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This year we wanted to put a spotlight on the people who have made LinkedIn a better experience for us in 2020

LinkedIn has been by far our most popular Social Media Training Course of 2020 and the place where we spend a lot of time for work

These people are not necessarily the most viral, they are not the LinkedIn Influencers, most of them don’t work in marketing

These are the people the pop up on my feed every day and make LinkedIn a better place

Connect with these people


John Alexander will be surprised at this mention today

It’s the 1st in a series of 25 people on LinkedIn who make the LinkedIn Experience a better experience

I have a list of 21 names ready with the last 4 chosen from recommendations

John hasn’t posted in a month now (although he has engaged). During the start of lockdown John was extremely active on the platform – both in terms of posting and engaging with others

2 parts from his LinkedIn Profile really stand out

“My contacts often say I am a great ‘connector of people’…and I’m considered to be well connected mainly across the North West UK.”

“I’m always keen to see how my relationships and experience might help others, especially when that leads to reciprocity, partnerships – and friendships.”

John’s Professional Headline is Director level business developer / Head of BD specialising in financial / professional services and yet there’s no hard sell in a year when many people on LinkedIn have been hard selling

John recently checked in with us on whatsapp and asked “Just checking you’re all good Alex? Not sure if it’s me, you, or algorithms but have you been a little quieter of late on social?”

I hadn’t been and it was entirely the algorithms – but it’s nice to know people care when you’re not seen in the feed

Caring makes you stand out


Maeri Howard is so generous with her time

When it came to the list of 25 people on LinkedIn who make the LinkedIn Experience a better experience Maeri was one of the 1st names that I thought of

Myself and Maeri had chatted on LinkedIn prior to the pandemic and we’ve met in person. Just the once at the last networking event we both attended before lockdown

Maeri said this

“I met Alex McCann at the last “in person” event that, you were part of, before lockdown in March. He took the brave move not many people do and came up, with an outstretched hand, and said “Hi, I’m Alex”. And that sums him up in my book-he’s genuine, caring and wants people/businesses to succeed. 👍”

I’d say exactly the same about Maeri as well

As a social media trainer and manager I work with most of the platforms. Yet Pinterest really isn’t one we use regular or our clients use regularly

It was Maeri being such a Pinterest fangirl (her main business is email marketer) that brought us together for further chats and we did a video interview on Pinterest

That wasn’t the end of it though – since then Maeri has always dropped us messages and tagged us in content that we felt we’d be interested in

Generous with her time and so help – that’s why Maeri had to be on this LinkedIn 2020 list


Some people went quiet during the pandemic

Alex Dodgshon wasn’t one of them

It was Alex’s furlough diary posts of day to day life without work on LinkedIn that really made Alex stand out this year and guaranteed a place in our LinkedIn list this year

I love that fact that LinkedIn has become more human and this year is a perfect example of this

100+ posts from start of furlough to going back to work

And some managed to include Paolo Nuttini, Gin, Socially Distanced photos, VE Day and much more

To those that say LinkedIn is becoming too much like Facebook – this is your lesson that you need to move with the times and be human being rather than a robot

Thanks for the daily diary. Thanks for being a little Adrian Mole. Thanks for being a real human being on LinkedIn

You made LinkedIn a better place in 2020


One of the biggest names on our list of the people making LinkedIn A Better Experience

I’d tried to avoid the big hitters as much as possible, but James 100% deserves to be on here

James is the CEO and co-founder of Brewdog

When I’ve been talking recently about great social media I’ve mentioned 3 names that are Content Producers at Scale (the other 2 names are rockstar Yungblud and comedian Munya Chawawa)

James is a marketing juggernaut and despite being a non drinker myself (but I do drink their Nanny State) I always hear about Brewdog in a positive way

And the way I hear is rarely traditional news outlets or the Brewdog channels themselves, but James’ LinkedIn Posts

Whilst writing this feature I look at James’ posts to see what he’d recently posted (he posts at least every other day so I was sure there would be something new)

