Getting the most from Linkedin, John Espirian

John Espirian
Linkedin is an unbelievable platform for marketers, but so many of us aren’t taking advantage of what is truly a golden age of the platform.

In this session, John covers:

  • How to generate content for Linkedin
  • The metrics you need to be looking at to measure success
  • How to adopt a follow first strategy, as opposed to a connect first strategy
  • What the deal is with ‘trending’ on Linkedin
  • How long you should expect to be posting on Linkedin before seeing results
  • Why you shouldn’t be looking to automate on Linkedin
  • The golden ratio between posting and commenting on the platform
  • How to use Hashtags
  • Asking for recommendations
  • Linkedin’s Social Selling Index
  • The best strategies when it comes to growing your company page
  • How to get in difficult to reach people
  • The need for quality!
  • And much more!

Links mentioned throughout the conversation:

John Espirian’s profile:

John at heart is a technical copywriter working for himself having previously held roles at Sky and Fujistu, although we hope he won’t mind us saying that we also consider him one of the most useful sources for Linkedin knowledge on the web. Specifically, John focuses on organic Linkedin, which is where our focus is in this session. John is also the recent author of ‘Content DNA’ which is available on Amazon right now.

Work aside, John is an interesting chap despite an unfortunate affection for Liverpool FC – we’ve still got my fingers crossed the season will be cancelled before they can be crowned champions. John is a Lord (technically), his first music purchase was ‘’Informer’ by Snow’ and John also voted 162 for Leona Lewis to win the X factor back in 2006, which we’re not sure is something to be proud of.

We need to thank the sponsors too, all of whom have been unbelievable. They’ve really kept this show on the road, and while we’ve been so blessed to have received so many messages from the community, these folks all deserve a huge amount of credit. Thank you to Pitch, ContentCal, Fiverr, Redgate, Cambridge Marketing College, Leadoo, Brand, Further, Third Light, Bravo and Human.


Joe Glover 0:06
JOHN is a load, technically, and his first music purchase was informer by snow. No, I don’t know what that is either. And john also voted 162 times for Leona Lewis to win the X Factor back in 2006. Well, whether that’s something to be proud of or not, I’m not sure but, but in any case, on a personal level, john is someone I just really respect. Having seen how he interacts with his own community, over the years and online, I’ve sort of come to the place where count john in that sort of like weird cyber friend kind of camp. We’ve only ever met once at linkers Social Media Day, which you should absolutely check out. But john and I’ve interacted a lot more over the course of time. What I can say is that on top of being a top around chap, he’s just helped me inordinately over the past few years with his down to earth style and practical tips LinkedIn. By the end of the session, I’m sure that you will feel the same to. The reason why this session is relevant today is frankly, LinkedIn is an unbelievable platform for marketers. But so many of us aren’t taking advantage of what is truly a golden age on this platform is set before and it will be set again. This won’t last forever. So the tips john will share stay will undoubtedly propel you forward in a concentrated hour of amazingness. The session will be split into 230 minutes presentation and 30 minutes q&a. The q&a feature is live right now. So what I’d say is get your questions in now and get them in early in the QA, you’ll be able to find a Thumbs up feature. So what I want you to do is if you’ve got a question or you see a question that you like, give it a thumbs up because I’m literally going to be reading from the top from the q&a section. And one last thing from me, I want to make sure that the sponsors feel as appreciated as they are because every one of them has been freaking unbelievable. It’s easy to think that what we’re like 910 weeks into this craziness that has been going on but they’ve really stood by us this entire time. You would have seen that the sponsors were listed in the message I sent you this morning. And that there’ll be Matt mentioned once again in the follow up email. For that reason, I’m not going to go into detail on every one of them right here right now. But what I will say is a huge thank you to pitch content cow fibre red gate, Cambridge marketing, college leader, brand further third light Bravo inhuman. In the follow up email, asked you to do One thing. And that’s just to go through the people that have helped us and say thank you to them. Everything that we’ve ever done is about community and bringing people together. And these guys have really, really helped. So sincerely, please just do take a moment to thank them. With all that said, that’s my introduction done. So I want to say thank you so much to the lovely john spear for being here today. And over to you my friend. Welcome,

John Espirian 3:29
john. Thank you for having me. I’m going to share my screen so you can see my presentation. And I hope if I go fullscreen, you can see that Yep, we got it. Fantastic. So welcome to the mini version of my how not to be a LinkedIn loser talks. I first gave this in Cambridge. I’ve been polishing it since then. So I’m Jonathan. I’m a technical copywriter. I write content for websites, but I’m also a bit of a LinkedIn nerd. So this is what we’re going to talk about today. When I dived into LinkedIn back in 2017, I was a bit of a LinkedIn loser really. So didn’t have a clear brand identity, wasn’t getting any referrals from my networks and have a very big network and wasn’t getting any direct leads. or clients. And I didn’t really have many friends, I wasn’t very good place to be really. But if we jump forward to where I am now, I’m doing rather better on LinkedIn, I’ve got a brand identity that people recognise and echo back to me relentlessly helpful. I’m getting referrals from my network and getting direct leads and people seem to like me. So what’s that mean in the numbers, okay. So very quickly, then back in 2017, I measured profile views and post views. My Profile views I was getting about 90 profile views in a 90 day measured period. So about one profile view a day, not very good. And my posts which I was mostly automating. We’re getting about 100 views per post not great these days, I’ve had a 45 times increase in profile views and a 72 times increase in post views. So how we’re going to achieve that?

Unknown Speaker 5:13
Let’s have a look.

