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Fastest Way to Generate Demand with LinkedIn Employee Advocacy (ft. Parthi Loganathan)
Episode 6119th March 2024 • Distribution First • Justin Simon
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If you're not leveraging employee advocacy in your content strategy, you're missing out. Today, we dive into making your content work harder—shifting from mere consumption to smart distribution and repurposing. Parthi Loganathan from Letterdop gives the lowdown on empowering employees to amplify your brand's voice, build trust with your audience, and how it can benefit their personal brand too.

We also talk about ghostwriting, social selling on LinkedIn, and tracking the impact of your content. So, are you ready to scale up your content's impact and drive real business growth? Dive into the full episode of Distribution First to unlock the power of employee advocacy.

Remember, your team could be your content's best asset. Don't let their potential go untapped.

If you like distribution and repurposing playbooks, you'll love my weekly newsletter (it's free). Join 2,600+ subscribers here: https://news.justinsimon.co/

In this episode, you'll learn:

- Why employee advocacy boosts brand presence

- Strategies for tracking content ROI

- The role of ghostwriting in employee advocacy

- Benefits of social selling on LinkedIn

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Transcripts

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Everybody, before we get started, I want to thank my friends at hatch for producing

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this episode. You can get unlimited podcast editing and strategy for

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one flat rate by visiting Hatch FM.

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Alright, let's get in the show.

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Welcome to Distribution first, the show where we flip content marketing on its head

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and focus on what happens after you hit publish. Each week I

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share playbooks, motivations, stories and strategies to help you repurpose and

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distribute your content because you deserve to. Get the most out of everything you

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created.

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Everybody, welcome to this week's episode of Distribution. First. Love

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having repeat guests. And today we've got Parthi from Letterdrop back

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again. If you didn't listen to his first episode, it was one of the most

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popular ones we did last year on really going

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deep dive on SEO changes, on all those things and how you can do SEO

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better. But today we've got Parthi back and we're going to talk all things

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employee advocacy. I have seen the good,

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the bad, the in between. I've seen a bit of part of it,

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and now I'm advising clients on some of this stuff too. So super excited to

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have you on Parthi. Absolutely. Thanks for having me again. Like first

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time I've been on a podcast for the second. Yeah,

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yeah. It's one of my favorite things about running my own show is if

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I want to bring somebody back on and talk about something, I'm going to do

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it. So today's the day. So I guess from where we

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can start is like, and I know you've been at bigger orgs now,

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obviously you're pulling your own sort of startup world here with a small

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scrappy team. But kind of just curious, give us a lay of the land on

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where you're seeing with employee advocacy how you've been able to build that out with

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your team and really from the outside looking in, made it a

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priority probably in hiring discussions and things like that

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too. Like you all have really hit the ground running. Yeah, absolutely.

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And in all fairness, I think because of the nature of our business,

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we take employee advocacy very seriously because we have a product that enables

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it. But honestly, I'm just seeing so many companies out there

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that are successful with employee advocacy in whatever way that

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they manage to do it. And so you can think about the large companies which

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have historically done this, think gong Apollo

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metadata. You can think about newer companies

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ourselves, like Lavender Hockeystack, which are just

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truly surrounding their audience on LinkedIn. And so

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regardless of how you do it, the concept behind it is very

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sound. If your audience lives on LinkedIn or honestly, like any

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channel, I think LinkedIn is the best channel. Just because you have all of this

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formographic information as well and decision makers are on there, you

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can actually get in front of them by essentially getting your employees

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to authentically talk about your product. The problem you solve

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just sort of like always be selling publicly online.

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And so that is the crux of employee advocacy. I think it is

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incredibly effective and also very important, especially as every

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channel is getting saturated right now. Right. A lot of selling today is

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based on relationships. And so if you're just one of

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100 cold emails that I open in my inbox every morning,

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one of 50 cold DMs on LinkedIn from like

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a stranger every day or a cold call, the one way

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you can stand out is to make people come to you and have your brand

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be present and for people to passively learn about your company. And I think that's

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really where employee advocacy is starting to become incredibly

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important in this new go to market as channels get saturated. Yeah.

