Select Page
Learn To Craft Attention Grabbing LinkedIn Profiles (With Examples)

Learn To Craft Attention Grabbing LinkedIn Profiles (With Examples)

It’s in the best interest of any brand to be seen by a large number of people.

The best way to get noticed online is through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The latter is ideal in exposing one’s brand to like-minded game players.

Why LinkedIn when Facebook and Instagram have a massive number of users? Because it’s the biggest social media platform that fosters business interactions.

Through LinkedIn, you can take your brand to a whole new level by showing potential clients and investors who you really are and what you sell.

So before you drop the question of whether LinkedIn lead generation is worth it or not, let’s take a look through some stats.

LinkedIn has over 575 million users, and more than 260 million of them are MAUs (or monthly active users).

Now, imagine what you can achieve by tapping into just a few million of those active users – massive business traction, leads, partnerships – you name it.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
An Overview of LinkedIn Lead Generation

How To Create A Supercharged LinkedIn profile
How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Background Photo

An Overview of LinkedIn Lead Generation

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, LinkedIn gives you plenty of room to express yourself.

This means the profile section is your sales page, and this is where you get to tell your visitors who you are, what you sell, and why they should consider you over other competitors.

And here’s something you don’t know:

Even though setting up a LinkedIn profile is so straightforward, many people shoot themselves in the foot by rushing through the process.

You need to have a high-quality LinkedIn background photo and profile image, a well-optimized tagline, and a kickass summary that tells your story in an inspiring way.

These are the elements that anyone who lands on your profile notices in the first few seconds.

You are your brand, and therefore your profile must reflect well on your business.

Now, when a prospect visits your profile, they will use the information you have provided to discern whether you or your company could be beneficial to their endeavours.

If your profile doesn’t feed them with sufficient info, they will look elsewhere, and you or your decision maker will have lost a valuable lead.

Now that you understand the importance of personal branding on LinkedIn, and before we take a look at some killer background photo examples, let’s dig in further and look at how you can create a killer LinkedIn profile.

How To Create A Supercharged LinkedIn profile

To be the best, you first have to learn from the best.

In this section, you’ll learn how to create an impressive profile, and we’ll use Houston’s (our head of everything) profile as an example.

  • Have a professional profile picture

We’ve said it a hundred times before and will say it again: if you don’t have an attractive profile image, all that brand building on LinkedIn won’t amount to much.

Ideally, smile to look friendly and approachable. Do not be nerdy or creative about this. If you have branded t-shirts that represent your company, take the picture with them.

Here are some good examples of professional headshots:

Let’s take a look at Houston’s profile image:

Notice how we’ve used all the elements we talked about?

Looks approachable, cute (that’s Milo by the way) and branded with the BAMF Tshirt.

SInce the profile image is one of the first elements that prospects notice on your profile, let’s take a look at how we can edit your profile image to be the best:

Let’s take a real LinkedIn profile for example:

  1. Analyse your photo using Snappr:

Snappr uses image recognition and machine learning technologies, to determine how well your photo will perform.

Let’s analyse Curtis’s profile image using Snappr:

Snappr rates the photo at 72, and gives us a bunch of suggestions on how to better optimize the face in the image:

Then they give us a bunch of suggestions on optimizing the overall composition, and how to make the image look better by zooming, and position the crop better:

They also give you ideas on other elements like brightness, contrast, sharpness, saturation and color gradient.

  1. Remove unwanted backgrounds using Clipping Magic:

Often having backgrounds can make your face looks less pronounced in profile images.

Clipping Magic is a super simple tool that allows you to remove backgrounds from images. And it works like a charm:

  • Optimize your tagline/bio

The tagline is a string of words that show up right below your name.

When you send someone a connection request, this is the first thing they notice, and it will decide whether your request will be accepted or rejected.

A catchy tagline easily piques the interest of anyone.

This means you’ll have higher acceptance rates. You need to put some thought into this.

What should I put in my Linkedin bio?

Your title (CEO, Author, Founder, etc.), what you do (growth hacker, marketer, recruiter or consultant) and any tangible achievement. You could also talk about  paid placements, but not too much.

