LinkedIn is an essential tool for businesses. We know this. Duh! After all, it's the B2B social media platform. But who’s taking care of your company’s LinkedIn page management?

Wait, what?

Nobody’s sorting out your company’s LinkedIn page management?

Oh my.

You need to read on.

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You'll learn…

  • Where to start with LinkedIn
  • How to set up LinkedIn for success
  • Why you NEED a company page
  • Don’t be scared to repurpose your content on the page
  • Michelle’s conversation that counted

Wendy

Gosh, where to start, Michelle, because I've spoken about LinkedIn before on the show. We've had Brynne Tillman. Niraj Kapur, he likes to talk about LinkedIn, you know, I even talked about LinkedIn in my book about how to pick up the phone, you know, it's a great way to sort of have that familiarity before you even speak to one another. And I mean, even last week, I was putting a post out, like, “why would you send this DM?” and it all falls back to, there's some fantastic advice out there. That might work for them.

Michelle

Actually, this is fantastic advice that never includes any sales advice, which is what drives me crazy as a career salesperson, I'm like, you can do all of this, you'll never sell anything, just and then people come to me, and they're like, "Oh, I've got to get a part time job". There's a lot of LinkedIn trainers that have part time jobs on the side that you would never know, because they're not making money, because they don't want to do the sales side of the business. Like they just think you create content and write about LinkedIn. And it magically happens. But it doesn't.

Wendy

No, we do need to join up the dots. Don't we, Michelle? It's really, really crazy. And this is why I was really super, super stoked to, to be having this conversation with you. Because LinkedIn has by far become the go to business platform, to make connections to meet people in business to network, to look for their ideal clients to grow their business. Let's be blunt, people want to make money on LinkedIn.

Michelle

Yeah, I'm not sure that they all do. I think some of them are there for entertainment. This is what I've had to kind of wrap my head around. I think they should be there to make money, but I'm not sure that they are with the strategies that they're using.

Wendy

Yes, this is perhaps where the advice that works for others doesn't necessarily work for them thinking that it will, you know, is that build it in and they will come isn't necessarily true, isn't it? And I do find it quite amusing that we are all here to help our own businesses, which, you know, we want, we want the lifestyle. So of course, the lifestyle you need the money that goes with it. And what you do on your personal pages is, is kind of up to you, isn't it? That's up to you what you want to do. And there are strategies for that. And there are strategies that work the strategies that don't but ultimately, you've got to find what works best for you. And what I loved about what you and Lynnaire, have done with your business gold. I just love it because it's about the company pages and that often overlooked

Michelle

1,000% It's the first book that's ever been written on it when he is the platform's been around. No one else has written a book on company pages. So you know, and then I went back and this is the second one, the hot pink one with Michelle Griffin, about creating business brands because we skipped over a few steps. So yeah, it's just been incredible because people go, you don't get as much reach. I don't argue that. But you can't ignore it.

Wendy

It's the authority piece, isn't it, there is no awareness that there are company pages, but people probably aren't aware that they ought to be doing it. There. It does give you that authority piece so that you can take a greater advantage. That's where you can be seriously strategic in business.

Michelle

Yeah. Like this is what people don't understand. And it's this almost like, and you can either have either or situation. And I'm like, no cake, eat it. Like you don't have to choose, you can take the best of both. Work out what works for you, like your business and go like you don't have to just say, Oh, I'm only on this team, or I'm only on that team. And somewhere along the line. That's what it became. And I was like, this is crazy. And it came because I grew an amazing niche community in the beauty industry. And then I left my job and the company I worked for had nothing left when I left. What every company is just meant to go. I'll build your personal brand. That's okay. We'll rely on you with the great resignation and the great reshuffle. Oh, don't worry, we'll be okay. Like, I don't know I don't get it.

Wendy

There are so many elements to the persona of a company. You know, and you've got it I mean, if you break it down, it's sales. There's marketing, there's personal branding, there's company branding. I mean, where does it stop? And ultimately, it's just, it should just be having the conversation with the people that want to be having the conversation with you is it is as simple as that. So how you go about it is really up to you. But the more you do, and bring it all together in alignment with that has got to be got to be what we do, isn't it?

