Ep. 128 – How to Get Engagement on Your LinkedIn Content w/ Anthony Leung

How to Get Engagement on Your LinkedIn Content

This episode was brought to you by Leaderfeeder, the software that helps you to convert pageviews into pipeline.  Head over to leadfeeder.com and sign up for a 14-day (no strings attached) free trial!

B2B Marketers who are getting low or no engagement on the content they’re developing for LinkedIn are missing out on a great opportunity. When you create content that is meaningful and engaging, it not only fuels content impressions but also helps you to build relationships with your audience that could translate to future business.

That’s why we’re having a conversation with B2B content expert Anthony Leung (FounderMean Write Hook) about how marketers can better leverage the LinkedIn platform. During our discussion, Anthony talks about why a lot of content falls flat (and what can be done about it), what pitfalls to avoid, and why you should conduct research before writing anything. Anthony also talks about whether companies should or shouldn’t be leveraging B2B influencers, why a personal brand is crucial, and what people who are hesitant to post on LinkedIn should be doing.

Play Video about B2B Marketers on a Mission EP 128 Youtube thumbnail

Topics discussed in episode

  • Why you shouldn’t settle for low engagement on LinkedIn with content. [2:45]
  • Anthony highlights some misconceptions about LinkedIn:
    • ‘Engagement doesn’t matter’ [10:46]
    • Hack the system with ‘Pods’ [12:46]
    • ‘You have to post every day’ [15:02]
  • What the engagement and impression stats are telling you [17:48]
  • Do these 2 different types of research before developing your content: [19:33]
    • Research on yourself
    • Research on your audience
  • Anthony shares his thoughts on the use of B2B influencers [26:32]
  • The importance of having a personal brand [32:31]
  • How companies can leverage their own people and turn them into advocates [34:43]
  • Anthony’s actionable tips to improve engagement on your content on LinkedIn: [37:12]
    • Remove self doubt
    • Be yourself
    • Understand yourself and your audience
    • Show how active you are in the community
  • The one thing that Anthony would change on LinkedIn [47:17]

Companies and links mentioned

Transcript

SPEAKERS

Anthony Leung, Christian Klepp

Christian Klepp  00:03

Welcome to B2B Marketers on a Mission, a podcast for changemakers, where we question the conventional, debunk marketing myths, provide actionable tips, think differently, disrupt the industries, and take your marketing to a new level, from improving your campaigns to making you a better marketer. These are the inspirational stories that will help us change the way we think and approach B2B marketing, one conversation at a time. This podcast is brought to you by EINBLICK Consulting, helping you to stand out in the market and drive revenue to your B2B business. And now your host, Christian Klepp.

All right, welcome everyone to this episode of B2B Marketers on a Mission. This is the show where we help you to question the conventional, think differently, disrupt your industry, and take your marketing to new heights. This is your host Christian Klepp. And today, I’m joined by someone on a mission to make LinkedIn finally, work for you and your B2B business. So coming to us from London, England, Mr. Anthony Leung. Welcome to the show, sir.

Anthony Leung  01:10

Hey, Christian, how’s it going? Thanks so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Christian Klepp  01:16

Pleasure to be connected. Anthony, Sorry, I had to throw in that London England piece, not to be confused with London, Ontario. Sorry, that’s the Canadian thing. (laugh)

Anthony Leung  01:26

I get it. I get it. I mean, I’m from Canada. Right. So you know, I know all about it. But it is slightly different. I have to say, London, Ontario and London, London, UK.

Christian Klepp  01:37

Yeah, just a little bit, right.

Anthony Leung  01:40

But I think the food’s better than in London, Canada. But don’t say anything.

Christian Klepp  01:48

All right. Well, let’s dive in. Because man, I was thinking about this today before, you know, jumping on this call. This is either going to be a very informative and insightful conversation, or it’s going to be one that’s laced with a bit of controversy. So we’ll leave it up to the listeners to decide which one it is.

Anthony Leung  02:06

A little a little controversial, never hurt anyone. So let’s go. Let’s roll the dice. Let’s see what happens.

Christian Klepp  02:13

Absolutely. All right. Well, okay, so your professional mission has been to make LinkedIn finally work for B2B companies, as I said at the beginning of this conversation, but let’s focus on the following topic, right? Because I think this is really, really important. How you can start getting engagement on LinkedIn for your content. So let’s kick off this conversation with this question. Where do you think B2B marketers fall flat, when it comes to engagement on LinkedIn? And most importantly, what should they do about it?

