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Marketing Study Lab - Actionable Marketing Knowledge

Hello, I’m the Lego Master of Marketing! 

Odd statement to start a profile, but go with it, it’ll make sense.

You know when you have loads of Lego all over the floor and it just looks like one big pile of nothingness. Not only does it look a mess, it’s a pain when you stand on it.

I take these bricks and start to make sense of how they all fit together.

If your marketing feels like a pile of painful Lego, let’s chat and get those building blocks fitting together:

Why is this an issue?

The biggest problem facing todays marketing departments is the severe lack of qualified marketers, which usually happens by accident.

It’s not your fault, this usually happens by accident.

Perhaps there was an immediate need to design a website or create some literature and you needed someone to coordinate this – before you know it, Mark is the new marketing department.

Maybe your business has experienced some rapid growth, expanded and was looking to promote within or Andrea from customer service fancied her hand at marketing and is now in charge of all corporate comms.

Or perhaps your competition is way too active on social media and you feel you need to be present on this platform as well. Get Hayley to post ‘stuff’ – she’s young enough to understand how to do this. 

You get the idea!

These circumstances lead to 100s of hours of wasted time and money by focusing on the short-term tactics rather than a long-term strategic approach that will make a difference.

Even worse than this, the misplaced management of employees creates missed business opportunities, leaving money on the table that many didn't even know was there!

Hello, I’m Peter!
I can help with this.

I’ve been there, seen Marketing Departments churning out worthless tactical marketing communications that do nothing but damage a company’s reputation, wasting peoples time and reducing, not building long-term brand value.

I specialise in training programmes that will alter the mind-set of lost / forgotten / unqualified marketer's, by developing the skills needed to confidently create successful, long-term marketing strategies that generate business opportunities.

How is this done? Tell me, tell me now!

Quite simply by removing the pain points and problems than many marketers face as they haven’t had the training or been given the opportunity to develop their marketing skills through;

Strategic Marketing Planning
Professional Marketing Qualifications
Marketing Training Days

Any business that is not benefiting from the opportunities marketing will create is missing out MASSIVELY! The chances are that the marketing tactics that are being deployed focus on pushing the wrong messages of ‘Buy. This. Now’ to the wrong people (who don’t even care you exist), creating minimal awareness and even less success.

Positioning a company through a strategic marketing approach, not only carves out a point of difference for a company to differentiate themselves from the competition, but creates a unique proposition within the marketplace that highlights the problems it helps to fix for those that care enough to seek out this solution. Moving a company from a wasteful and unwanted push strategy to one that creates value where customers will actively gravitate towards this value proposition.

This changes your marketing and the marketing department from being viewed as a cost centre that haemorrhages money, to the department that creates value and saves money in the long-term.

And here’s a little bit of social proof for you:

‘It is refreshing to see someone with a passion for the profession producing such valuable content for others to learn from.’

‘He was genuine and very honest in his approach and it was a pleasure working through this with Peter. An ‘out of the box’ thinker, he enabled me to consider different approaches'.

Happy Marketing

I would love to get your feedback on how I can improve the podcast or what you would like to hear in forthcoming episodes so either leave a comment or contact me directly -

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Nov 19, 2020

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Guest: John Espirian
Topic: Marketing and Bad Practices (Social Media)

Discussion Points
• Automation
• Communicating
• Being generic
• And a bit of footi

Enjoy the Episode - Happy Marketing!

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Transcript (this transcript isn’t 100% accurate but provides a decent representation of the conversation – soz for any confusion)

Peter Sumpton
And we're back live on a Friday. And my guest yet again, I've got another guest because no one wants to be alone on a Friday evening delay. And what better guest to have on a Friday than John Espirian. The legend that is.

So, John, I'm not going to do your intro. I'm sick of introducing you to be phased in. I'm a podcast twice. I always talk about you on multiple podcasts. So I'm gonna let you do your own intro this time. But enough of me and this is my last time. Yeah, absolutely.