The bio section receives a lot of exposure, and that is why you need to come straight about what you do, your achievements and the company you represent. Check the examples below for motivation:

  • Write a heavily-detailed summary

This section is effectively your sales pitch. Carefully crafted summaries can get you lots of leads. People will read your summary to find out if you are the person they’re looking for.

List out what you offer, what you’ve achieved in the past, and how they can reach out.

Go as deep as you can but stay relevant and do not sound boring. At the end of your summary, upload a few samples of your work to prove your expertise. Houston’s summary is an excellent example:

Here’s a concise summary of what should be included in the summary:

  • What does your company do?
  • And what services do you offer?
  • What campaigns or projects have you been a part of?
  • How can prospects contact you?
  • What are your special interests (shed some light on your personal side)?
  • Do you have some tangible achievements worth showing off?
  • Link to case studies/portfolio pieces that showcase your past work (We prefer to link to a meeting booking link and the website/case study)

Do ensure that you do not pitch stories, products, or people. But you can mention featured stories, product reviews, or testimonials.

Now, let’s move on to some other profile elements that you need to optimize.

  • Your profile URL

There is no need for your profile to include unnecessary numbers in them.

Linkedin gives you an option to edit your URL so that it just ends in either your name or that of your company. Another thing that you’ve got to keep in mind is that you use backlinks and SEO while formulating your URL.   Here are some examples of good-looking profile links:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/houstongolden/

If you click on your profile, you will see a section where you can tweak your URL :

  • Education and Experience details

Your experience section is yet another section on your LinkedIn profile that you can use to build trust and showcase expertise.

Make sure you mention only the institutions that have a logo. For those without one, you either need to add a logo or do away with the company/institution. People tend to subconsciously think that companies without logos aren’t good enough. Also, keep in mind that it shouldn’t have a salesy pitch.

LinkedIn also allows you to mention some of your top skills.

While it is okay to mention as many as possible, just provide a few that you would like to rank for (like growth hacking, lead generation, marketing etc; in Houston’s case)

You’ve just learned how to spruce up your LinkedIn profile to impress potential clients.

Now let’s take a look at one of the most important and noticeable elements on your profile – your cover image or background photo.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Background Photo

Like Facebook, Linkedin to gives you an option to have both a profile photo and a cover image.

It’s surprising how many people leave that space unused, and the ones that use it aren’t exploiting it fully.

The key is to project thought leadership and associate yourself with prominent brands that build trust.

You can use your background photo to show yourself in action. You could be delivering a speech or discussing something with a group of people. Some people use a group photo that they took with a celebrity or an influencer within their niches – a strategy we’ve used to build trust.

If you run a company, then you definitely have a staff that needs to be seen.

Upload a picture that shows all of you smiling while wearing branded T-shirts. Such an image shows your clients that you’re a team player and that there are adequate hands to handle work in your organization.

If you don’t have any of these, you can use Canva or Designbold.com to come up with impressive custom images that perhaps display your logo, mantra or the services you offer.

Here are some good examples of cover images for your inspiration:

Now let’s take a look at some killer Linkedin background photo examples and how they work with the overall profile to communicate a consistent brand message and portray thought leadership:

1. Houston Golden

Houston’s cover photo is super professional and contains all the elements of a superbly optimized profile image.

The BAMF team can be seen in the cover photo wearing branded Tshirts (We have a badass team 🙂 ). The tagline below his photo clearly states his position at BAMF, what he does, and his string of accomplishments. The summary further below contains his contact information and expounds further on our mission and the companies we’ve worked with.

2. Carla Johnson

Carla is a keynote speaker, author and storyteller. She uses a high-quality, professional profile picture that displays a warm, and inviting smile.

All her professional information can be seen in the tagline while the background shot shows a picture of her in action at a gathering – where she’s speaking – ties into what her offering is – she’s a keynote speaker. Also, Carla used the summary section to succinctly sum up how she can help various businesses utilize the power of storytelling to drive up sales.

3. Jason Keath

As a social media marketer, Jason obviously understands the importance of LinkedIn in gathering leads.

The profile photo gives a nice close-up view while the background one shows him delivering a speech at the Social Fresh conference. His tagline is pretty short (CEO, Social Fresh) but in the summary section, he comprehensively talks about all his services, contact information and his other social media handles.

