How to give and grow
4 min read

How to give and grow

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where 3,157 reeders spend five minutes (or less) getting better at content creation and strategy. If you recently joined to scoop up the “7 LinkedIn Writing Tips for Growing Your Audience”, it’s waiting for you in the PS line.

Last week I decided to run a test.

My newsletter has been growing steadily for a few months, but I wanted to see if I could spark growth with a campaign.

So I decided to answer, How can I give tremendous value to my audience in a way that grows my newsletter and LI follower count?

This is what content strategy is all about: finding ways to serve your audience while fueling your growth.

I had just crossed the 50k LinkedIn follower milestone, so I decided to share one LinkedIn writing tip every day for a week to help others grow their audience. Then I’d package those tips into a single PDF that I would give to anyone who subscribes to my email list.

TLDR: Give value, grow my audience, then give more value.

Fairly straightforward plan.

Here’s how it played out

→ 215k+ post views
→ 1,150 new LI followers
→ 195 new newsletter subscribers

Plus lots of happy readers:

Not bad for seven LinkedIn posts and 30 minutes transforming it into a single document. (If you’re wondering, I had a designer create the PDF, so add on $150).

The entire LinkedIn series is a bit long to break down the whole thing here, so instead here are the key moments that made the campaign successful.

Key takeaways

  1. Not every post in the series performed equally

The launch post and the finale were by far the most successful in terms of driving newsletter subscribers:

The key is that both of these posts have a unique variable:

They delivered value, AND offered immense, future value. AKA something enticing to anticipate.

The first post gave value and promised more.

The finale showed proof of value and – you guessed it – promised more.

I say "immense" value because the launch and finale posts promised multiple tips coming soon (just in different formats) – where as the posts in the body of the series only teased the next day's topic.  Subtle but impactful difference.

2. Include clear, strong “teaser CTAs” in the series

We covered effective CTAs not too long ago.

This "teaser CTA" is a powerful variation because it builds anticipation. Here it is in action on the launch post:

I intentionally entice by teasing tomorrow’s focus of “the single most important writing tip for LinkedIn”.

Then I doubled down with loss aversion, “Follow me if you don’t want to miss tomorrow’s post.

Finally, I throw in a secondary CTA to sign up for my newsletter where there’s even more perceived value.

Notice how you can layer persuasive writing tools on top of a clear CTA that drives action.

3. Micro content can be transformed into long-lasting, high-value content

Usually content waterfalls start with long form pieces of content that get chopped up into micro content (more on that in a soon-coming CSR episode).

But you can also use micro content to build longer, high-value content.

That’s the beauty of publishing on social media – you can test ideas and get immediate feedback from your audience. Then use the top posts and their feedback to create something extremely valuable.

Social media content has a short shelf life of a few days. But when you package it up, you can add it to your website for months and get A LOT more ROI from your hard work (which I plan on doing).

Final thoughts

OK let’s recap the “give and grow” campaign:

  1. Identify growth goal
  2. Figure out a topic your audience cares about that you can speak to
  3. Post series of helpful tips on social media
  4. Package tips in one asset
  5. Offer asset in exchange for action that will deliver strategic growth

Keep in mind, this is just one play you can run. There are a million ways to tweak it for your goals, platform of choice, and style.

So long as you’re strategic with your CTAs and deliver to your audience, your campaign will be successful.

And that’s how you give and grow.

Holler at you next Saturday,

PS: Here’s the final asset, 7 LinkedIn Writing Tips for Growing Your Audience for reference, or in case, you know, you want to grow your LinkedIn audience

Did you get value from this post? If so, you’d make me sing “This is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan if you shared this link with your friends or on LinkedIn. Here’s an example from Kevin Corenstein Rezepka for inspiration.