What This CEO Learned After 100 LinkedIn Posts
February 12, 2015

What This CEO Learned After 100 LinkedIn Posts

by Brian de Haaff

I love to write. That is probably apparent if you have followed along for my first 100 LinkedIn posts. This will be post 105 for me on LinkedIn, and I have been been humbled by all of the feedback and terrific people I have met along the way.

I had no idea what would come of my posts when I published my first one on April 28, 2014. I had a story to share, I thought it might help other people, and I chose to put it out there. Writing always came easy for me and as the CEO of Aha! (which is a rapidly growing product roadmap software company) I have the freedom to share what I am really thinking.

When a stranger recently said, “Hey, I read your stuff,” I looked around and thought to myself that he must be talking to someone else. After all, we were standing at a ranch on the outskirts of Paso Robles, California. But when he said, “On LinkedIn,” I knew he meant me — and that I should keep writing.

Today, storytelling has been democratized more than at any other time in history. You have the opportunity to build your own audience from anywhere in the world. There are more than 300 million worldwide users on LinkedIn. Your audience is waiting.

My articles have been read over 5,000,000 times. With that in mind, I thought I would share what I have learned about telling my story on LinkedIn.

Be you
Above all else, you need to be authentic. Explaining the “why” of what you believe makes the “what” easier to digest. Make your core values clear to your audience; this helps them understand who you are and what you value and contribute.

Be direct
Always write with clarity and a strong point of view. Your views are your own, so stand by them and make them simple to understand. Sometimes your articles will take a contrarian position because that’s what you think. It’s ok to challenge the status quo. And if your audience understands your values, they will usually hear you out.

Be nice
Read the comments on your articles. If you are a successful writer, you will hear many different perspectives — including from people who appear to hate you and what you believe. Treat everyone with respect, including the haters. Because sometimes they are right.

Be persistent
It takes time to hone your voice and tell your story. It also takes time to build a following that trusts you. Don’t give up after the first few posts. It is hard work. If you write clearly with a specific audience in mind and address topics that they care about, your efforts will eventually be rewarded. Writing is as much about discovering yourself as being heard.

I am grateful for the freedom to write and a platform like LinkedIn to share those thoughts. It’s been a wonderful place to discover compelling content and discuss what’s trending with millions of professionals worldwide.

I am humbled to be able to share what I have learned and look forward to sharing more of my experiences. It’s who I am. Every writer is lucky to have a single reader. That makes me a very wealthy guy.

How have you learned to tell your story?

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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