Our writing, strategies and approach to success on Linkedin – Dave Harland, Eddie Shleyner, Jo Watson

Dave Harland, The Word Man, Jo Watson, Copywriter & Eddie Shleyner, Very Good Copy
Eddie Shleyner & Dave Harland are two of the world's best-known copywriters. In this talk, they'll share how they do it, and answer your questions.

Featuring Eddie Shleyner, Dave Harland, and Jo Watson Hosted by Joe Glover 

Why LinkedIn and what keeps you posting?

Dave: LinkedIn is like a big game and it never ends. For a writer, it’s the best testing platform as you get instant feedback on your content. It’s a place where you can build up a collection of your written work, which can be eventually linked to other channels like newsletters, blogs, etc.

It’s not just about sharing my ideas and thoughts on different aspects of marketing and writing. It’s also a brilliant source of ideas.

Jo: If someone wants to hire you, LinkedIn serves as a platform where they can look at your writing for free. Or you can use LinkedIn just to bring a smile on someone’s face. It doesn’t have to be super professional.

Eddie: People are generally nice and supportive, and come to the platform with an intention to learn and get better. As a creator, it’s very important to receive support from your community.


On posting from a strategic perspective

Jo: I don’t have a strategy in place. When you read Eddie’s content, you learn something which isn’t the case with my content. My suggested strategy – Don’t follow me. Follow Dave and Eddie.

Dave: I start by thinking about how I want my audience to react – either to make them laugh, or teach a lesson in a simpler way, or make people think WTF is going on, by creating intrigue. I get ideas from absolutely anywhere. If there’s some obscure thing that happened in my day and makes me stop…that’ll probably stop someone else too.

Eddie: My ultimate goal is to grow my email list. There’s so much power in an email list because YOU own it. You’re not renting it out from someone. You get to have a one-on-one conversation with people who care about your work.

The Eddie Shleyner Content Loop

-> Every comment in my post asks visitors to visit VGC.

-> Once they visit VGC, they are presented with multiple chances to subscribe to the newsletter.

-> Each newsletter they receive contains a link to the LinkedIn post, asking them to support that post.

->Now this engagement draws new people to the post, who eventually go to VGC.

On having the confidence to post on LinkedIn

Jo: I haven’t become more confident. I became more shameless. There will always be people who try to drag you down once you start getting more and more engagement. If you don’t post it, someone else will, which is exactly the same as your initial idea. And if that content gets more engagement (and more business for that person eventually), you’ll end up regretting it.

Dave: It’s a long game and you’ll have to keep posting. That’s how you end up developing a voice for yourself. It’s a part of the process. Just be yourself. Over time you care less about what people think of you.

On Finding Inspiration and NOT Being Boring…

Eddie: I don’t let the reader hear my internal thoughts. I’m a big fan of realism, where the writer never lets you inside the heads of the characters. That adds a lot of tension to the story and makes it open to interpretation. It creates room not only to help you visualize me in the scene but also yourself in the scene.

If you’d like to learn more about realism, check out the works of Raymond Carver and Charles Bukowski.

Jo: If you’re writing about something that’s important to you, chances are it’s going to be important to someone else too. It’s about being relatable.

Dave: Always keep your eyes open. When I notice something unusual or something that catches my attention, I think about what I’ve learned from that. Even if you feel that it matters only to you, put it out there. It’s a practice and you’ll learn something.

If people come to you and you can’t necessarily help them, make sure they leave with a smile. They might come back again somewhere down the line.

On finding balance between personal & professional…

Dave: Some people use LinkedIn as a portfolio and some use it like their CV. It really varies from person to person. Since I’m self employed, both of them are pretty much the same for me.

Eddie: The most successful posts on LinkedIn about business are relatively personal. At the end of the day, we’re all humans. You can share experiences at work as an individual. Showing your vulnerability and being relatable is never really inappropriate.


On the regularity of posting…

Eddie: 5 times a week on average. The more often you post, the more exposure you get.

Dave: Monday-Friday around 8-10 a.m. Don’t try to force yourself into posting if you’re really busy.


Top 3 tips to create great content on LinkedIn


  1. Don’t assume people know what you

It’s easy to confuse yourself that your knowledge is common knowledge. In fact, people respond a lot to information we take for granted.

  1. Topping and tailing posts with dialogue.

I take inspiration from conversations I’m a part of, or conversations I watch on TV. Start with a dialogue, cut to the lesson, and end with a dialogue.

  1. Go heavier on the story and easier on the marketing

In the case of a LinkedIn post, it could be 1200 characters to tell the story and the remaining 100 characters for the marketing message. (Yes, I’m aware that the character limit has changed 🙂


  1. Don’t be posting for the sake of If you don’t have something to say, why would you post it?
  2. Think about what your content offers to the reader – it could be a message, a lesson, or maybe you just want to make them


  1. Never start your post with “We are delighted…” or “We are proud to reveal…”.
  2. Drop your dialect into whatever you’re
  3. Make your audience feel something just before


Notes compiled by Harshith Varma (H2H Copy)