The last 3 posts have been

– The launch of a Bloody Good Beer – All profits will be donated to Bloody Good Period who get essential period supplies to people who need them.
– Equity Punks Tomorrow has now raised over £10m from 24,000 new investors.
– My 10 Best Decisions As BrewDog’s CEO – a follow up to my 10 biggest mistakes as BrewDog’s CEO

Trendjacking, Good News and Education

3 things we can all do

Thanks for making LinkedIn a better place James


Recruitment can have a pretty bad rep on LinkedIn

On one hand it’s what many consider bread and butter LinkedIn and “LinkedIn is a job site”

On the other hand it can mean a flood of job adverts and nothing much else

James Lawson has been included in our list of people making LinkedIn A Better Experience because his posts are interesting

A lot of his posts are links which means they don’t always perform as well as they should, but they’re interesting content all the same

Perhaps the posts could get more reach if James posted his thoughts on the stories he’s read rather than the links themselves, but he has an eye for a great story which I like as a former journalist

I’ve included James here in this, but in fact the whole Cast Recruitment team could have been included from Wayne, Olivia and Kerry to name but a few

Lesson from today ::: Interesting Stories and your opinion wins


Martin Hambleton used to be a Twitter fanboy and now he’s fully invested in LinkedIn

I’ve known Martin for a number of years and out of 25 people in my local networking group Martin is the only person who has been consistent with his social media over a long period of time

– Consistently Posting
– Consistently Engaging
– Consistently Producing Content

That’s why we had to include Martin on our list of people making LinkedIn A Better Experience

Why Martin’s use of LinkedIn works so well is you can tell it’s the same Martin you meet face 2 face

There isn’t a “LinkedIn Personality” put out there designed to get more engagement

He’s the same Martin you’ll find in person – ever so polite, supportive and with a rebellious side that reveals itself with some of the content he engages on

Martin does a lot varied work as part of his photography which makes for a more interesting feed – sure he does a lot of headshots in real life, but his LinkedIn isn’t a wall of headshots on a daily basis. It can be everything from property to manufacturing to food to cat photos (well maybe the cats are Instagram posts)

We did an interview with Martin you can read on our website, but in short the lessons from Martin are
– Be Yourself
– Be Varied With Your Content
– Engage Regular (with those in your networking group and beyond)


Here’s what I like about Ben’s posts on LinkedIn

He’s clear on
– What he offers
– The value he offers
– That he’s experienced
– That people come to him when they want an expert

He’s a Digital Producer With 14Years+ Professional Experience and he’s very clear on the fact that he’s not just a bloke with a camera

In 2020 I don’t think we respect the experts another – we’re too quick to cheer people on who are dabblers and turn their hands to everything regardless of whether their actually any good at it

We need experts on LinkedIn like Ben as that’s what the platform should be. Experts who do their job well.

Over the year we’ve had aa number of conversations on BS in the world of marketing and creatives and Ben’s always said it how it is. He prefers real to fluffy

And that’s why Ben has to make our list of people making LinkedIn A Better Experience

Don’t try googling him though as despite the unique surname he’s been taken over by the next big name in golf on google


I can’t remember when I 1st met Kirsty James

But it’s a long time ago now

Over the years we’ve ran networking events such as LinkedIn Local together and I’ve spoken at Kirsty’s own networking events

Kirsty understands the principles of networking, as that’s her business, but why did Kirsty make our list of people making LinkedIn A Better Experience?

