On the podcast today we have Andy Gwynn. Welcome, Andy.
Thank you, Tom. It’s good to be here.
It’s a pleasure to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I’d love to of course and it’s great hooking up with you because I know you and I have known each other for a while. I’m passionate about getting results, getting more business, and especially through the use of LinkedIn. I’ve been coaching business owners and property investors how to grow businesses since 2003, and a big part of that is always sales and marketing but another big part is working with people on what, sort of, stops them. There’s so much confusion out there. There are so many conflicting things. We’re in such a busy time with social media and everyone online, so it’s working with them to get their mind around that but looking at the strategies and there’s so much you can do with LinkedIn. And I have a few things that are unique and you know me, I’m about what can we do? There’s always a way. We tend to put blocks in our own way but actually, I think it comes down to a lot of people – most people just haven’t learned and don’t know how to market and sell and it’s fundamental. And I think it’s even more critical now than it’s ever been because we’re in a noisier world. I also invest in property. I’m also here right now in southern Spain. Covid changed a lot of people’s view on their businesses. For us, it also changed our view on our personal goals. We were flying backwards and forwards every month, we bought a house down here a few years ago. It’s been our dream; we both wanted the heat. Mary wanted Spain, I wanted the sea, and we’ve got our dream home here. In fact, yesterday we had to motorcycle down the mountain into Malaga to the police station to be given our plastic residencia cards, which means we are now not limited to how long we can stay in Spain. And I’ve just worked it out last night because we got locked down in the beginning of March, that we will have spent ten months in the last year here in Spain. We came back for two months, and I say that because I had a mentor of mine who said you’ve got to tell people. You’re working with business owners, you’re working with property investors, we’re ultimately all working for a reason. We’ve got goals as to what we want to achieve with the money and the time we make in our businesses. And he said you’ve got to share it because it’s a great story to impress upon people, not to impress people, and so that’s why I mention that. And for a lot of us, you included and me, we work online so we can work from anywhere, can’t we?
Congratulations on being, you say, residencia.
You can tell my Spanish is up to scratch there. I was hoping to ask you a little bit about LinkedIn because you said it’s an area of speciality, and I’m sure you’ve been asked these things before but I think it’s of value to people who are watching. So, the basic stuff I wanted to ask you about was profile because I know you come across plenty of LinkedIn profiles. What do you see as the major profile improvements that people need to make of the bog-standard typical LinkedIn profile that you see?
Great question. I bring it back to unless you’re an employee – and even if you’re looking for a job you’ve got to sell yourself, you’ve got to market yourself. If people check my YouTube channel out under my name, I’ve put a load of videos up there around these topics in lockdown. I would have coached somebody over 12 weeks because there are nine areas of your profile, there are nine sections, and my view is if they’re there utilise them to serve you best. People have all sorts of opinions about LinkedIn. It could be a love/hate relationship I have with them a little bit, but my view is it is what it is, make it work for you. And what I did was I put all that coaching program, condensed it all into an online course at the beginning of Covid. It made it more accessible for people because, as you know, my main focus is delivering on activity. I have some automation and delivering for people and we also have an incredible process to help people get thousands of views on their posts. So now, when I start working with people, I say we need to get your profile to serve you. It’s got to be a six out of ten it’s got to work. So, the key area that you’ve asked me about is definitely the headline, the bit under your name, because that’s the first thing people see. Yes, your photo and the banner, but then your about section is really your, sort of – when I say bio that’s the wrong word, it’s your web page. So, your about you section and then your experience sections because those are the things that should tell the reader what you can do for them – with them. What’s in it for me? Put yourself in the reader’s shoes and ask what’s in it for me? It’s not a CV. Tell the reader how you work with people, who you’re looking to work with, exactly what you can help them achieve, what you can do for them, and it’s those three sections. The rest of it can serve – certainly when we get to testimonials and uploading content, but those are the three key things I would say to someone. We need to get that right first if we’re going to start connecting with people and engaging with people because there’s no point doing that if when they look at your profile it’s uninspiring or you miss an opportunity because they move off.
Well, if you are getting prospects to your page, I mean, like you say, it is a web page like any other web page, so if you’ve got them there you might as well use some principles to potentially turn them from a visitor to an inquiry, right?
Definitely. The amount of people that say can I have your email address? I say yes, it’s in my profile, it’s in my contact info. I’ve even got my diary link in my, I think, the about section. I had someone book a call the other day and I said we don’t know each other. He said no, I’ve read your profile, I saw your link on there, I want to speak with you. Perfect. Works for them works for me. And that’s marketing, isn’t it, and sales? There are no rules. There’s no textbook other than what I’ve written and maybe a few other people have written. Where do we get it from? It’s just sales practice, isn’t it? I want to talk with the right sort of people, so how can I structure my profile to help with that?
And people should look at your profile as a guide, yeah?
Yeah. There’s more I can do with it – in fact before this call I’m glad for Google Calendar because it popped up as a reminder. I’ve got seven styles of content. A number of years ago – and this is on YouTube if you don’t mind a little bit of foul language – I studied stand-up comedy and I learned three methods, three structures, three ways to construct comedy. There are more but I learned three methods. And I’ve got seven. Working with a client of ours who’s developed seven types of content that work, that get the best results. And of course, that’s aimed at LinkedIn posts and other social media but we can apply that to direct messages. He’s also got a slightly different way than me of writing your about section and I’m just putting that into a document. On my profile is the nine points to creating a powerful personal profile. And yeah, mine, it’s okay, it’s good, it’s better than most and I’ve got a slightly different angle and I could do even more with it. You can never stop improving your sales script, your webpage, your marketing and your approach, can you? But yeah, I’m quite happy. A long time ago I had the president of a chamber of commerce in America connect with me and when I looked at his profile, he’d mirrored mine obviously to suit him. And I went wow, cool, you take action, can we talk? He never came back to me. I don’t know, is that a compliment or is it a bit cheeky? But the answer is yes, Tom.