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And for me it's how do you consistently stay top of

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mind and a brand just doing that

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on their own with a brand page? Can't do it. Certainly

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can't do it at the same scale and at the same level as a company

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who is doing it with multiple people. I think the interesting thing, love

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that you said metadata because we did do it right there for a while. When

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I was at metadata with Mark and Jason and everybody else, it definitely

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stopped. I would say that. And so

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the crew who was there at the that and I say that because being able

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to kind of pull the curtain back there, that was a huge part

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of what we did and it was actually baked into the

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strategy of, hey, this whole LinkedIn thing

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isn't just fun and games. It's not just like

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something to waste time on. It really was valuable to be

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able to do that. The balance for me always Parthi is, and I'm curious

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your take on this because you said something about having them do product and talk

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about things. What's the balance there for like I mean it makes sense. I

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think especially for the folks on your team, it's part of the product. What you

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do is part of it makes sense to talk about those things. How do you

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balance that when it's like we make developer tools and I'm the

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content marketer and nobody's paying attention to me for developer

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tool things. What's the balance there with employee advocacy? How

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do you kind of think about that? Yeah, in your specific example,

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I think it would probably be a Devrel person, like a developer relationships

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person. They have to be able to communicate with developers. But I think

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more broadly, the question you're asking is more so, like, what happens if you

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feel uncomfortable being the voice of your company? Essentially, like,

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you feel like, hey, I can't speak to this audience because I'm not one

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of them, is essentially kind of like what you're bringing up. And so I

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think with employee advocacy, number one thing is

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it is much more effective if one of the founders

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can actually portray that. It just makes sense if a founder, the

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CEO, is not willing to show up, it's very hard for the rest of the

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company to also do that. I'm not saying it's impossible. I actually don't know who

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the founders of Metadata are, but I know the entire marketing team at Metadata. I

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just want to point that out so it doesn't have to be the founders, a

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great marketing team, or a great whoever at the company who can speak to that

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audience can fill in that role. I would prefer if it were the founders. But

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if you're a marketer and you're just trying to hit pipeline goals, I

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want to just let you know that you can be empowered to fill in that

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gap. You don't have to wait for anybody's permission. Just do things,

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make things happen, make numbers move, and I'm sure your

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organization will reward you and also be like, wow, this actually

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works. Thank you for proving that to us. I think the second thing is, if

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you really feel uncomfortable about it, try to figure out who at your company you

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can turn into that kind of advocate. I would try to do it yourself, but

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also figure out, okay, is there somebody at the company who has the right role

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or right title and are they willing to do this? If you find

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yourself in a place where you can't find that person who wants to do it,

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I would try to do it yourself. And if you really feel like you're not

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in a good place, I don't know what to tell you. I feel like the

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organization is not set up or doesn't want to try this channel. It's just

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a lost opportunity for them. It's not that it won't work. It's more that the

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organization doesn't want to do it. And I think that's a hard part

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to navigate. I think there's a whole conversation you should have in terms of

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opportunity cost and going to your CEO and talking about if you are very serious

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about hitting pipeline goals, we will structurally make changes at this organization

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to maybe think about this as a channel. That's a great point

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that I certainly don't think a founder

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or people who are unaware of the reality of kind of the landscape of

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the Internet, and especially how LinkedIn

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truly can play a role in that. And content, consistently putting

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content out can play a role in that. And how would you go about having

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that conversation with a. They might not know? Where do I begin

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to even think about that? If I'm a VP of marketing, I'm a content person

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talking to my VP like, hey, there's real opportunity

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cost for you not doing this. And it's a truly legitimate

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channel. Because my assumption would be most founders wouldn't

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think of it the same way as a paid ads program,

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a blogging program, an SEO, like a more

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traditional marketing function within a team

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where they're like, I'm just posting on LinkedIn. Like, what's that have to do with

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anything? Absolutely. And I actually feel this problem fairly

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viscerally because we sell to marketing

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organizations and look, we sell across a whole

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suite of ways in which you can actually think about generating pipelines.

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So last time on this podcast, we talked about SEO quite a bit. This time

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we're talking about LinkedIn and we tell our customers, like, hey,

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SEO stuff is going to help you with demand capture. But if you want to

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see results really quick, you need to actually start creating demand, doing

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demand Gen. And I think the way for you to do that, especially if you

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think your buyer is on LinkedIn and most decision makers are, you should

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start going hard on LinkedIn. Here's our playbook. We have like a playbook for you.

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Here's the tooling. Knock yourself out. We'll handhold you, too.

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And you would be surprised by the number of people who are

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unwilling to actually take that advice. I would not be surprised.

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Parthi not surprised. And people are just

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unwilling to actually do it. And if I think about why, I

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think they kind of see it. They see us doing it, they see all these

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companies that we mentioned doing it, and I think it comes down to being afraid

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to put their face behind something. I think there's an

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element of habit creation in here hard, in the same way that

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working out is hard or eating healthy is hard. There is an element of habit

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creation in here. And I think the last one to your point is I don't

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feel like I'm the right person to be able to talk about that. In which

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case, I think you as a company have a bigger problem. Like if your marketing

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sales team feel uncomfortable talking about your product or problems that

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your customers face, you have a larger problem than tactics over here.