Consistency in 2 types of posts have stuck out this year

1. Kirsty’s parkrun accountability posts on a Saturday morning have been fantastic. Kirsty has gone from hardly running to doing 5k every week with her business and running accountability buddies. It speaks to the runner in me and shows LinkedIn’s trend for more casual content on a weekend

2. The Sunday Night Networking Events roundup each week is a wonderful resource and a reminder of what is coming up this week. There have been a number of times an event has slipped my mind or I’ve had a last-minute cancellation so had a gap to fill and this resource has proved its worth

So entertainment and education – the two types of content you need to use to stand out on social media


I’ve known Steven Blackmore for over 20 years from back in my college days

We were both on the same Music Industry and New Media Management Course at City College

Steven only really started getting active on LinkedIn in the past few months after he was made redundant

In August he had 190 connections, is now at 450+ and is aiming for 500 connections to help with his job search

The job market is tough out there and Steven has been more dedicated to LinkedIn than many business owners I know

Always one of the 1st to engage on his networks posts

Always sharing interesting articles and shouting out people who may be worth chatting to

Always sharing a little bit of his personality and his day to day life in his updates

I said that this list wasn’t just about the big hitters, the marketing gurus and the “influencers” on LinkedIn

And I think it’s important to show someone working hard at the moment to land their next role. It’s important to lift someone up. I hope Steven still stays active on LinkedIn after he gets a role as well because he does make LinkedIn a much better experience

His professional headline is “Back office Administrator, Document Controller at Open To Work”

If you can help here’s his LinkedIn Profile


You’ve probably read about Joanna Davila before

We published the blog “How LinkedIn Changed My Life & Led to An £180,000 Order and Much More” that was all about Joanna

Joanna has really changed her life through LinkedIn. It’s a story from the NHS to working in the family business and absolutely smashing LinkedIn

The headline above is a regular occurrence

In 2020 the posts have been predominantly work based – but the stone work looks so stunning you can’t help but comment – with a little bit of personal posts thrown in between

One of Joanna’s posts recently got 2091 likes and 148 comments. It was a post about people seeing the value and respecting yourself. It clearly resonated with people

Despite being very busy with work, Joanna always takes the time to engage on the newsfeed with others posts

Joanna 100% deserves to be on the list of the people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020


It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something

If it’s all about hours and effort then Sam Alford Thursday Thoughts newsletter is definitely worth a look

It’s why we’ve decided to feature Sam in our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020

At the time of writing this post the newsletter is up to number 41

Now when I say newsletter this is truly a newsletter and not just a 10 line post – it’s a 4 page document which features updates on the world of GDPR, Data, Tech and interesting blogs from people in Sam’s network

We’ve been featured a number of times, but that’s not why we’ve featured Sam in this list – it’s just genuinely an interesting read and round up

Sam doesn’t do this just for our benefit – she’s said many times that these updates force her to keep up to date with everything that is important for her business

The lesson from today? Read up on your subject / specialist area on daily basis and curate content that will serve your ideal clients


Slippers, The Big Shop, Cold Emails

I don’t think Becky’s LinkedIn could be ran by anyone apart from Becky

Authenticity has been a bit of a buzz word over the past few years, but it’s what Becky is on LinkedIn

Becky has won huge contracts from LinkedIn from the likes Coca-Cola via her LinkedIn profile, but there isn’t the sense that Becky sits down each week and plans at huge content calendar

Naturally there’s content planning for clients, it’s part of the role, but her own LinkedIn is a little more spontaneous

Most people would be advised to plan ahead a little bit more, but as Becky is a copywriter it’s this spur of the moment creative that can make even slippers and the big shop sound interesting

For health reasons (Becky has ME), Becky treats work / life balance very seriously so chances are when I post this on the weekend Becky won’t be jumping on at 9.30am on a Saturday morning to respond to all the comments, but come Monday her face will light up at being included on our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020

If you like LinkedIn updates with a lightness of touch, mixed with an insight into the world of copywriting then Becky is worth a follow


Most of you won’t have heard of Andreas Jonsson

Unless you work in marketing you probably haven’t heard of his company Shield

And he’s from Denmark so definitely not one of our local connections

Shield is the leading analytics platform for LinkedIn

At Altrincham HQ we’re not just LinkedIn trainers – we train across the board on various social media platforms and the one thing that LinkedIn doesn’t do as well as the other platforms is they don’t have a great inbuilt analytics function in the same way that say Twitter or Facebook does

2021 is probably going to be the year I sign up for Shield to start drilling down further on the platform I know already drives business for us