Well, another thing which I think is a common question which I think you could probably share some value on is, there’s like a sticking point, I think, before people get started and that is, you know, what do I post? How do I even get started with it? So, have you got any thoughts on if someone was inclined to start being a regular user of LinkedIn, how should they go about getting started on content, if you like?
Content, and that’s a great question because again, I’ve seen, I think – not think there has been a massive change since Covid. So, pre-Covid I would have said let’s go through all the nine sections of your profile and utilise that and position that. And then let’s look at all the different ways you can utilise LinkedIn to engage with your ideal contacts – that’s the phrase I use – because we can search for people, we can connect with them, we can message them, we can look at posts, we can look at groups, we can look at who’s connecting with us, who’s viewing our profile, there’s a lot to do. And I would have said to people previously let me show you all that and then let’s get a clear plan as to what you’re going to do, what works for you because you probably can’t do it all. But you know I have some unique automation. Now, there’s a lot of controversy about that and people are interested in it. I’m happy to talk about it because what I love about you, your business is called Ethical Marketing, and for me, it’s all about communicating and marketing professionally and ethically. And previously I would have got asked to speak on – sort of what you’re asking me. How do I use LinkedIn? What do I do with my profile? Now I’m getting asked to speak on exactly what you asked me and my audience is looking at what can we post? How do we post? How do we get results? Because there has been a huge shift online, as we know, in the last year, and what that means is your ideal prospects, contacts, are on LinkedIn. They’re more active than ever. But the flip side of that is we are all being bombarded by connection invites and poor, terrible engagement messages pushing sales messages, poor content, that we’re just ignoring. So, there are two sides. It’s got to be powerful and engaging and we’ve got to communicate in a different way than we used to. We’ve got to give more value than ever to the reader. So, my question back to someone who asked me that would be what are you looking to achieve? I spoke to a national charity yesterday and they’re very budget conscious and they’re not going to go and connect and automate and pay for automation and pay for LinkedIn sales navigator to go and connect with businesses day in day out. But they do want to post and get their message and their content out and we’ve got a perfect opportunity to get it out to a wider audience globally than ever before. So, there are a few things. It’s about writing content that educates, inspires, engages with your audience. Interestingly, you get more engagement when you share good news when you share a personal win or a win about your business or your clients, but you couldn’t post that all the time because you’re not going to get engagement inbound from people necessarily, so you’ve got to vary your content. And then there’s what I call the mechanics of posting. So, LinkedIn runs an algorithm like all the other platforms, Google and YouTube and everybody, and one of the things, for example, is if you put a link in the body of your post to, say, your website, an external link, LinkedIn’s algorithm will suppress that post because they don’t want you taking people off their platform. They want people to stay on the platform and read your stuff so they can sell more ads. So, the hack, that is to say, is here’s my post, he’s my info, and by the way, if you want to see the blog or the website or the YouTube video, I’ve put the link below in the comments, that bypasses the suppression. But it’s about writing content that’s engaging to the audience depending on who your audience is. You want to educate them. What do we talk about? We talk about I’m about LinkedIn, but I’m about marketing so I could easily write a post similar to the questions you’ve been asking me. That’s what my audience is interested in. I do a lot with property investors who want people to lend them money, so what’s that person interested in? Why are they getting a poor return on their money in the banks? One of the things a lot of people say to me is they’re worried that they haven’t got enough to write about and that’s rubbish. We’ve all got stuff that we can write about. Think about what’s relevant to my audience. But there’s one big thing. It doesn’t matter how good your content is, LinkedIn’s algorithm when you post only pushes your post out to between 8 and 15 per cent of your contacts, your network, which is abysmal. But if your post gets 15 likes and 15 comments that you comment back on within two hours – and while the 15 might be there or thereabouts and not absolute the two-hour window is critical – the algorithm looks at your posts and says well, this must be good content that you’re producing because you’ve got lots of engagement with your network that you’re engaging back on very quickly so we’ll now boost this to the rest of your network and beyond to the network of your networks. And there are other pods out there and we’ve developed the most unique way because other pods fall over because they can’t get consistent participation and we also test it in corporate that you can’t have the same people all the time, it’s got to be unique. All the algorithms want unique content and unique engagement. So, we’ve created the Post Party Club that allows our members instantly to get thousands of views on their posts. And again, I see controversy out there and I bang my drum or get on my soapbox because people go oh well, it’s just manipulating the algorithm. I had another LinkedIn guy post about it about me saying it was unethical and then went on to say well, that just forces more content out there. Absolutely. You ask me what makes good content and it’s a two-part glue with ethical marketing. Your content’s got to be good. There’s no point leveraging the algorithm. I look at it like jumpstarting a car if your content’s poor, so you’ve got to do both things. And I said to this guy well, what’s the difference between paying for SEO on your website? You wouldn’t put a website together without SEO, without a way of getting it out there, would you? You wouldn’t write a great advert and not put it in the newspaper. You wouldn’t keep the advert in your draw. So, it is a two-part glue and we’ve spent a lot of money and time over the last year understanding how it works. And I’ve got five partners around the world and we built the tech to all come together and it’s just magic because we’ve now got people from all sizes of business and walks of life getting thousands of views on their posts. And we’ve got a Facebook group and we’re teaching them how to write good content. I’ve mentioned don’t put a link in the body of your post. Apparently, if you use an emoji you get up to 31 per cent more engagement on your posts. It’s human psychology but if someone’s going to read my post more because I’ve got an emoji in it, I’ll put an emoji in it. It’s understanding human psychology, so what makes good content, and the mechanics, and so it is a two-part glue. I have a free Facebook group called LinkedIn Mastery and I’ve got stuff there on how to write good content, how to write posts because it’s not just LinkedIn. When you learn how to create good content, market yourself effectively, it’s across all the platforms, isn’t it? I don’t care whether it’s email, whether it’s a phone call, whether it’s a direct mail letter, whether it’s a LinkedIn message, the principles are the same. What was the question? Did that answer it?