John Espirian
Yeah, I'm john, Experian. I'm a technical copywriter by trade, I also call myself a LinkedIn nerd, because I've been researching this platform for bloody forever. So I help people with their LinkedIn profiles, I write content for their websites, and try to be an all round most guy where I can. But I'm not gonna be a nice guy today, I think we're gonna have a bit of a moan we can today about social. Yeah, and why not? I think, as always just introduce what we're doing here today. So we're live on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. If you have any comments, just please post them below as we as we go along. But the reason I do these lives on a Friday is to have a bit of a general chat with somebody about marketing, and, and then whatever that might be. So today, it's social media, bad practice, but let's just call it a social media moan about things that we do what other people do, should I say No boss, obviously, because we're squeaky clean, that other people do that just either bad practice, don't work shouldn't be done. You wouldn't do that in real life. So why don't you do it on a social platform? Those types of things. But before we start, john, I've got a little quiz for you. It's just it's one one quick question. And I want you to tell me, who said this, okay. Don't ever try to sell me on anything. Give me all the information. And I'll make my own decisions.

I believe that was Mr. Kardashian, wasn't it?

Wait, I mean, your success rate must be so low. So I just think that sales approach just isn't for me. And I can't imagine that it works for anyone to be honest. I mean, you'd feel that there's that much around that it works for some people, but I don't know. I'd be amazed if to find somebody, I'm yet to find somebody in the listening, please speak up and say, do all the time. And it really works. Because we automate it to 60,000 people. And we get to people say, Yeah, well, this is the thing that we see back in the day, if it was, alright, you're going to be using an automation tool to spam loads of people through email, then you can even I didn't agree with that. Either, you can kind of at least see that the finances make sense, because it's not costing you any more to send a message to 500,000 people than it is to 5000 people, or many fewer so so then I can kind of see why automation will work. But on social media,

unless you're going to do it through the automated route, then I don't see any any reason why you would try that because it would take me so much effort to get a single lead out of that approach, that maybe people are just automating. And that's that. That's another one of the bad practices is just the the process of doing what I would call Front of House automation is a bad thing, you know, so So I mean, I talked about this in content DNA, it's it's back of house automation is all right, you know, the stuff that you can't see, that makes the business's processes smoother, but that isn't detectable at the front end. That's cool. And that's smart. But front of house, you know, where you can see that they'll start a message with Hey there. Okay, what's automated? You know, just something that obviously looks like it's boilerplate text. I just can't imagine that that that works on the modern social media. Use it definitely doesn't work on me. And I think I know a lot of people actually a lot of people who've been put off, I mean, LinkedIn specifically, but I'm sure this happens everywhere, because they'll say, is just full of sales pitches. Uh huh. And so, you know, it's actually, you know, it's damaging, because the people who might actually have something interesting to say thinking stuff this for a game of soldiers, I'm not going to hold on where someone's just going to be bombing my inbox with all sorts of rubbish.

Peter Sumpton
I'd love to know if even down to the point of view of, we've got this new product out now, as a post. I'd love to know if that's ever worked for anybody. And I suppose it must, in some industries? Absolutely. But in general on LinkedIn, I'd be amazed if that is a good tactic to to utilise in, in anything on LinkedIn just seems a bit crazy to me.

John Espirian
Yeah, I think we need to earn the right. Mm, ourselves. And so you know, I've heard some marketers say, well, maybe one in five of your posts could be promotional, maybe one in 10 of your product could be promotional, maybe one in 20 of your posts, it depends on who you listen to. But I think you've got to make sure that you you do something that educates and informs and entertains to earn the right to pitch to people.

Peter Sumpton
And there's a way of doing that. Yeah. And and the thing that I like about the way you go about what what you do, from your website to social and I suppose we'll we'll cover it in in a little while in terms of being the same everywhere, is that you don't you don't sell you educate, but you do it from the point of view of very much openness and transparency, there's not a lot to hide in terms of what you offer from a business perspective. And what you tell people, you know, you're up front with your rates, you're up front, you push them promote the industry, and other people in it. And it's like, it's just all for the good, really, and why wouldn't that be a thing?

