What happens when you say ‘fucking’ on LinkedIn?

What a load of bollocks that was, eh?!

If your biggest worry in the world is some lassie saying ‘fucking’ on LinkedIn, you need to sort yourself out, mate.

Writing a blog that’s intention was to relate to the daily struggle – that is, fucking working from home – where I could express myself my way, was never going to be difficult for me.

In fact, it took me roughly 20 minutes to write. It was 9 January 2017, and I’d had a day from fucking hell.

Basically, I was forced to take down an article that had meant so much to me when I wrote it, and to the many who got in touch with me off the back of it. It felt like a kick in the puss. Even now, after everything, I was still being told not to cause a scene.

FUCK THAT.

So here I am, sitting at the kitchen table with my 15 year old. She’s sitting across from me cramming for her prelims – it’s nearly midnight and I’m just working through my never-ending list of shit to do.

In my emails there’s another LinkedIn notification. WINKING at me. Aw, fuck off, eh? Some recruitment fud wanting to sell me a human. I get the rage on, I’m all, I fucking hate LinkedIn, what actual purpose does it serve me?

Answer: None.

We’re having a good laugh. Soph’s got an amazing dry humour; she recalls childhood stories so well, and we’re always making light of shit situations. It’s just how we roll.

I say to Soph, I bet you any money there are people on LinkedIn who hate it as much as I do. And I think, fuck it. One last try before I delete it for good.

I cast my mind back to the morning’s rituals and just how chaotic progress is. See, I’m never just working – I am constant.

I thrash out a rough copy, title it How To: Fucking Work From Home, and hit publish.

Now, I’m not fucking stupid. I cleverly relate the problems in this blog to a solution – a call to action, if you will. I’ve been taught by the best. I’m never going to write shit content. And so, naturally, the solution is: a shed.

It’s worth noting that my previous LinkedIn articles were sitting with about six likes – all of which were from my gadgie CMA mates – and maybe 30 views. No way am I thinking that this one is any different. All I’m doing is venting my frustrations in the only way I know: humour. 

I head to bed, blissfully unaware.

The shit storm

I wake up, and it’s the standard ‘morning rollover’, aka checking my mobile before I’ve even opened my eyes… 

I’ve got a million notifications from an app that’s hidden away at the back of my phone. It’s LinkedIn! What the fuck? It’s gone absolutely fucking mental. An almighty shit storm was brewing across the pond while I slept. They were going off their nut about this article. (Again, let’s put this into perspective – it’s a fucking swear word, people.)

The virality exploded. Within two days I had so much traction – something like 15,000 views – I had to publish a second article explaining why I swore! Like, it’s actually a thing?

At this point everyone I know is watching. The Courier call for an interview and I’m in the local press. The article is all over Facebook and Twitter, people are sharing and commenting far beyond my reach. I’ve got Ann Handley writing an article about my article! My CMA pals, Col and Denise, blog about it too, and it’s just mental. Not to mention all the support from everyone on the comments, fighting back against the trolls.

What swearing gets you:

  • Speaking to Duncan of Jordanstone College Art and Design students
  • Magazine interviews
  • Gifts! Actual presents! I know! Thank you Craig McKay and Dougie Chalmers!
  • Direct messages – people going out of their way, sending me pictures of their #Shedlife and saying really nice things to me. That’s pretty special.
  • Sales! People are signed up and are waiting to buy from me.

No bad, right?

The comments…

Except … not everyone was keen.

There is a shit ton of brutal bullshit comments from people who believe their way is the only way. I couldn’t be fucked with that kind of attitude, so I decided to reply to the haters as and when I could be arsed / had the time.

Here’s a couple of examples:

LinkedIn Comments 001

LinkedIn Comments 002

This kind of thing doesn’t get to me. I do not give one single fuck what these people think of me. Not least because I know that for every one person I offend, I make a friend. By being myself I have nothing to hide and, therefore, nothing to lose.

Most people in business are taught to behave in a certain way, dress in a particular fashion, and act as though they know more than they actually do. Where I come from, if you are anything but yourself you’ll get the absolute piss ripped out of you.

Naively, on entering the business world I didn’t know this – I think my basic assumption was that if you behaved in a certain way, dressed in a particular fashion, and acted as though you knew it all, that was who you were. What I didn’t realise was that people behaved, dressed and acted like this because this is what they believed they needed to do in order to be successful.

So here I am on LinkedIn, dealing with ‘jobsworths’ who think they’re God’s given right to the corporate world and all it stands for. Telling me I’m wrong, and that I’ll never amount to anything because I swear.

Chris asks me, What makes you different? Why is it that you don’t doubt what you do or say? Why is it that other people’s opinions of you don’t bear any weight on your decisions?

My reply? I don’t know Chris, it’s just the way I am.

This is hard. I find that when I’m talking about my personal strengths I have to somehow relate it to the multitude of shit I’ve waded through to get here. It always seems unjustified when written down, as though I’m not capable of explaining the magnitude of what I felt at the time. I also wonder if it’s something I should share at all. Should I be giving credit to the bad things? What I think I’ll do is say this:

I know my own self-worth. I know I am a good person. Someone once described me as fiercely loving, and I’d say there’s truth in that. When it comes to business, the only reason I do what I do is because I love my dad and Grant. I love everyone who works for Gillies and Mackay and anyone who’s ever shown us support or thanked us for what we do. I have an unconditional loyalty to what we have created here, and I will protect it with all my heart.

So, when people condemn me for who I am, how I behave, or the way I look, I’ve stopped listening before they’ve even opened their mouth. The only opinions that matter to me are from the ones I love.

When someone tells you how to behave, how to dress or how to act, my question would be, what the fuck for? No one person is above another. No matter who they might think they are, we’re all equal and we all have our own story.

The stats…

LinkedIn

How To: Fucking Work from Homeread on LinkedIn

  • Views: 186,600
  • Likes: 9,617
  • Comments: 1,671
  • Shares: 611

Hi my names is Cara and I said Fuckingread on LinkedIn

  • Views: 243,084
  • Likes 7,795
  • Comments 1,371
  • Shares: 176

Company website

2 weeks before the LinkedIn article was published:

Google Analytics - 2 weeks before the article

2 weeks during the publishing of the article:

Google Analytics - 2 weeks of the article

Should I swear in my marketing?

I guarantee that if you’re asking yourself that, the answer is probably no. Please, please do not start using ‘fuck’ as a comma because you think it’s what your audience wants. This isn’t about copying a trend or becoming me. This is about being you. If you swear, then swear, if you don’t, then don’t.

Doug Kessler is my hero – I only found him last year at Inbound. He just gets it. And he explains it perfectly. Much better than me because, guess what? I’m not Doug! 😉

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What’s next?

I’m not going to lie – this took me an age to write. I’m so fucking over all of this, but I had to do it. I promised people I’d do it, and I have. I hope it goes some way to explain the chaos that came from a simple ‘fuck’.

I know now, going forward, I will continue to grow my business, I will continue to write shit-hot content, and I will continue to progress. Who knows what the next NattyShedGirl shit storm will be. Whatever it is, I can guarantee you, it’ll be sooner rather than later.

NattyShedGirl.

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About Chris Marr

Chris is the leading voice of the growing Content Marketing movement in the UK. His pioneering work has helped countless organisations grow through content marketing. His drive comes from a desire to help people break free from the world of interruption marketing.