Using LinkedIn to Grow Your AgencyDec 09, 2021
For many agency owners, LinkedIn is quite an anomaly.
How do you use it?
What is it for?
How will it benefit your agency?
These kinds of questions seem to steer agency owners away from the social media platform. LinkedIn’s popularity continues to grow in the professional world, and it is important to understand the benefits the site can have for you and your agency.
In the episode of the Amplified Agency podcast, we will dig deeper into:
- Pinpointing your Target LinkedIn Audience
- Building Connections
- Best Posts for LinkedIn
Join in as I chat with Brianna Gregory, owner of Brianna Gregory Design Co., about how to properly use LinkedIn to grow your agency, and if you want to dive deep, head on over to LinkedIn: How to effectively use it to amplify your agency.
Pinpointing Your Target Audience
LinkedIn gives you the ability to connect with business owners and professionals from all over the globe. But that surplus of potential leads can be truly overwhelming.
How do you know where to begin?
The great thing about LinkedIn is you can browse through relevant hashtags, like #marketing, #digitalmarketing, or #contentmarketing. Using these hashtags to search through LinkedIn can help you connect with other agencies, potential leads, and relevant resources that may help your agency.
Brianna also discusses browsing through LinkedIn with the intent to seek out problems people are having in the digital marketing realm.
What are their pain points? What frustrations or roadblocks are people discussing? Look for any opportunity to address these issues and offer some solutions.
And for an easy start to kicking off your LinkedIn strategy, try out 15 LinkedIn headline examples to make you stand out from the crowd.
When you start engaging with people on LinkedIn, it’s easy to feel a little awkward. You're literally talking to strangers on the internet in hopes that you can pique their interest in your agency. And first impressions are key.
First off, confidence is the name of the game. When you consider what your agency brings to the table and what you can offer a business in need of marketing, it becomes easier to approach people on LinkedIn with assuredness.
Brianna recommends approaching a new LinkedIn contact with a welcoming message, introducing yourself and your agency, discussing their business and position, and inquiring about the systems and tools they use for their business.
Then, if you have any insights to offer, offer them! Give them feedback and explore with them the options they have.
You’re not approaching them in a sales manner. You’re just offering insights and advice. If they are inclined to learn more from you, you’ve created a lead for yourself after building a bit of rapport.
Best Posts for LinkedIn
While showing your personality, the person behind the profile, is a great way to attract followers, be sure to present yourself in a professional light on LinkedIn. Sharing personal details about what crazy things you go into over the weekend or your political opinions may not be the approach you want to take on the site.
Instead, share about the processes of your agency, milestones you’ve met, or obstacles you’ve overcome. Walk your audience through a day in your life as a growing agency owner. Share content that can help other agency owners grow and tips for small businesses as they start their marketing journey.
You can even share inspirational posts that can brighten someone’s day. A quick word of wisdom can help you stand out from all the business chatter.
Anything industry-related can help you connect with the audience you’re hoping to connect with, and transparency about your agency is encouraged and enjoyed.
The LinkedIn community is all about connection. Letting people into some of your agency’s inner workings, showing that you, as an agency owner, face many of the same struggles as others and you’re continuing to strive, helps make your LinkedIn experience more profitable.
Be sure to listen to this episode of the Amplified Agency podcast to learn more about how LinkedIn can benefit your growing agency.
If you're unsure of what to post and what kind of content to use on LinkedIn and other social media outlets, try out one month of free done-for-you content on us!
Bree Hello. Welcome to the amplified agency podcast. How are you today?
I'm doing well. How are you doing?
I'm doing so good. I'm so excited to chat with you, and for our listeners to hear about the different strategies that you've got going on. So I want you to introduce your agency and share a little bit about your background because you're relatively new to the space but hit the ground running and have been growing quickly. So I think this is gonna be a really, really interesting discussion.
Thank you, thank you. A little bit about myself, I'm Brianna Gregory, owner of Brown and Gregory Design Co. I started actually freelancing out of my first year of college, and then I soon graduated, and I wanted to really, I graduated with my graphic design degree, and I really wanted to expand on the world of marketing. So once I established myself as a freelance consultant, I quickly dabbled in brand design and social media marketing, and I fell in love immediately. So I, actually, our agency specializes in helping small business owners and startups, you know, rebrand, and get a fresh start on their social media campaign, or their social media launch. So that is what we've been doing for the past four years, so we're coming up on the end of the year, and it has been such an amazing privilege just to work with some many of the companies, so many of subcontractors, and so many people got to attend so many events, and it's awesome.
