2020 has been a hell of a year for LinkedIn. The social media platform now has more than 720 million users globally.
It has transformed into a platform dominated by content and connections rather than a place where HR professional troll for talent.
In short order, many people have decided to embrace LinkedIn as the social platform to drive their personal profiles and careers.
From doubling-down on the platform over the past seven months, I’ve seen the power of LinkedIn to drive my fractional CMO business forward. I have made new connections with people around the world and had dozens of conversations.
To gain some first-hand insight into how to jump hard into LinkedIn, I asked Camille Trent, a brand and digital marketing specialist with Texas Citizens Bank, to be a guest on the Marketing Spark Podcast.
Mark Evans: Let me start by asking you about your LinkedIn experience. Like a lot of people, I suspect that you jumped hard on the platform recently. Give me some background on why you decided to use LinkedIn and what you’re getting out of it,
Camille Trent: Probably a few years ago is when I realized that you could post there, I didn’t actually do that. At the time, I shared a few posts here and there once every few months. And then this year, I was like there’s something here. LinkedIn is a real deal, I started posting a little bit more starting probably in January so that I was going from like three or four posts a month to 12 posts a month. And then on August 5, I did write down the day, I said I’m just going jump all in on this; I’m just going to post once every day. Once I set that goal, it is hard for me to go back on it. It’s a goal that I had for myself. I started posting every day. Now, it’s been almost three months. I’ve gotten some really good insights and I’ve also gotten to meet some really great people.
Mark Evans: As far as creating content on a consistent basis, I know as a writer, it’s a challenge. And this is what I trained to do professionally. How do you keep writing content consistently? Any tricks? How do you capture your ideas? How do you tell whether the content you’re writing resonates, so you should write more of that unless of others? What’s your approach?
Camille Trent: I can just go through my whole strategy, which I don’t know if you can even call it a strategy, but this is what I do. Throughout the day, I think the number one thing is being open to everything being content and everything being copy. If you have that kind of open mindset of anything that you come across, could be content, that is your content. When I have an insight or something that I consider to be an insight, I write it down in Google Keep. So basically just a Notes app. What I like about Google Keep is if I do want to write something more long-form, or if I have it’s an idea but it’s not hammered out, then it actually shows up on the side of Google Docs. You’ll see Google actually have it up right now. So you’ll have the little Google Keep app right there. And you actually have your tasks right below that and you have your calendar. It’s all in one central place. Then, if you prefer to use a word processing kind of thing, you can actually just pull in your notes from there.
That’s kind of what I do to keep a running tab of my ideas and my thoughts. And usually what ends up being is a headline or maybe four lines. If I have four lines right off the bat, it’s a pretty good indicator that it’s content. You know, that there’s something there because it has legs. From there, every night is actually when I do it. I started writing in the mornings at around nine. But I have a 21-month-old and a husband. We have been carpooling. I take him to work every day. And we do some daycare. It was just a little too hectic to do in the morning so I decided, “okay, I’m just going to post it at night, and whatever happens happens. If it kills my reach, that’s fine. It didn’t. It actually ended up being about the same, if not better when I started posting at night. My process is just I look back through my notes, see which one I’m feeling for the day, and then go with that as a prompt. If you think about it as being open to everything being content, and I have a whole backstory on that. But basically, I watched a documentary It was called Everything is Copy, and it changed my world on how I saw a copy and how I thought about content marketing. I pop open my notes slash on Google Docs and I see what topic I want to pick out and riff on. Then, I’ll write something and I’ll post it usually around 10 pm. That my process.
Mark Evans: As a writer, one of the things that you’re looking for is flow. You’re looking for inspiration. You’re looking for your content to be easy. You don’t want it to be hard. One of the things that I’m curious about is given the fact that you’re producing content on a daily basis, how do you stop it from being an obligation? You look on LinkedIn and there’s a lot of people you say you need to write every day. And I can see people struggling; the post gets shorter, insight gets less interesting and t’s almost like they’re going through the motions. So how do you avoid that kind of situation?
Camille Trent: That a really good question because I feel like I was getting close to burnout. It does take some time away from family or just fun things. I mean, you’re already having your workday. And then this is just essentially more work. The key for me is to not think about it that way. So when I first started it, my plan wasn’t to get leads or to generate business. My plan was just to experiment with it and to learn the platform because I knew that once I did that, I could share those insights with members of our bank. It would help me with the company page that I was working on. And on top of that, I could share it with clients. Because I do some freelancing on the side, I knew that it was big enough that I needed to figure that out. As I went, I realized kind of how much I missed copywriting specifically. So I do some copywriting for my job. But I also do a little bit of everything in terms of marketing and branding, so it was nice to have my own writing time. I just thought about it as journaling, essentially.
And I’ve said before, that a lot of my posts actually just notes to myself; things that I know but I needed to kind of reposition it to myself to get the motivation to really do it; kind of like hard talk to myself. I need to position or pitch to myself, or maybe pitch to marketers in general, that this is a good idea. With LinkedIn, it’s a consistency game, right? It’s momentum and it’s consistency. If you don’t see those results right away, you have to love it, I just decided I was only going to write about things that I wanted to write about. I picked some core tenants of branding, copywriting, marketing but marketing from a customer experience standpoint. And I think that separated some of my content because I really try and look at things and look at the world and marketing from a consumer perspective.
For more insight from Camille on how to leverage LinkedIn, as well as the key to good copywriting, check out the podcast interview.
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