John Espirian 5:14
I’ve got three sections of this talk, there’s tactics. We’re going to go into stuff about your profile, we’re going to talk about content as well. So I’m going to start with some tactics, specifically in this talk. Don’t things that you should not do. Okay? Just a little bit of fun with my branding, there always ends up being about food with me. Right? Here’s the first don’t for you on LinkedIn, don’t just connect with every single soul around there’s some LinkedIn trainers who would have you believe that it’s a good idea to go and connect with 100 people a day or 200 people a day. It’s not building your network really, really quickly means that you don’t get to know people. And I think that’s really, really bad practice. So what I do is try to connect with no more than about five or six people in the day because it gives me a chance to read their profile, get to know them. So slow and steady wins the race here. And I’m the kind of a related don’t is about not chatting with people. So the same people who say go and connect with 200 people a day will say don’t send them a personalised invitation. because that’ll just take too long. You know, just hit Connect, connect, connect. And then once you’ve made a connection with them, don’t chat with them, unless they’re definitely going to do business with you. That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. All of my success has come from from talking to people. And so just in the off, just as in the offline world, you need to do it in the online world as well. So make an effort to connect with people slowly and actually read their profile and talk to them. When you make a connection. And after you’ve made a connection. One of the things that people do who do this bad thing of not chatting to others is sometimes they get involved in what’s called engagement pods. You might not have heard of this term before, but it’s something that LinkedIn is starting to clamp down on now. So essentially, you get into to a group chat, either on LinkedIn or on WhatsApp or some other place where you can exchange messages with people in private. And you say you post something, and I’ll go and like it and comment on on it and share it. And then I post something and you do the same. And it’s kind of unholy alliance between people saying doesn’t matter what you post, I’m going to go and like it. And what that does is that it gives an artificial boost to those posts. And in the past, that kind of thing actually did work. These days, LinkedIn are a bit smarter, and they can see Hang on, those are the same five or six people commenting within 30 seconds of this post being live. Obviously, there’s something fishy going on. The other bad thing about being in an engagement party is that you tend to refer relatively low quality content into the feeds of the people who followed you. So if you’re a you know, if you’re a logo designer, but then you’re referring stuff about some guy who fixes boilers into other people’s feeds, they’re gonna wonder what why you’re relevant to them. You’ve got to refer quality content into people’s feeds. And if you don’t, they’re going to unfollow you eventually. And if they unfollow you, you’re never going to get them back. So engagement pods are bad, LinkedIn are clamping down on them. And they’re just a sign generally of bad content being shared. So to avoid getting involved in stuff like that. Here’s another don’t, which is automating everything. This is a big problem that I had before I really got deep into understanding the way that social media algorithms worked. I used to think that social media was basically gathering a load of blog posts on a Sunday evening, putting them into an automation system for 20 minutes or so. queuing them up throughout the week, pressing the button to say go, and then sitting back and waiting for good things to happen.

Nothing did happen. I rarely get any kind of engagement that way at all. Mostly, that’s because posts containing links tend to do very, very badly. So if you’re posting automated stuff, links out to your blog, that’s not really going to fly on LinkedIn. So it’s much better to spend a bit of time and actually be present on the platform. So when you post be around to engage with others, encourage comments, post stuff natively on the platform rather than through automated tools. So those are some of the don’ts. We’re going to get onto the stuff some of the stuff that I talk to clients about when I do LinkedIn profile review. So let’s look at some profiles. The most important thing to measure on LinkedIn, if you’re going to measure anything at all is your profile views. That’s the profile view count is a really, really good measure showing how well you’re you’re really doing on the platform. Now, if you look on LinkedIn desktop, in fact, you can see this on LinkedIn mobile as well. You can see a count of how many people have viewed your profile in the measured period, which is always the last 90 days. And on the free version of LinkedIn. You can see the last few people who’ve looked at your profile and you can click into them and you know, make connections with them. If you Will, if you pay for LinkedIn premium, you can see a much longer list. And that’s one of the main reasons why people play for LinkedIn is to see who’s been looking at them. So keeping a track of how many people view your profile is a good measure of success because I always say that your content tells, but your profile sells. So your profile has to be optimised to tell, show the value of what you’re doing. And the more eyeballs you get on that profile, therefore will turn into more connections and will turn into more opportunities for business. If you want to keep this screen bookmark which I do. There’s a URL, which is slash me slash profile hyphen views. Now I’ve got about five or six of these links are coming up during this presentation. If you’re watching the replay, you can just pause and make a note of them but I’ve given the links to Joe so he can share those with you as we go along live. Okay, so that’s who’s viewed your profile. What about the most important thing to get right on your profile? Which is your headline? Okay, so on LinkedIn, mobile, only the first 40 characters of your headline will be visible whenever you make a post or whenever you comment on your own post or someone else’s post. That means that the first 40 characters are really rather important to get right. on desktop, you’ve got a bit more latitude. See the first 70 characters of your headline, but in total, your total headline actually has a budget of 120 characters. And so what I’ve done is I’ve come up with a kind of three part formula that chunks up those hundred and 20 characters into 4060 and 20. And let me explain how that’s made up. So it’s the three eyes so it’s interesting, informative, and intriguing. So the first 40 characters of your headline should be what I refer to in my book content DNA as your content DNA statement. It’s essentially boiled down to What value it is what service or product you’re providing pitched in an interesting way. In only 40 characters, that’s not a lot that might be only four or five words at most. And you’ll get to see my headline in a second, I’ll explain how that works. So that’s the first 40 characters that will be visible even in in the tight mobile views is really, really important to get that opening statement correct. The middle section, which is a bit longer 60 characters, is for things like keywords more supporting content that expands upon what the opening statement means. And that leaves you with 20 characters for an intriguing section, what I call in the book, bravery badge. It’s something that should be a conversation starter, something that’s a bit different. And actually, some a couple of the things that Joe mentioned at the start of the webinar are candidates for going into a an intriguing section of a profile headline because it’s something that makes people go Oh, I didn’t know that. What does that mean? And that can be the start of a conversation and the start of the conversation is ultimately what leads to business. So it’s a really important factor. And it’s something that most of my clients have never thought about doing before. So it’s, it’s small, but it’s really, really powerful. I’ll give you an example with my own headline here. So this is my current LinkedIn headline and I’ve colour coded it based on those sections that I’ve just gone through. So my 40 character, roughly, content DNA statement, the interesting bit is relentlessly helpful technical copywriting so that kind of sums up what I do at but does it in a slightly different interesting way.

