Building a good base of followers on LinkedIn is not something you can do overnight.
It requires a lot of activity, planning and strategy.
However, it's not impossible to get more than 10,000 followers.
In this guide, I'll teach you how you can increase LinkedIn followers and connections in 2021 and set yourself up for growth.
These are some of the tips that we use in our LinkedIn influencer academy to build audiences from scratch.
Your profile is your landing page.
I cannot stress this enough.
No matter what tips you use, you won't get any "follows" if your LinkedIn profile is not optimized.
The moment that a prospect lands on your profile, they're already in your funnel. Now it's up to your profile to get the conversion that you want from them.
If you're aiming for a follow, you need to show people that you're worth following.
Your profile has to show them that you are an expert in your field.
This means everything from your header image, headline and summary has to signal your expertise in your field.
For example, your headline should be able to tell prospects what you do along with some social proof, your header image has to be a tool to maximize conversions by adding multiple elements, and your summary should be written with storytelling in mind.
We've created a lot of guides in the past that deal with this, and you should seriously check them out to get a more in-depth look at what you should be doing.
Adopting a multichannel approach opens the doors to cross promotion between the different platforms you're in.
This means each platform can actively promote another platform to grow its user bases respectively.
You can easily craft a Tweet encouraging people to follow you on LinkedIn or make all your social handles available on Facebook.
Doing this gives your LinkedIn profile more exposure.
But, that's not all.
You also make it easier for a prospect to flow into your funnel regardless of which platform they originated in.
This results in better lead generation and makes lead nurturing a breeze.
Think before you
If your LinkedIn profile determines who you are on the platform, then your posts determine what your voice is.
If you want people to follow you, you need to show them that you are an industry leader.
So, this means that the posts you put out have to be valuable to the people who see them.
That's their incentive for following you in the first place.
So, what kinds of posts should you put out?
Here are a couple of ideas:
The technique is to post a variety of these materials to keep your followers – and potential followers – interested in what you have to offer.
You can increase LinkedIn followers by doing this a couple of times a month.
There are actually four templates that you can use to add value to your posts, and I'll discuss them here.
If you maintain a blog on your website and post articles on the regular, consider using LinkedIn Articles to republish the posts that you have.
LinkedIn Articles are part of LinkedIn's Publishing platform and they get a lot of love from the site.
You can easily show people your expertise and your commitment to giving value by publishing on LinkedIn.
And, here's the kicker.
They're also indexed by Google.
However, there's this misconception that you have to publish original articles on LinkedIn.
What you can do is truncate the articles that you already have – shorten them or publish half – and add a link to your website which hosts the original article.
This way you can even use LinkedIn Publishing to drive traffic from LinkedIn to your own website.
LinkedIn uses hashtags to categorize content on the platform.
Now, when you release a post that contains a particular hashtag, it allows LinkedIn to categorize it along with other posts covering the same subject.
And, this is critical for all of your posts.
When someone is interested in a hashtagged topic, they'll search for it. And, if your post is optimized well, has been gaining momentum, and is recognized as valuable by LinkedIn, you increase the chances for that person to see your post.
Getting a valuable post in front of potential followers is critical in bringing in new followers.
If they find the post interesting, they'll also be interested in your profile.
Use a maximum of three hashtags and do your research.
Find out more about using LinkedIn Hashtags and hashtag research here in this guide!
The best way to get people to connect with you or follow you?
Connect with them first.
There are plenty of outbound campaigns that you can run to increase the number of connections that you have. And, any outbound campaign that involves a connection message helps build your connection base.
One of our tried-and-tested techniques when building a connection base is establishing a genuine connection.
This basically means not selling anything on your first connection message to them.
You want to try actually reaching out and getting to know people.
We know it can be tiring but spending just a couple of minutes a day networking can work wonders for not only growing your base, but also getting a lot of leads to come in.
When you're first starting out, I'd advise you use a template for your outreach, this will help make things easier.
Here is our LinkedIn connection request message template guide.
One of the most potent ways to get followers and build connections with people is engaging with them in your posts.
Here's why it works.
If you have a post that appears in the feeds of people that you are connected to or if they're shared by your connections, chances are there are people who will interact with it.
This gives you a great excuse to connect with them.
By connecting with them, you come off as a person that is easily approachable and willing to give value to other people.
These traits are what makes an influencer successful.
There's also that element of pride that the original poster spoke with them.
I find this exceptionally effective with LinkedIn articles.
Since they are available to everyone and are even indexed on search engines, you get access to all sorts of people commenting and interacting.
Take advantage of these interactions and chat them up!
LinkedIn Groups are not as powerful as Facebook Groups, but they can help you drive followers.
Join as many relevant LinkedIn Groups as you can make sure you can be active in. Make sure their highly relevant to the industry that you are specializing in.
Once you're done with this part, it's time for you to start warming in the groups by answering questions, engaging with other members, and leaving comments.
After two weeks or so, or if you feel like you're a fully-fledged member of the group, you can start posting your own insights.
You want to give out value and come off as an industry leader that deserves to be followed.
However, there are two things you need to be careful of:
If you follow these rules then you should be good to go!
