In today’s episode, Stacy sits down with Mandy McEwen, who is the Founder and CEO of Mod Girl Marketing and Luminetics. The two chat about the ways that marketers, agencies, and brand owners can better leverage LinkedIn, and tap into the power of humanized content marketing. Mandy also discusses the dangers of automation as well as the importance of personalized messaging and content. They also share why businesses should know how to repurpose materials to post on their socials, and the importance of “mixing-it-up.”
Hollywood Branded Refresher Episodes
Check out some of the past episode we’ve covered on this topic:
- EP 262: Building Brand Partnerships With Professional Athletes: The Do’s, Don’ts, Rewards, And Risks With Brittany Gilman
- EP 190: Tracking the Trends with Joe Gagliese | Viral Nation
- EP 104: Representing Celebrity Talent With Lori Sale | Artist & Brand
Hollywood Branded Content Marketing Case Studies
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- The Top 10 Highest Endorsed Athletes And Their Brands
- Brand Sponsorships: Sports and Athletes
- NCAA College Athletes As Influencers
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Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). Here’s your host, Stacy Jones,
Stacy Jones (00:13):
Welcome to Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). I’m Stacy Jones. I’m so happy to be here with you all today. I want to give a very warm welcome to Mandy McEwen. Mandy McEwen is the founder and CEO of Mod Girl Marketing, an award-winning digital marketing agency where they help companies increase brand exposure, authority, and revenue through the power of humanized content marketing. Through her agency, she also founded Luminetics, which is a branch that specializes in helping others make the most out of LinkedIn to generate a strong online presence.
Stacy Jones (00:45):
Mandy has also been named a top 24 B2B marketer by LinkedIn, and has been listed in The Search Engine Journal as a top 12 SEO expert. Today, Mandy and I are going to be chatting about how to leverage social media, more specifically, LinkedIn, as well as how to grow the online presence of your business. We’ll learn what works from Mandy’s perspective, what should be avoided, and how some businesses just miss the mark. Mandy, welcome. So happy to have you here today.
Mandy McEwen (01:10):
Yeah. Thanks so much for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Stacy Jones (01:13):
To start off, I would love for you to share with our listeners what got you here today? How did you land on your journey to social media and SEO success?
Mandy McEwen (01:24):
That is a loaded question, girl. And we would be here forever if I gave the whole story, so I’ll give you the short version of how I started. After graduating from the University of Kansas, I got a job like everyone else. I realized I didn’t like it. I always had the entrepreneur bug. Discovered online marketing, fell in love. Wanted the typical, “I’m going to work on a beach from my computer and never talk to anyone and make millions of dollars,” as an affiliate marketer. So that’s how I got started off. So I taught myself HTML and SEO and I really fell in love. And I was really immersed in all things online.
Mandy McEwen (01:58):
But at the time, you didn’t really need social media. This was back in 2007 where SEO was even kind of the Wild, Wild West. We were doing crazy things that you wouldn’t even dare to think of now or your site would end.
Stacy Jones (02:11):
Black hat marketing. Black hat marketing.
Mandy McEwen (02:12):
Yes, exactly. Exactly, The black hat SEO world. So that’s how I got started. I couldn’t make a living off of selling other people’s products and getting like $10 commissions. I was selling to everything from like Amazon products, to ClickBank, PDF guides on how to whatever, like how to train your horse. Literally, the most random things. So I was like, “I can’t quit my job from doing this.” I was actually a home sales rep, home improvement, and I heard these business owners like roofers and whatnot, talk about their crappy online marketing companies and how horrible they are, and how they just rip them off, and how the SEO doesn’t work.
Mandy McEwen (02:54):
Meanwhile, I was doing all of this for myself and building my own blogs and creating brands, basically. I was creating my own brands from scratch, but I was selling other people’s products. And I was making money, but again, it wasn’t enough to quit my job. And so I just had a light bulb moment and I was like, “Oh wow. I think I could actually sell to small business owners and maybe make enough money to quit my job.” So that’s what I did. And so I started emailing people that were not on the first page of Google. So I started my business in Kansas City, from Kansas, and I would email like chiropractors, just random people, in addition to the business owners I would meet, and I would say, “Hey you’re on page three in Google. I can get you on page one for free. All you have to do is pay me 500 bucks when I get you there and we’ll go from there.”
Mandy McEwen (03:36):
And it worked, and that’s how I landed my first few clients. And so then they would hire me to do their websites because of course I was building my own WordPress websites. So I would do web design for them. And then eventually, social media started becoming a thing, a bigger thing. So then I would do that. And then pretty soon, I had like this full service marketing company, one-stop shop, and I was like, “Crap, I’ve got to hire people.” So I went to glorious Fiverr, literally Fiverr.com. Back in the day, it was my first hire ever. And she ended up being with me for like three years. She was a writer. This was when Fiverr was amazing and it was very talented, legit peeps.