So I think one of the interesting things that you bring to the table here is how you can quickly scale an agency. And I think this is one of the things that everybody's always looking for the magic, like, "how do I find the way that works the best?" And I don't think there is necessarily one methodology that works for every single agency. but when we were speaking earlier, you seem to have found one that is doing really great things for you, which is LinkedIn. So I would love for us to kind of dive into that. How did you get started on LinkedIn?
So actually, it was a requirement for all of our college students to create a LinkedIn page and interact with each other and interact with our professors. But that's as far as they expected us to go. So when I help on LinkedIn, I love to call it the business side of like a Facebook. It's just really authentic and really work related and business related. So it was absolutely overwhelming at first. I didn't know what I should be posting, what I should be talking about, or who I should even be talking to. So it was, I was, like, a person among the table of giants. I didn't know exactly what to do. So I asked actually, my professor friend for some tips. I'd said I wanted to network outside of my groups, maybe I can actually get some more freelance chances, and what, I'm just wanting to see what happens. So he gave me some advice to network with some small businesses in my local town of Tennessee. And I just sent it off connections at first and I am kind of a shy person, so my messages at first, we're just, like, "Hi, how you doing? Blah, blah, blah. My name is Brianna. I'm a local student, blah, blah, blah." And it wasn't impressing anybody at first, of course. So I had to fine tune. Okay, what am I going to be talking about? What am I going to bringing to the table? So once I started posting content on my LinkedIn about what I've been learning about the social media world, trends I've been keeping up with, blog posts, insights, I even reshare other people's content about work related and business related motivation, anything that puts me in for the my target audience. So once I have established that, I actually go in and make connections with people who I connect with, at networking events. I, of course, make sure I grab every business card that I can. And then I do my little Dora the Explorer snooping. So I have to know who I'm talking to. I make the connection and I send out a warm and welcome like welcoming message like, "How are you doing? I noticed that you're in this position, this role in your company, what tools are you using? Oh, that tool is so great, but we've recently switched to this tool, and it cuts the cost of this so and so and so on." Just really giving them some feedback, some information, really making it like a nice friendly conversation. And that has made a world of difference through all the leads that we are getting into our agency.
I love that idea of asking them questions and then providing them either reassurance or redirecting them to something that might be better for them to use. So really providing that value out the gate without saying, "Do you want to work with me?"
Yes, yes, it has really. If they think you're all about ourselves, then they're most likely not going to work with you. But if you really provide value back into your audience, then they will provide value to you. That's how it goes. It's a relationship.
And so I think one of the things that, when we think about LinkedIn, that's such an important part of content marketing, but it does sort of have its own ecosystem and methodology compared to say, Instagram or TikTok. I'm interested in how did you figure out what is the right type of content to post there?
So the right type of content to post there is anything related to your business, or even your work environment, or even your personal health stuff. So by personal health stuff, I mean, how your businesses has impacted your mental health, how your business has impacted your physical health. How have you changed your work routine, just to match your lifestyle routine. Any little tidbits of those are actually really great content on the world of LinkedIn, and a lot of industry related things, like if you're posting about trends in your industry, if you're posting about some blog posts that you found really funny, or really interesting, or even a podcast that you love, it really works well in there, because you're posting authenticity, you're posting yourself out there for everybody to see. And then you're going to attract what you want.
So I love that idea of the aspirational post, because I think that is one of the things where because LinkedIn tends to be a lot of colleagues and not friends, a lot of us wonder like, "what do I say here," like, "I don't want to be talking about my personal, personal life" and maybe the way that you could on Facebook. But as an agency owner, you do have to be visible as to who you are. And so I like that idea of, you know, here's how the things are impacting especially my mental health. Here's how I'm continuing to grow as a person, while I'm growing my agency, I think that's such an interesting spin, and does allow you to create that human connection.
It's really great, because then as soon as you put yourself out there, you are going to attract the audience that you want. You put yourself out there as the aspired business owner you are, but you're still vulnerable, you're still have that mindset of a small business owner, and those small business owners are going to be, "wow, they're facing the same struggles as me, they are so relatable, I want to work with them, I want to know more about them." And they just automatically, it's like a magnet, they automatically get attracted to you.