4. Neil Patel

When you are famous like Neil, you probably would still get clients even if your LinkedIn is inadequately optimized.

However, he has a fine-tuned LinkedIn profile.

Neil’s LinkedIn background photo is extremely clear and taken on a plain background.

Notice how the profile image and over image work well with each other?

Neil starts to sell right from his background image. And the call to action “Want more traffic” stands out so well that you can’t miss it.

He goes ahead to list his main services in the very cover image! This chap really knows how to use LinkedIn’s prime real estate – the cover photo.

5. Andrea Jones

You gotta love Andrea’s profile. She’s got a complete Linkedin profile that is well optimized with a magnificent profile and cover photo. Notice how she boldly displays her services on her background photo?

In the summary section, she lists out all her services and backs them up with links to her previous achievements.

But that’s not all. There is something Andrea has included on her profile that others haven’t – customer testimonials. She literally copy-pasted several of them on her profile with client credentials.

This is a great way to boost the confidence of anyone reading your profile. You should look into this underutilized tactic.

12 LinkedIn Background Photo Examples: How to Craft Attention Grabbing LinkedIn Profiles

6. Marcus Sheridan

Thumbs up to whoever took Marcus’s cover image. It’s awesome because he was caught right in the middle of the action. And the smiles on his audience’s faces can tell you that this guy has a good sense of humour and that he’s providing value.

Rather than sell directly in the summary section through calls-to-action, Marcus takes a different turn by simply talking about his greatest achievements as recorded by top platforms like Forbes and Mashable.

You can adopt this approach if you have a glamorous track record and solid PR coverage.

7. Mari Smith

One of the core features of personal branding is to tell a story and Mari Smith does just that in her summary section.

While others stick to a reporting voice, Mari speaks directly to you as her audience. She narrates her journey on how she transformed herself from a shy child to becoming one of the best public speakers.

Apart from her spellbinding story, Mari’s profile photos seem to match colours in an interesting way.

She is wearing blue in both pictures, and surprisingly the background in the cover photo is also blue. And no – it’s no coincidence. The colour blue portrays trust and dependability.

And the consistency makes her profile stand out from the rest.

8. Goldie Chan

Goldie is a personal branding expert with a knack for social media, storytelling, and LinkedIn videos. Given her professionalism, you would expect her profile to serve as the finest example, and yes – it does.

Her LinkedIn background photo is a perfect example of minimalism. It’s just a photo of her edited image and her achievements as one of the LinkedIn top voices in 2018. She does highlight more of her accomplishments in the tagline and summary.

The best part about her profile is that for every experience she listed out she went ahead to mention her duties and appended evidence of her work.

9. Neal Schaffer

Neal’s profile is a good example of exhaustiveness.

He uses LinkedIn’s tagline and summary to explain to prospects what he does and why he could be their best pick.

His cover and profile photos already meet the recommended standards. He boldly outlines what he does in the background image – and it’s very noticeable.

10. Schneider Electric

Schneider

Schneider is a great example of a company that uses excellent background images.

What kind of background photo do you need to have on a company profile?

You can do it their way!

This brand was among the top ten companies on LinkedIn in 2017 for a reason.

First, they don’t use edited stock photos like most brands do because that’s being super unoriginal. Instead, they used a background photo with the word “Go Green” in it with a few individuals smiling because the world is becoming safe thanks to their reliable energy management services.

11. Nike

It’s easy to think Nike has a massive influence on LinkedIn because of their worldwide fame but that’s not it.

Their cover image is simple, succinct and clear – style, sports, and fashion. 

12. Bill Gates

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but Bill Gates’ profile is a perfect example of how an Influencer’s LinkedIn profile should look like.

His main focus at the moment is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest philanthropic and charitable organizations in the world. From scientific research to medicine and charitable work in third world countries, they’re into a lot of stuff.

How best to depict this than through a collage?

Phew – that was a lot – wasn’t it?

In the end, LinkedIn presents an unfair advantage if you’re targeting businesses. It’s the largest professional social network in the world, and the ROI for marketing on LinkedIn is several times higher than those on other networks.

Whether you represent yourself or a company, LinkedIn remains to be the best platform to use for personal branding.

With over 200 million active users, you can drive a plethora of leads.

However, for that to happen, you must breathe life into your profile so your potential clients don’t pick your competitors over you.