Mandy McEwen (04:13):
Now, there’s still talented peeps there, but you got to sift through them because it blew up since then. So I just started hiring people, and I was like, “I think I have a business,” and that’s what happened. So I started doing my own SEO work, and that led to getting global clients, and national clients. And so I branched out of the Kansas City market, which is where I started my business. The networking there was incredible, and so I’m very grateful for that. But then I wanted to go bigger, so that’s when I started branching out. I am naturally a creative, and so I like to write and create things. And so that’s how I got into this bigger world of online marketing, is from my blogs and my content and social. And so I caught attention of LinkedIn’s own marketing team.
Mandy McEwen (04:57):
And so I’ve been working with them for several years, and it landed me on these like top lists. There’s a couple of them that you listed out. And it’s all for my content. That’s when we molded into, “Let’s focus more on this route.” And over the years, I’ve been doing this for 11 plus years now, again, we’d be here forever if I talk to you about all the things that we did, but I have courses, I have a Facebook group, I have agencies. So I’ve literally monetized almost every possible angle online, which is incredible, but now I’m in this place where I really know what we are great at, what we love, what I love. And that is the LinkedIn side of things, social selling, B2B, social media, and leveraging LinkedIn from a humanized perspective.
Mandy McEwen (05:42):
So training sales teams and marketing teams on how to be human. I know that sounds like common sense to you, but it’s crazy because corporate people don’t think that way. They think in old school marketing methods and PR. You know all about old school PR. So my goal and my team’s goal now is to work with enterprises, B2B corporations, and really bring this new, fresh approach to their sales and marketing teams where, “Hey, let’s really break this down and talk to people like they’re human beings.” No one wants to be blasted with cold emails at their sales pitches. No one wants to read a white paper every day on LinkedIn, or a to your latest blog posts.
Mandy McEwen (06:18):
There’s more you guys can be doing here to build that emotional connection with people. And B2B and B2C is no different in the fact that people buy via emotions. We are emotional buyers, it’s no different if you’re buying a software product or if you’re buying a pair of shoes. And so it’s really trying to get to the part of that and help corporations understand that. And that is where we’re focused right now.
Stacy Jones (06:40):
Are You trying to say that we don’t have a corporate hat we put on and become a B2B consumer versus our baseball hat when we’re just a B2C consumer?
Mandy McEwen (06:49):
Exactly. Although you would think that’s the case because that’s how it’s been for eons now. And I’m trying to change that.
Stacy Jones (06:57):
I think people forget so much that the person on the other side is actually a person, that it’s not a bot, that it’s actually real life. And it’s the same thing with like customer service when you go and you call to complain about something, it’s still a real person on the other side who didn’t actually cause your problem and they’re trying to solve it for you, but are you just going to be like, “Rah, rah, rah, rah”? And I think a lot of B2Bs do the, “Rah, rah, rah, rah,” as well by forgetting what you just said that’s so important, is that emotional connection.
Mandy McEwen (07:28):
Stacy Jones (07:30):
So how do you start working with your clients? When you’re laying the groundwork, what’s the first step that you’re like, “Okay. Guys, you’ve screwed it all up.” Probably not saying that. I don’t know how you’re still in business right now,” not saying that either.
Mandy McEwen (07:45):
But you are.
Stacy Jones (07:46):
In your head, you’re like, “Hmm.” So how do set them up for success from day one? What is the path that you take someone on?
Mandy McEwen (07:53):
That’s a good question. So first of all, we have to work with companies that know that there’s a better way to be doing it. I’ve been doing this for too long that I’m not now in the business to be convincing people that they need to shift and focus on these channels. A, that’s key. So having the right clients and understand that. And then the next is literally just, what are your goals? What are you guys trying to accomplish? Give me the numbers, your sales reps now out, what do their conversion rates look like? How many people are they reaching out to? Who are you guys trying to get in front of? So it’s laying the groundwork of, “What’s happening here? Give me the big picture of what exactly is going on so we can make it better.”
Mandy McEwen (08:31):
And then the first thing we do after we have all the information is create a really robust strategy for them. This is a focused on LinkedIn, but it goes across all networks. So we’re going to look at everything they’re doing on digital. More organic than ads. We don’t touch a whole lot of ads, if they want us to give feedback on like ad copy, we will, but we’re really the organic masters. We are known for getting results via organic marketing channels, whether that is content or actually outreach, that’s still organic. You’re not paying to get in front of people, you’re not paying to send someone an email, but you’re still emailing them.
Mandy McEwen (09:04):
So that’s like the big picture of, “Let’s put together this really robust strategy. Let’s rewrite some of your email copy, rewrite some of your LinkedIn messages, and help your team devise a plan of action to make this work high level.”
Stacy Jones (09:19):
When they’re doing this and you’re like, “Okay, we’ve gone through your LinkedIn. You’re going to be organic. You’re going to have conversations.” Do your clients look at you with their eyes open, and they’re like, “Oh dear Jesus, God, I’m going to have to actually create content?”