If you find a post gaining momentum, you'll usually also find that it will have a bunch of comments.
At least one of those comments is going to resonate with you, so why not ask the commenter a question or provide your own insights.
By doing this you get to open a conversation which can later translate into an excuse to add that person as a contact on LinkedIn.
This is a common technique that's used in multiple platforms, and it's a very effective one!
I'll assume that you're running outbound LinkedIn campaigns at this point, but don't just focus on scoring leads.
You also want to make sure that you increase your exposure and start collaborating with people that have the same goals as you do.
Whether it be getting featured on podcasts, cohosting a webinar, or having a guest post on another person's blog, you need to be running a campaign that allows you to collaborate and get featured with other people.
Think of it as advanced outreach campaign.
But, this is not just about increasing your popularity or exposure.
This also helps with business development.
A lot of opportunities may open up for you to be able to expand and grow.
If you're using LinkedIn Premium, then you'll automatically get a list of people who have viewed your profile for the past 90 days.
This is a goldmine of people you can connect with.
If they were already on your profile, but didn't connect with you, it means something came up.
It could be a lack of optimization, they weren't interested, they were shy, etc.
However, this doesn't discount the fact that they already in your profile and at one point were interested in who you are and what you do.
You can use this as an opportunity to connect with them instead.
Since they are already familiar with who you are, it makes it easier for you to connect with them.
In line with getting featured, also make sure that you're actively reaching out to other influencers to see what you can do to collaborate with one another.
This doesn't just allow you to create new products, but it also allows you to tap into other niched-out markets increasing your exposure.
I've worked with a lot of people in the same industry that I'm in and not only have I gotten exposure with their audiences, but it has also allowed BAMF to grow faster.
When you work with other people you get to pool various resources together and this helps in hacking your growth.
Although we advocate for organic methods, we cannot deny the power of LinkedIn Ads.
You can use them to promote your product, organization, events, etc.
And, yes, you can even advertise your profile.
However, if you do want to go with the LinkedIn ads approach, it would be much better to advertise your products or services and stick in your self-promotion somewhere.
Blatantly advertising your profile, if done incorrectly, might backfire.
One of the incentives of following you is access to great content that you're putting out right?
Why not give them something worthwhile the moment that they follow you.
You can offer a free eBook or a tool once they follow you.
Now you don't even have to host this on LinkedIn, it can be promoted on your site, through an email, etc.
People always respond well to giveaways and it gets them to take action.
However, you should note that it should be something of value.
Don't offer them anything that they can easily get online for free, the backlash will be bad.
Do you want to build goodwill with other people?
Stop promoting yourself and promote them instead.
Plus, it doesn't even have to be people you personally know.
Here's how it works.
Say you used a specialized piece of software from an independent developer.
You can do a random shoutout on LinkedIn to show your gratitude and get them a little traction.
By doing this, you don't only get a follower from the person you promoted, but it also shows people seeing you actions that you are someone who's grateful.
This helps boost your reputation as an influencer.
And, you can get a couple of follows because of this.
Our team has studied LinkedIn virality for years.
And, we now that virality is one of the surefire ways of getting more followers.
LinkedIn is in the business of getting members to stay on the platform for as long as possible. The longer you stay, the more ads they can show you.
They actively put viral content in front of members because they know it will work to keep them in the platform longer.
Going viral might not exactly be easy, but it's not rocket science.
I really encourage you to check out our guide on how to go viral on LinkedIn.
What does your email signature look like?
Does it include your LinkedIn link?
How about your business cards, do you have a QR code that links to your profile on the platform?
You need to be actively promoting your LinkedIn profile for more people to land on it. The more you do this, the more likely it is for you to increase the number of connections or followers that you have.
I've seen people share their LinkedIn links on webinars, their resumes, official stationery, etc.
All these little things allow you to increase the surface area of your campaign to gain more followers on LinkedIn.
If you own a company page or a group, make sure that you're visible enough on those pages to get people to notice you.
This allows you to leverage other profiles on LinkedIn to promote you and your services, and that's perfect for bringing in additional interest to your profile.
Every now and then, get people to promote you on one of their posts.
You could start with your colleagues, former employers and clients, and your friends.
By doing this, you get access to their connections and/or followers, and you get to use these audiences to add to your base.
However, this comes with catch.
Make sure you know the person that's promoting you.
You don't want to do this with people you don't share a real relationship with because it can be off-putting to say the least.
Make it a habit to share interesting posts, even if it's from people you don't know.
By doing this you start a connection with that person, and you can send them a request right after.
This establishes good faith between the both of you since you were nice enough to share what they put out and you found it interesting.
These tips should be able to help you build a solid follower or connection base on LinkedIn that can be a wonderful source of growth for your company.
But, remember this.
Increasing your LinkedIn follower count doesn't happen overnight.
It takes a couple of weeks to build momentum, and that momentum has to be sustained.
Want to know what I know?
You can do it.
We'e helped so many of our clients achieve influencer status.
And, the tips we included here are the same thing we used on them.
There's nothing stopping you.
Are you ready to be a LinkedIn influencer?