How Eddie Shleyner creates “engagement loops” to dominate social media reach

Every single month I feel like social media marketing becomes more difficult.

Each and every platform amends their algorithm for a better “user experience”, but all I see is…

  • Lower engagement
  • Lower organic reach
  • More people trying scammy tactics to game the system and increase reach

There’s a cynical part of me that thinks it’s all a ploy to get me to pay more in ad spend.

But I also know that there are people out there absolutely killing it on social media without

  • Spending a penny
  • Resorting to scammy practices
  • Compromising their professional integrity

I wanted to figure out what it is these people know that the rest of us mere mortals don’t.

So I picked one of my favourites – a chap who gets insane reach, engagement, and results from his social media posts – to analyse.

That person is Eddie Shleyner of VeryGoodCopy.

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Eddie Shleyner and what is Very Good Copy?

Eddie is, without doubt, one of the best copywriters and storytellers active right now.

He’s worked with major brands like…

  • G2
  • Drift
  • HubSpot
  • Help Scout

He crafts copy that is simply beautiful to read.

Thankfully, he’s also not stingy with his hard-won wisdom.

As the founder of Very Good Copy he shares a lot of what he knows – and how he got to be so good – with his audience.

And that audience comprises some of the best marketers and copywriters in the world (a very small sample of Eddie’s testimonials).

Here’s the thing.

Eddie is a great copywriter.

But we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to figure out how he gets engagement like the below on his LinkedIn posts.

If you’re not active on LinkedIn, trust me when I say that 500+ engagements is an achievement 99% of LinkedIn-ers will never achieve.

And 100+ comments is, well, ridiculous.

Eddie has figured out how to leverage the LinkedIn algorithm to his benefit.

And he’s done it in a way that’s completely value-focused.

No cheap tricks, no sleight of hand, nothing that would compromise his integrity.

And most importantly, nothing that would get him banned from any network.

Also, know that this strategy could be used with pretty much any social media network to…

  • Increase reach
  • Improve engagement
  • Help you get real-world business results from social platforms

Before we get into it…

I’m not going to tell you you can get the same results (hundreds of engagements and comments) as Eddie simply by following this process.

Instead, I’ll explain what he does, why it works, and how you can apply this growth strategy to your business.

Eddie’s been at this a while.

Right now he has…

  • 37,000+ LinkedIn followers
  • 19,000+ email subscribers

If you don’t have those sorts of numbers, you’re unlikely to get the same results.

However, I’ve been watching Eddie for a while like a weird stalker.

And I know that this strategy is one that he used to help him get up to those numbers.

Yes, the size of his audience now helps him get those results.

But it was this approach that helped him get those numbers.

It’s a virtuous cycle.

And the sooner you implement it, the sooner you can start building up to similar results.

The absolute basics

Don’t expect this to be some sort of “GeT rICh FaSt” scheme.

The strategies and growth models we deconstruct here still require work and consistency.

If I look at Eddie’s approach, I can tell you these three things are prerequisites for his success.

  1. Focus on a single social platform – Eddie is far more active on LinkedIn than Twitter
  2. Be consistent – on average, Eddie seems to post something every 1-2 days
  3. Find what works and keep doing it – Eddie’s story posts generally get the best engagement, so he keeps on doing them

With that out of the way, let’s get into the actual strategy and how Eddie is using it to drive real growth in key business metrics.

Rented to owned and back again

A little while back, Alex Lieberman of Morning Brew shared the below image talking about audience generation.

It’s a great representation of the normal audience funnel.

You engaged a rented audience on a social channel.

As soon as you can you move them to an owned audience. That would be your email list.

When they’re on your email list, you can work on monetising them through a paid offer.

The crux of Eddie’s wonderful strategy is creating a virtuous cycle between the rented and owned audience.

Eddie creates a little loop so his owned audience also helps him grow his rented audience.

Which, of course, then leads to more people in his owned audience.

Which offers more opportunities for him to monetise that audience.

Sounds simple, right?