Michelle

Which I don't understand. But we have like in the branding book, like, the third step in our system is align your brands. Because it's like, you can't just have someone running that way and someone running that way. And then go, Oh, we're not getting results. Okay, like, let's have a look. Is it any real surprise? No, it's not. And so this is the thing for me, that has just been mind blowing, coming from someone that spent six years actually living, breathing, building it as part of a sales role, to setting up my own business and becoming a LinkedIn trainer. And at first, I was like, Oh, I've got a copy what all the other LinkedIn trainers are doing, because you know, they've been doing it for longer than me, and they must know more. And then that shine went off very, very quickly as well. Okay, yeah, whoa, okay. So from what I can work out, you used to work in HR, you were doing resumes, then you started doing LinkedIn profiles, then you became a trainer, and you've never actually done it for business purposes. And so learning about all of that? What is going on? Again, good for me,

Wendy

it's one of those, isn't it? Michelle, that I would not call myself a LinkedIn trainer yet a lot of my activity is spent on LinkedIn with my clients. And you go, Well, okay, there's that awareness, the, the authority and the advantage. But that takes time to build. And I think this is the kind of piece of information that's missing, you think I've got a company page, and that's all I need to do? Set it up, I'm gonna do it. Yeah, it doesn't work like that. Certainly, one client I'm working with at the moment has really took on board posting to their page, their company page. And the staff, now the team have their own thing to say, and they share it. It's not just, you know, them liking it. And that's it. Tumbleweed on the post, you know, their opinion is valued. Their insights into perhaps what was missing from the content of the post is valued. And they're encouraged, they're encouraged to come up with their own ideas and things, which is just awesome. Because anybody looking in on that company, when they go from the personal profile to their company page, it's gonna have a bit of a snapshot of, you know, it's like pulling the curtain back, isn't it?

Michelle

I've got some clients that I've been speaking to recently, that paid LinkedIn, something like, let's call it $15,000 a year, to be able to have a tab called The Life tab, which shows up on your company page, like so you have to pay this money. Basically, it's a steal shots of how great it is to work at the company. And it's like, look at us, we're having fun, and they pick five photos and you know, a few other policies and look who works here. And they said, it's fun to work here. And I look at it and go as if anyone can't just make that up. Like, it's not real. If your content doesn't align, if your personal brands of employees don't align, it's just like absolute fake, and everyone can see through it. And again, they're paying for it.

Wendy

You've alluded already, haven't you, Michel to, you know, starting doing something and thinking that you've got to do it the way that everybody else does. This is the same mistake that the companies are making is they're seeing what they think, is the shiny object syndrome and following in suit without really giving it much thought as to why they would want to do it any differently.

Michelle

And the answer is never more tech. The answer is go back to basics, build a strong foundation, and then move on. And for me, so many people, they just want to you know, do not pass go do not collect 200 They just want to go racing around, and then they go out didn't work, and they skipped 15 steps.

Wendy

Yes. That's the beauty of the business in gold book is that you take people through step by step how to do things, and I skipped, but that's me, I will skip because I think I kind of know this stuff. And then you go back and you check and you go, Oh, I've got to rewind, because I have actually missed something here. We make assumptions, don't we that we know that bit.

Michelle

100%. And, you know, even just today, I did a post around company pages and going back and reviewing the about section. Now, if you listen to LinkedIn trainers, they talk about on the profile, making sure that that about section, you know, it's absolute God, make sure it's shining, make sure it's five star, it's got to do certain things. But then on the company page, we just post a blurb. And don't take advantage of it in the same way and then go again, company pages don't work. It's the company pages fault. And it's like no, LinkedIn have told us if you complete it all, you know, all of the sections on a company page, you get 30% more views. We know if you speak to the audience, you're going to get the right kind of leads come in. And there's all these things that we know that work over on the profile, and then someone goes, Nope, doesn't work over here on the company page. And we're not putting in any effort. And see, it doesn't work. See, anyway.

Wendy

But I remember LinkedIn personal profile, having the all star status, you know, I quite liked seeing that, you know, years ago, that, you know, you'd be working with somebody and you'd see that blue bar moving up into the star. And then they were like, all star, you know, and you're like, yes, they should bring that feature back for company pages, because it's almost that competitiveness, isn't it that you need to go? Well, hang on a minute, let me just stop and think once I got it all start on my personal profile things changed the needle move?

Michelle

Yeah, I think it's because you paid attention to it, and you crossed all the T's and dotted all the i's, and you put effort into it. And there's a return for that effort. And it's that simple. But again, you know, I've been on a mission for, you know, the best part of two, nearly three years now, is saying, you need to start putting more attention over on your company page for your business brands, so that it supports your employees and their personal brands. So they've got a place to come together so that when I'm, you know, stalking your business, I can find everything that I need to know, weed before I even reach out, you know, there's so much research out there that says, you know, 80% of the buying decisions done before they even reach out to a person, or what are they finding, you know, and this is what I'm saying to people, TripAdvisor Google reviews, all those kinds of things exist, because we want to know about what kind of business it is. And it's no different on the number one b2b platform in the world. No, exactly.

Wendy

Note to self, go check your pages Wendy. And but this thing, you can be giving the best advice and think you know, and forget that your own services and offerings alter and change. And that message may not actually be being communicated.

