What I Learned On LinkedIn

This is a brand-new series where I reflect on what I've learned from making content for Waking Dreams and other clients. It's going to be more casual, like a diary entry. But hopefully, more unique insights because they're coming from experience rather than just best practices.

I am changing my background.

So, this one is simple. Two people mentioned this to me. My background is similar in many of my videos. I think it results in fewer people clicking or engaging with the posts because they believe it's content they've already watched or, at the very least, in a split second, it's indistinguishable from what they have watched previously, so they move on.

I think this has a compounding effect on the LinkedIn algorithm, where your posts do not show up as much. So, I will find ways to change the majority of my frame, like changing the lighting colour in the background, using a different background or green screen, and changing my title cards, and I think the videos will perform better. It's about the big obvious thing—the stuff people immediately notice. I've talked about this as "packaging" in previous videos. And while it should be recognisable as yours. It should be distinguishable from everything else you've made. That's a tricky balance to strike. The same, but different. But that's what makes a great content designer.

I am mixing my content forms.

If sitting down to create a carousel for LinkedIn isn't your idea of a Friday night, photo dumps could be a good alternative. These are popular on Instagram, but I don't see them happening as much on LinkedIn. I asked posed the question on LinkedIn last year, and after getting a good response, I decided to do them every time I remembered to get behind-the-scenes photos of my shoots.

It turns out these are some of the best-performing content of the month. These posts got pushed big time by LinkedIn. If you're thinking, "Well, I don't have trips or cool stuff very often", it could be as simple as ten photos to represent your workday, which I will try next month. These posts are being pushed because their engagement rate is stupidly high. As people flick through the photos, each click is considered engagement. And it's easy for an audience to be nosy and flick through pictures. It's little effort for a lot of novelty. They click through them, and it gets pushed out there. These are then recognisable clicks. It's easier for LinkedIn to measure than video or text. You could have gone to make a cup of tea while they were in front of you. So next month, I will try to publish a broader content mix, including text, video AND images.

I am making a note of busy periods.

If you can't deal with a busy period, you will never be consistent with content creation. Take May, for instance, an exceptionally hectic month for us. We shot 10 videos and a short film. And we fell behind with posting. While we kept our audience engaged with behind-the-scenes photos and releases, we missed out on daily posts. The outcome? A dip in our engagements and impressions for the month. Now, I foresaw these shoots. But I did nothing about it. I got caught on the reviews part because I was on set for five days straight. And then the video that, mind you, was shot and edited couldn't be posted.

As the business owner, I am the roadblock. I will recognise that in the future and plan all my tasks in the system when I know I'm free. If you need to schedule more videos in advance, do it. That's the beauty of a 30-day content bank – it's a lifesaver. It's like an emergency fund of content. Yeah, for a rainy day when you can't go and shoot.

I am going to back up what I say with personal experience.

The facts? They're out there for everyone. What makes you unique is your story. It's the best way to stand out, don't be Wikipedia. Be your grandfather telling you a story about his past on his knee. Even as you educate, make it digestible. People remember stories, so embedding your teachings within a story works wonders. Most of the maths lessons probably slipped your mind in school, didn't they? But bet you recall the story of the kid that leaned on his chair and split his head open. When teachers genuinely want to imprint something on your memory, they don't throw equations at you; they spin a yarn.

Nothing beats a personal story when it comes to setting yourself apart from the competition. Our leverage in the world of content creation lies in what we can offer that's uniquely ours. Most of the videos I initially released were void of stories - just an information dump. And if you're unfamiliar with who I am, why would you digest that information? It's easy to do because you don't have to do research or talk about why you know something. But it's not effective. Stories serve as compelling evidence, and we, as humans, are always searching for reasons to listen to someone. Essentially, it's like saying, "I ran the experiment. Here's what happened." There are lessons to take from science here. Cite your sources, talk about your experiment, don't just talk about your conclusion.

I am implementing a system for early engagement.

I recently completed a content creation course offered by Justin Welsh, a notable LinkedIn influencer. Among the many insightful lessons he shared, one stood out - the significance of early engagement for enhancing post visibility. This wasn't a concept I had a firm handle on previously, but I did observe a trend. My posts that garnered likes quickly after being shared tend to spread further. Conversely, if a post gathers few initial likes, it seldom gains traction later. Essentially, the first few hours of engagement can make or break a post's success. So, developing a system to optimise early engagement sounded like an excellent idea. Welsh offered several strategies, such as establishing a support network of fellow regular posters who can mutually like and share content. This approach aligns well with LinkedIn's existing ecosystem, a mix of mutual support and clamour I'm calling a "sycacophany" (a portmanteau of sycophantic and cacophony).

Another strategy involves posting content in groups with similar interests. The first step is to join these groups and share your content. Engaging with early comments also boosts a post's visibility. The more comments, the better your post performs. But how do you get people to comment? Welsh suggests adding an element to your post that sparks engagement. He emphasises the need for a strong stance or opinion on your topic, as it naturally invites conversation.


So that's everything. I'll let you know how these changes impact results next month. Thank you.

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