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How to generate quality leads from LinkedIn? Interview Margarita de Villa

How to generate quality leads from LinkedIn?

Who are you, and what is your Story?

I’m a content creator originally from Manila, Philippines, and I currently live and work in Sydney, Australia with my husband. 

I’m passionate about making complex things simple. I think when you’ve lived in a very bureaucratic country, you’d understand why I feel so passionately about this.

Take phone bills and bank accounts in the Philippines, for example. They are a web of jargon, Russian nesting dolls of forms and worst of all; you have to apply for it or dispute transactions in person. Complexity is the enemy of understanding and of execution, and it’s not serving a faceless person on the other side of the bill, it’s not serving a farmer or an ageing empty-nester mother. People are inconvenienced and ripped off by complexity. 

So, for whatever work I do, I tap into this need to communicate the story in the simplest and most valuable way possible. 

My work has been featured in Oxford University, Penguin UK, TED, Australian Financial Review, Thrive Global, and in collaborations with Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson and other speakers of Success Resources Australia where I am currently employed.  

How often do you use LinkedIn?

I use LinkedIn every day to check my community’s updates and to engage on different posts. 

I’ve only started using LinkedIn more this year because of the influence of a prominent LinkedIn personality, Ahmad Imam. I used to think of LinkedIn only for work, but now, I also take the time to tell my own story from the behind-the-scenes of working with the world’s best speakers at Success Resources.

I also use LinkedIn to reflect on personal experiences that I’ve written on Thrive Global.

How to stand out on LinkedIn? 

My position as the content manager at Success Resources puts me in a unique position where there’s always a constant stream of incredible speakers to work with such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson, and more! You learn just as much from working behind the scenes at events as you learn from these figures from the stage. 

My strategy for standing out on LinkedIn is to show the scaffolding behind the work I’m currently involved in. From producing LinkedIn’s #1 show “Level Up TV” to organising a social team for Tony Robbins’ big virtual events, I show what I learned from the experiences and what it took to build. 

How can we maximise our LinkedIn profile? 

These are a couple of tips Ahmad Imam has shared with me:

  1. Speak from the first-person point of view. 
  2. Edit your headline based on how you’d like to be searched.
  3. If you’re open to conversation, tell people how to reach you.
  4. Give examples of your best work on the featured section.
  5. Update your profile to reflect the work you’re currently doing.

How has the way you use LinkedIn changed over the last couple of years? 

Before, LinkedIn was used to search for jobs, but now, it’s used to promote personal brands. Experts can share both knowledge and audiences through LinkedIn live shows for example.

Another trend on LinkedIn is the change of content from purely business to motivational. 

You write and edit your own profile on LinkedIn, is it a trustworthy place for information? 

People curate what they post on their LinkedIn, like any other social media platform. People put their best foot forward to get a job, new leads for their business or network. 

You don’t need permission from your boss to put a title on LinkedIn. It can be a title that you want to own.  But here’s my reminder – if you get a lead based on what you’ve put on your LinkedIn, and you’re not able to deliver, people will catch on pretty quickly that you’re not who you say you are. 

For me, it’s all about owning your self-proclaimed title and showing up and being able to produce results. 

What makes a LinkedIn profile look professional? Can you give us some tips?

A professional LinkedIn profile doesn’t need to read like a CV. It should be your opportunity, in your own words,  to show the value you’re able to provide to your employers, clients and community. 

A nice touch is having a friend or professional photographer take your picture so you’ll have a headshot with good lighting. 

Other tips: See answer ‘tips to maximise your LinkedIn profile’

How important is it to have recommendations from others on your profile?

It’s important to have recommendations from an algorithm perspective. Like any social media platform, when people search for terms such as ‘SEO’, the more matches of ‘SEO’ on your LinkedIn profile and recommendations the more likely you’ll come up in search results.  

Also, having recommendations from colleagues is social proof to show softer skills like leadership and interpersonal skills. 

Are you actively using LinkedIn to share and engage with your high-value prospects?

I don’t proactively network or sell to anyone on LinkedIn. I like being on LinkedIn because the community is supportive. 

My strategy for growing my LinkedIn is being there for other people too and serving the community.

I do add interesting people that I’ve met at work functions on LinkedIn, and if anyone asks to be my connection, to help with a recommendation or give them job search tips, I’m happy to help! 

How to create a strong personal brand?

The first step to building a personal brand is getting beyond that ‘ick’ factor of having a personal brand. But it’s a matter of reframing how we think of personal branding. If you replace ‘how will my brand build me up to how will my brand help others’, you’ll feel a hell lot bolder.

To be honest, creating a personal brand means putting yourself out there and it’s a nerve-racking experience. Think of your why, when you feel awkward about recording a video or writing about the time you failed. 

The second step is having a clear image of who you’re talking to. Who is your audience, and what will they want to learn from you?

The third step is to have the discipline to continuously pump out content and learn what works and what doesn’t.

How to build a broad AND relevant LinkedIn network?

Gary Vaynerchuk gives this advice for Instagram engagement, but it’s relevant to LinkedIn too. Engage with the most relevant people in your network for 20 minutes a day. Do it to provide value and get noticed.

Think of it as slowly introducing yourself and showing you’re interested before you knock on their door with a pitch.

As for building a broad network, accept invitations for connections! If they are not relevant for you, they will filter themselves out and won’t engage with you.

What is your process to generate quality leads from LinkedIn?

It starts with the LinkedIn profile and explaining who you are and what you’re after. For example, on my LinkedIn, I’m clear that I do want people to reach out to me if they see there’s an opportunity to discuss collaborating or working together. 

Another thing is consistency. For example, if I’ve described myself as a content creator, and if I never post and show my passion for my work, it won’t be consistent with my brand. 

So, the best way is to be who you say you are.

What is the best way to engage with your audience?

The best way is to produce content that you’re passionate about. Because if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll be able to create content every week for the next two years, not just one weekend on a whim. 

The other technical aspects: choose headlines that will catch your audiences’ attention, post when your audience is most likely to engage and speak in a captivating and easy to understand way.

As I said before, when you try to reach your audience, and they find it overcomplicated or complex, they won’t engage!

How do you create content to add value and amplify your expertise?

I had a conversation with my friend, Lara Nercessian of Boss and Heels recently and she told me “sometimes it takes your unique voice with your unique take on a concept to be able to make someone out there finally understand something.” When Lara told me this, it clicked again although I heard it from so many before. 

It’s wrong to say ‘the thing I want to do has been done before’. No. What if you’re way and your unique take will help and inspire someone? 

So for my tips on how to create value to amplify your expertise? Don’t stop yourself even before you’ve done it! 

If you’re stuck and don’t know how to start, try different ways to learn from experts by interviewing them for a blog article, podcast or a show. The quickest way to learn is to throw yourself in the deep end and just do it. It’s through collaborating with experts that you build your own technical knowledge of how to start with content and gain valuable lessons from experts as well. 

Do you want more leads?

With ColdInbox you can send automated LinkedIn messages to your high-value prospects.

Do you want more leads?

With ColdInbox you can send automated LinkedIn messages to your high-value prospects.

ColdInbox is the simplest App to send automated LinkedIn Messages.

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