Bullhorns & Bullseyes Podcast

Brand Advocacy and Employee Activation on LinkedIn

Guest: Brenda Meller
May 28, 2024
Play Video about Brenda Meller

Episode 26

Tom and Curtis are pleased to welcome Brenda Meller, an expert LinkedIn coach, to the podcast to discuss strategies for using LinkedIn effectively. Brenda shares valuable intel on recent changes in the LinkedIn algorithm, the importance of engaging with other users’ content, and the value of thought leadership ads. Brenda stresses the importance of employee advocacy and brand ambassadorship on LinkedIn, underscoring the need for companies to empower their employees to engage on the platform and sharing strategies to increase employee participation. The three also touch on the role of brand building in supporting ad spend and the importance of working with experts to maximize the effectiveness of LinkedIn marketing.


  • Engaging with other users’ content is key to increasing organic reach on LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn’s algorithm prioritizes genuine engagement over viral content.
  • Optimizing profiles and posts for the target audience is crucial for success on LinkedIn.
  • Brand building at the top of the funnel supports ad spend and enhances overall marketing efforts.
  • Working with experts can help maximize the effectiveness of LinkedIn marketing.
  • Employee advocacy and brand ambassadorship are crucial for companies to increase their reach and engagement on LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn is not just a job search platform but also a professional networking site for brand building and thought leadership.
  • LinkedIn profiles should be tailored to connect with and help the ideal target audience.
  • Acknowledging and rewarding employees for their engagement on LinkedIn can encourage further participation.
  • Thought leaders within the company should be encouraged to share brand content on their personal profiles for increased authenticity and reach.
  • LinkedIn offers various features and updates, such as premium membership for company pages and a videos tab for more engaging content.


Link to Brenda’s checklists:
Team training:
Connect with Brenda
LinkedIn profile | LinkedIn company page

Tom Nixon (00:01.942)
Bullhorns and Bullseyes is back with another episode. Curtis, you’re back for another episode, which is always good, but you’re for people who can see you. You still got the cowboy hat, but you’re dressed a little spiffier than normal. Yeah.

Curtis Hays (00:12.494)
I’m a little spiffy today. Yup. I was wearing the hoodie yesterday. I got called out. You called me out for wearing a hoodie, I think. And so I decided to wear this sport coat today.

Tom Nixon (00:21.726)
Yeah, yesterday you looked like a, um, a coder in your hoodie and today you look like an insurance salesman. So, all right. Well, you can sell your insurance at the end of the podcast here. First, we want to bring out an expert. Uh, we’ve talked about LinkedIn in the past. We’ve had Jay Harrington on in the past who’s, uh, an expert at, um, strategies for creating content. Um, really.

Curtis Hays (00:28.012)

Tom Nixon (00:46.606)
episodes. If you didn’t hear that one, go back and find that one in the archives. But today we have somebody who’s gonna walk us through LinkedIn from a little bit different perspective.

Curtis Hays (00:55.446)
Yeah, it’s been fun sort of tapping into the Rolodex of all the professionals that I’ve met in Detroit over the last, you know, close to 20 years. And so really exciting to have Brenda Miller on the show today. And she worked at a local college and in the marketing team there and my previous agency.

had the opportunity to work with them and meet Brenda and around similar time periods that we start started kaleidoscope about 10 years ago, Brenda also went out on her own. And so it sounds like since that time, Brenda, you’ve really taken a focus to learning LinkedIn and all the ins and outs of LinkedIn and then our coaching companies and, and have even written a written a book here, social media pie.

which is really exciting and really cool. So it’s great to have you on the show and looking forward to some of the insights you’re gonna share with our audience today.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (01:50.111)
Absolutely. Thank you so much. Both of you for Tom and Curtis for having me on. I’m very excited. I’ve been listening. I’ve been binge listening to your podcasts in the weeks leading up to this to get a feel for your show and your format. So it’s really just an honor to be here. Thank you so much.

Curtis Hays (02:04.602)
Yeah, of course.

Tom Nixon (02:05.822)
Absolutely. It’s our honor to have you here too because Curtis and I work with clients on LinkedIn strategies, advertising, organic and stuff. So, we’re like avid learners because it seems like there’s things changing every day. So, what I mean for what you do, explain to people who have never met you before what you do as a LinkedIn coach at a high level.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (02:25.343)
Yeah, absolutely. I always start with first, I do not work for LinkedIn. I am independent. My background is, you know, marketing as Curtis was describing. So I will frequently tell people, I help you get a bigger slice of the LinkedIn pie. And I often will say I’m that marketer who gets LinkedIn as well. So my interest is in serving my clients with helping them to really understand how to use the platform more effectively and efficiently. And I specialize in working with, uh, with employees of Teams.

Tom Nixon (02:28.878)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (02:54.935)
as well as the self-employed and even help job seekers with LinkedIn as well. So it’s done through one-to-one coaching, through team training, through courses, through the books I offer. And I take that approach of making LinkedIn more manageable and making sure people know it’s a there’s a no bad questions that come. A lot of times I get the same questions asked from the same people over and over and they think they’re the only person wondering these things.

