Avoid these 5 LinkedIn mistakes

Mar 21, 2024
Avoid these 5 LinkedIn mistakes

Find Your Superpower newsletter 051

Read time: 7 minutes

Topics covered: Branding, storytelling, six-week LinkedIn bootcamp


I am proud that cohort 1 of my flagship six-week Find Your Superpower LinkedIn bootcamp is entering its last stretch.

I’m super excited that 70% of the seats in cohort 2 of the bootcamp have been reserved in two weeks since our 7 March launch. Imagine that! 🤪

I’m also happy that the language I am using in the bootcamp is changing.


In week 1, the language I was using was along the lines of:

❌ Please stop everything that you have been doing on LinkedIn before. Let me help you do it properly this time.

❌ No, let’s review the facts here. This strategy has never, ever worked for you the past 10 times. It won’t work even if you tried it 10 more times.

❌ Let’s stop focusing on the algorithm please, it won’t do much to help a post that has 10-15 likes.


In week 6, the language I am using is along the lines of:

✅ Were you pleasantly surprised to get 200 likes for your first post in the bootcamp?

✅ Shall we try to slam dunk 20 more of such blockbuster posts?

✅ How does it feel to go viral with 900+ likes on your business story?


My bootcampers are doing better and better every week, and I am proud of them.

I used to train my staff editors and writers to write more clearly and powerfully, but my influence stopped short at a handful of people who work for me.

Now, I’m teaching mid-career professionals, business owners, solopreneurs, coaches, consultants and speakers from all walks of life. From all over the world.

I’m training a generation of business writers.

I’m training them on how to communicate clearly, concisely and powerfully about their professional goals and business services.

I am unmuting the voices of many.



In honor of my first-ever flagship six-week Find Your Superpower LinkedIn bootcamp entering its last stretch, I am sharing five of the biggest LinkedIn mistakes many of us make on the platform.

Please take notes:


1.    We mute our voice on LinkedIn

90% of companies will have some sort of RTO mandate by the end of 2024. As more and more of us decide to leave our desk-bound jobs, we naturally need to take LinkedIn much more seriously.

That said, when I train ex-corporate warriors, many of whom have spent decades upon decades grinding for their MNCs, they initially experience much difficulty communicating their North Star and mission.

Why? They find it hard to separate the “true me” from the “corporate-warrior me”.

Because their personal voice had been muted this entire time, to put it bluntly, they didn’t have a voice. They didn’t know what to say or write.

And because they hadn’t taken LinkedIn seriously the entire time they were on someones payroll, virtually nobody knew them outside their company.

Communicating is a muscle, and we need to train this muscle to communicate our mission, vision, values, beliefs, ikigai, and ideas in a clear, concise and powerful way.

Without a voice, we have little to no impact on society, aside from direct authority over the people we currently supervise in our team.

We have no tribe, no community.

TLDR: If more than 95% of LinkedIn users don’t post on the platform, it presents an opportunity for us to get outsized organic growth and influence on the platform compared to Instagram and Facebook, where it is crowded and noisy.


2.    Our brand is unfocused and confusing

Think of LinkedIn as the digital storefront of your small business.

Think of LinkedIn as your digital face to the world.

It is the first platform people turn to when they want to find out about you and your products and services, especially for those of us in the B2B, enterprise and B2G sectors.

What can you share with the world that is most valuable? Is there anything unique about you that differentiates you from 300 other coaches peddling the same service?

But instead of using LinkedIn in a productive and focused way, we randomly comment on whatever is on the news that day. Or whatever flashes in our mind. Or something bad that happened to us that morning that we want to complain and rant about.

We turn LinkedIn into a personal diary.

As a result, our brand is fragmented, confusing and frustrating to someone who just wants to get value and inspiration from us to make their day better.

Imagine if I am watching Finding Nemo, and Wall-E suddenly rolls into the scene?

Imagine if I am watching Star Wars, and Spock walks into the scene?

That’s basically what’s happening here.

TLDR: Write to entertain and educate about a topic that you are the world expert at. And stay consistent and keep showing up week after week. Consistency is linked to trustworthiness.


3.    We blame the algorithm for our poor storytelling

I estimate that by now, I must have trained at least a thousand people on LinkedIn branding and storytelling, ranging from corporates to bootcamps and private 1:1 training. Some of them are brief encounters of 1-2 hours, while others are longer term projects stretching up to six weeks.

I frequently get asked this question: “Why didn’t my post do well... did I do something wrong to offend the algorithm?”

10 out of 10 times, we blame the algorithm for a failed post.

When I inform them later that I think it is indeed the algorithm’s fault... all 1% of it… they get a little perturbed by my feisty reply.

You see, if a post has 10 likes, even if we find a way to somehow game the algorithm, we could probably get 50% more likes, or 15 likes.

That won’t move the needle very much, would it?

If a post has 500 likes to begin with, however, and if we created 50% more likes, that would make a significant difference.

So don’t get distracted by the wrong things. Focus on getting your business storytelling to work.