John Espirian
Yeah, well, I think a lot of people have got that that kind of scared competition mindset. Yeah, you know, the big realisation that most people don't have is that your biggest competitor isn't the guy down the road, who does the same thing as you, the biggest competitor is complete inaction, isn't it, your way your brain is tuned to try and conserve energy not have to make hard decisions. And easy decision for it to make is to do nothing. Mm hmm. Conscious brain is the easiest thing is to do nothing. So that's the competitor you're dealing with. So if you if you're battling that foe, you've got to make it as simple and frictionless and trustworthy to deal with someone as possible so that you can move them to that point where they actually do want to do something. And you're not going to do that by hiding stuff. You know, I think that those days are over now, you know, you can't, you can't keep secrets on the internet. It doesn't work like that. So So I think, you know, quite apart from the fact I think it's just the ethical thing is just to tell people the truth as much as possible. I just think it's the smart business thing to do. I mean, when it comes to decision, who are you going to trust the person who lays out all of the facts, and even some of the flaws? Or someone who just says, you know, shiny, shiny, everything is brilliant. Let's get into a consultation. We'll talk about prices later. Well, no, that's not going to work. You've got to, I think you've got to be more and more transparent. And we'll we'll eventually reach a point where the only successful businesses are the ones who actually do share everything up front. And people can make an informed choice. And there'll be less hoodwinking, hopefully in the future.

Peter Sumpton
The ones the one thing I've noticed of my career, I suppose we're going to a bit of a tangent, I'll bring it back in a moment. But the one thing that I've I've noticed over over my career is that if you do that standard, go to an event which those event things still exist somewhere in the world. If you if you go to an event and you say, how's business, and the answer is good. That means it's terrible. It's like why wouldn't you just say, Well, I'm actually struggling at the moment to be fair, you know, welcome to business so if if you know anybody that can benefit from what we've got to offer, you know, let's let's connect that I don't understand why there wouldn't be that that honestly I've never got that.

John Espirian
Yeah, yeah, totally.

Peter Sumpton
So because you can't have your standard background I feel like I should pick

John Espirian

brain blue This can't be right this is not right. And this this this this whole thing is blue in front to me now.

Peter Sumpton
I very treatable Garrison's.

For people that don't know is that well, I'm currently sat in an office in the centre of the champions of England. So in Liverpool City Centre, which is cool England as we know likes to tell people even. And this isn't rock Far from it, but fabulous book. I was talking about this book and talking about it. I'm sure it was yesterday. And yes, it was yesterday with with both our friend, Nicole Osborne. And I can, I can just nice little thing then at the bottom six times, there you go loving. And you're sorry,

John Espirian
I hope that's out of date soon.

Peter Sumpton

But the thing that I was saying is that i've i've don't read many books, but I've read this book because it was just dead easy to read. It's not too long. It's full of valuable information. And this isn't me blowing smoke up your ass. This is me being perfectly honest. But the thing that I intended to do in life gets in the way is go back through it, and start to mark up the elements that I need to have in my business. And I haven't done that. In fact, I've got two pages in my diary of notes from it. And that is it. But that is on my to do list. So just wanted to highlight the fact that anyone that's listening, check out content DNA, because it's, it's a really good read. It's simple to read and understand what you need to do. And it's just about applying it. And like you said, it's my brain that stopped me from doing that more than anything, because time isn't. Time is never an excuse.

John Espirian
Yeah, I think I think I mean, your case you've got there, you've got the whole Lego thing going on. And isn't that mark, memorable kind of hook that you've got there? And you know, most people who've seen me on LinkedIn, know that, you know, I'm wearing and now I've got my bitmoji on. And it's like, it's almost like a bit of a cornerstone, isn't it? It's like, you want to occupy that space in people's mind that says, Oh, yeah, it's that guy who does whatever. And they've got really quick and easy way of remembering them. So if that if that Lego marketer is that cartoony, LinkedIn guy, I mean, I'm not saying that everyone needs an avatar in that same way. I think everyone needs a hook. Definitely. Because everyone's coming in the sea of sameness, aren't you? But

Peter Sumpton
yeah, yeah. And if you if you can link that to your personality, or who you actually are, which I think we both do that, then you're on to a positive thing, because regardless of what how people say it, you know, like, Oh, that's the Lego person or they, you know, they've got that cartoon character that is about them and linked to them. It's that link, it's that association. And it makes it memorable, because they've actually remembered it. They might not remember that the exact phrase or what it is, but they've remembered it because it stands out, like you say,