So I try to make it like an apology free zone when you’re approaching me and, and really helping my clients so that they don’t have to work with me because they understand all the ins and outs of, of all things LinkedIn.

Tom Nixon (03:35.394)
think that’s a good approach, especially for how do I put this diplomatically? Some of our more seasoned professionals who are have been in the business world long enough to remember a life before social media. It also long enough to remember when LinkedIn came onto the scene. It appeared to be sort of this just like resume storage website for people who wanted to get jobs. And we’re still finding people that we have to sort of

change their just conceptual approach to what it even is. And on that, on the one end, but also on the other end, try to like, dissuade their assuage their fears that this is like Facebook and Instagram and Twitter or something of which they want no part. So, um, Kurtis, you’ve you and I we partner with clients on some LinkedIn strategies. And one of the things that we’re noticing is what we appear to be some changes in the algorithm in terms of how posts are being

fed into people’s streams.

Curtis Hays (04:35.022)
Yeah, we really noticed this back in, I would, around October of 2023, October of last year, um, we started to see some changes and around that time there’s, and since then there’s been some changes on the ad platform with campaign manager. Um, there’s now these thought leadership ads, which didn’t exist before. You can now, uh, basically, uh, promote content, not just from your brand page, which was there previously, but actually promote content that your employees.

or the leaders in the organization are posting. And now even beyond that, if you can post content from people you’re connected with, I think within two connections. So say a client of the company’s, posts a testimonial or says something good about the company in campaign manager, you can actually boost that content with that person’s approval. So there’s been a lot of changes, I think on the ad side, and I feel like there’s a correlation between

You know, what’s happening there as well as what’s happening on the organic side, but can’t quite figure it out. I’m a data’s guy. So I’ve been looking at the numbers since October and things have, things have certainly shifted a bit and it seems to be a bit more challenging, um, to get content to, uh, to show organically in the way we’re just getting less impressions than we used to get applying the same tactics we used to apply. And that’s really where, you know, you need an expert who’s understands the platform.

Because, you know, I would assume Brenda, you’re staying up to date with those types of things, just like I’m trying to stay up to date with Google and algorithm updates and those types of things that they’re doing, you know, trying to stay up to date with, uh, with LinkedIn and Facebook and all these platforms at the same time, it’s difficult. So yeah, curious to what, what you’ve been seeing on your end, uh, over the last, you know, six months to a year with what LinkedIn’s been up to.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (06:22.523)
Yeah. And it’s interesting you talk about the algorithm changing. They’re always changing the algorithm and it’s very similar to Google. Google’s always trying to change the algorithm because they don’t want people to game the results and try to get their page to the first page if they’re really legitimately not the first page of search results. But LinkedIn did put out a report not too long ago, actually, I think it was a press conference where they did announce publicly like, yes, we did change the algorithm.

Curtis Hays (06:27.011)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (06:47.907)
And we did so intentionally because we really don’t want to see, and they actually said this, that we don’t want to see things go viral on LinkedIn. We want content to be genuine, useful, helpful for our members. So we’d rather see genuine engagement over a post that goes viral and it gets millions of views because it’s just a blip. They want to see more genuine content that’s consistent posted on the platform. And I think part of this too, I mean, come end of the day, LinkedIn is a business.

So when you’re seeing changes that are happening on the sales side of LinkedIn, the marketing solutions where you’re doing promoted posts and things like that, I mean, majority of people are really using the free basic version of LinkedIn, we’re not paying for it. So LinkedIn’s got to figure out where to make the money from and they either make that through selling ads or through selling memberships. And they are doing some changes even with the free basic version, they’ve taken our ability away to add a note to every single invitation.

Now we only get five or 10 of them, and then you have to upgrade to premium to continue on going with that. So they’re trying to figure out ways of making the business side of LinkedIn continue to be successful and making some things in there. But in terms of the algorithm and how to really win on LinkedIn, I always tell people come end of the day, really thinking about what are your business goals.

And who is your ideal target audience? And then building everything around that. You’re optimizing your profile from top to bottom for that ideal target audience, not to look like you’re finding a job. And I think your earlier point that you made on there, Tom, is that many of us came onto LinkedIn when we were thinking about making a job change. So we copied and pasted information from our resume onto our profile. Now we look like a job seeker and now we don’t want to use LinkedIn because we want people to think we’re looking for a job.

Tom Nixon (08:34.901)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (08:34.907)
So what I help people do is kind of look at this from a marketing perspective, like who are you trying to reach? And then let’s make sure that all of our activities or posts or profile, even our company page is written in a way so that it’s serving our ideal target audience.

Tom Nixon (08:51.57)
That’s excellent. Yeah, I’m curious before we get into another topic, which we want to bring you on to talk about, which I’ll call brand ambassadorship, which we’ll come back to. But before we go there, are there things that you do to work with clients? I don’t want to use the term game the system, but that because that’s you know, use that the pejorative, but to sort of

Serve the algorithmic gods in order to get more organic reach in addition to what Curtis could do on the boosting side. Are there still things that are best practices to get your content seen organically by your intended audiences?

