People tend to choose a dentist who has good teeth. A hairdresser has to have nice hair. Your cobbler's shoes had better be pristine. Along the same lines, people who want to build a personal brand would do well to learn from Goldie Chan, an in-demand keynote speaker and influencer.
I invited Goldie to Marketing Smarts to share her tips for brands that want to use influencer marketing on LinkedIn, as well as her insight into building a personal brand (how to do it, and why employers should encourage their team members to build their individual online presence).
We also explore Goldie's journey from marketing director to top LinkedIn influencer and agency founder. To date, her videos have racked up more than four million views. She's amassed an audience of more than 50,000 LinkedIn followers and founded her own social media strategy agency, Warm Robots.
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
Some people bring their existing influence to LinkedIn, but you can build your influencer status on LinkedIn (04:58): "[When] I started creating consistent video content on LinkedIn...it changed the ecosystem of influencer marketing on LinkedIn. Before, you had 'influencers' on the platform, but these were people who you already knew: the Richard Bransons of the world—people who were already famous from other platforms or their career, and then they went onto LinkedIn and of course they were also famous there.
"When I began creating videos on LinkedIn, I really quickly got these great brand sponsorships with WeWork and Skype, so these large global brands took an interest and suddenly the entire market of influencer marketing emerged on LinkedIn because I had shown that it was possible to get brands interested. Of course, if brands aren't interested, there's no such thing as 'influencer marketing.'"
Don't rely on lists: research individual influencers until you find the right fit for your brand (16:04): "[Which influencers are right for your brand] depends on what that person is individually known for. For example...Allen Gannett does beautiful interview videos with top marketing leaders on LInkedIn. He works with brands like Microsoft, where they hire him to go in and talk about scheduling on an enterprise level. He's an influencer that makes sense for people that are looking to target that higher echelon of marketing. Maybe not B2C, but he'd be much better at high-level B2B. It really depends on who you're trying to target."
Marketing leaders, encourage your employees to build a personal brand (19:38) "How to build a brand within a brand. How do you build a personal brand when you currently work in house somewhere. And why should companies care about that? Let's start with the company's side first.
"The higher your employee's satisfaction is, the more easily you will be able to retain that employee. Companies love this, because they don't want to spend more money hiring and firing. They want to spend time retaining a good employee that they can put resources in and that's cheaper in the long run.
"For the employee, it makes absolute sense that you would not only boost yourself up, but the company that you're at. Because the more you boost the company, the more you boost yourself. Every time you elevate the company you're at and say 'this is an amazing company,' people commend you for the great choice of working at that amazing company, and then your personal brand is elevated as well.
"There's always space for you to carve out your own niche within a bigger brand...because it helps us land our next job. Now we have a personal brand presence. But it also helps us advocate for internal causes that we believe in. If there are projects at the company that you work for that you really want to get going, if you have a personal brand, if you have say-so, if people know who you are, its much easier to push something ahead then if no one knows who you are, period.
No influencer is an island—you need a good team (21:38): "Build your team first, then move forward. One of the things I personally struggled with (and still struggle with) is building out a really robust team to support me and the creative content that I do. Because not only do I create daily content, but I also run a full-time social strategy agency. So I am incredibly busy, and when I started doing videos, I didn't think that it would take so much time and it absolutely does. So having a good support team, a personal assistant, an editor, having creative folks who work with you is so important."
Goldie and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.