That's so cool. And I think, too, that ties into the idea that, I think maybe I know myself, but maybe a lot of agency owners forget is that we're also a small business owner. And we don't always remember that the things that they're going through are the same things that we're going through. Like, you know, they're struggling to market their business. Most agency owners, I know struggle to market their business, like it's the same struggles. And so being able to say, "I'm in the same boat, as you I understand, but here's how I've overcome," is a really nice narrative to pull people in.
Yes, I totally agree. It's, it's so nice to be out there. You're not, of course, putting yourself out there, like you're on Facebook, or Pinterest or Instagram, but you're still putting your best front in LinkedIn.
I think too, one of the things that I'm always interested in, in cold outreach today, is really the idea of automation. So we have tried an automation software called We- Connect. I don't know if you've used them before, but basically, it lets you scrub LinkedIn users so you could say, for example, "I'm looking for dentists in Cleveland," and it will find all of those people with that job title in that location and automatically send them connection requests, and then follow up messages within that. And we've tried that. In some ways it worked because you did get a lot of connections. But the one thing that I found difficult with it was you still had to go in and do things manually if you wanted it to be personalized, which I think is such a key to LinkedIn connections. I recently saw a tweet which just made me laugh out loud, which was "I see we both have skin. Let's connect on LinkedIn." It is true. It's like, Are you breathing? Great, let's do LinkedIn connections." I'm interested in terms of, how have you approached that? Do you automate? Do you still manually do that? And then how are you finding the right people to connect with?
So we actually don't automate our connection. We-Connect, I've never heard of that. That's so interesting. But we don't automate our connections, we really, I'm actually at the beginning of the week, on Monday, I sit down, scroll through LinkedIn, see who's been posting on my feed, follow the hashtags that I follow, and see who's out there, and what problems that they have. Then I send out the connection and address those problems as best as I can. Whether it's feedback, sharing those blog posts, YouTube tutorials, anything possible, whatever information I can provide, I just share it on to them. It would probably be so much simpler if we automated this, but I don't think I ever will in the future, like I do on Instagram, or Pinterest or Facebook. I just think the personal touch to LinkedIn is the key.
Yeah, I would agree with that. It is just, I think so many of us just get so inundated with requests that if it doesn't have that personal connection, it's more of a nuisance than anything else, where it's like, "Fine, I'll accept you. But please don't message me."
I saw this Facebook post yesterday that said, "just because you send me a connection, I'm not the warm lead." And that is exactly how it is. Just because you want to connect with me, please, please, especially since I'm like, shy, don't send me a message unless it's something marketing, cannabis related, something lifestyle related. Don't send me a message, please.
Yeah, that's the tricky one where you're just like, oh. You don't want to not connect. But at the same time, you're just like, "what is waiting in the pipeline for me if I say yes to this one?" So you're definitely taking the personalization as the key approach. Has anybody given you feedback on that? Or have you just found that it opens the door so that you can have the conversations?
Nobody has actually give me verbal feedback, like, for example, "oh, you're the first person that's done this," or anything like that. But I have, tend to see the client's interest peak and everything like that and the appreciation that we really take the time to talk to them to walk through things with them. It has, it really shows a difference whether they just actually read the message and go about their day, or they actually provide value back to you. It's honestly awesome.
So if you were to think about folks that are graduating college now, because you're now a couple years out of it, who are thinking, "What should I do," because once you reach my age, a lot of times we say, "do this when you're young," like, "if you want to start a business, do it when you're young, because you have more opportunity and less risk, to just iterate and iterate and iterate." But when I talk to people that are your age, as well, I always find what your lessons are to be so interesting, as well. So if you were to give a piece of advice to somebody who's maybe still in college, and is trying to figure out what to do, or maybe who's just graduated and knows they want to start their own business, what would you recommend?
Highly recommend taking that chance, taking that risk. Go ahead, do it. If everybody tells me no, just keep on telling them yes. You could be one message away from a $40,000 contract. You never know if you don't take that chance.
100%. It's just that persistency and consistency.
I totally agree with you. Yes, I could not put that any better.
Bree, I loved hearing your story and the fact that you just nailed it with LinkedIn, which I think is a platform so many of us just have no clue, which means it's an area of opportunity. Like if you're really doing it right, there's a lot of opportunity there and the fact that you just hit the ground running and found a way to get clients and have been really successful at it, kudos to you and thank you so much for sharing that with our audience.
Awesome. Thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate talking with you. It has been such a pleasure.