John Espirian
yeah, that's the thing. And it's what a lot of people don't do, and they end up kind of being actually they ended up doing what I used to do before, you know, short of a few years ago, where I was just too scared to be myself. And so you end up being really generic in what you do, you know, you just end up really being if you even if you're not a boring person you come across as being really boring and just be you forgettable. And what's the point? What's the point of being on social media, if you're not going to be yourself? discussion the other day and just seeing someone's writing and thinking that's not? That's not right. That's not them. Not? They're not like that. What are they writing like that? They're just, it's, it's, you know, I mean, there are many worse practices on social media. But honestly, if you're not yourself, then you're going to attract the wrong people, or you're not going to attract anyone, in which case, what's the point in any of it? You know, yeah. People you want people to when they actually get into a phone call, or a zoom call, or meeting you in person, if that's ever going to be possible again, and you want them to go, Oh, yeah, you know, you're exactly the way you were in your LinkedIn, or on your website or whatever. You don't want to give people that shock to the system. Like, oh, you're actually really funny and

Peter Sumpton
well expected.

John Espirian
Or worse, you know, you've got you've paid someone to, to make you look really polished and funny and whatever online. And actually, you can have delis teach water, but it's just probably the worst. I hate seeing those kind of disconnects. You know, where, where it doesn't all line up. Just that does my head in to be honest. So I won't get as open and honest and real as they can if if you are then then I think you know everyone has something interesting to say you can you can get on quite well with with with social media. That's that's what I found the last years. I just relaxed. I've just been myself. And hey, it's working out.

Peter Sumpton
Yeah, absolutely. which is which is brilliant to hear at one thing, just just leading on from there. So we both come from a corporate background or we have worked in in those industries before. How and I think you alluded to just then but how long did it take for you to wash that out? Have your system

John Espirian
probably I'd say about

five or six years

really relax into into my voice. It took a while, you know, I mean, social media when I, when I set up my own business, I did set up a website Pretty soon, but I didn't get into social media straightaway. So it's kind of a late adopter. And yeah, you know, you're so used to kind of, you've got to wear a shirt and tie mindset. It takes you a while to let go of that and think actually, does anyone care? Like, wouldn't they just rather have a real conversation with a real person? So yeah, sorry, it did take me a while. So it's all very well and good, me telling people, hey, you need to just relax and be yourself. So I can't I can't lecture anyone on this. I'm just, it works when you do. So try to find a way to do it quicker than five or six years, because it will really benefit you if you can.

Peter Sumpton
But it can be it can be really hard. In Iceland, I sometimes start writing something and then I look back at a sentence and think, why have you written Haha, that's just not. That's not even how you even speak, let alone right? Like, what what are you doing? And then I'll delete and rewrite it because it takes a while to to watch out, I think.

John Espirian
Yeah. Yeah, it's one of the things I say in the book, actually, it's just the best thing you can do is read your own writing out loud before you commit it to the digital page. And if it doesn't sound like you, you better you better edit it, because someone's gonna see the gaps. You know, someone's gonna guess that, you know, you're not saying something right there. So yeah, it's really important that three important tip to get your content writers to read out loud.

Peter Sumpton
So yeah, I agree. And I put myself in that bracket. I don't. I'm more of a writer and go kind of bloke and I know I need to work on that. Because sometimes, like typos are my nemesis. But I'm not the best copywriter in the world to be fair, so yeah, I try. But what I'd like to do is focus on an Oh, we've been talking around these topics, but some of those things that really get our go or grind our gears or bad practices on social and things that people can if, if anyone's watching or listening can look to avoid, because it's just like, No, just don't, you might have seen it work. And someone's ended up with 50,000 followers, and they get engagement every single time they post. But I think really like is that just all fluff and rubbish, which it probably is. But that was the first one that interests me is automation. Yeah. So let's just have a quick chat about automation on social platforms.

