re talking in-depth strategies, expert tips, and a treasure trove of LinkedIn wisdom you won’t find anywhere else.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Stick around and see for yourself the value I’m about to share in this article

And when you’re ready to go all-in and truly conquer LinkedIn, LinkedX will be waiting for you with open arms.

Now, without further ado, let’s get started on your journey to 100k followers and beyond!

1. Embrace the Goldilocks Zone

Once upon a time, in the land of LinkedIn, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect niche – not too broad, not too narrow, but just right.

Welcome to the “Goldilocks Zone” of topics that’ll help you build authority without trapping you in a pigeonhole.

I know what you’re thinking: “But Sam, I’ve been told to laser-focus my content!” Well, my friend, it’s time to break free from that outdated mindset.

Embracing a big-tent approach is the secret to attracting a larger audience, even when you’re targeting a specific niche.

So please, let’s leave the “laser focus” myth in the dust. Popularity is the name of the game here.

Here’s the deal: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to discuss only what your specific target audience is interested in.

I rarely mention my products or services, yet I still generate a crazy number of leads from my LinkedIn presence.

Remember, if you’re an authority in your niche, your target audience will emerge naturally. 🌟

Traditional wisdom might make you believe you should find a sub-niche within a broader niche, like “Social media management for athletic clothing designers.”

But let’s be real—how on earth are you going to build a massive following with an audience that specific? Instead, post about social media and let those athletic clothing designers come to you!

The Winning Formula: Choose 1-3 topics that perfectly balance specificity and breadth.

For example, entrepreneurship, marketing, and startups all mesh well together, allowing you to build authority and cast a wider net.

Embrace the Goldilocks Zone, and you’ll be well on your way to LinkedIn stardom. 🚀

2. Learn to Sell With Your Words

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to be dazzled as I introduce you to the magical world of effective copywriting!

This enchanting skill will be your secret weapon in the realm of LinkedIn, making your content irresistible to readers far and wide. 🎩✨

Why does copywriting matter, you ask?

Well, my aspiring influencer, it’s the foundation of publishing content on social media.

You could have the most brilliant ideas in the world, but if your words don’t captivate, your audience will vanish like a poorly executed vanishing act.

So, what exactly is copywriting?

Simply put, it’s the art of writing words that sell. And on LinkedIn, you’re always selling something—whether it’s your personal brand, products/services, or ideas.

Here are the most important rules to remember as you embark on this thrilling journey:

  1. Clarity over cleverness: Your audience isn’t here to solve riddles. Be straightforward and concise.
  2. Write for one person: Imagine you’re writing for your best friend, not a faceless crowd.
  3. Ditch the formalities: Conversational language is your key to unlocking engagement.
  4. Teach, don’t sell: Offer valuable insights, and the sales will follow.
  5. Format like a pro: Break up your text with bullet points, headers, and white space for easy reading.

I don’t expect you to become a copywriting pro overnight, but it’s something you’ll need to develop if you want to succeed on LinkedIn.

I’ll leave you off with some beautifully-formatted copywriting tips by the great Jasmin Alić:

  • If it feels like writing, rewrite it.
  • If it doesn’t sound natural, rewrite it.
  • If it sounds like you’re selling, rewrite it.
  • If it doesn’t spark any emotion, rewrite it.
  • If it sounds too long, it probably is too long.
  • If it isn’t very specific, it’s probably very vague.
  • If it’s written for everyone, it’s meant for no one.

With these spellbinding tricks up your sleeve, you’ll become a wiz at whipping up viral-ready posts in no time. Just commit to practicing!

3. Forge Your Persona

Ready to embark on an epic quest to craft your LinkedIn persona?

With a character that’s relatable, inspirational, and authoritative, you’ll have your audience hitting that “follow” button faster than a superhero saving the day.

Why does your persona matter? Because it’s the bedrock of your authority and it’s the key to unlocking success both on and off LinkedIn.

Think of it as the secret identity that’ll empower you to conquer the digital world.

But remember, we’re not spinning tall tales here; your persona is you, just refined and polished for an online audience.

To create a persona worthy of a standing ovation, focus on these three crucial elements:

  1. Origin Story: Every hero has a tale that defines them. Share your journey, your struggles, and your victories to create an authentic connection with your audience.
  2. Stances: What do you stand for? Take a position on key topics and let your convictions shine through. Your audience will appreciate your clarity and candor.
  3. Content Quality: Your persona is only as good as the content you produce. Commit to delivering top-notch material that informs, entertains, and inspires.

We’ll break down each of these in-depth next.