And relentlessly helpful is that is the cornerstone of my brand, really, and it’s something that people echo back to me so that the whole point of me writing this book was to help people find their shape and find out what it is that’s interesting about them so that they can get their clients to echo stuff back to them and remember them So that’s my opening bit. Then in the middle. I’ve got four b2b websites LinkedIn and author of content DNA so gets across a few different things that support the original statement. And my bravery badge. My intriguing bit is not a douche canoe. And that relates to one of the chapters in the book where I talk about the the opposite of my ideal customer. So I call my ideal customer a pen port trait. That’s the person I really want to serve. But the opposite of that is a poison portray is the customer I absolutely want to avoid at all costs, and I call that person a salesy, douche canoe. So put that in my headline, and I’ve lost count of the number of people who connect with me and then say, I found that funny or what does that mean? I’m not sure I get that it’s just a chance to start a conversation. So there’s, there’s a, there’s my headline, something for you to think about chunking three part chunking of those hundred and 20 characters. Okay, let’s look at a couple of tips for your profile. So one of the most common things that people don’t know is that when you look at LinkedIn profiles, you will see on the right hand side of the screen on. on desktop, you’ll see a panel of other people’s faces and names. And this is the people also viewed grid if you like. It’s a list of the people who others have looked at your profile. And they’ve also looked at these people’s profiles, and therefore those profiles are listed to future viewers who come along and say, Oh, right, you’re looking at a copywriter. Maybe here are some other copywriters, you might be interested in from Lincoln’s point of view, that’s good because it’s giving people options. From your point of view as the service provider, you might not want to promote these people you might not know them from Adam, now all about promoting others. But I’d like to be in control of who I promote and who I don’t promote. And this list doesn’t give you that control. But LinkedIn allows you to turn the list off and by default, it’s turned on but if you go to this magic URL, so, slash p settings, slash browser maps another one of the URLs that Joe is going to share with you, that will take you to this screen, which says viewers of this profile also viewed, and all you need to do is slide it over to now, instead of Yes. And that will remove that panel from your profile so that when people look at your profile, they’re looking only at you and not anyone else. Okay, here’s another thing to consider is

Unknown Speaker 16:23
all of first mode.

John Espirian 16:26
If you’re a content creator, and you’ve got a critical mass of connections already, let’s say about 1000 people, perhaps, and you’re already creating stuff, then a great way of accelerating the visibility of your content is to turn follow first mode on and what does that mean, when someone who’s not connected with you visits your LinkedIn profile, they’ll be presented with a blue Connect button, the one thing that’s on the right of the screen. So you’ll be you’ll be used to seeing that on lots of profiles, but there’s a setting in the LinkedIn preferences that lets you switch that to follow. And that’s what I’ve done. I’m gonna show you where to look. So slash p settings slash, allow hyphen, follow. And if you go there, then you’ll see a screen that looks like this. And one of the options there at the bottom make follow primary, it’s set to no by default. If I slide that over to Yes, then instead of presenting people with a Connect button, I present people with a follow button. What’s the value of doing that? Well, it means that instead of people having to send me a connection, they can just follow me and nothing for me to do whatsoever. All I do is grow my followers. And I did this back in October 2018. And you can see this graph here shows that the orange line shows the point at which I made that change. And the relatively small difference between my followers in green and my connections in blue. And since making that change, there’s just been a massive divergence. And right now I’ve got about 6000 connections, but I’ve got more than 22,000 followers. So that has just accelerated massively because of that change that I made. So if you want more people to see your stuff You’re already creating stuff. Enabling follow first mode is a really, really good way of doing it. Because people get to see your stuff they get to know you, they like you, they trust you. And then when they connect, they know more about you and they’re more likely to want to do business straightaway. So it’s a really, really good thing to to try. What else can you do? Okay, you can ask for recommendations, something that not enough people do. Now, if you go to give someone a recommendation, if you visit someone’s profile, click the More menu and then say recommend Barry or whoever, you’ll get a URL in the address bar will change to add slash detail slash recommendation slash right to the URL.

Unknown Speaker 18:40
Now, if you take that

John Espirian 18:42
bit of the URL, and you add it to your own profile URL, what you’ll get is a screen that I’m showing you right now, which it looks as though I’m recommending myself. What’s really useful about that is you can save that URL, and you can put it in your invoice. You can put it in your email signature, you can just mention it to clients whenever. And it gives people a one click way of jumping on LinkedIn and recommending you. And recommendations are really powerful, you know, all things being equal. Someone who’s got five recommendations is not going to outrank someone in LinkedIn search who’s got 50 recommendations. So it’s a really good thing to get. And it’s powerful because you can’t write recommendations yourself they have to come from, you know, nominated third party so that the really good thing to get so I copy that that little slice of the URL, slash detail slash recommendation slash write, visit your own profile, add that bit to your URL, save the whole thing, put it in your email signature, you’ll be good to go. Right? social selling index, this is something that was recently turned off for a couple of days, there was a massive outcry when it happened. So this is LinkedIn zero to 100 score that that shows what they think of the strength of your profile. And your general LinkedIn presence. Okay, so maximum possible score of 100. It’s scored in four categories, each with a maximum possible score of 25. When people are getting started on LinkedIn, so you’re relatively new, your score will be pretty low might be 20, might be 30. If you come to the social selling index page, and I’ll show you the URL in a second, you’ll see where your strong where you’re weak in each of these four categories. And these categories are links. So when you click on them, you’ll get LinkedIn best advice on how you can improve your score. And that kind of early gamification of your score where you’re, you’re watching your score, you’re doing things to try and improve it and you’re watching it improve that kind of thing reinforces good behaviours, until you start to creep up the rankings. When you get to about let’s say about 70 you’re doing everything correctly, and essentially, the score becomes meaningless. You can pretty much Forget about it. But in those early days when you might be wallowing around in the 20s and 30s taking notice of what your SSI is, will be a good way of getting up to speed quickly. So if you go to slash sales slash SSI, that will show you your current LinkedIn SSI score, and you can bookmark that tune and keep an eye on it every now and then. Right, we’re getting into the third final part of this presentation is about content. It’s a bit where everyone gets excited on LinkedIn, we we make our content better, is one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite business writers and handling who says no one will ever complain that you’ve made things too simple to understand. It’s something that continues to stagger me that I share simple tips and they always get really, really good feedback from my audience. So just keep keep your content as simple as you can, it will get you engagement. Part of keeping your content simple is knowing about readability scores. Now You can measure readability in Microsoft Word. When you do a spellcheck, you know, it’ll it’ll point out what your spelling errors and so forth are but in words, preferences, you can also say turn on readability statistics. And when you do that, and you run a spellcheck, then at the end of that, you’ll get a panel that tells you lots of extra information about your text. It’ll also tell you what your Flesch reading ease score, which is a score from zero to 100, about how readable your content is. Now for business writing, which is what we’re talking about on LinkedIn, you want to aim at the plain English Standard, which is considered as a score between 60 and 70. So this this tip actually goes beyond LinkedIn. This could be for anything, it could be for something that’s content on your website. It could be a blog or an article that you’ve written. If it’s business content, whack that text into Word, turn on the readability statistics in the preferences, do a spell check and then look for the Flesch reading score and see how close you are to that magic kind of 60 or 70. level, but that the simpler the text, the better really, it has been proven time and again, and it’s mentioned in the book, that the higher your readability score, the more trustworthy your content sounds. And people think you’re more intelligent, even if you’re writing in a simpler fashion.

