It's said that a company's employees should be its biggest advocates... and when those employees build the proper audience engagement, brand evangelism can come from within.

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So explains Dan Sanchez, director of audience growth at podcasting agency Sweet Fish Media, and our latest guest on Marketing Smarts. "People have heard of brand evangelists before, but they're usually highly paid individuals that already have some kind of cache," he says.

What Sweet Fish employees have done is harness the power of LinkedIn to build connections on a personal level before graduating to a company level. Those individual brands then reflect on the organizational brand in a positive way.

"I sell it like, we're going to help you build your personal brand. Yes, it's helpful for Sweet Fish, too, but you get to take this with you. You could quit after doing this for a year and leave with a more engaged following than you had before that will go with you wherever you go."

Dan has a lot more wisdom to share about LinkedIn, audiobooks, running, creating consistent content, tracking lead sources, and building a studio with a lazy river and a go-cart track, so don't miss this episode!

Listen to the entire show now from the link 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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Full Transcript: The Benefits of Having an Internal Evangelist Program

Matt Snodgrass: Welcome to the Marketing Smarts Podcast brought to you by MarketingProfs. I am super excited to have Dan Sanchez with me here today.

Dan, how are you?

Dan Sanchez: Thanks for having me on the show, Matt. I'm doing well.

Matt: I have to give huge props to you for really saving my bacon. First and foremost, I have to say thanks. I had a guest lined up, we were ready to record, and a few days ago he canceled out on me. I reached out to Dan and asked, "Can you do this last minute? I would love to have you on." He said, "Absolutely. Let's do it." Thanks so much for bailing me out, my friend. I really appreciate that.

Dan: I am always ready to go. Anytime you need someone to fill in, I'm here.

Matt: That's awesome. You are the director of audience growth for Sweet Fish Media. Give us a 30-second overview on what you do for them.

Dan: Gosh. It just changed pretty dramatically. I was essentially not just consulting customers on how to grow their podcast, because we're a B2B podcasting agency, so I do help a lot of customers grow their audiences and meet with them to consult and all that kind of stuff, but I was also doing marketing full time for Sweet Fish until recently. We're actually launching a whole new product around just audience growth.

Before I was consulting customers, but enough customers were like, "Can you just do it for us," it was like, I guess we can make a whole service around this. So, I'm actually now a product manager of sorts around audience growth. My title stayed the same, but I'm now leading that effort and putting together the offering. I'm in early talks with customers on getting them signed up and launching a whole podcast just around the topic. That's a whole new thing that we've just started within the last month.

Matt: The upside to that is you can do a little bit of experimentation with your clients, see what works and what doesn't, and then bring that back in-house and use it for yourself. It sounds like a pretty advantageous position to be in.

Dan: Absolutely. Luckily, I've been helping consulting and doing it with many customers for long enough that we know what we're doing. There's still so much to learn, though. As I start to focus on just that, naturally I'll be podcasting about it, sharing insights on LinkedIn, and then bringing those insights, applying them to shows, figuring out what works and what doesn't work with our own show and then customer shows, so it starts to snowball as you start to gain the insights faster working with a multitude of different shows. It should be a lot of fun.

Matt: I love talking to a fellow podcaster because you get it, I don't have to sell the idea of the podcast to you. You said literally you just came off of doing an episode of doing your own podcast, so you went from host 10 minutes ago to being a guest now. That's a pretty cool transition.

Dan: That's why I'm always ready. I literally built a home office studio around where I work every day. I walk in every morning, power on all of my lights, it takes about 30 seconds to turn them all on and turn that camera on. Instead of just the camera baked into the computer, it's a DSLR staring me in the face, which is really fun just to instantly turn on a Lume and be able to record professional video or audio. I try to make it as easy as possible to make great content, or to record interviews like this one, or have other guests on our own show. To me, this is why I'm in marketing. Creating content or thinking through marketing are my favorite things.

Matt: Very cool. Speaking of favorite things, let me ask you this. What book are you reading right now?

Dan: I am reading Superfans by Pat Flynn. I'm actually listening to it on Audible. I'm on video and I'm holding up the physical book.

Matt: That makes for good audio.