I think there’s a lot to take from that. You mentioned good news, you mentioned thinking about what’s in it for them, and then also some stuff on engagement and the algorithms, so I think there’s a lot there. A regular question is about posting from either a business or a personal page. Have you got any thoughts about that?
Apparently – and I say apparently because I’m on the coattails of some of my business partners. I have five partners around the world and they’re not just techies, they’re immersed in – what do you want to call it? Digital marketing. So yeah, that algorithm doesn’t work for company pages. So, you want to be posting on your personal page, but here’s the other part to that, I think. A lot of my network is the small SME – small to medium enterprise – privately-owned business owner and a lot of solopreneurs, you know, one-man bands. And I would say to most businesses you don’t necessarily need a company page. Yes, if you’re dealing with bigger customers, they might expect to see your company page, but if they search your company name, they’ll find your profile anyway. So, the only strategy for a company page is to build followers so that you can then post content and engage with your followers. Now, I would say to an MD with a big team, if your salesman builds connections and leaves, he takes those connections. So, as a company strategy why not encourage all your team to get their connections to follow your company page, then if someone leaves you can still communicate with those followers? So, business is about building databases and communicating with them, with your audience, wherever they are. Now, I have one or two company pages and so when you’re posting needs to be on a profile – so even when I’m working with bigger companies, I would say choose a champion or a few and post through there. Still share it on your company page and still get your team to share it. We tested these 15 likes and comments with a corporate that said well, we’ve got 15 salespeople. We can do that, we don’t need your Post Party Club, we can do it, and of course, it worked. But over a short period of time, the results became less and less which tells us it’s not unique engagement. So, it is just about defining your own strategy depending on your business but if you want to get thousands of views of your posts you have to tick that algorithm and it’s only relevant on a personal profile. Now, one of the things that I’m getting massive success with right now, although it’s been around for a year, is LinkedIn Events. If you’re running events, whether that’s webinars or any sort of event, it can be charity, you can create an event on LinkedIn. And you can do it on your company page or your personal profile, but bizarrely – because we know what LinkedIn are like they don’t want you spamming and bombarding people and connecting with people you don’t know is one of their Ts and Cervical spine – if you create the event in your company page and tick a box when you’re creating it that says to people who want to attend your event they have to make accessible their email address that they’ve got linked with their profile, you can then export that and according to LinkedIn you can communicate to that person about that event only. Well, you know how to then ask for opt-in for all your other communication and GDPR. I think that is gold dust. Now, you can’t tick that box if you put the event on your personal page. So, I’m now saying to my clients you’ve got to be looking at events and that is through your company page, so there’s a big reason why you do need a company page. And I’ve just had two of my colleagues around the world – you might have experience of this – they’ve been doing Facebook Ads into lead magnets, so opt-in and give us your email address and you can have this free download to get qualified leads for their database. One was in Australia and one was in America and both came round with yes, it’s costing me about four US dollars per lead. I’ve just had 150 people register for my next webinar through my LinkedIn event and they’re all ideal and I’ve got their email addresses. And how much has that cost me? Zero. It’s worth six hundred dollars, isn’t it, per event – if it’s all unique data. So, I’ve gone off on a tangent a little bit because events should be something a lot of people are looking at and it’s a great way to build data. So, that’s my take on company pages. And here’s the thing, I understand a lot of people are posting because they go, I should be putting something out but they have no strategy. They don’t know what to write. And I hear how many times a week should I be posting? Well, if your posts are now getting one or two thousand views instead of a few hundred, which most people’s were, then you can argue you need to post once a week, so maybe once or twice a week. I used to get a thousand views-ish organically. I’m now getting three, four, five thousand. So, people, they’re posting. Why are you posting? Well, I want to get my name out there. No, really, we want engagement, it’s not just about getting my name. I want people to contact me and connect with me. and there are lurkers. Even though I want engagement, you never know. I had a guy book a call the other week and I said well, we’re not connected on LinkedIn. He said no, I know, but I’ve been reading your post for the last three months and now I need help. I said but you’ve never engaged with me. He said no, I don’t do that. I just find the information I want. So, you should be posting but then if you’re going to post you’ve got to get the right content and you’ve got to tick that algorithm.
I like the phrase lurkers.
LinkedIn lurkers are everywhere.
Have you got any thoughts, a preference, around whether you should be doing video images, articles or text?
Yeah. I would say vary it. Only last week I was on someone else’s webinar and I had a lady ask me, she said I’ve been working with another LinkedIn trainer or coach who has told me just use text, and I don’t know where they get that from. And you know when somebody says something that you think is absolutely wrong and then you go away and think surely it can’t be that wrong. Maybe I’m wrong. So, I got onto my mates around the world last night and I went, is it me? And they went, no, no, no. We know LinkedIn and the other platforms, Facebook, Google, love images and also video, so I would say vary it. I always put an image in my posts. Posts are fairly short. They’re only 1300 characters maximum. I always put an image in because it gets more attention. Human psychology is you’re drawn to an image. I’ve just said more people will read your post if it’s got an emoji, they’re drawn to it. I struggle – I know there are lots and it’s not just LinkedIn, social media consultants, there’s a big bandwagon, we’ve said there’s a massive surge of usage with Covid. What surprised me there’s also been an increase in numbers, of new people, on LinkedIn in the UK and around the world and people jump on the bandwagon. I don’t know where they get these opinions from. I’ve been teaching people LinkedIn for ten years. I’m working with some guys who are phenomenal digital marketers and understand it. They do all sorts of testing and measuring and what works and so yeah, I always include an image. If you’re going to include a video, keep it short-ish, two to three minutes, because people won’t engage, they’ll switch off. And you’ve seen video now where there’s text underneath. You can send your video off and pay a few dollars – I’ve forgotten the name. You’ll probably know the name – there’s a site that can do that for you.