Content Marketing very, very quickly is summed up in these couple of sentences from world’s greatest philosopher, Kanye West. Don’t ever try and sell me on anything, give me all the information and I’ll make my own decisions. This is at the root of creating good content, I think for for LinkedIn and the web in general is to try and systematically remove sales from your content and try to put out as much helpful content that answers people’s real questions. And in the book, I talk about finding the shape of your brand. And that that’s, that doesn’t happen quickly and until you get to the point where you can find the shape of your brand. And you know exactly what kind of content that you want to produce and what you want to say in that content. There’s a kind of safety net that I talked about, which I’m going to I’m going to share here. And it’s what I call the chair framework. So you can see bitmoji on there sitting on his chair. And what this is, is five types of content, five, high level things to try and hit in the content you share on LinkedIn. So challenging, helpful, amusing, interesting, relevant. So challenging content could be something that divides opinion, you’re sharing an opinion that maybe not everyone else has helpful content, something that that genuinely answers a problem that you’re that your audience has right now. amusing content, interesting and relevant stuff. All of these types of content are things that tend to be shareable and tend to be commentable comments are the gold standard on LinkedIn? When you create any kind of content, you’re really, you’re building your campfire. And you want people to huddle around that and start chatting. And the more they chat around your campfire, the more visible your campfire your content will be. So try and create content that meets this framework of challenging, helpful, amusing, interesting, and relevant chair content. Right now I’ve got an example of one of my posts, which I put out a few months ago, weirdly, was removed by LinkedIn. So I’ve reposted it just recently. And this is about how I write my own LinkedIn posts. Now I’m going to go into this in a bit more detail, because that’s gonna be a bit small for you to see. So I’ve just chunked this up into smaller bits. So I start my LinkedIn posts, always with an emoji or something, I like to add a splash of colour to my content. And then I write a short title that is like a blog post headline. And this is important actually, because recently Google started to index short form links. In posts, so you might actually be fine double on the web for something that you talk about in essentially a status update on social media. So I always start with an emoji in a short headline. And then I leave it leave lots of whitespace with my content, and then make sure that the headline is not clickbait has to relate to the content that’s going to follow. So I always say the body content must deliver the goods invoiced by the headline. So the headline is a promise, and you better deliver on that promise. Because you’re, you’re asking people to click the See More link to see more of your content, it then needs to be faithful to whatever the headline is promise. Okay, so I say keep the content brief. posts are only a 1300 characters. So we’re talking about just over 200 words that you can put in a short form posts, and you shouldn’t write walls of text. So a couple of sentences per paragraph two or three sentences is fine. You can’t do rich text formatting in plain text mediums such as LinkedIn. So I recommend Using all caps for your subheadings, you might want to start a subheading, with an emoji to call attention to the fact that this is a heading. And there are ways around that. So there’s a service for it’s a free service called yay text, which will let you go and copy bold what looks like bold and italic characters and paste them into plain text fields like LinkedIn, Twitter and other places. And that actually can look quite good. But it doesn’t work on every kind of device. If you’ve got an older Android device, it won’t work and screen readers so for people who need assistive devices will will hate things like that will get confused so I tend to avoid them on things that are actually quite important. use emojis as list markers. Okay, so I’ve got ticks and crosses all over the place in my content, but any any emojis will add a splash of colour, a bit of personality. And if you’ve got if your brand identity is based around something that has, you know, one of the one of the recognisable emojis in it, you can put those into your posts as well. And here’s a really important tip, which isn’t, is to use or not to use hyperlinks in your posts. So if you’ve got, if you make a post, and you want to link out to a blog post or an article, and you simply put the LinkedIn into your post that’s not going to go anywhere, the algorithm is going to trample all over that. And the reason being is that LinkedIn is essentially a party, you’ve been invited to that party, or you’re spending time there enjoying yourself. And then if someone comes along with a link, essentially that saying, hey, forget about this party, you come to our party. LinkedIn is bouncers aren’t gonna like that too much. So you need to avoid putting hyperlinks into your posts. But there is a workaround, which will let you put links into your post and not be trampled by the algorithm. And that’s something that I call the right to post edit method. So you write your post without a link, you publish the post, you wait a few seconds, you edit the post, and then you put the link into In the body of the message and save, and it doesn’t sound as though that could possibly work. But it seems that the way LinkedIn actually works under the hood, is that it takes a kind of snapshot of the way the post was when it was first chaired, which in this case would be a post without a link. And then anything that’s edited to be added afterwards doesn’t seem to make any difference. And so, using this workaround is a way of adding links to your content without being penalised by the algorithm. So that’s, that’s really an important tip and I my, my posts containing links, sort of jumped in visibility about tenfold once I started using this tip that was about two years ago, and it still works. Okay, getting towards the end of this sample post. So don’t tag people unless it’s hyper relevant to them. So for example, you’ve done a video post and you’ve mentioned someone by name in the video and they would have no idea of knowing otherwise that that’s happened. You tag that person. In the post, but very often I just see a wall of blue. And you know, a million people have been tagged. And it’s very obviously just an engagement play. And we don’t really want that. Okay? So avoid tagging unless necessary. And remember what I said, You’ve got to ensure that people, you write content that promotes people to want to engage, they want to answer a question. So end with a question end with a, perhaps a double divisive statement, just something that will encourage comments, okay, it’s a really important thing to do your comp, think of your content as a start up a conversation. And if you can get people to engage with that, then the content will be seen far and wide well beyond your first level network. And that’s where all of the lurkers on LinkedIn, sit beyond your first level network. And a proportion of those might just want that product or service that you’re offering. So you want to reach them and the way to reach them is content that gets comments. Leave your hashtags for the end, LinkedIn and selves have said that you should use no more than three hashtags per post. And it’s really rare for someone official at LinkedIn to make such a specific pronouncement. Now, we don’t know whether you would be penalised if you use more than that. But one thing that we have noticed is that the first few hashtags you use in a post are encoded in the URL of that post. And there seems to be some significance around that. So if you use more hashtags than three, those won’t get encoded. And perhaps, it’ll mean that your content is a bit less visible than it might have been. Otherwise. If you do include your hashtags. Make sure that they sit at the end of the post just for readability. You don’t want to have blue links littered around all over the place. So I’ve got a couple of ones that I use frequently. So hashtag content DNA, hashtag LinkedIn learn allowance. They’re ones that I’ve developed myself. And it’s a good kind of personal branding thing to do. Also, you can mix that. So if you’re going to use three hashtags, maybe you use one really popular one, like personal branding, or social media or content marketing or digital marketing, because that those kind of hashtags will get good visibility, and then mix them with something that you’ve developed yourself. So, for example, LinkedIn learn aloud. So you want to mix a personal branding, but also visibility in your three hashtags, if you’re going to include images 1200 by 630 is actually the best image size that I’ve found. And the reason being is that you can make one image and it will work perfectly on Twitter, it’ll work perfectly on Facebook, and it’ll work perfectly on LinkedIn. So no repurposing required whatsoever. It won’t work on Instagram and possibly some other platforms too. But certainly those those three it’ll work perfectly on. And the general rule is to stay on brand as much as possible. So if you’ve got a brand colour or colours, use them if you’ve got a brand font, use it. If you’ve got a regular place for things that if you always have your logo in the bottom corner, make sure it’s always in the bottom corner. Just give people that expectation of, of what they’re seeing so that they can focus on the message. Rather than thinking, Oh, that logo wasn’t there before, things like that. And I mentioned emojis in the, in the earlier bit about, you know, putting them in for a splash of colour. This is one of my most popular tips. I’m surprised that so many people have not come across this before. A lot of people think that if you want to insert an emoji, you’ve got to do it on mobile, or you’ve got to go on the web and search and then go and copy and paste into your thing takes ages. No, it’s not true. If you’re on a Mac, you can use the white keys shown here. So Ctrl command space. If you press those keys together, you’ll get an emoji insert panel and you can just search for an emergency that you want or just double click one of the ones presented and it will insert Certain where the text cursor is. And if you’re on Windows eight or 10, you can press windows and the semi colon key or windows and the full stop key, either of those combinations is fine. So windows semi colon or Windows full stop. And that also will display an emoji insert panel. So you don’t need to go and copy and paste anything from the web. You don’t need to switch to mobile if you want to use emojis.

