top of page

How to Level Up Your LinkedIn With Butterfly 3ffect CEO Elfried Samba

By Hanaa Yousof 

The New Year is a beginning in essence – new settings, reframed mindsets, and restarting – attempting to understand what habits nurture our growth, and how the past year has culminated to shape us for the next coming chapter of our lives. Amidst the fears and hopes that ultimately shape the resolutions we make, or the intentions we set, are common turns of phrase; endless how-to guides on how to ‘switch-up’ and how to ‘level-up’ for the New Year come back around like clockwork. Practically speaking, it’s easy to get lost in the noise as opposed to consciously tackling the changes you want to make in an intentional manner.

In 2024, our Blocks2Bags team is right there alongside you; this week, we sat down with CEO and co-founder of Butterfly 3ffect, Elfried Samba, where we talked all things entrepreneurship and LinkedIn, breaking down the elusive platform to redefine what it takes to build a community of like-minded individuals. Pivoting from Global Head of Social Content at GymShark, where he was essential in growing the community 1.5 million to 20 million followers, his entrepreneurial pursuits now encapsulate a desire “to create more accessible avenues for diverse creatives seeking opportunities”. Alongside Butterfly 3ffect, whose nomad business model has been one of the catalysts for a soon-to-come UAE move, Elfried has cultivated a keen social presence, with his over 140,000+ followers and counting on Linkedin garnering him a top spot as one of the most renowned creators on the platform – no easy feat. Collectively, his accolades speak for themselves; but the path to the bag is never linear, and this New Year, we think that pivoting from a simply hustle-driven mindset to one conscious of this journey is key.

Tap into this week’s episode of Blocks2Bags, and find out what it takes to truly cultivate an authentic online persona that connects. 


  1. Engagement, engagement, engagement – What do the first 15 minutes after posting look like for someone sitting on the helm of over 100K followers? For Elfried, the period following a post is what really matters; enmeshing yourself directly within the community that you’ve built, and taking the time to respond to and connect with people actively. The key word here is engagement. Making sure that you take intentional time to sit with your audience – recognising the gems that they can also offer you and the rest of your community, beyond just your solitary voice.

  2. Look to your audience first – If you’re looking to up your LinkedIn or general social media game this year, and are wondering what the best way to boost engagement is, look no further than your audience itself. Sitting in their following pages, their liked posts, and alike, is the niche within your niche, the foundation for the ways you can tailor your content to your consumers.

  3. Moving to consumer-based platforms to break in – Many have lamented over the tolls of using platforms like Instagram, whose algorithm and over-saturation of creators means breaking in is only getting harder. Want to switch things up for 2024? Look to platforms like LinkedIn, whose consumer-based model means a floor to create for an audience who mainly consumes, as opposed to creates. It may not be easy in any capacity, but adapting your focus can be core in growing your platform.

  4. Resetting your content plans for the New Year – Discourse on planning, whatever form it may take, rolls back around consistently as the New Year approaches and begins. Despite the mass community he’s grown, Elfried doesn’t emphasise on conventional planning methods in growing his platform; rather, focusing on engagement and evolving with his platform and audience has been pertinent for him.

  5. Taking a blended approach to a work-life balance – ‘Work-life balance’ is a term that has been floating around particularly loudly during the 2020s. Especially with the shift to work-from-home for a large proportion of individuals, understanding how to separate the two has been a pursuit of the masses. For Elfried, he believes in something a little bit different; blending the two to produce the best possible outcome. Whether in terms of personal relationships or work settings, understanding their interaction can be incredibly useful to keep things generally in the balance.


If you’ve tuned into Blocks2Bags before, you’ll know that we’re all about discovering what it means to approach your journey – whatever that may be – in a practical, proactive fashion to get to the bag. And as we enter into a new climate of change, it is now, more than ever, that learning to adapt and having a holistic attitude to pursuits such as entrepreneurship is a near-necessity to keep moving forward and avoid stagnation.

For Elfried, it was these mindset and framework shifts that functioned as a means for him to move from an operator to founder position; specifically, in refusing to see skills he saw himself as lacking as a pitfall, but rather, an opportunity to collaborate with his co-founder whose operational-based skills, alongside Elfried’s EQ and creative-based skills, allowed them to cultivate Butterfly 3ffect together. 

“I never considered myself to be an entrepreneur. I could only dream to be one right because I think I put myself in a box that I was first and foremost a social person, and then an overall creative”, he said of his journey. But reflecting on shifting his perspective away from these shortcomings, in order to build Butterfly 3ffect, he commented that you need to “have the humility to not put yourself in the way”.

And the results show; with the internationalisation of Butterfly 3ffect, and Elfried’s amassing of a dedicated LinkedIn audience, perhaps it is fostering your strongest aspects, as opposed to a complete 180-degree change, that is core in the journey to the bag. 


You don’t need to be a veteran in the business world to have heard of the benefits of LinkedIn; the values of networking cannot be underestimated, regardless of how deep into the career cycle you may be. But with this in mind – how do you start to move from simply a passive consumer of the musings of your peers in the business world to someone standing on their own platform and community?

