LinkedIn. Isn't that the boring social media site where you have to spruce up your page before you start looking for a job again? Recruiters on recruiters.

No wait. It's that site where web developers from Bangalore spam you trying to sell WordPress dev for five dollars per hour.

Wrong.

I own two digital development companies doing multiple millions in revenue per year. I can say definitively that LinkedIn is the hottest platform producing the highest return on investment (ROI) for me as a tech influencer on the web.

I grew my Instagram organically to over 120,000 followers within five months playing the consistency game, but Instagram isn't coming close to touching my LinkedIn numbers -- and that's after only 60 days of effort.

The problem with my Instagram is that my demographic can't afford my products or services. It feels great to reach a new, younger audience that digs my style, but it would be nice to see some sort of ROI. After all, I'm an entrepreneur. Time is money.

I voyaged into the LinkedIn Mafia (as they call it on the inside) intensely only two months ago. When I started, I had a few thousand followers.

Today, I have over 12,500 followers. My average article posts reach close to one million views with engagement at an average of 4,000 likes per post. In total, I've accumulated well over five million views on my content.

Don't believe me?

Beyond the Wow Factor

Going viral is cool, but it's not that important to me. It adds some social validation and "wow factor," but I'm after the ROI. And LinkedIn delivers.

LinkedIn generates more leads than any other platform and saves us more on marketing and public relations than we ever anticipated. Here's a tangible example:

We spent $50,000 on Google paid search ads and generated 147 leads. That's a pretty insane cost per lead ($340). But for a service company like mine, where customers spend well over $50,000 for a custom app, the numbers make sense.

But this is even more attractive:

This post alone generated 263 inbound leads, five of which converted to paying customers, and all for the low low price of zero dollars. Yes, you heard that right. My Sunday morning routine of cranking out all my LinkedIn content for the week literally made my company tens of thousands of dollars.

How to Succeed on LinkedIn

So does this mean paid advertising is dead? Probably not. But I'm sure as hell doubling down on my LinkedIn right now, and I suggest you do the same.

Here are some tips to be a boss on this new platform that you should have been on yesterday.

1. Use line breaks to optimize for mobile.

All my content has line breaks (one or two sentences per paragraph) so that it's easy to read on mobile.

If you aren't optimizing your content for mobile right now, it's time to start. Failing to optimize for mobile means you're leaving out at least half of your potential audience, severely limiting your reach. 

Keep paragraphs short, sentences concise, and cut out all the fluff from content. This format lets you tell a compelling story with a clincher at the end that still reads well on a mobile device.

2. Don't be shy, embarrassed, or afraid of vulnerability.

This isn't Instagram where you are rewarded for posting content with a red Ferrari. This is a professional platform that wants to hear about other founders' highs and lows.

The lows usually get the most engagement - people love to hear stories of failure, strife, and eventual triumph because it gives them hope.

Give your audience something they can connect to emotionally. Tell them about the time your company nearly went bankrupt and you thought your future was ruined. Open up about the worst mistake you've ever made in your career.

Make it vulnerable, make it emotional, and make the stakes as high as you can. LinkedIn responds to drama and vulnerability, especially if there's a hopeful takeaway at the end.

3. Don't try to over-advertise your company or product.

Focus on writing good content and getting engagement. The plugs can come later. Of course I plug my company, but that's not until the end of the story. Most of my posts contain no mention of my company, and most of yours shouldn't either. Only plug your business when it makes sense:

LinkedIn is one of biggest untapped markets on the Internet right now, and if you're looking to generate business for yourself or your company, you need to be building your presence.

Follow these guidelines, create valuable content, and test out different strategies to see what works for you. With sustained effort, you might be amazed by the results you achieve.

Published on: Oct 25, 2017