Right haffley should you comment now, commenting, that is the very, very best way that you can get visibility for your content for other people’s content, as well as to help people and be more visible to yourself then comment much, much more often than posting. So I’ve got this five to one ratio that I recommend if you post once a week, you really should be commenting at least five times a week. I recommend that new people on LinkedIn. Think about posting at least twice a week. And that means therefore they’ve got to go and find 10 other posts to comment on, okay, so keep in mind that you want to comment more than posting. And if you go on post, if you can comment on another post that’s popular, that will get probably a lot more visibility than something of your own word. And if you can go and do that in a helpful, or thorat ativ interesting way, you can really put a fact comment down that says, I know what I’m talking about. This is my line of work. Here’s something interesting to add to the debate, you’ll get in front of more people in your second and third level networks who might not have ever discovered you otherwise. And I found that’s really common, you know, people will connect with me and then say, I saw you commenting on Barry’s posts, and dot, dot dot, and then relationships come from that whereas if I was just writing my own stuff and just broadcasting broadcasting broadcasting, people wouldn’t have found me as much so it’s really, really important to make the effort to help others by commenting on their content. In a take a very quick look. view counts. This is something that a lot of people struggle with understanding what are the views mean on LinkedIn? There are three different kinds of views on LinkedIn. So for text posts, image posts and document posts, they’re based on something called impressions. Okay, so if content is loaded into the LinkedIn feed, and could have been read, that counts as a view. So if you imagine thumb scrolling through LinkedIn on your mobile a million miles now you can see loads of posts going by and you haven’t actually stopped to read any of them. All of those accounting is views because they’ve been loaded, and they could have been read. So it’s actually relatively easy to rack up those views. And that’s what you get with text, image and document posts. The next level is videos. A video count view will only count if the video has been paused and watched for at least three seconds, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re scrolling a million miles an hour, if you do actually stop and take a look at something that’s a signal to LinkedIn that you will Engage with that thing. So video views are actually a lot lower tends to be a lot lower than for impressions of text, image and document posts for that reason.

And then the last kind of the last kind of view, that’s the hardest to get is something that’s based on a clip. So articles and profiles, you cannot look at an article unless you click on it, you cannot look at a profile unless you click on it. And the hardest thing in the world is to get people to click on something. So those views will tend to be even lower than the videos and in turn even lower than text, image and document posts. So we’re not comparing like with like, so if you say, Oh, my video only got 1000 views, but my text post got 4000 views. It’s not really the same thing at all. And it seems as though there’s actually a five to one ratio between text and video views. So in other words, if your video does actually get 1000 views, that’s the equivalent of it having been a text post getting 5000 views So don’t discount the value of those video views. But native videos really, really valuable on LinkedIn, it’s really, really important. It’s doing really well. So what I mean by native video is essentially not sharing links from YouTube and Vimeo, but actually loading the video up onto LinkedIn as a direct post. And if you do that, it’s really really important to add captions to your video because 80% of video on social media is turn played with the sound off, you know, people are commuting. People are in shared office spaces, even during COVID-19 people are waiting to watch videos when the kids have gone to sleep, they haven’t got sound turned on. So if you’re if you’re not putting captions on your content, you’re missing out. So my captions will look something like this. I use a couple of different tools to create my captions. Whatever you do, if you’re going to create video, try to add captions to your content. Remember to encourage comments in all of your content. So stick around after you’ve posted look for anything Signs of engagement respond to people, because that first hour after you’ve made a post is really important in trying to drive the algorithm to say, No, this is there’s something interesting going on here. Let’s show this to more people. Okay. And if you’ve got, if you’ve got people who are in your second and third level network who are commenting on your stuff, don’t just don’t just thank them, go and try and make a connection with those people, because they put themselves out. They don’t know you, they’re not connected with you. But they’ve commented on something you’ve done. And if you go and connect with them, and thank them for that, they’d be much more likely to comment on your stuff in the future, and getting more commenters into your network is massively, massively powerful, because those are the people who are going to drive the visibility of your content. And finally, you know, public conversation is brilliant private conversations where it’s all up if you want to drive some business, when you make a connection with people actually go and talk to them, you know, use things that are built into the LinkedIn mobile app like voice notes that you’ve got now so you can hold down a button and talk to people For 60 seconds, and they’ll get a little blue bar in their DMS, you can send people direct videos as well. And of course, text, all of those things, build relationships. And that’s, that’s what it’s all about. So that’s, that’s all I’ve got for you. Now if you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, I’ve got a really weird surname. So you can, you can find me really easily just search for when you do if you want to connect, please send me a personalised invitation. Now I get loads of invitations to connect, and it takes a while to sort through them all. So if I know something about you, so I was on Joe’s webinar, and please, let’s, let’s let’s connect and let’s chat. Perfect, that’s brilliant. Okay, so that’s how not to be a LinkedIn loser, the short version, if you’ve got any LinkedIn questions, or any kind of help profile support that you need, or just getting more free tips, I’ve got loads of it on my website. I hope that’s been helpful. And I think it’s time for us to dive in to the to the live q&a. So I’m going to stop my screen share, and

