I truly believe that LinkedIn is the most powerful social network of all of the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. LinkedIn is where business happens, plain and simple. And if you're an entrepreneur starting a company that you hope will be big one day, you simply can't ignore this powerful social network.
I've been on LinkedIn since 2006, and it has single-handedly changed my career and entrepreneurship trajectory. It has provided me with new career opportunities, new business partners, employee referrals, and connections to wealthy investors. For entrepreneurs, LinkedIn works really well.
I've been able to amass over 30,000 connections on LinkedIn, and that number continues to grow every day. To achieve this success, I've used a single approach that has worked since day one: authenticity. If anything sells on LinkedIn, it's this.
Every year, I post a reflection called "Robbie's Last Year: The Good, Bad, and Ugly," where I talk about everything that happened with my company and even my personal life. Every year, this post consistently generates the most comments, likes, shares, and even InMails (LinkedIn's messaging system).
Many of the comments and InMails that are sent to me are from people who have had the same struggles I've had. Many of these people are strangers that I've never interacted with before, and they're opening up to me about their life and business struggles. I'm able to forge new connections and new business opportunities by simply being genuine and talking openly about my successes and failures.
If you want to build better relationships with your connections, this is easily the way to go. Many of your connections read your content every time you post it but never comment, like, or share it. And since LinkedIn doesn't tell you exactly who's viewed your content, you're left in the dark.
When I write authentically and talk deeply about a subject that's either taboo or just not talked about enough, my engagement skyrockets. The "lurkers" who usually don't like or comment on posts actually start engaging with my content. By writing authentically, you've given them permission to open up to you as well.
However, the flip side of authenticity on LinkedIn is that many LinkedIn users will write content that panders to the LinkedIn audience, which is craving new, genuine content. This ends up diluting the platform with stories that actually never happened in real life.
For example, if you were to write a short post on how you hired a qualified candidate who couldn't get hired elsewhere because she was pregnant, you'd be famous on LinkedIn in no time--even if the story was false. This content works, and will continue to work simply because people want to believe it's true. However, quality is more important than quantity, and that kind of tactic isn't worth getting a lot of engagement. The quality of your connections increases when you home in on a subject that is near and dear to your connections' hearts, and you talk about it authentically and truthfully.
Since being acquired by Microsoft, LinkedIn has continued to grow, and will continue to grow for the near future. It's a platform that has become part of my daily habit, and you'll start to see more entrepreneurship content on the platform as well, as entrepreneurs figure out that if they want to grow a business, they can't ignore LinkedIn.
Start with authenticity and you can't go wrong.