Dan: I often listen to an audiobook first, and if it's good I buy the paperback. I'll skim through the paperback and go find all of the stuff that I wanted to remember and underline it heavily. This book was way better than I thought it was going to be. Most of the time when influencers write books like this, they're just one-offs that were timely and then they're just dead, no one buys it again or reviews it, it's kind of one-hit-wonder. But this book is really good. That's why I bought the paperback of it.

It's essentially how do you create superfans, and actually he calls it the engagement funnel, how do you get someone from being a passive listener to being an engaged listener and from an engaged listener into a raving fan to where they get tattoos of you, or show up to your events, or always rave about you? How do you get them to have that kind of experience and how do you design it in such a way to move someone down that kind of funnel? Not a funnel to purchase, but a funnel for deeper engagement and loyalty.

He walks through a funny story of him discovering how big of a fan his wife was of the Backstreet Boys and uses that as the model for the book, what they did to get her to be the raving fan of Backstreet Boys. It's just a really fun book to read and he has a ton of super practical tips in order to do it. You could read it or listen to it and implement it, they're really easy to get a hold of.

Matt: So, I have to know, does it work, have you put any into practice yet?

Dan: I'm still going through it. I can't wait to document it and start actually trying it with the new show I'm launching around audience growth. I'm really looking forward to it.

Matt: That is Superfans by Pat Flynn, you said?

Dan: That's right.

Matt: I've never heard of it, but I have noted it in my notes here, so I am absolutely going to check that out because a huge component of what I do is building and engaging community, so that sounds right up my alley. That's awesome.

Dan: You would love it, I promise. I wouldn't have bought it if I weren't trying to read every single book ever written on audience growth and podcast growth. I have a habit of not just listening to or reading a few books on a topic, but finding every single book ever written on a really niche topic. I've done it a few times now.

Audience growth is the next topic that I'm like, just go through the list. There's probably only 15 books, but I'm slowly working my way through all of those. This was one of those. Had I not tried to read every book on the topic, I would have missed this one. I had seen it around, but it didn't look that appealing, but it is a diamond in the rough, everyone should read this book.

Matt: I'm glad you grabbed it and I'm glad you told us about it because that sounds fantastic, and it is absolutely going in my Audible list right now. I'm a big Audible listener as well. Although, I don't take the next step and then purchase the physical book. I usually just end up going back and relistening to it three times and taking notes from there.

Dan: That's a good way, too. It's really about how can you get to it multiple times. Sometimes listening to it multiple times can get you there. I tend to like to try multiple ways of getting it into my brain, so listening, seeing, underlining, interacting with. That's why I like to come at it from multiple angles, but honestly, it's really about repetition. If listening to it is it, then that's it.

Matt: Very cool. Next question about Dan, what is your favorite drink? What are you drinking right now, what's your go-to in the holiday season?

Dan: I just finished a cup of Earl Grey. But my favorite is a loose leaf tea from South America called yerba mate. I've been drinking it every morning for like 12 years. Some friend of a missionary was down there and he got my friend hooked on it, and then he introduced it to me. I was looking for something that had caffeine but didn't make me feel like crap like coffee does when you drink too much of it. That was yerba mate. It's stronger than green tea, but didn't make me feel horrible. I drink it every morning now. It's a fantastic tea.

Matt: It's got to be good, because you literally have that written in the bio that you sent over to me the other day. That is part of your bio, so that's key there.

Dan: Yes. For those who are yerba mate drinkers, they know. There's very few of them. Most people are like, "Yerba what?" Yerba mate.

Matt: So, you are reading Superfans, you are drinking yerba mate. The last and maybe most important question of this trio is what are you thinking about from a business standpoint as we transition from 2021 into 2022, what's keeping you up at night?

Dan: The thing that's going to be keeping me up at night is the conversation that I just had with James Carberry on my own show. We were talking about building a podcasting studio in Orlando, Florida, which I'm stoked out of my mind about. We're approaching it not because of just the practicality of having a soundproof place that looks reasonable and can easily record. That is a given, but we're also building all of the stuff into the studio that makes people want to show up there when they come to Orlando.

