The Loop

I’ve never told this story before, but on the 1st of November 2019, I was lost.

I abruptly left a circular think tank that I co-founded and spent 5 years of my life building.

I wasn’t sure if to get hired or start something on my own again.

Thankfully, I only applied to 1 interview, which I failed.

At the same time, I was just about to become a dad, and the money had to come from somewhere.

So I decided to go solo. Took a few clients with me. That’s also how I started to lead Prague’s circular transition.

If there weren’t enough changes, we decided to move to my wife’s home country, Sweden in June 2020, during the COVID pandemic.

I was a big fish in a small lake in the Czech Republic. At least I had some network and clients.

But in Sweden, I was a small fish in a big lake. 0 network. 0 clients.

That’s when I saw an opportunity to turn that around: LinkedIn.

Why? For 2 reasons.

a) Back in 2020, most of the LinkedIn posts and conversations felt like this:

b) And no one was talking about the circular economy!

See for yourself: this was one of my first posts, 5 years ago:

It brought no value to anyone…

But that’s how 99% of people were using LinkedIn back then! That is IF they got the courage to actually post anything.

Fast forward to 2023, my most viral post ever looked like this:

This post alone reached about 5 million people. I got 15,000 new followers overnight, and so many connection requests that I was crunching through them the next few months.

Today I am LinkedIn’s Top Green Voice and Favikon’s #1 Green Creator on LinkedIn.

Lots of carefully planned and tested steps led me to this moment. I didn’t just wake up and change everything from one day to another.

It took years for me to find my voice, and my style, to see what’s working, and what’s not.

Today I want to talk about how I used Linedkin to grow to 100k followers.

In the end, you should leave with actionable tips on how you can step up your own social media presence and comms skills in sustainability.

Right after this:

♻️ On my radar

1) Tune into circularity: Fairphone launches Fairbuds 

2) Looking for sustainability experts? Leafr matches you with top talent. 

3) Circular economy is catching on. From niche to norm.

4) Volvo Group: 80 years of remanufacturing

5) WCEF starts this Monday. Tune in online, ping me if you are around!

Ready to step up your comms and social media presence? Here are my key lessons in 10 steps.

Step 1: Banner and profile picture

Make your profile picture and banner stand out.

Choose a picture that’s professional, but approachable. Profiles with pictures get 21x more visits.

Pick colors that you feel associated with. If you are in sustainability, it doesn’t need to be all green.

And then the banner. That’s the most overlooked and underestimated thing on your whole profile. A lot of people have a background from their hometown or even nothing. This is your chance to tell in a few words what you are doing.

I like how Lara sells her cohort to every visitor:

Step 2: Headline

This is an opportunity to show WHO you are. Not just WHAT you are doing.

It’s about WHY should people follow you!

Give people a reason to connect or follow you. Don’t just write: “Sustainability / Circularity / LCA consultant”.

Try to come up with a cool name for your role instead. Here are some examples:

Step 3: Featured section

This is to go deeper, gain credibility, and promote your services.

A lot of people make the mistake of either not having anything in their featured section, or showing their best posts to boost credibility.

It’s a lot more effective to create a few lead magnets or direct links to your services. (I didn’t do it until recently, but here’s what I show today).

Step 4: Choose your niche

My niche is the circular economy.

However, I sometimes create broader content about sustainability and climate change.

My advice: Niche down.

Sure you can go broad, let’s say sustainability, but it’s important to combine it with your passions, something you can talk about all day long.

Let’s say design. Sustainable design? Not bad. If your clients are SMEs, there you have your niche: Sustainable design for SMEs.

Your content has to stand out, it has to show you, it has to be original. Talk about where you have the deep expertise, and what (hopefully) people find interesting.

Step 5: Keep these questions in mind:

What is something everyone believes to be true that you don’t?

What is something nobody in your niche is talking about, that they should be?

What are the biggest mistakes people are making, that are obvious to you?