Joe Glover 40:57
hand over back over to you Joe. insane john, I’ve been like, I’ve been able to monitor the comments section a little bit more than usual. And like, the amount I think like gold dust, if they did like a word, word gold dust would just like, come up like 70 times and a few people saying it’s even the best social presentation they’ve ever seen in their life. Fantastic. Thank

John Espirian 41:20
you very much. Good question.

Joe Glover 41:22
Yeah, absolutely. So the q&a feature, folks, if you were going to the mouse, you’ll be able to see q&a down the bottom is 59 that’s been lined up already. So what I’m going to say is, please use the thumbs up because I’m literally going to be reading from the top few questions. Take the time to look at the ones down the bottom as well, because, like, it’s going to be hard for me to find them so so please do. JOHN. I’m also appreciative of your time so make let’s make this a quick fire. Let’s get through these questions and see how many folks we can help. That was a cool so got a question from Sandeep, who is really lovely By the way, and she said Any tips on how to use LinkedIn company pages,

John Espirian 42:05
company pages are difficult really, because they tend not to get as much visibility as personal profile pages. And that’s not because of the algorithm saying, Let’s show more personal stuff than company stuff. It tends to be because people who see company stuff in their feed are much less likely to interact with something that’s come from a logo from a company, they’d much rather interact with a human being. So there’s no harm in putting stuff out through your company page. But what a brave smart business would do would be to empower the personal brands of the people who work for the organisation. And so you put our messages out, because your network is different from the next guy next to us network and you can cover a kind of broad base by doing that, you know, if you imagine the the intersecting circles you’ve got a much bigger potential audience. So look, there. There’s no harm in putting content out through a company page. If you share links through your company page, there’s they probably won’t be penalised in the same way that personal profile ones are. But I think the main value of the company page is to do things like allowing you to show your company logo through your personal profile, which is good personal branding. They allow you to place LinkedIn ads, which you can’t do unless you’ve got a company page, they give you an extra SEO hit because you know that you’ll be fine double on Google, because your company is listed on LinkedIn. So there’s some value in there. But getting content visibility, I find is very hard. And the only company pages that really go mental with their view counts are the ones who share things like viral ads. And there’s there’s there’s limited business value in doing that, you know, it’ll get a like it will get a share. But it won’t drive business revenue. I think so empower your personal brands much more.

Joe Glover 43:52
I love that. That’s such a good message. I think that’s that’s brilliant. So next question from Karen. Again. Amazing. person who just got so many amazing people on the session today. So she says, What’s the number one way to get seen by the right people on LinkedIn, especially if they’re not that active themselves? So I think you’ve actually already covered off quite a few elements of that. That is,

John Espirian 44:17
yeah, that’s, that’s a tough one, really, because I think the best thing to do in that case, I would say, Make a list of the people that you most want to influence. And I would, so you can search by profession, you can search by location, okay, so you can do those things. You can identify the people who are active and then go and follow them and comment on this stuff before you invite them to connect. But if there are people who are not active, you can try and see who those people are connected with, and influence the people who they make their decisions with. Because if you can get in on good terms with someone who knows the person you want to influence, you’re more likely to get a referral and I just find that all The time with my content, I don’t necessarily know the end person who’s going to be signing the check, but I’ll influence the marketing manager who’s lower down in the organisation. And they’ll go Yeah, we’ve got a good guy for you boardroom and here he is and the boardroom are active on LinkedIn but it’s the marketing person lower down gets to know me and that’s my routine. So, so yeah, think about who that person knows who’s active and trying to influence them.

Joe Glover 45:26
Absolutely love that and I guess if we were going to put a crap marketing term on that, you know, it’s ABM marketing, account based marketing. And my mate Mitch would and I to give a quick plug plug did a podcast on that on humans confessed the other day, a podcast that I’m on. So if people want to know a little bit more about ABM stuff, then then do take a look on there, even though it’s not LinkedIn specific. So we’ve got a question from the anonymous attendee, which is very mysterious. Who says article or post? What’s better?

John Espirian 45:59
Okay, well posts are much better for visibility articles are better for long term authority. So if you’ve got someone who’s doing due diligence on you who’s thinking, you know, we’re going to spend thousands of pounds with this person, let’s check them out. Then a content estate in the format of articles shows that you’ve done some more mature thinking about your business, you put together 800 1000 2000 words on a top that shows some thought, but for short term visibility, then Ben posts really can’t be beaten. So if so, I would recommend doing both is the real answer. But if you want to drive visibility, and then try and close people through conversation, then getting that visibility through posts connecting with them and start chatting through dm that that that’s the best way to get people over the line. So posts first and articles if you’ve got the time, love that.

Joe Glover 46:55
Sweet. So john mccain Mac Macintosh That’s chemistry for a second, say, best time of the day slash week to post content and load into that has it changed? You’re in lockdown.

