529: Marketing on LinkedIn: Break These 5 Rules for Viral Success w/ Michaela Alexis

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we hear from Michaela Alexis, President of Grade A Digital.

Are you struggling to come up withoriginal content, weaken and weak out start o boncast interview your idealclients? Let them talk about what they care about most and never run out ofcontent ideas again: Learn more at sweetfish media, dotcom, you're, listening to the be Ta, begrowth, show podcast dedicated to help him be to be executive, achieveexplosive growth, whether you're looking for techniques and strategiesor tools and resources. You've come to the right place, I'm James Carbury andI'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show gocome back to the Bautby Groth show weare here today with Maela Alexis. She is the president of Grat a digital, andshe is pretty linked and famous as well mcay. How are you doing today, Iamdoing fantastic, thank Ko for having me on so ihve. I've been following youfrom afar for a while, now MICELA and and really excited to chat with youtoday we're going to be talking about five business rules that you havebroken on linkd in specifically that led to viral marketing success, butbefore we get into that, I'd love for you to give a little bit of backgroundon yourself and Grada digital and what you and your team are up to over thereyeah. So I run a Social Media Management Agency out of Oawa Canada,and what we do is we work with professionals and businesses and wehelp get there marketing their social mediam marketing up to speed for one bya big portion of what we do is educating people 'cause. I find that alot of professionals Ey really need something beyond just a strategy and abig portion of what we do is M. helping professionals kind of fix up theirpersonal brand understand what great social medium arketing actually lookslike ampower them to also take the reins of their own business. Soeverything that we do is really more of a partnership. There's no here amountof post per month and here's your...

...report. We really want to empowerpeople to understand how fun and exciting social media actually can be.I love it and so mgain we were just talking off lying about your story andhow your personal brand has has really shaped and directed your career. Couldyou you said that your first viral post was, I think, March of twuent Y.Sixteen, could you kindof take us back to that more and and tell us how thatpost is really transformed, the way that you think about social yeah?Definitely you know, and what's funny is Ispen en embarrassing to say it. Butwhen I started building my personal brand ididn't even know what a personalbrain was. I just knew that you know as a job seeker there had to be a betterway of doing things and being a marketer for such a long time. We Cotaget into this mobile, creating all this great content for the companiesthat we work for, but when it comes to ourselves we don't have that samementality. So I thought in my head. You know I'm creating all of this contentfor businesses that I'm working for to kind of warm up the audience and drawpeople, and why am I not doing that as a person as a professional and that'swhere I got the idea to start writing every day on Linden really working onhow to communicate effectively as a human, not necessarily as a corporatebrand, and my first article went viral in March of two thousand and sixteen itwas called how I landed my dream job in two weeks on Lindon, and that was justincredible, and that was like a light bolb moment from me because you know asa marketor. The first thing that you want to do is hat you, oh to exactlyhave that happened right 'cause. You don't want to just be some sort ofaccident that you can't replicate and what I noticed this I it was just. Itwas relatable that was pretty much a I. It was relatable. I had the rightintentions. You know I went into it trying to help other job seekers, lookfor Um careers as well, so there was no cell and best part of the whole articleand that's when I just started to focus...

...a little bit more about sharing myexperiences um growing in my career. What failure looked like just talkingabout things that people weren't necessarily talking about in thebusiness world? Yeah A- and you said that was- was that like a publishedpost or was that a status update? What was the form out of that post that wentbiral? So I have a little bit of an interesting formula. I don't have thisas part of my nose, but I actually do both, because I think that people learninformation in different ways, so I like to get people options so with thatarticle in particular, the article went by roll, but the update also went byroll, so normally people will publish an Arclon Lincolnand then leave itatthigh. I like to take that article and create kind of like a summary ofwhat's included in the article and why people should care about it and thatexcluded some sort of photo that kind of tells more of a story and gives itmore contaxts. So that was the first time that I did that and realizedpretty quickly that that was definitely the way to go, because then you're kindof doubling up and you're giving people multiple options to learn your story OI love it. I love it and so I wan to dive into these five business rolesthat you've broken on Linken Maela t this first one that we talked aboutoffline. Is this idea of embracing rejection and failure? Can you talk tous about this one sure yeah so really Wehad? They happened when I startedbuilding an audence, so I love getting rejected now, leme explay. So for somepeople the thought of criticism is horrendous. Like I know there are somepeople that don't even want to start writing online or croinge or cringing.When I just even mention personal branding and trust me when I startedputting myself out there, it was tough. I took it personally, but over time myperspective has definitely changed dramatically. So when I put out anupdate or an article, I love getting negative comments. There's a couple ofreasons. Why Number One? I had this...

