How to Jump Hard into LinkedIn With Both Feet: Camille Trent

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

2020 has been a big year for LinkedIn. The social media platform now has more than 720 million users globally.

It has transformed into a platform dominated by content and connections rather than a place where HR professionals troll for talent and people look for new opportunities.

In short order, many people have decided to embrace LinkedIn as the social platform to drive their personal profiles and careers.

From doubling-down on the platform over the past seven months, I've seen first-hand the power of LinkedIn to drive my fractional CMO business.

I've made new connections with people around the world and had dozens of conversations, including Camille Trent, a brand and digital marketing specialist with Texas Citizens Bank.

I reached out to Camille because she has established an engaged following since jumping hard into LinkedIn in August. I want to learn first-hand about how someone leverages LinkedIn effectively.

You're listening to marketing spark. The podcast at delivers insight, tools and tips from marketers and entrepreneurs in the trenches in twenty minutes more or less. If you're active on Linkedin, one of the biggest benefits is the ability to connect with people around the world. A case in point is Camill Trent, a brand and digital marketing strategists with Texas Citizens Bank. So how does a marketer in Toronto me connect with a market during Colorado? Well, it's about linkedin. Camill has been writing some great content, so I reached out to re see if she wanted to appear on the podcast, and here we are. Welcome to marketing spark, camill. Thank you. It's good. It's good to findly chat. I know I've been an exchanging comments here and there on Linkedin, like you mentioned, so I'm glad we're able to do this. So let me start by asking you about your linkedin experience. Like a lot of people, I suspect that you jumped harder on the platform recently. Maybe give some background and why you decided to use linked in and what you're getting out of it. Probably a few years ago, when I realized that you could post on there. I didn't actually do that at the time. I, you know, shared a few posts here and there, once every few months, and then this year I was like, you know, there's some there's something here like this, this linkedin thing is a real deal. I start posting a little bit more, a little bit more, starting probably in January, so that I was going from like three or four posts a month to a twelve posts a month, and then in August, August five, I did write down the day. I was I'm just going to jump all in on this. I'm just gonna post once every day, and once I set that, I couldn't it's hard for me to go back on it. It's a goal that I had for myself. So I did that and I started posting every day. And so now it's been almost three months, not quite, of posting consistently. I've gotten some some really good insights from that and I've also gotten to meet some really great people. Source. Far as creating content on a consistent basis, I know is a writer. It's a...

...challenge and this is what I've trained you professionally. How do you keep writing content consistently? Give any tricks? How do you capture your ideas. How do you tell whether the content you're writing resonates? So you should write more of that and less of others? What's your approach? I can just go through my whole strategy, which I don't know if you can even call it, call it a strategy, but this is what I do. So throughout the day I just I think the number one thing is being open to everything being content or everything being copy. And so if you have that kind of open mindset of anything that you come across, could you could the way that you see it, like, the way that you interpret it in the world, that is your content, because someone else actually sees that differently. When I have an insight or something I considered to be an insight, I'd write it down in Google keep, so basically just a notes APP. What I like about will keep is if I do want to write something more long form or if I need to kind of have it's an idea but it's not hammered out, then it actually shows up on the side of Google docs and so on. Google docs, you'll see, like Google, actually have it up right now. So you'll have you'll have the little google keep APP right there and you actually have your tasks right below that and you have your calendar. So it's all kind of like in one central place. So then if you prefer to kind of use a word, word documenting, word processing kind of thing, like a whole word doc then you can actually just pull in your notes from there. So that's kind of what I do to keep a running tab of my ideas and my thoughts. And usually what it ends up being is a headline, a headline, or maybe four lines if there's if I have four lines right off the bat, then it's a pretty good indicator that it's content. You know that there's there's something there because it's has legs. And then from there. Yeah, every night is actually when I do it. I started writing in the mornings around like nine, but you know, I have a twenty one month old and and I have a husband and so we have actually just been car pooling, so I take them to work every day and we do some day care, and so it was just a little too hectic to do it in the morning and so I decided, okay,...