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (09:29.599)
Absolutely. And I’ll give you a few of those techniques right now. The first thing is if you want your posts to get more engagement, start by engaging on other people’s first before you post on your own. And this is the same thing I do like every morning. The first thing I do in LinkedIn is I open up my homepage feed and I spend 10 to 15 minutes there. I find posts from people in my network that either I have a strategic relationship with or whose content I find really interesting.

And I like to think about like, if you give a like or a reaction to a post, if you think about the algorithm having like a point system, a like or a reaction is worth one point, so think about that. And if you do a comment, we want to do longer comments, eight or more words is considered a longer comment. Sometimes I do even a few sentences or ending with a question and the algorithm sees that as more meaty content, so to speak, because it takes a lot more effort to write a sentence or two than it does to say congratulations or great job.

or things like that. So I always start with building up that social media karma first, engaging with other people in my homepage feed, and then I go and I do my post. And then when you do your post, I want you to think about, you’re speaking to one person, you’re not speaking to millions of people. So speak to one person in your post, and you’re trying to reach that person with information that is informative, educational, informational, sometimes entertaining, right? And I hear some people saying, well, it’s

LinkedIn becoming more like Facebook? Well, LinkedIn is a professional networking site, but we can still be real people on here. And we still talk about things that we talk about in the, around the water cooler and the coffee room. So we can bring some of that in there. But if you want your post to get more engagement, don’t just always be pushing out a sales message. If you’re posting daily, so let’s say five times a week, I would say four of those posts are more informational, educational, entertaining, thought-for-broking. One of those is salesy.

So that helps to bring people into your posts, to tune into what you’re doing. Combining with, if you’re doing that engagement aspect first of engaging with other people, you’re building up that social media karma and those people are gonna wanna return the favor when they see you posting. So they’re gonna engage on your posts as well. And I think both of those work really well. The other thing is try to always include some type of a call to action in your posts.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (11:48.779)
And sometimes it’s just inviting people in, comment below and let me know what do you think? Agree or disagree, tell me in comments, tag someone in comments that you feel might be interested in this topic. So inviting them in, because a lot of times people don’t know that they should be commenting, that they should come into your post, but when we give them permission and instructions, they’re more likely to do so.

Tom Nixon (12:11.646)
Yeah, I love that word karma that you use because to me it suggests there’s more at play than just feeding the algorithm. And I always, when I’m working, I tell clients, think about two things. Think about these crazy robots that are trying to take over the world, right? You hit, you need to do what they want you to do. But also think about the people that you want to inform, engage, uh, have a relationship with. If you do nothing but blast out your own content and then go dark for one, that’s doing the algorithm a disservice because they’re going to see that you’re just a spray and pray.

guy or gal, right? So that doesn’t help your algorithm. But also think about all the people that you actually comment on their posts, the human fulfillment that they get, right? And they’re going to remember you, especially if you’re commenting, and then you might engage in a conversation. I know people who started in a relationship in a comment thread that went on to form a 20 person woman networking group that went on to write a book that went on to have a website. And this all started because of a meeting.

full comment in the comment sections and Curtis, maybe we should get them on the podcast. Yeah. What Curtis, what you’re kind of coming along with me like I’ve been always approaching this from the organic side and I never even thought of spending a nickel on LinkedIn and your history is more on the advertising side. So, we’re sort of meeting in the middle. What interesting things are you finding where you and I intersect on LinkedIn?

Curtis Hays (13:14.356)
It sounds like a good idea.

Curtis Hays (13:36.022)
Yeah, I, well, I want to first say, uh, that this sort of reminds me of our conversation with Jeff large on podcasting. And if you’re going to judge your podcast based on the number of views you’re or listens, it gets, you’re probably going to be disappointed. And especially early on, but if you w what we talked about with him with like, if your audience size is only 10 and you’re reaching the 10, then, then that’s success. Right? So I think there’s this, this.

Tom Nixon (13:52.302)
especially early on.

Curtis Hays (14:05.846)
were so numbers driven and we were used to seeing a certain number of impressions and a certain amount of engagement that now that’s declined and it’s like, well, it’s just not doing as well as it is. And if that’s what you’re basing your measurement off of and basing success off of, then yeah, you might be disappointed, but the reality might be you’re still reaching the right people. And so Brenda, what you saying like make sure that

You know, you know who your audience is that you’re creating content that serves them. That content might be really small. And, um, and so the fact that your impressions are down might actually be okay. You know, because as long as you’re still serving. Yeah.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (14:44.995)
more concentrated and you might be reaching more of the right people and maybe it’s less people overall, but we, we don’t need more people generally, we just need more of the right people. And then if we can bring them into the conversation, and then we’re not just stopping there, you know, let’s look and see who is who are who are the people that are clicking on the like and reactions in the comments? Are we first level connections with them yet? If not, let’s invite them to connect, let’s bring them into our world. And if we already connected with them.

