Speaker 2 00:10 Welcome to another episode of social PR secrets. My name is Lisa buyer and I'll be your host. Today's guest is Jason Miller. Jason is basically a LinkedIn rockstar. At the time of this interview I was teaching my social media management class at the university of Florida and Jason was one of my guest of the day. He also was working at LinkedIn teaching businesses how to best optimize and use LinkedIn as part of their content and social media marketing. Let's get started with Jason.
Speaker 3 00:46 Okay, so welcome everybody. We are now focusing on this week we're focusing on two things and one of them is going to be LinkedIn for business and I have a very special guest, um, somebody that I've known basically be a Twitter, um, and his name is Jason Miller and he is the in charge of content strategy for LinkedIn and besides his very cool role of working at LinkedIn, um, I'll let him tell you a little bit about his background when it comes to I think rock and roll and entertainment before LinkedIn. And Jason, I'm going to let you take it away and tell us about your background. And how you ended up at this cool position with LinkedIn.
Speaker 4 01:23 Uh, thank you, Lisa. Yeah, thank you. Um, it's great to be here. So, uh, I interestingly, I have a background in, uh, B to C marketing, but I'm a B to B marketer now. Well now I did a little bit of both. So, um, but I used to work at Sony music entertainment. Uh, I used to play in a heavy metal band, like a big hair metal band. And then, uh, Nirvana came out and killed that genre around 92 91 91 92. So I had to find a different gig. And so I started working. I graduated college, I started work at Sony music entertainment and decided to live vicariously through, um, you know, through the artists instead of being one of myself. So I did that for 12 years in the industry, will know the battles of the music industry. So, uh, it just got, it was getting depressing.
Speaker 4 02:03 It was getting really bad. We were, the industry was fighting the technology that they quite frankly didn't understand and they embraced a way too late. Right. So, uh, so then I started out in the world of tech, a little company called market tools, moved over to Marquetto and um, and LinkedIn called and uh, made me an offer I couldn't refuse. That's how I ended up here. Great. And you also just wrote a book, so tell us about your book. I did. Um, so this is kind of, this is beard like week six. My mother's a native American, so I have a real problem growing facial hair. So if I look a little bit rough today, that's, I'm in the middle of this and I can't go back, but I wrote a book called, uh, welcome to the funnel. If you are a guns and roses fan, you'll know the cover.
Speaker 4 02:45 Hopefully I don't get in any trouble for copyright violations, but, uh, basically this is kind of who I am. I'm like a rock and roll guy. I love rock music. I shoot concert photography in my spare time. I write a music blog. This is how I dress at LinkedIn. I mean, there seem to be cool with it, you know, unless I have to speak to some C-suites or something and then I clean up and put on a tire or something. But I wrote the book basically. Uh, it's everything I've learned over the past three or four years, uh, from things I learned at, um, you know, Sony into Marquetto, into LinkedIn. Uh, basically it's, it's a no fluff, no frills approach to, you know, uh, getting down to the core relevancy, creating content that is, uh, that drives results, that drives revenue and using social as a channel to promote that and track it back to, you know, pipeline and revenue one, uh, everything in this book is stuff that is from the trenches, right? This is not, this is not a philosophical approach. Uh, I've done all this stuff. I promise you it works. And it works from a startup all the way up to an enterprise. So, uh, all my secrets, everything I know in one place, a quick read, um, I inject a little bit of fun personality with, um, with some rock and roll quotes and some storytelling, some anecdotes. And some illustrations from Fiverr. That was really fun. So, uh, yeah, that's it.
Speaker 3 04:01 Okay. Awesome. So let's get into the Q and a for LinkedIn, for business. And, um, the students here are in a class called social media management. So they're soon to be going to, they're going to be out in the world of managing social media, whether it's for themselves or for a brand or for an agency. So Jason, you know, I just did a workshop and I focused on LinkedIn and I don't know if I told you this, but I titled the workshop LinkedIn blue is the new black because I really feel like LinkedIn has had this rebirth over the past, maybe year or two. And so tell us where LinkedIn is today compared to where it was yesterday and where we're going with it from a business standpoint.