Michelle

I have literally just rewritten my "About" section on my company page for exactly that same reason. And part of that has been going through, like obviously, the LinkedIn branding book, we have a complete workbook, and I'm taking my own medicine, because I realise I've neglected mine, I make sure all of my customers and clients that their pages are all amazing. I know that all the effort and attention. And their minds been sitting there and I haven't liked it for a while because I've grown out of it. Like that's what's happened. It's like another layer, I'm coming out of the cocoon and another layers gone. And I haven't gone back and spent some time to update it. So I've done that myself. And I'm going to do it with my profile as well. And so that again, they're all in alignment, because right now, I am at one place, and my company pages at another and my personal profile is probably the most up to date. But even that I'm thinking, what do I want to do for 2023? You know, now is the time for me to sit down and think about that not when I'm in 2023 and busy and crazy and things are going on. Because otherwise I'll just spend another year making sure my clients are right, and forgetting about mine. And then what happens one day, if it's recession and things are tighter, how do you stand out? It's those that put the effort in that stand out, not those that go can't be bothered filling that in. Someone doesn't like company pages, so I don't like company pages. It's not a good strategy for any business.

Wendy

What you just said there about coming out of a cocoon. There's been changes certainly for me as well. And I found that I kind of have said nothing. Because I'm not quite sure what it is. I want to say yeah, it's there's that undercurrent, so until you actually Shuar I think you do find yourself stepping back so don't feel bad about that either. Even if you start posting again, and the algorithm doesn't, you know, it doesn't pick you up, like it used to, don't worry, you know, if you found your voice again, just keep going, because you'll, you'll quickly get back to where you once were, but with the right people,

Michelle

And it's really fickle, you know, the algorithm likes activity, and it rewards activity. And as soon as you come back, it doesn't go, or we're not friends, I haven't seen you for six months, it goes, ah look, you're generating conversations, you're engaging with other people, you're building activities. And if you're one of those people that rewards you, it's really that simple. And you can make it as complicated and try and make out that it's the ruler of LinkedIn, but you're the ruler of it, you have so much control that you can build relationships, as much as you want, you can support other people as much as you want, you can go out and use that search bar pretty much as much as you want for, you know, for free. There is, you know, sure, there's a couple of limitations if you're not on a premium plan, but for the most part, everything you have is for free, like and that blows my mind. You know, and why don't people use it? I don't know, I'm still trying to work that one out.

Wendy

It's an investment in the training, isn't it? And ultimately, I've seen recently that that companies are wanting one person to be trained in it, to then go and teach most of the team. And I'm horrified by that, because we only absorb so much information, how would they possibly be able to show the rest of the team when they have different wants and needs of what the platform can deliver. So they'll pay attention to the different parts, it's much better to have your team of people that were all there listening, there's at least a chance that 80% of it was LinkedIn.

Michelle

LinkedIn is a team sport, like you go further and faster, the more you work together. And so that's the thing that companies especially need to focus on is, the more people you can get involved. And I don't mean, just go and dump everyone in the deep end and say, you know, we did two hours of training, you're on your own now Good luck. It's, you know, creating small programmes, and then, you know, eventually building them out. And the companies that do that, and invest in their people and help them build their personal brands, it comes back tenfold, you know, and I see it all the time. But when it falls on one person, and the CEO is not on board, it falls over in three months, hands down, I don't you know, I've worked with enough businesses now that I can almost predict it. So my first question when I talked to them, is, will your CEO be doing this training? And if the answer's no, I flat out, just tell them three months, it'll fall over. Because if they don't care, and it's not important to them to be involved, it will just fall down, because people will copy their behaviour. And so now I just go, yep, come back to me when that person is on board and was give me two hours, you know, two, three hours of their time, then I know we've got a chance of success, because I want to have a genuine impact in the business, and not just collect the money and say thanks for your money. And I'll see you next time tell all your friends about me. I want you to grow your business when you do training with me. And it won't happen if you don't have the right resourcing.

Wendy

The more involved, the top of the tree can be involved, the deeper the roots go, I think.

Michelle

Yeah, and you see these poor marketing managers that are trying you know, I've seen job ads where manage LinkedIn, manage Twitter, manage, you know, Instagram, be an expert at all of them, run the creative, write the copy, you know, do everything on the website, and you know, then you see them when they come to me like, I can't understand LinkedIn, I've got to get LinkedIn to work. And then you think, how is this all one person ever got a chance. And so this is, again, why turning it into a team sport, is for this success so that that person's got backup, because they can't do everything. And quite often, LinkedIn is the outlier. You know, the people I work with often have, I'm gonna say social media managers or link the person responsible for LinkedIn. Average age, probably between 20 and 25. Probably good at places like Instagram, maybe Facebook and Tik Tok and other newer platforms, comes to LinkedIn. They're petrified, absolutely petrified. And it does not matter what you tell them or you know, teach them. It's never going to happen. And so this is why having the mix of people that can support each other that's equally as important.