Anthony Leung  02:45

Yeah, you know, what’s funny, I think we, we’ve gotten to a place with LinkedIn, where companies will publish content on their channels, you know, companies with like, millions of followers, and they’ll publish something, and you’ll get what, 17 likes, and the impressions would be low. And we’re all ok with that for some reason, and I think that’s become the status quo. And I think that’s, that’s what I’m kind of going against, because I think that’s such a missed opportunity. And you know, we are settling for low or no engagement with content. And LinkedIn is a place where… it’s a platform where it values engagement, because the more engaged you are with the content, the more it realizes that this is going to keep the users on the platform. So of course, they’re going to spread that content further. So that’s why engagement is important. Right? So I think that’s the first thing we need to establish is that the likes, the comments, that’s not just what so called vanity metrics. It’s actually what fuels your content impressions, what fuels how relatable and how meaningful that piece of content is to your audience. So when you see, you know, pages with large followings and low engagement, it’s like, that’s such a miss, because you’re spending so much time, so much effort, so much energy into creating this content, it’s and it’s not getting engagement. Well, it is. You look at the engagement, a lot of times you look at the company page, 80% comes from their staff members, right? And it’s like oh were they forced to engage with the posts? Or worse, it’s actually just talking to your own staff members, right. So and that’s what the content is there for.

So let’s think about why it’s falling flat. And I think it’s partly because as marketers, we’ve been conditioned, like how we’re educated about marketing. We’ve been conditioned to think about our brand first and foremost. Nothing wrong with that when you think about advertising and kind of classic marketing tactics. But when it comes to social media, LinkedIn in particular, it’s really self-serving. And when we’re conditioned to put the brand always go first, we start off our posts with like, a bit of bragging, like, oh, Company X we do blah, blah, blah and Company Y we value this, this and that. And it’s like, that’s so boring. It’s so…, I can’t relate to it as a reader. And when all of these posts kind of go back to back, and it shows up on our feed, of course, the reader is going to skip it because they know, if they just scroll past it, there’ll be something else for them, someone else will have figured out how to create content for them that’s interesting. And they skip past you. And when LinkedIn clocks onto that, that’s when your engagement really matters. Because they realize no one’s engaging with the content, they’re going to pull back on your impressions. And that’s how it happens. So I think that’s really, at the core of it, the problem is that we put ourselves first. And what we need to do is actually flip the script. And if we flip the script, and we start thinking about what’s in it for the audience, what’s in it for our customers or prospects, how to be helpful, how to be useful to our audience, that’s going to be the game changer for you and your content, and your impressions and your engagement.

Christian Klepp  06:21

Absolutely, absolutely. And, you know, speaking of all these LinkedIn posts that don’t get much engagement. The ones I love is like, hey, check us out. We’re at collision, you know, drop by our booth and say, hi… right?

Anthony Leung  06:33

Yeah, like the amount of times I’ve been at a booth, and somebody ran up to me go, Oh, thank goodness, you posted this on LinkedIn, I finally found it… if it wasn’t for this post. No one has ever said that. There’s zero, right? And no one ever, literally right? And it becomes I think it becomes like almost like a PR exercise where we go, oh, we just want to show that we’re here. And it’s like, well, why? What a wasted opportunity. The opportunity when moments like that happens is, well, you know, what’s the, what’s the energy in the place? What’s the connections that you’re making, as a company or as yourself? If you’re doing it for yourself? What connections are you making? And what have you learned? All these things are valuable content for for your readers? Not like, Hey, I’m at a booth at X right?

Christian Klepp  07:24

Absolutely, absolutely. I wanted to go back to something you said earlier, because I think it bears repeating. And it’s so important. Making content, you know, making it about them. So them being the target audience, the ideal customer, et cetera, et cetera. I wonder, in your experience, why does that tend to be overlooked, especially in bigger companies who are posting on LinkedIn? Like why, you know, when you look at their content, you can tell like, okay, they’re talking about their product, they’re probably posting this content, because somebody internally told them to. They’ve got to try to please all these different views, and have to be approved by multiple layers most likely, before it went out. I mean, like, Why do you think that this is such a… it’s a recurring problem in B2B?

Anthony Leung  08:13

I think you touched on it, it starts from the top, I think that when Management gives metrics to their teams, it’s calibrated to classic marketing, right? So like, oh, how many leads did we get? How many downloads did we get, how many, whatever do we get, and, and when they sign off the content. That’s the mindset that they’re in. And so of course, you start thinking like, well, I need to sell this thing, I need to shove this down your throat effectively. And when they when they’re writing the content, that’s the first thing that comes to mind. And that’s the first thing they… that’s what they need is actually for the company to look good and not to be meaningful to the other side. And the ironic thing is that, if you flip it and you’re become more meaningful to your audience, then your brand begins to shine. But because these metrics and these kinds of ways of viewing marketing kind of sits on top of how we create content, that really changes the creators’ perspective, and I guess, because the pressure that content comes up that way. I’ve just had a chat with a friend of mine who’s head of marketing at a B2B company, and we discussed for months, like how great their LinkedIn could be. Six months later, it’s at a place where they don’t like and they’ve tried to avoid and to me, it’s such an illustration to your point, which is, even when somebody has the will to want to turn it into something meaningful, that top down pressure turns it back to something that just becomes very bland.

Christian Klepp  10:08

No, fantastic. Thanks for bringing up those points. Are there any other I would say mistakes or misconceptions you see out there with regards to engagement on LinkedIn? And if you could talk about those a little bit.