John Espirian 47:11
Right? Okay, so that there is no best time of day or week to post content. I think the quality of the content is everything about how well that’s likely to succeed. I’ve taken a really, really close view of my own stats for getting on for a couple of years now probably a bit longer. And my best post performance always happens on a Saturday and Sunday, which flies against this whole idea that LinkedIn is something that we use only, you know, during commuting times, or during the working week, the traditional working week, I’ve had posts succeed on in the evenings. And it’s just always just down to the quality of the content. It’s nothing to do with the timing really, if you know that your audience is in one location, and if you know that they’re always going to be online at the same time or roughly the same time. Then you would be stupid to be posting at all, you know, 3am on a Sunday evening, you know that that would be, that would be ridiculous. But most people don’t have that kind of network. They’ve got people all over the place. And so just focus on the quality. And if you can try and encourage engagement within the first hour, that there’s, you know, some conjecture that that sampling goes on from LinkedIn. And it says, After an hour, here’s how well this post is performing. Right? Let’s accelerate it because it’s obviously it’s doing quite well early on. Okay, so if you can just be around once you’ve posted to try and encourage that early engagement that can give the content the boost, it needs to go further. Love that.

Joe Glover 48:39
Sweet. So you spoke about the headline in here from Cheryl who says, What’s the best way to utilise the summary section? story in first person narrative or other?

John Espirian 48:52
Yeah, definitely in first person. Never ever write in third person unless you’re the rock which foreign policy One is, so yeah, so write in first person. And remember the only the first few lines of the about statement will be visible before the see more links. So that first few lines really ought to contain, what value you provide, and for whom, and one main form of contact so that even if people don’t look deeper into your profile, they can go right is a copywriter. Yeah, it works in b2b. Oh, that’s his email address. That’s all I needed right now. Thank you, and I’m off to contact him. So you need to do that in those opening few lines. And then ideally, you need to write it in a way that will encourage people to expand the whole thing. And it’s recently been the case that the about statement has been expanded from 2000 characters to 2600 characters on personal profiles that limit has not changed on company profiles for some reason. So those extra 600 characters you could use to include something like your best ever client testimonial. alternative forms of contact Something about why you got into the business that you’re into, you know, some kind of story element, something a little bit more personal. But essentially, you want to Front Load it with what value you’re providing, and for whom. And if you can do anything that’s around numbers that just codifies it into, I got these results. This is the transformation I’ve created through my business through my product or service. That kind of thing helps to get people over the line. So So use that 2600 characters. And remember that there’s value in putting keywords in there because they can turn up in search results as well. Don’t keyword stuff, but make sure that everything that someone might search on is adequately covered in those 2600 characters. That’s that.

Joe Glover 50:45
And and Neil makes a good good comment here that says that Latin would probably get away with their third person as well as the right time can do anything. So question from Steve, john, would you invest in premium. No.

John Espirian 51:04
I’ve never tried it. But I know what its benefits are. It’s mostly around deep searching and visibility of the people who are looking at your profile. If you focus on creating great content, and engaging with people who turn up, inbound leads that you get through that great content. You don’t need anything that premium is going to be able to offer you. So it’s just never been of interest to me. And I get fantastic engagement on my content. That’s the result of spending years building an engaged network and talking to people like real human beings are not trying to sell to them. You don’t need premium to do any of that. And also another thing that a lot of people don’t know, some people will think you’ve got a gold badge and therefore your content will will go further through the network. Not true at all. It has absolutely no effect on the visibility of your content. Absolutely.

Joe Glover 51:52
And so, a question from Jemima, who I think you also know personally says when leaving recommendations would it be worth including keywords in it? So they help with your search results? Yeah,

John Espirian 52:04
they are searchable as well. So yes, three?

Joe Glover 52:09
What is the best way to promote company content from a personal page?

John Espirian 52:14
Well, you can do, you can use the reshare feature, but that’s the reshares. In other words, the equivalent of a retweet on Twitter. Don’t don’t actually go very far on LinkedIn. And again, it’s because people seem not to interact with them. They take up a lot of vertical space when you share something. If If LinkedIn post had a share counter, where you could see likes, comments, shares, like really like Twitter does, that would change people’s behaviour, I think but LinkedIn has never done it like that. And so it’s much better if you want to share some piece of company content that you’ve created is to use that right post message, man, that edit method that I mentioned earlier. So you write a post. Don’t include a link, post it, edit it within a few seconds. Put the link to your company content in if that’s the thing that you want to promote, and then save that. And that that will that will get that content, better visibility. That’s, yeah, that’s really the only way because people will not interact with content that looks like it’s come from a company’s got to be more personal for people to be invested enough to actually, you know, want to share it like it, remember it, it’s a really important thing. And one other thing I wanted to say, actually, is that LinkedIn has recently announced that they’re now including dwell time as a ranking factor for the algorithm. So in other words, when people click the See More button, to see the rest of your post, how long people spend looking at your content is now kind of a ranking factor because it’s very easy to do something click Beatty and get people to click see more, and that used to be a ranking factor, right? But if someone does that now, and then you click Save And it’s full of rubbish. Well, they might, they might just click away straightaway. And it’s not right that those people are rewarded for tricking people essentially into clicking that link. So getting people to stick there and read that thing. And that comes back to the quality of the content is now a ranking factor. So it’s important to fill that space as much as possible and keep people engaged and commenting as much as possible.

Joe Glover 54:23
Absolutely. I can’t emphasise that enough you know, that that just not tracking people or or doing you know, all these just

John Espirian 54:31
inhuman marketing isn’t Don’t be a douche canoe.

Joe Glover 54:37
So we’re coming to the end of our time. So I’m going to have like, there’s 12345 there’s five questions left with more than 10 thumbs up. So I reckon that will be like our cut off. last five, and then we can ask people to interact on LinkedIn afterwards, perhaps. So first question from Jenny. So you shared your Your chair framework. But the question that she has is when sharing your thoughts natively, she struggles to think about things to talk about how to come up with ideas.

John Espirian 55:12
Okay, well, the first thing you should do is inspect your email inbox and Sent Items folders because chances are you’ve had loads of one to one conversations with clients. And there’s chances are that you have not answered that, that question at scale. So you can always anonymize a conversation with a client and think about how can I answer this more generally? And that gets to the root of what the customers problems are. They’re asking questions for a reason, because it wasn’t obvious when they spoke to you on the phone. Or it wasn’t obvious when they looked at your website. So why not put those answers in somewhere where you know, they’re they’re looking around maybe looking for a service provider like you and then they see an answer to one of their questions and want to dive further. So if you’ve got every single question answered from your email inbox and from your Sent Items folder, then you’re ahead 99% of other businesses because most businesses don’t do that. Okay? So that’s where it’s certainly where I would start. And then think about what the objections would be in your sales process. So think and ask yourself one question, which is, what would stop someone buying from me today? And if you can think of a few reasons, then how would you explain away those reasons? You know, if you were in the room with someone, you might say, like, I could talk them around, I tell them this and then or we’re not like that, because of this. Well put that into content because people love that, you know, because they’ll go, alright, well, you know, he’s explained everything he led with his flaws or whatever. I’ve got no reason to say no to this guy now. So create content like that, that answers objections and answers, real questions, and that will keep you busy for a while. That’s

Joe Glover 56:49
sweet. Okay, next question carrot. Top advice on headlines for those open job opportunities or seeking work.