Wendy

I think LinkedIn has a reputation with the younger generation to be a little less forgiving. When it comes to what you put out there. It's a profession is no platform and you know, we've got a reputation, you know, on Instagram and Tiktok, there's a bit of frivolousness, which, you know, leads to that, oh, it's just a bit of fun. And, you know, people will have forgotten about it in the next 30 seconds, because they've seen another 10 reels. You know, I know certainly, for the work that they're I've been doing within companies in using LinkedIn, it is about that team sport, it is about saying to them, Look, at the end of the day, this is going to help you personally, right, because your personal profile is yours, it's owned by you, you take it with you, if you decide to leave, the whole point of the company investing in you now is so that the company does well so that in the end, you do well. And I've even, you know, helped a couple of companies put in a LinkedIn policy document. So it's part of their induction process of onboarding members of staff that they're brought in. And that's what's expected of you as part of your role. It's not a, an an add on that we're going to just throw at you as an afterthought. It's a very well thought out strategy for the business.

Michelle

Yeah, and you set that person up for success, you don't just leave them out hanging to dry going, I didn't know about this, why did you just surprise me with it? Because people and I don't care whether you're a junior or CEO of, you know, big companies, I've worked with them all. And that same anxiety around LinkedIn occurs at both ends of the spectrum. And everywhere in between there is, you know, almost 90% of people will never create content on LinkedIn, never press like, never do a comment. And that's crazy numbers to think about. So if you have a small amount of people within your business, that are willing to do it, you have to set them up for success. And I love that idea of, you know, making sure that there's a policy in place when you're onboarding, because when we're down the track, it's just feels a bit of a bolt on afterthought, and that sets up the priority that it is in the business, it's an afterthought. And so if you don't have KPIs that measure the activity, or even just an acknowledgement, and a thank you, you know, that's the most important thing and piece of advice that I give to people, you have to have someone in executive leadership and a level that when someone is doing the right thing, they acknowledge it, you know, not just go, oh, well, you know, they're paid to be here, they should want to do it, you know. And that's it happens so much. And they just say thank you, you'll be surprised what happens with a bit of acknowledgement.

Wendy

And an observation that I've seen is that, you know, I've done group sessions and showing them around the platform, and you know, where to do things and where to update certain things for them for the Meech company generic stuff that they need to do. And then given them homework and said, Write your about section, I don't want it to read boring, it's not a CV any longer, you can put that your you've got interest in fly fishing, or photography, or you know, you volunteer at a certain charity, this is your opportunity for you to be the standout person within the company with outside interests as well, that may be you know, influence and enhance what you do. Now, that's been fantastic in a group setting to get them all looking great. And you know, the brand across the company. But we've had to do one to ones because it's that confidence that people need, isn't it to be able to say, well, I've got this idea, and I don't know whether to do it. So if I don't know whether to do it, I'm just not going to do it. If you're going to encourage me there, it's a good idea. And I'll do it. That's been where you start to see the real growth that it's okay.

Michelle

And nobody wants to put their hand up in a group setting and say, I'm not really sure I don't know how to do it when it looks like everyone around you and on the platform looks like they all know what they're doing. And that they're all confident and look at them all go because you only see the people that are creating, you don't see the people sitting on the sidelines with anxiety around posting, and I love the one on one because there is no one size fits all. That's why I don't do group training with multiple companies and people from you know different places is because I can't again deliver the impact that I want. Because everyone's at different levels, different resources, different goals, different timeframes. And I can't bring all of that together and you know, the thought of not being able to deliver again, it's not something that I want to set out to do. And the more that you actually can set that up again, set it up for success so that it becomes easier over time and knowledge or, because when we skip over those steps, people literally just go, it's too hard. I'm tired. I've got all of this other work to do over here, which is probably something that I get measured on with KPIs. So I'm just going to drop this and focus over here. And you know, that's where businesses miss out.

Wendy

That's priorities and expectations, you know, challenging your team, isn't it? I know that there have been some LinkedIn KPIs set with my one client. And I was like, What's the price I want to know,