...amazing opportunity to show off myvalues. I've gone so many Kudos just for handling the negativity that it'sreally a shame that there's no sort of award for fighting internaturals 'cause.I would be top of that list. I already have my winning speechrepaired but um no seriously. I met so many new people that have connectedwith me just because of how I've handled a negative situation and wantedto learn how they could also do it as well, because you know they'reinternectral, but there's also real life porols as well. So that's a greatskill to just learn, so you actually you you go head on and engage you love Aoso is: Is there ever a trollthat you won't engage with? Definitely I always think of my community in mind,and you know if someone saying something: That's just incrediblyexxpensive t ey not just towards me, but towards other people that could bein t e thread. I kind o like try to quit my followers first, but if I donot see that there's an opportunity to engage in a convensation, then I thinkthat's really important and it's also important to show that negative feebackis not going to kill you, that's okay, but what will kill you do is regret innot putting anything out there to begin with a I've. I've recently startedgetting trolls at I've, been doing a DA content for the last two or threemonths now, and so I've taken a similar approach to you thereare some commentsthat I just don't feel like a are worthy of engaging with and I'll eitherdelete the comment or or just kind of leave it alone. But for the most part Ifeel like there's always a way to engage it and start a conversation outof it. So I love that idea of you're almost looking forward to it, but there's some other reasons too. Whythey're really helpful just from a business perspective, so number two isthat I wan ta reach and help as many people as possible and comments whetherthey're, positive or negative, help me to do that. So when somebody leaves anegative comment, my updator my articles, nor reachd, that person'sentire network. So I am grateful for...

...the opportunity to reach an entire newaudience that I wouldn't have otherwise Ilov it. I lov it okay, so that's kindof the the embracing rejection and failure taction of this. Now I want totalk about this Commin. I guess linked in etiquette to to not bring yourpersonal problems to work. You have brought your personal problems to workand it's Toaa to a lot of success or it's it's resulting in a lot of successon the platform talk to us about that. So when I first started writing onLanden, I went the safe row, which I thought it was how you're supposed towrite at you. You write hem a way you do for a living, and people do thatrather than talking about who they actually are. So I had to really shiftmy perspective from the writer to the reader and think about what I actuallywanted to read about to Yo know we're so used O, seeing the highlight reelesof other people's lives that we assume that that's what e're supposed to showcase as well and what happens whe. We do we end up in this game of who hasthe greatest life and it becomes exhaust asfor. A lot of people umbecome turned off of social media in general, because we get this almostlike a comparison fatigue. At least I know I did so. Instead of trying tocompete with my audience, I chose to try and relate to them. So I startedtalking about the real stuff I was going through. The struggles aremaintaining confidence through the job search, the stigma of unemployment, theshame of being laid off, and despite the common, Notian and business thatpersonal roms have no place in the business world, the response from myarticles was saying otherwise. So, since I have continued sharing myexperiences and even as a boss, now I'm openly sharing my challenges andactively working to do romantisize management. I want people to feel likeI'm just like them, and you know if I can do what I'm doing right now theycan as well has that come to any. has there been any negative or oranydownside to that approach that you found up to this point, probably with the people that I don'tnecessarily want to be connected to and...