What I Learned Shutting Down a $240,000 Membership to Scale

What I Learned Shutting Down a $240,000 Membership to Scale

Four months ago, I launched a membership.

I sold twenty slots at $1,500/month in the first several weeks.

Then I built a system to automate the lead generation process for it.

I even wrote an entire guide on how I did it. This community was everything for me.

It allowed me to move to Los Angeles to partner with my co-founder, Houston Golden.

And to pay rent and overhead as we built our agency.

We were on track to scale it to 1 million ARR.

Then I closed it down.

Here’s what I learned in the process:

1. Build an Audience First

For a year and a half, I focused on writing content about marketing and entrepreneurship every day.

I wrote 500 answers on Quora and detailed my tactical approach here to getting views and engagement.

To date, I have over 10 million views and I’m a Top Quora Writer of 2017.

I also focused on building an active Facebook Group.

For a year and a half, I wrote posts almost every day.

Not just any posts, tactical and engaging posts.

To give you an idea, we average over 100 engagement per piece of content posted.

The result?

15,000 members in a group with 80% participation rate.

To be honest, this took up my social life and every weekend for almost a year.

But if you want to become an entrepreneur, there are certain sacrifices you need to make.

Because I had an audience who knew, liked, and trusted me, I could sell to them.

And after thousands of posts, I knew what they’d buy.

The first part is the hardest.

For example, it took me five months to get three thousand people in the group.

Then another five months for an additional eight thousand.

It was the same with my Messenger list.

Also, it took me several months to grow my Messenger list to a thousand people.

Then it took me two months to turn this one thousand person list into eleven thousand.

If you’re at the beginning, be persistent.

It gets easier.

I promise.

2. Sell Before You Build

I’ve never worked in sales.

And when I left my job as the growth evangelist for Autopilot, I wanted to become an entrepreneur.

This meant no more cushy salary. The problem: I was scared to ask for money.

I thought my community would turn on me.

During my week break, I visited Los Angeles where I met my future co-founder, Houston Golden, and also Brian Smith, founder of the Founders Organization.

He met with me to get the latest updates on growth hacking.

Instead, it turned into a pep talk about how I needed to launch a company.

“Sell anything. Then figure it out.”

That’s what I did.

I ripped off an agency proposal I found online and made it sound like a membership.

Next, I launched it with several Facebook posts.

I sent this proposal to several hundred people.

Also, I used a Rebrand.ly link that would allow me to make edits to the proposal I sent in real time.

As I got feedback, I changed it.

At the end of two weeks, I’d made over fifty edits.

Without any choice, I was building out what I was selling while adjusting it to new iterations in the proposal. To add on to it all, I have countless sales calls pitching this constantly changing proposal.

As you can imagine, I had many sleepless nights.

It was well worth it.

After three weeks, I sold it out.

A lot of what I was selling had to do with the tool, Mass Planner (note: this tool has been banned), one of the most famous growth hacking software. I was running the members’ social accounts on it, but it was killing my computer. Even worst, it required all my attention to set up and ensure it ran continuously.

I lost my excitement.

Money is nice, but it’s not worth being miserable over.

So rather than complain, I outsourced automation tools using UpWork that replicated Mass Planner’s features. I then gave them out to the members.

This saved me a ton of time, but caused a big problem. I spent so much on outsourcing that I broke even.

I didn’t make any money off the membership.

3. Over-invest

Rather than back down, I kept outsourcing to automate all my membership work.

The second month, I had a net positive.

I was excited, but it also happened to be the first month I paid rent for our agency’s office.

Yikes.

All the money kept disappearing :/

But I knew two things:

  1. The members were happier
  2. I had built a sales funnel that was getting leads for the membership every week.

Most of these leads came from LinkedIn, so I decided to double-down on it.

4. Double-Down on What Works

As we got more leads from LinkedIn, I began to post every day.

Using my background in copywriting, I wrote over fifty viral posts.

This led to almost one thousand leads.

And a crossroads.

Most of these leads were interested in the agency, not the membership.

This was a good problem, but required immediate attention. By posting viral content on LinkedIn, we added ten more agency clients to our roster in two months. Our average deal size is over 10K/month which meant we were headed in an upwards direction fast.

