From my book: THE AGENCY: BUILD – GROW – REPEAT. How to build a successful agency business that wins and keeps clients.
As I write this, LinkedIn is still the best platform for professional content. LinkedIn has 500 million users, 250 million of which are active monthly users (http://linkedinformed.com/episode207/), 40 percent of whom use the platform every day. What’s more, LinkedIn is still growing: the number of users went from 470 million in 2016 to 500 million at the start of 2018, and counting.
This is the best place to show off your best work, add value and get credibility. You write articles and don’t post them on LinkedIn? Mistake. You create video content and don’t post it on LinkedIn because you think it’s only for YouTube? Mistake. You record podcasts and not post them on LinkedIn because you think they belong on Spotify or iTunes? Mistake. Got case studies? They should go on LinkedIn. Won a major account (or a small one)? Shout about it on LinkedIn. Have a webinar coming up? Post it… on LinkedIn.
Check out my LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/lucasenatore/ and see what I post. Yes, many of the videos aren’t polished, but they are out! Remember: sometimes you need to fix the plane as you fly it or, as my friend and best selling author Rob Moore says it, right in the title of one of his books: Start Now, Get Perfect Later.
Many people act as if they’re scared of LinkedIn and only post content that’s super-polished, amazingly professional and TV quality. Problem: it’s six months too fucking late! They had the idea when something was topical and hot, but after six months the topic has cooled off and the beautiful piece of content is now irrelevant. What a waste. Other people might get stuff out a bit faster – after two months, maybe even one – but it’s expensive and they put all their eggs onto that video basket (and one month is still slow… one week is slow for video content!).
The thing with content on LinkedIn, or any platform for that matter, is that you almost never know what will work and what won’t. What will resonate and what won’t. I have created pieces of content I thought were going to fly, go viral and get me hundreds of interested eyes. Wrong. At times I’ve had to check that content was actually live because it was getting zero attention, zero interaction, I mean none at all. Then I’d send out a piece of content that was good (I’d never send out something I don’t feel passionate about), but perhaps extremely rough – shot in the car or as I walk Sofia, our boxer dog – and it would get traction as if I was paying people to interact (which, by the way, I don’t).
We never know what will get a good uptake. If you spend a month and a few hundred, if not thousand, pounds creating a polished video, and then get no engagement, the disappointment of the low interaction burns on your skin like lemon juice on a papercut. Discouraged and broke, you say: “Fuck you, LinkedIn! Fuck you, videos!” But it’s not their fault!
Now imagine this. You listen to this crazy Italian, and instead of sending out polished, perfect videos, you start sending out 80/20 videos – videos that are only 80 percent of the quality they could be but cost you 20 percent of the time and money. You post two a week – yes, I said two per week, not per month. I can post one a day on a roll, so you can definitely do two a week. You spend at the very most 15 minutes per video recording and 30 minutes editing. So you have spent 90 minutes a week, and you’ve spent zero pounds. Do this for 11 weeks (one quarter with one week’s holiday) and you will have invested 16.5 hours, zero pounds and have 22 pieces of video content on LinkedIn. For no extra investment, apart from the time it takes to upload them (which you could use a freelancer for), you could post the same content on various platforms: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vero and more. You could ask a member of your team, or pay a freelancer, to adapt the length of the videos to suit each of the platforms. You could also get them to create voice versions of the videos and turn them into podcasts. Finally, get them transcribed (a great tool for this in the THE TOOLS chapter later on) and you’ll have 22 articles. So in 16.5 hours over a period of 11 weeks, you will have produced:
- 22 videos on several platforms
- 22 podcasts
- 22-66 soundbite-type videos or text cut and edited from the full version (not by you – so no time needed)
- 22 articles
If you use 1 video, 1 podcast, 1 article, 1 soundbite video and 1 soundbite text post every week, you have more than five months covered posting daily. Get someone to build a posting calendar for you so that don’t use the same content in the same week, for example:
- Post full video A
- Soundbite version of video B
- Soundbite version of article C
- Full article D
- Podcast E
- Post full video B
- Soundbite version of video C
- Soundbite version of article D
- Full article E
- Podcast A
And so on.
With that amount of content, you have a much better chance of getting traction and seeing what works. Now you have a real opportunity to see what resonates and what you need to do more or less of. Some people will engage with written content and totally reject the same content in a different format. This way you’ll get to see what’s what. And it took virtually nothing to produce it all – 16.5 hours. Sound like a lot? It’s not. Later, in THE PRODUCTIVITY chapter, we’ll look at how to get more from your working hour. But for now, if you’re honest with yourself, you waste more time than that. Look at the last three months and honestly answer these questions:
- How many of the meetings I had were necessary? How many hours have I spent in meetings that could have been avoided?
- How many one-hour meetings could have been done in 30 minutes or less?
- How much time have I spent browsing Facebook or LinkedIn?
- How much time have I spent doing tasks that could have been done by someone else but that I wanted to do because I’m a control freak?
I bet that if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll easily come up with more than the 16.5 hours you need to get this content out. Content is always king. What will change over time is the quality of the content: people want more and better content, and by better I mean more inherently good, more informative, more entertaining, more useful. I don’t mean more polished. LinkedIn has changed and is no longer the CV, job hunting, recruiters’ mecca it used to be. At least it’s not just that. Now LinkedIn is a place where you can win if you post good, relevant and real content. Get on it.