Michelle

I remember when I was younger, I managed my very first job, I managed a call centre. And I was a team leader on a particular shift. And we used to set up these things where you would get like a chocolate freddo frog, I don't know if you have those in the UK. But yeah, just imagine a small chocolate, which is probably worth at the time, 20 cents, you know, these days, probably more. But at the time, the amount of things you could get people to do as a game, just say whoever does this, get this. And it became a competition and the gamification of LinkedIn, to make it more fun, is something that I also encourage people to do, you don't have some fun with it, you know, make a game out of it so that people Lighten up, people relax, and people go, Oh, someone's rewarding that behaviour. And it might seem silly, but it doesn't have to be big. And I think businesses think, oh, when they hear reward, they think, Oh, I have to get out, you know, millions of dollars and give people big bonuses. Actually, I think acknowledgement, again, is the number one thing that goes the furthest, you know, because it means someone noticed what I did. And that can lead to other opportunities. And I think that's more important. But and it doesn't take long for the community to notice your activity. I recently started working with a client, and you know, the company came on board, I'm managing their company page. But I said I can't do this by myself, I need your help. And here's how you can help me. And one of the simple things was just anyone that was out in the industry that was like a brand owner, because they come from the beauty industry, as we said, anyone that has a brand on it just support their posts, all you have to do is press like at this point in time and don't expect anything else. We'll just start off with just press that one little button. And then all of a sudden, at an industry event, just two weeks later, they were going, Wow, everyone from that team is now visible, their profile has been lifted. And they're like, What are you guys doing? You know, I was even at an international trade show that was on for the industry. The conversation was around? What are you guys doing? Because all I ever see is your team. And I was like high fiving myself going, we've only been doing this for two weeks. Imagine what happens one year, two years, five years, because that's the game we're playing with businesses is that it's the five year plan the 10 year plan, because, you know, hopefully businesses never stopped. We want them to continue to create employment. And you know that job security that comes with a a business that attracts better opportunities, converts more opportunities has more revenue, which leads to more things for the business to do. And it becomes this vicious cycle that you take business share away from your competitors, and they just go further and further backwards. And this is the risk to businesses that are ignoring LinkedIn, the number one b2b platform where business is done. If you're ignoring it, and your competitors aren't, there is nothing I can do to help you catch up, that's not going to cost you a lot of money.

Wendy

It's that same old adage, isn't it? That if you if you know you ought to be doing it you should have started yesterday.

Michelle

Yeah. And if you haven't started the best time to start is right now. You know, and this is the thing there are people that have been sitting back when I first started talking about company pages, you know, two years ago, and they thought I was crazy. And that's okay, I probably was a little bit but you know, I would say invest in your brand invest in your company page just start building it now. And you may not even have a need for it right now but you will never regret building it. And those that paid attention to me back when I first started are probably sitting on a page with 2000 followers you know, maybe even 1500 you can get results from as little as 500 to 1000 is the game the name of the game for company pages, not 500,000 You don't need that when you build a niche community. It's not a numbers game and it becomes like you know fishing in a barrel it's that simple. Because you've spent time and effort in making sure you're attracting the right audience and it's not just spray and pray and that doesn't work in anything that I'm sure you've done with your clients in any way shape or form. Sales does not work spray and pray.

Wendy

Fish with a spear. A net's fine. And that is fine. I will go with a net. But I do honestly believe that if you fish with a spear you've got more chance of landing the fish you want rather than just seeing what turns up in the net? So even for me when my company page years ago, I set it up because I thought, well, they've given me the option to do it. Everything that LinkedIn does is done for a reason and a purpose, the psychometrics behind it, a proven, it's people that have built LinkedIn. It's not a it's not an algorithm of a computer. This is people's hive minds going, we're going to make the algorithm do this. Now, hey, let's see what happens when we change that setting there. So having a company page was like, Well, why shouldn't I, it's potentially another shop window for somebody to stumble on there and go, Oh, this looks cool.

Michelle

And they could stumble on you via Google, you know, because your company page shows up on the first page of results. Normally, in the top four or five, you know, at the top of the first page, you can't pay for that kind of privilege. So you piggyback off LinkedIn is reputation. And you know, they've got teams, the product marketing teams spend their whole life researching LinkedIn users, other platforms. You know, they've got insights into the future of marketing that I would only ever dream about. They've got b2b Institute, they've got Annenberg, they've got all kinds of things. And to think that we can second guess, and no more as like a little individuals sitting here that's been doing it for a couple of years, versus the resources that they have. It's crazy. And so this is why, you know, I get unlucky, I get to test some of the company page features in the background and work with the team and talk to them. And the conversation I have with them is you know, things like long form like newsletters. Now, there can be things that come out to say newsletters are a waste of time, they're not this, they're not that and all the other reasons to not do them. But LinkedIn are going to be pushing them because they've done the research. And I can't even imagine what it costs. They've done the research that says the b2b buyer, they want brands to lead thought leadership, they want to see original content that is highly valuable that you can't find anywhere else, as opposed to jump on Google type in your question. And find SEO written blogs which are same same, it doesn't matter whose website you go to. There's no originality and you can't find a difference of opinion. And so that for me, when I hear that from them, I'm like, okay, so long forms the way they've done the research. That's why I have a LinkedIn newsletter on my company page. For instance, the same goes with LinkedIn lives, they've done the research on that to make sure that having that community interaction, it's a really great tool to build community. That's what they're putting more and more effort into. So why would I say, Oh, I'm going to ignore those two things.

