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Every business professional should be utilizing LinkedIn, as it's a powerful tool for generating both exposure and leads—if it's done right, of course. If you're using the platform for mindless spamming and automated messaging, then you won't see any results.
So, we sat down with an expert to discover how to utilize LinkedIn's fullest potential. In this blog, Hollywood Branded shares how to leverage LinkedIn and harness the power of humanized content marketing from the expertise of Mandy McEwen, the Founder and CEO of Mod Girl Marketing and Luminetics.
Mandy McEwen is the Founder & CEO of Mod Girl Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency, where they help companies increase brand exposure, authority, and revenue through the power of humanized content marketing. Through her agency, she also founded Luminetics, which is a branch that specializes in helping others make the most out of LinkedIn to generate a strong, online presence. Mandy has also been named a Top 24 B2B Marketer by LinkedIn and has been listed in Search Engine Journal as a Top 12 SEO Expert.
Question: To start off, I would love for you to share with our listeners what got you here today? How did you land on your journey to social media and SEO success?
Answer: That is a loaded question, and we would be here forever if I gave the whole story, so I'll give you the short version of how I started. After graduating from the University of Kansas, I got a job like everyone else. I realized I didn't like it. I always had the entrepreneur bug. Discovered online marketing, fell in love. Wanted the typical, "I'm going to work on a beach from my computer and never talk to anyone and make millions of dollars," as an affiliate marketer. So that's how I got started off. So I taught myself HTML and SEO and I really fell in love. And I was really immersed in all things online.
But at the time, you didn't really need social media. This was back in 2007 where SEO was even kind of the Wild, Wild West. We were doing crazy things that you wouldn't even dare to think of now or your site would end.
Question: So how do you start working with your clients?
Answer: That's a good question. So first of all, we have to work with companies that know that there's a better way to be doing it. I've been doing this for too long that I'm not now in the business to be convincing people that they need to shift and focus on these channels. That's key. So having the right clients and understand that. And then the next is literally just, what are your goals? What are you guys trying to accomplish? Give me the numbers? What do [your sales reps'] conversion rates look like? How many people are they reaching out to? Who are you guys trying to get in front of? So it's laying the groundwork of, "What's happening here? Give me the big picture of what exactly is going on so we can make it better."
And then the first thing we do after we have all the information is create a really robust strategy for them. This is a focused on LinkedIn, but it goes across all networks. So we're going to look at everything they're doing on digital. More organic than ads. We don't touch a whole lot of ads, if they want us to give feedback on like ad copy, we will, but we're really the organic masters. We are known for getting results via organic marketing channels, whether that is content or actually outreach, that's still organic. You're not paying to get in front of people, you're not paying to send someone an email, but you're still emailing them.
So that's like the big picture of, "Let's put together this really robust strategy. Let's rewrite some of your email copy, rewrite some of your LinkedIn messages, and help your team devise a plan of action to make this work high level."
Question: When they're doing this and you're like, "Okay, we've gone through your LinkedIn. You're going to be organic. You're going to have conversations." Do your clients look at you with their eyes open, and they're like, "Oh dear Jesus, God, I'm going to have to actually create content?"
Answer: Uh-huh, totally, 100%. And that's where the training comes in. So we train sales and marketing and content teams on how to actually curate and create content. Because at the end of the day, everyone overthinks this whole content marketing aspect. Deer in the headlights, they're like, "Oh crap, this is so hard. It's going to take me so long." And so what we do, especially on the SDR side of things, because sales reps, they're not content creators, most of them aren't, they're sales reps for a reason. But it's really easy if you create a system for them to curate content. And that means they're just sharing other people's content. They're not having to come up with stuff from of scratch. And that's a game changer because people don't realize that that's still very powerful.
At the end of the day, you want to be seen as a trusted industry resource, not another annoying sales rep on LinkedIn spamming people. You can easily do that by sharing other people's content, including your company's content and engaging throughout LinkedIn. And so it's showing them and teaching them, "There are ways to do this that are not uber time consuming and not going to stress you out. You just have to follow this system and get into a habit of doing it." And that's the biggest thing is, put it on your calendar and make sure you're doing it every single day. It's really giving them the exact steps and walking them through it in a way that works for them specifically to make them comfortable and realize that it doesn't have to be as hard as you think it is.