Mandy McEwen (09:35):
Uh-huh (affirmative), totally, 100%. And that’s where the training comes in. So we train sales and marketing and content teams on how to actually curate and create content. Because at the end of the day, everyone overthinks this whole content marketing aspect. Deer in the headlights, they’re like, “Oh crap, this is so hard. It’s going to take me so long.” And so what we do, especially on the SDR side of things, because sales reps, they’re not content creators, most of them aren’t, they’re sales reps for a reason. But it’s really easy if you create a system for them to curate content. And that means they’re just sharing other people’s content. They’re not having to come up with stuff from of scratch. And that’s a game changer because people don’t realize that that’s still very powerful.
Mandy McEwen (10:20):
At the end of the day, you want to be seen as a trusted industry resource, not another annoying sales rep on LinkedIn spamming people. You can easily do that by sharing other people’s content, including your company’s content and engaging throughout LinkedIn. And so it’s showing them and teaching them, “There are ways to do this that are not uber time consuming and not going to stress you out. You just have to follow this system and get into a habit of doing it.” And that’s the biggest thing is, put it on your calendar and make sure you’re doing it every single day. It’s really giving them the exact steps and walking them through it in a way that works for them specifically to make them comfortable and realize that it doesn’t have to be as hard as you think it’s.
Stacy Jones (11:05):
When you’re saying sharing content, that is as easy as saying, “Oh my gosh. Hey dear so-and-so that I’m pitching. I just came across this article and it made me think of you. It is a true solution to the problem that you were discussing with me the other day. Looking forward to chatting with you in the future.” Leaving as simple as that, right?
Mandy McEwen (11:25):
Totally. Yeah. And then also on your own LinkedIn profile, Sharing it too. I love that you mentioned that because that’s one of our strategies, is sending quality information to people. But do that right away. That’s something we talk about too. And that’s something that I see too much of, is people just instantly sending links within the first message, and that’s a turnoff. People don’t like that. So it’s after you’ve chatted at least one or two messages with someone, you have a little baby rapport, doesn’t have to be a lot, just a little bit, then send them stuff like that. But if you come right of the gate with like, “Hey, thanks so much for connecting. I have this great resource. Click here, you’re going to learn X, Y, Z.”
Mandy McEwen (12:04):
People are like, “Who the hell are you? Whoa. Back off a little bit.” But I’m glad you brought that up because that is such a great tactic. Same with like polls. So LinkedIn polls, we do this for ourselves and our clients, and it’s a legion client getting activity. You post an industry specific poll and then you message people, “Hey, Joe, I created this poll today and thought, you’d find it interesting. I would love your one-click vote on this.” Bam. Send them the link, send them the poll. And so it’s just really building yourself up, again, as this trusted industry resource.
Mandy McEwen (12:36):
You’re not trying to sell people, but you’re trying to get them involved and engaged and to see what you’re doing and talking about. And then that’s naturally going to lead to more business.
Stacy Jones (12:45):
What are other mistakes that people are making on LinkedIn right now? I know that there are so many company out there who are like, “We can lead gen for you. Here’s your messaging platform. We’re just going to like spam and spam and spam and spam and spam some more.” That’s probably not the best one, but what are some of the mistakes that people are making right now?
Mandy McEwen (13:09):
I’m glad you brought that up too, because that’s really the first thing I was going to say, and I see this literally with probably every client we work with, they are instantly, because they’re sales reps and their goal is to land meetings, that’s where they instantly go. So, “Hey, Bill, so great to connect with you. We do X, Y, Z and this and this and this. Let me know if you want to hop on a 15-minute call.” Number one, never ask anyone to be on a call in the first message ever, ever. Number two, don’t send them links in the first message ever.
Mandy McEwen (13:43):
There’s nothing wrong with saying what you do, that’s completely okay, but you have to frame it in a way that is very lightweight and personable and approachable. So they’re not saying, “Hey, Bill, think much for connecting. I loved your article on X, Y, Z. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you with. By the way, this is what we do. Looking forward to our connection. Mandy, whatever.” So you can still say what you do without being annoying. That’s one thing. But another thing is, all those companies that you mentioned, most of them are leveraging automation to where it’s just a numbers game.
Mandy McEwen (14:15):
And LinkedIn’s been saying for years, don’t use automation. I will be the first to admit, we’ve used automation for years. We do not now because one of my good friends, Brin, says slow down to speed up the outcome. So slow down the process to speed up the outcome. So when you’re slowing things down and making it more customized, you’re actually speeding up the results. Whereas when you’re just blasting people, which again, this worked a lot better. Like in 2017, I had a really popular LinkedIn course, and I will not lie and tell you that automation was… Automation was killing it in 2017, it really was.