I'll I'm just going to post at night and whatever happens happens. If it kills my reach, that's fine. It didn't it actually ended up being about the same, if not better, when I started posting at night. And Yeah, and so my process is just I look back through my notes, I kind of see which one I'm feeling for the day and and then I kind of go with that as a prompt. Really, I think if you think about it, let me back up, if you think, if you think about it as being open to everything being content, and I have a whole backstory on that, but basically I watched a documentary. It was called everything is copy, and it kind of just change change my world a little bit on how I saw copy and how I thought about content marketing. So I do that and then I pop open my my notes, Google docs, and I see kind of what I want to riff on, essentially what topic I want to pick out and sort of riff on, and then I'll write something and I'll post it, usually around like ten PM my time. So that's kind of my process. Now. As a writer, one of the things that you're looking for its flow, you're looking for inspiration, you're looking for your content to essentially be easy. You don't want it to be hard. One of the things I'm curious about is, given the fact that you're producing content on a consistently producing content on a daily basis. How do you stop it from being an obligation? You look on Linkedin and there's a lot of people you got to write every day and I can see people struggling. The Post gets shorter, the insight gets less interesting and it's almost like they're going through the motion. So how do you avoid that kind of situation? Yeah, that's that's a really good question, because I feel like I was getting close to burn out because it does take some time away from from family or just fun things. I mean, you're already having your work day and then this is just essentially more work. The key for me is to not think about that way. So when I when I've very first started it, my plan wasn't to get leads or to to generate business. My plan was just to experiment with it and to learn the platform, because I knew that once I did that, that one that's fun for me anyways as a marketer. But to like I could share those insights with with members of our bank,...

...it would help me with the company page that I was that I was working on and on top of that, I could share it with clients because I do do some freelancing on the side. I knew that there was a big enough why that I needed to figure that out. And then as I went my I realized kind of how much I missed copywriting specifically. So I do some copywriting for for my job, but I also do a little bit of everything in terms of marketing and branding. So it was nice to kind of have my own writing time if I just thought about it as journaling. But essentially, and I've said before, that a lot of my post or actually just notes to myself, like things that things that I know, but I needed to kind of reposition it to myself to get the motivation to really do it, kind of like hard talk to myself. They're kind of like tenants, things that we know about marketing but that I kind of need to position or pitch to myself or maybe pitch to marketing marketers in general, that that this is a good idea. You know, like to keep with it because it is really hard with marketing, both with Linkedin, like you mentioned, and then just marketing in general. It's a lot. It's in a consistency game right, so it's momentum and its consistency. Think it can. You can't get really down if you don't see those results right away. You have to love it. I just decided I was I was only going to write about things that I wanted to write about, and so I did kind of pick some core tenants of, you know, branding, copywriting, marketing in general, but marketing from a customer experience standpoint, and I think that that has kind of like separated some of my content because I really try and look at it, look at things and look at the world and look at marketing from a consumer perspective, like not from not from a marketing this perspective. And so are we making it easier to buy from us, or are we making it easier to like us as marketers? So I when I picked those topics and then when I thought about it as a copywriting exercise, like this is a way for me to get better at copywriting and also to get better at consistency. Those are two huge things in marketing. So I really...

...just thought about it as a way for me to grow. As you focused on leveraging linkedin and using linkedin and providing insight, have you got any feedback for your employer? Do they look at what you're doing in a positive light. Do they think that it may be distracting you? I'm curious about what that's been like over the last few months. Yeah, I mean so I don't take up any of my actual worktime to do my own personal posts and so so there hasn't been any any commentary on that specifically, although I've gotten some positive feedback in that. So I work for a Community Bank and we were were in the PPP loans right and so and that was a big deal for small businesses. Being able to share that message on Linkedin and on facebook. That had a lot of share ability power just to know how hard that these these bankers were working and all the extra hours they were doing to try and get more small businesses funded and be able to kind of stay alive and also thrived during that time. I published a lot of that stuff through our linkedin page and that got some pretty good exposure in the area. So people were excited about that. I think kind of once you see it working or once you see the potential with it, that's pretty cool. Another part of that is the SPA office themselves. I think I tagged the SBA district office in a post that we did. That was about the DOS and don'ts of using your PPP loans and that, yeah, that generated some good engagement. But most importantly, the the district office reached out to our CEO and asked if they could actually use the slider that we put together on Linkedin for the webinars that they were they were holding for small business owners. I think once you see it in that light, because obviously our team was pretty excited about that, and being able to get that extra exposure, exposure to our bank, and having it be from a piece that was really just meant to be helpful that we originally created for our own customers, seeing those kind of results, I think, definitely got them excited about it. As far as my own my own personal brand, I've been lucky enough to have some really good,...