No, there’s actually software or something, I made a note of it the other day, but there’s probably a number of places where you can just send your video and they’ll put the text of you speaking. Because a lot of people now are sort of half looking at video while doing something else so they’re reading it, so that will get more engagement, won’t it? If your video is too long, they might zone out, but remember to use native video in your post. Remember I said do not put a link in your post that takes people off to your Loom video – I use Loom a lot – or YouTube. Put it in the comments below. That does two things. It bypasses the algorithm suppression because it will suppress your post if you put up an external link. But also, you’ve now got another comment in the box below which adds to that algorithmic tick that I talked about. So yeah, and I should say vary it, you know. I’ve put a long 17-minute video together and I did it on YouTube and put it out and I said look, here’s my video. It is a little bit lengthy but here’s exactly what it does and here’s the link below, and I got a lot of engagement from it. So yeah, definitely pictures. And here’s another, sort of, hack because people will put articles on their profile, and I never put a lot of value in articles on my profile so many people read them but I can use the articles elsewhere so it serves. At the time you publish an article, LinkedIn automatically pushes it out as a mini post. So, if you time it with – we call them post parties. We have seven slots a week. They’re the same around the world every week and I’ve just got some members and I’ve said if you post the link to your article, so use your article as the post, you’ll get a massive number of likes and comments on your article that sits there on your profile that looks really credible. How many people’s articles have you seen on their profile where there’s any number of views or comments? But that’s lengthier, it’s like a blog, isn’t it? You can create an article as long as you want. So, in your post, just make it clear to the reader because if I look at your post and your headline grabs me and then I click on it takes me through to a lengthy article, I feel a bit disappointed because I wasn’t expecting a long read. I was expecting 1300 characters of a short punchy post. So, tell them, hey, here’s a bit of it and if you want the full article, or here’s my article on X, it’s a five-minute read and then links it through. So, that’s adding to your article’s exposure, adding to your profile exposure. There’s so much you can work with. So yeah, video should be huge. People relate to video. I use Loom. It’s a great way to record a quick video. You can screen share so it’s great for educating your team, your clients. I’ve just had a call with my global business partners and we’ve got eight things that I wanted to share with my clients and I just put it into two Looms because I forgot two of them. I said there are six things – I went, oh no, there’s two more. But you’ve got a link and you can push that out everywhere. So yeah, I’m big into video. It’s a better way to communicate and people relate to it. Do you know what? If you then message one of your LinkedIn connections and just take two minutes to record a video and send them the link to that – because guess what, the thumbnail pops up so they can see the video in the LinkedIn message or the email – they get blown away with it. You’ve got to stand out because the world’s busy and most of us have competitors. You’ve got to stand out as to why you’re not just different but more professional and more serious and offering more value.
I would think a principle with video and images also is that the larger the post is on someone’s feed, the more likely it is someone’s going to look at it. Whereas the smaller – like, for example, a small text post, it’s going to be smaller and therefore less people look at it, right?
Yeah, I guess. And the other thing to remember is we’re all wired differently. I do a lot around behavioural styles. So, what is it you can’t please all the people all the time and what will grab one person – I’ve got a great example. I said to you we’ve got seven styles of creating messages and content. One of them is the story, the metaphor, people relate to stories. Do you ever remember your grandad telling you stories? You know, the human brain is wired to relate to stories. So, I have a client, I’m delivering on his LinkedIn activity, and we are connecting with firefighters because he’s a wealth manager, he’s an ex-firefighter, he’s passionate about the service and he can help firefighters with their pensions. So, he wrote a story about This is Sam. Do you remember Fireman Sam? And Sam does this and he’s been in the job 35 years and every day at ten thirty – I might get this wrong if there are any firefighters listening – every day at ten thirty he has tea and toast and blah blah blah. And I said to my client is that true? And he said yeah, it’s institutionalised. Here’s Sam and after 35 years he might be retiring. Thinking about whether he needs a part-time job. Basically, he was telling the story of a typical firefighter getting close to retirement. I know it was an area commander – he had a senior guy message him saying I think you are patronising. And on the same day, he had another senior area officer say I think this is brilliant. I want to introduce you to my regional HR and introduce you to all of our ground floor troops who should be aware of this. Same message to two people, two extremes. Now, if you’ve got lots of people complaining, your message is probably wrong. But if you’ve got one out of however many, what it tells me is it’s probably hit a nerve which is a good thing. So, you’ve got to vary it, is what I’m saying because short and sharp appeals to me. Video will appeal to some people. So, the same way that a metaphor might appeal, I also like the challenges in other ways to, sort of, challenge somebody. Conversational style works. Case studies work. Tell your message of what you’re selling in a case study. But I think the overriding thing is you keep it varied. But yeah, you’re right. You and I have different styles. We’ve talked about it a lot, haven’t we? You know, the different, sort of, behaviour and communication styles. So, the challenge again for a lot of people is we blur what we think works for us but I’ve got to communicate – if what ticks your box is different to mine there’s no point in me communicating from my box. I’ve got to communicate from your box. I have a franchisee. She and I are very different. Her client base, very different from mine.
It’s about the audience, right? So, what they might like to see. You touched on something previously which is about connections and who you might connect with – I think it was in the context of the automation – but it’s a common question about whether or not you should connect with as many people as possible or whether you should connect only with people in maybe your target market or your industry. What are your thoughts on that?