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And so I think those are more structural, systematic issues that

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companies really need to address fundamentally before thinking about,

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how do we do these things? Because tactics are not going to solve foundational

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issues in terms of product marketing or just understanding who you're selling

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to, how to reach them, and all that kind of stuff. And so my advice

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to somebody, if you want to have that conversation with your founder, first off, send

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them this podcast. Justin and I are talking about it. I can tell you that

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64% of our inbound pipeline comes from LinkedIn.

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A large chunk of it is from mine, the founder's LinkedIn. But we get our

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entire sales team doing it. Our BDRs, our AES

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have a higher connect rate on LinkedIn. People want to follow them, want to connect

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with them, because they show up as trusted voices in the

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ecosystem. Higher connect rate means more meetings booked,

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means they're hitting quota better. When our BDR cool calls

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somebody, they say like, hey, I've seen you guys on LinkedIn, or I've heard of

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you before, or, we connected two weeks ago, and I've seen you in my feed

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before. Instead of hanging up and swearing at them, they actually want to have a

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conversation and be like, hey, shoot your shot. You have like two minutes. Tell me

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what you're about. And so there are all of these benefits that come

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from actually social selling that sort of grease your marketing

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sales, go to market funnel. And I think you don't know it until

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you do it. And so I'd encourage every company foundationally think about it.

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You need to make it a strategic initiative that has a little bit of

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buy in and go do it for six months, the same way that you would

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say, like, hey, I'm going to commit to going to the gym three days a

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week for six months. If nothing happens, that's fine. I would be

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surprised. If you don't see positive results. You start seeing

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source deals from LinkedIn, you start seeing larger pipeline, all

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the great stuff. And I think people should do it individually first, because

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if one person isn't willing to spearhead it, it's going to be very hard for

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you to coordinate or herd a bunch of cats to do it. So do it

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once, do it as an individual. If you're the one who was taking the initiative,

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make it work at some small scale and then expand it to

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the rest of your team. Once you can back it with numbers and say, look,

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I did this for six months. Look at the number of source leads we had

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from LinkedIn six months ago. Look at the number we have today. Look at all

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of the target ICP accounts that are visiting our website

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right now. And I put in UTM params to show that they're from LinkedIn. And

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look at all these people who are connected with me and now following with me

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who are all on our ICP list. And so I think if you can do

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that, you'll have a much better chance of building an employee advocacy

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program or a social selling program at your company. And that's going to take

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you very far against a competitor where

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everything kind of sounds the same, every product is largely the same.

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Now you have a brand and you have trust with real people who know what

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they're talking about, and that's going to help you out compete them thousand percent.

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There's so many things my brain is going a million miles. You touched on a

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little bit. But as you sort of try to map that out, because this is

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what it's going to come down to, right? Proof. I need proof that, is there

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a dashboard you're setting up? Is it simply just like you mentioned, the

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UTM links? Is it something within the actual

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demo request form that you're tracking? How are you sort of tracking the

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overarch, especially as you build this out with more people and it gets a little

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bit more complex, how are you sort of looking at it from a macro level?

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It'll be like, here's baselines, here's where we're at now.

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Yeah, so sure, track the vanity metrics, impressions, clicks,

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all that kind of stuff. But that's not the conversation you want to have with

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your CEO. They'll be like, cool, good for you. What you really want to think

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about is pipeline revenue. Every marketer in this macro

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environment needs to be thinking about this. I just need to double down on that.

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I'm still surprised by a number of people who are looking at vanity metrics. Easiest

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thing is if you're plg and you're onboarding form, ask put in

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a how did you hear about us? If you are sales led and you have

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a demo form put in, like how did you hear about us? Leave it open

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ended, don't have a drop down. Because if you have a drop down, people

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are just going to select the first option that they see. You're going to get

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bad data. Let them enter whatever they want to enter. We make it

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mandatory actually at letter drop. And it helps us figure out

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how to spend tens of thousands of dollars every month in terms of

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marketing. And so it's very important for us to actually know that. And I think

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it's short sighted for people to be like, no, we're going to not have that

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field. So that's the easiest free thing that you can do right

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now. The second thing I would do is there's a lot of solutions

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out there in terms of essentially just identifying traffic on your

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website. You can get clearbit or similar for free. To get

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started, just pick your favorite, drop one of them on your website, start

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noticing the kinds of accounts that are coming in. If there's a correlation

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between the accounts that are liking commenting on your posts

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and people who are coming to your website, that is a positive indication of

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where they're coming from. You're getting ICP traffic from social and

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LinkedIn. And then the very last thing, and this is stuff that we

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work on, is trying to actually figure out, can we actually try help companies

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understand the content, journey across LinkedIn to your website to back

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your CRM data in terms of close one pipeline. And that's something that we have

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built and we have. But I think that's like, if you want to go real,

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once you've built this program out and you want to really get down to numbers,

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you can do that. But I think the first two solutions are free and you

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can get started with that literally just today. Yeah, that's awesome. That's super

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helpful. And I think, like you said, that is key. The vending metrics are

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fine, and I think in some regards they can be useful

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for, especially as you're trying to prove out growth or prove those things.