John Espirian
Well, I think, again, this is something I used to do. So hey, you know, I'm a reformed, reformed Automator. Back in sort of 2016, I thought that social media was popping on to a scheduling tool for 20 minutes on a Sunday evening, lining up a load of blog posts and other interesting stuff that I've come across during the week, and setting it to shedule throughout the following week, and then getting on with something else. And that was that was social media. And a lot of people still do that. Or they buy actual media manager who does that for them. That's not social media at all. That drip drip bought broadcasting, isn't it? It's not social media, you just putting stuff out, it gets zero likes and comments, and everyone ignores it. What's actually social media isn't about that kind of automation. When I when I came to realise that that wasn't the right way of doing things, when actually thought maybe the best way to do it is actually to be social actually engage in conversation, and, you know, engage on other people's posts, respond to people who are looking at my posts, try and have conversations with them in public and in private through direct messages. You can't automate any of that. You could, I suppose you could pay someone to do that bit for you. But that's just taking the task off your desk, and giving it to someone else who has to become a mimic for you, well, they're probably not gonna be able to do that either very well. But certainly just automating the broadcasting bit on its own isn't gonna work. If you automate the broadcasting and also are around to engage with people and go and seek out other content that you can comment on or, you know, collaborate with and have private conversations. If you're around to do those bits, then then brilliant, but without those bits, your social media ain't very social, and you're not going to get really any results from it. I I can't think of anyone that I know who does do. Just that. broadcasts broadcast broadcast and gets results, apart from the mega influences. So if you're someone who's got a million followers, you can do that. Because Enough of your followers have built up enough loyalty with you that if you just announced some product or whatever, the you know the going by it, and it's not a problem, you can just broadcast don't need to reply to anyone. It'll work. But but you know that that's a vanishingly small proportion of the, the, the social media user base, most people can't get away with that.

Peter Sumpton
Yeah, I think you've almost got certain certain levels as well. So you've, you've got that bottom tier where you need that interaction, you need that engagement, you need to be on the platform, it needs to be you need to start building and developing and lo and behold, being social, imagine that. But like you said, then there's almost that crossover to well, how big are you actually getting? And how, because if we're, if we're taking that from the point of view of it's a social platform, we need to be social? Well, if you've grown that follow into X amount, then you can't reply to everybody, and you can't be everywhere all the time, then how big are you going, but you're almost like a company rather than a person. And then I think you're in a, in a different realm of what people want to hear from you and how you communicate with them. Anyway.

John Espirian
Yeah, I mean, I've kind of I've actually wrestled with that problem myself. I haven't really solved it yet. But I'm thinking I know that, if my and, and apologies for just focusing on LinkedIn, but that really is my strong suit. But I know that if I keep growing my LinkedIn following at the same rate that I am now, then it means that in a year's time, I'll have about 60,000 followers, which is quite a lot, right. And, and it wouldn't be that long from there to go to maybe 100,000. Because of course, that kind of snowball effect isn't there, because once people can see someone with a lot of followers, they go on follow them, we actually becomes a lot easier to gain massive numbers once you get to quite big. Whereas kind of going from 1000 to 2000, might be a real slog, but going from 50, to 60,000, actually is probably a walk walk in the park, right? So there comes a point where if you do grow, to be to become really, really big, but then the only way to manage it would then to be to get help, some kind of help, but you have to make sure that your business can sustain it, you know, so, so growing your following really that means that you should be getting more and higher quality business, you know, set either selling more product or, or selling more valuable services so that you can actually support the growing following. Because otherwise, if you're if your income and your available time stays the same, then yes, you're absolutely right, you will hit a point where you're going to go, I'm trying to do all of this myself, but I actually can't service any more people, then then, you know, you'll probably hit some kind of ceiling. But I think that the thing that's given me comfort is I was looking back at something that Kevin Kelly wrote a while ago about this, this idea of 1000 true fans, you know, you need to get the really hardcore people who are in your audience, they'll do your marketing for you, they'll do for you. If you've got more followers than actually you need that that's not you know, it's not really a problem. You need to service the real hardcore fans, we're going to take your message out to the masses. Yeah. And for most businesses, unless you're a kind of stalking, high selling low kind of business. You don't need, you don't need thousands and thousands of people to turn into customers, you know, you might need 50 customers. Were the 10 customers. So does it matter? It may be it doesn't matter to think I've got to keep growing, got to keep growing. Got to keep growing. Maybe you don't.