You’ve not been bugging my office, have you Tom? I don’t know whether you got the email just last night. So, this morning I have just answered that because here’s something – and it is about getting creative, isn’t it? When you set up your account you can set your settings in your profile, and I think by default you leave your connections open, so you can set it so that no one else can see your connections. Most people don’t know – they just leave it open. And when you go into sales navigator, if I look up your profile if you’ve left it open, I can see your connections. I have a way to scrape those and then I can automatically go and connect with those people. So, it’s great for a client of mine who is dealing with expats in Italy because you can’t search for those because they don’t put on their profile, I’m thinking of moving to Italy. So, the way we looked at it was who else is likely to be connected to people you want to get to. So, for instance, he was connected to a lady who deals with international relocation for executives into Italy, so she’s likely to be connected to people who have moved or are moving so we can then go connect with her connections. If you’re only dealing with business in Southampton, maybe the president of the Southampton Chamber might have connections that you want to get to. So, I thought I’ll do this to one of my competitors. I’ll go and connect with their connections. And the guy responded saying hey, thanks for the connection invite. We’ve known each other since 2004. I actually came round your house back then and I remember the car you bought when you first had a business, and I do not remember him coming around my house. We had a conversation and I told him how we came to connect. He said yeah, but I’m just studying with another LinkedIn trainer, with whom he’s also connected, so it wasn’t my competitor. But the person he’s studying with I actually knew. I’d actually coached them originally. And she had told him this. What she said – because I said you don’t have many connections, and he said I’m told that if you connect with people that are outside of your target market it’ll suppress you from getting found. So, the analogy story he used is if you want to connect with scuba divers but you connect with a lot of engineers then scuba divers won’t find your profile. Now, I checked this out with my top guys and what it actually means is you know LinkedIn makes suggestions of who you might know, who you might want to connect with, based on your profile and your connections. So, they go you’re connected to these type of people, you might want to connect with this. The amount of value to that, how many times do I look at what LinkedIn flags up for me and goes oh yes, I’ll connect with these people, it’s negligible because I’m using the search to go and connect with people who I want to get to. I’m using groups to connect with people who I want to get to. I’m asking for those people in my post. So, the actual challenge with it was negligible because my view has always been connect with everybody. And again, you know when someone tells you the opposite, you go is it me? Because my view has always been the more connections you have the more second-tier – so connections of connections – you can find in searches, and I believe your network equals your net worth. I said to you I’m in Spain. When we bought this house, I found a Spanish lawyer and a Spanish mortgage broker overnight through my connections on LinkedIn. I’m a big believer that the more connections you have serves you for life. Now, I’ve just pushed this out to my members and one of them says yeah, I pretty much connect with everybody except if it’s the odd person elsewhere in the world that I guess he’s just trying to sell to me. So, it could be a – I don’t know – footwear manufacture in China, I might not if I’m a business coach in the UK. My automation is all or nothing. I either turn it on or off. So, I accept every inbound invite. I can handle people trying to sell to me, just ignore them. You don’t have to reply to them. And I connect with everyone who’s viewed my profile because that is a massively underutilised strategy because if you think about it, re-posting, read what I’ve just said about the algorithms, at some level someone’s viewed your profile for a reason. The reality is most are just surfing around and haven’t got a clue. But I’ve written business and so have clients over years and years. Now, we’re getting massive exposure from our posts that are written to the right people. If you think about this, people reading your content are more likely to be ideal for you because they’re interested in your content. If they then look at your profile, I’m now connecting with them and going what made you look at my profile? How can we work? So, my answer is to connect with people. And again – I don’t know whether this person because she was an ex-client of mine, a student of mine, I don’t know whether she just hadn’t explained it properly or whether she got it wrong, but really was misguided, but I struggle with so much misinformation out there. So, my answer is yeah, you might choose to be slightly strategic. I have some bigger companies go, I don’t want to connect with my competitors – I actually do – but now you can go scrape their connections. So, generally, I would say yeah, connect. You know, my middle nephew when he was finishing university got an internship in Hong Kong. Guess where he met his employer? On LinkedIn. You know, so you’ve got to be building your connections, not just for I want to sell print to purchasing managers. I say to people if I work with you, if we do whatever we do, I guarantee you will connect with your ideal contact but I also guarantee you’ll connect with your ideal contact in a way I can’t guarantee. I could never have guessed I would get to this guy who I know – and once we were on a call together like this, I remembered who he was – by connecting with a competitor’s connections.
Well, you touched on messages, sales messages was one of the things, but have you got thoughts on what type of messages that you should be sending if you do send them?
That’s exactly what I was just putting together before we spoke because I’m trying to collate it all because I said to you, I’ve got seven styles of content and yes, it was developed for posts and it’s proven that it gets engagement with posts. But the style, like Fireman Sam, that was a direct message. Now, my brother was a corporate lawyer who said yeah, I’m being bombarded by invites and crappy sales messages. I’m thinking of getting off LinkedIn. We talked about why he should stay. People have been bombarded. And I’ve got a webinar called how to get more business without being pushy or salesy and it gets filled because people tell me they hate pushy salespeople. And I hate those definitions because I love sales and it shouldn’t be pushy. Here’s the definition of sales, is professionally helping people to buy, that’s your job, is to professionally help people to buy because you’ve got something of value to them. So, it’s how we communicate. My automation, you can’t do this on your own. When I connect with somebody, I’ll send a welcome message but gone are the days of just saying hey, thanks for connecting, would you like to talk about how it can help you get more business out of LinkedIn because people are being bombarded and at best they’re just skimming over. I’ve had two people in the last few weeks go, I am stressed with lockdown. I am stressed with home-schooling kids. And I just swipe off, actually, I’ll disconnect from you. Actually if your email pops up with a ‘is this spam’ or LinkedIn pops up, I’ll go yes, and I’ll move on. So, you’ve got to engage with people. My welcome message would be hey, thanks for connecting. What have I got going at the moment? Thanks for connecting. If there’s any way I can help you’ll see from my profile that I do X. I’ve recently just put a document together on how to write great posts and content. I’ve attached it here. I hope it’s of interest and value to you. Thanks again for connecting. Because then three days later I’ll send another message that goes, just wondering what you thought of my article or my document. You’ll see that I help people achieve more through LinkedIn. If you’re looking to get more business from LinkedIn, happy to talk. P.S. There’s actually a link here to another post I’ve just done that talks about why you should be using groups. So, I’m giving them something else in my second message even though I’m weaving in would you like to speak? And then I send out a third one a few days later, you know, just wondering what you thought. Always happy to chat about X. So, I have people with the first message going thanks for that document on how to write powerful posts and I go, you’re welcome. What are your thoughts? It’s a great phrase. I had someone say oh, I haven’t looked at it yet. I’m looking at it in the next few days. Now, what can I do? A few days later hey, just wondering if you’ve had a chance to look at it, engage. So, you can’t do that manually, you can’t keep on top of who have I connected with? Have I sent them the first message, the second message, but you can leverage that. And space it out. I had someone the other day just send me a welcome message and it was just a block of text, no spaces, and I just went I can’t read that, I’m out. That message might have been brilliant. It might have been full of value for me. So, there are two things. Space it out. Make it short. I don’t want to read War and Peace, we’re all busy, but give people some value. But I had someone the other day say we connected, and they just said like my company page or join my Facebook group. And I messaged them back and I went, why? Oh, well, it’s this. I went, no thanks. Give somebody a reason. Here’s a document I’ve put together on how to write great posts that are driving inbound engagement for some of my clients, I hope it’s of value. If you’ve asked people to do something, explain why. Here’s my diary link. Would you mind booking a call here for me to call you? It’s quick and easy and will avoid us playing phone tag. So, people just don’t know how to engage.