We're building a lazy river that pulls into the building and comes back outside and a go-cart track. We're trying to figure out, how many walls can we build in here that somebody would want to take a selfie with? What we're starting to figure out is that people don't just live life for the moment, they live life for their digital selves later. That's why the selfie and the photos and videos you take are so important. It's not just for the moment of being in the pool. It's kind of like if you went to Google and you went down one of their slides, you would take a selfie of it. Right? But it's not like you haven't been down a slide before. You could have gone to Discovery Zone or Chuckie Cheese or something like that, or just your local park to go down a slide. But if you did it at Google, you would want to post about it.

We're trying to create a studio that people actually want to show up at and we can lure influencers in to co-create content. The idea of trying to create a space where people want to show up to not just because they want to experience it but so they can create content with it in a way that's like, "Look where I am. Check it out, I'm on the lazy Sweet Fish river," and they're running around with their cellphones in the pool.

We're trying to create a space like that so that essentially we're creating a space that will help the company grow even though it's not directly correlated to people wanting to sign up for podcasting services. It's kind of a different thing, so we're thinking through that. That's what's on my mind now and will probably keep me up all night.

Matt: I love this idea, but—and there is a big but here—I have to think that podcasting and go-carting are sort of antithetical because go-carting is loud and disruptive. Is this all going to be in one place, do you have a whole compound that you're doing here, what's going on with this?

Dan: James literally just got the loan approved and just came out of the meeting with the architect, so this is happening, we are building this studio. We're even putting some hotel rooms in it, because we'll probably host people there. It's going to have multiple studios where people can pay to rent out space.

We'll have like a Joe Rogan studio and like a Jimmy Fallon studio where it's like a late night show. We'll have multiple studio sets and we can change out the sets, and you can pay to use that. It will produce profit, but at the same time, it's about creating the moments and the things that people want to shoot. We're thinking it's going to be bigger than podcasting. We'll probably eventually add on some music studios and video studios, because a big part of podcasting is not just what is recorded on the microphone now but is video.

Eventually, there will be a time when podcasting and what you're seeing on YouTube will kind of merge and overlap. That's already kind of starting to happen, lots of people consuming podcasts on YouTube. Podcasting will continually be more and more visual in nature.

Matt: That sounds fantastic. I follow all of you guys on social, so I can't wait to see this thing develop over the next couple of years. This is going to be awesome. That sounds great. I'll have to get down to Orlando and check this out when it's all said and done.

Dan: Kind of like when people go to New York City now, you have to stop by 368. Do you know what 368 is?

Matt: Yes.

Dan: Of course. If I went to New York City, I would want to stop by Casey Neistat's old studio more than the Statue of Liberty. That's what we want to make. James already lives in Orlando, and that's a place people already frequent a lot, so it's ideal.

Matt: That's great. It gets back to the whole thing we talked about, making people into superfans, making people take that next step.

Dan: It all blends together.

Matt: Not just liking your brand, but absolutely falling in love with it and being head over heels about it. That leads us into the topic that I am absolutely stoked to talk about on this episode, and that is the brand evangelist program that you put together at Sweet Fish Media. Let's back this up a little bit. I want to know in your own words, how do you define an evangelist program, what does it mean to you and your organization?

Dan: People have heard of brand evangelists before, but they're usually highly paid individuals that already have some kind of cache. Maybe Google has hired them to go and do speeches and they're branded Google, they wear Google's t-shirt. An evangelist program is essentially just a program to make more of those. They can be really formal, like it's your full-time job to be an evangelist in a program.

Let's say Dave Ramsey, they have an evangelist program called The Personalities, they're Ramsey Personalities. That's a very formal version of the program where they're full-time creating content and are just faces for it and usually come with some kind of subject matter expertise to represent the Ramsey brand and their own personal brands. That's one version of it.

Now, Sweet Fish's version is much more pared down, but I think it's much more approachable for more companies. You're essentially giving some kind of structure to helping employees build out their personal brands. We put very loose structures in how it comes back to Sweet Fish. The only thing we really have them do is we have a little graphic that wraps around their profile picture, and we change their byline to say, "We produce podcasts for B2B brands." Other than that, they really don't have to talk about Sweet Fish, they don't even have to talk about podcasting.

We put effort and our own budget into creating content for them and with them in order to build out their own personal brands, knowing it will come back to Sweet Fish.

Matt: So, this program is strictly for your internal employees. This is not an outbound ambassador type of program or evangelists externally. This is through your own employees and your team. Right?

