Making LinkedIn Work — Kelford Labs Daily

By making it a habit.

Making LinkedIn Work — Kelford Labs Daily

A few months ago, I wrote a newsletter called “Letting Go of LinkedIn.”

It was about my frustration with LinkedIn’s changing patterns—leading to decreasing content performance—and it provided advice on how to find alternatives to the platform, for anyone else frustrated by it.

As a marketer, declining engagement on LinkedIn was incredibly frustrating. It had been such a useful platform, but over the past year or so many entrepreneurs have found their content performing worse and worse.

So I wrote a fairly, shall we say, spirited argument in favor of finding other channels.

You didn’t read it, though, because I didn’t publish it. As soon as it was done, I thought, “This isn’t advice—it’s a complaint.”

So, I went back to the proverbial drawing board and thought about what I could offer that’s actually useful, and which might actually help another entrepreneur find a solution to waning interest in LinkedIn.

What ended up happening, though, is I became inspired to tackle the problem, instead of just finding ways to avoid it.

So, first, I started posting there every day, just to form the habit. I figured if I made a point of being there, I’d make a point of getting better there. At first, I just took these daily newsletters and shrunk them down to fit the format. It wasn’t original or terribly inspiring, but I got used to posting every day.

And, as I hoped, once the habit was formed, the intrinsic desire to improve kicked in.

So I spent time trying to find a balance between what seemed to “work” on the platform, what I could create and sustain over time, and what I actually liked doing.

Just over the past few days, I’ve started implementing the new content ideas. And, I almost hate to say it, I’m enjoying LinkedIn now. I know, I know.

Look, it’s early days, but there are early results. Like an over 800% increase in engagement, including my most engaging post in over a year. I’ll admit, the bar was low, but it’s awfully nice to clear it.

Here’s what I learned that helped me improve:

What “works”?

  • Photos that show the author in an interesting context
  • First-person stories and anecdotes
  • Thought-provoking opening lines
  • No links

What can I sustainably create?

  • Personal stories about my process
  • Behind-the-scenes content about my work
  • Book recommendations

What do I like doing?

  • Talking about books
  • Talking about focus
  • Talking about history and technology

So, for now, I’m creating content that’s a combination of these elements. Photos of me recommending books, photos of my reading notes, and content about focus, priorities, and process.

It’s much too early to tell whether this path will prevail over the long-term, but, for now, I’m liking LinkedIn.

Which is more than I could have said about it a few months ago. Which makes me far more likely to work at it until it works.

So if you’re burned out on LinkedIn—or any other channel—and thinking about abandoning it, I understand, believe me.

But if you make it a habit, you’ll be more likely to keep at it.

Which is the first step to making it work.

Kelford Inc. helps hands-on entrepreneurs and founders with complex marketing challenges define and articulate their unique value to their very best customers.

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