I was scared.

How well can we execute for them?

All the worries passed as I realized “it’s us.”

We’ve all had senior growth roles for multiple companies.

And Houston and our head of e-commerce, Bryan, were the directors of growth for a hundred-person agency, so they kicked into gear and executed brilliantly. In the last four months, none of our clients churned or complained.

A month in, I woke up and compared figures. Our agency was on track to do 5 – 10 mil in its first year.

The membership? 1 million.

The problem was thirty percent of my time was still focused on the membership.

Ouch.

 

5. Invest in People

Business opportunities are everywhere.

The people you enjoy working with? They’re hard to find (to say the least).

When I met Houston, I knew he was someone I could spend 24 hrs working with every day and never get bored. He’s a brilliant mind and inspires me to do better work.

The membership has a small value compared to working next to my co-founder.

By investing more time in the agency, I’d be investing more time in hanging out with friends.

And that’s priceless.

6. Focus

For an early-stage company, you need to focus on one KPI.

Everyone on your team needs to be aligned with it.

I was scattered.

I was selling the membership, the agency, hiring, and writing.

Today, our most important KPI is new agency clients.

It’s no surprise that when we winded down the membership, we added several more clients.

Raise the Flag

Now that we’re not promoting what felt like two different companies, we can hold our flag higher.

We’re a team of twelve in only four months!

We’re hoping to expand to twenty in the next two months.

The membership may exist again, but only in a capacity where I’m not full-time on the agency.

I’m excited to see what happens.

And thank you for following the BAMF journey with our mission to empower 1 million founders.

How to Get Press for Your Startup in 2019 with PR Hacking

How to Get Press for Your Startup in 2019 with PR Hacking

How to Break the Internet with PR Hacking
By
Houston Golden, Co-Founder & CEO of BAMF.Media

When I was young, I wanted to be a famous musician. I reached out to many publications to cover my music, but no one would. At the same time, one of my closest friends, Connor, got a ton of his music covered.

The difference?

Connor personalized his outreach to the bloggers. He’d write about previous posts they’d published and pitch stories around his music.

That’s when I realized there was a systematic way to get PR placements. Let’s break it down:

Types of PR Placements

  • Interviews

This can be an interview on a podcast or a full-fledge write-up like we do on the BAMF Media blog.

  • Featured Stories

This is more of a “Hey, check out the story of this team or product.”

  • Paid Placements

This is when a blogger, fan page, or influencer responds, “Hey, it will cost this much for a shout out.”

  • Product Reviews / Testimonials

YouTube videos rank on Google Search, too.


Why Does it Matter?

By getting PR placements, it helped build third-party credibility. It’s the difference between you saying you’re great vs. the opposing team’s coach calling you a star player. Not only does is build credibility, but it can often send a wave of traffic to your site. In our case, we use the third-party credibility to warm cold audiences with Facebook ads.

This way when we run an ad later to the same audience to visit our page, we get much more positive feedback. There are even more benefits, including building your site authority with Google. The more content you have from well-renowned sources linking to your site, the better Google will treat your site when it comes to ranking content.

Using the tool, Alexa, we can see all the websites linking into BAMF.Media.

Depending on the placement, you can get upwards to thousands of visitors from one article. If you have a story worth sharing, often you can get it placed many times from tutorial, reviews, and features which can turn PR into a scalable marketing channel.

Start with Data

To get placements, you need the contact info of journalists, podcasters, and fan pages. An easy way to get this data is to download it from BuzzSumo for journalists, have a virtual assistant scrape iTunes for podcasters, or use Socialbakers for fan pages.

For BuzzSumo, we search for content relevant to our subject matter. If we’re a tea company, then we may search “tea.” This will bring up every article about tea. We can set preferences for when these articles were written from the last 24 hours to 5 years.

The next step is to click the Export button and download this data.

Here’s what it looks like:

Once you have this data, make sure to clean it up. All you need is the author name and website URL. From there, break apart the company name from the website URL by using the Power Tools’ Google Sheet add-on. Once you do that, you can now process this data through Hunter.io to get their emails using the Email Finder feature.

You can do the same with Anyleads.

Better yet, you can use Phantombuster to get the LinkedIn URLs of the people you have in your Google Sheet using their LinkedIn Profile URL Finder API. Then you can process this into Anyleads to get their personal emails.