Stacy Jones (14:55):
For us too, for our agency also. The last two years, no. It’s like Linkedin jail for you first of all.
Mandy McEwen (15:03):
100%. Yeah, it’s risky. It’s risky. And so that’s the thing. But there are cloud-based automation tools that I still know people that are using that are safer. I say safer, that ER at the end. It’s still a risk, but the challenge is, it’s not even so much LinkedIn hates automation and you’re going to get in jail. It’s more of, you’re very limited on how personalized you can make it. I am all about that personal approach. So our tactic is, you need to be engaging with people before you even send a connection request, you need to be commenting on their posts. If they don’t post on LinkedIn, go and look at where they comment and follow those people and comment on their posts.
Mandy McEwen (15:41):
They need to see that name. They need to know your name before you actually reach out so there’s that familiarity there. You should spend a week engaging on at least three of their posts post or wherever they’re engaging before you even send that connect request. And then that connect request, it should say, “Hey Bill, I loved your post on X, Y, Z. I completely agree with what you said about A, B, C. I would love to connect with you here.” And they’re going to be like, “Oh yeah, I remember that chick, she did comment on that post.” And they’re going to be way more likely to accept your connect request because, A, you’re tooting their ego. You’re saying, “Oh, great post.”
Mandy McEwen (16:15):
And they already know… not know you, but they’re familiar with your name because they’ve seen you engaged on their content. It’s just that little step that people don’t take because they’re all about numbers, numbers, numbers. “Let’s just blast them and hopefully someone’s going to reply.” That’s really the biggest mistake I see, and it’s really just a mindset shift and a total shift of their approach, which is hard for them to grasp when they’ve been doing things this way for so long. And it’s not just LinkedIn, it’s email too. These corporations are so used to just blasting out these impersonal messaging across all platforms that it really does take them some time to grasp the reality of how that’s not a good idea and how there’s a better way to do it.
Stacy Jones (16:56):
We have someone who is commenting on literally every post that comes out on my platform or my company’s platform, thumbs up, way to go, totally agree with you. And it works two ways for me. One, I’m like… because I’m not ready to do business with this person. But at the same time, I’m like, “Oh, he really is involving himself with my organization.” And so when I am ready to do business with someone in his field, he is going to be one of the first people I think of-
Mandy McEwen (17:28):
Yeah. I love that.
Stacy Jones (17:28):
… because he’s been there for months and months and months saying, “Yay, good job, thumbs up. I want to work with you. And it really does make a way that you’re memorable just from a short little phrase.
Mandy McEwen (17:43):
Totally. I love that you brought that up. I know it there’s a line too between being over the top annoying and not, so it’s like that fine line. You have to balance.
Stacy Jones (17:52):
I’m like, “Got the weekly post. Yay.”
Mandy McEwen (17:58):
And you like, “Thanks for the engagement, dude. I appreciate you.”
Stacy Jones (18:03):
Yeah. Now, you’ve been very successful on LinkedIn, but there’s a lot of people who are out there who have not gotten quite the same engagement on their posts. And when they do go out and as business owners or entrepreneurs or execs or career builders, they’re posting and it’s a silent world and it’s not that people like jumping in, so that if you actually do get someone to engage with you, he gives you the warm fuzzies because you feel validated, and you feel like you’re not spinning wheels, and you feel seen. So it really is a good way to get noticed.
Mandy McEwen (18:38):
Yeah, no it is. And a tip there for people, the easiest way to get engagements is to leave engagement. And there’s something called engagement pods, which are on all social media networks, including LinkedIn. And that’s just as simple as forming a group of people. I’m a part of several of these, and you can easily form your own. All you do is get a group of colleagues or professionals that you know and like and trust, five to 10 of them. And every single time you make a post, you put it in the Slack thread or the LinkedIn Messenger thread, and then everyone in that group goes and likes and comments on that post, and then you do it for their post too. And so it’s like, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. But that’s the easiest way to start getting engagement on your posts.
Mandy McEwen (19:21):
And then the more you do that, the more LinkedIn’s going to show your posts to people on the feed. And the way the algorithm works is, anyone who communicates with you via messenger or via comment, it’s going to show your post more to them. So the more you do this, the more your posts are going to be showing up people’s feeds, and it’s just a snowball effect. So that’s just a little hack for people that are listening, that if you want engagement on your post and it’s slow right now, be proactive about it, don’t just wait for it to happen. I would’ve never got to this level if I hadn’t leveraged engagement communities, engagement pods, however you want to word them.
Mandy McEwen (19:55):
That’s just an FYI. And they’re super easy to create. Again, you can create them with anyone you know that is actively posting on LinkedIn, and then all you guys do is help each other out, and it really makes a huge difference.
Stacy Jones (20:05):
And my assumption is, you could also do this even internally with your company where you could set up something where your posting out in your own internal company group and people could go in, engage and share, and it might be a way to get your team members to participate a little bit more on some of your content building as a company too.
