(Replay) LinkedIn Secrets with Deanna Russo – E17

Episode released on: April 12th 2021

CX Goalkeeper with Deanna Russo – S1E17 is about linkedin secrets and best practices Customer Experience Goals with the CX Goalkeeper

The CX Goalkeeper had the great opportunity to interview Deanna Russo

LinkedIn Headline: 

Showing Solopreneurs and Companies How To Brand Themselves On LinkedIn Using My Triangle Strategy! | Grew my LinkedIn following 25 times in 18 months | Mom of 3 | Buffalo Bills Fan |#LeverageUp #PurpleSquirrelMagnet

My learnings:

  • LinkedIn is for everybody, not only for job seekers. It helps to engage with other human beings, to create long-lasting relationships and to grow your business.
  • Direct messages to sell a product or a service don’t work. Engagement is the prerequisite!

Additionally, the three main pillars of LinkedIn are:

1) Profile:

  • It is your business card
  • Everybody you are engaging with is going to see your profile
  • Picture & Headline are key success factors

2) Content:

  • Content needs to resonate, if you want engagement
  • 6 out of 10 people are on LinkedIn to learn
  • Consistency is key
  • Make content scalable & readable
  • The first sentence should have a great impact to jump to the reader’s eyes

3) Engagement:

  • The first hour after publishing a post is critical
  • You should know people that you want to engage with
  • Tagging people in a strategic manner helps creating engagement
  • Hashtags are important too
  • Direct message should be used to share relevant (for the reader) information
  • LinkedIn groups will play an important role in future

Her book suggestion:

  • “Be” from Jessica Zweig

Deanna’s gold nugget:

“I honestly believe in authenticity and when someone says, “be yourself”, they are really meaning just that. If you are going to think about what you are on LinkedIn, just be yourself”

How to contact Deanna:

Thank you Deanna!

“I honestly believe in authenticity and when someone says, “be yourself”, they are really meaning just that. If you are going to think about what you are on LinkedIn, just be yourself” Deanna Russo on the CX Goalkeeper Podcast

I am sorry for the audio quality.

#customerexperience #leadership #innovation #transformation #linkedin #linkedinsecrets #LeverageUp #PurpleSquirrelMagnet

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Gregorio Uglioni 0:03
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this session of the CX goalkeeper. It’s a great pleasure to have Deanna with me. Hi Deanna.

Deanna Russo 0:11
Nice to see, Gregorio. Yeah, I appreciate you having me.

Gregorio Uglioni 0:15
Thank you very much. I think the easiest way, I know that everybody knows you because you are our LinkedIn master or LinkedIn guru. But please, for the people who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself?

Deanna Russo 0:29
Yes, absolutely. I appreciate the kind words. Yes, I have been on LinkedIn now for quite a few years, but active, also more recently for the past three or four years. And what I’ve done on LinkedIn is basically taken my following and my network and grown it dramatically. And I share that knowledge. I love LinkedIn so much that I have made it my passion, to offer the value for other people who want to grow their network and their following and most importantly, grow their business on LinkedIn.

Gregorio Uglioni 1:07
Thank you very much, then I think this is quite understandable. And the numbers that you shared are really, really interesting. You are speaking about in 18 months, you grow to your network by 25 times. And I think this is outstanding achievement. And I am really, really happy to have somebody with me that we can share, you can share some some knowledge about it, perhaps some in some insight about about LinkedIn. And I think this is also the big topic I would like to discuss with you this this evening. It’s, I think your sentences asked me out and is exactly the question that I would like to ask you. What does LinkedIn mean for you?