Anthony Leung  10:23

Misconceptions about LinkedIn, do you mean like, how it’s used? Or do you mean like how to succeed on it?

Christian Klepp  10:30

Yeah, it’s specifically on this topic about LinkedIn engagement. I mean, I know there’s a, you know, there’s a couple of gurus out there that are telling people, Oh, you should be doing this on LinkedIn instead of that. And like, you know, just, if you could just maybe like, I don’t know, three to five.

Anthony Leung  10:46

All right. This is this, you want the controversy. Christian, we’re getting it. (laugh) All right, so here are a few things when I see on LinkedIn, I can’t go… I’m not so sure about it. Right. The first thing is that… the first narrative I see is, “engagement doesn’t matter.” I see a lot of people post sometimes, and it’s the people who post them don’t get engagement, I think that’s like them kind of like going well, it’s fine. Because, right. The narrative goes something like, it doesn’t matter if people are clicking like, it doesn’t matter if they’re commenting on your post, because I’m still getting business out of it. It’s partly true. It’s partly true that when you at the very least show up on LinkedIn, you’re part of like the 1% of users that are actually creating content, and so you’re already standing out. But my argument is that if it’s not getting engagement, that’s not getting the impressions that it should be getting. So that’s a massively wasted opportunity. And it really irks me when, you know, it’s almost like, well, it’s fine, we get the participation ribbon, it’s like, why do you want to settle for the participation ribbon when you can get like first place, when you can get a gold medal. Right? Let’s go for that. Right? So that’s the first thing I say is engagement does matter. Because when you’re just posting and you’re not getting engagement, it’s one way communication. But when you start getting engagement, and you start getting participation from your readers and your audience, now you’ve got a community, and that is very different. And that’s so much more valuable than you try and just tell them and selling them things. Not to mention also that it gives you more impressions on your posts. So that’s definitely a bonus. The second thing that really irks me is the people that tried to cheat the system. So the theory goes, if LinkedIn values engagement on my content, then all I need is a bunch of people to fake-engage my content, and I can hack the system. And I have been part of these links. (laugh) Yes, say it again. It was deeper and more scary.

Christian Klepp  13:20

Pods….

Anthony Leung  13:21

Beware the pod.

Christian Klepp  13:22

The Ides of March and the Pods.

Anthony Leung  13:24

Mostly the pods. But these pods… For any listeners who don’t know what LinkedIn pods are, it’s basically a group of people that their only relationship with each other is to like and comment on each other’s posts. So that it in theory, I’m doing air quotes here boosts your content impressions, and from my experience, because I just went in and just to, you know, for research purposes, but also, you know, see what’s up in there. But the engagement that it gives you, it’s meaningless, because they go in, they like your post and they leave, or they give a very robotic answer that basically just repeat what you said in your captions, and they leave. And LinkedIn clocks in on that. LinkedIn knows that it came through a link that they saw this thing, did something really quick and just bolted. And that does not at all, you know, help your impressions. In fact, the posts that I leave out of the Pods actually do better. And the only way to cheat the system or beat the algorithm is actually just to create good content and content that’s meaningful and that content that’s rooted in your values and rooted in something that’s helpful. So if you want a surefire way to beat the algorithm, well actually hits it’s actually just to do content. Good content. And I think the last thing that irks me is people that goes, Ah, you’ve got to post every day. That’s going to help them beat the algorithm. And, ah, it drives me nuts, because I’ve tried to do it myself. And you’ve only got so much time and energy per day. And when you spend it all on trying to hit a quantity of posts, it’s exhausted. And you start kicking yourself for missing days in your life, but nobody on the other side is going like, well, what’s Anthony up to? Why isn’t his post up to date? Literally, nobody’s waiting for this. It’s only yourself that’s giving yourself this pressure. And when that pressure comes, it’s very similar to that top down pressure that comes from you know, in the company, and it changes how you create content and your energy changes, your content changes, and the audience feels it and you start… In my case, I start getting less engagement, and my content starts becoming less meaningful. So, you know, I, I’ve done a test, where I didn’t post for a week, and then I posted something which actually ended up my top 20 posts of the year. So if there’s any doubt that, you know, this narrative of like, you’ve got to feed the algorithm every day. That for me, I’ve proven it myself. So I’ve got receipts.

Christian Klepp  16:29

Yeah, you know, that’s a really good point. I mean, that’s probably the reason why I wasn’t able to sleep last night, because I realized that you hadn’t posted on LinkedIn every day.

Anthony Leung  16:40

I apologize.

Christian Klepp  16:42

Mysteries solved. But um, you know, those are some really great points. And I mean, like, you know, I’ve been posting actively on LinkedIn, also since…, I guess, it was starting to lock down which, and you’re in Toronto, it was March 2020. And I didn’t notice that bit about the pods. And, you know, I can’t claim credit for this one, because there’s another guest that mentioned it. And it’s so true. You know, to the point about pods. There are some people out there that, you know, come up with really excellent content, and they get low engagement, or they get maybe 8 likes or 12 likes. And then there’s other people that put up to quote him, these absolute nothing burgers, right? And they got 400 likes. And you know, there’s telltale signs that I think that was your point. You see the comments, and they’re like, oh, absolutely amazing. Fantastic. Love this. Excellent. You know, it’s all this like, like what you said, so it’s just not genuine at all. It’s like, okay, well, you had nothing else to contribute to the conversation except to give this post the thumbs up. Right?