Speaker 4 04:39 Sure. It's a great question. So I've been here almost a about a year and a half, a little bit over a year and a half now. And when I first joined, uh, you know, I, I run content for, um, global content, the social for LinkedIn marketing solutions specific. So LinkedIn is divided up into talent solutions, which is the recruiter tool, which we're all very familiar with. The LSS, which is LinkedIn sales solutions, um, which is the sales kind of sales navigator tool, which is essential for any sales reps. And then, uh, LinkedIn marketing solutions, LMS is what we call it. And when I got here, uh, the story, my, as my job was to tell the story of the marketer on LinkedIn, right, because there was this preconceived notion of our, the stereotype that LinkedIn was only for finding a job when that's certainly not the case.
Speaker 4 05:22 The strides we've made in, in, um, in content and content creation and content publication, we're, you know, LinkedIn has moved, is positioning themselves to become the definitive professional publishing platform. And what that means is, uh, this is a professional mindset. Our, our, our members, um, they are, we, we did some research and we found that they are looking for content, uh, content to inspire them content to, uh, help them be better at what they do, content to, you know, just make them better marketers. Uh, in the case of marketing. So I tell, uh, yeah, it's been a really interesting transition to move from what people think is the online resume to this definitive publishing platform. But, um, again, it's, it's, it's your online identity. If you are, if you're a professional then, um, and your, your, your presence isn't felt as it made is an optimized on LinkedIn.
Speaker 4 06:15 And then I think you're simply missing opportunities. Uh, one of the things we think of it, this is how, uh, I, when I do, uh, speaking engagements, I talk about it like this. Like people spend time on other social networks, right? But they invest time when they're on LinkedIn. So you could think of it like that. Again, it's the professional mindset. It's a completely different level than you'd see on the other social networks. And, um, yeah, it's, it's great for content. It's great for, uh, advertising. It's great for connecting with that professional mindset. So if you're a social media manager, um, just to kind of expand on where LinkedIn fits into the equation of Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and, you know, how do you decide where, how you dedicate, what time, what, what, what resources do you dedicate to LinkedIn? Look where the pieces of the puzzle going.
Speaker 4 06:59 Sure. Well, those are, there's a number of free resources you can use. Excuse me. Well, you know, where I think you kind of lay the foundation for success, right? So first and foremost, you have to have a company page. The company page is your hub. It's your company's identity. Um, and that's great. That's going to be where your publisher content. Uh, you can publish your content there. And then there's also showcase pages for individual brands to kind of branch off of that, that, uh, content hub. But, um, simply, you know, optimizing, filling out your company pages, some really great ones to model off of. You can look at 'em, the LinkedIn marketing solutions company showcase page specifically the LinkedIn company page is a great example. A moz.com is they do a, Rand Fishkin does a fantastic job with his page. Uh, Marquetto, you know, the usual suspects, Kapost, HubSpot, Eloqua, a list goes on and on.
Speaker 4 07:47 Um, so those are some people who I think are doing really great job, which is just sharing content through their company page and their showcase pages. Uh, you know, slide shares that another opportunity. Um, people think of SlideShare as a SlideShare where you post your visual presentations, your visual content, infographics, et cetera. People think of a SlideShare as simply a content repository for their webinars, slides when it's not the case, you know, SlideShare, uh, in my opinion, what I've seen people driving success with it around are, uh, viewing it as a, uh, a visual content thought leadership platform, right? Where you can share these stories and in a visual way, in a very quick and fun way. Um, and then, you know, of course it embeds everywhere and there's lots of cool stuff you can do there, but a SlideShare company page and then we get into, um, you know, once you establish your company page, you're sharing content there.