Peter Sumpton
Yeah. And it's certainly something that I give a lot of consideration to, and certainly something that Yeah, I wrestle with quite a lot into I see things like and we'll come on to it in a minute. But we're really interested in chat thing, but I see things like butt pods, and let me explain where I'm going here. But I see things I like to see things like automation, and I see things like that clearly not them posting it. And I know some people on LinkedIn that don't do that posting. They do some engagement with that with them. But they don't do that posting and some part of me thinks, yeah, I get that to a certain extent because it grows in businesses. It's, it gets you more. It gets you to people, sorry, let me face that. It gets more people viewing your content, whether they're the right people, that's debatable, but then you're more exposed. People, more people see you because like you were saying it kind of snowballs. And then once you're there, then people could start to resonate. But then there's that other side. That's like, that's just completely unethical. It's like, why would you do these practices? What, what's wrong with building slow and going slow, because you're one person at the end of the day, and yet you might build a team around you. But so it's one thing that really, really, I, I wrestle with all the time. And it goes back to what you're saying it's don't focus on the number, because if you if you ever listened to Seth Godin at all, he always mentions the Grateful Dead. And I don't think they had, I think they either had one number one hit, or they had a one top 10 hit. And they were absolutely huge, because they just focused on that core funds. And, and those core funds went to went to see them live like 50 100 times. Yeah.

John Espirian
Yeah, I think I think is it David? David meerman, Scott's got a book about the Marketing Secrets of the Grateful Dead something like okay,

Peter Sumpton
right. Okay. That's cool.

John Espirian
Yeah, they obviously they obviously knew their fans really well and profited from it. So yeah. Oh, yeah. pods. I mean, just wow. I think they are totally unethical. And I call in my, I've got a course called how not to be a LinkedIn loser. And in there, I just say that the pods are really like an unholy alliance between people who are often in different businesses. And that that is a real problem, I think, because you imagine that you're, you know, you're a marketer. And imagine that you're in a, you're in a pod. So it's a, for those who haven't been introduced to pods. They're sometimes formal, but usually a loose agreement between a group of people that when one person posts something, everyone else in that group will go And like and comment and share in order that the post will be seen by more people. But you know, if you're a marketer, and you're in a pod with a logo designer, and landscape gardener, the foreman pool technician, right, and then you know, you're going to be boosting their content by commenting on it. Well, first of all, that's going to take you some time to go and engage. But second of all, and possibly more importantly, you're going to be referring some of that content into the feeds of the people who follow you. So people, or you say, right, pizza mark, or I need some marketing knowledge. Brilliant, I'm going to follow Pete, I'm going to connect with Pete and therefore I'm following him. Great, I'm going to get some marketing insights. And then they see you say, you know, Pete commented on so and so swimming repair post, what, what's that about? And then he did on sound, sound logo design thing. Hang on, I'm here to learn about marketing study or whatever, that's not relevant to me. It's idea of, it's this idea of the extended content footprint, right? your content footprint is the stuff that you create directly. And obviously, you're in full control of that, what you're not quite in full control of is the fuzzy outline of it, the extended content footprint, which is all of the stuff that you interact with, has a chance of being referred into the feeds the people who follow you. And if that's not super relevant to them, there's they might unfollow you, and if they do unfollow, you probably never gonna get them back. And then you're essentially dead to them. So pod means that, you know, you increase the risk of that kind of thing happening. And also, you know, LinkedIn being the way it is, it'll, it will get more intelligent over time. And if it sees the same five people, or however many people commenting on something, within a few minutes of that thing going live, it might go, maybe they were primed to do that. Maybe they didn't see that naturally, and decided to comment on it. In which case, you know, LinkedIn are very, very happy to close you down, if they think that you're breaking the rules, they're pretty hot on their user agreement. So it's just a, just a generally bad thing to do all around. So in general, just that visibility for visibility sake, you unless you know, something more about, you know, the people are likely to see the content, it's probably not gonna be very valuable to you. And it's just a sign of bad practice is trying to cheat the system, trying to get quick, early engagement. And I don't think I don't think it really works. And the people who tend to be in the pods aren't posting the quality material. You know, you can it's just not very good stuff, but it's been boosted by others and, and experienced that can see through that, and I don't think it's going to serve them in the long run.