I like your approach and I’ve heard it described as proving that you can help people by actually helping them. And I think if you can do that then, you know, you’re halfway there.
Yeah, I think it might have been Zig Ziglar who said I can get anything I want in life if I help enough people get what they want. BNI, the global networking group, their strapline is give us gain. And there’s psychology – I think it was Malcolm Gladwell wrote about it – called The Law of Reciprocity. If I give you something, you unconsciously are wired to want to give something back. I remember years ago I had a three-hour meeting with a business owner. He ran a car dealership and I was trying to sell him two grand a month’s worth of coaching over 12 months. And he said I can’t afford it. I cannot get my head around buying this, he said, but you’ve given me so many ideas I feel like I should do something. I went, look, if it’s helped it’s helped, that’s fine. And he went look, you’ve talked to me about behavioural profiles, can you come in and profile my sales team. So, he spent a few grand with me rather than tens and tens of thousands. But his words were you’ve given me so much, you’ve spent so much time here, I feel I should give something, I should do something. Those were his words and he found something to buy off me. I’d never mentioned him buying that stuff. So yeah, give people value. And I meet people that go, I’m worried about giving too much stuff away. Don’t. Those few people that might take your stuff and run, let them. They’re probably never going to buy from you anyway. When people give them stuff, the more you can give them, whether it’s a tips booklet – you know, I put a lot of LinkedIn videos on YouTube at the beginning of Covid. It’s not the whole depth of my six-module online course, but there’s a lot there that people can go do, and that’s fine because what I have got is stuff you can’t do on your own. You could automate, but you can’t automate and constantly be looking at all these strategies and all these messages that we’ve just talked through because most people don’t know all of that and aren’t that good. And you can’t get your posts that viral without our Post Party Club and there is nothing else like it in the world. There’s some close. So, I’m okay if you take stuff and run but yeah, you’re right, professionally helping people to buy – I can help. Before the Post Party Club – we’ve talked about my automation – you could take the automation and I’d get a commission on it, a hundred bucks a month. Or you can pay me to do it at a grand a month. And I had a guy – and he’s an accountant, very cynical – why would you sell me the software when you’re only making a hundred bucks a month out of me instead of sending me the done for you at a thousand quid a month? I mean because I don’t care. Whatever works best for you. This stuff works. Whatever works for you because if it works and gets you results, you’ll give me referrals. And if you haven’t got the cash flow for a grand or you’re a software techie and you want to do it yourself, then you’re not going to buy anyway. Here’s something that works. What do you want, you know, what works best for you? Is it the Mini or the Rolls Royce, I don’t mind which because it helps. I know that it helps people.
I think based on what we’ve talked about so far, I think if we can get people to go from setting up a good profile and then regularly posting with different types of formats, should we say. I’m thinking that you can probably predict the next question based on the questions that you’ve had, but let’s say they start posting, what’s the next question that people are likely to ask?
If they start posting the next question is how can I get engagement? How can I get to talk to them? How can I get leads?
That’s it, you’ve got it.
We’ve got a lady in Switzerland. She’d got 180,000 followers on LinkedIn. You’re only allowed 30,000 connections. 180,000 followers and she went, I’m not getting any engagement. And it was clear by the style of her posting but she was not ticking that algorithm. So, she joined Post Party Club, started to get loads of views, which is a given, I guarantee that straight away, but then she rang me and said but I’m still not getting any engagement. And I said okay, let’s look at your content, let’s look at what you’re writing because let’s get clever with giving something like we’ve talked about and putting a call to action in it and structuring it properly to inspire engagement. So yeah, that’s the big question. People go, I’m posting but I’m getting no results. Well, step one is you’re getting no views so let’s leverage the algorithm. Step two then is great, now you’ve got to write content. You know Post Party Club. All our members are in a private Facebook group. We have a fortnightly Zoom strategy call. The stuff I’ve just shared with you around events and around posts and around stuff, a lot of that has just come out of the Facebook group. I said I’ve got seven styles of writing content with teaching and giving our members that because ultimately, there’s no point just getting views without getting engagement. There’s no point sending people messages. That’s an activity. It’s like I’m making 50 sales calls a day. Great. How many appointments are you getting or how many sales? None. Well, that’s an activity, not an outcome. The outcome is you want engagement.
