I believe every ambitious entrepreneur has a story worth telling
In a nutshell, I help my clients craft compelling personal stories that they want to share, then provide the strategy and systems needed to spread their message effectively.
My focus is on getting my clients results with LinkedIn with the Personal Branding agency Project 33, and have executed content strategy on the platform for Amazon-bestselling books, Startup Founders and Venture Capitalists. Combined with my team of trained writers, the content I ghostwrite has been viewed millions of times.
Finally, I also host a podcast, Subject Matter, which takes a stand against all the opinions the media force down our throats. Today, we’re more in need than ever of people who can think for themselves. Along with my co-host, each episode I discuss a topic that isn’t black and white (e.g. fear, decision making, ambition vs. happiness), and take two totally conflicting perspectives. We invite our audience to consider things from a different point of view.
At the end of each episode, you have to think for yourself by making up your own mind about the subject that matters.
If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no-one.
Personal branding isn’t about trying to plaster your name on every corner of the internet. It’s about starting small and growing intentionally. Before you hit “post” you need to be clear on who your target audience is.
What are their goals? What burning problems do they face? And how can you transform their lives for the better?
Those insights form the core messages you want to be sharing with your followers. It’s much better to be missed by a small group than forgotten by a big one. Think tiny tribe over an enormous audience.
What’s your take on Linkedin for beginners, and how can they refresh their profile depending on their goal?
Total beginners to LinkedIn might be a bit daunted by the platform, so my first piece of advice is to break it down mentally. You can think of your LinkedIn strategy as 3 distinct parts: Elevating Your Profile, Enhancing Your Content, and Expanding Your Network. They need to be done in that order too: you can’t bring people into your network without an optimised profile or content to show them, and similarly your content won’t be anywhere near as effective without a thought-out profile to send them to.
That’s why with every single one of my clients, I always start with their profile and ask them: “Who are you looking to reach on LinkedIn?”
Your profile isn’t a digital CV. It’s a landing page that’s geared towards your audience.
The problems they face and the value you deliver should be weaved into your title, summary and experience.
What is the biggest misconception when it comes to Linkedin as a tool?
Dismissing it as a glorified job board. 5 years ago, you’d be right. But today LinkedIn has nearly 600 million users, and their growth is showing no signs of slowing. LinkedIn is one of the most underpriced pieces of attention going right now. It’s not just a place to find a job. It’s a platform to grow an engaged audience, and get more interest in your business. All the strategies I teach are 100% organic, meaning you don’t have to spend a penny on the platform to get results. There aren’t many fairer playing fields than that.
Why do you think people get overwhelmed when it comes to engaging on LinkedIn?
It’s easy to see engagement as a time-consuming chore. You’ve posted the content, and that’s the part that matters… right? Not quite. The fact is, engaging with your audience is part of the process. You probably wouldn’t buy from someone you’ve only heard of once, so why expect the same result on LinkedIn? Relationship building takes time, and LinkedIn is no different.
Plus, it’s wrong to assume you can get results purely with the audience created on YOUR content. You need to be intentional about going to THEIR profiles, and engaging with your audience’s content too. Engaging with someone else’s content implies your respect for them, and increases the chances that they’ll care about what you do too.
How do you set a schedule when it comes to Linkedin?
For most people, setting a schedule is a step too far. If you’re just getting started, the most important thing you can do is consistently show up. Start commenting on other people’s content a couple times a day, and when you’re ready, share some insights of your own.
That being said, for advanced users I advise breaking your LinkedIn usage down into tasks that need to be done. The key ones are replying to comments on your content, replying to DMs and going through connection requests. I’d recommend finding a 5-10 minute slot per day for each task. I’ve found that getting through all activity at lunch time usually works well. Also when it comes to posting content, the earlier in the working day you post, the better.
Corporate isn’t cool. LinkedIn used to be little more than a jobs platform, and what kind of employed person wants to be active on there?
Since getting acquired by Microsoft, LinkedIn has worked hard to shake off it’s corporate image, but there’s still a lot to be done. I don’t think people realise just how far the platform has come, and how much attention is up for grabs. Take video on social media, for example. Facebook and Instagram are pay to play, and YouTube takes a lot of time to get started. On LinkedIn, you have the potential to get thousands of views from day 1, all without spending a penny. What other platform has that kind of potential right now?
What piece of industry advice do you often hear that you disagree with and why?
I think professionals spend too much time looking to connect with people who see the world similarly to them, who share the same opinions. To me, that’s downright dangerous. Surrounding yourself with people who all agree with you doesn’t push your thinking forward. Instead, you risk entering an ideological echo chamber where your opinion becomes more “valid”, and it becomes harder and harder to see other points of view.
That’s why I actively look to connect with smart people who DISAGREE with my worldview, instead of more people who think similarly to me. We created Subject Matter for this exact reason: Understanding conflicting opinions allows me to empathise better with others, and remember that my perspective is one small piece in a much bigger game.
If you have any questions on LinkedIn or Personal Branding, let’s connect! Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ben Bradbury believes every ambitious entrepreneur has a story worth telling. He crafts compelling personal stories for his clients, then provides the strategy and systems needed to share them effectively. Ben has executed content strategy for Amazon-bestselling books, C-Suite Executives, and created millions of views for his clients through his ghostwritten content.