Hip, hip, hooray!
Wasn’t expecting to be posting this so soon, but today on LinkedIn I reached 10,000 followers! Thank you all!! For someone who up to relatively recently rarely posted there, nobody is more surprised (and grateful!) than I. I was so *not* expecting this to happen any time soon that I actually posted an “I made it to 7K” update a few weeks ago. But here we are, and I’m going to celebrate this milestone as well, with joy and gratitude in my heart. Per uzh, I have thoughts/tips to share. Here is some of what has helped me to get here. Hopefully, it can be of use to some of you:
- Be authentic – Do YOU. I made a conscious decision to show up as ME. With my Bajan identity. With my introversion. With my acid tongue. With my challenging questions. With my sense of humor. With my HSP. With my empathetic personality. With my invisible illnesses. With my academic credentials. With my boundaries. With my silliness. With my strong block, report, delete game. With my side-eye. With my energy. With my Blackness. With my ever-changing (and fabulous!) hairstyles. I have spent too much time in my career masking, code-switching, self-diminishing, and dimming my light around people who did not want me to shine. That time is over. And once I chose to show up fully, I was truly seen.
- Be consistent – If growth is one of your goals (it isn’t for everybody) then figure out a posting schedule that works for you, and try as much as possible to stick to it. Your audience will appreciate a reliable presence. That said, however, it’s ok – and necessary – to:
- Take breaks – This is not the contradiction that it at first appears to be. For example, Sharon Hurley Hall and I are currently on hiatus from The Introvert Sisters podcast. To be completely honest, we hit a wall, and we have chosen to prioritize self-care. (See you in the New Year for Season 4!) As human beings, rest is a requirement. In order to effectively achieve your goals and serve your audience without depleting your reserves, you need to be rested and refreshed. If you’re building a brand, breaks are allowed, just be sure to let your followers know that you’ll be offline for a while.
- Network without networking – There’s connecting and then there’s connecting. Every person that you connect-request on LI doesn’t have to be as a result of a strategic plan. Prioritize making genuine connections with people that you vibe with. It’s also ok (necessary, even) to connect with people who think differently than you, and from whom you can learn something. Additionally: Be a giver, not a taker. Don’t connect with someone and immediately start asking for favors. Be genuine, be non-transactional, and your connections will grow into a network of supporters, and in some cases into friends. Also: use good etiquette, and ffs don’t be creepy.
- Be a cheerleader – It takes nothing from you to celebrate other people’s wins, support other people’s content, subscribe to their newsletters, follow their pages, hit the like button, and/or share their posts. If you have the bandwidth, leaving a comment is also nice, but you might not always be up to it. But at the minimum, more liking and less lurking.
- Acknowledge Interactions – No-one owes you a like/share/comment, so try to respond to them. For super-high engagement posts it might not be practical/possible to write a considered response to each commenter, but at the very least acknowledge their interaction with an emoji.
- Set boundaries – As I often say: “No.” is a full sentence, and my page is not a democracy. I therefore manage my page, energy, and time in the way that suits me, and I post about what interests me. Period. Having strong boundaries helps you stay healthy and focus on your priorities.
- Be transparent/vulnerable – This is not for everyone. There is no need to “emotion-fish”, but sometimes your struggle, and how you are handling (or not handling) it, can inspire and help someone else. That said, you are definitely not *required* to publicize things that you would prefer to remain private.
- Have fun – If “the work” starts to feel too heavy, lighten things up. Every post doesn’t have to be serious.
- Show gratitude – As you grow, show gratitude for the people who connect with you and support you. It might sound silly, but I literally send a mental thank you and blessing to the people who connect with me (because honestly: they don’t have to). I believe in good energy, and that what you put out comes back.
Thanks again to everyone, and here’s to the next 10K!
Unless otherwise stated, text and images ⒸLisa Hurley/@happyhappyphoenix