How to use LinkedIn to boost your Startup
Social networks are an excellent tool for positioning brands and startup founders should be aware of this to use them to their advantage in positioning and scaling their business. This is why we spoke with LinkedIn influencer Kalle Kyllönen to find out how he managed to build an audience of +20,000 LinkedIn followers in less than a year, how this benefited his career, and how startup founders can use LinkedIn to boost their businesses.
How did you manage to get more than 20,000 followers in LinkedIn?
I had around 3K LinkedIn contacts in 2018 summertime. I used to listen to podcasts related to social media activity that Sani Leino (popular Finnish guy in Social Selling) had created. He had some really good tips and tricks for brand positioning in social media. Then I saw that some people had over 10K LinkedIn contacts, and I noticed they posted a lot. At the time, I was posting maybe once per month, so I set as a goal for myself that I wanted to have 10k contacts before 2019 and I created a plan for accomplishing it. I decided I would post about 3 topics:
- Software testing
- VR and AR
- Daily hot topics
Then I started to post and analyze my posts data, some of my first posts got just 70 views, 2 likes, and 0 comments, in this way I learned which kind of content is popular and I started to produce more of that same kind of content. I also started to send LinkedIn contact requests to the people who liked my posts and commented; most of them accepted requests and I started receiving a lot of contact requests as well, I accepted maybe 90% of them. Additionally, I got phone calls from other popular people on LinkedIn and got good tips for content and how to get more followers.
I reached 10k contacts before Christmas 2018. In 2019 I posted 440 posts, got 2.8M views and reached +20000 LinkedIn followers.
How has this helped you in your career positioning?
I think it has helped me a lot because a large number of people got to know me from LinkedIn. Because I posted a lot related to startups, I got a phone call asking if I would like to take part in a startup investment company called Start-Up Lions. I invested and Became a partner. Later, when the Advisory board was founded I joined as an advisory board member. Last year I founded my own company; I do social media, marketing, software testing consultation for startups, and I also invest in startups via my company.
What would you recommend to a startup founder for taking advantage of social media networks such as LinkedIn?
There should at least one active member who is active on LinkedIn or other social media platforms. This should be done because it is free and you can get a lot of free visibility that your startup needs. I would also recommend asking help from people who have a wide network or are popular on LinkedIn, they know what you need to do and usually, they are willing to help.
Could you give 3 main tips so that startup founders can build a strong personal brand in social media?
- Start today! Some people waste a lot of time saying “I will start posting on LinkedIn”, but they never start. Just don’t delay it and start posting something TODAY. You can start placing quantity over quality and learn in the way.
- Create Posts for the next 2-3months. 100 different posts, about different topics, not just about your company, but also about yourself, interests, hobbies, etc. Create texts, pictures with text, videos, blog posts. After the first 2-3 periods, you can tell which content works, and you should create more content related to that.
- Use publishing automation tools. For an example I use Buffer.com which is paid (not expensive), but there are also some free options although they may come with some limitations. In Buffer you can add all 100 posts for the next 2-3 months, something like 8 posts per week. Buffer will post posts automatically and it does not matter where you are. In this way you will be active on social media and you can concentrate on real work at the same time. You can also add your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest accounts on Buffer and post almost the same to all social media channels. If you post something on Friday on Facebook, post the same thing on Monday on LinkedIn. This way you will be seen all the time on social media.