...really good bosses and mentors. They are excited for me to just do my own things since, especially since it was on my on my own time. But but honestly, sort of a side note is the fact that because I've grown a few followers, not a ton, but because I've grown my personal brand a little bit, it actually does get gives some extra exposure to the bank because when I go and I like those posts. Then it shows it to more people. So there's those things. And then the last thing I'll mention is when we've gotten a few more employees, especially some of the younger employees, they had already seen our linkedin content and seeing our facebook content. So I think that kind of warmed them up to us being like slightly more modern but maybe than some of the other banks out there. And one of our other employees had started posting like every day or every other day, and that gives me an opportunity to, you know, interact with those posts and like those to give them a little bit extra exposure. So it's an algorithm and it all kind of like feeds itself. That's kind of Linkedin is very smart about how they've done things, about getting people to use the platform that way, because it all feeds into each other. But but yeah, I know they they're happy about about Linkedin in general and I think happy about the exposure, the tiny bit of exposure that like my extra personal brand is able to bring to it. So it's been when when all around. One of the things I want to talk to you about, aside from Hadle everage Linkedin in your experience on linked in. Is your thoughts on copywriting, because a lot of your content, a lot of your posts, are focused on how to be a better copywriter and you've alluded to the fact that you're talking to talk and walking the walk. Why is copywriting gate getting more attention these days? I mean, there's a lot of high profile marketers that are but I believe are sit giving a lot of copywriting one on one advice. Why is it happening? Do you think the copywriting is underrated or undervalued? It's funny that you should mention that because I did just post a few days ago that the copy is copywriting is overrated, and it was a little bit of a hook headline because it ended a little bit differently than that. But my thoughts are basically that when I went to school, actually graduated in advertising and...

...then copywriting specifically. So so there was a copywriting program that I took in school and it was kind of geared toward the big agency life. So I did read all of those books and talk to, you know, the marketers at big companies, or the creatives rather, at big agencies. So I kind of had that background. So it was really funny to see now that that marketing has kind of jumped on it. Obviously copywriting is part of marketing, but historically it's been kind of within the creative department within agencies. But when when I was graduating and there were recruiters over, one of the more interesting things is that it seems like everyone in my class wanted to wanted to go to agency, like that was kind of like what we're set up to do and we're excited to do. But right around that time there was a shift where there were a lot of companies bringing creative in house. I'm so bringing copywriting in house and bringing designers and house, and so I remember there being an apple, an apple recruiter there, and that's what she was saying was, you know that they are moving everything in house, like historically they'd been with shy at day like that's almost famously so that they've been with them, but I'd started taking more of that work in house and I think because of that that shift toward in house creative more in house marketing, that more marketers have had to learn or at least understand copywriting. So that's, I think, kind of the background on it and kind of why it's it's become this. It's become, yeah, almost overrated, like I mentioned. What I meant by that is that people have been talking marketers im and talking how, you know, they wish that they had learned copywriting early on and this and that, but it's almost become this weight on copywriters shoulders of like, okay, we know that copywriting does a lot of the heavy lifting, so we're expecting you to do a lot of the heavylifting, when really it's a team effort. Because I really really admire the designers that I've that I've worked with in agency and then freelancing and then also in house when I work with agencies. So design is really important as well, and I think that that's been underrated at this point, like it was almost like design was overrated, copyrighting was underrated and now it's kind of like shifted, and so I think...