Mandy McEwen (20:23):
Yes, that’s exactly what we do for our enterprise clients too. There’s actually software tools Sprout Social has one called Bambu that helps do this for them. So you can leverage an enterprise level software to help with this, or you can create your own little internal system. So we’ve done it both ways with clients.
Stacy Jones (20:39):
Is that BambooHR or is that a separate Bambu?
Mandy McEwen (20:42):
I don’t know.
Stacy Jones (20:43):
You’re like, “I have no idea.”
Mandy McEwen (20:44):
I have no clue. Is it B-A-M-B-U?
Stacy Jones (20:48):
No. So it’s different.
Mandy McEwen (20:49):
Different. Yep, totally different.
Stacy Jones (20:50):
There you go.
Mandy McEwen (20:51):
Good to know.
Stacy Jones (20:53):
For all you listeners looking for it, now you know what to do.
Mandy McEwen (20:56):
Stacy Jones (20:57):
What are some of the other mistakes that people make?
Mandy McEwen (21:01):
When it comes to content, everything that I preach and everything that we do at Mod Girl and Luminetics is humanized, that humanized angle. And I think that’s how I have seen a lot of success over the years is because I’m very real, and I put myself out there. And my content is real and coming from place of value and I post videos, I post pictures. The biggest mistake I see companies making is their content is just lame. There’s no other way to put it. It’s just boring, no one wants to read it. No one cares about linking to your 5,000 webinars or white papers. And so that’s all we see companies doing, and same with even executives in the companies.
Mandy McEwen (21:41):
The only content that they are posting are company links to webinar and white papers, and events. And so they’re lacking that thought leadership content. And that’s really what moves the needle and gets conversations happening is, let’s talk about what’s going on in the industry from my perspective.” Whether you’re a sales rep or an executive, doesn’t matter, and then let’s ask people what their thoughts are. And so it’s creating more engaging thought leadership content, thought-provoking content, keeping up on trends, and not just posting about the company blog or very specific company events or lead magnets, etc.
Mandy McEwen (22:19):
So it’s more of like, let’s think outside the box a little bit and let’s get a more humanized approach going. And the best way to do that is by leveraging the people within your organization because as you know, people do the business with people. We are in this, not doing business with logos, we’re doing business with people. So when you can leverage the thought leaders in your organization, people who have voices, and most of the time, these are executives, but it could be really anyone, that they’re leveraging their unique perspective and they have something to say that is go going to get people talking, that’s where the magic is, and hardly anyone is doing that.
Mandy McEwen (22:55):
And that’s why there’s such a massive opportunity out there right now for us as an agency who specializes in this is, is to help companies do this because that’s what’s missing. And so they think that they have to have all those great content, and you do need great content, but they’re missing the boat there. All they’re doing is pumping out a bunch of stats and reports, and white papers, and webinars, and that is great and all, and you can still do that, but when you’re sharing that, there are certain ways to frame it to make it more thought leadership driven and more humanized.
Mandy McEwen (23:26):
So you’re actually getting engagement, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t like engaging on LinkedIn posts that are simply linking to a white paper or a webinar. What am I going to do with that? You give me two sentences, download a white people worth an image, no, one’s going to comment on that. And so, let’s think outside the box moment and actually create engaging humanized content.
Stacy Jones (23:46):
Which is hard, because everyone goes to the business mindset, again, the business hat that’s on thinking that you need to be scientificky, you need to be very factual and you need to be very dry and boring.
Mandy McEwen (24:01):
Yep. It’s so funny. You mention that because I literally just read a LinkedIn post, I’m trying to remember who it was, and she was in a very finance executives and finance world. So they’re very numbers driven. And she did this study and basically found that the numbers, so it was a marketer, a copywriter working for this company, and she found that all the stats that they were putting out there, which the numbers guys, you would think would love that, like 38% decrease and blah blah, blah, all these numbers. And at the end of the day, that’s not what got them, what got them is the end result.
Mandy McEwen (24:37):
So playing on their emotions of like, what is this going to look like when you utilize our tool? What is the end result? Leave all the numbers out of it and just tell me, at the end of the day, what am I going to get for this? And it’s funny to think that numbers guys that literally live and breathe numbers all day long, weren’t impressed. They were more impressed with the end result and playing on their emotions. And so I’m so glad you mentioned that because it’s something that we forget about, especially these tech companies, because that’s what a lot of them all do day long are numbers, numbers.
Mandy McEwen (25:09):
They are very powerful, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t use them, but you have to use more than that, and you have to try and experiment on new things too. And that’s another huge thing that we are big at is experimentation, and then optimizing from there. And I feel like a lot of companies aren’t doing that because most marketing teams, they have so much going on anyway, they barely have enough time to do what needs to be done. They have way too much on their plates, and so they’re just pumping out content and they’re not really trying new things, they’re just doing the same thing over and over again.