Crafting Your Origin Story

Ah, the origin story—that magical tale that transforms you from a mere mortal into a LinkedIn superhero.

Ready to condense your real-life story into a riveting narrative that’ll connect with your audience and inspire them to follow in your footsteps?

Buckle up, because we’re about to get deep.

Why does your origin story matter? Well, if your audience sees themselves (either now or in the future) in your journey, they’ll be hooked.

They’ll root for you, they’ll cheer you on, and most importantly, they’ll want to join you on this wild ride.

The core concept: Transitioning from a not-so-great situation to a fabulous one, all within the context of your niche.

Your story should explain your journey from where you started to where you are now—and, most importantly, where your readers want to be.

For example, my own story goes from broke college student to financial freedom extraordinaire. 

While my peers are scrambling to find jobs, I’m swatting away offers like flies.

Here’s a foolproof structure to turn your life story into a blockbuster hit:

  1. The Dark Ages: Start with the not-so-pretty beginning (broke, out of shape, miserable, you get the idea).
  2. The “Oh, Snap!” Moment: Share that pivotal point when everything changed (like Ryan Serhant’s card declining at the grocery store).
  3. The Rebirth: Reveal the goal you set to transform your life.
  4. The Trials and Tribulations: Dish out the juicy details of your struggles and setbacks.
  5. The Current Glory + Future Dreams: Show off your present success and share your aspirations for even greater achievements.

For instance:

  1. Bad start: Jimmy was so broke in rural Maine, even ramen noodles seemed like a luxury.
  2. Breaking point: Jimmy’s card declined for a measly $7.62 purchase – Ouch!
  3. Reorientation: He vowed to build a car detailing empire.
  4. Growing pains: Despite not knowing a thing, Jimmy botched his first few jobs but persevered.
  5. Ideal state + forward movement: Jimmy’s now the proud owner of a six-figure detailing business, ready to hire minions and scale even further.

With this winning formula, you’ll have an origin story that’s equal parts relatable, inspirational, and downright entertaining. Here’s a great example from Justin Welsh:

Taking Stances

Are you tired of being a LinkedIn wallflower, churning out bland, vanilla-flavored content that rivals watching paint dry?

That ends now, since I’m here to reveal the secret sauce that’ll transform you into a LinkedIn flavor sensation: taking stances. 🌶️

You see, most LinkedIn users are offensively inoffensive (Clever, right?).

If you want to build a personal brand that sticks, you can’t just sit on the fence, waiting for the wind to decide your fate. You need to be known for your opinions on certain issues.

Now, before you break out in a cold sweat, let me reassure you: raking stances doesn’t mean being controversial or turning your profile into a battleground.

In fact, you can make your mark without stepping on (virtually) anyone’s toes. How?

By targeting those invisible enemies everyone loves to hate—but no one admits to being.

Throughout your content, take aim at universally despised practices and ideas that your audience can rally against.

Need some inspiration? Check out these examples:

  1. Outdated hiring practices: Who doesn’t loathe filling out a 10-page application only to never hear back?
  2. Anti-consumer shenanigans: Let’s call out those sneaky hidden fees and outrageous cancellation policies!
  3. Unhealthy food standards: Let’s face it, nobody’s thrilled about consuming unpronounceable ingredients.

By taking stances on these universally lamented issues, you’ll add a dash of spice to your LinkedIn presence, engaging your audience and setting yourself apart from the sea of bland content.

Content Quality

Oh, LinkedIn, the land of copy-paste content and low-effort fluff that could put an insomniac to sleep. But you, my friend, are not like most people.

You’re here to make a splash, to command respect, and to build an authoritative persona that’ll make even Gordon Ramsay proud. 🍳

Reality check: There’s no shortcut, secret formula, or AI tool (yes, I’m looking at myself) that’ll magically transform cookie-cutter content into groundbreaking masterpieces.

Trust me; I tried for my first five months on LinkedIn

And where did that get me? Nowhere—fast.

To rise above the sea of mediocrity, you must commit to one simple mantra: quality over quantity.

Forget posting daily; focus on posting excellence.

As the saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out,” so why waste your time churning out fluff when you can create content that’s truly worthy of your audience’s attention?

Let’s put it this way: If Gordon Ramsay started serving McDonald’s patties at his restaurant, how long do you think his reputation would last? Yeah, not long.

My most viral post took a whopping five hours to create, but it generated more results than 10,000 low-effort, yawn-inducing posts combined.

People follow me for the quality of my content, not because I grace their feed with a daily dose of laziness.