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And even more so, I think when you're trying to build the habit, right,

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it's much more rewarding to go to the gym when you step on the scale

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and you've lost five pounds. So you can see the leading indicators of things

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happening. You haven't lost it all or you haven't gotten in super shape. You can't

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run a five k yet, but we're making progress. Kind of gives you that want

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to go back and do it again. But yeah, being able to map that down

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and understand where traffic is coming from, people ask

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me, and again, for my business, it's so scaled

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back. But same thing. I know when I'm having a conversation with

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somebody, I know where that thing started for the most part, or I

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can kind of quickly go figure out. Right, are they on the newsletter? Do they

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respond to it? Okay, yes, that makes sense. LinkedIn is very easy to see, for

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me to see that through, but that's how you start to. And again, I don't

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have any fancy CRM, but it's built out in the CRM to understand, like, where

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did this contact come from? Where did this lead come from? And I would say

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90% of them, for me, are even LinkedIn at this point. It's that

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powerful of a tool for people who are using it. Another thing, I think

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that goes in with it especially, and this was something that we experienced when we

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were at metadata is, and I think you're probably kind of touching a similar vein

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as you're building it out with letter drop, is you don't need 50

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people on the team doing this to make

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you feel so much bigger than you actually are.

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We probably had two people that were super consistent, three

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that were pretty consistent, four that were consistent enough, more

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consistent than average or average. And we still felt like, oh,

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my gosh, there's so much stuff going on here. Are you finding the same thing

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where it's like, you just need a few people who are willing and able

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to talk about these things over time? Yeah. You don't need a big

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team to do this. Our go to market team is four

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people. Right. And so it's not like we're a large company,

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but people do say they feel our presence. They see us quite

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a bit on LinkedIn at the very least, I think we're not doing as nearly

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as well as some companies our size. And I think that's more of a matter

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of nature of content, which we're trying to fix.

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But small team, you can actually get quite good results

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just by showing up a couple of times a week and actually sharing something that's

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generally insightful, thoughtful, educational. Then promote your product or

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service in the mix as well. And the reason why

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is because the bar is so low, you're competing against nothing. Essentially,

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the vast majority of companies are doing zit. And so if

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you even do something like, you will stand out. Right now, I think the

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easier thing to do is, or the low effort thing to do from the rest

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of your company is if they don't want to actually be a brand themselves,

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the least they can do is share it with their network. It's just like

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that. Like that comment. And tools like us automate that as

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well. That also goes pretty darn far, because when people

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do that, their network starts seeing that content. And as long as their

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network is prospects or buyers, that works. So what you don't want

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to do, for example, is you sell to developers, get your engineering

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team engaging with this kind of stuff, for sure. If you sell to

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HR people, getting your engineering team to like

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and comment probably isn't quite as effective. If anything, you're giving LinkedIn

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the wrong signal, telling them, hey, a bunch of engineers like this, I

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should show it to more engineers. What you need is connect people who

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are in your sales team, partnerships, team marketing team who are connected with

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prospects, connect it with partners. So hey,

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we have a customer advisory board, and these are people who have influence in

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our industry. Those are people you want to engage with you. I think that's a

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way to get your sort of extended circle your family around your

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company to essentially help promote your content. But at its

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core, in terms of the actual voices, the producers, like a

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handful of people will go a very, very long way. So that's how I would

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structure it. Founder and then maybe like a handful of people

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on sales, marketing, whoever it may be. And then broader

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reach is employees who have the right network. And then

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broader reach beyond that is partners,

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investors, customers who have the right network. And that is

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how I would kind of layer on LinkedIn. Employee or

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partner advocacy, essentially. I know letter drop lets

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you have the people come in from the like. You can assign the people to

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be able to automatically engage and comment and things like that. Is it similar

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for customer advocacy programs or is there like a weird

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sort, know you're not at our company, how do we add you in there? Or

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like, have you seen anybody think of doing it that way? Yeah,

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we have a bunch of customers who do that. So for example, signal fire is

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a VC firm that works with us. And whenever they launch a

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new company, they want to make sure all the partners have, all investors have

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a lot of great portfolio companies who could be customers. And so

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that's an example of non employees or people essentially

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boosting stuff. We have other customers, companies like warmly, for

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example, who essentially get their friends and partners to

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participate, and then they essentially give them different permissions. So