Curtis Hays (14:49.655)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (15:12.687)
Maybe let’s, let’s message them. Hey, you know, Hey, Jim, thanks for the thoughtful comment on my latest pose. Let me know if you’re ever thinking about X, Y, and Z, if you’d like to have a conversation about, you know, continue. I mean, I get clients from this technique. I’m not a salesperson. I’m a marketer. So sales always feels very icky to me, but. Right. Conversations, they should feel natural. It should feel like an extension of what you did on LinkedIn. You reach out and say, Hey, if you want to continue, let me know. And if they don’t answer, that’s okay. I’ve planted the seed. They know that I’m here. And if, and when they’re ready.

Curtis Hays (15:23.686)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Tom Nixon (15:27.834)
Uh, right there with you.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (15:42.319)
And if they do, that could lead to a new client engagement.

Curtis Hays (15:45.41)
Yeah, that’s awesome. So on the advertising side, as I mentioned earlier, there have been some changes recently. I do think it has driven business decisions, driven a bit by revenue. Facebook’s done the same thing. Google does it all the time.

Um, but I think they’re good things as, as well. So this opportunity to take thought leadership, say it’s coming from a CEO, a COO, a founder, or, you know, other leaders in the organization that have good content, we didn’t have the ability to promote that content previously. And really that content gets more engagement usually than brand content because it’s that one-to-one, you know, sort of personal connection. So, um, to have the ability now, especially when you’re doing account

Curtis Hays (16:35.054)
the types of organizations or the specific organizations that we wanna advertise to and who those people are within those organizations, now we can take that thought leadership content and pretty much guarantee that we’re getting in front of those people. And so I think that’s been helpful. I know some of the clients that we’re working with from a sort of brand awareness perspective, we would call it like top of funnel, it’s worked really well. So getting other companies aware of who we are,

what our value proposition is, where we position ourselves in the marketplace, and that’s helping to support the lead gen efforts that we’ve always been doing, which are the sign up for a webinar, requested demo, those types of things that would happen further down the funnel. So anyway, yeah, I think those are some exciting things that they’ve added to the platform that makes them a bit unique.

Tom Nixon (17:26.954)
it. Brenda, are you working on those types of things with clients as well or is most of your focus how to increase your organic reach? Say

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (17:34.203)
Yeah. So I don’t work on the ad side of things. You know, back in the day when I was working actually with Curtis at the college, we were doing some, some ads. And, you know, I’d always heard, and I strongly believe this, you know, the ads platform, the marketing solutions really work well with larger ticket items. And, you know, our ticket was a college degree, 25 to $40,000. So it really made sense to reach out through the audiences that way. And I have in the beginning of my business, and I’ve been doing this for about seven years, I was doing some, um,

account management for ads, but I’ve kind of walked away from that so that I can really just focus in drilled in drill down more closely on the one-to-one coaching, focusing more on the front end of the LinkedIn because I think that can actually help to supplement and even, you know, accelerate the efforts that you’re doing with ads if you’re working with someone like Curtis, because what happens after they see the ad, you know, sometimes they click on the ad to go there, but other times they look at the name of the company and they start to look up the company

or they start to see posts from employees. In the case of these slot leadership apps, they start to look at those, the profiles for those employees. And now they’re taking the action, they’re not being pushed there, they’re taking the action to learn more about it. So now they’re more open and receptive. So what I do is once we get there, let’s make sure that your profile, your page, your activities are all working to support your business goals in speaking to that ideal target audience.

Curtis Hays (19:00.122)
Totally, right. What you do supports any of the ad dollars that any company would be putting in because that’s exactly what somebody’s going to do. The first time that they see a brand is they’re gonna go and research that brand. And so whether that happens inside the LinkedIn platform or outside, making sure that, yeah, the company brand profile has all the updated information, it’s accurate, that employees are posting, that leaders are posting.

You know, that they can easily find the information that you would want them to find as they’re researching the brand before they do that first sort of touch point. And you want that to be a good first impression, a good experience.

Tom Nixon (19:38.11)
Yeah. And your numbers show that not only does that support the ad spend, but the lack thereof is really working against the ad spend, isn’t it? If all you’re doing is lead gen related activity and you’re boosting to pay for those, it’s not it’s kind of working against the budget, right? Because none of the brand building at the top of the funnel is going on. Is that what you’re fine? Yeah.