Speaker 4 08:35 Um, maybe if you don't have enough content, original content and curate content influencers program, I mean, there's so many different things. Uh, sponsored updates is one of our core products, one of our fastest growing products, which is where you take a company update, sponsor at target, uh, you know, for lead gen, for brand awareness, event registration, et cetera. And then, um, one of my favorite things, the most exciting thing and maybe most relevant to this class is, is the publishing platform that we just opened up to all members. So now you can publish a long form content on LinkedIn tied to your profile, share it with your network. Um, you know, this is, this is LinkedIn. This is a place you can brag a little bit about yourself, right? Uh, be proud of your accomplishments, showcase them on your page, optimize your profile. Um, as a marketer, I couldn't think of a better place to, uh, to put everything together in one spot.
Speaker 3 09:22 So seeing that, um, we're juniors and seniors and about to graduate and joined the workforce in the real world. So what would you suggest from a personal standpoint, what their profiles should, should look like? What are some pointers and what are some, maybe some fails that you can give an example of maybe businesses or, but focusing first on the personal side of LinkedIn. What are some do's and don'ts?
Speaker 4 09:43 Yeah. Um, there's a couple things. Like I wrote a blog post for, uh, for convince and convert for Jay Baer, who I know is a friend of yours, uh, called the seven reasons. Your LinkedIn profile is a hot mess. And it was, it was kind of calling out those pitfalls. It was making, you know, um, uh, making light on some kind of, some things that I noticed, uh, like, you know, if, if you have a, um, this w w when somebody, if you reach out to somebody for a job, for a sale, for a deal, for a connection, whatever it may be, uh, this is your best foot forward, your LinkedIn profile. They're going to look at your profile. They're gonna look for a nice headline. They're gonna look for description, they'll look for relevant skills. Uh, but the most important thing is just having a good headshot.
Speaker 4 10:24 If you don't have a professional headshot, if you, I mean, if you have a headshot and you're at a barbecue or something, you crap out your friend next to you. I mean that, you know, people look at that and, and, uh, you know, you want to have, it's very easy to get a professional headshot these days. You can even take it with the iPhone with a nice background, but, um, you know, put your best foot forward there. Uh, make sure that you have a description and make sure your skills are filled out. Uh, if you have a network, if you're starting, if you don't have any previous experience, you know, that's a different story. But, uh, if you have experience, you know, ask for those recommendations, those are incredibly powerful. But, um, I mean, there's just so many opportunities to, uh, to kind of showcase your best talents and, uh, and achievements on your profile.
Speaker 3 11:04 But recommendations, they don't necessarily have to come from somebody that you were employed by. They could come from a professor, they could come from somebody that you did community service with. I mean, it's really somebody that had some sort of a professional interaction, not necessarily a paid professional interaction. Right.
Speaker 4 11:19 Absolutely. Uh, that's, that's a very good point. And again, I think it's just important, you know, you get out of this what you put it, what do you put into it? And I think people forget that people, people, I think sometimes that, that marketers or even some new graduates just think, Oh, if I create this thing, it's going to take on a life of its own. Uh, you know, very much like a social media channel or a blog. That's not the case. You get out of it what you put into it. So, um, Joe Shernoff actually wrote, uh, sure enough, the VP of content at HubSpot, excuse me, just wrote a, a great post, uh, on how he achieved 25% more page views. Uh, and a little challenge he had internally with KIPP over at HubSpot. So, uh, I think it's, I think it's literally called how I achieved 20, 25% more page views.
Speaker 4 12:00 And it basically walks you through. I mean, I can't believe, I wish I, I wish that I would have wrote this post, but it walks you through, um, just seven quick tips, uh, and steps to optimize your profile for 'em to be found. So, speaking of optimizing, we haven't really, we're just touching on search engine optimization, but there's such thing as a social media optimization. So within LinkedIn, can you just kind of explain how keywords affect, like how people are searching within the LinkedIn network and how important the content and the words that you choose to describe, whether it's on the business page or whether it's on the personal page. Like how does that work within the LinkedIn network? Well, it's all about, um, you know, it's, it's similar to, there's a, there's a classic blog post called, I think it's called chocolate donuts by SEO Moz.