So that’s the product, but why is Andreas featured in our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020

It’s his daily insights into the world of personal branding, people, growing a business and authenticity

Everyone has a personal brand and it doesn’t just have to be for people who work in marketing like myself

You also don’t have to be a “LinkedIn influencer” to care about your personal brand – you could be Bill and Ben in South Manchester who simply want to raise their profile in the area

Andreas’ posts really make you think


When people ask me which business books I’d recommend “Money” by Rob Moore is one I regularly mention

His LinkedIn posts stand up to the quality of that book and that’s why he’s featured in our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020

At times his posts will challenge you so don’t expect fluffy posts that pander to what you want to hear

He’ll give you the tough love you need to push your business forward

In many way’s his posts similar to a lot of the themes we speak about

– Your brand is important
– You have to do something
– You have to take risks
– You’re running a business not an expensive hobby
– You have to produce content at scale
– You can learn from those who have already done it
– Your time is important
– Outsource things you don’t do well to people who can do it better

Now we’re from Manchester / Cheshire depending on what we’re Tier we’re in 😉 so we’re a little less in your face

But Rob is 100% someone you should follow if you want a kick up the arse to be better in 2021


“My spreadsheets bring all the boys to the yard”

Now it’s not often you’ll hear us talk about spreadsheets

And that’s because we leave Spreadsheet wizzardry to Richard Sumner

We first connected with Richard in April this year and his posts are fantastic

Sometimes they’re about spreadsheets

Sometimes they’re about tech

Sometimes they’re just about life and business in general

I think Richard proves that you can make any subject on LinkedIn interesting if you’re passionate about it

It also shows that if you do something well you become known for that one thing

I’m connected to many different sectors and roles on LinkedIn, but I can only think of one spreadsheet guy

And that’s why Richard deservers to be in our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020


Andy Lambert is Director of Growth at ContentCal: a simple tool to plan, create and publish compelling social media content

We 1st connected with Andy back in 2018, but have seen a lot more of him this year

He’s not a prolific poster on LinkedIn in that he doesn’t post every day, but when he posts it’s value packed

His set piece is a weekly roundup of what is new in the world of Content Marketing

Now, as someone working in social media we’re aware of 60-70% of the updates each week, but it’s that 30% we weren’t aware of that is really handy

It’s also handy to have them in a bitesize format whether that is a 3 minute video or a bullet point text only update

We’ve talked about being a great curator of content earlier in this series with Sam Alford

It’s perhaps a reminder that content curations breaks through the noise


Tova Schprecher does just one type of post on LinkedIn

She repeats this same type of post every day … and it works

And because she knows what works I see virtually every post that Tova puts on LinkedIn

Tova is the 2nd photographer on our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020

You’re probably thinking now what does Tova do that makes her stand out

It’s very simple – she posts 2 or 3 photos of the same person and asks LinkedIn which they prefer

It can be colour vs black and white; smiling vs not smiling; close up vs further away; sharp background vs blurred background – there is an endless list of different styles and techniques that Tova can draw from with an extensive back catalogue of images

It works for 2 reasons

– It shows off Tova’s work every single day
– People like to express their opinion

The posts with the lowest interaction still get 40+ comments whilst many of the posts get several hundred

There’s no need to change something that works day after day


I like Fred Copestake posts because he often challenges conventional wisdom

He’s a Sales Trainer and Coach so is the other side of the marketing coin

Sales and Marketing work together, but they’re not the same thing

Over the last 22 years Fred has traveled round the world 14 times visiting 36 countries and worked with over 10,000 salespeople

What I like about Fred’s post is they are relevant to 2020

They don’t sound like many Sales Trainers where the content is a throwback to the 80’s or 90’s

This year he’s launched his book and podcast – both under the title Selling Through Partnering Skill

The latter I’ve only listened to a couple so far due to time, but there’s some real gems here

Great content flies regardless of the delivery method and Fred is firing on LinkedIn text only posts through to podcasts