Peter Sumpton
So I've just been talking about pods on like, another group and it's a group of podcasters two completely different things, by the way, but let's just do that. Maybe just as in pods, and a group of podcasters, and we've got this group, and we share when we post things, but we don't we don't say, like, push my content, push my content, if it's relevant, then comment. If it's not, then it's like, yes, that's fine. I'm just gonna leave that. But we, you know, it's not it's not a pod. It's a group of people. And we come together, and we do like, group talks and stuff like that. And I think that's absolutely fine. It, it's this bad practice of, and to the worst extent, you pay to be in here, and we will boost your content. I haven't I mean, that's just,

John Espirian
yeah, I know, businesses based on that. I don't know how they're still operating, to be honest. Because it can shut down. But, you know, if you do get into any kind of arrangement like that, just just watch out. Because if someone look, right, if you're in a pod, and someone posts something that you disagree with, what you gonna do, you know, someone, vote Trump, and you go, Oh, God, hang on, I've just said that I'm gonna support all this stuff, and like and share and comment on it. Am I gonna call you out publicly? Probably not. Am I gonna have to support something I don't believe in Oh, dear. What, what do I do? How on earth do you kind of work that out? So you've got to make sure that you stay on the same page and be friendly about everything that you do. And if someone's posting complete Tosh, you've got to support it anyway. I just think it's bad practice. So yeah, what you just said, if you've got like minded people all working to the same goal, you know, in the same industry, and there's no mandate that says you must share this, you know, if you want, you can if you don't want to, that's fine as well, then then you know, that, that that's just a group of friends.

Peter Sumpton
And that's pretty much how it feels. It's Yeah, it's an amazing thing.

John Espirian
And, you know, there's, there's no problem with that, but but trying to formalise it and certainly paying for it cool. Yeah.

Peter Sumpton
Yeah. I mean, that that goes back to bad practices, such as we'll get you number one in Google, that really just talk talk me through that, God, just talk me through that. How are you going to do that?

John Espirian
And also dodging tricks with search engine optimization, I guess. But I guess that button links back to people being easy to dupe. It's sad.

Peter Sumpton

John Espirian
That That kind of thing could happen. But yeah,

Peter Sumpton
that's I was listening to a podcast once and I can't remember who it was that was on there. I'm sure it was eyes, podcast off Lago workshop, or whatever he wants to call it, because she's, she's an amazing person. But the person said, they said, Google used to be stupid. It's not anymore. And it's like, Yeah, you've got a point because the used to be some dark arts that worked to a certain extent. But no, Google's a little more sophisticated than that nowadays. And if anybody thinks that, or anybody tells you that they can get you number one for something. It's unless you're in that field, unless you've got that credibility, fundamental ly plus, but doesn't take into consideration anything else. Other people search, what they've been searching their location, all that kind of stuff. It's just a nonsense.

John Espirian
Yeah. Well, I mean, I think I can't remember the exact the exact way he phrased it, but Andy crestodina, in his, in his writing talks about, you know, Google is is a massive, massive business, and it hires the best people, and could easily have 10,000 100,000, let's say, have the world's best computer scientists working on their product, the new thing that you and your website can fool. Because if you do in the wrong game, they're gonna beat you aren't them. They're gonna suss you out. So if you if you want to match yourself against all those nerds in those lab coats who are working on this every day to serve up the best possible results, you're on your own loser, don't bother, just do this create content that actual humans would want to read and comment on and share. And that way Google will learn that you've got something of value

Peter Sumpton
Absolutely. So I want to finish on a positive let's let's try and do that for Friday evening. So what what tactics are what's working well on on LinkedIn right now what could people deploy that's what I'm not talking about the you know will will join apart and ultimately content not that kind of tactic I'm talking about his will video seems to be working quite well because and or just just standard copy LinkedIn stories that seems to be getting a push at the moment. You know, what's what's working well?