Speaker 4 12:45 And it's the perfectly optimized blog posts, uh, kind of pointed out. And, and you can see where they put the term chocolate donuts with. They're trying to rank for, it's not, they don't overdo it and it flows naturally. So the same can be applied to your LinkedIn profile. But I mean, when you know, in your headline, this is your chance to not just say, you know, senior marketing manager here or whatever, but to call out like, what do you, what, what, how do you describe yourself in a headline? Right? And think of, you know, go pick up a copy of the New York times or, or people magazine or whatever. What are those headlines that are describing those articles that are pulling you in? The same thing could be thought about your stuff. That's the most important thing. I really like, as I mentioned, really, um, a really well done headshot, uh, should be simple and easy.
Speaker 4 13:26 And then, you know, peppering the keywords that you're looking for, a social media manager, social media marketing, peppering those through your description and throughout your profile. And then, you know, with the publishing platform, you can now put a couple of posts up there. Uh, it doesn't have necessarily have to be original content, but though we encourage that, but put your thoughts up there, tie it back. This is the, you know, this is the complete package here, so, um, don't force them, uh, and, and just make sure it flows naturally. And, uh, again, you know, nobody can, nobody can do a better job at describing yourself, uh, than, than what you write down naturally. So, um, just to make sure there's no grammatical errors and then it flows nicely and then it's, uh, you know, it's split up nicely throughout the profile. Okay. And the publishing platform that you're referring to, so just so the students understand exactly what that is.
Speaker 4 14:13 So that's basically like, you have your own personal blog attached within your LinkedIn profile that you can publish as often as you want. How does, how does that work exactly? So we just opened it up to all members. So a lot you might be familiar with the influencers program, which is a locked set of, uh, of influencers from Richard Branson to Conan O'Brien, you know, business leaders, CEOs, et cetera, et cetera. Um, but you know, we opened that up so that that all members can actually publish law informed content now. So the idea there is, is under your, um, under your updates, status updates when you're updating or sharing content, whatever I was little pencil icon there and you click on that and it opens up into, um, into a Wiziwig blogging kind of a platform, very similar to a WordPress or blogger and put an image in there, put your thoughts down, you know, and, and, uh, write your heart out.
Speaker 4 15:06 Uh, and then what happens there is it goes into your network, it gets shared with your network. Um, and you know, if you can, it can be viewed by anybody, any, any of the LinkedIn members. And if you get a little bit of a spark, you get a little bit of an action, a little bit of a trend going there with, with a good post, uh, maybe a really inspiring marketing post or something. Uh, it could possibly get picked up by pulse and, um, and get put into the, uh, the newsfeed there, which you could go from, you know, a couple hundred views, uh, to 15,000, a hundred thousand views overnight if that happens. So, uh, and, and you know, just one quick point on that, I think people, um, when I first started blogging, one of the biggest hurdles that I found was people were afraid to put their words out there cause they might be judged on it.
Speaker 4 15:48 You know, and I remember my first blog comment like it was yesterday, I was scared to death. But once you get over that, once you put your, your thoughts out there, um, I mean, you really kind of get, you get comfortable and you get addicted to it, you get it. It's really good to get input from other folks in comments and get these conversations started and ask questions. And you know, if you have a problem in marketing, you write a blog to solve it. That's some of the best content I've ever seen. Uh, and, and don't overcomplicate this, don't overthink this. Write a blog post. Can be 350 words. Look at Seth Goden everyday he writes about 250 words and they're brilliant. Um, so if you have a blog as one thought, it's one simple idea. It could be a question, it could be an anecdote.