Dan: That's right.

Matt: Why did you decide to do it that way versus trying to have external fans, customers, and community members help drive that? Why did you decide to take the tack of doing this from the inside out?

Dan: It kind of came with how it started. We want to do that, too, actually. I think creating an outward external ambassador program is fantastic and everybody should be pursuing that as well. The way it got started was we used to have two different podcasting services for Sweet Fish. One we called our traditional podcasts, which we would help people launch their own podcasts.

Another we called a collective podcast offering, where we would launch the show and you would pay to be a host of the show, and we would have 10 to 12 hosts, and then collectively we'd all be promoting it, which would grow the show and the attention each host would get. We would be putting marketing dollars behind it to grow the show so that essentially you could just show up as the host, create content, and know it's getting seen by an audience on not just podcasts, but Instagram and all of the other places we're promoting the podcast because it would be a multichannel show.

But COVID killed that idea. We had a few successful collective shows going, and because of the nature of everyone getting laid off with COVID, we lost almost all of our customers on that. The traditional shows held strong though, because people already had a commitment to their own internal shows and didn't want to let it go. That and digital content became a bigger thing as part of the pandemic, so more people were buying that and the traditional show offering just went through the roof.

We'd hired a team of people to help us create all of this content for the collective show, and we're like we don't want to let them go, we don't want to be like every other company and let all of the people go. It was just a few individuals at the time. James came up with the idea that let's just start executing this for our own personal brands and put this talent to use creating content. I was one of the first group to be part of that. I only had maybe less than 1,000 LinkedIn connections, like a normal amount.

Matt: So, you decided to focus specifically on LinkedIn to start?

Dan: Yes. We found it was just easier to get engagement there. James and Logan already had a pretty substantial following on LinkedIn. We already had momentum there, so it became about let's focus all-in on LinkedIn. We noticed that Instagram was just ridiculously hard to get traction on because the attention on the platform had already plateaued and it was just hard. LinkedIn just had a lot more opportunity. That ended up being really helpful because at that specific season LinkedIn had an abundance of attention on it because so many people had been laid off and were spending more time applying to jobs on LinkedIn.

There were not as many creators back then on LinkedIn, so when we hit it, we hit it hard. I went personally all-in on this. I had help because they had content creators literally rehashing old posts that I had done, or I would record an episode like this one and they would take it and find little segments of what I said and turn it into good content for LinkedIn. It was helping me create three posts a day. I was probably coming up with two and they would add one a day.

Matt: This is not just Dan creating stuff. You have folks in the background and on your team who are working to create content, to reprocess or repurpose old content to help you amplify that message, but you were sort of acting as the mouthpiece.

Dan: That's right. All of the content they write is based on things that I've said somewhere, so rarely are they coming up with content that is from them. They're really taking content that I've created somewhere and rehashing it. Gary V is the one who does this most prominently. He's out doing keynotes and stuff, and then his team just takes little snippets and turns it into a meme, and then turns it into a little TikTok, and then turns it into a written post. It's all Gary V's thinking, but someone has taken the time to splinter some content from somewhere else and turn it into smaller pieces.

That's what our team does internally, but now they do it for our employees. Before, they were doing it for customers. The traction we got from me, and then of course James was doing it, and then Logan was in the evangelist program too, so we started creating more content for him. The traction we got between mainly the three of us was so strong that we opened it up to the whole team after a little less than a year. We opened it up to the whole team to invite them all, and we hired a full-time writer to do nothing but create content for our team. Her name is Emily DiBrito, you've probably seen her out there.

Matt: I have seen Emily, yes.

Dan: Emily is the one writing a lot of the posts you see from other people on Sweet Fish. She'll interview them and get the content out of them and then create multiple posts based on that interview that she does with them.

Matt: You, Logan, and James start doing this with the intention of growing your personal brand, but also knowing that your own personal brand reflects back to the organizational brand. Is that the nutshell version of that?

Dan: Pretty much. I had liberties to talk about pretty much whatever I wanted, but I was also in charge of marketing for Sweet Fish, so naturally I talked about Sweet Fish, or marketing, and podcasting, because I was doing a ton of podcasting for B2B growth. Naturally, it's like you don't even have to ask employees to talk about you. It's a professional network, they're going to talk about you. If you've built a good culture, then they're only going to have really nice things to say.

