2 or 3 months ago, I told my cofounders, Arjun and Ol, that I was going to build a community of 150,000 startup people, which would be our strongest marketing asset by far. So far, it’s working. Here are the results and my strategy.
I have a motive for posting on Linkedin (and so does everyone else). I am in no way “an influencer”. I’m a private person, don’t use social media, and hate being the centre of attention. But, when talking with my cofounders, Oliver and Arjun, we agreed I was the best person for the job. I’m not doing this for kicks. My LinkedIn posts are very deliberate.
Why I do it
DQventures is a venture builder. As far as we know, we are the only company in the world that helps senior professionals become startup founders, without leaving their job to get started.
Our target audience? Senior professionals.
Best place to reach non-sector-specific senior professionals? LinkedIn.
About 1 month ago (LinkedIn doesn’t give exact dates) I had 4,000 followers. I know this because, in a post, I shared my aim of growing my community by 1% per day for the next 1 year. Thanks to the wonder of compounding, 1% daily growth would see me reach an impressive 150,000 followers by the same time next year. (You’ve got to love compounding!)
Seeing as I started at 4,000, after 1 month of posting, I should now be at 5,414 followers. Actually, thanks to a couple of popular posts, at the time of writing I’m at 6040 followers. Happy days!
Although my aim is to build awareness about DQventures and our portfolio companies, I rarely post about that. Instead I do the following:
- I have a clear headline, so people see what I do without having to visit my profile.
- I post with a very clear persona in mind - someone who is thinking hard about starting their own company.
- I try only to share info that might help these people, and others like them, to learn and be more successful.
- I try to help everyone who’s launching a startup (at DQ, one of our founding principles is to help as many founders as possible, not only those we cofound companies with).
- I connect with people who share relevant content I can learn from, and who appear relevant to my target audience, especially if they have a large following themselves.
- I like, comment, and re-share posts that I think will help my target audience.
- I try to reply thoughtfully to all messages and comments (unless they themselves are thoughtless and/or impersonal).
- Importantly, I turn my LinkedIn posts and comments into blog posts for the DQventures website. LinkedIn posts build audience, but their value is transitory, whereas a blog entry can continue adding value for years. Not only can each blog post attract organic search traffic from Google, but also, with each blog entry, we're creating a library of useful materials to which we can direct the founders we meet.
- I try to post 4 or 5 times per week, every week.
- To do that, I make time every day to listen to podcasts, read articles, and listen to talking books. I take a 1-hour walk almost every day, dedicated to learning something I can share with my community. I find it's a great way to keep developing both mind and body at the same time!
Building my personal community is proving to be a fantastic marketing channel for DQventures, but it also builds value for me personally. No matter what I do in the future, I'll be able to take my community with me, making me a far more valuable asset to anything I'm involved with.
If you've read this far, thank you! Here's my ask: if you know someone awesome who would love to launch their own startup, and knows exactly what they would do, if only they didn’t need that pesky income… please point them my way.