Why are you someone worth following, when others aren’t

This might be something you realized a long time ago, but the majority still have a different opinion about it.

Maybe you have a strong opinion about carbon offsets, or you believe that technology won’t save us. Come up with polarising topics that you won’t regret saying 1 year from here on.

Step 6: Create content around these topics

1. Reacting to industry news and people you follow

In sustainability, it’s so easy to share the doomsday reports. I don’t do that. I try to talk about the good stuff, the positive changes, to inspire people. What makes you happy? What inspired you this week? Post about that!

2. Sharing your professional experience, lessons, and skills
(LinkedIn algorithm loves that now)

3. Offer vulnerable insights that affect you professionally or personally.

4. Celebrate the successes and wins, talk about the failures and your lessons.

But most importantly – be authentic, and add your unique perspective on things.

Step 7: Keep these principles in mind

Every time I post, I want to check at least one of those 4 boxes:

1. This person teaches me
“How to xyz in x steps” (for example: “How to do an LCA in 6 steps”)

2. This person entertains me
Something funny, edgy, a bit risky, memes are great.

3. This person makes me think
“Wow, I’ve never thought about it that way!”

4. This person understands me
“Finally someone that explained it, I agree!”


Step 8: Killer hooks, copy, and format.

The hook is the first sentence of your post.

Make sure your hooks are strong, and max 5-6 words long sentences.

A good hook with a good visual decides if people want to see more or not. Stop the scroll. You are fighting for attention. Here’s a great tutorial from the hook master. 

Be clear, not clever. I use Hemingway to tell me what grade reader I am targeting. I always try not to go above Grade 6, and stick to 100 words max.

Find a good formatting style, and make it easy for people to read and skim through. Check out Jasmin for many tips!

Add real stats and numbers.

Collect ideas and save posts to never run out of inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to recycle your content. If it worked, it will probably work again!

Step 9: Pictures or videos are a must

Posts with pictures, videos, and carousels work 10x better than plain text.

Always try to come up with a visual to elevate your content.

For keynotes: less text, the better. When I do my keynotes, there is barely any text. I want to inspire people and pay attention to what I am saying instead.

When it comes to communicating sustainability, people love to see visuals with before and after moments. Positive change, in a city, nature, dirty and clean beach… You’ve got this!

Step 10: Pick one of these formulas to structure your thoughts:

My favorite is PAS. There are so many problems with climate and sustainability, but what’s more interesting are the solutions!

Make sure to offer people some hope and inspiration, and not just leave them feeling hopeless with another “We’re all gonna die” message.

______________________________________

If you feel inspired but hungry for more, I am thinking about organizing a 90-minute workshop to dig a lot more into this, together with you.

I’ll pull back the curtains, showing everything I know about creating content, so you don’t have to waste time reinventing the wheel.

It would be a completely open-book session, where you can ask anything and everything to step up your social media and green comms game.

All I ask is for a vote, and if you are feeling brave, hit reply with “DO IT”. If more than 30 people respond, I will make it happen.

It’ll be €65 to attend and you will get access to all the resources and recordings within 24 hours, even if you can’t attend that day.

If you prefer to discuss this 1:1, you can book a 60-minute session with me anytime here.

TLDR:

1. Profesional photo, good banner, branded colors
2. Headline – give people a reason to follow you
3. Promote your services in the featured section
4. Pick a niche – a topic you’re passionate about
5. Pick polarising content, challenge old realities
6. React to industry, celebrate wins, share lessons
7. Inspire, agitate, educate, entertain
8. Start with a great hook, stop the scroll
9. Always add visuals – videos are trending more
10. Pick a formula. Problem -> Agitate -> Solution

Stay consistent, keep it simple and authentic, and you will see results!

Most of all: have fun. Don’t let it drain you.

Real life is incomparably more important than what’s going on on social media.

That’s it for this week, see ya next Saturday!

13 April 2024

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