Deanna Russo 1:51
Well, LinkedIn means a professional networking platform. And it is filled with really amazing people. When I started on LinkedIn in 2008, I have one impression of it. And that impression stayed with me for about 10 years. But that changed in the summer of 2018. So let me back back a step. So in 2008, I treated it as an online resume, I would put my jobs up there, I put my skills, and really I didn’t change much, I would update it and and that’s about it. And that all changed in 2018 When I started becoming more active on it. And I really started engaging more. So I saw my following and my network grow from 400 in the summer of 2018. And that was pretty consistent for about 10 years, to 11,000 in about a year and a half. And now I have over 21,000 connections and followers. But really a lot of people seem to think that it’s about the numbers. And it’s really not it is about those relationships that are built on this platform, I wouldn’t have gotten to know you if it wasn’t for LinkedIn. And it’s there’s so many amazing people here. And I think the what impression that a lot of people have, who maybe are active on Facebook, or they’re active on Instagram, is that LinkedIn is just for job seekers. It’s just for suits. It’s just for CEOs. It’s it’s really not for me, because I’m not in that professional world, when in essence is for everyone. There are 760 million people on LinkedIn. And what I do with with leverage is I teach people how to use it to its fullest potential. That it is not just about having a really good profile. It is about engaging, it is about engaging with the people you want to be seen by, and really good posting of content. And I think that I’m trying to do my best to break all those myths that go along with this platform and show people how amazing it is and what really good relationships, you can start in engaging with someone and then take off into the direct messages, and then build those relationships even more in calls like this and video calls or phone calls and really have the one to one interaction.

Gregorio Uglioni 4:35
And this is also the way that we met. I saw you both I started commenting. And then at some point in time, I said let’s write or something. And then we had several exchanges. And now I am here with you and I think this is the great point, the great advantage of LinkedIn that you can connect with people outside of your region outside of your country and Everybody’s really willing to share informations. And then I think also about this topic of sharing and engaging. You are an expert on on LinkedIn that that’s quite clear on your profile, you’re mentioned like you as strategist or cheerleader. And and you did from your passion, your interaction with LinkedIn also job, at which point in time did you decide decided? Or did you realize, okay, now I can start making it a job. And not only something as I am doing in the evening, because I like to have exchanged our lives to learn you think I like to engage with what was about this point in time?

Deanna Russo 5:43
Sure. So in 2018, I took a sales job, and they wanted me that company wanted me to use LinkedIn as a primary way to bring in new business. And so that is when the pivot happened. My mindset shifted from LinkedIn as an online resume to LinkedIn is a professional networking platform with lots of amazing people. And let’s get to know people. And let’s help other people understand what I do. And so when I started posting content, in around the fall of 2018, so I had already been engaging, I started posting my own content, I could notice that I was becoming a thought leader. And because that sales position was in the staffing and recruiting industry, I basically took it from, I want to connect with companies, but I also want to share my knowledge and help people to learn. And that’s that’s really what I did with my content. And when I left that sales job, about a year or so later, it was a change in mindset, I was starting to look for my next opportunity. But I had so many people who were having discussions with me about how I should make this make LinkedIn and grow my help other people understand about LinkedIn, and help people understand that it is a place where you can grow your business. And so I started my company almost a year ago. And it’s been, it’s been amazing, it’s been really fantastic. I’ve helped just about 40 or so people really understand the platform a lot better than they did before. And for some people that is a matter of moving from posting all text posts to posting videos. For some people, it is helping them find jobs. For other people, it is helping them grow business and grow relationships for that business off of LinkedIn using what they are starting on LinkedIn and then taking that offline. And I feel that that’s super important. And it can be done, it really can be done. And what you don’t want to do is to sell indirect messages, because we are all humans. And if someone comes to ring my doorbell and tries to sell me something, and I don’t know who they are, that’s pretty much what you’re doing in a direct message on LinkedIn, when someone when you connect with someone immediately and then trying to pitch them. So what I do is I teach my clients how to engage with people that they want to be seen by, and then possibly down the road, take that into the direct message, but it shouldn’t be the first thing you do.