Wendy

You've just got me thinking now, there's got to be lots of creators, like myself, Michelle, I've got a newsletter, and I send that out. And that's grown organically, I hardly ever tell anybody about it. I'd literally, I just committed to writing it. And publishing it. That was all. I was like, I've got to do this. So how do you transition to from a personal newsletter to a company newsletter? Or is there a, is there a way of sort of blending the two and helping each of them each in their own right?

Michelle

Look, I'm a cake and eat it person. So I have both I have a personal newsletter. And I always have a company page newsletter, because whilst I'm a business of two, I actually Michelle J. Raymond is different a good trading coach, they are lots of crossover. But there is differences in our personality, albeit slight. Now, I've got two different audiences. The ones that I built under my personal profile, a lot of them come from that beauty industry that I've mentioned a few times, because that's where I first built my community. So out of my 12,000, connections and followers, you probably should take away 5000 for beauty. Now, if I go over to my company page, which is set up originally, just to talk about company pages in LinkedIn for business, if you go over there from day one, I started building that with people that were interested. So whilst the number might be, you know, a fraction 1/5, it's about, you know, just over 2000 followers or something, not a big number. But I know that number is exactly who I'm after, you know, they fit my client ideal client profile. And I attract people into that page that I don't necessarily know personally. And I know that because I have a process in place that goes back and checks my company page followers on a regular basis. And I reach out and connect with those that I'm not a first degree connection with. And I am surprised at the number of people that it keeps growing than I am not inviting, and so that is a measure for me. It's not necessarily the impressions. I know, it's being seen by the right people. And that's important.

Wendy

That's really good advice, Michelle, I would say, that's got to be another book in itself hasn't it is the digging deeper into the what you're doing on LinkedIn, to be sure that you're not missing the opportunities? Because, you know, certainly for me, my, my personal page is nearly 36,000 followers, but I cannot possibly know everyone. The connections, however, is about a third of that. And I have, you know, looked to endeavour to start a conversation with everybody. And it's not because I want to sell to them, it's just that I don't know who I might know that I can go all Oh, Michelle, you need to speak to so and so you know, and I do that on a regular basis. So it's a really good way of thinking about how you grow your company page in as much as that if you're putting the content out there for the people that are looking for that content. This is going back to like a Marcus Sheridan, they ask you answer, isn't it, you know, write the content that your ideal audience is looking for. And they'll find you because LinkedIn is going to reward you by sending the people to your page. And then they'll have a dig around on your personal page and go, yeah, she doesn't look scary, or, you know,

Michelle

Yeah, because you might like me, but especially when we work globally, now, there's no fences anymore, you know, the fact that we're having this conversation on opposite sides of the world, and we don't even blink. But I guarantee you that moment, you might like me, might have been talking for a while. But when it comes to, can you please send me your money, I can assure you, when you're sending money overseas, we still want to check and make sure things are legit. And so doing our research behind the scenes definitely becomes part of that. And it doesn't even matter if it's interstate or you know, just, you know, a few towns away. The fact is, we want to make sure that we're doing business with the credible companies that have that authority. And you know, for me, you just don't know who's looking and building company pages. Boring, right? I'm putting it out there. I love company pages. But if I say to you, Wendy, go and build your page followers, it will put you to sleep. There's nothing in that, right. But if you were building something that's a tool that's going to attract those ideal clients, that conversation then becomes how do you keep up with the content? Because that's really often the concern that people have is, oh, my god, Michelle, you want me to do my all my personal content? Then you want me to do the company page? Like how do I keep up with that? And I understand business owners often wear multiple hats, especially in small businesses. I hear you, I feel you. So here's my solution, because I love to give, you know, solutions to problems. The solution is this, take your best performing posts that you have over on your personal page, and turn your company page into your greatest hits library. Now what I mean by that is all those pieces of content that answer frequently asked questions that give your audience insight into your thoughts, things that perform well. Give it a bit of time, copy and paste it over on your company page. So leave it you know, a few weeks a month, whatever, but just give it a little bit of time, then you start building up a library of all your best content. Now what happens when I'm coming to do my research and review because I want to do business with Wendy, I go and look at the company page, I do a quick scan, because that's what we do on company pages. It's a destination, we scan the Greatest Hits librarian go, Whoa, what is this high quality content, she really knows this stuff. Take my money. And so that's one strategy that I would highly encourage people. If you can't keep up with the content. If you have limited resources, turn it into your greatest hits library.

Wendy

And I would say don't be scared to repurpose either. You know, while you're growing people will not know that that post could have been originally a year old or two years old. Because in a month, yeah, yeah. I actively now see a couple of people that just use repurpose content for me because I know them and I know that it's repurposed, it's a little bit boring. But actually, the engagement is still there because their audience is still growing. And they're fresh people fresh eyes, fresh perspectives. So it's not doing any harm at all.

