How One Provocative LinkedIn Post Can Transform Your Career…


Your opinion could be your most powerful tool.

9 min read

“What if this plane goes down?”

Marcus A. Murphy sat down in his seat, anticipating a relaxing, yet productive flight on his way to San Francisco. Suddenly, the conversation in the row before him invaded his consciousness, and he couldn’t help but overhear the dialogue …

“Hey, what’s your name? Where are you going? What do you do for a living?”

Murphy cringed as he quickly realized the context of the “conversation” and recognized the tragedy taking place. Before their impending flight, Murphy overhead the “Middle-Seat Man” trying to sell life insurance to the “Window-Seat Man,” who was in captivity for the duration of the flight.

“Are your kids going to college soon?” said the Middle-Seat Man. “I mean, have you taken care of your family’s future? What if this plane goes down?”

Related: These 10 LinkedIn Tips Will Make You a Networking Master

Murphy, also a salesperson at the time, remembers, “So I just sat there, and I was witnessing this train wreck of a sales conversation, and it just sparked something in me going, you know what? There’s a different way to do this!”

Murphy, in his moment of angst and inspiration, whipped open his computer and started typing furiously. In just one take, without any editing or filters, he composed his piece of passion, á la Jerry McGuire, and hit “publish.”

Moments later, the article posted on his LinkedIn profile entitled, “Why cold calling is dead and Jeff Weiner is my hero” shared his firm belief that cold calling was officially dead and that LinkedIn was the “No. 1 social selling tool on the planet.”

Murphy could not have foreseen what was going to happen next.

His controversial, impassioned LinkedIn article sparked a series of events that would transform Murphy’s career and catapult him into LinkedIn stardom. Hundreds of readers shared their opposing viewpoints in the post’s comments section, each one espousing why they believed cold calling was either dead or alive.

Even LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner commented, personally.

Murphy isn’t the only one to harness the power of this platform. Robyn D. Stoller-Shulman also accidentally leveraged LinkedIn to transform her career as well. She had been publishing articles on her website and then consistently sharing them on LinkedIn. She discovered it was a great way to spark conversations and to connect with others who shared her passion for education.

One day, Stoller-Shulman felt so grateful for what LinkedIn had to offer, she created a SlideShare deck entitled, “10 Ways LinkedIn Changed My Life In One Year”.

She shared the deck on LinkedIn, and within five minutes, received a call directly from LinkedIn. They invited her to work with one of their social media editors to put together an article about her journey for their member blog.

LinkedIn also began to share her story and the SlideShare deck everywhere. Today, her SlideShare is closing in on 500,000 views.

During a recent phone conversation, she recalls, “It was like this crazy 15 minutes of fame. I mean, people from all over the world were calling me. It was like…insanity. I was suddenly this LinkedIn superstar.” Stoller-Shulman became a writer for a variety of outlets and is also the editor-in-chief of EdNews Daily, an online magazine that publishes pieces for and by teachers, parents, students, higher education institutions, startups, and education technology specialists.

Related: 17 Motivational Leaders You Need to Follow on LinkedIn

Similarly, Marcus A. Murphy’s Linkedin stardom transformed his career. In just a matter of months, he was invited to speak at DigitalMarketer’s Traffic & Conversion Summit, Fast Inc. Network’s inaugural event, and LinkedIn’s Social Selling Roadshow conferences, teaching the value of social selling.

Today, Murphy is the Director of Monetization for DigitalMarketer and an official member of LinkedIn’s Customer Advisory Board. He was also recently featured in LinkedIn’s newest videos for their Sales Navigator tool, talking about how the robust system is empowering effective communication and social selling strategies.