“How do we blow up LinkedIn?” It was one of the questions we asked ourselves.
Why? Let’s turn to Gary Vaynerchuk’s take on LinkedIn:
“LinkedIn has transformed so much as a platform.… Now, it’s become more of a content platform. …. It’s where Facebook was at 5-7 years ago.”
I’d started a “project” to blow up LinkedIn with Ahmad Imam, a brilliant entrepeneur I’d met on the platform who works as a wealth managament and real estate professional in Sydney, Australia.
The concept? It would be a music video involving lots of people people from around the world. (Many more details follow below. Trust me.)
After we’d gotten over 65 willing participants from 6 continents around the globe, we started to realize our little baby wasn’t so little anymore.
It had grown. Fast. Amounting to a collective number of followers that exceeded 3.6 million followers.
Was it Magic? Hell no. It was hard work, long hours, grueling detail, and very strategic. And of course a refusal to take anything too seriously.
While it was very organic (since I had the job of editing this beast), I always had my eye on two core details (a sensibility both Ahmad and I share to our very core):
- “Hooking people in the first 10 seconds” and
- “Keeping them engaged with twists, turns, surprises and humor.”
How Did This Insane Idea Even Start?
Ahmad and I sat down (in our respective parts of the world) to share the beginning of this mad journey we put ourselves on.
I love Ahmad like a brother as we truly discovered we shared so many sensibilities of quality, communication, humor, timing, a mutual love of music and so much more.
Here’s an inside look how it started.
The results of this “blow up LinkedIn” obesession are these insane statistics:
70 people from 8 countries and 6 continents, with a total cumulative following of 3.6 million people generating over 171,763 views in less than 5 days with over 3,500 likes, 1,800+ comments and over 240 shares.
The Anatomy of the Campaign
If you think this was “mere luck” and just happened, you’re hallucinating.
There were definitive parts:
- The nucleus, the idea, the notion of creating something awesome, unlike anything that had come before. This took hold of everything, from the video editing, our approach to “the skits” to the image chosen for the branding of the video to the “campaign title” of The Most Epic Music Video in LinkedIn History.
- Being inclusive. (There were people, some very visible personalities on LinkedIn, who were invited and chose not to participate. Our motto was simple: Anyone who didn’t want to be in, wasn’t in. We never begged anyone. Instead, we extended an offer to participate.) This was very important during the video editing when juggling 70 different people so everyone was given their moment to shine.
- Maintaining a very high standard. Ahmad and I are both perfectionists. While we were tempted to compromise at times, we always came back to pushing until we hit the mark.
- We leveraged our assets. Ahmad could rap; I couldn’t. I could beatbox; Ahmad didn’t beatbox. I could brand this approaching it like a musical event. Ahmad knew certain high profile LinkedIn people who could support who I didn’t. I knew some high profile folks outside the LinkedIn Community that Ahmad didn’t. I used my love of music, story and pacing for the video editing to weave in a story line (we both share a mischievous sense of humor) and to keep people bopping and laughing. Lastly, we each have a musical ear that was the ultimate synergy and musical vision. So we each really leaned into our respective areas, and leaned in big time on our strengths to bring out the most in the project.
- The pre-launch and roll-out. Too many people just rely on the creation and the drop, and forget there’s a Before, a During and an After. Ahmad and I are both creative but we’re also entrepreneurs, and we used that entrepreneurial sensibility throughout this project. As part of that, I created a series of “images” we each posted on LinkedIn dropping one week before the video was to make it’s world premier, to build the anticipation. This built a fever pitch about the exact date we’d chosen to drop the video on LinkedIn. Note: just as Ahmad was very deliberate with the lyrics he wrote, I was very deliberate in all words chosen to launch this. That was why I chose the words WORLD PREMIERE instead of something less.
- Lastly, I reached out to folks in my network who could support the launch outside of LinkedIn and kept them in the loop on key developments as did Ahmad: Who’d “signed on” and such.
After The Big Launch to “Blow Up LinkedIn”
We coordinated getting this in front of those who might want to write about this and help blow it up.
This resulted in the INC and Forbes articles and Rhett Power and Amy Blaschka are two incredible folks we thank for their mutual love of the project. Both are rock stars. (INC was the the same day as the world premiere and Forbes was two days after.)
Their amount of support and encouragement was incredible. From Ahmad and I, we love you guys dearly.
Then, Daymond John, The People’s Shark, dropped a post on LinkedIn with the line: “History is made!”
And Claude Silver, Chief Heart Officer of VaynerMedia, was amazingly supportive tweeting, “How far can a ‘HEY!’ travel….. VERY VERY FAR!!”
And ever bubbly Diana Nguyen (aka Dancin’ Diana) dropped a “bloopers reel” within the hour of the World Premiere!
This was the kind of energy this was generating.
We all about being outstanding!
We create content that’s magic!
Give it up for my LinkedIn Family
Setting LinkedIn on fire
Ahmad Imam + David Brier
Whether you in B2B looking for a buyer
Or a jobseeker trying to get hired.
Gotta build a brand before you learn how to sell for wealth
And the plan is to learn how to sell yourself
Want to be grand? Then play the hand your dealt
And we ain’t got to throw hands! Just hand the belt.
2002 was LinkedIn’s birth
Back then, we only had a few experts
Now we got 600 million and change
And everybody’s now an expert on blockchain!
You can’t be different if you staying the same
My advice: be consistent, stay in your lane.
Grow a tribe that know, like, trust your name
And once you earn that trust, you can change the game!
The real entrepreneurs raise the bets
So you can bet Gary Vaynerchuk’s buying the Jets!
He said: You wanna be a leader? Gotta connect.
And a little bit of Empathy will get you respect.
Grant Cardone! 10X Growth and you chart
And Daymond John will hit it out the park!
See the art is to start everyday with heart
And out-hustle! Shoutout “The People’s Shark”!
What does branding even mean? Let’s ask David
“Branding’s the Art of Differentiation”
Ok, so you got to be unique and make it
That means you can’t simply copy and paste it!
You want to be big? You’re going to have to face it
Want to be heard? Be yourself! Embrace it!
’Cause now we across 200 nations
And shoutout to Jeff Weiner! We made it.
Hey! That’s How We Did It!
What’s left to say? Only this:
I invite you to help us tell the world how awesome LinkedIn is and blow this up on YouTube as well (here’s how: click PLAY on the above video and then hit the lower right YouTube words. That takes you to the YouTube video where you can like, comment and share).
Thank you to all who participated in this amazing journey to help us blow up LinkedIn. Let’s see how far this thing can go!