Michelle

And research is showing I think I read somewhere it's like 15 times or some crazy number like that, that we have to see content to be able to recall it. So I wish it was posted. Once everyone saw it. Everyone could recall it. Imagine if it was that easy. everybody would do it. But the fact is, we'd have to keep reminding. And it also, for me, it's been top of mind is more important. Because I don't know about you. But sometimes I look at my feed. And I think, where's that person gone? Like, I haven't seen them for a while. And it's not that I'm not intentionally engaging with their content, but the algorithm kind of goes, Oh, you haven't really done much with them. And it could be just because I'm busy offline, not anything else. And then they come back, and they've disappeared. And I've had that happen a couple of times, to me that if you don't have, you know, other processes in place to keep up to date, you drop out of mind out of sight, pretty darn quickly on LinkedIn. And so, you know, regardless of the quality of the content, I think just there's a consistency and persistency over time, that will also pay you back.

Wendy

Yeah, there's definitely more than a few steps involved in keeping it going. So when I see the keep your LinkedIn up to date, 10 minutes a day. I mean, it's laughable isn't it?

Michelle

Anybody that gives a prescription on this is how you do LinkedIn, and one size fits all my advice is always run the other way. Even if it's me run the other way.

Wendy

Yeah, it's like the coaches that promise six figures. Okay, so you must you must have six figures, why are you so desperate to help to take other people's money to get them to six figures? I mean, just, we're Savea aren't we these days? Michelle?

Michelle

Yeah, because the what's happened is that there's been a power shift in the 20 years that I worked in sales roles of all different kinds. When I first started out, I had all the power because you couldn't just tap into Google and get the answers to everything. Now, over time, that power has shifted. So the buyer has done 80% of the research before they even reach out to you. They know all the facts, they know, you know, whether it's buying a car or buying a service, we can jump on and find everything about it. And they go into the negotiation already armed. And I love it, because it means now that pretty much when they reach out, it's almost a done deal. As far as I'm concerned. It's just the logistics. And maybe I'm too expensive. And it doesn't work out for that. But for the most part, you have a really high closure rate. And as a salesperson by heart. That's why I fell in love with social selling eight years ago, because it became this, oh, you saw this piece of content. You reached out when you were ready, not necessarily when I posted it, but it planted the seed and now you're ready. And I just have to talk logistics. And people don't ask about pricing. They you know, a lot of the time they just go I want you I want that done. And yeah, yeah. What kind of salesperson doesn't love that?

Wendy

I've been in love with LinkedIn, like forever, I think trying to think when I first started using it would have been about 2006 2007, something like that. So it's been a long time my relationship Willington and still I learned things. This is the point isn't it, it doesn't matter what you have in your life, there's going to be an element of change progress. And it's about keeping up with that, or you will get left behind.

Michelle

Even the eight years that I've been doing LinkedIn for social selling, I've seen so many changes. And there are things that you can try and resist it. But it will keep going and keep changing whether you resist it or not. So embrace those changes learn how to make the most out of them. If if for right now it means taking selfies and they work well. You know what Guess what? You're gonna see a few selfies from me, but it's about you know, is that personal connection is actually what is going on. It's not the selfie, just so people know it is not the actual selfie. It's getting to know the person, you know, this is the thing. But yeah, if you see those kinds of things, it's an interesting time on LinkedIn were split 5050 Gen Zed versus baby boomers. And so we're going to see a tug of war going on for a little while. But you can see LinkedIn is investing things to keep Gen Zed, you know, they're the ones coming through. So we'll see a lot of new tools that are geared towards what they enjoy and like and that's just part of, you know, life really.

Wendy

I certainly need to hear that one conversation that changed everything for you.

Michelle

I am a normally a pretty positive and optimistic person, but the one conversation that changed things for me happened March 2020. And if you think about that date, that's COVID Oh, yeah. Now, the month for most people that was pretty uncertain and there was a lot of job losses. I was working for a company that manufactured hand sanitizer. So you can imagine we were printing money like it was a gold rush. I've never seen anything like it. It was you know, you couldn't sell the thing fast enough. We just couldn't keep up except the person I worked for decided to use that as an opportunity to basically take advantage of anyone and everyone that records. So I had recently won a $2 million deal from LinkedIn post no less, or hand sanitizer. He actually made a call to my clients one night after I left work, and basically reneged on that offer, told them that they couldn't have this stock unless they paid triple the price cash upfront and all this other stuff, and told them that it was me that had made all of these false promises, and pushed me under the bus, proverbially. When my client rang me, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack, not lying, I have never felt like that in my entire life. And I never want to feel like that again. And it was that moment, when I wanted to protect my reputation at all cost, I quit on the spot. And because of that, that's why I have my business. Now, it was a life changing, you know, the great pivot that we use that word all year. But that's the conversation where I realised that the power of your name of your personal brand is a thing that you should protect at all costs. And when I align myself with people that share my values, which is why it's good trading, co doing good business with good people, then the opportunities come to me. So I'm really grateful for what happened. I certainly wasn't at the time, but it's a conversation that altered the course of you know, where I was headed. And I've never looked back. So yeah, that's the conversation that changed it.