Anthony Leung  17:48

Yeah, I think I think when we look at… when we’re able to only see the engagement stats on one side, on the outside, we look at it and we go, I wish my posts had 400 likes, I wish I had a bunch of comments, I wish bla bla bla bla bla. But the key is to look at those engagement stats along with your impression stats, which you don’t see that’s the other side, that’s the only the author can see. Because you can get high engagement and low impressions. And that just means that your content is not relatable to a large group of people. Right? It’s, if you use a pod, and you get high engagement, it just means that a lot of people are trying to get you to like their post too. If you get high engagement and low impressions without a pod, it means that you’re speaking to your audience directly. It’s very well, it could be a post about you changing a job or getting a promotion. Those people are celebrating you, that’s also a win. But if you can get the content that’s high engagement and high impressions, that means that you’re seeing something that is hitting a nerve in the industry or in your target audience. That’s great content. That’s the content of everyone wants.

Christian Klepp  19:03

Absolutely. Absolutely. I’m glad you brought that point, because that’s such a great segue to the next question, which is about conducting the right research for developing content on LinkedIn. Because you know, to your point, to get that engagement, you have to develop content that is good quality. It’s relevant, it’s insightful, it’s interesting, but you don’t develop that out of thin air, I hope. But talk to us about that. Like why is it important to do research?

Anthony Leung  19:33

So I’m going to flip it on its head a little bit because I think that… when we think about researching for content, we immediately think about our product or service, the pain points of our customers, all of these things. But what I’m going to challenge people to do here is to do two very different types of research. The first is you, your company if you’re doing it for yourself. Think about yourself. Think about your why’s. Why are you in business? Why are you offering these services? Why this? Like, is there a reason why you offer a certain product that’s different than someone else. Because when you discover your why’s, your content’s gonna be a lot more rich, it’s going to be a lot more relatable. And it’s going to go into places where your competitors aren’t going to go. I’ll give you an example where one of my clients, he’s a creative director. He has a creative agency, loads of creative agencies out there, but what he cares about deeply is sustainability. And we are able to go there in his content and talk about things that matter to him and talk about his company through that value. And by doing that, it just opens up more conversations about and more content about the values that drive him and his business. So what that’s done for him is open doors that hasn’t, you know, been able to open before, been able to talk to other people that in the industry that he wants it to collaborate with. And it makes you stand out so much more because of that. So do that research about your why’s and what makes you tick. And what makes you different, because, you know, even for me, … look, you log on to LinkedIn, and there are thousands of supposedly LinkedIn experts. And you know, I’m in a sea of all that, and what makes me different, the only thing that will make me different is my values and my core. So once you map that out, you’re going to have a place of confidence that you can go to, to go back to creating your content. And that’s incredibly important. Because without that, you’re going to continuously try and chase trends or chase ways to hack the algorithm, right? And when you when you have that confidence to know why you’re telling your story, all those things don’t matter anymore. The second part research is actually them, your audience right. Their whys and their reason for being, and I’m sure there’s a lot of these. You’ve done a lot of this already, right. So you know, I’d be surprised and shocked if you’re sitting in a marketing position you don’t know anything about your audience. But think about also what values that crosses over with you. After you’ve researched on your why’s, because those are going to be very, those are going to be the greatest pieces of content you’ll ever get is when you cross between the core values between your audience and your yourself. And yeah, it just goes back to not second guessing anymore. And that also goes back to what we said in beginning about creating content that’s for your audience, if you don’t know why they’re here for you, or why they value you more than your competitors, you’re not going to be able to know how to deliver that value to them in your content. So that’s important. And yeah, I would say those are those, those are what I would go into in terms of research.

Christian Klepp  23:39

Right points. But I’m going to play the devil’s advocate. Right? Because I know that you’re probably facing this a lot. I totally understand where you’re coming from in terms of conducting the research. So it’s, it’s I call it the soul searching. So it’s like doing the internal research and the external with the customers. Well, what do you say to those doubters? And there’s a few of them out there that say, But Anthony, we don’t need that kind of research to produce content on LinkedIn. Right? Why is that? Why is that so important? Like we don’t understand what you’re giving us so much priority? What do you say to those people?