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some people can, you can post on their behalf, some people you can comment on

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their behalf, and some people you can only like on their behalf. It depends on

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how comfortable they are with different levels of permissions. You can set that out

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for an individual, just group them and say like, hey, here's my advisor list,

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here's my employee list, here's my sales team. And then for the

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right type of content, you can get the support from the people you

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need. It's all opt in. They still have to authenticate into your LinkedIn

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account. So they are opting in. They see the permissions and they can also choose

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to disconnect the app. Any point in time if they're like, yeah, this is not

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something I want to do. Yeah, that's cool though. I could even see it around,

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like you said, when they're launching or doing something, but like, hey, I've got this

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thing I'm launching. Are you willing to kind of help me do this even in

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a short term period of, I'm just looking for your help, but I'll do it

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for you because I think that's one of the hard things too. And I'd

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be curious, kind of getting your thoughts on that as well as it's hard

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to get people to do things that aren't part of their

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daily job. I've even seen that like podcast, right? Like, I

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have you, come on, I can create a bunch of stuff for you and hand

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it over to you and it can sit on a folder because it's just not,

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you know what I mean? We've all been there and done that, and so how

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can we better arm folks to

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actually either know what's coming, know what

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content? I think that's a huge part is like one of the struggles I always

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had at companies was, hey, I've got this new blog

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post. Oh, okay, cool, what do I write? I feel like there's

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a lot of, you got to make it kind of almost a program in a

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lot of ways, like you talked about. It's got to be embedded as

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a thing that we're doing because otherwise it won't be

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successful if it's just like, oh, here's our boilerplate for new feature came

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out. We've all seen this on LinkedIn. Probably like company comes out, it's all the

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same post all day long. Okay, yeah, totally

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agree with you. And which is why I think my view on this is

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almost like, don't rely on people. It's

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boring work. Nobody wants to do it. It's not part of their day to day

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job. If you can automate it, if you can let software do it, just let

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software do it. Let people focus on the things that they are good at, which

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is probably the initial insight, which becomes your content that you want to

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share. That's where people should be. What we want to do at the

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end stage, which is distributing stuff, like just making things happen, that's where it

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has to be as automated as possible. Because to your point, yeah, there's a lot

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of clips just sitting in folders out there. There's probably

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a lot of pipeline companies could be generating if they just took the

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effort to distribute that, redistribute that on a regular basis on a

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regular cadence. Just because our first podcast is still relevant today,

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there's nothing from that podcast that wouldn't be beneficial to somebody

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today. And there's no reason why it shouldn't be shared. And we do do it.

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We have a lot of content. We do share it occasionally, but I think not

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enough companies think about it that way. They don't think about, here's an asset that

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is evergreen and I just need to create the infrastructure in

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place to be able to get it in front of my buyers

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on a consistent basis to stay top of mind until they're ready to actually

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have a conversation with me about a purchase. I was doing a

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workshop with a company last month, and one of the things their team brought

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up was there's still a big disconnect, I think, for a lot of companies

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in terms of the push and pull strategy as far as like, the

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goal of my social content is to get you to come back to my bigger

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thing and you must consume my bigger thing in order for me to check a

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box and be like, that was a successful content campaign. And I think it's

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a huge shift for folks to understand, like, the goal of creating this piece

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of content is not necessarily for you to consume all of

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it. The goal is so we can chop up on these ideas, get

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different things out there, and then I can, as a smart marketer, find the best

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pieces and then distribute those things out in front of the audience because

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I want the audience to get the information. So if I take this episode,

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and I think a huge part of distribution in 2024 is employee advocacy.

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So that's a huge thing that I should be talking about. It's obviously a huge

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thing that your company is going to be wanting to talk about. It's not necessarily

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like, my goal is to get everybody to listen to this 30 to 40

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minutes podcast episode, the goal is, I bet if I

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dripped, if I get ten clips out of this and I dripped ten clips over

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the next six months, that's going to be pretty effective, too. Now I'm going to

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talk about employee advocacy probably way more than I normally

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would because it's maybe not part of the everyday conversation that I'm

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having, but it is important. Yeah, absolutely. I do think that

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a lot of people think about the base asset, your

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long blog posts, your 40 minutes podcast episode,

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and I think those assets are very important. Don't get me wrong, the person who

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is sufficiently motivated, who wants to learn about something, will go and do

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it. Guess what? That person is also very much in the market to buy

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if they're willing to do that work. So don't get me wrong, those assets matter.