Curtis Hays (20:00.154)
Correct. So I, you know, I’ll say to Brenda’s correct in that LinkedIn is not a platform that like small businesses can easily get into because the cost per click is higher. Um, some of the new thought leadership stuff and some of the top of funnel brand awareness, you can get some similar cost per click CPC numbers as Facebook, the two, three dollars in that range. So there are some ad types that have lower CPCs, but as soon as you get into lead gen.

where we’re talking lead forms and things like that, you anywhere from eight to 20, $30 a click. So, uh, it starts to increase, but some of those same companies, I mean, I have clients that are paying $90 a click in Google. So again, we, we look at, you know, budgets and where opportunities exist and figure out how to allocate spend. But if you don’t at least have. $2,000 a month to spend in advertising on LinkedIn, like if you don’t have at least 2000, you’re not going to.

be able to do really anything at all on LinkedIn, anything. And really a more holistic campaign where you are doing top of funnel activities, middle funnel and bottom of funnel, you know, then you’re 2000, 2000. You really need like 6,000 as a minimum.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (21:12.847)
Yeah. I always found like back in the days when we were doing ads on LinkedIn, it’s not a one month campaign. It’s really, it’s, it’s multiple continuous months at six months to a year. It’s, it’s continuous, but I would agree with you. You said 2000, I’ve always heard like 2000 to 4,000 minimum. And a lot of times I see these ads that are coming from LinkedIn, get a hundred dollars in ads for free on LinkedIn and they’re tar and I feel like they’re targeting those of us who are solo printers and small business owners with that. Cause oh, it’s easy to get in, but you’re really, I mean, use it if you want, but you’re not going to get a whole lot. It’s

Curtis Hays (21:18.532)

Curtis Hays (21:27.654)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (21:42.319)
And I think you can be a small business owner and use LinkedIn effectively, but you can pay for other things like LinkedIn premium, instead of ads. And when your business grows to the point where you have that budget to spend and your ticket items are a little larger, then you reach out to someone like Curtis who can help you with that. Because I think working with an expert, you’re making better use of your money than doing it yourself. Working with somebody like Curtis who knows all the ins and outs, because the marketing solutions platform

It can be very confusing and there’s nuances. And I remember those, there’s nuances of how do you maximize your ad spend and optimize the dollars you’re putting in there. So it’s always better to work with somebody like a Curtis out there.

Tom Nixon (22:23.091)

Curtis Hays (22:23.822)
Well, and Tom, I think what you’re speaking of is the advice that I got from a LinkedIn rep yesterday, which was on thought leadership ads we’re doing for an account right now. It was a post that the CEO posted and the LinkedIn rep was saying, hey, I need all of your employees to go and repost the post. They don’t need to repost with a comment. I don’t need that to actually comment on the post. She just wanted…

everyone to go and repost. So I thought that was interesting. It was sort of thought like, well, wouldn’t you want the engagement metrics on the post itself with the comments and different things? But her advice was no, go and repost it.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (23:06.451)
wonder if that was from a ease and convenience perspective, because I, some, I tend sometimes be, feel like, and I hear this a lot from people when I click on repost, especially if I’m reposting the CEO, what do I say? Cause I don’t want to look silly or stupid or say the wrong thing or have my coworkers go, I can’t believe Brenda said that on this, you know, like a lot of us get insecure when it comes to, uh, showing up to the boss, right? The leader of the company. And I feel like I would rather see someone do a repost than nothing at all.

Curtis Hays (23:18.319)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (23:35.207)
But if you’re more comfortable with posting, I’d rather have you do a repost with your thoughts and add a thoughtful comment. It’s almost like a waiter coming up to you at the restaurant. If you, if three of us were sitting together, still looking at the menu and the waiter put a plate of food down in front of us and we hadn’t ordered, then they walked away without saying anything. We’re like, what’s this for? We don’t do anything. As opposed to, if they put the plate of food and they said, um, you know, Curtis, Tom and Brenda, our chef is trying a new crab stuff, mushroom risotto. Here’s an appetizer.

Tom Nixon (23:54.498)

Curtis Hays (23:54.65)
I’m going to go to bed.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (24:04.547)
Why don’t you try to do this and I’ll be right back to get your orders. This is on the house. And then we’re like, okay, now we know why it was put in front of us. Right. And it’s the same thing with repost. I feel like if we can put the repost with your comments and say, Hey, this is a Tom Nixon, he’s the CEO of my company and he’s such an amazing leader. And check out the post below where he talks about thought leadership on LinkedIn. And

you know, feel free to give Tom a follow while you’re at it. Now I know why it was put in front of me. Now I know why you’re sharing it with me, right?

Tom Nixon (24:35.618)
That’s a good point, Brenda, which it sort of segues into what we really wanted to talk to you about. What’s this employee advocacy brand ambassadorship? It is difficult to get the team to engage even when you know the CEO is looking and potentially judging, right? It’s like we try to make it super simple. You’ll send out a mass email to the entire company. Here’s the link. Just click on it. When you get there, just do three things. If you do nothing else, hit like if you’re going to spend more time than they’re like Curtis mentioned.

you know, enter a thoughtful and then I always put last with your comments. So, now, uh legacy understanding of the party there and now, I hear from Curtis but how do we get or the primal question is, how and do the simple things that

Curtis Hays (25:34.51)
regular basis too, like not, not just every once in a while, but have it be, you know, part of the culture, part of the process, you know, those types of things. Yeah.

Tom Nixon (25:35.422)
on a regular basis.