Anthony Leung  24:16

Well, I’ll tell you right now, I think there are two camps of people. And it’s the same camps of people in any discipline of marketing or any channels of marketing. There’s one side see LinkedIn… let’s talk LinkedIn, they see LinkedIn as a never ending sales opportunity, where they connect with as many people and they DM as many people and they try and make the sale. No, there’s no hate for that. Absolutely not. If that’s your hustle, go for it. Right. But that doesn’t build you a long term brand. That doesn’t… When you stop that activity or if you’re using Ads, when you stop spending on those ads. That’s when people forget about you and your services. And because you’re not paying to be there anymore. But when you’re talking about values, and you’re talking about something that’s beyond that transactional relationship, it’s such an obvious relationship. But it’s when you go beyond that, that’s when they’ll start remembering you, that’s when they’ll start putting you top of mind. All these wonderful jargons that we we say in marketing that we want to achieve, we achieve that without needing to spend endlessly. That’s, you know, everybody goes back to brands like Nike, you know, three little words “just do it” means so much more than Brand X who does shoes that we’ll never remember. That’s what happens. Right? Same with Red Bull. It’s like… they’re an energy drink. But why did they kill off all the other brands, when they’ve embedded themselves and be meaningful in extreme sports, people remember that. And those are values. That’s what it means. It’s beyond… Hey, if you give me money, I’ll work for you.

Christian Klepp  26:15

Absolutely man, absolutely. Okay. Moving on to the next slightly controversial topic. What’s your take on B2B influencers? And should companies be using them? And why?

Anthony Leung  26:32

Well, I’ll tell you the most incredible use of influencers I’ve seen on LinkedIn is when Succession was coming back out, and they had LinkedIn influencers go to like a premiere, I’m like that actually makes perfect sense. Beyond that, when we’re talking about the day to days, I think that it’s important for companies to work with people with high influence, I think that’s helpful, because those people have already an audience. But at the same time, they can’t slack on their own influence, because I’ve seen companies that, you know, hire brand advocates over brand champions, and their entire LinkedIn strategy is for that person to succeed, and to get a lot of influence. And the problem is, that person will leave at some point. And they take all of that wonderful influence with them. And you’re now simply ground zero. And you have to build this thing all over again. So what I say is, unless you have a small company with, you know, few employees and you have the energy and the resources to create your company page, do it and earn people’s trust through your brand. Because it’s doable, it’s possible. Look at DeWalt of all people, they’re a power, their power tools company, and their LinkedIn is off the chains. If they can do it, you can do it. And they spent… it’s clear they spend time and they spend resources on developing communications with their audience that makes their values pop that makes… they know why their audience is there. They know why their audiences love their products. And they celebrate it through their videos and their their images. So they can do it. You can do it too.

Christian Klepp  28:41

Yeah, no, absolutely, absolutely. I mean, that’s almost sometimes like a, like a balancing act. But you know, to your point, and I’m not sure if this is the right term, but it almost sounds like some companies do it to temporarily inflate their figures. Right? Because, you know, it’s it’s almost like, I hate to say the word hack, but it’s like a shortcut to just, you know, it’s like expediting the process a little bit. Right. So.

Anthony Leung  29:11

Yeah, you know, sometimes it’s about just a pat on the back, it comes down back to purpose because if the purpose is to make the CEO feels better about their company, or feel like oh, hey, they can go to that dinner with their friends and go look how many likes this post has come then job done. But what a waste, what a waste. We should be using this platform to be talking to others, we should be using this platform to be connecting, making real connections with people because it happens because this happened. This is an example of a real connection off LinkedIn. I’ve never met you in real life. I don’t know what you look like beyond this the screen (laugh) but yet we are here having fun. But yet here we are having a meaningful conversation about marketing and LinkedIn and helping people. And having a mission beyond just selling stuff. That’s why we connected. And that’s why I’m here. Right? So this is a testament to that.

Christian Klepp  30:25

Let’s face it, like you’re not going to be best friends with everybody that you connect with on LinkedIn. And I don’t think that that’s the objective of the exercise either. Right? It’s to connect with like-minded individuals. I always talk about like exchanging ideas, exchanging perspectives, we may not always have the same perspectives, and that actually makes the conversation even more interesting, right, because I think if everybody just agrees with everybody, that would also be slightly mundane. (laugh)

Anthony Leung  30:50

I agree. But for me, the power of this platform isn’t just a one off, isn’t just like, you know, exchange, it’s the, it’s the idea of showing up and showing up often and being meaningful every time, right. And that’s why, you know, I kind of slacked off posting every day. But you do, consistency is is important, right? If you can’t do every day, don’t kill yourself over it. Try once a week, start with that. But once you’re consistent, and every time somebody fires up LinkedIn, and they see you, and they see your content, and they go, Oh, that person is insightful or funny, or he really get me or there’s Oh, I can really relate to this. Or they solve my own problems every single time. And I can’t wait for it to see that person. Again. You’re on top of mind. Right? That’s, that’s the power of it.

Christian Klepp  31:51

Absolutely. And speaking of which. This is a two pronged question. On the topic of personal branding. Okay. So the first question is, do you think… why is it important to have a personal brand on LinkedIn? And then number two, is how can companies leverage people within the organization who have a personal brand to become advocates?

Anthony Leung  32:16

Okay, so I’ve, I’m going to have, you might have to remind me of the questions again. Okay, so the first one is…

Christian Klepp  32:24

The first one is like, Isn’t, why is it important to have a personal brand on LinkedIn?