Exactly, spot on. I mean, I think there’s one thing we haven’t talked about previously and that’s I’ve heard an approach to LinkedIn where someone has said you should comment on other people’s posts like you said, a competitor, for example, you should comment on their post in order to get people to come back and follow you. Have you got any thoughts on that?
It’s an interesting one. I think yes, sort of, generally. I think with anything in life or business you’ve got to balance time as well as return on investment, haven’t you? So, similar thing, I engaged with a guy that helped me with YouTube and he said the same. He said go and follow your – not necessarily competitors. I’ve got an online course called LinkedIn Mastery for Property Investors. So, when you look at the YouTube stuff it’s property-centric but it’s just as relevant to anybody. He said go and follow the other people that are dealing with property investors. Go like, comment on their videos, and people will start to follow you back. I think what we’ve seen in Post Party Club – so I’ve said you’ve got to tick the algorithm to get thousands of views. Then you’ve got to start writing content. What I used to do was go, let’s just get the 15 likes and comments in the two-hour window. Let me get my post massive and then I can move on. That’s my style. And then I realised we had a guy in Australia with a very high ticket consultancy business. Sales in at ten grand up, up sales at fifty. Got inbound business purely by commenting intelligently on other people’s posts. No pitch. No call to action. No direct message me. Just inspired, invoked conversation. So, not political. And people then naturally, if you think about it, if you go well, this guy’s just made a great point, asked a great question, you’re likely to look at his profile and then they’re sold. Now, the objection I get out there is people go, oh well, what you’re doing with post parties you’re getting people that I don’t want to be connected with. People nothing to do with me liking and commenting on your posts. Well, we’ve addressed the fact that it doesn’t matter who you connected with – I’m not saying you connect with them all. That’s kickstarting the algorithm for you to get lots of views and get your post out there. If you think about the 80/20 rule, that’s a great global principle. 20 per cent of those people engaging in your post, whether you’ve engineered it or not, are likely to be of interest to you. So yeah, go and start to comment on their posts intelligently. Would I do it with a competitor? Yeah, I could. Yeah, why not? Can he block you? I don’t think he can. You’ve got to balance time with it. I said to you I had a competitor of mine post about what we were doing. Didn’t mention my name but he said I’ve just had a conversation with this person – I don’t know what made me find it and check it out – and he said I think it’s – what did he call it – unethical. And so I commented on that post. Guess what? He unconnected from me. The moment you’re opinionated with that’s manipulation or that’s false or the big thing I get with automation, it’s impersonal. No, it’s only impersonal if you write your messages in an impersonal way. So actually, keep an open mind as to how can I make this work? So yes, because the moment you comment on someone else’s post it shows up, I think, in your feed. When I look at your posts and activity, I can see what else you’ve done, so be very, very careful what you’re saying and doing because your reputation is at stake. But yeah, absolutely, and you will get more exposure and yeah, I mean, blimey, if you’re commenting in a better way than the person posting – I’m not sure I’ve got time to do it with my competitors, necessarily, maybe. The reality is if they’re good their readers are going to stay with them and yeah, I engage with them. If they’re poor then maybe I do want to comment. So, I think the overriding thing with any marketing is to test it and measure it.
Well, part of what I took from that was if you’re, kind of, strapped with your budget it might be a way to go but, like you say, there’s an ROI consideration to be had there.
I think you’ve got to learn how to do it intelligently because the danger for a lot of people – we’ve said people don’t know how to market and sell. I’ve got a great friend of mine, a business partner of mine. He built an SEO business and sold it. He’s a marketing master and a developer, and he said I got asked the other day what would I do differently if I started over? He said I would learn to become a master content writer. I said oh, interesting words. My words would be master marketeer but it’s the same thing. Content writing fits marketing and sales. Most people are not and the danger might be they’re commenting in a way on people’s posts that don’t serve. Years ago I stopped participating in a load of LinkedIn groups because I was looking to target local people, and all I got was other consultants trying to prove they knew what they were talking about. And especially, you know, I got video guys who were not businesspeople and salespeople. I remember an old guy, I remember it forever, he was just proving he got the biggest in Spanish cajones and he knew everything and knew what and he’d argue. Stop wasting your time telling me what you know. I don’t care what you know. People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care. That’s back to the giving, isn’t it? People don’t care about you. They don’t care. They don’t care about you in the slightest. They care about what you can do for them. The only person who cares that you’re writing posts is your mom, maybe. People care about what you can do for them. And so, yeah, absolutely, if you’re on a budget you’ve still got to look at Post Party Club. It’s only 97 quid a month. It’s a bit of a plug. I made it low entry because we want to help as many people as we can. You could argue if I’m absolutely skint, why are you in business? You should always be investing in marketing. But yeah, you know, a post that gets a couple of hundred views is better than no post at all and if you did it very, very intelligently and you went and engaged in the way you’ve said, you can make LinkedIn work. Before I had automation five years ago, you know, for five years before that it was all manual. I was connecting with people one-on-one and I was striking up conversations because you’re aim with LinkedIn is to get the conversation offline as quickly as possible, isn’t it? For most of us to make a sale we need a phone call unless you’re pointing people to a website, you know. I will get people to go to the Post Party Club website and they’ll see the videos and sign up but it’s 97 quid a month sale. But my done-for-you stuff at a 500/a grand, 1500 a month, I’m never going to sell on a website. You need a phone call. So, could I sit down and connect with someone and say hey, great, here’s some stuff do you want a phone call? Yes, I do. How many phone calls a day or a week do you need to make a sale? So, absolutely, you can do it on a budget and manually and that’s the power of LinkedIn, I think, compared to maybe a lot of other marketing strategies.
Well, thank you for all the value you’ve given today. I think it’s a great guide for anyone who’s on LinkedIn even but just as much someone who would like to get started. I always ask on any podcast what are your business goals?
