How I went viral on LinkedIn to reach 497 000 people and 40% of my target audience for my SAAS

Read my strategy and apply it to your own business

Arnaud Belinga
11 min readNov 4, 2021

Quick context

I recently graduated from Oxford University and became a Lawyer in my home country, France. I was destined to start my carrer in an elite law firm with a guaranteed €100k annual salary without bonuses at 25.

Unfortunately, I decided a few months before graduating that I wanted to pursue the startup life, bootstrapped. I am currently trying to grow for lawyers and for startups with my technical co-founder.

I document my journey on twitter : ArnaudBelingaCX

1/ The pre-post strategy ⚔️

1. Add people in your target audience

LinkedIn algorithm is fairly simple. When people from your 1st level connections engage with your content, it is display to their own network. If the people from their network engage with that content, it displays to their network and the loop keeps going like that.

Consequently, this is pretty much how you go from 1st level connections in your network liking your content to 2nd and 3rd levels engaging with that content.

Simple illustration of level connections

Although it is quite hard to have control over 2nd and 3rd level connections, your goal is to have control over your 1st degree connections. Let’s take a quick example.

My target audience for Logike was French Lawyers, especially the ones in the Paris area = about 30 000 Lawyers.

End goal

What I wanted to achieve with my posts

So the first thing I did was to increase the number lawyers within my network. I went from 1200 connections (with about 60% people in the law field) to 1800 connections before the post.

Before the post, I had about 1800 connections

LinkedIn weekly limit

It’s been a few weeks now that LinkedIn limits the amount of people you can add per week : about 100/136 people 😪

There is some tools to avoid this weekly limit but I recommend doing it manually as it will force you to improve finding your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile) by reading their profile one by one.

2. Analyze posts that works well on LinkedIn

Before posting, you should start spending a few hours on LinkedIn to analyse content that work and content that don’t.

Ideally, you want to identify accounts with target audience similar to yours.

In my case, I spent time analyzing french founders posts and french lawyers posts. From there I noticed a pattern for most of them.

Here’s my main takeaways for posting on LinkedIn

  • Your post should have between 55 to 130 words max
  • The use of line break is important to build up the ‘read more’ and to add clarity in your post, kind of like Twitter.
  • People relate to emotions. Rather than describing things, use wisely one or two emojis in your post. The best strategy I’ve seen was people using every time the same original emoji. If they post consistently, this emoji will be attached to their brand. It’s really underrated IMH as it’s powerful in the long run.
  • If you use a picture in your post, you can go viral with only few sentences. What works the most is obviously picture from yourself or graphs. Once again, people relate to human face the most.
  • If you have a link to share with your audience, put it in your first comment to maximize the reach of your post. Indeed, LinkedIn doesn’t want people to leave their platform, so they will limit your reach if you display link in your main post.
  • I noticed that the hour when you post doesn’t really matter. You might have a better reach during lunchtime and afterwork but it’s not a strict rule.
  • People that are quite successful post quite often, 1 to 3 times a day. Consistency is key and rewarded.

What matters the most is the hook : you have to nail this part.

  1. A good hook with a poor content works nice.
  2. A bad hook with an amazing content doesn’t work.
  3. A good hook with an amazing content can go viral.

3. Warm up your 1st level connection audience with simple posts

Before starting to post on LinkedIn, I wrote a list of about 30 posts for myself and my co-founder.

In this list, I had about 25 basic posts to warm up my 1st level connections and 5 potential viral posts.

Part of my post ideas on Notion

My whole strategy was to post 3 to 4 basic posts related to my SAAS topic then posting a potential viral post and repeat until I have something.

I undoubtedly got lucky because upon my first try I achieve what I was looking for.

Why doing basic posts first ? Because you want to give value first and get your connections accustomed that you are posting regularly for them to consistently like more and more your posts before eventually they also like a potential viral post.

Your first degree connections are your trigger for everything else, so it is really important to warm up this audience.

Lawyers are not entrepreneurs👇

A lawyer that creates his law firm is an entrepreneur ‘…Read more’

Example of a warming up post

2/ The post that went viral

There you go, here’s the full breakdown of my viral post and why I believe it worked.

Context of the post — New lawyers period

People are celebrating on LinkedIn the fact that they become Lawyer.

It’s one of the period where most lawyers are active on LinkedIn and even post about their new recruit achievement.

The ones who get the most likes from past years were the ones with pictures of themselves.

Objective of the post — Reach lawyers

My SAAS is an accounting software for Lawyers but we decided to target early on the Paris area to benefit from network effect and strong word of mouth.

How long it took me to write it — 10 minutes

I woke up quite angry on a Friday morning because we had difficulties to reach potential customers so I decided to write this post on a whim.

For how long I thought writing about it — for weeks

I knew I could have something with my non conventional story.

I simply needed to work very well on the hook. Times to times, I was thinking how I could put it to make a viral post.

The Hook — it needs to scroll stop people

No one in my family has a high school diploma.

That didn’t stop me from graduating from Oxford and becoming…

The first sentence set the tone. I want to tell a story, not simply announcing that I graduated like most people.

The second sentence mention early on Oxford before the read more to attract attention. But I needed something more powerful to scroll stop people.

