A month or two ago, I wrote a LinkedIn post that had over 40,000 views, which is unusual for me. The next post did normal numbers—a few thousand. Reversion to the mean can be very discouraging.

On the day my post impressions spiked to 40K, I saw a post from someone along the lines of “How to Get 30,000 Impressions on LinkedIn,” and it made me smile because I can play that game, too. I have a post that garnered 40K views, therefore, you can learn something about post impressions from me, right?

Not even close.

I could probably figure out some reason why the 40K post did better than usual,  but that would be a bunch of guesses, not actual expertise.

I see a lot of people who have written or edited one book and they think this makes them an expert in writing books or editing them. But it doesn’t, not any more than my one 40K post makes me an expert on LI marketing. Maybe it’s the first step on the road to expertise, but it’s not expertise.

And expertise matters, especially in work that is not entry level. Imagine if I decided that my 40K post was successful because I used the word damned in it (which I did). So I tell everyone to swear in their LI posts. Have I really identified the secret? I doubt it. And I could actually do a fair amount of damage by pretending I know the secret.

What caused that 40K post was largely a matter of luck. Sure, other elements matter: I have a certain number of connections and I post on LI regularly, and the post was competently written. While these things are necessary they are not sufficient.

So I’m always a little cynical about people who have written or edited a bestseller claiming they can help you write or edit bestsellers. Because these results are often the result of luck, not expertise.

Expertise promises “I can help you write LI posts targeted at your specific audience” not “I can teach you how to get 35K impressions of your post.”

Real experts know that not every book will be a bestseller (and that that is A-OK). I try to resist those kinds of metrics. If you want to write a bestseller, I can’t make any promises. I know I can’t guarantee that. But if you want to make your story better? I can definitely do that.

Expertise matters