Mandy McEwen (25:35):
And a lot of times it is, “Let’s show people the numbers, and the data, and the stats.” And I get it, those are great, but there’s a time and a place for those, and there’s a time and a place for that emotional driven content as well.
Stacy Jones (25:48):
The stats are going to get you the proof that someone might need for a sale, but the pain points and how you’re going to solve those pain points are going to actually get you interest.
Mandy McEwen (25:59):
Stacy Jones (26:02):
What are other things that… I love drilling in instead of saying, “What are all the ways that you can do it right?” What are other things that people truly screw up and don’t get right, and they mess up their marketing in a big way?
Mandy McEwen (26:16):
These are more just little tiny tips. At the end of the day, there’s not really a whole lot you could do to mess up your marketing. It’s like, is it lame? Is it just there to make your brand seem active? There’s a difference between maintaining your brand, and I totally get those people that have low budgets and they’re just posting stuff in the queue and their social media scheduling, just to post so they have something out there. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you have bigger goals, you’re going to need to step it up.
Mandy McEwen (26:44):
There’s little tiny things that make or break certain situations. For example, we work with corporations, but we work with the individuals within them too. The companies hire us, but we don’t just help their company page on LinkedIn, we are leveraging the individuals within the organization. And so a lot of times people are, again, just sharing things with a direct link, and so this is just a tip for everyone, LinkedIn or any social media network for that matter, does not like when you take people off of their platform. So if you are linking to post out, so let’s say you’re linking to your company’s blog post on LinkedIn, you’re going to get a hell of a lot more views on your post if you put the link in the comments versus putting it in the actual post itself.
Mandy McEwen (27:29):
And so these are just like little tiny hacks that most companies aren’t doing because they don’t know any better, and I don’t blame them for that, that’s not their job, but this is especially rings true for personal profiles. It’s more important there than I would say company pages, because company pages, you’re accustomed to going and clicking on things and taking it to the website or whatever, but on personal profiles, especially when you’re wanting to get engagement, etc, always link in the comments. So mention like, “Check out the new ABC in the comments,” or, “Check out the full report in the comments,” whatever it is, and then put the link in the comments.
Mandy McEwen (28:01):
So it’s just thinking of those little, tiny ways to engage with people. Another thing is hashtags. You don’t need to put 20 hashtags in the company post, you just don’t, it’s not necessary.
Stacy Jones (28:11):
You don’t have to do every version of women entrepreneur, entrepreneur women, female entrepreneur, women who support women.
Mandy McEwen (28:19):
I see it all the time, I’m like, “Oh, it pains me.” It doesn’t have a good look, A, it doesn’t look it nice. And B, it doesn’t really help much. And so I think there was a study done, I’m trying to remember. They said after seven hashtags, LinkedIn themselves came out and said like, if you put more than seven hashtags, it doesn’t do anything. Don’t put more than seven.” Because that triggers them as a spammer if you do more than seven hashtags. So just FY for listeners. So we say do one to five, one to five is a good number. If you want to do one more, you can, but there’s no need.
Mandy McEwen (28:51):
So it’s funny we see big companies and we’ll look at their pages and it’s like 20 hashtags on a post. It’s not doing anything, it’s not helping. It might be hurting more than it is helping. So there’s just a lot of little things like that that most companies don’t realize. And that’s the beauty of working with a consulting firm like us to help them with that.
Stacy Jones (29:10):
Well, Mandy, how can more people learn about you if there are listeners or they’re like, “Mandy is speaking my gospel, I want to be able to get in contact with her.” How can they do so?
Mandy McEwen (29:20):
So you’re not going to be shocked to say the LinkedIn is the best place. So I post daily, new, fresh content on LinkedIn every single day. So hit me up on LinkedIn, Mandy McEwen. I’m also active on Twitter, @MandyModGirl, all of them, but if you want to check out, you can go to modgirlmarketing.com, all the links are there. You’ll see the link to our Luminetics brand, which is our LinkedIn specific brand. So yeah, that’s it. But really, LinkedIn is probably the best place for those of you who want to learn more and how to really leverage the power of LinkedIn, because I’m posting a lot of awesome tips and content to help you guys. So that’s why the best place to connect is there.
Stacy Jones (29:56):
Cool. And then the word repurpose, it’s my favorite word at our agency. And I have a feeling it might be your favorite word at your agency also.
Mandy McEwen (30:05):
Stacy Jones (30:06):
Can we dive in a little bit into the fact that you don’t need to make new content all the time that you can actually repurpose, refresh, recreate from your well of knowledge you’ve already put forward?
Mandy McEwen (30:18):
Yeah. It’s so funny you mentioned that because it’s literally in every strategy we do and I’m turning in one today and I did one last night and in all of them is like, “You guys have a lot of great content.” You’re not even repurposing it, you’re not resharing it, you’re spending all this time making these incredible blogs for example, and you’re sharing it once, the moment it goes out and that’s it. There is so much opportunity, take little quotes here, make an image here, turn it into a video, a short little tidbit here.