Actually, it becomes exponential if you have multiple employees engaging with LinkedIn specifically, because every time someone comments they start to see more of your stuff. I found that if you can create this evangelist program ecosystem, it becomes much stronger. If I go out of my way to even activate a new account or get on someone's radar, a business that we want to do work with and maybe sell podcasting services to, I just know I need to probably find three people to engage with regularly.

What happens if I start engaging with their posts? They start seeing mine. Eventually, they'll start engaging with my posts. I'm putting a lot of time and effort into trying to figure out how to make my posts as engaging as possible. If they start engaging with my posts, then the LinkedIn algorithm thinks if they like Dan, then they're probably going to like James, and they're probably going to like Cinnamon, and they're probably going to like Emily DiBrito. I keep calling her DiBrito, but she just got married, Emily Brady.

They're going to like these people, so it starts to show them all of the Sweet Fish people just by them interacting with me. Now, all of a sudden, they can't get out of the Sweet Fish ecosystem. You might have noticed that.

Matt: When you started this, you kicked this off a couple of years ago, you said you had sort of a normal amount of LinkedIn followers, and I assume you were probably posting a normal amount, maybe once a day or a couple times a week. You obviously had to ramp that up significantly to make this happen. Right?

Dan: Yes. When I first was on LinkedIn, I hardly ever posted. Maybe once a month, maybe less. If I posted at all, it was probably from Buffer and I was posting to many places. I was syndicating to LinkedIn, like everybody else. When I took LinkedIn seriously and just went all-in on one platform, I started investing two, three, sometimes four hours a day. That is a lot of time. Sweet Fish let me spend a lot of work time doing it, but honestly, I would be up early in the morning getting started, during lunch, and then sometimes late into the evening doing as many comments as I could on other people's content and connecting with the right people.

I only connected with people that were relevant that I saw engaging on other people's content. Chris Walker, I probably stole a lot of followers from him. Not stole, because they're still following him. I would literally go find people on Chris Walker's content, interact with them and engage with them, and then connect with them over and over again, because I knew the people who liked him would probably like me because I'm talking about B2B marketing too. When you're spending hours doing this every day, your following grows.

Matt: A lot of organizations recognize the importance of social media, especially professional social media, but it takes a special sort of organizational commitment to say, "Dan, it is okay to spend two, three, four hours of your day on LinkedIn." You had a plan, your organization had a plan, and there was a reason for doing this. That feels like it might be a hard sell into a lot of more traditional organizations. As it was taking more and more time, did it become more and more difficult to sell that, or were you seeing results that could justify that?

Dan: It became pretty easy to sell right away just from the sheer engagement that I was getting. Of course, James was already way ahead of me on this. He had already been doing this. He probably wasn't as frequent as I was when I was really hitting it hard, but he knew people consuming the content was going to work because he had already seen it in his own content, Logan had seen the same thing.

Honestly, I did it so hard that it got them excited about it again, and then between the three of us we were able to get a lot of engagement and views. It didn't take very long for those views. It probably took a few months to really start watching that attention convert into pipeline and for that pipeline to start becoming revenue. By the end of that year, probably organic LinkedIn was producing three times as much as our next biggest lead source as far as revenue.

Matt: You read my mind, because my next question was literally going to be how do you measure success on this past clicks, likes, and conversational engagement. You're actively growing your pipeline as a result of this.

Dan: Absolutely. And it's really easy to measure. They don't even have to leave LinkedIn to measure it, to track all of the UTM parameters and all the tracking software. You can literally just ask them when they show up to get a demo, "How did you hear about us?" They will tell you. They might not remember the exact first place, but is the exact first place really that relevant if they're telling you, "I was listening to you on LinkedIn."

Sometimes it's because they were a guest on a show or they've been listening to our podcast, those show up as lead sources, too. More often than not, it's because they were reading our stuff on LinkedIn. Oftentimes they were passive, I never saw them in the comments. They would show up and be like, "I've been reading Dan for five months." Sometimes I'd have no idea who this person is.

Matt: Just lurkers coming into the pipeline.