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Brian law talks about this like long form content isn't dying. We watch

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three hour long movies. All these assets matter. But these

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assets are not easy to distribute. To your point, what you need to do is

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take these assets, make them easily consumable, and use those

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as essentially leads for people who are not quite

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ready to sit down. They might be in a couple of weeks, that's fine, in

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months, whatever. But nurturing them through that journey over many months

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or many weeks to get them to the point where like, yes, I'm thinking

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about employee advocacy. I'm thinking about Justin, I'm thinking about Parthi, I'm

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thinking about distribution version, I'm thinking about letter drop. And I'm ready to go in,

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listen to that podcast, read that blog post and actually think about it. Because my

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CEO just told me today that we need to think about lowering our CAC.

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We need to think about new acquisition strategies, because what we're doing right now is

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not working. And that's where all of these consumable things

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come in. And to your point, I think more people need to start

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thinking about content from that perspective. It's a long term game, and I

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think attribution is important. But attribution over a six month,

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twelve month period, not over like lead clicked on my thing, went

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to the long form thing, signed up a demo request in a funnel in the

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same minute. That doesn't happen. Yeah, in one false roof, they just did it

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all. Amazing. Yeah. No, it's interesting, too. And I think for

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anybody who's, as you're building out this sort of employee advocacy

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structure at your team, or you're doing more LinkedIn posting on your own as a

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founder, or however it is, there's also just the reality of

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LinkedIn. And how that platform works is like, your buyers are probably your

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lurkers, they may not be your commenters, and even the people

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who like your stuff. So I think that can be true. But

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I've even seen that, for me, where there's people who I've

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never interacted with, literally never interacted with or seen

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on LinkedIn engaging with my stuff, who fill out the form, become a

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client, and say, I just been listening to the podcast and been seeing your content

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for six months straight, and I'm like, oh, I didn't even know that you knew

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it existed. So amazing. So I think that's another thing to understand,

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too. Is it? Isn't that direct line. It's sort of

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like all of those things working together to then make the system run in

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the long run. Happens all the time, literally. We'll get

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inbound DMs from CMOs, from 500

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employee companies, people who we would normally struggle to get in front

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of our BDR would struggle to get in front of decision maker at that

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level. Inbound. They're like, oh, yeah, I've just been following you on LinkedIn for the

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past three months. I like your stuff. Some initiative came up. I thought of

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you. Can you give this person on my team a demo? Happens all the

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time, and I don't think enough companies know that this is

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possible and they're just sleeping on it. And how much better of

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a conversation is that? That's one of the things when I've been talking to content

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teams as well, in terms of really the distribution, the

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repurposing. Why do it? Why get your stuff out there? It's a ton of

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work. We're already doing a bunch of other things. I don't have time for it.

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It's not a priority. The hardest thing in a lot of this is you're

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battling status quo, whether it's the founders who need to post

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or they're not, or the teams who are doing things one way and doing another.

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But I think what you said right there is so key, which is you're priming

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the market. There's people who are not ready to buy.

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It's the fact or whatever the status. 3% of the folks that you're engaging

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with are actually potentially ready to buy and 97 aren't. And

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so of those 97% of people, it's your job to be

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the first person they think of when they're ready to solve that problem.

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And the trick with it now is the idea

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of being known, liked and trusted. You can't be

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this nameless, faceless corporation and compete on

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features for you. It's, you know, I

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saw, you know, I saw like, when I was

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a know Mark and Jason and the podcast know, even my stuff from time

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to, like, that stuff really matters because now it feels like

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when you hop on a call or when somebody else hops on a call,

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oh, man, I feel like we've talked before, or I feel like, gosh, it seems

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like we're connected in this way. And I saw something, I was

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reading a book the other day and they were talking about this. And the idea

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being that your brain cannot decipher digital

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from real. And so a human brain is like, the

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connections are there regardless of whether and obviously, I think if you're in

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person and there's probably a different level to it, but just at a baseline,

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your brain is connecting you to these other people. Totally true. Which is

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why a lot of people feel closer to celebs or

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famous personalities than they are. They feel like they know. It's this information

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asymmetry. I think you touched upon a very important point. You

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just mentioned Zach from our sales team. I've never talked to you about

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Zach. You've never met him. No. You know him. You

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mentioned Jason and Mark and all these people from

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metadata, who I've all have had the pleasure of meeting over the past

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year or two, and none of you are at metadata anymore.

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And so one of the pushbacks I see with these programs is people are like,

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I don't want to attach myself to my company's brand. I don't want to hurt

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my own brand. Guess what? A, if you're not doing anything, you probably

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don't have a brand to hurt in the first place. Two, it's viewed

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positively, right? If I'm a future employer and I look at that, I'm like, you

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could do that for your previous employer. As a company, you're an

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asset. Make yourself more sellable. You are helping your company. It's

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just win win for everybody. And I think we can point to that.