Tom Nixon (25:43.214)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (25:43.383)
Yeah, that’s a great question. And I think a lot of it starts from the top down, but it also starts by. Let’s let’s get everyone in a room together and let’s talk about this. And let’s clear the air. First of all, we’re, we’re bringing you in the room to educate you on LinkedIn because LinkedIn is a professional networking site. It is not a job search platform. So let’s address elephant in the room. First of all. Right. Well, and even if you open up your LinkedIn app, um, it says.

Tom Nixon (26:02.83)
Okay. So, I was right about that then. That’s still going on. Yeah. Okay. Good.

Curtis Hays (26:05.423)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (26:10.527)
The one of the first keywords in the LinkedIn app is job search or jobs board or something like that. So LinkedIn knows that’s part of their legacy of what they are known for. But if you look at the statistics, people, more people are actually using LinkedIn for brand building, professional networking, visibility, thought leadership, all of these other things. Then are using LinkedIn for job search. So it’s not a job search site. It’s a professional networking site. And I have to like, when I work with.

you know, when I work with teams, I say this multiple times, like your, your president would not have hired me to come on out here and train you on a job search site. We’re here to talk about using it as a professional networking platform. So it’s like, let’s change the way we look at LinkedIn. So now if you’re thinking it’s not a job search site, it’s a professional networking platform, then why did you copy and paste from your resume? Right? So you wouldn’t do that. And a lot of people do that. They put that in their about statement. They put their summary statement from their resume in their about statement.

Season marketing professional with 20 years of experience and blah, blah. And I’ll sometimes will say, well, if you meet someone in a networking event and they say, oh, Tom, I see you work for XYZ company. What do you do there? You wouldn’t say a seasoned marketing professional with 20 years of experience. I’d like you wouldn’t say that. You would say, well, you know, I’m a solopreneur. I specialize in LinkedIn and I help people with X, Y, and Z. Like you would describe what’s your elevator pitch. So let’s start to shift the way we.

Tom Nixon (27:09.898)
That sounds like me.

Tom Nixon (27:19.25)
I’m a seasoned professional with twenty-five.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (27:35.431)
think about using LinkedIn. And then, you know, getting people in the room and kind of like reminding them of that first. And then let’s the leadership team do this. And then let’s train our team on how to do this the right way. And let’s acknowledge them. And for those of you who are parents, you can kind of appreciate if you’re if you tell your kid to do something and they do it, you got to give them an attaboy. You loaded the dishwasher great, sweetie. So they do it again, right? Or you did your homework without me asking you they’ll do it again. And in

Tom Nixon (27:38.182)
Even in, if I could just.

Tom Nixon (28:00.055)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (28:04.667)
Sometimes we can, you know, acknowledge people publicly in a post, you know, great job. Thanks so much for spreading the word, Brenda. Other times we can do it in a team meeting. You know, we’re all talking about what we’re doing for sales and marketing. And by the way, I want to give a shout out to Curtis right now, because Curtis did a really great LinkedIn post last week and he tagged some of his coworkers in and it got a lot of engagement. Um, Curtis, anything you want to share about that? So like, let’s make, let’s make it a thing that we do as a part of our culture.

not just a one-time email that you put out and then keep your fingers crossed and hope that it happens.

Tom Nixon (28:37.558)
Yeah, that’s great. You mentioned earlier about not copying and pasting the resume. So, even we don’t have to go through the entire profile chapter in verse, but that first headline that appears underneath your name and photo everywhere you go on LinkedIn, whether you comment or something, it’s probably should say something other than CEO at Cementrix or whatever. You know, it’s like, okay, who do you help and how do you do it? You know, mine starts out. I help thought leaders turn their expertise into

content, something like that. I don’t even know. But that’s there everywhere.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (29:08.755)
Yeah. I always tell people in this, this might be like a mind blowing kind of a thing, but your LinkedIn profile is not really about you. Your headline is not really about you. Your about statement is not really about you. It’s about you as it relates to how can you connect with and help your ideal target audience. So when you think about it that way, don’t just put CEO at company, why not use a brand tagline? You know, your choice for community lending in Macomb County. Like, why don’t we use something like that instead that speaks to.

your ideal target audience, so that the people you’re trying to reach and connect with, because to your point, Tom, your headline does follow you around. It appears in search results, at least 40 to 60 characters. It appears when you post, it appears when you comment, it appears when you reply. And your headline can be used to bring people back to your profile. So they see something intriguing in there. Instead of seeing marketing consultant at Miller Marketing, it says, want a bigger slice of the LinkedIn pie? Well, that sounds interesting. What’s that?

And then they click to come back to your profile. And now they’re more open and receptive to learning about your business. So yeah, it can definitely be a technique to do that.

Curtis Hays (30:12.558)
Tom, I need your help.