Wendy

Well, boy, I mean, that's just a kick in the nuts really? Isn't it from your boss? What happened with the client? Did the client get in touch with you? Or to say, hey, Michelle, look, your boss has just said that you've said this, like, I don't believe it.

Michelle

The conversation went like this, I had driven in my driveway at home, you know, 637 o'clock at night, I was coming home and my phone rang and I thought, Oh, my God, why is she calling me I only emailed her two hours ago, to say that the order was okay, for a couple of days time, we were just finalising it, and it was all under control. So thinking, Why is she calling me at this time of night. And the second that I answered, and I heard her voice. I went, what is going on. And she said, Michelle, this person has rung my boss and told me that we can't have our order, and you know, explained all of this stuff. And I said, there's no one that works at my company call, you know, Michael. And she said, But he you know, Michael rang, my boss is a part owner in the company, and, you know, blah, blah, blah. And then the penny drops, he actually got a friend to ring up and pretend he was part of the business and lied. And then I went through this huge moment in my head where it was like, it was going in slow motion. And I was catching up. And then I went, well what has just happened, because to put it in perspective, it was the hand sanitizer to go to all of our grocery supermarkets for one of our major chains. So it was really important with a company that is a billion dollar company. So the numbers were crazy. And I just kept thinking of the impact that it had throughout my relationships at that company. I will never forget the next conversation that probably also changed the course was speaking with her boss the following day. And I am so grateful to this person who I have never met. And he said to me in the first minute that we spoke. Michelle, are you okay? Because what happened to you, I can't imagine how you feel. I just want to make sure that I want to check in with you first. And it was that person who I still don't even know, I couldn't remember his name. But it was that compassion and empathy for what I'd been through that and him saying that that changed me to know that I would be okay. And I did everything I could to obviously help them. But if he had been someone that flipped it and made it all about me and my fault and believe the story, I don't know how I would have come back from that as quickly as what I did. So for that stranger out there, you know who I don't know, it's why empathy is a big part of me in my business, is because that person changed. What could have been an even worse situation, and made me comfortable in knowing that I'd be okay. So that's the person who I want to be for other people. But that's the changing conversation that I have to have them.

Wendy

Gosh, and I would say, Michelle, that as a communication trainer. It would be really quick and apparent to anybody that you were talking to what the truth is. So it's instantly that guy has read the situation based on your tone of voice and really matter what the words were. It was just that feeling behind it that way It really come out, which is why it's so important to have that empathy, and listens.

Michelle

And he made a comment to me that he had spoken with all of his team. And he'd heard nothing but good reports. And this is personal branding. You know, 101 is when you have that brand and that reputation. And it speaks for you when you're not in a room. And you know, that, again, began my journey to understand branding on another level, to getting clear around my personal brand, which is why again, I wrote the LinkedIn branding book, because there's a big jump from that day, to where I am now. There's a lot of mistakes. There's a lot of things that have happened that I, you know, wish I could wind back. And it's, you know, to think that I would be perfect in that situation, waking up the next day and saying to myself, I'm never going to work for anyone else again, like, that's the conversation I had with myself. And then going from that point, to spending time coming up with an idea, I never intended to be a LinkedIn trainer, I had no intentions of being a business owner. It was only the next day when I woke up, and I was in silence. And I was home alone. And it was Covid. And it was locked downs and all that kind of crazy stuff that I went, what am I going to do? And as you know, the story turns out, okay, it's got a happy ending. But when I look back, you know, I think I'm probably even prouder of where I've come from in just a couple of years. So absolutely. That's the conversation you asked, that's my story.

Wendy

Well, I would just say thanks to your ex boss, because he's he's actually given the globe a gift, you know, with what you do now and helping people to to be that those good people trading out there. So thank you so much for spending the time with me and answering all my crazy questions. And you know, this curious cat likes to ask, we're gonna put all of the contact details for you in the show notes, Michelle. But I always like to ask anyway, where's the number one place that you'd like people to reach out to carry on the conversation? Let me guess…

Michelle

Oh, let's bring on the drum roll. Because as if you can guess but yeah, it's gonna be LinkedIn. Now. I am Michelle J. Raymond. And I say that because there's lots of Michelle Raymond's out there. But I'm the one with the middle initial J to make it easier for you to find me.

Wendy

I do hope that you get lots of feedback from just listening today and otherwise, go buy Michelle's book, honestly, even somebody like me, who thinks she knows quite a bit, still picked up a tip or two. So that was great. Thanks, Michelle.

Michelle

No problems. Thank you.

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