4 Ways to Increase Your LinkedIn Following in 2023

The views expressed by the contributing Entrepreneurs are their own.

The future of TikTok is uncertain. Twitter is in a period of turmoil. Engagement on Instagram is down. So which social platform is best for entrepreneurs to focus on? Consider the ever-resilient LinkedIn.

By building a strong network on LinkedIn, entrepreneurs can make valuable connections, share knowledge and thought leadership, and establish themselves as industry experts.

I asked the people making the biggest waves on LinkedIn what they’re doing right. Here are their tips.

Related: 5 LinkedIn content ideas for entrepreneurs that will boost growth and exposure in 2023

1. Share the real you

Gone are the days when LinkedIn was all about buttoned-down, conservative posts meant to show how professional you are. My best performing post was the one where I included my first rejection letter—from when I was 12—adding my thoughts on staying determined.

Honestly, I owe most of my success on Linked to Justin Welsh, founder of The Diversified Solopreneur and creator of one of the most popular courses on LinkedIn (he’s helped over 10,000 students—including me—get 3,497,000,000+ impressions on LinkedIn ).

According to Welsh, the generic “Here’s how to be a better leader” content may have worked in the past. However, now that entrepreneurs are flooding LinkedIn, it takes a lot more than the general stuff to get the right kind of followers.

“Everyone will share things like, ‘Ten steps for this or that,'” he says. “But the person who writes things that show their unique journey will stand out and attract a sticky kind of following who will take that journey with them.”

LinkedIn Executive Trainer and Consultant Tara Horstmeyer believes the rise of AI means video, and that “live” will become more critical as video increases the authenticity angle.

“Anytime you can get your face out, your words, your voice, just your personality visually, it helps,” she says.

On the other hand, Welsh eschews video and instead emphasizes writing posts that go against the grain.

“It’s not just about what you write but what you’re against,” he says. “I write a lot about building your own business as an entrepreneur, but I also write about the opposite of that, which is how I’m against the traditional nine-to-five. In a world of 4.9 billion people connected to the Internet, Opposing opinions help you stand out.”

2. Remember it’s human psychology first, algorithm second

Because LinkedIn is constantly rolling out new features, it can be easy to get swayed by people who swear that the algorithm favors newsletters or that content posted through programmatic platforms won’t be widely seen. Ultimately, no algorithm can overcome a basic understanding of what makes people tick.

“Human beings have been working the same way for hundreds of years,” says Welsh. “The fastest growing person in 2023 will ride the wave of trends, but get the basics right by knowing their audience and their ideal customer profile, telling stories, empathizing, learning copywriting and understanding the customer journey.”

3. Engagement is the name of the game

While success on any social media platform involves interaction, on LinkedIn, it is vital. This means looking for people like you and commenting on their posts, as opposed to just replying to the comments people make on your posts.

However, it’s not just about throwing a thumbs up or writing “Great post” and walking away. It’s about reading (sometimes quite long) posts and providing thoughtful responses.

One benefit of commenting on other people’s posts is that, according to Horstmeyer, “you find your voice, you find how you like to write, and you find your people.” LinkedIn’s currency, he says, is support and reciprocity. “That generosity that you’re already giving will come back to you as people start supporting your content,” he says.

Wells agrees. “If you come in, drop a piece of really high-quality content, and leave, you can reap the benefits of publishing quality content, but you won’t grow as quickly or grow an audience as deeply as if you interact on a regular basis,” he says.

4. Embrace the journey

Unlike TikTok, where a timely post can send you to virality, there are no fast-track programs on LinkedIn. Welsh, who has over 340,000 followers and can attract thousands of comments and likes to his posts, has been consistently featured for over four years.

Welsh and Horstmeyer each estimate they spend 45 minutes to an hour a day on LinkedIn, with their time divided between posting, replying to comments and engaging with other people’s posts.

In the end, like anything worth it, the unsexy act of showing up day in and day out is what will be effective in 2023.

“I always tell people, ‘Taking the friction out of consistency is the most important thing,'” Welsh says. “Well, for example, I love to write, so I write — every day.”

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