For Elfried, the answer lies in a simple statement. Commenting on creating content on the platform, he said “it’s not just about ‘how much do I take’, but ‘how much do I give?’.”

Herein is a reflection on the transactional nature of platforms like LinkedIn; it is one thing to write a caption about what you’ve learned from your pursuits in the business world – it is a whole other thing to actively understand the value you can eject from your experiences and pass this onto others. LinkedIn as a platform is arguably unique here; detached from other platforms in the digital landscape such as Instagram and TikTok, the algorithm isn’t built to simply feel like you need to keep scrolling. Rather, you are at your most connected with content that is authentic and profound; Elfried, for example, found that it was important for him to switch from a marketing-based content output to one that addressed broader topics shaped around what people wanted to see the most, transactionally allowing them to also know him for the way that he thinks. 

While this might seem like a significant task, another notable strategy that Elfried recognised was that of understanding the way your audience learns; for example, he referenced the four ways people learned – these being, digitally, kinaesthetically, visually, and auditorily. This breakdown means that you can tackle head-on the things that matter the most to your audience, essentially cutting the mental work on your end in terms of how to tailor your content to their needs. 

Aside from simply amassing the following that he has on LinkedIn, Elfried also acknowledged the way in which building on the platform became a catalyst for his foundership journey, in which he didn’t even need to make a business plan for his business due to his already-established capacity to build relationships steeped in foundations of trust.

“When you dedicate yourself to constantly giving value to other people, they recognise that [this] says a lot about your morals, [...] and that's what a lot of people that are investing look at”, he said of the valuable nature of LinkedIn as a platform. “A lot of these reasons are a contributing factor to why people invest in businesses whether they trust the founder or not”.


Wondering what the week-to-week of a creator looks like? Then look no further; this week’s Blocks2Bags episode we built on our past deep-dives into creating content to connect, getting an insight into Elfried’s strategies to what truly matters when it comes to content creation:

  1. DAILY ROUTINE: We’ll get straight to the point with this one – posting one idea every single day. Aside from Saturdays and Sundays which Elfried found were typically ‘off’ days for content due to the business and work-focus of LinkedIn, his aim to share something new every single day and consistently connect with others is key here.

  2. PLANNING 101: Our advice to you if you’re looking to level up on LinkedIn this New Year? Abandon the idea of curating careful content plans. Reflecting on the LinkedIn algorithm as favouring evolution, Elfried emphasised that it was less about the posts, but the connections that were happening due to the post. While he discussed his working with a coordinator to put profound content, this didn’t negate the need to move with LinkedIn, as opposed to solely on your schedule.

  3. HOW TO APPROACH THE COMMENT SECTION: A beast to tackle on a myriad of different social platforms, the comment section stands out on LinkedIn as a make-or-break it part of the process. With the connections to be made with like-minded people, our hosts and Elfried discussed the importance of being actively engaged and returning to a post after the fact, particularly due to the value your audience can actually provide to you and other members of your community. 

  4. BUILDING AFTER MILESTONES – FROM 1,000 TO 10,000 & 10,000 TO 100,000: What’s the difference between somebody with 1,000 followers trying to move up, and 10,000 followers trying to move up? Nothing. Though this may seem like an overly-optimistic attitude to the question, Elfried argued that the content strategy doesn’t change across these two groups; the thing that changes is the subject matter, where as your audience grows, you pivot to targeting different individuals, and experimenting. Recommending a ratio of 80% of your ‘usual’ content, and 20% experimentation, he also reflected on the consistent need to check-in with your audience. For LinkedIn specifically, this means looking at things such as your audience's reaction list, understanding their likes and how they change alongside your changes.


We can’t say it enough – the journey to the bag is never linear. And more than simply its lack of consistency and a one-size-fits-all approach to this, is the recognition of the way in which our backgrounds can shape us in different ways. 

For Elfried, he found an incredible amount of value in a childhood and life of multiplicity in terms of his backgrounds. With his move to the UAE making him a 3rd time immigrant, he reflected on how moving from Congo, to South Africa, and then to England was something that he found nurtured a spirit of independence and a keen appreciation of starting from scratch, as well as an ability to comfortably fit into the ‘outsider' label. Here, he emphasised how this culminated in the ability to better understand people, as well as asking ‘why’, and pushing the boundaries as to what you can do in a business space.

“You don’t have a herd mentality”, he said of the effects of coming from an immigrant background, “When everybody says you should do this you always say ‘why?’”.

And these perspectives go hand-in-hand with platforms such as LinkedIn, wherein its constantly evolving state needs a holistic perspective that questions convention, something our guest and hosts both discussed. Alongside the effects of your background, Elfried also reflected on the perspective shifts he’s had in his day-to-day life. On balancing work and life, he commented on the way he takes a blended approach to the two in order to cultivate the best possible experiences, particularly in terms of building personal relationships.

“In the chaotic world that is business or that is whatever it is that you do you need stability somewhere if everything is in free-fall”, he said on relationships and the way these intermingled with work-life. “It takes a village”.


bottom of page