John Espirian
Well, I mean, every time LinkedIn producing new feature that tends to get a boost. So it hasn't been that long since LinkedIn polls have been out. So at the start, when someone would post a LinkedIn poll, it would get a lot of visibility, because it's a new feature. latest new thing on the block is LinkedIn story so that I only had that for only a week in the UK. But that has got high visibility in the LinkedIn mobile app, and is a really good way of getting engagement, actually, because I've only done a couple of stories so far, but I've had a lot of direct messages off the back of mind. And so and what that means is that you get into more conversations. And that's actually where all of the business happens is, is through public comments and private conversation. So the more things that you can do to spark those conversations, the more chance you are getting better success from LinkedIn. And so so do invest in in, you know, creating some stories, if you haven't already tried them. All of my stats show that text only will still work the best on LinkedIn versus image posts, which you know, that that flies in the face of everything. The other social platforms. So text only posts work really well, document posts work really well, because there's been, there's been a change in the LinkedIn algorithm a few months ago, which means that it now benefits, you know, it, it rewards people for high dwell time on a post. So in other words, the amount of time that someone spends looking at the post, okay, could, you know, correlates this in, to some extent, with the success of that post. So if you, if you create a video, then that then people have to watch that for a while if they can actually consume it in any way. So that's good for dwell time. And if you create a document post, so that's something like a slide, you know, PDF carousel slideshow thing. That's something that takes people a while to click through. But that also means LinkedIn will go, whoo, they're spending some time on this, it's probably good. Let's show it to lots of people. So videos and document posts get really good numbers. That's what that's where it's worth. That's where it's worth investing a little bit of time in creating that kind of content. And also, you've got there's, there's now a featured section, for LinkedIn profiles of your profile, you can feature your best piece of content. So whatever it is that you're promoting, it's a good idea to put that up in the top of this featured section so that people browsing your profile can learn a bit more about you. And as much as possible, leave your salesy stuff for your profile, and leave your explanatory helpful, you know, personality stuff for your content. So you know, content tells profile sells, think of it like that, put your put your you know, your more sales focused messages in your profile for the people who are going to do the due diligence on you and say,

Peter Sumpton
one thing I hadn't hadn't thought of there and you raised it, and it's a bit of a genius ploy in it makes more sense why LinkedIn have got stories on there is because you, you really need to start that communication, one to one on an individual basis to build that relationship. And it's very rare that you would have that conversation on a on a post in an open platform. That is Oh, yeah, I want to buy from you. Let's Let's char, but through a DM and that's what LinkedIn stories does. It diverts everyone into into your dm which, which is a genius move

John Espirian
now. Yeah, no, and it's worked for me, you know, one of my stories, someone's who'd been connecting with me for a while said, you know, they were thinking about, maybe they should hire me to create some LinkedIn content for them, and maybe they wouldn't have got in touch if I just done it. So it definitely can work. You need to, you need to have got over that earlier mindset thing that we talked about, about being yourself, because you can't be you shouldn't be a fake person, if you're going to be doing stories, because that's really quite broad. Just everyday stuff, isn't it? So you need to kind of be be comfortable with that. But also remember that people aren't expecting polished perfection, especially in in, you know, in in a story format, and it goes after 24 hours anyway. So you're not going to have kind of, it's not going to be something that's going to embarrass you, you know, six years down the line. it'll it'll be gone. So yeah, just share a bit of that bit of a personal story, a bit of what's going on in your day, the behind the scenes stuff. We really useful in in getting closer to your audience, I think.

Peter Sumpton
And I think I think we'll wrap it up here. But one thing you just said, Ben, I think he's just absolutely bang on. You just said that that person might not get got in touch if 100 on that. And that is just an absolute 100% reason why you should be creating valuable, interesting content for the people you want to attract. Because there's a lot There's a lot of lurkers, and rightly so because we all consume content and we don't comment, like or share or whatever. And you don't know who's watching and you don't know how helpful you're potentially being to that one person. And that's what I always think I always think, okay, if I post this or I have this live with, with with you, john, or whoever, as long as I'm helping that one person as long as one person gets a little bit of value or thinks that's a good idea. I'm happy with that.

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