What makes a great LinkedIn post? One that keeps someone reading and makes them want to hit the follow button.
First, you have to have a great idea. Something that resonates with people or gets them thinking.
Second, you have to have a great delivery. That can be in a well-written text post, video, or graphic.
A powerful idea can occasionally do well even if the delivery is lacking, but the combination of both and done consistently? That’s how you build an audience.
In this episode, expert marketer and copywriter Liz Willits discusses how she’s built a 50k strong LinkedIn following and the tricks we can use to grow our own audience.
- Use pain points to connect
- Keep testing new posts
- Great ideas need great delivery
- Everything should be copy
- Post regularly to stay top of mind
- Develop the hook without distraction
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06:26 – Use pain points to connect
Liz thinks she has been able to resonate with people and grow an audience of 50,000 followers on LinkedIn by discussing the struggles copywriters face.
“I think it resonates so much because it’s based on the frustrations and the pain points that marketers are going through and dealing with related to copywriting and related to marketing. I’m a marketer, I’m a copywriter. And I often post on the frustrations and the pain points I faced and how I’ve overcome them. And then also the frustrations and pain points that I know other marketers and other copywriters are facing and how they can overcome those. I’ll hear a lot of marketers say, we want to be positive. Let’s not focus on pain points. We want to use positive language. But pain is really successful when it comes to marketing and when it comes to LinkedIn, because ultimately we’re all struggling with different things and looking for solutions to those problems. And just to frame things positively all the time, it doesn’t necessarily resonate with people who are going through these work struggles and these professional struggles, and they’re looking for solutions to those problems.”
08:17 – Keep testing new posts
The way to keep producing content that resonates and grows your following is to keep testing content and learning what your audience likes.
“I think it’s really just knowing the audience and the readers well enough to know what they’re struggling with, but I strike out all the time. So I post stuff that doesn’t perform and that I think the audience will resonate with and it just doesn’t. And that’s a big part of it too, is testing. Marketing is all testing. And I think the people who are successful are just those who are testing enough and then learning from their tests and testing all the time. Even though I have like 50,000 followers now, I still have posts that get no traction, which if you think about it sucks pretty bad. They must be terrible. But it’s just keeping on and testing and finding what people like and then doing more of it. So if I find a post that really resonates or topic that really resonates, I go all out on it and I’ll do a series of posts on that topic.”
11:08 – Learn how to write clearly and do it often
Liz’s background in copywriting and content marketing has taught her how to craft great posts.
“My background’s in copywriting and content marketing. And studying the psychological side of copywriting is really helpful when it comes to writing social media content. And then on top of that, understanding the content marketing side of how do you educate someone on an idea really clearly and in the least words possible. And that doesn’t mean it’s a short post, just means that you use the least words possible to clearly convey this idea or this piece of education. And so it’s the combo of that background that has been really helpful for me. So I would tell everybody, study content marketing, study copywriting, and then practice every day.”
14:21 – Use more conversion copywriting in B2B SaaS
B2B SaaS companies are sometimes reluctant to try conversion copywriting techniques on their sites, but it works.
“Many B2B SaaS founders and the C-suite are very afraid of testing conversion copywriting. But they all love to double their conversion rates and revenue. And that’s what conversion copy can do for B2B SaaS. It’s like overnight you can double your sales from your website with just changing the copy. And now conversion copywriting is super research-based. So you’re doing positioning, offer creation, and then packaging all of that in combination with the copywriting. So it’s not just pretty words. It’s a lot of research and then positioning that goes into that.”
18:07 – Great ideas need great delivery
A great idea is essential to a high-performing LinkedIn post, but it can be made even better with a great form of delivery.