Tom Nixon (30:12.626)
Absolutely. On what? The suit? Okay, gotcha, gotcha. I thought we’re talking wardrobe. Freebie for you, buddy. But interesting because here’s I’m paying you back because Curtis, some of the things that you’re doing now on the

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (30:14.775)

Curtis Hays (30:15.61)
You’re going to have to rewrite mine. Let’s, let’s, let’s meet afterwards. Let me know how much it’s going to cost.

Tom Nixon (30:32.622)
the paid platforms, right? It started to influence and it should, kind of how I’m approaching. I’ll tell you what my takeaway is from conversations I’ve had with both of you. And I’m going to maybe change how I advise in council clients to share brand content on LinkedIn. So they always wanna make sure that their brand company is up to date. And so yes, we will still post things to your company page. What I’d rather do though, is I’d rather do the exact same thing, but have the CEO or some other thought leader post it.

Because I know for one, that’s not going to automatically trigger the algorithm subordination because it’s a brand page, right? So now it’s a person. It’s more authentic because going back to think about the people in your feed, it’s a real person with a real face and a real title and a real, real expertise that is quote unquote, helpful, sharing helpful comments or content. All of that should sound familiar. Um, and then because if I do want to promote that post, I couldn’t do that in the past, right? I can promote.

and boost the company post. But now because of all these thought leader in this other, like you said, two degrees of separation, you could promote that with the individual content. Now the world is really my oyster, both from an organic and from a paid standpoint. So either of you have any recommendations to avoid that, uh, my new found strategy.

Curtis Hays (31:35.302)

Curtis Hays (31:47.91)
Brenda, any thoughts from you?

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (31:49.759)
I’m sorry, what was the question? Any recommendations to avoid?

Tom Nixon (31:55.866)
I’m going to focus more on the thought leaders in the company as opposed to the company LinkedIn page. You know, no one gets really overly inspired by a logo.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (32:06.735)
Yeah. So I think you, I like to think about the ripple effect, you know, and you certainly want to focus on the people that have large network, large presence, the people that are, you know, people are seeking them out and finding them on LinkedIn, but that’s one person. And let’s say your company has 30 employees or a hundred employees or 3,000 employees. You know, what if we were to empower all of them as brand ambassadors for our company to get more active?

And I like to think about employee engagement in LinkedIn. It’s kind of like a bell curve. You know, most people are kind of somewhere in the middle. You got your superstars on the high end of the spectrum that are going to do everything and everything, and they’re going to go above and beyond. And then you’ve got your people on the, on the low end of the bell curve who are maybe not even active on LinkedIn and won’t do anything, even if you show them how are too busy, you know, apprehensive about social media, but if we can focus on the people in the middle and maybe the high end of that bell curve who will lean in.

If we can give them instructions on what to do, how to do it, and why it’s important, you know, we can really start that ripple effect so that, you know, in addition to if you were doing those thought leadership ads in addition to that organically, just think about the amount of reach that you could get through the platform, right?

Tom Nixon (33:16.334)
Right. Yep, exactly.

Curtis Hays (33:19.03)
What comes to mind, Tom, for me and what you said is, so if I were to think about it from, I guess, the user’s perspective, if content comes from the brand page, it’s like where did that content really come from? You’re not, you know, they could have been an intern, could have been just, you know, the social media manager. So you, maybe you’re questioning in the back of your mind the authenticity of the content and glossing over it.

Tom Nixon (33:34.914)

Tom Nixon (33:44.546)
For the value.

Curtis Hays (33:45.878)
Or the value, correct. But when it comes from somebody who is a thought leader, who has a significant background, whose profile does really matter on the platform and is posting thoughtful content, your likelihood to read and engage with that content now increases, right? So, again, that’s why I said, I’m not happy about the data I’m seeing in the platform, but I understand the shift that LinkedIn has made

because I do feel like creating an environment that is more authentic is a good direction to go in.

Tom Nixon (34:25.202)
Yeah, absolutely. Alright. Well, Brenda, this has been awesome. Before we let you go, we want to remind people to go link in with Brenda Miller. Obviously, that’s the most obvious thing to do is to link in with a LinkedIn coach, right? Um and when you do that, you’ll see in her headline, um an additional link that LinkedIn allows you to provide yours is to this bevy of checklists that I just want to hit some of the high notes. These are great. So, these are free for people to download. Um

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (34:48.489)

Tom Nixon (34:53.47)
If you’re looking for a job but quietly wanna look for a job on LinkedIn, you have a tip sheet for that. Um, the company page 2024 checklist speakers or aspiring speakers, your checklist, uh, podcasters, Curtis, this is one for you. Um, authors, there’s one for me and coaches and consultants. Just the list goes on and on. They’re all of these free checklists. Um, I’m sure you’re giving these away. Um, all they gotta do is share an email address or whatever to, so you can email to them.

Curtis Hays (35:07.715)

Tom Nixon (35:26.269)
What else can we do to enlist your services or lead into your expertise?