In theory, it is.

But it takes a little working out to get right.

Below is an example image of exactly how Eddie organises this using only…

  • An email
  • A social media post
  • A desirable lead magnet

Here’s the basic overview.

With the system explained, let’s take a look at the individual elements.

The social post

Everything Eddie does is built around the social media post.

Eddie’s platform of choice is LinkedIn, but this could easily be adapted.

It’s smart to build the strategy around a rented audience platform. Each engagement grows the reach of the overall piece.

Which means your offer and service could easily pop up in your ideal customer’s feeds.

The post itself adheres to a few simple rules.

  1. One post, one purpose. Eddie keeps the message focused on the offer of the lead magnet.
  2. Play to your strengths. Whatever posts of yours get the most engagement, use the same formula. Eddie leverages his storytelling post types for this.
  3. Tell people what you want them to do. Eddie makes it clear that he wants people to like and comment using a carefully selected hashtag. Which once again increases the reach.
  4. Tell people what to expect.  Eddie is clear that he’ll follow up via DM (which helps him get more connections as well – further growing his audience).
  5. Don’t direct off the platform. Social reach is culled if you include external links. Algorithms are built to keep people engaged.  By making people engage with the post (and delivering external links through DMs), Eddie ensures that he’s playing to the rules the algorithms like.

Here’s a post from his recent Bencivenga Bullets promotion.

With the post crafted, you need to link it to the right place.

Free offer sample

What are people engaging for?

Often to get something for free, right?

Eddie has a “Free” version of the offer available on his site. This free version is a “lite” version of the full offer.

It offers enough value to…

  • Offer genuine help to readers
  • Give a taste of what you could get in the full version
  • Make you feel like you need the full version

Here’s a link and image from the Bencivenga Bullets offer.

As you work your way through this free offer, you’ll find a couple of links and CTAs to get full access.

You could amend this CTA to be…

  • A simple email opt-in to capture their details for future marketing
  • A purchase, turning the traffic into paying customers on the spot

In this case, Eddie opts for the latter.

If someone opts-in, they get full access to the complete offer.

The full offer

I’m not going to spend too long on this as the full offer in this case is private, paid content.

In Eddie’s case, suffice to say he continues to deliver huge value – and if you’re interested in seeing it, you’ll have to sign up for his VGC+ here.

Within the strategy though, this is a key step.

This is where a rented audience becomes your owned audience.

Whether you’re selling your audience something or getting them to opt-in through email, you now have the ability to market to them time and time again.

Which is what allows you to close this loop.

What Eddie does here is uses the people who have opted in in the past to engage with his next social promotion.

This helps that social post get more likes and more reach.

Which increases visibility and his rented audience. Which then feeds into his owned audience.

How does he do that?

Through an email promotion.

Closing the circle with an email promotion

The problem with social algorithms is you can follow someone and NEVER see the posts they share.

If I wasn’t on Eddie’s email list, I likely would have missed the LinkedIn promo of Bencivenga Bullets.

Eddie increases the chance everyone in his audience can help pump the views of his social post by emailing everyone.

He uses the same copy in the email as in the social post.

And he asks people to take the same action – leave a like and comment #marketing.

If we imagine that Eddie gets the average engagement rates for his emails and he sends it to 19,000 people, we could say that he gets…

Email sends

Open rates (18%)

CTR (2.6%)




Honestly, I’d bet Eddie’s engagement metrics are at least 2X the above averages.

But, even if he only gets the average, he’s getting almost 500 people who like and trust what he has to say to his LinkedIn post.

And if even 10% of those people engage with a simple 👍, that’s going to show the algorithm this is valuable and that it should be shown to more people.

And just like that, the cycle begins again.

  1. That post gets incredible reach.
  2. It drives more people to his website.
  3. They become his owned audience.
  4. He asks them to pump his next social post which does X% better than last time.

And it goes round and round and round.

It’s almost a great referral marketing strategy.

Eddie’s using his current subs to attract others.

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