...design is still really important. I think just having an overall strategy, like having your positioning figured out. Working with a lot of small and medium businesses, they don't always have their positioning figured out and they kind of just want sometimes they want want clever one liners or, you know, just clever copywriting like that. Kind of just want you to fill in the blanks when really like you need it to be. You need to have you need to have figured out the strategy ahead of time and have a good product and have some other support, like with design and with distribution. I haven't even gotten started on distribution. But it's not like you can just make good content and that's it. There's there's a few other things that go into it. So honestly, I would say that copywriting is a little bit overrated at this point. I mean, I think that makes it makes a huge, huge difference, but I don't think that you can just hire a hire a great copywriter and that's it. You got to have like the systems in place first. One final question. If you are a marketer and you want to improve your copywriting skills some give me, can you give me some basic advice? I think that the main thing that companies miss out on is there's an opportunity to differentiate and a lot of times they decide to play it safe. I think that any time that you have an opinion or something that you believe strongly in, that you should lean into that. I think in general that that is great for brands because it's more it's more relatable. It's more believable. I think when people try and be on the fence and not offend anyone, then they don't get any fans that way either. They can't have both. You have to be willing to not upset people, but you have to be willing to not please everyone, because that's the way that you are going to please the people that matter most, the people in your ICP that are actually going to buy from you. Ultimately, I think not chasing vanity metrics and really just chasing good content. And I I mean personally. I don't think that I am the I don't think copywriters are the only ones that know good content.

I think this is something I've been trying to preach a lot too, is that most people know what good content looks like based on the things that they like in the things that they share and really the media that they consume when they're not at worth, the the TV, the movies. That's good content and good copywriting. So a couple tips that I can give is the headlines obviously super important. I'll talk a little bit about about linkedin specifically, but but the with Linkedin you need a good starting line. A lot of times it seems to be better when it's short, but it doesn't have to be. The next two lines really need to get you to keep reading the next lines. So I know everyone's heard that a lot is at the first line needs to get you to read the next line, but that's that's a big part of it. I kind of also started thinking about the headline as the thesis. So if I think about posts or whatever I'm creating as a an essay, almost as a almost as a persuasive essay, then then the first part needs to be kind of your thesis or your abstract. I've been thinking about this a lot because my husband is in immunology, is a research scientist, so he does grant. It's just kind of similar, right, like you should have the most important stuff up at the top. That's how as a newspaper, that's how it is in science. That's how it doesn't copywriting. You should have your most important statement up at the top. It should build, build into something, should give you a reason to keep reading, but also have enough structure in the middle where it's not pure text, like it's nice to break it up with bullet points or at least short sentences. Short sentences are better in general. But to back up, I think it's just have something to say, like have something that you believe in strongly and that you know that your target audience will care about. And you can find that out based on what they're talking about. You know what they're talking about on other social networks, what their interests are. I mean those things will tell you what they're interested in. So being able to relate to them, committing, like committing to the niche that you have, committing to a human voice, not not a corporate voice, like committing to the the style that your customer wants to see. I think Gong does a really good job of...

...this on their linkedin company page and just in their copywriting in general. is they sound like. You can tell it's written by a human, and I'm saying the same thing from from lemonade. A thing is what's called with I think it helps you by homes, but it can tell that's written by human. And I just stumbled across their page and I immediately liked the brand and I like knew nothing about it, like I didn't know if their product was any good, but I knew that I like felt an affinity for it because I could feel the copywriter on the other end of it, like I could feel like I feel a connection to that person. That's what what's about, this connection with copyrwarding. Camille. Where can people find you to learn more about you and and consume your content? I mean obviously linkedin. If you if you send me a DM, then I'll try, try and respond as fast as I can. That's probably the the best place. I'll stop that. I have some emails and things, but I think you can find that on Linkedin as well well. Thanks, Camille, and thanks everyone for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, leave a review and subscribe by Itunes or your favorite podcast APP. If you like what you'R heard, please rate it. For show notes of today's conversation and information about Camille, visit marketing spark DOTCO slash blog. If you have questions, feedback, would like to suggest a guest or want to learn more about how I help me to be companies as a fractional CMO consultant advisor, send an email to mark at marketing sparkcom. I'll talk to you next time.

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