Rich Falk-Wallace sent me a direct message via LinkedIn on Dec. 20th introducing himself and asking for advice about posting on social media.
He had 2,300 followers at the time.
I had been posting actively for about a year and about an audience of 10,000. We met for a drink at Hudson Yards in New York and I gave him some solid guidance.
He proceeded to ignore all of it, save for writing often about things he found interesting.
Four months later, Rich has more than 96,000 followers.
Along the way, writing has brought him new friends as well as business proposals. He has even attracted the attention of reporters, who quoted him in news articles.
How he got there says a lot about how networking has changed in the past decade and the unique opportunity that LinkedIn presents at the moment.
First, let’s drive into what worked. Rich is the CEO of Arcana, a financial data and analytics firm catering to hedge funds and asset managers. He previously worked as a portfolio manager and analyst at Citadel and Viking.
He writes posts to answer questions he has about markets, the economy and finance-related issues. He doesn’t use hashtags or gimmicks and for the most part he doesn’t write about his own business.
Crucially, he writes what comes naturally, which mostly involves observations based on spreadsheets of data. It’s a skill he honed working at hedge funds.
One post dissected the deposit and loan economics at Silicon Valley Bank. You can download the spreadsheet for yourself.
So, while some pundits argued Silicon Valley Bank collapsed because it was too “woke,” Rich provided the math to explain the implosion.
You might think the market for that kind of analysis is pretty niche, but you would be wrong. In today’s global world, there’s tremendous demand for the deep and narrow.
That post got more than 34,000 likes, 5,000 comments and 2,600 reposts.
People used to network by reaching out to specific individuals for specific goals. Today, the best of the best write online and let people find them. At the moment, LinkedIn is the place to do it.
LinkedIn has a lot of content, but most of it falls under the genre of “Ten Reasons Warren Buffett is the GOAT!” There is a dearth of high-quality, original posts.
Rich is an oasis in that desert. Being a math geek, he says he’s cracked the algo. He argues every “like” equals 200 impressions and you get one new follower for every 250 impressions.
Other advice: the algo penalizes you for outside links and boasting. Never boast!
Rich says the only real formula for success is to write original, high quality content.
Or you can hire me, of course.
I started a media consulting and ghostwriting company last year. DM me if you need a blueprint for how to accumulate a huge following like Rich.
As long as you ignore everything I tell you, it will work out just fine.