Anthony Leung  32:31

So I think it’s, it’s funny that we see personal brand as this, like, this exercise that needs to be done because you’re in business. The truth is, we are always working on our personal brand, right? When you pick up a coffee, and how you treat the barista, that’s you, that’s your personal brand. How do you treat people? How do you how do you how do you? Are you? Are you? Are you jovial or are you a jerk? We don’t know. But every interaction with people is building your personal brand. Right. And I think that we only gave it a term for LinkedIn and for blogging and for digital and for PR, the to formalize it into into something that we can kind of be tangible as a job that we need to do. But the truth is, it’s actually just just ourselves, right? And so regardless, if you want to work in your personal brand or not, you are already doing it. Right. You are at networking events, and you’re talking to people, you are talking to clients, you are talking to prospects, that is all working on your personal brand. And but what LinkedIn does is that it gives us a place to congregate all of those stories into one place and continue building more influence with it, right. And so when I go, let’s say go speak at an event, and make all these great connections. That’s building on my personal brand in real life. But now I’m able to continue those conversations and be meaningful to those people on LinkedIn. And we’re building our relationships even further. That’s, that’s what that’s about. And so yes, it’s important to do personal brand. Because you’re already doing it.

Christian Klepp  34:27

Absolutely, absolutely. Fantastic. So that’s the first question. Then the second question is, how organizations… you know, what can they do to use people within their company as advocates with personal brands?

Anthony Leung  34:43

I think the first and foremost is what we talked about earlier is that top down needs to value it because it’s really hard for people you know, to try and do it themselves, or try and create a program from the bottom up. When you try and do from bottom up, which I’ve tried before, you get so far, but it’s the people that are the most enthusiastic that will continue it, it doesn’t become a program or activity that the entire company can get behind. So I would say the first is, you know, if you’re a business leader listening to this is to think about how you empower your employees to, to feel free to do this. I think that a lot of companies by default, try to limit the use of social media, from their employees, because we’re possibly afraid of what they’ll say or what they’ll lesson. But if your company is, has a great culture, and has great employees, and are doing great things, wouldn’t you want them to shout about it? So I would think of ways to incentivize them to do that. And I would just lead by example. Um, as a leader, I would start posting things I would want my employees to be posting. And once a while, just go, Hey, guys, look what I did, you guys could be doing the same thing, right. And now that I have live examples, these are not, these are not abstract ideas anymore. That’s like, oh, the person who’s basically signing off her checks. He’s doing this. He’s being himself or she’s, you know, being fully vulnerable in moments I didn’t expect. I’m allowed to do this as well, I’m allowed to be myself because my leaders are doing it. So I think that’d be a great way to incentivize people.

Christian Klepp  36:43

Fantastic, fantastic. So we get to the point in the conversation, where we’re talking about actionable tips, and you’ve given quite a few of them already, but lets us assume that there’s somebody out there, could be a potential client of yours, could be somebody that genuinely wants to connect with you after listening to this. But what are three to five things that you think people can do right now? B2B marketers gonna do right now to help improve engagement on their content on LinkedIn.

Anthony Leung  37:12

Okay, so I’m going to talk in a personal level, I think that I’m going to talk to people that are…or haven’t posted yet, that are afraid of posting, that are sitting here going, I think LinkedIn is important, but I don’t know what to do. Or I see all these loud voices, a Gary Vaynerchuk. And it’s like, I’m not Gary Vaynerchuk. I’m not Lea Turner. I don’t sound like them. But do I need to sound like them in order to win? The answer is no. And the first practical thing I would say is get over yourself. I think that it’s… we are our worst critics, we are our own worst critics. And we talk ourselves into believing that we don’t have anything of value to say. And then that’s before we even hit a single key on the keyboard. The good news is, is that that kind of mindset is with everyone found on all levels. I’ve talked to CMOs who say the exact same thing, and it’s like, Are you crazy, you’re a leader, you’re in a leadership position. You’ve done it all. I would love to hear how you got there. I would love to hear what your lessons are. I’d love to know what you ate for lunch? Like, do you even eat lunch? I don’t know. But those are all, you know, those thoughts that keep you from, from sharing your experience and keeping you from using a… should just telling your story. Those voices are on all levels of career paths. So don’t, don’t be you know, don’t be too hard on yourself. And the moment you start realizing that you’ve got actually a lot of value that you can be offering to anyone. I think that’s when you realize you’ve got some to say, your contents can be great. The second thing I would say is, you know, give yourself permission to be yourself. It sounds silly, it sounds weird. But whenever people first start doing LinkedIn, we get influenced by the thought that… the content that we see. So we either have to be as swearing and as loud as Gary Vaynerchuk or we need to be as prim and proper, and we need to put on our suit and tie and we need to be very stuffy because that’s how we talk on LinkedIn and it’s like no that’s that’s the worst. That’s goes back to goes back to what we said before… it becomes content for you. The content isn’t you at all. Oh, you’re not being yourself. People connect with, people who connect with values, people connect with personality and people connect with people. And even when you’re creating content for the company, when you can create it with personality, and it represents the people inside your company, and not just this facade that you’re trying to portray, that’s when it becomes powerful, that’s when it becomes relatable. That’s why a lot of companies, best performing content is when they post a picture of their pizza party. So, um, it’s true. So give yourself permission to be yourself, loosen up that tie, think about how you talk in real life, how you conduct yourself. So instead of, instead of being the business version of you, think about what your casual Friday view is like, and start from there. And I think that’d be a good barometer to start losing yourself a bit and how you conduct yourself.