So, put on your creative cap, channel your inner Shakespeare, and get ready to produce unique, high-quality content that’ll have your audience clamoring for more.

Your LinkedIn reputation will thank you, and so will your ever-growing army of followers.

4. Develop Viral Content

If you’re still clinging to your Notion templates, Excel spreadsheets, and so-called magic copywriting formulas, it’s time for an intervention.

I’ve tried them all, and let me tell you: the results were about as consistent as the Wi-Fi in a crowded coffee shop.

So, what’s the secret to creating content that people actually care about?

Take a seat, because I’m about to reveal four foolproof methods for generating ideas that’ll have your audience hitting the “like” button like their lives depend on it.

Method One (Free & Low-Tech)

Stalk LinkedIn and Twitter like a social media ninja, saving posts within your niche with 200+ reactions.

The goal isn’t to copy their content (seriously, don’t do that), but rather to understand the core topics that people obviously care about.

This way, you can cover those subjects yourself and eliminate the guesswork.

Method Two (Free & Low-Tech)

Network with your peers and find out what keeps them up at night.

Host Zoom meetings, read comments on niche-related posts, and run public Google Forms polls.

Find those recurring pain points, because if a handful of people are facing them, you can bet there are thousands more who are too.

Method Three (Requires Paid Software)

Unleash the power of TweetHunter and Taplio to discover topics that resonate with readers. 

Remember, we’re talking inspiration, not plagiarism. Keep it original, folks.

Method Four (Free)

Subscribe to popular newsletters in your niche.

Assuming they’re good quality, you’ll have a steady stream of ideas flooding your inbox with minimal effort. It’s like having a team of content elves working behind the scenes.

Using these unconventional methods, you’ll generate content ideas that are (actually) valuable to your audience.

So ditch those spreadsheets, and dive headfirst into the unpredictable, chaotic world of content creation. Your audience—and your growing list of followers—will thank you.

5. Optimize Your Profile

Let’s talk about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile.

You know, that digital space where most people slap together a sad, lifeless resume that barely sees the light of day?

Yeah, it’s time to give yours a makeover so it can become a high-converting landing page for followers, customers, or both.

Before we dive in, make sure you’ve turned on Creator Mode and set your profile to public.

Because let’s face it, no one can follow you if they can’t see you. You can find this feature under “Resources” on your profile page.

Now, let’s break down the key elements of a killer LinkedIn profile that’ll have visitors hitting “follow” faster than you can say “bespoke golf clubs for busy doctoral candidates” (please, don’t ever use that as your tagline).

1. High-Quality Photo

Grab attention with a clear, professional photo that features a smile for approachability and an eye-catching background.

Aim for a solid Photofeeler score, because, well, who doesn’t want to look good?

2. Specific Tagline

Keep it simple, concise, and relevant.

Remember, nobody needs to know you’re a “unicorn whisperer” unless that’s your actual job.

3. Actionable Banner

Your banner should drive visitors toward a specific action, whether that’s signing up for your newsletter or checking out your latest product.

4. Hyperlink

Use this prime real estate to link to a landing page, product, or service.

5. Featured Section

Don’t waste this space on your most popular posts. Use it to showcase your money-making ventures.

6. Engaging “About” Section

Feature the origin story we discussed earlier, but keep it clear, concise, and easily skimmable. No one wants to read your memoirs here.

7. Experience

Show viewers you’ve been around the block by plugging your website or landing page, at the very least.

8. Skills & Recommendations

While not essential, endorsements and recommendations can help seal the deal for potential investors.

Extra Tips

Add category hashtags, don’t be afraid to make changes, limit featured links to 4 or 5, and consider using a bright-colored background to make your headshot pop.

Loved This? You’ll Love LinkedX

And there you have it, folks!

You’re now armed with the knowledge and tools to grow your LinkedIn following and become a certified LinkedIn superstar.

But before you go, let me drop a not-so-subtle hint about something that’s guaranteed to skyrocket your success.

Introducing… drum roll, please 🥁 LinkedX, my comprehensive LinkedIn online course that takes a deep dive into everything we’ve discussed and so much more.

It’s like the secret sauce that will help you not only grow your following but also monetize the attention you get.

Because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to turn those hard-earned followers into cold, hard cash?

So, my dear aspiring LinkedIn magnate, I wish you the best of luck in your journey to online stardom.

But remember, fortune favors the bold, and LinkedX is your ticket to the big leagues. Don’t miss out on this life-changing opportunity to learn from the best (that’s me, obviously 😉).

Seize the day, take the plunge, and sign up for LinkedX. After all, you’ve got followers to gain and a bank account to grow.

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