Listen and Obey | #MyFridayStory №329

Frans Nel
3 min readApr 19, 2024
Rachel Claire | Pexels

Back in April 2009, at the suggestion of a trusted friend and mentor, I ventured into the world of LinkedIn. After a decade as a marketing manager, my tenure at a company faced uncertainty due to an impending acquisition by a major bank. Amidst this turmoil, I realised the need to amplify my professional presence beyond the confines of my current position. While my experience boasted notable brand collaborations, the challenge lay in refreshing my profile after a prolonged stint at the same company. I’ve always prided myself on achieving maximum impact with minimal resources, a mantra essential for smaller players in the competitive arena.

Upon joining LinkedIn, I found a platform tailored to my needs — an avenue for seamless networking and connection without the hesitancy of initiating conversations. To enhance my profile, I enlisted professional assistance, albeit realising that the crux of crafting an impactful narrative lay solely in my hands. Authenticity emerged as the cornerstone of my approach — a reminder that one’s story cannot be authentically told by another.

As I delved into the nuances of LinkedIn, I unearthed the strategies that propelled profiles into the top percentile. LinkedIn evaluates profiles based on four key components: establishing a professional brand, identifying ideal connections efficiently, engaging with insightful content, and nurturing meaningful relationships. Armed with this knowledge, I embarked on a journey of crafting and disseminating content, primarily centered on marketing and leadership. The results were tangible — my profile garnered increased visibility, eliciting engagement from a diverse audience. Soon, my networking efforts transcended the digital realm, materialising into face-to-face meetings across Johannesburg and Pretoria.

My interactions on LinkedIn were guided by a commitment to authenticity and purpose. Each connection request was personalised, accompanied by a brief introduction elucidating my intent on the platform. Incorporating weekly #MyFridayStory instalments fostered meaningful dialogues, archived for posterity within LinkedIn’s interface. Congratulatory messages and well-wishes punctuated these interactions, nurturing a sense of community amidst the digital expanse.

By 2012, my network burgeoned to over 10,000 connections, each greeted individually — a testament to the value I placed on personal engagement. Recognising the need for varied content formats, I diversified my posts, integrating both long-form reflections and succinct quotes. Despite initial lukewarm reception to long-form content, I persisted, driven by a passion for storytelling and a desire to inspire.

In April 2016, the inaugural #MyFridayStory, “On Being an Artist,” marked a pivotal juncture in my LinkedIn journey, inspired by the teachings of Seth Godin. Over subsequent weeks, the narrative evolved, honing its cadence to resonate with readers. As I pen the 329th instalment, my ritual remains unchanged — I pray for guidance in crafting narratives that uplift and inspire. And as I find myself in a moment of silence, I find solace, heeding His gentle whisper — listening and obeying.

Through the labyrinth of LinkedIn, I’ve gleaned invaluable lessons — each connection, each story, a testament to the transformative power of authenticity and purpose. As I navigate this digital landscape, I remain tethered to the ethos of humility and reverence, mindful of the guiding hand that orchestrates every narrative, and every connection, with divine precision.

Have a great weekend and please remember to be generous! 😄

As always, thanks for reading. 🙏

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