Contactout will also give you their personal emails. From there, you can upload this list into Facebook as a custom audience. This will give you the ability to remarket to these journalists about your company before they even get your pitch.

The same process works with Facebook fan pages using Socialbakers.

Here’s the resulting data.

There a couple of ways to do this one. You can either DM their page or use Hunter.io t0 pull employee emails from each company’s marketing department at scale.

For podcasts, select a category and/or subcategory of podcasts you want to scrape using the iTunes desktop podcast library.

Copy and paste the podcast list to Column A in a new Google sheet. Since the list is separated by alphabetical page, you will need to get a virtual assistant to copy and paste the list 27 times (A-Z, #) in order to get a complete list. Or have them use Listly’s bulk URL processor to get all the data from each page in one click.

Remove “(MP3)” and “(HD)” words from column one by using the Power Tools add-on (Add-ons > Power Tools > Remove > Remove a substring: > “(MP3)”, “(HD)” > Remove)

Update the Google sheet settings so that anyone with the shareable link can view. Run the Google Sheet through Phantombuster’s Domain Name Finder.

  1. Spreadsheet URL: [shareable Google sheet URL]
  2. Column name… : [*no text*]
  3. Ignored domains: [youtube.com]

    [apple.com]

    [vimeo.com]

    [yahoo.com]

    [stitcher.com]

Save, then launch Phantombuster. Depending on your list size, this may take a few minutes to a few hours. Export the list and upload to a new Google Sheet.

Run the Domain Name Finder worksheet through Phantombuster’s LinkedIn Company URL Finder. Export the results to a new Google Sheet. Next, run this worksheet through Phantombuster’s LinkedIn Companies Employees.

Export the results to a new Google Sheet. Format “currentJob” column so all rows contain the string “host.” From here, filter by relevant job title. Then use Linked Helper to LinkedIn message them at scale based on their LinkedIn URL and Hunter to bulk process the filtered list into emails.

Personalize it

This part is a bit harder. You need a virtual assistant to check out the post from each blogger and description from each podcaster. Then use a piece of it in the email or LinkedIn message. The idea here is to make it feel natural.

If the recipient feels like you sent that message only to them, then they’ll be more likely to respond to your emails and messages.

How to Structure Your Email

Personalized Intro

  • Example: Pre-written personal blogger statements
  • 1-2 sentence pitch
  • 3-4 value props / topics of interest
    • buzzworthy stories related to brand
    • thought leadership / subject-matter expertise
    • how we did XYZ to achieve X
    • notable milestones / accomplishments
  • Define Clear Call to Action (CTA)
    • “Scheduling a call, interview, next steps, let’s chat”
  • Sender Persona + Profile Pic

Start Your Outreach Campaign

I’d recommend using the tool Mailshake to send emails in, ideally, five-stage sequences. Sync Mailshake with Calendly using  Zapier. If your main call to action is to book a call using Calendly, then you can use this Zap to take the recipient out of the sequence if they book.

Here’s an example email:

The results?

TechCrunch:

Use Your Powers Wisely

With the right story and the right recipients, you can seed the next viral story.

Imagine your product being talked about across many publications from TechCrunch to Time. Traffic. Backlinks. Customers. All at your fingertips.

People Are Staying On YouTube Longer. Here’s How To Use That To Your Advantage

People Are Staying On YouTube Longer. Here’s How To Use That To Your Advantage

Big news for marketers: people are now spending more time on YouTube watching longer videos.

This is, in short, a great thing.

Though it’s true that companies know longer videos rank better and thus put more effort into building them, and though it’s true that YouTube has algorithms which favor longer videos, the more important takeaway here has to do with users.

People want real, actually valuable content instead of useless clickbait.

That’s important knowledge for marketers to have. Here’s how you can use it your advantage.

Provide users the sort of content they expect to find.

Here’s the truth: YouTube is an educational platform.

We now know that most YouTube visitors use the site to find something specific — not necessarily to discover.

They go there for tutorials and lessons, analysis and reaction.

Most users don’t go to YouTube looking for content from creators or brands they’ve never heard of before.