Dan: Yes. And they're ready to buy.

Matt: That's my next question. Obviously, I'm not going to ask you to divulge numbers. Pipeline is great. Can you track that to the next step and attribute closed deals to this? Have you guys had success in doing that?

Dan: Hold on. It might take me a second, if I can open up HubSpot. But yes. Because we're asking it in the sales pipeline, we ask it when they register for a consultation, which is on our website as a little HubSpot scheduling form. One of the questions is, "How did you hear about us?" It's just an open field, not a multi-select. They tell us. We see that, and then we also ask them right when they close. Every time our sales rep closes and it's won, they have to get that information from them, ask them, and then log it as one of the multi-selects in HubSpot.

It's really easy to see in HubSpot that you've gotten this much revenue from this lead source. Them being able to just tell us and our salesperson being able to just log it when the deal closes is highly accurate. It's just remarkable how much business we get from LinkedIn. I'm trying to pull up the report to see where that's at right now.

Matt: My big takeaway here, if I could sum this up in two words, it is it works.

Dan: Yes. I posted it to LinkedIn, too, with numbers behind it.

Matt: I've seen some of your snapshots and graphs and some of the images, I think maybe last year. I think I used one of those in a presentation I gave at some point earlier this year to sort of push our internal program and justification for that, that this is actually working.

Dan: Nice.

Matt: That's really exciting. I am an organization that has, let's just call it a normal LinkedIn presence. I put out a corporate post a day, I have a couple of people posting internally, but we don't have anything formalized like this. How do I start down this path? Maybe not even with a formal evangelist program the way you guys have it set up, because you have a 10-step program, you've outlined it, and you do a great job of showing it on the website. If you don't mind, I'm going to link to that in the show notes because I'd love to share that with other folks.

Dan: Awesome.

Matt: If I don't want to be quite so formal, but I want to dip my toes into the water trying to see if I can justify this as maybe a pilot program, how do I start, where do I start, what do we do here?

Dan: The first thing you have to do with any evangelist program is have the champions that aren't opting in for a season. Some leader at the top has to really spearhead it. It doesn't have to be the CEO, it doesn't have to be an executive. It might be better if it's not. It could just be a subject matter expert internally, or someone from marketing, maybe even someone from sales. Someone has to be the one putting in the extra time to essentially model the behavior you want to see. Even better if it's two or three people, because you can create a lot of synergy between a small group versus just one, but you can do it easily as a single person, too.

I created a free three-part video series on how to ratchet up your engagement on LinkedIn. If you want to, you can link to that. Justin Walsh's course is fantastic, too, if you want to invest a little bit in how to really grow your LinkedIn presence. His course is better than my three-part series, because he's put a lot more time and effort into it and has learned a lot more than I can, but if you want a free version, the three videos are good.

So, have someone leading it from the front. Then once they've gotten some traction and something going on, it becomes a lot easier to sell people to join. You can even do it without necessarily hiring someone to invest to help them build it, but I would literally try to sell them on this is what you get. At Sweet Fish, I sell it like we're going to help you build your personal brand. Yes, it's helpful for Sweet Fish, too, but you get to take this with you. You could quit after doing this for a year and leave with a more engaged following than you had before that will go with you wherever you go.

I could literally leave Sweet Fish and take the 22,000 followers that I've built up over time and go work for some other place. That would probably translate to sales for the other place if I started talking about what they did and how it could help, provided they have services that are beneficial to marketers, because that's who my audience is.

Matt: You mentioned earlier in the episode that you started doing this and it took a couple of months for you to see anything. So, this is something that we need to be patient, this isn't going to happen overnight, this isn't going to happen over a week, or over even a month. This is a multi-month process and really does take some time to lay that groundwork, as it were.

Dan: But you can see it happening early on. It's just that the metrics you track to know it is successful changes as you go along. At first, the metric for success is actually just building the muscle, the habit of posting. If you could just get in the habit of posting every single day, or even just five times a week, that's a huge win. If you could just go 30 days in a row and do that, who cares if you get engagement? That's an accomplishment in and of itself, just posting.

Now, if you can start to craft your posts to get a little bit more engagement, then it usually happens pretty fast where you start to get better at engaging in other people's content in such a way that it gets conversations going and the people start to see your posts and are liking and commenting. That's the kind of feedback that I'm looking for, are people consuming the content.