Gregorio Uglioni 8:35
And I think I can share one one personal experience I got on the 25th of December. It’s Christmas Day One. One sales message from a guy I didn’t know. And he wanted to sell me something. And one day later. And in Europe, it’s also a vacation day, I got a reminder, are you going to answer to my email? I said, Sorry, Matt, it’s Christmas vacation. And then it doesn’t work. You then you mentioned really, I think three big topics that really I would say counts. But that’s you what you are going to explain to us. It’s about your profile. It’s something like the business cards. The second one it’s about to use already spoke quite a lot about the content and the different type of content. And you spoke about engagement are these the three most important ingredients in LinkedIn.

Deanna Russo 9:31
They are they are and that’s really the three main capacities and the functionalities that I teach. So whether your profile can be your online billboard, it can be your online business card and it should speak to what you are and what you’re all about more than just a job title. It is that foundational piece that you take with you when you engage with other people’s content. Because if you’re posting something And then I’m going to give you comments in that same post, people are then going to click on to see who Deanna Russo is and then has a profile. And that’s why profile comes first before anything else. But then when you’re posting content, then the profile goes with you wherever, because then other people are seeing your content, other people are engaging with your content. And one of the awesome things about LinkedIn are those first degree connections, but then those secondary connections and those third degree connections, because you may have people in your network who I not connected to, but if you tagged me in a post, if I comment on the post, then my connections will that will see it, and then your connections will will get to know Deanna a little bit more. So it’s one of the best things about LinkedIn is it’s not just who you’re immediately connected you, but all everyone who you’re engaging with is then seeing that content, and that the engagement and the comments.

Gregorio Uglioni 11:05
Let’s, let’s quickly go to these three topics we were speaking, we started speaking about the profile. And you mentioned that the business card, you see the name, and let’s say the short explanation, after after the name, if you click on that, then you can you can give additional information on your profile. What’s the most important points or insight that you would like to share with the audience?

Deanna Russo 11:32
Sure, so the profile, there are different parts of your LinkedIn profile. But one of the first things that people see and notice, when you’re can when they’re considering connecting with you is your profile picture. So you really want to have a nice head and shoulders shot when it comes to your profile picture. And try not to make it a selfie, have someone else take the picture, and smile, you’ll be amazed at the amount of people why have seen that smiling and their profile picture. Because they want a really good first impression they don’t want to see angry Dianna they want to see happy idea. So smile and show them what you’re all about. And I told people that it’s good to have a professional looking profile picture. But you don’t have to invest in a very expensive photographer to take that. If you have someone else, take that picture with a really good camera or really good fall where you know that the visibility of that picture is clear. Then there you go. Just get all dressed up really nice and take it and but it should speak to who you are and what you do. If you’re getting all dressed up. But then that picture doesn’t speak to the real person, then it’s not, it’s not for real. And the other part that is super important is your headline. Your headline is what is underneath your name. And it travels with you, like you said, regardless of what you’re commenting on or what you’re posting on. So your headline, it used to be 110 characters, but just about six months or so ago, they changed that to 220 characters. So it allows you to really identify yourself and customize yourself. And really creative creativity can go wild, because it is not just your job title. It is what you do and how you do it. And what makes you tick, all of that all of that stuff. It can go into your headline, you can really be creative with how you do it.

Gregorio Uglioni 13:38
With emoticons or without emoticons in the headline.

Deanna Russo 13:43
Some people use emojis, some people use emojis. I personally don’t, but it really has to speak to your personality. So if you’re writing emojis and text messages, and you’re writing emojis and emails, and you’d be like using the emojis go for it. I just I’m not. I’m not a big emoji person personally, but it for my clients. If you want to use emojis I say go with what’s best identifies with you.