Christian Klepp  41:04

Friday version, sorry, the casual Friday version of you minus the swearing right… (laugh)

Anthony Leung  41:10

Hey, listen, um, some of the best content I’ve seen in genre is people flipping the bird. So there’s no, there are no rules. There are no rules. Gary Vaynerchuk swears a lot. And he’s fine. He’s doing just fine. It’s down to you and your values. If you don’t swear, don’t swear, don’t feel like you have to right. If you swear, like, well, you know, pace yourself. Don’t use every single word, but use it for effect. Yeah, but honestly, it’s about knowing, it’s about giving yourself permission to fully express yourself. And once you’re able to let loose, it feels so different behind the keyboard. We talked about understanding our audience, understanding our story, that’s key as well, that’s, you know, spend time in it. Like when I start working with my clients, I start with what I call a starter kit. And it’s like an eight. There’s eight questions I give them and it goes to like, Well, why did you start your business? What do you value beyond just work? And then we start asking questions about their audience, why did they come to you and not someone else? Why did they love you more than someone else? And we start discovering the layers beyond that transactional bit. A lot of it is going to be feel instinctual. And you’re going to look at those questions like, okay, but I know this, but why are you asking me? It’s because if you don’t write it down, and you don’t map it out. You won’t go back to it. And you always go back. It’s, there’s no plan, and there’s no strategy, and there’s no story that ingrained in your head. And so that document for me is so incredibly important when I’m working with my clients to create content, because they’ll start talking about something else. And it’d be like, Well, does it reflect back on the starter kit and the questions that we have here? Because if it doesn’t, then we watch, we should think twice before we post this. But if we do find a way, oh, my goodness, there are ways that you can talk about winning new clients or winning new work that goes back into your company values, that goes back to personal values. It’s so much more rich, and it’s so much more meaningful, and it gets so much more engagement. And one last thing, one last one last thing I would say is that, I think by default, when we first start thinking about LinkedIn, we think about really long content, it’s like, I need to do a video I need to type like thought leadership or something. And I feel like thought leadership is meaningless, without examples of being in action. So think about, you know, if you’re in a company, think about the events that you put on, think about the places that you’re going to be a part of the community or to enrich the community. If you’re doing it for yourself, think about these personal things that you do. People that you meet with, leaders that you have just had a coffee with, learnings that you just had from an event. But show how active you are in the community because being part of… contributing part of community is just as important, if not more important than showing that you’re a thought leader. There can only be a few thought leaders. But then some of those can be faked, but you can’t fake the fact that you’re within the community and you’re part of it.

Christian Klepp  44:59

Fantastic advice man. Fantastic advice. I’m just furiously taking notes while you’re talking. So let me see if I can recap this quickly. Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you spit your water out there.

Anthony Leung  45:10

All right. What’s, what’s a podcast without a spit stage?

Christian Klepp  45:14

All right. So let me see… Get over yourself. Okay, remove that self-doubt. And then the second one is be yourself. So like, you know, just the way, write the way that you talk in real life. And depending on what kind of person you are, that may be a good or a bad thing. Understanding your audience, I think is key. I mean, that is so… you know, we can’t repeat that enough, right that you have to know who you’re writing this for. And then the fourth one is showing how active you are in the community, versus trying to like obsess around the whole concept of thought leadership. I hope I capture that correctly.

Anthony Leung  45:53

Yeah, that’s exactly it. All right.

Christian Klepp  45:56

Fantastic. Fantastic. All right, My Friend, here comes the bonus question. So buckle up. So let’s say like, you know, we wrap up this interview, and you’re about to head home, and then suddenly you get a call on your phone. And then the guy is like, Hello, is this Anthony Liang? Like, well, this is Anthony Leung, but how can I help you? Oh, Anthony. Hi. You know what? I do. I do, believe me. So and then the guy on the other line says, Hey, Anthony, this is Ryan Roslansky. Right. And you probably know who that is. So you know, I’ve been following your content on LinkedIn. Right? So it’s, you know, for context, you know, for the audience out there. Ryan Roslansky is the current LinkedIn CEO. Right. So let’s say that Ryan Roslansky calls you and says, Hey, I’ve been following you on LinkedIn, love your work, I’d like you to come in. And, you know, I’m gonna like for a day, hand you over the reins, and give you the power to make one change on LinkedIn. Just one. So here comes the question. If you were given that power to change one thing on LinkedIn, what would that change be? And why?