Then you'll start to see your reach go up. As your reach goes up and stays consistent, that's when you know just give it time because the dollars are going to flow.

Matt: You and I are both runners. We know that you can't just wake up one day with no training and go run a marathon, you have to train up to it. I love the idea of building up this LinkedIn posting muscle. Set yourself a goal and do this for 30 days, and make it happen. I love the fact that is your goal. You're not looking for reach, you're not looking for engagement, you're not looking to close deals or anything that first 30 days. It's just training yourself to get into that process.

I think that is what a lot of us miss, because when we talk about doing things like this we start down the path and, "I've posted every day for the last week, and I haven't seen anything. I've done this for two weeks, and I haven't seen anything yet." We really are in this for the long play. This isn't like sending out an email blast for an ecommerce product and seeing sales come in instantly. This is a long-term B2B play that has some wonderful long-term implications, but it takes a while to get there, it's not going to happen overnight.

Dan: And you'll probably suck at it at first.

Matt: Like anything.

Dan: Even with running, as simple as running is. Do you ever run with people that are brand new to running and you're like, "I forgot how many little nuances there are to running well." You're like, "Your breathing is really sloppy, it's all over the place. You need to time your breathing with your pacing." There are all these tiny little things that you figure out over time as you run miles after miles that are intuitive for you that you've forgotten about.

That's the same, and every subject is like that. When you're just starting off on LinkedIn or posting to any platform, just know that you're going to be sucking wind for a bit, and it's hard. But you start to get a little bit better bit by bit, and slowly you start to build up a competency and a skill set of really knowing what works on this platform.

Just like learning an instrument, once you learn how to play one, it gets really easy to learn how to play the other ones even though there's still a learning curve with each one. I'm pretty sure I could go to Twitter and work the same principles and it would work almost just as well.

Matt: It is similar to running in that as you get better at running you can actually see your times decrease. It may not feel different to you, because you're still going through the act, but you're seeing the results, you're seeing times go down, you're seeing the miles pass more quickly. Here you're going to see that engagement, you're going to see the uptick in followers, you're going to see the uptick in comments, in people that are engaging with you, people that are reaching out to you.

There's an element of this that is nice because you can actually literally see the results as you're going. I'm sure you could look back at something when you started back in February or March of 2020, compared to what you're doing in February 2022, you could look back and say, "Look how far apart those two things are. It's really night and day."

Dan: Oh, 100%. I remember even just commenting on other people's content. People used to get mad at me because I would say things that sounded snide or just off. I'm like I don't mean to come off like this, why are people always mad at me. It took me a long time just to figure out how to say something genuinely nice that was actually a good comment on somebody else's post. It just takes time. We're all socially awkward at first, in person and on social media usually.

Matt: Dan, thank you so much for coming on the show. This has been fantastic. I'm really stoked about this. I want to continue this conversation and do this another time. I hope at some point we can get you back on and we can keep rocking here.

Dan: Awesome. Thanks for having me on, Matt.

Matt: If folks want to learn more about Dan Sanchez or about Sweet Fish Media, where can they find out?

Dan: Of course, we've been talking about LinkedIn for a while, so LinkedIn. If you want to find my blog articles or my podcasts, or everywhere else that I'm at, you can find all of the links at

Matt: Folks, you can't see it, but Dan has a great neon sign in his background that has #Danchez right there. If there were a video podcast, you could see it, but this makes for great audio, me describing what you see in the background. Dan, again, thanks so much for coming on.

Folks, I have one final request before we leave the show. Do me one quick favor. We don't need five-star reviews, I don't need you to head over to iTunes or anything like that. What I would love you to do is find one person, a colleague, a coworker, a fellow marketer, and tell them that you listened to this podcast, tell them that you were super psyched about this evangelist program that we just talked about, tell them that the Marketing Smarts Podcast has great information. If you tell just one person, and they tell just one person, pretty soon we're taking over the world of podcasting. That's what all podcasters want to do, right? Do me a favor and just tell one friend, send a text message or pick up the phone and make a phone call, let them know that you listen to the Marketing Smarts Podcast.

That is all, my friends. I will see you in the next episode. Take care.

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