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Like, Metadata's organic presence has

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declined since that cohort or marketing team has

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left the company. And all of you are doing great things

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at new places distribution first, Jason's own consulting

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shop. Mark at user evidence. You're running the same playbooks at different

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places and doing so successfully. And so I want to just encourage

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every marketer out there to be like, if you can hit numbers

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for your company and run these employee advocacy programs for your

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business, you can technically do it anywhere. It is a

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skill you can take from company to company. Don't think of it as, like, tying

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yourself to a brand. The brand can change. I might start a new company in

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the future, or people may not be in market tech. People are going to be

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like, oh, M. Parthi is a Martech guy. I was like, heck, I was a

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software engineer and a product manager two years ago. I'm not a marketing person.

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But here I am. Now I am, and I can reinvent myself in a couple

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of years as well. And I think every individual you can do that, too, is

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what I would say. If that is an objection in your head as to why

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you can't do. This, I think another objection that I was thinking

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of, too, and I've heard this is the flip side of that coin, which is

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like, why? And I feel like this is dying down a little bit, at least

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in SaaS startup land, because I think they're starting to see that's kind of a

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silly point. But what if these people leave who are now they're the

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faces of my organization. What happens? Know, in this case, let's

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say you propped Zach up as this thing and now Zach

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leaves to another company and what the heck, right? He was our guy and

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now he's somebody. Like, how do you think about that? Or how would you maybe

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have that conversation with another founder who is

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sort of questioning like, should we really buy into this

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one? You as a founder should do it yourself. So you need a

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baseline, which is, hey, like I was, I'm with the company

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and I'm stuck with the company. And so this is our baseline. The second

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thing is you want at least a couple of employees to do this.

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We get our whole go to market team to do this. It's not just Zach,

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it's Ryan, it's Matt, it's Keelin, it's everybody. And anybody who joins our

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go to market team is going to be expected to do this as well. And

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they can get up to speed in a couple of months. It's not a big

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deal to get someone up to speed. We've done it already. We can do it

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again. Sure. There's a short term hit where your person,

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like in metadata's case you guys left. There's no reason why they can't

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done that with other people and they still do have some people, I think like

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Rachel for, like I still see her on LinkedIn, they can build that program up

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again. And so in the same way that I think

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it's a transferable skill or a transferable thing for an individual

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from a company's perspective, I think you can figure out

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how to encourage employees and build this every time. That

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said, I would highly encourage the founders, do it and have a little bit of

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a baseline there. I think a lot of very successful companies are able to

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do it with the founders. If you're not doing it with the founders, I would

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just say it is completely possible to do that over and over

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again with new members of the marketing team. There's no reason why metadata can't just

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prop up like, hey, look, here are new faces right now. And it's the same

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thing. It's customer education. I think your customers, at the end of the day,

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they care about their problems, whether the face, it's coming from changes

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every now and then is almost secondary. Yeah. And I saw somebody talking about this

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the other day with YouTube. They were talking about how some companies are

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hesitant to prop somebody up to, say, be the YouTube

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person on the team, because if that person builds their

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own brand or leaves or something, now the face of the company

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is sort of gone. And the point they made was like, well, sure.

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What if you had an engineer who was a star engineer and they left? Of

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course, it's not at the front end, but you would try to find another great

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engineer. So your goal in that case would be to find another great person who

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could be in front of the camera and be that. And so I think that's

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the same thing where it's like, to your point, these playbooks can be

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redone with different people and built out in different ways. I do

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think at the end of the day, it does come down to the founder. I'm

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curious, before we wrap, because it's been in the back of my brain for

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the founders, this is just not what they're going to do. They're not going to

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do it. What's your take on ghost writing? I feel like ghostwriters are

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booming everywhere, or multiple people kind of in

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my world, like solopreneurs, they're doing ghost writing for founders.

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Is that a viable avenue for at least, let's say, if it's done

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really well? Do you see that as viable in case the founder is like,

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I'm not willing to write this content. I don't know what it is, but I'll

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have a conversation once a month. And you can do it for me. Absolutely. I

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think that is incredibly viable to have ghost writing. Here's a little

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secret for the audience out there. Half of my content is not written by me.