Anthony Leung  47:17

Such a fascinating question. Such a fascinating question. And it’s fascinating even more for me, because I’ve had opportunities to possibly work for, let’s say, the platforms right. The Facebook, the Twitter and stuff. But I’ve always shied away from it, because I would rather use the platform to be storytelling and to be connecting with people. And that, to me is more interesting than the platform itself. And so because I always think like Twitter can go down, Facebook can go down. LinkedIn will never go down. It’s been around for 20 plus years. I will never go down. So that’s interesting, too. Interesting question to me, because it’s like, what is it? What’s one thing I would change that makes storytelling and genuine connections easier is what my brain is trying to tell me. It’s like, well, what is that one thing? I know there are things that distract us, I would like to take away like, those verification badges. Who needs those? Nobody needs those. Why are you putting out there? There are… top voice badges. People with top voice badges, you know, they earn it by contributing to certain amounts of LinkedIn articles that LinkedIn tries to distribute. And it doesn’t actually mean your top voice, it just means you’ve done a few articles. And I feel like we get distracted by these things. And we try to chase these things, because we feel like that’s how we feel like we’re making progress. And so I guess the change that I would like to see. The change I would like to see actually is a bit like the Tik Tok algorithm. I think that as much as we… As much as Tik Tok is talked about, the great thing about how they treat content is that it’s not about how many followers you have. It’s not about how much money you put into it. The organic content comes down to it well, isn’t is it engaging? Are people watching it? Because if it is, I’ll give it to more people. And if LinkedIn can do that, better, I think that we’ll start seeing more of I don’t want to say because the term for me right now is that comes to mind is like a micro influencer. But that’s not right. But will enable people with genuine thoughts, actual thought leaders that aren’t fuss about getting the most likes or getting the most comments. But that content starts distributing around to people that need it. They start giving the little guys with big ideas, a chance to shine more than people with millions of followers. That’s what I would like to see.

Christian Klepp  50:39

Some really interesting one. That’s a really interesting one. You’re absolutely right there, I guess, like a lot of platforms, right? Because it’s not necessarily unique to LinkedIn. But there’s so many distractions on the platform that that somehow deviate from its original purpose. Right. I suppose we understand like, like, the things you talked about, like the badges? I mean, I think they’re well intentioned. But to your point, I think it’s leading people down this, this path, which may not necessarily be right.

Anthony Leung  51:11

But yeah, a lot of it. A lot of these distractions are quantifiable. What I mean by that is, we go back to the things that irked me, right, like things like you got to post every day, you’ve got to comment on everybody’s comments, right? These are all quantifiable actions. And I think that’s why it gets preached a lot is because they can go well, you’re not doing well, because you didn’t post every day. Or someone else can go, oh, I can post every day. I can do that. Right. But the truth is, the hard work of understanding your story, your values, and your relationship with the audience. You unlock that, that’s going to beat any algorithm. I don’t care if you’re on Tik Tok. I don’t care if you’re on Facebook in 1995. It’s the same thing.

Christian Klepp  52:02

Absolutely. Well, Anthony, this is such a great conversation as expected. So thank you again, for coming on and sharing your slightly controversial insights and expertise with the listeners. So please, quick intro to yourself, and how folks out there can get in touch with you.

Anthony Leung  52:19

Yeah. My name is Anthony Leung. And I help you make LinkedIn finally worked for your business. So I work with companies as well as business leaders to make the most of LinkedIn through discovering their voice on LinkedIn. And… You’d be shocked to know that you can find me on LinkedIn. I know crazy crazy. (laugh) But if you search for Mean Write Hook, You’ll find me on LinkedIn. You’ll find my company page, but hit me up, hit my personal page up. Send me a DM. Don’t be shy. In fact, if you send me a DM, I’ll send you the starter kit that I send all my clients. It’s the first thing we do. And that will you know, I’ve sent to other people where it’s unlocked their thinking about how to how to storytell their story on LinkedIn. So I hope it’s helpful to you too, as well.

Christian Klepp  53:26

That’s fantastic. Thanks for that. What’s the story there with the Mean Write Hook?

Anthony Leung  53:32

Oh, oh, yeah. So I have two loves. At least 10 years ago, when I came up with the name. I had a love for mixed martial arts. Bit of organized violence and, and good puns. And so when I had to think of a name for and wanted to do some own business, like over a decade ago, I was like, Okay, this makes sense. You’ve given mean right hook. And it’s mean right hook because I firmly believe that regardless of if it’s a movie, a book, a TV show, a poster, a LinkedIn posts, it all starts with good writing. It all starts with good intentions. And it’s all starts with good storytelling. And that’s why you give mean right hook.

Christian Klepp  54:25

All right, Anthony, once again, it was a pleasure. Thanks for your time. Take care, stay safe, and I look forward to catching up when you finally make it over to Toronto at some point.

Anthony Leung  54:35

Absolutely bad. I am jonesing for a proper double double.

Christian Klepp  54:41

All right. Take care.

REGISTER NOW FOR WEBINAR

How to Get a Meeting with Anyone

Limited Seats Available

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.