Speaker 4 16:24 Um, but it's, it's your thoughts and, uh, you know, the world is what you make it don't, uh, don't hate the media become the media is a jello. Biafra famously said, I love it. Okay, so, and to get into pulse, so pulse would be a blog post within LinkedIn, gets picked up and gets expanded into a much larger network. What, what has to happen to get picked up by pulse? Does it have to be viewed or does it have to, what triggers that? Well, there's real, I mean, there's an algorithm, so I really can't speak to the exact how the algorithm works, but I would say, I mean, there are categories, right? So, um, you can go into the categories. Anybody can go look at the categories and see the posts that are trending in there and they get picked up by Paul. So, um, yeah, I mean it's, it's just like any other aggregated news source.
Speaker 4 17:07 It, it, you know, filters through what's trending, what's hot and, um, what, what looks to be a good article that might be inspiring to other LinkedIn members. Could you be just starting out, let's say one of our students and have, you know, just a beginner type of network and still get picked up by pulse? Uh, it, it, yeah, I mean, it depends. It's, it's all based on the algorithm and then based on, um, you know, on the, on the, on the post itself. But again, you know, uh, I always tell people this, I said, you know, don't, don't go in with crazy expectations because, uh, you know, that's not how you get ahead in this world, right? You, um, but you can start right now and make an impact this afternoon and make a bigger impact six months from now. But you certainly have to start some time. So, uh, whenever, you know, don't force the blog when you have something to say, say it and
Speaker 3 17:50 make sure it's written well and make sure it's written in your voice. And make sure it has a little bit of your, uh, your spin or your, how you differentiate yourself from the, from the rest of it. Okay. And the students of viewers here on this interview. So they pretty much grew up with social media and you know, maybe growing up it was to be very cautious on what they shared on social media. So just from my experience from last semester of students when I was trying to get them to open up on LinkedIn, some of them were concerned they wanted to keep their LinkedIn profile on private or have as much privacy as possible. So w what do you say to that? I mean, is there, is there a benefit of keeping your LinkedIn profile on private? Uh, you know, I mean that's,
Speaker 4 18:31 I mean, that's the personal decision. I mean, based on the user or the member, uh, I can't really speak to that except to say that, um, you know, I think of LinkedIn personally as a place for connecting with other members and staying in context, but I make myself readily available to anyone who wants to connect with me. If they have a reason, um, and if, you know, if I think that there's a beneficial, um, you know, connection that we have there. So, uh, I personally, I don't see any benefit from keeping a professional LinkedIn profile, um, behind closed doors. I mean, I think it's for the world to see. Would you say that the majority of the users on LinkedIn keep it public? I mean, is there any staff, don't quote me on that. I don't know. I would guess so. I mean, that's probably a question for LinkedIn. It's a bigger, the bigger question for LinkedIn.
Speaker 3 19:21 Okay. All right. Well, great. Well, um, Jason, do you have any other words of wisdom that you can share with, um, with, with the, they're about to enter the real world of whether it be social media management for an agency brand or their own personal social media management?
Speaker 4 19:35 Yeah. Um, I mean, again, you know, write, write every day, write as much as you can. I think the most important, uh, the, the most important quality of any, any good marketer these days is being able to write and communicate well. Um, that will never ever go away. Right? All these trends and social and content and whatever the next flavor of the month is, uh, the core of content will always be good writing and the core of communication, good. A good, you know, a good team is always going to be a good writing. The other thing I would say is, you know, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for, um, the, the relationships I had and, and the networks I built. So, uh, first and foremost, get out there, hustle. Um, meet as many people as you can. Go to meet as many events as you can and make as many connections as you can because a, again, I think in this world, um, yeah, everything, if you're going to Excel, if you're going to do well, you have to have a solid network and you have to have good relationships.