To some that might seem like a bad thing, but it actually explains why people are spending longer amounts of time on the site. They don’t go looking for a cheap laugh — they go to learn. And they’ll stick around with a video for a longer time if it delivers content which educates.

The more educational your content is, the better.

For this reason, don’t be afraid to double down on making your videos informative and detailed.

That means including lots of step-by-step tutorials — content that’s actually, purposefully designed to provide users with value and help them learn.

Yes, this means investing more money and time into your content. But it’s worth it. Ditch the cheap flash for the more strategically useful.

Ultimately, that will help you cultivate a loyal audience.

Making longer educational content is also great for SEO purposes.

It’s important to include that just as blog posts of longer text rank higher on Google than pieces with less text, longer videos also outperform shorter videos.

The average length of a first page YouTube video, for example, is 14 minutes, 50 seconds.

That’s the case for a reason.

Also, consider this: YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, trailing only Google. That about tells you everything you need to know.

Tap into YouTube for the cheaper ads.

While not paramount, this is still an important factor for marketers to consider: running ads on YouTube is much cheaper than running them on Instagram or Facebook.

While YouTube advertisers pay per ad view of their ad, the average cost-per-view is between $0.10 to $0.30.

That makes YouTube a remarkably affordable vehicle for boosting your web presence.

All in all, video is going to just keep growing, so marketers need to get onboard and learn to create videos which customers connect with emotionally.

Yes, advertising on YouTube is cheap. Yes, high-quality YouTube videos boast immense SEO value. But more importantly than that, video is simply a rapidly expanding medium. YouTube is the preferred home of literally billions of creators and fans across the world. In fact, creators (whom you might be able to work with) blow up more regularly on YouTube than they do on other platforms, like Instagram.

This is a trend that won’t fade any time soon. The potential to monetize via YouTube is unmatched. Marketers would be foolish to ignore it much longer.

The key for marketers in succeeding on YouTube, ultimately, is to pay attention to how users most enjoy utilizing the platform.

That starts with understanding why, exactly, people are spending more time on YouTube — and then giving them the sort of content they’re clamoring for.

3 Ways To Build A Community On LinkedIn

3 Ways To Build A Community On LinkedIn

Community is something all thought leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs need to be investing in. Without community, you’re an island — isolated in your effort to build wealth and influence.

That fact has been pretty well established by this point. What’s less well-known is the fact that there are many resources you can utilize in building a community.

One of the most important? LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a powerful mechanism for community growth because it helps you foster an intellectual authority presence. Readers look naturally at LinkedIn community leaders as power players — people who know what they’re talking about and have earned a certain respect.

LinkedIn can also:

  • Connect you with new contacts who might add value to your career by way of mentorship or support.
  • Help you remain relevant.
  • Solidify your intellectual presence in your industry or niche.

All of these things are critical. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear — at least to folks new to the platform — how exactly to use LinkedIn to accomplish any of this.

LinkedIn groups, for example, are effectively useless.

You’re better off directing your connections to a Facebook group if you want to utilize the more private group structure for communication and content sharing. That’s how bad LinkedIn’s version of groups are — yet they’re what we gravitate to first when we think of building community.

No, the best ways to build community on LinkedIn are not exactly intuitive. So here are the most valuable strategies you should focus on instead.

1) Using status updates as a way to connect your followers.

Most of us think of LinkedIn status updates as purely a means of engaging connections with content — which they are. But they can also be used to encourage action among your followers.

In fact, that should be your eminent goal. Your followers should be commenting on your posts, sharing them, and discussing within them how genuinely they relate to what you’re saying. That’s why updates which ask a simple question — “Hey everyone, how do you motivate yourself on Monday? Tag someone you know who always comes ready to bring it at the beginning of the week” — work really well.

Consider how you operate inside of groups on Facebook. How you engage with other members inside the group, asking for advice and communicating with folks directly.

Do that in your status updates on LinkedIn, and you’ll generate the sort of energy and engagement around both your content and your presence that will elevate your reputation in the eyes of community members.

2) Keeping a very curated list of who you connect with.

This second piece may seem surprising: most people on LinkedIn think of their connections as a list strictly to be grown as opposed to curated.

The amount of connections you have is evidence of your influence — right?

