There and Back Again: A LinkedIn Journey to Top Contributor

6290003115_7788c41563_qHave you ever wondered what it took to reach Top Contributor and what you really gain from that status? As a recently certified profile writer, I felt it was important to understand the process, but also because I’ve received several questions about the effectiveness of LinkedIn for business. Therefore, I established an experiment to uncover what was required to become a top contributor and what benefits would result from that status.

Before my experiment began, I belonged to 39 groups. I was involved with 10 of those groups to rank in the ‘finding an audience’ and ‘making an impact’. This came from sporadic engagement of four to five times per week, with a few minutes here and there. From those 10 groups, I chose my five favorites based on topic, business-related information and lead potential.

My process began by commenting on 5 to 10 existing discussions and leaving more than ‘great post’ or ‘thanks for sharing’ comments. I wrote 5 or more sentences to answer questions, offer advice or share an experience. I made Top Contributor (TC) in 2 days with each group. Then I started my own discussions on each group. However, initiating discussions alone does not maintain TC status. Depending on the group, I could forgo interaction 2 days before my superior status slipped. I discovered that I could post one discussion and comment on 5 or more existing topics daily without affecting my status. Anything less dropped me to a lower level.

The results: after 30 days of 2+ hours/day, my profile views increased 400% (from 4 to 20 at my peek). I also gained 11 new connections, 10 of which were outside of the USA.

The benefits: Once I reached top contributor, my picture was posted as one of four top contributors. As long as I maintained TC status, my picture remained visible.

My favorite part of the experiment was when other readers appreciated my advice or wisdom or that they ‘totally agreed’ with me. It kept me going.

I received two service inquiries and one said he’ll, “Keep me in mind.” The other never responded after first contact.

The downside: I was sent 16 pieces of junkmail from group members and gained 2 LinkedIn groupies. Before long, the groupies followed the same groups I did and liked or commented on every discussion or comment I made.

I dropped one group at 22 days, another at 28 days. I was burned out by week 3. By day 30, I dreaded the time drain it took to maintain TC and quit commenting as frequently. I became a weak memory in those groups 2 days later.

Lessons learned:

  • Work on one group at a time!
  • Dedicate no more than 30 minutes each day.
  • Explore groups—you aren’t locked in for eternity.
  • Learn what you can! There is A LOT of great people out there who are willing to learn, share and help. That was the part I enjoyed the most. Connect with those that you believe will be beneficial to your growth and knowledge.
  • Move on if desired.

What LinkedIn experiments or discoveries have you made?

Happy writing!

Kris the Scribbler

photo courtesy of Sheila Scarborough




  1. Hi Kris,
    Good article – info was of value to me!


    • KristheScribbler KristheScribbler says:

      Thank you, Linda. It was an interesting experiment. I’m glad you got some helpful information.


  2. Kris

    I am still trying to figure out the benifit of Linkeden. It takes a tremendous amount of time and I have tried to use it for prospecting new clients with little success espcially for the time drain. gues nothing beats the old face to face method of prospecting. Thanks for the Article


    • KristheScribbler KristheScribbler says:

      You are welcome, Bob.
      Face to face is always a strong start for me, but then LinkedIn is a good follow-up plan and a way to keep in contact through the home-page feed. We like to be ‘liked’, but the power of LinkedIn (and any other social media plan) is to maintain that connection/relationship. Try an experiment of your own and see what works for you…then share it with us!

  3. But what happened to your 2 groupies? What will become of them now that you’ve faded away?

    • KristheScribbler KristheScribbler says:

      Hi Sam,
      They faded just as fast. One of them faded a day later. I noticed her comments stopped the same day mine did. The other groupie started one discussion and commented on a few others, but by day three he faded from LinkedIn existence. I’ve checked back a few times since my experiment ended, but haven’t spotted them on anyone else’s discussions. Very interesting! The interesting thing is, neither one of my groupies asked me to join their network.

  4. Do you think the effort will result in any work, and if so, was it worth 2 hours a day for what you got out of it?

    • KristheScribbler KristheScribbler says:

      Hi Will,
      During my experiment, I received two requests for more information about my services. As of now, neither one has turned into a client. If they do, then I will follow-up with a blog. These things take time to develop so my 28 days as top contributor may lead to something in the future.

      Was it worth my time??? Well….I learned a lot about the process and enjoyed the feedback from my discussions and comments, but it wasn’t worth burning out. I’m taking a break for awhile, but will try again (possibly in June) and will focus my attention on one group.

      Thanks for your comment!

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