“I’ll see great content on LinkedIn and I’ll read it and be like, oh, this is a great topic. And then I’ll either continue reading it because I happen to be interested in what the person is putting out or I’ll stop reading it because it just doesn’t keep my attention. For a great post, you need a great idea and great copy or a great delivery. That could be on video. So great idea. Great delivery. And so you do need both. Sometimes you can have such a great idea that the delivery can be poor and people are still like, whoa. We’ll see sometimes those viral LinkedIn posts that they’re not very well-written, but the idea was so appealing to so many people that it went viral. And sometimes on LinkedIn those ideas might be very corny and we’re all rolling our eyes. But whether we’re rolling our eyes or not, if it went viral, then the idea is really resonating with a lot of people. And so a powerful idea can do really well, even if it’s not delivered very well, but the combination of both and then done consistently, that’s how you build an audience.”
19:41 – Build a thought leadership platform
When Liz started speaking at conferences, she realized she needed to build her thought leadership brand. That’s when she started posting regularly on LinkedIn.
“I really was doing it because I had started speaking and I was trying to build my thought leadership as a speaker. So I started speaking at conferences and realized that all of these other thought leaders, some people hate that term, but I’m just going to use it for here. All of these other thought leaders or educators in the marketing space, they had a content platform of sorts and they’re sharing their ideas all year long. And so that was a part of it, just wanting to build my own audience. And then of course, when I knew I was leaving my job and starting my own business, which had been a plan for a few years,I knew it would come in handy and it absolutely has. It’s been a huge driver for my business. When people say LinkedIn doesn’t work, it works for me. And it really works very well for B2B brands.”
23:10 – Everything should be copy
Many marketers have a line where something moves from copy to content, but Liz thinks copywriting principles should apply everywhere.
“Not a lot of people agree with me, but I think everything should be copy. Your content marketing should be copy in that it should still be educational. The goal of our content marketing is to build an audience, to build awareness, and ultimately to sell. No one’s putting out content, unless they’re trying to earn some kind of money from it. There are probably some people out there, but not many businesses. So I think every piece of copy should be using conversion copywriting within it to make it better. Every piece of content. And there are just a few things you can do to make it easier to read the content. It’s not necessarily having something to sell every time, but giving people an action to take after they read the content. And also writing it in such a way that they keep reading, using conversion copywriting principles. I call it converting content because it applies a bit of both principles. And I think a great thing that content marketers can do is study some basics of conversion copywriting, and then try applying those things to their blog posts.”
29:24 – Post regularly to stay top of mind
Liz has settled on a frequency of five posts a week on LinkedIn to grow her audience and keep them engaged.
“My following increases much more quickly when I’m posting regularly, which of course seems like it would be obvious. It’s partly about having those at bats because like I said, sometimes I have a good sense for what’s going to perform and other times I don’t. And so it’s about posting really regularly. And if I was really being aggressive, I’d probably post seven days a week, seven to 14. Sometimes I post twice a day and the second post will perform better than the first. So I think the more you can post the better. But I’ve also gone stints where I posted once a week or twice a week and it’s okay. It’s fine. But in the ideal situation, you’re posting a lot, you’re top of mind. And you’re posting valuable stuff when you post, not just for the sake of pushing out quantity.”
33:10 – Develop the hook without distraction
Liz keeps all her post ideas in Notion. When it’s time to develop them, she tries to focus on the story and hook for each.
“I have like a hook in my mind, like, oh, that’s a good hook. And so then I might write out the first few sentences because as I thought of it, I had a good hook and I don’t want to lose that. Because if I come back later, I’ll have forgotten for sure what the hook was that I was thinking of. And sometimes I go in and it’s just a rough idea. And I have to figure out how to format it. What’s the hook, what’s the story here. What’s important, what’s not. So it can be both, which I know isn’t super helpful. Everyone wants a clear, this is exactly what to do every time. Sometimes it’s more developed, sometimes it’s not. What I try not to do is distract my focus at the moment of what I’m doing to go write this LinkedIn post. Because that’s one of the things I’m intentionally trying to do in my business and my life in general is when I’m focused on a task, complete it, whatever it is. And if there’s distractions that pop up that I’m in my mind is like, oh, don’t forget that, I jot them down. And then I get back to my task. And so that’s how I view when I have LinkedIn ideas and I’m focusing on another task or when I’m focused on the task of writing my LinkedIn posts, I try not to get distracted by anything else either.”