Mandy McEwen (30:46):
There’s endless, literally endless ideas when it comes to repurposing content. And that is something that is highly underutilized as you know by most companies. And so they spend more time pumping out new content that no one sees versus leveraging the content that they already have by repurposing.
Stacy Jones (31:06):
Some of my favorite tools. I’m going to dive in to see what your favorite tools are. I love Canva.
Mandy McEwen (31:10):
Stacy Jones (31:14):
Canva’s unbelievable lifesaver for businesses, I can’t believe any would not use it. We love Magisto and Lumen5 for turning photos and videos into cool content. What else do you use that you like tool wise?
Mandy McEwen (31:29):
Canva is daily. I actually just saw Canva, I just for the first time I’ve been seeing commercials. Have you seen Canva commercials?
Stacy Jones (31:36):
They’re on TV ads now.
Mandy McEwen (31:37):
I was like, “Canva’s on TV. Okay. All right. That’s awesome.”
Stacy Jones (31:37):
They’re giant now, they’re so big.
Mandy McEwen (31:42):
Yes. Though I love it. I love it. That is one. We use a tool called Cloud Campaign. It’s specifically for agencies. It’s a social media scheduling tool, but it’s awesome because we can repurpose things in the queue, so we can take one thing and then schedule it out every three weeks or whatever it is, so the same piece of content. So that is really beneficial too, you can tweak. And so when I say we share the same bang over and over again, we’re doing it in a different way. We might be linking to the same blog post, but we’re wording it in our tweets a little bit different, with a different image or whatever it is.
Mandy McEwen (32:18):
I don’t create videos myself, I use Camtasia for my actual videos, and then I send them to my guy who uses Adobe Video Pro, I’m not video guy.
Stacy Jones (32:28):
Mandy McEwen (32:29):
Yeah, yeah, that.
Stacy Jones (32:29):
Premiere, all those, things that requires some talent to know how to use.
Mandy McEwen (32:34):
100%. Not my jam. So we repurpose all of… I have a LinkedIn show where once a month I go live on LinkedIn, I’ll either have a guest or talk on myself. And so literally we repurpose at least five per episode, little clips and we’ll share those out on socials, share it on the blog. And so I would say Canva, and then the video tools that, again, I don’t even know the details on, and then our social media scheduling tool is one. There is another cool video tool called Promo. Have you heard of that?
Stacy Jones (33:04):
Mm-mm (negative). I haven’t.
Mandy McEwen (33:05):
It’s awesome. So we used that in the past and it has their own clips that you can just go and choose from. It’s Promo.com, and they’re really neat. It’s not a good fit for everyone, but it might be something to look into if you looking into posting more videos. So I like them a lot too, but again, we have our own video guy now doing those, but I would say those are pretty much the main tools that I can think of off the top of my head.
Stacy Jones (33:28):
Yeah. And I think one thing for our listeners that y’all need to understand know that you need to figure out a software solution that will give you cleared imagery. Don’t just go and Google and pluck off images, you want to actually get stock photos, which means signing up for something, whether it’s Canva that comes with it, or the other platforms I mentioned, or DreamCloud that’s out there that you can do a subscriber base with. You don’t want to just take others’ images. If you do take others’ images, you want to credit them. So that’s something that I think a lot of people forget about.
Mandy McEwen (34:00):
Totally. And I’m glad you mentioned that because I love the free stock photo sites, like Unsplash, Pexels, all of those, they have a beautiful imagery. And I prefer like real shots versus stock photos. And I always tell my clients like, “We’re not using stock photos, period.” I am of the nature that I would rather not have an image on a post than to have like a cheesy stock photo. I’m not about that life, no uh, uh. But those photography websites where you can literally take all the amazing photos from them, I love those. And they work really, really well. There’s several Unsplash, Pexels, what was the first one I said?
Stacy Jones (34:40):
I’m not sure.
Mandy McEwen (34:40):
I’ve said another one and I already forgot it. There are several, and those are, I think, those are better than actual stock photo sites and they’re free. Unsplash, sorry.
Stacy Jones (34:49):
Unsplash, that is what you said.
Mandy McEwen (34:52):
Stacy Jones (34:53):
Very cool. Any other last words of advice to our listeners as they start their new social media content journey that they’re going to walk away from today and understand that they’re going to shift things up a little bit?
Mandy McEwen (35:08):
Yes. My last piece of advice, which we didn’t have time touch a lot on is, don’t be afraid to share personal posts on LinkedIn. And this is a topic that I am very adamant about, and I will sit here and argue with people all day long because I’ve seen it work for not just me, but our clients and several of my friends and colleagues as well. I don’t want to say that it’s turning into Facebook because it’s certainly not, and it never will, but when it comes to sharing more personal content, it does have a more Facebook esque-type vibe the more people are getting on LinkedIn, and the personal post work.