Gregorio Uglioni 14:13
Thank you, Dana. And I think then we have the first step. Let’s say we have a profile with a good picture, as you said with the headline and additional informations if somebody wants to get additional information then as giving a great master class, and she’s also giving consulting, please contact her because it’s really great. Small publicity advertising. And and let’s go to the second second topic. It’s it’s then about the content. And then perhaps I understand that somebody says you should post every day three four times a day like Gary Vaynerchuk or other people are saying it’s enough if you if you post twice a week older says only one once a week, people are saying Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday is better than Monday and Friday. But there, it’s how is it possible to create content that that resonates that create engagement. And I know that engagement and content, it’s different. We will speak later about engagement. But what should be in this in this content that can resonate to other people.

Deanna Russo 15:27
Six out of every 10 people on LinkedIn are on the platform to learn. They’re on the platform to grow and to expand their knowledge. So if you have knowledge to share, and if you consider yourself either a potential expert or an expert in your field, then use the content and use the media that is LinkedIn. And there are some people who want to post in the mornings, there are some people who say posts in the afternoons or evenings, but my best advice is, test it out, test out the waters and see what works best for your audience. Because everyone is different. We’re all in different time zones around the world. So you can say my morning posts do really good on Tuesday morning at 9am. Or you could say, well, Sunday mornings are pretty good and, and post them. So you really have to test the waters to see when to post as far as what to post, if your content tells a story, you’re on the right track. If your content allows people to see who you are, and get to know you better, you’re on the right track. And if your content shares knowledge at the same time, even better, there are people that love to post that likes to write, and they like to still do the text posts, there are some people that like to add the image. And then there are others who want to travel video and go down the whole video path, I actually did videos myself, for at the beginning of my content journey for over a year, I would post videos every Tuesday and every Friday, and that was consistent it was. So it doesn’t matter that you have to post once a week or twice a week or whatever it is. But once you stick to what you’re going to do, stay consistent with it. Because if you’re posting once a month, that’s not going to do anything for your engagement, people are going to look and look for your content. But when I started posting and doing those every Tuesday and every Friday videos, I did develop that following. So it is about when you post but it’s also about what you post do, because my content, then educated people about staffing and recruiting specifically, I would do a series on interview questions that top 12 interview questions and how to answer and how not to answer. So if your content is teaching people and sharing the knowledge, that’s what people will eat up, and it will it will work out good and you’re staying consistent. That’s that’s two of the big, big components of content.

Gregorio Uglioni 18:09
Thank you then perhaps on the content, one one additional questions. And also there. It’s it again, it’s with or without emojis? But also, is there a structure that you suggest some people are saying you need to start with a question, then you need to have four lines without text, because then people need to click on read more. And then you can provide the knowledge or something that you want to share. Other says if you want to have good good content, then you need to start without too and so on. What’s your view on all these tips that all these different LinkedIn goals are giving?

Deanna Russo 18:50
Well, one of the most important things for writing content is to make it skimmable. Because you only have people’s attention for a short period of time. And so when your content is skimmable, they’re able to digest it easier than large paragraphs for one. Also, if you have just two or three sentences in a post, they better be good ones, they better really grab people’s attention. Because telling a story, it you can’t really accomplish that too much in just two or three sentences. Unless it’s something that’s very powerful. If you want to write very quick thoughts, then separate them so that people can skim through them. But if you’ve got everything clumped together, it’s not going to be as easy to read. And that first sentence it should hook it should hold people’s attention because you’re right, you have to click into this theme or to find out the rest. So it should grab people’s attention whether it’s a question or whether it’s a powerful statement. It should get it should get people’s attention at the beginning to to encourage them to click see more.

Gregorio Uglioni 20:01
Thank you very much. And I think we go from profiles to content to the engagement. That’s the last topic of this discussion. And there, it’s what it’s really interest also interrupts personal interest on that. It’s when we’re speaking about engagement. It’s about like, it’s about content. Some people says you need to post and then leave LinkedIn and wait to get some some comments, or there are saying you need to stay in because in the first hour after the after the to post something, it’s where you you push the algorithm of LinkedIn, to spread this information. What’s your view on that? And in order to complete the question, it’s also when when you speak about engagement, and you start thinking about these avenues of LinkedIn, where you really can get the likes the comments, the engagement, could you please share some some insight, some information about this topic?