Picture used for the post — Use human faces as most as possible

People who often do celebrations posts simply post their diplomas, them with a bottle of champaign or a picture of them in court dress. It’s seen over and over.

So I used a picture of my Matriculation Ceremony at Oxford University. People don’t usually post picture outside, so I also tried to take advantage of that. Sounds cheesy, but obviously smiling is important, it conveys more emotions to your recipient 🙂

Body of the post — Try to build up momentum

My sole objective during the body section was to tell a story enough interesting for people to keep reading to reach my controversial conclusion.

For that, the use of numbers (e.g. statistics, money) is a good way to keep people engaging with your content along the story.

At Oxford, the situation was unrealistic.

A large proportion of the students came from Eton or Harrow (about 56,000 euros per year from 13 to 18 years)

In France, the comparison would be Polytechnique where more than 80% of the X students come from 10 high schools.

End of the post — be a little controversial

I finished my post with a lesson to recruiters who are judging people who apply in big companies with a “shitty” school.

I have authority to talk about it because I initially went from a background where people have not the chance to attend amazing universities.

So yes, it is possible to get there etc.

But all things considered, laugh a little less with your colleagues when you receive an application from a student coming from a “shitty” college/school because you have no idea of the bias that favored you.

3/ What you need to do during a viral post (and any post) ⚔️

1. Engage with your first 100 comments

It’s really important.

You need to respond quickly to comments and deliver qualitative answers and not a simple ‘Thank you!’.

The more the comments, the more new people coming in will let one.

2. Be available to monitor nuisance

You need to watch how your post is doing as much as possible.

I didn’t know it was a thing, but once a post take off on LinkedIn, strange accounts are determined to ruin it promoting eccentric sh**t!

Below, an account was promoting services to increase your penis size with the BAZOUKA method, 100% success rate guaranteed 😂

Bazouka Guy

3. Capitalize on people who comment only to make noise out of your post

Obviously, the more your post reach people, the more you will have people trying to make noise out of it.

It’s always the same strategy, they try to critic yourself or what you’re saying.

When this happen, your job is to deconstruct their argument and simply show them how stupid they look. At some point, it was 0 for him and 120 for me.

These people are actually incredibly valuable to your post because it will create many thread discussion and/or fights in the comments.

Your role is only to monitor a few and to not care about most of them because if you don’t engage with them, they will be wipe out in the flow of comments.

4/ The results of my viral post

Basic stats (as of writing)

500 362 people reached
474 LinkedIn invitations to connect
57 people published on their wall the post

I would say that about 200 likes comes from my 1st level connections. It’s relatively nothing compared to the end reached.

+470 Invites

Invitations range from students, lawyers and founders.

+57 repost

Endless scroll of people reposting my story

Advanced stats (as of writing)

19 000 Lawyers reached
+8000 profile views
700 views of Logike LinkedIn Page

19 000 Lawyers reached

There is about 30 000 lawyers in the Paris area, I’ve reached about 12 000 lawyers in this area which amount to 40% of my target audience, not including lawyers outside of Paris.

People I have reached in details

Views of profiles

I like this stat because I am also bootstrapping and it allowed us to get many visitors and even sign ups on this SAAS as well.

If your profile is well structured, you can use it as a funnel to lead people to other part of your business or info products for example.

Views of Logike LinkedIn page

This number is small compare to the big reached we had, but bear in mind that this stat contain highly qualified leads. It’s the portion of lawyers I aimed to target with my post.

Stats on Logike LinkedIn page

Impact on the SAAS business

Huge strong brand awareness: I went partying in Paris two days after the post, all lawyers I’ve seen told me that people went crazy about it.

I received a lots of DMs and many questions on our customer support live-chat.

BUT only a few sign-up : 8. Why ? Because accounting is a seasonal business, and my goal was to warming up people for upcoming important moments of the year for new Lawyers.

Also, many people subscribe to my accounting facebook group (we are +1500 members now), I will document this very soon too.

For how long a post like this reach people ? 🤔

I don’t know yet.

The first three days, I gained around 100 likes per hour (except during nighttime).

It’s been 6 days already and I still get about 200 hundreds likes a day.

But from past experience with smaller posts, it stays around for a solid week.

Bonus story : I encountered a lead in the train

A few hours after my post, I had to take the train go to Paris. Out of probably the 1000 strangers in this 2 hours trip, I found myself sitting just behind someone who was looking at Logike.

I even saw him add me on LinkedIn live!

So now you’re asking yourself, did he talk to him ? Nop… but next time I will be better I promise! 😬

Someone in the train getting info about Logike

5/ Conclusion and main takeaways

I believe LinkedIn is a powerful and underestimated network 💯

All the bootstrapped SAAS I know which skyrocket in a few years invested heavily on this network.

Obviously, viral posts are not an end but a mean. Indeed, your goal is to raise awareness about your business time to times with this kind of post.

Yes, it will also attract people that are not in your target audience. But maybe in their network/audience, they have people in your target audience.

THIS WAS MY FIRST POST ON MEDIUM, stay tuned for more 😁

Follow me on twitter at ArnaudBelingaCX for more stories, I will post like crazy in the next weeks and months!!!



Arnaud Belinga

I talk about bootstrapping two opposite SAAS 💫 I document my journey building and📚 Oxford Grad and former Lawyer who changed life