Question: What are other mistakes that people are making on LinkedIn right now? I know that there are so many company out there who are like, "We can lead gen for you. Here's your messaging platform. We're just going to like spam and spam and spam and spam and spam some more." That's probably not the best one, but what are some of the mistakes that people are making right now?
Answer: I'm glad you brought that up too, because that's really the first thing I was going to say, and I see this literally with probably every client we work with...Because they're sales reps and their goal is to land meetings, that's where they instantly go. So, "Hey, Bill, so great to connect with you. We do X, Y, Z and this and this and this. Let me know if you want to hop on a 15-minute call." Number one, never ask anyone to be on a call in the first message ever, ever. Number two, don't send them links in the first message ever.
There's nothing wrong with saying what you do, that's completely okay, but you have to frame it in a way that is very lightweight and personable and approachable. So they're not saying, "Hey, Bill, [thank you so] much for connecting. I loved your article on X, Y, Z. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you with. By the way, this is what we do. Looking forward to our connection. Mandy, whatever." So you can still say what you do without being annoying. That's one thing. But another thing is, all those companies that you mentioned, most of them are leveraging automation to where it's just a numbers game.
And LinkedIn's been saying for years, don't use automation. I will be the first to admit, we've used automation for years. We do not now because one of my good friends, Brin, says slow down to speed up the outcome. So slow down the process to speed up the outcome. So when you're slowing things down and making it more customized, you're actually speeding up the results. Whereas when you're just blasting people, which again, this worked a lot better [back then]. Like in 2017, I had a really popular LinkedIn course, and I will not lie and tell you that automation was... Automation was killing it in 2017, it really was.
Question: What are some of the other mistakes that people make?
Answer: When it comes to content, everything that I preach and everything that we do at Mod Girl and Luminetics is humanized... And I think that's how I have seen a lot of success over the years is because I'm very real, and I put myself out there. And my content is real and coming from place of value and I post videos, I post pictures. The biggest mistake I see companies making is their content is just lame. There's no other way to put it. It's just boring, no one wants to read it. No one cares about linking to your 5,000 webinars or white papers. And so that's all we see companies doing, and same with even executives in the companies.
The only content that they are posting are company links to webinar and white papers, and events. And so they're lacking that thought leadership content. And that's really what moves the needle and gets conversations happening is, "let's talk about what's going on in the industry from my perspective." Whether you're a sales rep or an executive, doesn't matter, and then let's ask people what their thoughts are. And so it's creating more engaging thought leadership content, thought-provoking content, keeping up on trends, and not just posting about the company blog or very specific company events or lead magnets, etc.
So it's more of like, let's think outside the box a little bit and let's get a more humanized approach going. And the best way to do that is by leveraging the people within your organization because as you know, people do the business with people. We are in this. [We're] not doing business with logos, we're doing business with people. So when you can leverage the thought leaders in your organization, people who have voices, and most of the time, these are executives, but it could be really anyone, they're leveraging their unique perspective and they have something to say that is going to get people talking, that's where the magic is. Hardly anyone is doing that.
And that's why there's such a massive opportunity out there right now for us as an agency who specializes in this is, is to help companies do this because that's what's missing. And so they think that they have to have all those great content, and you do need great content, but they're missing the boat there. All they're doing is pumping out a bunch of stats and reports, and white papers, and webinars, and that is great and all, and you can still do that, but when you're sharing that, there are certain ways to frame it to make it more thought leadership driven and more humanized.
So you're actually getting engagement, because I don't know about you, but I don't like engaging on LinkedIn posts that are simply linking to a white paper or a webinar. What am I going to do with that? You give me two sentences? No, one's going to comment on that. And so, let's think outside the box for a moment and actually create engaging humanized content.
Many has so much great information from her experience in digital marketing. Check out the podcast below to learn more about LinkedIn and creating humanized content!
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Topics: Podcast Interviews, Podcast, HB Podcast