Does The $1.80 Marketing Strategy Actually Work On LinkedIn?

April 3, 2019 0 Comments

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the $1.80 strategy on LinkedIn, most notably from Gary Vaynerchuk.

LinkedIn Marketing - Gary Vaynerchuk $1.80 Strategy

If you’re skeptical don’t be because the strategy works. I wrote an article back in 2018 on how I was leveraging the “what people are talking about now” section of LinkedIn before it started being hand curated by LinkedIn Editors.

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LinkedIn Marketing - Grow Your Profile

This tactic still works today, but it’s not nearly as effective as it once was. I suspect there are already forces at play that are trying to limit your reach. Further, Rand Fishkin shared a recent study of business engagement rates on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Guess what? The organic reach is awful and the engagement rates for businesses have fallen from 10% at its height to an abysmal 0.09% across all industries in 2019 on Facebook alone.

LinkedIn Marketing - Facebook engagement rates

What Does This Mean For Your LinkedIn Marketing Strateg?

As a result, more and more brands will start moving to LinkedIn for their marketing needs because there is no platform that compares to the organic reach and engagement you receive. Advertising on LinkedIn is expensive in my opinion so strike the iron while it’s still hot!

If you’re looking to crush LinkedIn marketing in 2019then consider these 5 tips:

1. Check Out Your LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI)

LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index is one of the few metrics I think is worth obsessing over. The index is a daily snapshot of your profile’s strength as it compares to other people in your industry and those in your network.

LinkedIn Marketing - LinkedIn Social Selling Index

The 4 dimensions include establishing a professional brand, connecting with the right people, engaging with insights (this one is the most important), and building relationships. My advice is to identify where your profiles greatest weaknesses are and start building up your score. At the very least this will give you a benchmark to reference your progress.

2. Engage With Like-Minded Professionals

This one is obvious, but I’m surprised at how many people miss the mark. If you want people to take you seriously on LinkedIn then you need to be active on the platform. This means commenting, liking and sharing DAILY. You should also consider planning a formal content strategy for posting 2-3 articles per week.

Here’s the real hurdle, though:

Not only do you need to be active on LinkedIn, but you need to provide thoughtful insight that starts, adds to, or continues a conversation.

People who “get” you will be more than willing to advocate on behalf of your ideas.

LinkedIn Marketing - Enagage With LIke-Minded Professionals

Shutout to Ruthie Bowles who is my new favorite human on LinkedIn ?

The real key here is that you shouldn’t be trying to send your message to everyone. Find people who like what you have to say and double down your efforts and attention on them. You’d be surprised at how impactful even the smallest of niches can be on your personal brand or business.

3. Build A Network Of People Who Are Relevant To Your Industry

Another obvious one but again people are not leveraging LinkedIn to it’s fullest potential and as a result they’re losing out on a ton of opportunity.

One tactic I like to use is connecting with 2nd degree contacts with very specific job titles or keywords related to an industry I’m trying to target. For example, take the phrase “nonprofit marketing” which has over 800,000 search results when filtered by people.

Next, click the filter tab and start narrowing your audience. There’s a lot of trial and error involved in finding the right filters. I strongly recommend creating a spreadsheet to track your progress.

If you have an influential 1st degree connection *cough* Allen Gannett *cough* then try filtering by “connections of.” This may give more weight in whether or not someone chooses to accept your request.

LinkedIn Marketing - Grow Your Network And Followership

If you’re into meeting connections offline you may also want to filter by location.

The last criteria I look for before I even think about sending a connection request is how active they are on LinkedIn. There are a few ways to do this.

  1. Only connect with people who have 500+ connections
  2. Look for people who have complete profiles aka All Star
  3. Must have had ANY activity in the last 3 days
  4. Review their “Skills & Endorsements”
  5. See how many people gave them a recommendation

The Outreach

Even after you’ve narrowed down your ideal audience it’s still not enough to just click the connect button. You want to personalize your request with a message that demonstrates how connecting with you will bring value.

I’ll be upfront in saying I’m not a huge fan of templates because I believe in ultra personalizing your request, but after doing some testing I found this one to have a > 50% connection success rate:

“Hi [Name],

I came across your profile because I’m looking to connect with like-minded [Industry] professionals. I’m genuinely interested in engaging on LinkedIn, so you won’t get a sales pitch or automated message from me ?

Look forward to connecting!



Lastly, ALWAYS respond to messages. You never know where a connection might lead.

LinkedIn Marketing - Engagement

Shout out to my new friend Eke ?

4. Invest In Search Engine Optimization (SEO) On LinkedIn

If you’ve ever wanted to increase your “weekly search stats” on LinkedIn then investing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might be a good place to start.

Just like Google, LinkedIn has a search feature that relies on keywords and phrases to rank your profile and content in search results. I haven’t done too much digging into this arena yet, but I suspect back links also play a factor.

Just imagine what it could mean for your personal brand or business if your profile (or your employee’s profile) were at the top of commercial intent keywords. Or, if you’re looking for a new opportunity, then ranking for keywords in your industry or the job title itself could actually land you in your dream job.

Personally, I’ve received more job offers in the last two weeks of being active on LinkedIn then when I was actually searching for new opportunities.

If you’re interested in a LinkedIn SEO crash course then the video below from SEMrush is a good place to start.

5. Stop The “Cold Calling”

I won’t speak too much on this one other then to say cut this shit out. Half the time they dive right into the sales pitch (which are often automated by bots) and the connection rarely contributes any value.

LinkedIn Marketing - Cold Calling

It’s a short-term gain that sacrifices any future potential relationship on LinkedIn. My advice is to just be nice and call it a day. No need to bring that frustration into your life. /rant


The $1.80 strategy works on LinkedIn, but only if you’re genuinely interested in connecting and building your followership. You may not get a sale or lead today, tomorrow, or even 6-months from now. But, I’ve been surprised in many unexpected ways at how impactful this strategy can be.

I truly hope this helps you crush LinkedIn marketing in 2019!

What are your thoughts? Do you have a success story you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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AboutRafi Norberg