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (35:32.159)
Absolutely. And, and, you know, I do work with people one-on-one. So I work with people in a one-on-one power hour session. A lot of people will say it’s kind of like drinking from a fire hose. I try to really get a lot of great insights in there, but I tailor the tips to those of you, you know, to your specific questions that you’re looking for. And I do team training both virtually and in person. Now that we’re really back to the in-person, you know, there’s just something to be said, but being able to walk around the room and point over people’s shoulders and show them how to upload.

graphic in there or show them where to click on different things that are being done there. And I do some online courses. I’ve got a book called Social Media Pie, How to Enjoy a Bigger Slice of LinkedIn. But above all, I always tell people, you know, LinkedIn is pretty much a self-service platform. So if you ever get stuck on something on LinkedIn, feel free to message me and I either will know the answer or I have a connected network of

of LinkedIn trainers and coaches across the world. And we, we share notes and we’ll ask questions of each other. And then we’ll share that back. And there’s some, you know, newer things that are happening on LinkedIn. These days, one thing that’s just rolled out this week, LinkedIn is now going to give pages the ability to have a premium membership company pages. So that’s like just rolling out. I don’t even think I have it on my profile yet. Another newer feature that LinkedIn is testing right now on the mobile app.

And if you haven’t downloaded the latest mobile app, make sure you get the latest one uploaded. Um, there’s a videos tab in there now, which is very much tick tock. Like, you know, you can scroll through and look at videos. Um, I’m a beta tester and I submitted one video. And in the beginning, I was seeing a lot of really overly produced, you know, highly, uh, produced, uh, video messages that were in there. A lot of advertisers that were going, now I’m starting to see real people, like real videos in there.

Jury’s out, my inclination is I feel like LinkedIn is trying to be like TikTok. And I wish LinkedIn were just try to be more like LinkedIn. If that makes sense.

Tom Nixon (37:28.306)
Yeah. Well, for sure. I mean, Facebook’s doing the same thing with their reels and Twitter’s doing the same. Yeah.

Curtis Hays (37:28.942)

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (37:31.751)

Curtis Hays (37:32.642)
Yeah, everybody’s got shorts and we’ve been posting lots of shorts from our, you know, podcast series on LinkedIn and yeah.

Tom Nixon (37:39.134)
Yeah. But now I see I saw your ears perk up. So we’re going to have to explore the videos to have. Alright.

Curtis Hays (37:42.098)
I know, I’m going to have to check this out.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (37:42.611)
But I think it’s still in beta test right now. Um, and I think everybody has it if I’m not mistaken, but it’s on the bottom of your phone. I don’t know if you can see in the bottom of mine, let me get a little bit closer to the screen. There’s a video tab in there now. So that’s where you see it. And then when you click on it, you know, it will just start to play videos.

Curtis Hays (37:54.982)
Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Tom Nixon (38:05.826)
Oh, okay. Oh, just like TikTok. Not that I would know. Well, thank you.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (38:07.515)
It’s very much like that. So now they did tell the beta testers don’t talk about this, you know, and I didn’t sign anything before they asked me to be a beta tester, so I’m talking about.

Curtis Hays (38:08.79)
Yeah. Your Instagram reels.

Tom Nixon (38:13.678)

Tom Nixon (38:18.762)
Okay. Well, thank you so much for talking about everything today and if you want to learn more about Brenda and what she does, check out Mellermarketing.com. Curtis, it sounds like the two of you, the two of us rather have a fee structure to work out in terms of getting your profile right. Right.

Curtis Hays (38:33.67)
We do. We do. It is Friday, it’s payday, so.

Tom Nixon (38:37.806)
That’s true. Yeah, for some of us. Yeah, some of us are doing the paying and some of us are getting paid. Alright, cool. Well, we have bills to pay. So, we’re gonna let you go Brenda come back again if you want when there’s significant updates and share them with our audience. I know they’d love to hear it.

Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (38:38.783)
There you go.

Curtis Hays (38:40.326)


Brenda Meller, LinkedIn Coach (38:52.607)
Absolutely. Thanks guys so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Tom Nixon (38:55.23)
Alright, until then, we’ll keep cranking out the bull horns and bulls eyes. See you next time.

Listen anywhere:

We’d love to hear from you! podcasts@collideascope.co

Additional episodes:

Episode 20 Tom Curtis

Episode 20: Tricks of the Trade

In this very special episode of Bullhorns and Bullseyes, Curtis and Tom take turns sharing their personal “secrets” of their own particular crafts — Tom in content development and Curtis in lead-gen and analytics.

Terry Bean

Episode 18: Understanding Behaviors of the Target Customer

Curtis Hays and Tom Nixon interview Terry Bean about the concept of behavior and its various applications to marketing and messaging.

Jay Harrington

Episode 8: Mastering LinkedIn

In this podcast crossover event, Tom & Jay also separately co-host the Thought Leadership Project podcast, Curtis & they discuss tips for publishing thought leadership & content marketing on LinkedIn.

Get In Touch

Ready to take the next step? We'd love to hear from you. Whether you're interested in learning more about our services, want to collaborate on a project, or have a general inquiry, fill out the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Don't hesitate to reach out - we're here to help.