Aaron Dean has an energy that is rarely matched

And we’re including him on our list of people making LinkedIn a better experience in 2020 as much for his off-LinkedIn activity as on

He isn’t a prolific poster on LinkedIn

But he’s a prolific encourager always wanting to praise people for the work they’ve done and the successes they’ve achieved

He’s a volunteer at MPostcode in the Community and Business Support role and makes sure the events run smoothly and everyone feels included

In a year where we’ve not actually met people face to face this welcoming attitude of inclusivity is really really important

People who go out of their way to make people feel good is what I love about LinkedIn and Aaron goes above and beyond

More people need to be like Aaron on LinkedIn – and care as much about being an encourager as what you post on your status updates

Thank you Aaron


We mentioned this earlier when talking about James Lawson

But Recruiters have perhaps an unfair rep on LinkedIn

Harry Botton is young, has moved from a full time recruiter role to marketing at Candour Solutions – a boutique recruitment firm in Manchester

Harry’s posts are a mixture of tips for prospective candidates, updates about his own marketing and learning and dare I say it some of the posts LinkedIn veterans say should be on Facebook

What makes Harry’s posts standout is although he posts every days there’s a sense of experimentation going on

There is no formula – it’s let’s try this and see if it works and I like that

Sure it’s learnt and studied from other marketers, but often marketers are stuck in their ways and have a formula they don’t deviate from

Varity is key on social


Nigel Dean is one of life’s encouragers

Like a few on this list, Nigel is included not just because of what he posts and shares himself, but also because of how he encourages others

Looking further down his profile he left university in 1995 and works in B2B marketing at LC Automation and has been there for 18+ years

Many of Nigel’s interactions are with marketers like myself and others at the top of their game

The lesson to take from this is even if you’ve been in your industry for decades, you never stop being a student

It’s important to connect with those on LinkedIn that you can learn from, be inspired and give words of encouragement

Thanks Nigel for all the support


Kate Jenkinson posts Poetry on LinkedIn

Real Poetry

Not the LinkedIn broetry which this post is starting to resemble

You know, the short lines that everyone posts on LinkedIn to make you click past line 3

Kate doesn’t post that – she posts actual poetry

Inbetween those posts Kate talks about Mental Health for stressed out Marketing Leaders to reflect on their purpose

Sounds like a winner to me

Do you have a little creative side that you should let out?


Simon Edmondson is one of the most well connected people in Manchester

And during lockdown he’s used that audience to push those he networks with

“Six Simple Questions” is his video series that he’s done from the start of lockdown (it might have even been before) where he does mini-interviews with people from his various networking groups

It’s great to find out more about others and being bitesize 5-10 minute videos they don’t take too much time out of your day

The lesson here is that it takes years / decades to build a large network, but you nurture that network by adding as much value to your network as possible


Puppets, Laughter Yoga, Bollywood Dancing and Smiles

I follow Sara on various channels so often see her content

And even if I don’t interact because I’m busy, it makes me smile

Even though LinkedIn has relaxed from the old stuff social network it used to be, it’s still a place for serious discussions

Sara brings some much needed lightness into LinkedIn

But I have to state before you click as well that the purpose of this is to help corporate teams to boost their immune systems, decrease stress levels, increase team-bonding, be resilient, happier, driven, have focus and purpose

Laughter for a reason



Alex McCann - Altrincham HQ


Last but not least, I couldn’t end this series of posts without including myself

When it comes to walking the talk on all the things we’ve mentioned above I feel I do a pretty good job

– Offering Value
– Engaging Posts
– Encouraging Others
– Varied Updates
– Entertainment as well as Education

I try to fun my own social media like I’m my biggest fan looking from the outside and expecting gold every time

In 2021 I’m drilling this down even further by using Shield to deliver even more of what my audience want

I hope you find it enjoyable

Chat to us about Social Media Marketing for YOUR organisation , so we can better understand YOU and what will grow your organisation

We can only find out what is unique to your business by chatting with you

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Please call Alex on 07806774279 or email

Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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