Oh, great question. What are my business goals? I’ve got this little voice which is what I talk about. I want a thousand Post Party Club members. You can work out my revenue but more importantly, what I get excited about is people getting results. It’s taken me a long time in business to really – I was all about the numbers and the money. And we’ve talked a lot about helping people and what I realised a few years ago is I was asking – it’s a great question to ask – what is it that excites me or what is it that juices you, Tony Robbins calls it? Or what is it that ticks your box? And I love sharing stuff that works. I love results. So, we have a thousand Post Party Club members. The momentum – you know, we had a call this week and one person was asking a question, their colleagues were answering it, and it was good stuff and I was learning. So, it becomes self-perpetuating. And within that to work a couple of hours a day because I’m in southern Spain, I love to travel. When we’re lifted, I can go out on my motorbike. Mary and I can go out. I love other people. When I say I don’t want to work, I don’t want to have to get up to make the sale. I used to teach business owners how to run businesses – I still do a bit – and I used to say how long could you take away from the business before it fell over? Well, I’m not sure, I cannot be in it but I can spend less time in it, more on it, and it is having a business that works largely without you. So, in answer to your question, what are my business goals? Be financially free, work a few hours a day, and especially grow Post Party Club and my other done for you with helping people LinkedIn, but Post Party Club to a thousand members which is tall because then it becomes fun and exciting. And doing more stuff like this. You know you said can I do this? I said it’d be great. And the great thing for you and I and a lot of people now is we can do this from anywhere in the world. And so for me, it’s about buying myself time and freedom to travel.
It’s a great goal. So, this is typically where I say where’s the best place for people to find you, but I think I might put a little caveat on that and say where’s the best place to find you excluding LinkedIn?
Okay. Connect with me and on LinkedIn definitely because you immediately grow your second-tier connections by the 20,000 first-tier connections I have and you can go search and, you know, find people. You will get some automated messages when you connect. Ignore them – well, have a look at the content and the stuff in there but anything you want to ask when you message me, I will reply. Outside of that, LinkedIn’s the best store email my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. My diary link’s on my LinkedIn. LinkedIn is so integral. I am on Facebook. Someone messaged me on Facebook the other day and I said I don’t really – the challenge we’ve got today is I’m looking at messages. I’ve got WhatsApp messages, LinkedIn messages, email messages, I have a Slack channel with some colleagues, we’ve got Facebook. LinkedIn’s definitely the best, Tom, and by all means, email me because I respond to personal emails.
And if someone’s interested in joining Post Party, what’s the website address?
Have a look at www.postpartyclub.com. There’s a video in there of me talking about it and then there’s a couple of great case study videos of clients where they’re screen sharing and saying here’s a post I’ve done within the Post Party slot, look at the thousands of views. And then here’s a post I tested outside of the Post Party slot but the same day look at how abysmal it is. And if there are any questions just drop me a line but it’s sort of self-sufficient, self-obvious. There’s no contract because it works – I think there are two types of people. You should be investing in your marketing. Actually, the way I look at Post Party Club is this is about the network. We’re teaching you how to write great content. We’ve got the private Facebook group. We’ve got the fortnightly mastermind strategy calls. It’s about helping you with everything to do with marketing. Posts, LinkedIn, marketing, business development generally. Oh, and by the way, you get access to our exclusive portal that allows you to leverage the algorithm. But if there are any questions you can give me a shout. I’ve got businesses that go yeah, should be part of our marketing. My marketing department can deal with it. And as I said, we’ve got a lot of solopreneurs where cash flow is important to them. The other reason for wanting to grow the business like this, it’s the best way that I can share my stuff. We’ve got content and documents and video and coaching. I can give you all that for 97 quid a month within the Post Party Club because as I grow the numbers it’s profitable for me to do it, and that’s the analogy I gave. I’ve just finished coaching a client of mine who after four years sold his business for two million. It was twice what he thought it was. When we met four years ago and he said I want you to coach me he’d never thought of selling it. And he was paying me 1500 quid a month to coach him every week. And I can give him everything that we’ve got around growing that business. When I get, and I have enough PPC, post body club members, I can give you all of that for 97 quid a month. And that’s exciting for me because I know we’ve got so much stuff because I’ve been coaching business owners for nearly 20 years on how to market and sell mainly. So yeah, go and have a look at it and if there are any questions let me know. And also there are no rules in businesses, is there? You and I are on this and we can talk about how I can reciprocate and help. I’ve got people saying this is awesome. Can we cross-market it together? Can we look at joint venture activities and strategies? What I love about the privately-owned business owner, you know, you’re running your own business. You can execute anything you want. You can change and implement anything you want to. There are no rules. You make them up. Whereas with big corporates it’s a much slower wheel so yeah. I can’t remember the question but postpartyclub.com and I’d love to help.
All right. Well again, thank you very much for all the great information. I’m not surprised but it’s been great to speak to you.
Tom, it’s been great sharing this with you and it’s a sign of the times but I know we know each other. I love what you do because, you know, you’ve mentioned new people. LinkedIn is definitely a great thing for new people. I’ve had people get business from that before they’ve invested in a website because you said it’s a massive website. There’s so much opportunity now. I know there’s a lot of trauma out there but there is also a lot of opportunity for a lot of us. And I love what you do because you’re helping people in the same way, so thank you for inviting me, Tom. I’ve got a link actually – anyway I’ve got a link, I’ve got a book. Here’s an offer for people listening to it and unless you can share it – I don’t know how you’re going to do it. I’ve put a book on Amazon, an eBook, called LinkedIn Content Secrets. Bit of my back story but all about how to write good content and I’ve got it as a download and people can have it with my compliments. Just to say thanks for inviting me along, Tom. So, let me know how that might be able to work best or people can message me. Thank you because I love what you’re doing and it’s been great catching up and sharing it with you.
Absolutely, my pleasure, and I’m sure I will speak to you soon.