John Espirian 56:59
You So, I think starting with open to opportunities is okay. There’s also hashtags or hashtag Oh no. If you put that in your headline as well, some, some recruiters and other smart, you know, LinkedIn users will know that that’s a signal that you’re available to be approached. Some people have got options on their profile, I haven’t actually got this way you can say that you’re open for business and you can list your skills there. I haven’t got that yet. But if you do, then by all means, take advantage of that and say, I provide you know, marketing, copywriting and whatever. And then just make it also clear in the first couple of lines of your about statement, that’s about all you can do without making it sound like you’re really really desperate. Another another thing that I would do and a lot of people don’t do this is to take advantage of the featured sections that sits above your about statement, and you can put in videos, you know, linked from YouTube there, that’s fine. You could put in featured blog posts or Document posts, something that really shows you at your best. So you might want to share your CV there. But I’d say much, much better thing to do would be to record a 32nd video, talking about what you do what value you bring to the world, show yourself being a little bit animated. And that person will, you know, the reader will be more bought into you if they can, if they can see you animated, I know a lot of people have got hang ups about being on video. But even as a writer, I know that the massive value it has of just even being on screen for a few seconds, making that personal connection with people. So that’s, that’s one of the best things you can do, I think is to create a video and put it on your profile,

Joe Glover 58:38
for sure. And jimana makes a good point here that she loves the featured option because it’s like LinkedIn version of pinned posts. It’s a really nice thing. And there was a question which I must click through but was was quite an interesting one because I think it’s something that’ll be a bit of a misconception. So from Mr. Riley who says what’s your view on the current obsession with I’m trending on LinkedIn.

John Espirian 59:04
Yeah, so trending is not the same on LinkedIn as it is on Twitter. If you’re trending on Twitter, then something really big is happening there. But it trending on LinkedIn is just a signal, but the hashtag that you used, that post is performing better than average, than other posts that use that same hashtag. And that’s no real signal of success unless the hashtag happens to be a wildly popular one. So if you’re trending in social media, for example, that’s got, I don’t know, hundreds of thousands of followers, that’s probably pretty good. If you’re trending in, you know, something that no one’s ever heard of, or even I find all the time that I’m trending in my own hashtag. Because I’m pretty much the only person using that so I don’t have much competition, do I what’s what’s the point of telling me that so a lot of people do get excited about it and think that they’ve somehow made it. That’s not really the case. So sorry to burst your bubble, but you assignment, you’re doing better than average for hashtags, you know, in posts with a hashtag. That’s that’s all it means. Sure. And

Joe Glover 1:00:08
to add in a personal experience that s then, oddly for some reason, the posts which I post which form the least Well, in terms of engagement, I’ve always the ones I get a notification on that say, this has been trending and I have no idea why so, yeah, yeah, I think that’s the summary. So last one from john, because we’ve we’ve already asked answered Tim’s question. So that’s okay, which says, Does subtitling videos make a difference? It could be a one word answer here, I guess.

John Espirian 1:00:42
Oh, yeah, I think is really, really good for engagement. There’s all sorts of good reasons to do it. If people stay engaged longer and they watch longer, they’re more likely to take action, they’re more likely to remember the content. And it’s just it’s just a good human signal as well. You say you’re saying I’m being inclusive You know, some people are not native speakers of English, you know, they might not understand someone’s accent, they might have hearing problems. It’s just an inclusive, smart way. And also subtitles can be read by search engines, you know. So search engine might not be able to understand what’s in your video, but they can sure as hell read yours, your captions and they go, I know what this guy’s talking about. And that that’s a valuable thing to do. So there’s all sorts of good reasons

Joe Glover 1:01:24
to do it. And so john, I’ve got one last really good one here, which I think is worth address. How long is from Leslie, he says, How long do you think you have to be on LinkedIn to start seeing results?

John Espirian 1:01:39
Okay, well, some people get results within a few months. I started in 2017 got absolutely nothing for nine months, and I was hammering it. Okay. So it’s one of the main things I mentioned in the book in the book is about consistency and congruence. So one of those things consistency means showing up. Even when it sounds as though nothing is happening. You know, no one’s listening. You’re talking to a woman But those lurkers are there. So there’s, there’s something in the book that I call a 30 month mindset, it takes two and a half years, on average to become known in your industry. So if you if you write a few blog posts, and then think, oh, nothing’s blowing up for me, but you’re not waiting long enough. So LinkedIn success, I think, is a matter certainly of months, potentially of years. And personally, nothing happened for me for the first nine months. So it’s working out for me pretty well right now and I’m three years in. So stick at it as my is my advice.

Joe Glover 1:02:31
Lovely. And that’s such a great way to end the session. So honestly, thank you so much, john, like the comments section has just been like, I don’t know whether it’s been pinging up on your screen as you’ve been going but you got a whole lot of love coming your way. I love this from Carolina. He says thank you for your generosity and spirit. I mean, how amazing that is that as a comment. So a couple of things to do. You will be receiving the recording of this session, so already up on YouTube Live. So it will be up there right now. But the podcast version and writer will be available tomorrow, that will be sent to you in a follow up. Included in that follow up will be a link to John’s book. But if you want to have the opportunity to win the book, then post on LinkedIn and tag myself and john in it, just so that we see it. And we’ll pick five random people to to win the book. The other thing left to say is sponsors please do that. Because that really does make a difference. And the final final thing is just to say thank you. Thank you to john, and thank you to everyone that’s been here engaged in fracking. Lovely, just had a great time. I know it’s been useful, so I’m not even going to say I hope it was useful because I know it was stay safe. Look after yourselves. Thanks so much, john. You’re an absolute legend.

John Espirian 1:04:00
Thanks again for having me, Joe. Fantastic.

Joe Glover 1:04:02
Take care guys and I’ll see you soon