Deanna Russo 20:56
Yes, absolutely. So first, when you’re posting, it has been found through multiple tests, that the engagement in that first hour after you post is critical. So I have made sure when I post that I have an hour or so to engage with people who write the comments, and I’m checking it on a regular basis, to make sure that I’m responding to all those comments, it’s, it’s just the way the algorithm goes. So that’s one thing and people are still testing it, to see if that’s if that’s true, then more cases than not, if you’re posting and responding to comments posted within the first hour, your views will go up because it shows people surrounding you who see that post that you’re engaging. So it’s not just your posting and leaving, but you’re engaging with the people who are engaging with you. So that’s, that’s and it shows that you care about your audience. So that’s really important. Those avenues that are important to engage in, you have to know your target audience, you have to know the people that you want to the visible to. And that will help you identify better identify where to go on LinkedIn, and how to find the people that you want to create those conversations with. And the groups is one of those things that I that I talked to my clients about. Some groups on LinkedIn are very active, and some groups are having fantastic conversations in and other groups are not as active. And it’s one of the functionalities that LinkedIn is looking closer at. I believe that they’re targeting by the end of this year, that they’re going to do more with groups on LinkedIn, because they recognize the need for community, things like clubhouse, they’re very aware of clubhouse, and they’re on it. And they understand that these discussions and conversations that are happening. And so they are tapping into their groups to make a more functional for what they could create. And that is a community.

Gregorio Uglioni 23:07
Thank you. And perhaps the question that it’s also moving older people because it’s what you’re saying it’s to create engagement, but it means you need to have followers that are commenting what you are writing, but how is it possible to people to get the first the second comment and start creating this engagement? Because a lot of people also speak with are saying, Yes, I have my followers that are liking that, or I may or looking at it quite a lot of views, some likes, but No, nobody’s commenting that, Oh, can you create a way to get some comments?

Deanna Russo 23:46
Well, if there are people that you respect, and that you identify with, then tag them. But that being said, there are people that overuse tagging, too. So you want to be strategic with your tags. And there are some people, excuse me, who actually turned off notifications on tags. And so I have found that even sending a direct message with your content to bring it to that person’s attention, direct messages or paid attention to because like I said, those relationships really start and those conversations for your business start and those direct messages. So if someone wants his word to send me a direct message with a piece of content, I would be more inclined to go to that piece of content, rather than getting the notification at the tax. There are people that tag me and I say I’m like I might miss it in the notifications. There’s a lot of a lot of things that have to pop up in my notifications. But I checked the notifications before I checked those connection requests to because those are the people who want attention. Those are the people who recognize He’s who I am. And they want attention. So hopefully that answered your question, but but it’s really important to use the tags, and to know also the hashtags that best apply to your content, make that content more visible, and it can be done. Honestly, it can be done, you just have to know what the best strategies are for your particular content and how it’s how would you get it seen by more people?

Gregorio Uglioni 25:29
Thank you very much. And I want to be really honest with you, ladies and gentleman, listening to this video normally, then is asking money for this means and this information. And today’s is sharing that with us for free. And really, really well, EPI, please contact me if you have any additional questions. But before we close this discussion, we would also like and that’s normally what also I’m doing on my podcast, is we wanted to learn a bit more about you, Diana. And my first question would be, you’re really very active on LinkedIn, I know that you’re also extremely active on clubhouse, you have a great family, how can you ensure to have your work life balance, or I named that life work balance because life is more important than work.