Mandy McEwen (35:42):
And so here we are, we’ve been in this pandemic for God knows how long now, too long, the way that business was shifting was already going to a more like humanized personal approach. And then the pandemic hit and we all craved that more and more. And so the more you can humanize yourself, the more you are going to succeed on social media, any social media channel, but LinkedIn is no different. And so I want to encourage you to put yourself out there more, be a little bit more vulnerable, share personal stories.
Mandy McEwen (36:12):
I’m not saying you have to share what you ate for breakfast, no one cares about that, but if you have something motivational, inspirational, let’s say you read a book or someone gave you a piece of advice or whatever, it can be anything, whatever you feel comfortable with, that’s that comfort level. But I encourage you to think outside the box a little bit and apply more of your personal stories, storytelling you individually to your content because that’s what’s going to get people to know, like, and trust you.
Mandy McEwen (36:41):
And when you do that, you’re going to stand out because most people aren’t doing that. And a lot of people are still of the notion that this is a professional network, I’m only going to share professional content. I’m here to tell you that that’s not how things are done in business anymore, it’s just not, especially with the way things have shifted in the past 18 plus months and the way things are going, people want to know who they’re doing business with. They want to know the people behind the brand, and the best way to do that is to share your stories and about you and why you do what you do.
Mandy McEwen (37:11):
So your why, why you wake up in the morning, and even about your personal life. My biggest, most success full post aside from polls… It’s funny, I had a crispy cream vaccine poll go viral last year.
Stacy Jones (37:26):
I almost said crispy cream a minute ago as an example. I think it’s so funny that you’re bringing this up.
Mandy McEwen (37:30):
That’s hilarious. My best performing post on LinkedIn was literally a poll on the crispy cream vaccine, free donut situation that happened last year. Oh girl, you want to get virility? Talk about things that people get heated about, which are vaccines at that time. I don’t think it’s not as much anymore, but it’s still, crazy things like that. But aside from that, the most popular posts that have gone viral for me are personal posts. Well, one of my wife and I on our wedding day, just little things like that, vacation posts. And so when I post personal things, it’s not just like, “Hey, look at me.” I’m applying something to it.
Mandy McEwen (38:09):
So it’ll be motivational or inspirational, but it’s still my story. And so it’s not just like me posting on Instagram a selfie and just like, “Hey.” There’s more to it where people are going to joy reading it. But my point of telling you this and your audiences is, I want you guys to embrace the fact that people want to know more about you as a professional, as a human being. And so LinkedIn is such an amazing place to do that, and it’s a very welcoming place where people are more positive and encouraging, than say Facebook.
Mandy McEwen (38:40):
And so when you post personal things like that, inspirational stories, they love it. People love that sort of thing. And those are what are going viral, more of those personal-type posts on LinkedIn. So it doesn’t have to be all about business. So the key takeaway here that’s taking way you too long for me to give you is, mix up your content, give value, education, personal posts. You have to mix it up and switch it up, otherwise, you’re just going to be seen as another boring LinkedIn poster that all they do is give business tips every day. Not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but you have to be adding some personal element in there so people feel like they get to know you, the human being, and then they’re going to be more likely to do business with you.
Stacy Jones (39:21):
You have to become the teacher and you have to actually put that teacher hat on, we were talking about hats, out there and share how your brain’s working, how you’re seeing this world, because you do have a tribe who’s going to support that and believe in it, that’s not just going to be horrified by what you have to say. And those are your peeps that you can actually work with and probably have really long, standing relationships with along the way.
Mandy McEwen (39:45):
Yeah, definitely. And not everyone is going to vibe with you, and that’s fine, that’s what you want. That’s the whole point of sharing more personal posts is you want to attract your tribe, just like what you said, and anyone else isn’t a part of that, don’t waste your time with them. And so they’re going to go away because they’re not vibing with you from your content, and that’s what you want actually. You want to find your people who love what you have to say and who feel a connection with you. And the only way you can do that is by sharing more of you as a human being and not just a bunch of tips all day long on your business.
Stacy Jones (40:19):
Well, Mandy, thank you so much for joining. I enjoyed speaking with you immensely. I’m sure our listeners enjoyed learning more and hearing what you had to say. So thank you.
Mandy McEwen (40:28):
Yes. No, thanks so much for having me. I enjoyed it, of course.
Stacy Jones (40:31):
And then to all of our listeners, thank you for tuning into another episode of Marketing Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them). I look forward to chatting with you this next week. And if you’re enjoying the podcast, please make sure you check out our Influencer and Branded Content Marketing School at learn.hollywoodbranded.com to learn more about how you can truly dive into topics that you should know on how to better market your brand. We’ll give you access courses and surveys and how you can improve your skills, and knowledge in influencer and content marketing. I look forward to chatting with you at another time. Have a great one.