TLDR: Anyone who is properly trained by me learns very quickly to take full accountability and stops making the algorithm an easy scapegoat for their poor business storytelling. In any case, most people stop thinking about the algorithm when their posts start getting 100s of likes and comments.


4.     We write about me, myself, and I

Like Snoop Dog, here’s how many of us humble brag on LinkedIn: “Last but not least, I wanna thank me, I wanna thank me for believing in me, I wanna thank me for doing all this hard work…”

We write posts that are highly self-oriented.

I once counted 30 “I” in someone’s post, and a single “you/they”.

And we wonder why nobody likes our posts and relates to us?

Not only are we writing about ourselves, we are delivering just our highlights, not our lowlights.

We aren’t sharing anything authentic and vulnerable.

In an interview with Yahoo Finance this week, I discussed humble bragging on the platform and how to avoid it when sharing about our successes:

"As a LinkedIn coach, I remind my clients that LinkedIn is the perfect forum to share our work updates and professional achievements. Instead of lurking on LinkedIn like 95 to 97 per cent of LinkedIn users, I urge them to write about their successes. They earned it, and they should feel confident about sharing it with their industry peers and LinkedIn followers," said Chan.

Chan also gave a useful LinkedIn tip for all employees: "Be inclusive in the way we communicate our work updates on LinkedIn. Instead of making it all about ourselves, we can also thank our long-time mentors, our direct supervisor at work who recommended the promotion, our sponsor at work who vouched for our performance, and our colleagues and direct reports, if any, who contributed to our promotion".


5.    Our LinkedIn strategy is narrow and limited

Often, our LinkedIn strategy revolves entirely around our posting schedule or finding something intelligent or interesting to post about.

Sure, that’s important, but only 50% of the story.

LinkedIn is the equivalent of networking online.

How about responding to comments on your posts? How about commenting on 2-3 posts every day? That is how you gain traction and build up a loyal community on the platform.

That said, I see people posting on LinkedIn and then disappearing into a Zoompocalypse of meetings.

What happens is that anyone who left a comment and is waiting for your reply will get none. After 5-10 unanswered comments, do you think more people will continue to leave comments on your posts, or will they give up?

And as for commenting on the posts of your industry mates, how can you activate the law of reciprocity on LinkedIn if you don’t make the first move?

TLDR: Comment thoughtfully and kindly on posts that are relevant to you and your industry. In fact, if you execute this strategy, you may also gain followers from people who read your comments.


70% of the bootcamp is full! 🎉 

A screenshot of Cohort 1 of the bootcamp in session (not everyone is pictured here) with guest speaker Frank Koo


I am delighted that Cohort 2 of my flagship Find Your Superpower LinkedIn bootcamp is now 70% reserved.

During this six-week bootcamp, which will run from April 13 to May 24, you will receive:

  • Weekly on-demand video lectures

  • Weekly writing prompts and writing gyms

  • Live Q&A sessions with instructors

  • Fireside chats with VIP guest speakers

  • Access to our community circles for peer feedback and learning

  • Accountability and support from peers and two LinkedIn Top Voice instructors

Starting a new habit of posting on LinkedIn can be intimidating, but it’s so much easier to take the first step when you have two supportive coaches who provide constructive feedback, week after week.

... that, and an entire cheerleading squad of bootcamp buddies by your side. 

It is well known that March is around the time where some of us lose some steam on our New Year resolutions. It's the risky time where "real life" takes over and the daily grind starts to wear us down.

Hold on to those dreams you made for yourself for 2024.

REGISTER NOW for a March signup offer of 10% off.

Let's do this!


Testimonial from a Cohort 1 bootcamp participant 🙏

900+ reactions and counting! I could not have imagined it before signing up for the bootcamp!

From this bootcamp, I learnt how to tell a story and how to simplify my story for as wide an audience as possible. I acted on feedback from Juliana, Amanda, and other bootcamp participants to micro-edit my post for clarity and cadence even days after posting it.

Traffic picked up in waves over the past three weeks and it has not lost momentum yet!

This bootcamp is a torch in the dark. I no longer walk blindly (or blame the LinkedIn algorithm). I now have a clear guideline to frame my thoughts and a gameplan to amplify my voice.

- Ian Tan, Cohort 1 bootcamper


PS: please read the first post Ian wrote as part of the bootcamp, and see the results for yourself: 900+ likes and counting




Thanks for reading issue 051 of my weekly Find Your Superpower newsletter.

For those of you who are new to my newsletter, Find Your Superpower is subscribed to by 34,000+ people, and discusses the following three goals: (1) Making a career transition, (2) Professional branding on LinkedIn, and (3) Reinventing ourselves for the future of work.


Sign up for cohort 2 of the bootcamp now!

Register your interest for Cohort 2 of my six-week LinkedIn bootcamp here. 70% the seats have been booked. Don’t wait as they will sell out! 

PS: did you know that two Top Voices (blue badges) have signed up to cohort 2 of the bootcamp to be trained by me? Join them!



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