The coolest social platform

(Not another take on) how I’m using LinkedIn and you can too

Build community, find an audience, share your work, get jobs.

By Shea Lord |
January 14th, 2023
The coolest social platform

(Not another take on) how I’m using LinkedIn and you can too

Build community, find an audience, share your work, get jobs.

By Shea Lord |
January 14th, 2023

Read time: 4 minutes

I recognize my hubris writing about LinkedIn as a fledgling content person (6 months) with good(!) but unremarkable results.

  • I’ve gained ~4,000 followers since August
  • Starting to get traction with ~50k impressions/week
  • Around 1,800 people viewed my profile in the last 14 days (including designers, producers, ADs, and CDs from your favorite 4-letter studio 😱)
  • It’s converted to about $2k in course sales in that same time
  • I’ve had ~15hrs of 1:1s meeting designers and making friends from LI

My hope is that—by being unremarkable—you, readers who are considering jumping into the arena on LinkedIn, will see the potential benefits as totally attainable.

screenshot taken this morning

1. Your experience is key

It’s tempting to give obvious advice and make sweeping statements on the industry.

Actually, it’s quite difficult not to do this.

Dig a little further and try to remember WHY you agree with the obvious point. What experience did you have that confirmed it?

More prompts.

  • What do I wish I knew years ago?
  • What’s a complicated process I could break down?
  • What professional barriers have I faced?
  • What’s my stance on a polarizing topic?
  • What unique insight can I offer because of my unique mix of clients?

Check your authority.

  • Preach only what you practice.
  • Or be transparent that you’re sharing a hypothetical and ask questions.
  • Be careful with the word “should”— designers should, clients should

Complaining will attract more complainers. It’s not a good look. Use your best judgment to differentiate this from whistleblowing on the occasion that it’s necessary.

2. Format matters

Use line breaks to create white space.

  • Most readers are on mobile and this makes it infinitely easier to read.
  • One line is about 70-80 characters long. Depends on your phone size.
  • Short. Sentences. And a few longer ones for rhythm.
  • Don’t break for every single sentence— combine sections that make sense.

Create visual contrast

  • Use dashes, bullets, symbols to help readers see your content easier
  • Double line breaks or horizontal rule for new sections

Be tasteful and intentional with emojis.

  • I use fewer now than when I started
  • Use them to highlight something or express an emotion
  • If every line starts with an emoji, none of them stand out (contrast, hierarchy)

Most carousels should be written posts

  • Use them to share something visual or for resources too large to post
  • Clicking through tiny sentences creates reader fatigue.
  • The LI algorithm does seem to give them a boost.

LinkedIn hates external links.

  • Adding links will hurt your reach, but they still convert better than telling people to go to your profile.
  • Wait 10 minutes and add the link as a comment.
  • Some people swear by editing the post to add the link but beware: if you edit the post, you’ll lose all prior momentum from the early engagement. It’s like reposting from scratch.

LinkedIn loves selfies.

  • It’s true. Use this power responsibly.

3. What to say


  • The first line must be intriguing.
  • A hook is not a label. You’re not naming a book. You’re sparking curiosity.
  • Spend time on this or your post will suffer.


  • Posts are bite-sized learning.
  • The more narrow the post topic, the better.

Numbers, contrast, and strong opinions

  • Humans love numbers: stats, money, dates, quantities. It’s easy to compare.
  • Contrast: before/after, this/that, idea/reality
  • Polarizing topics always stir engagement, but you have to take a stance.


  • Ask a question of your audience in your posts…
  • but make it relevant and something you (or other readers) actually want to know
  • It’s fun to share opinions on polarizing topics or to add points to lists
  • You’ll get more engagement and the post will become a better resource for everyone


  • LinkedIn hates external links. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the post or the first comment.
  • People will click, but your impressions will be squashed by the algorithm.
  • Up to you if it’s worth it. I share a newsletter sign-up link every Friday and it works well. But the most sign-ups I get in a day come from my most “viral” posts.

Stop saying “stop _____”

  • Unless it’s funny. (Humor breaks all content rules.)
  • You probably don’t have the authority to tell people to stop doing something.
  • Avoid other cliches by checking your own authority

Practical, actionable content always wins.

  • Mindset posts just don’t interest people unless it’s about your own growth

4. The Hub and Spoke

I steal the Justin Welsh method. I took his LinkedIn course and highly recommend it. Here’s a link. And here’s an affiliate link, if you’re inclined. Every student gets one. Follow him long enough and you’ll get most of it for free via his posts and talks.

The hub: a piece of long-form content (you’re reading it).

The spokes: pieces of the hub become multiple small pieces of content.

Every week I write a newsletter. Then, pieces of this newsletter get re-purposed for LinkedIn posts. Later they might become YouTube scripts. Twitter threads. Lists. Blog posts. Reels. TikTok’s. Pick your poison.

5. Engagement

Thou shalt not post and ghost. But lo, thou must not be carried away by it.

It’s easy to get lost responding to comments and DMs, as well as interacting with other people’s content. I should probably set aside a specific time.

6. Nitty gritty

I schedule posts with Buffer.

  • I’m never more than a week ahead, and usually I’m writing the night before.

Your profile is a funnel

  • You know this. But always good to check again. Is is optimized for your current goals?
  • My profile is promoting a newsletter and a course. It’s not helping me get clients anymore.

Momentum is a thing

  • The peaks in my impressions get a little higher with every successful post

Connections and DMs

  • You can’t send a note with your connection invite if you do it on mobile. When someone has dozens or hundreds of connection requests, notes help.
  • Don’t pitch slap.
  • Don’t send a DM asking if you can ask a question. Just ask the question.

7. X-games mode

People can 10x my results by being more aggressive overall.

  • Multiple posts a day, every day
  • Re-use content
  • Engage with as many posts as you can
  • Send x-amount of connection requests every day
  • Leave comments on top creator posts for visibility
  • Engagement buddies
  • Native videos, selfies, carousels

All great things if you have the time and energy! Or sprinkled in on occasion.

Just have fun with it.