...that's what it really comes down to.You know what types of people are you trying to reach and what kind ofrelationships do you want to have with those people? I'm not looking for youknow these surface level kind of. Let me talk about my opinion and you talkabout your opinion. I really want to talk about things that I think areimportant got ti, and how do you find yourself coming up with what problem doI want to talk about? Is I? Is it just kind of doing a bit of soul, searchingon a regular basis and saying hey w like what were really difficult momentsand of a long meer, and he be a professional or personal and then andthen you just dobble this those up to the surface, I think in the beginning it took alittle bit more searching 'cause. I was trying to figure out what people wereinterested in hearing about and what experiences they want to know moreabout, but as time has gone on, you know my audience has told me what theywant me to talk about. I get messages, hundreds of messages on a daily basisof people telling me exactly what they want me to write about or what they'redealing with, and so I just take that information, and it really allows me togive back value because I'm talking about how I've overcome those samechallenges o I Lov it this this third business rule that you have broken onLincon is alienating people on purpose whynome about what what this one lookslike for you. So when I started building an audienceon Lington, a friend Flash Mentor of mine told me its like you're, tryingtoo hard to be everything to everybody in Thetala and eventually you're goingto get to a point where you're going to have to take a stand. You're going tohave to share your values and you're going to have to Zoomin on your Niichand you're, going to alienate people in the process and I'm not going to lie. Ithonght that he was crazy at the time. I I really just wanted to be liked a D. Ithought that that was possible, but I was attracting the wrong demographic inthe process. I was attracting. You know older men that had zero interest inwhat I had to say they just wanted to get their mack on. I was intracting thehate followers o the people that were...

...following me just to get upset aboutanything that I posted and I was attracting you know the open metworkers,the people that just cared about increasing their networks and theyweren't really interested in actually building relationships or learning. Soslowly. I began to weed them out so the way that I did that was sharingarticles about you know things like being a woman in the workplace andbeing an awkward by Racial Kid, and I removed people that were tagging mejust increased her visibility and then about a week ago. I created thisvideopost, where I encourage people to unfollow me and I basically said thatif they didn't stand for community and self improvement and kindness et Ceterathat I think it's time that we start following other people, and I waspetrified when I posted it- and I watched you know like my heart-was pounding as like. I saw the follower number kind of decrease withinthe hour, but I knew that it was really time to aligne myself with the peoplethat truly wanted to be there and were going to support me as I grew thisbusiness and I grew my my career and ive been yet video actually ended upsurpassing a hundred and fifty thousand views the last time I checked it, Oit's Tey, okay, I didn' care the good call overall. Did you notice a depth infollower numbers, or did you end up kind of a th? Did you gain what youlost, so I geptd about fifty folors and gained about three thousand, so so so yeah and what's the great thingis that you know you have people that are reaffirming that they want to bethere, that their values are aligned with with yours, and that was reallynice to see and then gaining the new people that wanted to be there as welland we're going to read my things and interact with my contect y. So I loveit. I love it so this fourth business rule Maela is ignoring the hierarchy.What does that look like yeah? So when I graduated, I was basically told whatI needed to do to succeed. was you know,...

...work hard, keep my head down, pay mydues and respect management, and I did that and it Din doy very far and here'sone of the reasons why I did not know how to effectively communicate thevalue of the skills and knowledge that I had and that's really Ky. That is amissing piece for a lot of people out there. So lincon was an incredibleopportunity for me to basically skip the line and show off what I knew. Istarted sharing articles daily, showing my writing skills and basically showedoff the fact that I knew how to effectively market myself. So this is amega opportunity, for you know evening the playing field for professionals. Itis really allowed me to reach people at the top within a click of a button whohase been really cool for me is watching you know from the verybeginning, when I was looking for work to me, puitting out all these articlesestablishing a log busium where I ask people to send in muvs and I wouldshare their company mugs online. Some of those mugs or the the earlyfollowers are now great adigital plients, which is more of a happyaccident. But it's just incredible to see that that was what actually endedup happening over time, and so so your advice to someone juststarting out their career would be to really hone in on whatever skill sed.It is that you're bringing to the market figuring out how to communicatethat beyond. Just hoping that someone seesit yeah, absolutely, you know I'm definitely not the best writer outthere. There are lots of things that I'm not great at, but I knew that I hadUm, you know a lovely personality and I have a sense of humor and obviously I'mnot very shy of being in front of the camera. So I took all those things andI really zoomed in on those skales and in terms of like businesses, what youcan do with this is you can start sharing your message directly withwhoever you're trying to reach within an organization just by tailoring themessage for them: There's no gatekeykeaper in social media, it'svery different! Then you know the whole...