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Heyo. Keelin, who's on our team, takes a lot of the core

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ideas we have on our blog, on our podcast, on our videos like

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this, or I have said something intelligent or smart, we've turned

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it into a long form asset. She uses our toolian platform to

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essentially repurpose them. We have a bunch of templates which for

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like advice with strong hook or product launch

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or bullet points or whatever, we have a lot of templates. We pop them

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into letter job. Out comes something. She gets her 90% there. She

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edits it a little bit, and then she says, okay, this is going out on

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parties. LinkedIn next Tuesday in review, and I just get an

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email in my inbox. I'm like, cool. I don't like this word or whatever. I'll

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change it and goes out there. And that is 50% of my LinkedIn

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content, quite honestly. And so I think ghost writing is very viable. The

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catch is you do need the long form assets or you need something

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sensible to say. I've put in the work at some point in time. I've

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had those thoughts or opinions or perspectives. We're just

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repurposing them at some point in the future. And so that's what makes the ghost

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writing effective, is that they have a good source. And so if

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you ghostwrite and the person who's ghostwriting for you, how much ever

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that may be assisted with AI, if they don't have good source

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material, they don't actually understand the business, the customer, the

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problem, they will fail and you will get content that you are not

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proud of putting out on your LinkedIn. And so that would be

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my sort of caveat or catch there is you

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still need to have an opinion, perspective, and be able to

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educate your customers. Without that. It's the equivalent of the SEO

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spammy article, which make no sense. But on LinkedIn form, that's

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it. It's interesting. Like, I've definitely done ghostwriting for people. When I was in

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house, I was that person. I've done that.

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And now I've actually worked with a couple. I never thought about it as

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ghostwriting, but I guess that's what it is like at the end of the day,

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working with them to sometimes they do it for brands, and sometimes that

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content is spun off and given to the founder or things like that. But it's

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why hiring a good ghostwriter costs a decent chunk of change, or having somebody

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who's on your team to learn that and spend time to do that, because it

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takes time to learn the audience, to learn what is going to matter, to learn

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the voice and tone of that founder. And obviously, the more you do it, the

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better it gets. But as somebody who's done that, having a piece of content

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that's really solid, you can get a lot of content. And that's what

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I think people don't quite understand is this podcast for you, Parthi,

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you'll get a lot of content out of this, or your team will get a

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lot of content out of this. 40, less than an hour to record.

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And so I think for that time, the ROI is pretty

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high to be able to do something like that. And this is obviously an

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external thing. But even if you did that internally, and this was a Zoom

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call, and you just had a conversation for 30 minutes to an hour

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every month, you're pretty well set to be able to have a pretty good stream

Speaker:

of content. And then I think tools like letter drop, other things like having a

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strategy using the distribution first frameworks, why people are here and listening to this

Speaker:

show, all of those things are how you scale yourself. It's how

Speaker:

you get more done, be more efficient. We're in a wild transition where there

Speaker:

are groups of people who are stuck doing it the old way, and there are

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groups of people who are massively more efficient in being able to get way

Speaker:

more done by using proper strategy and proper tooling.

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Absolutely. And I think, to your point, you don't need a podcast. I mean,

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a podcast is great. You can talk to another person, you can share audiences,

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but you can just have an internal conversation with somebody who's a subject matter

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expert in your company and create lots of great content.

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And a lot of people don't want to do that. Initial bit of hard

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work takes half an hour, but will have an outsized

Speaker:

impact on everything else you can create. Yeah, and that's the thing. If you did

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one interview, and again, whether you do it manually, whether you use a

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tool like letter drop, whether you do it in a different way, that can

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become a blog post which becomes LinkedIn content, which all

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fuels that thing to be able to get way more and to get those

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thoughts out in different perspectives as well. So this has been

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super great. Hopefully, it's been a helpful episode for folks listening and trying to

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get in on what the heck I should be doing. From an employee

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advocacy standpoint, I think my biggest perspective and takeaway is

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if you don't have your founder on board, it's going to be tough, but

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there are ways around that. I think some of the ghost writing stuff is a

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way around that. I think building the habit and starting on

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your own and then building out the proof of what that is. So I talk

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a lot about this with concept programs, doing pilots. So starting something and just

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doing, again, not saying you're going to run a marathon, but hey, I'm going to

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learn to run a five k. It's a different animal in a whole different world,

Speaker:

and it's a little bit more achievable. So those are my big takeaways. And Parthi,

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thanks for coming on, man. This has been great. Thank you for having me. It

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was a pleasure coming on a second time. Yeah, we'll see. Well, you know, six

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months from now, you come back and we'll chat about something else. So it'll be

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great. Thanks, Parthi. Absolutely.

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All right. I hope you enjoyed this episode of distribution

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first, and thank you for listening. All the way through. I appreciate you

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so, so much and I hope you're able to apply what you learned in

Speaker:

this episode one way or another, into your content strategy as

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well. Speaking of strategy, we have a lot of things going on this year that

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are going to help you build your brand, ten x your content and transform

Speaker:

the way you do content marketing. Make sure to subscribe to the show and sign

Speaker:

up for my newsletter at Justinsimon Co. So you don't miss

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a thing. I look forward to serving you in the next episode as well. And

Speaker:

until then, take care and I'll see you next time.