Deanna Russo 26:15
It’s all juggling, I juggle so much. I have blacked out spaces on my calendar for things like picking up my son from school. And when I have to drive my daughter to a gymnastics meet, it’s blocked out, I think I did two phone calls, one on the way in that road trip and one on the way back. That was it. And the rest of the time, she had my undivided attention, which I don’t know if she liked the whole but but it’s it’s about that work life balance. And like you said in many, many times that life comes first, you have to recognize that the people who you are loved by, they want your attention just as much as anyone on social media. And so I I honestly I put my, my family first I put my friends first, I put my clients first. And if anything else is dropped off after that, then that’s the way life is. But honestly, I believe that these relationships are so important that I blooming on these social media platforms that i feel like i Right now I’m struggling, and I’m making making sure that there’s time. But there was time, about three months ago, where I took a break, I took a break from social media for four or five days, if you need to give yourself that to take a break and enjoy the people around you and put your phone down. I actually heard from one person it was earlier this week, that he didn’t pick up his phone all weekend, I said good for you. Good for you. Because you need that time, you just need a break from from any devices from any other noise. And just concentrate on what you’re most grateful for. And in many, many aspects that is your family and that is your life. And that is the people who love love you and surround you with their love.

Gregorio Uglioni 28:10
I fully agree with what you’re saying. My family is my battery charger? And definitely. Yeah. Is perhaps you’re reading a book or there is a book that you want to suggest to the audience that you share or something that you say this is one important book to have a look at, or this is the book I’m reading.

Deanna Russo 28:34
Yeah, that’s funny that you ask that I didn’t even know that you’re gonna talk about that. So there’s there’s one that I read in between my calls. It’s called “Be” and it’s by Jessica Sweig. That is S W E I G. There it is. And the subtitle is “a No bullshit Guide to Increasing your self worth and net worth by simply being yourself”. That’s all being yourself. And you know that authentic authenticity is my trademark. So I was really interested. And how I heard about Jessica was clubhouse. When she rolled out this book, it was last week. And I’m like, oh, that sounds really interesting. And I didn’t place the order for it until she read the foreword, and the preface of the book, and she starts with saying I was sitting in my home office in my apartment in Chicago, staring blankly at my bank balance. my checking account was minus $113.09. I had already borrowed money from my boyfriend, I promised to pay him back. Knowing the future our relationship depended on it. And she talks about making the trip to her parents, even though they knew her as in an up and coming entrepreneur and asking for that money. And it’s just really interesting about where she was and what she thought of herself and where she is now with helping people to brand themselves, and it’s it’s super interesting. It’s been a great book so far I haven’t gotten too far into it, but it’s good. So

Gregorio Uglioni 30:10
sorry. Thank you very much. The last second last question is about your contact details. How can people contact you? If they have a question?

Unknown Speaker 30:20
Yes, absolutely. LinkedIn, you look up Deanna Russo on LinkedIn and you’ll find me. Deanna at leverage up llc dot com Is my email, leverage up llc.com Is my website. But honestly, I’m on LinkedIn more than anywhere else. I sometimes I wonder whether I check LinkedIn more than check my own emails. Yeah, that’s, that’s my go to. So if you’re on LinkedIn, I’m happy to connect with you.

Gregorio Uglioni 30:49
Thank you very much. And the last question, it’s, for me, it’s the name of this question is the golden nugget. It’s something that you want to share with the audience that you mentioned already, or something new that you want to leave to the audience.

Deanna Russo 31:04
I honestly believe in authenticity. And when someone says, Be yourself, they’re really meaning just that. If you are thinking about what you’re going to be on LinkedIn, just be yourself. That’s it.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:21
Thank you very much. As usual, I’m not commenting the golden nugget because it’s your golden nugget. I want to say really, thank you very much for your time. It was a great pleasure. And ladies and gentleman, it was really a great pleasure to have you on this show. Thank you very much for listening to this podcast watching to the video. It was a great pleasure. But in particular then thank you very much.

Deanna Russo 31:44
Thank you. Gregorio was very, it was very energetic and I love this session and thank you so much.

Gregorio Uglioni 31:49
Thank you very much then bye bye.

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