...cold, calling approach where your callcalling and hoping to talk to somebody. You have the opportunity to reach thedecision maker right off the bay just by creating customaise content thatthey really can't ignore. 'cause, it's so gooy. U Kno! I love it. I love itthis this last business rule that we're going to be talking about mcaela thatyou, you chose the purple stationary. We did not talk about this offline, soI have no clue whit's about to come here, but I'm really excited for you to explainwhat what that Chaneokay Coi rite. So when I was in elementary school, Iremember that the kids that used the colored paper for bookerboards were Dokpoints because it wasn't the paper that they were supposed to use. You gotto,have he boring wit paper right, and I want to be a good student. So I dideverything that teachers told me to, and I always staed away from doinganything that was really outside the box school now I', probably not theonly one really sthook the creativity out of me, but the reality is in thereal world. If you keep doing the things that you're supposed to do,you're, not I that very far- and I definitely probably wouldn't be talkingto you today- James- you really have to learn how to sprinkle your personalityand whatever you do. If you want to stand out so whanever I posed onLangdon, it has my imprent on it. So I started using coffee, mugs and photosand instantly became a girl that subsessive coffee m. You know I startedusing the the SIC insurer, love and coffee and have followers that actuallywill use that signature. When they send me messages, I never used t a normalresume. When I was looking for work, I turned it into a Willi Wanka style.Chocolate bar. I shared Selphis on Liden, which were considered like acardinal sin on the platform not long ago, and I got a lot of flock for doingit, but I wanted people to see my goupy days and be able to connect with me ona different level and it ell right and I even chose profile photos that everylinkdon Espert out there, which theyare...

...absolutely terrible. Like my currntphoto, you know. Half my face is covered by a coffee Mug, but again itjust feels right and Um. You know with my profile perfect by Lincoln standards.Absolutely not! But it's me and my articles are not the best that you'dfind out there, but they feel like me as well. I recently saw someone do kindof a Lincoln profile critique. I guess on your profile and and noticed acouple of days after they did it, that you had implemented some changes, and Ithought to myself: man, that's for someone like yourself, who's, clearlykilling it on unlinked in you're, doing a lot of things right for you to havethe humility to take other people's feedback and actually implemented intoin making changes. Kind of just, I think, shows a lot of of what you valueand that you're always trying to learn and get better and taking feedback frompeople walso of knowing being self aware enough to know. You know whatyou're doing right that you need to keep doing right, and so I, I think,there's a a really cool balance that you're modeling for for folks out thatthat are following you. If there was one piece of advice, macalla that youwould give to somebody who maybe theyr they're hesitant to start sharing OronLinkedin, they have it come taken that step to to putting out content on aregular basis. I know you and I are doing it daily- A lot of people, aargie ven doing it weakly what that, what would be your encouragement tothat person who's listening to this? Ah Well, I think that there's so manybusinesses and people that are stuck on the tactics of gaining traction withtheir marketing, but the missing pieces are utually not about how it's aboutthe WHO and why I know for myself. I really have to take a lot of time andfigure o t what are my unique skills? What can I bring to the table thatnobody else can bring? What can people not replicate? That's completely ahundred percent macaela and really hone in on that and exploited as much aspossible. So once you create that...

...framework, it's shockingly easy howcreative you can actually be when you have that solid foundation, th iloe, Imcal this has been fantastic. Somebody is listening to this ants to stayconnected with you, or they want to learn more about Grada digital. What'sthe best way for them to go about doing that. Well, I'm usually refreshing mylinkint every BIMA INA honesty, so that would probably be the best place tostart. I am also on instrugrant. I do live and Sran videos every week where Italk about the lessons that I'm learning as I'm growing, breadeddigital and I'm also on baseball and all the other places online love it andthen is. Is it great a digital DOT COM, crate ain't disit? All that time yougot it wonderful mckala! Thank you! So much frr time this is beenfantastic. Ireally appreciatit inbeen a pleasure, Jame Yure. We want to feature you on sides likethe Huffington Post, social media, examine earth and chief marketer. Everyweek we seen not a question reallye to be a marketing. We use the responses tothose questions to feel the content. We write for really popular websites sohead over to sweetdish, medy COMS, slash questions and sign up today.Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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