Wrong. It’s a mistake to try and connect with as many people as possible. Instead, be purposeful with the people you forge online relationships with. Only seek out new connections whom you can learn from, or whom you think might benefit from the content you have to share — people whom you think might be interested in your clear, specific value-add.

Sure, operating in this way might lose you followers. But it will  gain you customers and colleagues.

3) Creating a LinkedIn messaging pod where people can connect directly and privately to strategize.

LinkedIn messaging or engagement pods are groups you create on Slack or Facebook consisting of LinkedIn contacts. You can use them to give your posts or articles an immediate boost.

Here’s what you do: Immediately after publishing something new on LinkedIn, share it in your messaging pod, and ask everyone to go engage with it or share it.

This is a remarkably effective way to bolster your posts and updates to ensure they don’t fade to irrelevance, getting buried beneath everyone else’s articles. But it only works if your group is purposeful about what folks are allowed to share. In the various pods that I run with my teams and clients at BAMF, we impose strict barriers to entry to ensure all the content we promote is something we’re comfortable co-signing.

It helps, to this end — do you notice a theme here? — to focus eminently on adding value.

Always, always, always — in your pods, through your status updates, in engaging with your connections — seek to provide unique value.

That’s what will cement your reputation as someone people need to know on LinkedIn — which will, of course, help you build a more formidable community.

And that, for most of us, is the ultimate goal of using LinkedIn, right?

If it’s not yet… well, consider this your call to action.

 

 

Richard Branson Is Launching A New Music Festival. Here’s Why That’s A Genius Marketing Move

Richard Branson Is Launching A New Music Festival. Here’s Why That’s A Genius Marketing Move

Last month, Richard Branson — CEO, mogul, and billionaire — announced that he will be launching a new venture: a two-day music festival to be held in the United States.

It’s a brilliant move.

Virgin Fest will be more than just a money-making machine (250,000 people are expected to attend). It will double as a marketing tactic for Branson’s brand, which is the real thing of value here — building love and loyalty for your company’s character and identity.

I predict that’s where this move is going to really pay off.

Virgin Fest will engage potential customers and users through a channel and experience they already love.

A core challenge for marketers today is staying relevant in this swiftly changing economic climate. They have to constantly rethink their outreach strategies and content creation style to accommodate the channels and mechanisms through which people consume content and spend their time.

And that’s why Branson’s move is so smart.

Music festivals are a primary place users are spending their time and energy. And they’ve exploded in popularity over the last dozen years.

There are for a few reasons for this:

  1. They’re a more exciting mode of engaging in communal, quasi-spiritual activity, which young people still want, just not necessarily from organized religion.
  2. They double as cultural events which, if attended, double as something of an accomplishment or badge of honor.
  3. They encourage individuality and creative expression.
  4. They’re just really fun.

Branson, evidently, understands all that. He sees why young people love music festivals and has properly identified these events as a key means of connecting with them.

In other words, by launching Virgin Fest, Branson is optimizing his brand’s content to reach users where he’s most likely to connect with them.

People are investing more than we think in communal experiences.

For the last few years, marketing gospel has been focused on connecting with users online through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, since that’s where customers are spending their time.

But the truth is, the online experience, in many ways, has become oversaturated. And people still crave something that online engagement doesn’t really provide: connection.

In fact, users don’t just desire connection — they invest in it. Heavily.

Example A: music festivals.

By creating his own, Branson is showcasing that he understands something that’s integral to successful marketing:

To build a brand, you must build community.

This is something other marketers have seemingly been late to internalize.

When people associate a brand with a community they love being a part of, that engenders loyalty. That’s one of the key reasons Salesforce puts on their massive Dreamforce conference every year in San Francisco. And it’s why creating your own music festival, which will give people something to talk about, look forward to, and found traditions upon, is such a genius idea.

You just have to pull it off.

And whether Branson does, of course, remains to be seen.

Ultimately, the key will be not over-commercializing Virgin Fest with third-party advertisers. That’s one reason attendance has declined for many large festivals over the last few years. People go to festivals for community, religion, fun, and, of course, great art — not to be sold to.

But so long as Branson doesn’t corrupt the experience of attending his festival with gratuitous, in-your-face corporate advertising, I’m confident the venture will be a massive success.

And for his brand, in particular, it should prove a boon.