Speaker 4 20:27 The last thing I will say is, um, I and I write about this in the book a lot. Um, just this concept of, of the, uh, the hybrid market or the Renaissance market, if you will. Now what I've learned, I wish I would have known this, um, a long time ago because I had a lot of catching up to do. But, uh, you know, as you move through your career, uh, you don't have to be an expert in any one thing. What you do have to know is how many different things work together, right? So am I an expert in SEO? No, but I understand SEO very well when it comes to social and content. Um, you know, do it. Am I an expert in demand generation? No, but I understand how it works to understand market automation. I could give a course on it, but I'm not an expert.
Speaker 4 21:01 Um, but I, but the bigger thing is, uh, you know, I, I to understanding as a marketer how all these things piece together, how PR works with social, how content works with demand gen, how SEL optimizes all this stuff. You know, I took a bunch of coding classes last year because I wanted to understand how the web read my content, delivered my content, and I took CSS to figure out how the web was actually interpreting my content. Do I really use it, I can code here and there, but you know, I'm an idea guy. And at the end of the day, when you have all those pieces working for you, um, I mean you're unstoppable. So, uh, I think that's probably the best piece of advice.
Speaker 3 21:35 That's great advice. And so if somebody wanted to get a job at LinkedIn or an internship, is there somewhere on the LinkedIn website that talks about that
Speaker 4 21:44 there are so many great opportunities that LinkedIn, uh, yeah, we have, I mean, if you go to LinkedIn, um, there, uh, just search on LinkedIn jobs, you'll see, uh, all the boards pop up and all the opportunities and um, yeah, I mean LinkedIn marketing solutions specifically. Uh, we had, we had a couple of interns here. Um, we're always looking for good talent. So, um, yeah, I mean, I'll tell you, I've been at LinkedIn for a year and a half. I've never been happier, best career move I've ever made. And uh, it's a great culture, a great place to work. And, and, um, I think, you know, they, they make sure you are a productive, successful and happy. So it's a good place to be. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn, uh, as well. I'm happy to help out. Okay, great. And you're also on Twitter and what's your Twitter? Jason Miller. CA. So I'm either stuck in California or Canada the rest of my life. Right. So,
Speaker 3 22:34 okay. And any recommended recommended reading as far as downloads? I know LinkedIn has, you have a lot of great, since you're the content strategy strategists, you have such great content. What if there's like two that you could recommend that the students check out and I'll download for them? What would that be?
Speaker 4 22:50 Yeah. Um, the sophisticated marketer's guide to LinkedIn, which is the all encompassing guide to everything you'd ever want to know about marketing on LinkedIn. So the first thing I wrote when I got here, lots of third party validation influencers, but it's written very strategically and it's not a giant instruction manual, which was the goal. And then, uh, the second piece, we just finished here last a few months ago called the sophisticated marketer's guide to thought leadership, which is a deep dive into thought leadership, again, written very strategically and uh, you know, 2015 is the year of the personal brand is, is as you well know, um, if you, if you don't know what you stand for and you don't know how to differentiate yourself, you're, you're going to either be beat out or miss an opportunity that you, uh, that you may or may not, that you probably deserve. So, uh, personal branding thought leadership, uh, if you have something to say, now's the time to stand up and say it,
Speaker 3 23:41 that we'll just end on those words because those are very powerful and words definitely so awesome. Jason, thank you so much. I appreciate it. And we're going to be doing a giveaway for one of Jason's books. So watch for that. He's going to do a signed copy. And um, with that, Jason, thank you so much. Awesome. Thanks for having me. Good luck everyone. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this episode of social PR secrets. If you like what you heard, check out the book on Amazon or follow our [email protected]
this episode was sponsored by the buyer group, a social PR agency, striving to keep our balance in the digital world, practicing public relations, social media, and search marketing while occasionally drinking a glass of wine or two for the best creativity and results. Thank you all for tuning in. If you would like to get a free chapter of social PR secrets, go to social PR secrets.com/free.