Questions and topics we covered include:
- How to grow a blog from 0 to 1 million readers in 2022.
- Why Saarim chooses LinkedIn as his area of expertise.
- The common mistakes people make when trying to promote themselves on LinkedIn.
- The best content format for LinkedIn.
- What makes LinkedIn different from Instagram in terms of client acquisition?
- How do you design a LinkedIn profile to attract clients?
- What are the 3 principles for getting clients on LinkedIn? (Traffic, Content, & Relationships)
- How to create an actionable content strategy for LinkedIn in 2022.
- What kind of content attracts buyers the best on LinkedIn?
Full Episode Transcript:
Kenny Soto 0:01
Hello everyone. Welcome to the people digital marketing with your host Kenny Soto and today’s guest Saara Masada Hi, sir, I’m how are you?
Saarim Asady 0:13
Hey, Kenny. I’m doing great, man. Thank you for having me. I’m really excited to be on this podcast.
Kenny Soto 0:17
Yeah. So I’m excited to have you on as well, you’re calling in from Colombia. And from what I know about you, you have a very interesting career. And I want to start off by talking about that career before we dive into your area of expertise. Because I know there’s a lot to talk about there. So let’s first get into how did you get into digital marketing in the first place?
Saarim Asady 0:38
That’s a great question. So I originally got into digital marketing at my university, and I was doing a master’s program was doing a master’s in business with a focus on entrepreneurship. And instead of doing a thesis, what we had to do is we had to create a business and the business had to generate almost at least just $1, right, show that you had some and you couldn’t do eBay or anything like that.
So I started just thinking of ideas. And like, I was going, like, I want, I tried and failed so many things that I realized was like, Oh, I, I realized that you know, blogs could be something cool. So I, you know, ads on the sides of blogs. So I looked at those and was like, Oh, well, on average, they’ll pay you like $1 for every 1000 views.
So I was like, Okay, well, I can definitely get 1000 views on an article if I know, push it enough, and stuff like that. So it’s like, okay, cool. So I originally started this blog, and obviously graduated, and got 2000 views. And then long story short, I ended up growing that blog to a million readers in six months. So I just stuck with it after I graduated. And that was my first entry point into the world of digital marketing.
Kenny Soto 1:39
What was the name of the blog?
Saarim Asady 1:41
It’s still going it’s influenced digest.com, we’re still running it. Actually, I’m more of a backseat operator. Now, I’m not doing much I’m still you know, I’m focusing more on the whole LinkedIn thing. But yeah, the blog, we’re still pumping out content, it’s still so fully, fully alive and functional.
Kenny Soto 1:54
Before we even get into LinkedIn, I think this is a great segue. I’ve talked to guests on my podcast about blogs and blogs, certainly, still, work. But I feel like how to grow definitely has changed. If you had to grow a blog from zero. Today, how would you go about doing that?
Saarim Asady 2:15
That is a great question. If you want to grow a blog from zero, you need to. It’s a great question. So honestly, I would say just find a topic that you’re actually passionate about and can stick with. But then also you would need to monetize it in a certain way. And what I mean by that is, like a blog is just a blog, right? At the end of the day, it’s not going to do anything for you unless you have some form of direction toward it.
So one of the mistakes I made early on is that I just started creating articles about anything and everything. But when I started getting my focus in which I when I’ve started narrowing down, okay, this blog, send me about fitness and productivity, which is kind of the two angles that I took it. And I started creating, you know, posts based on what other people wanted. I can’t tell you how quickly the results came.
And when I talked about results and talking about like, brands reaching out to me saying, Hey, can we feature on your blog, we’re, you know, we’re cutting deals, everything like that. So the fastest way to answer your question more succinctly, the fastest way to grow it with a blog and get the best results is to learn SEO, and master it because you can pump articles out all day every day, and not get any results. So you have to learn SEO.
And you don’t need to, like invest in any expensive programs, you can go on udemy.com Buy, like buy a course on SEO, and just start that’s what I did at the very beginning. So learn SEO, pick one topic that you actually like, and just tie your skills of what you’re talking about to the SEO. And I’m telling you, you will get a lot of viewers and it’ll happen quicker than you think.
Kenny Soto 3:40
Okay, when it comes to LinkedIn, why did you choose that channel among all the others ones to become an expert in that field?
Saarim Asady 3:50
Honestly, by accident, so they’d love to give you the story. So while after I was running this blog for a while, and word got out, like Oh, this guy grew a blog, like a million readers in six months, everyone thought I was like this, like, cool wizard. But even on the back end, I wasn’t making much money. So what happened was, I started getting hired by universities across Canada to start giving lectures on digital marketing and SEO.
And that was awesome. And what happened was, after one of my lectures, I got a call from someone. And he said, Hey, look, I’m a professor. And I’m also a consultant on the side. And I hear you’re the digital marketing guy. I was like, Sure, how can I help you? And he said, Look, I’m trying to get more clients from my business. Do you think you can help me out? And at the time, this was like, way back in 2016. I was like, Ah, maybe but I don’t think SEO is gonna help. Usually not at all. I want to get clients, like what do you think I was like? Well, I’ll try LinkedIn.
He said, Well, do you know anything about LinkedIn? And I was like, No, honestly, I don’t and he’s like, okay, you know what, I’ll take a chance on you. He’s like, I’m going to transfer you some money right now. Just so you know, we were in business together. So he transferred me some money, a couple of grand, which was fantastic. And he’s like, let’s get started. He’s like, Look if this thing hole is this hole, thing fails. All good man. I took the risk.
This was just on me. So I was like, okay, cool. So I built out this whole marketing system for him on LinkedIn. I was like, okay, just, you know, be with my knowledge of marketing at the time. I was like, let me just try this. So I’ve put it out. And I was like, okay, so I handed it to him. And I said, Hey, man, here is your marketing system. Let’s hope this works. A few weeks later, he calls me and he’s like, whatever you did at work, I just closed the $50,000 deal. And I was like, I was more surprised than him.
I was like, what? Work? He was like, Yeah, I don’t work. So I was like, Oh, okay. And then he started referring to me to other people. I have this LinkedIn wizard guy, and I was like, Whoa, dude, like, you’re my first ever client with LinkedIn. But thanks for taking the chance on me. And he started referring me to more and more and more people. And that’s kind of how I grew my marketing agency. And I ran an agency for almost four years before I transitioned into the coaching programs that we’re doing now.
Kenny Soto 5:53
Before we get into the exact best practices for growing on LinkedIn, I want to take a step back. And this is vague for a reason because I know that you see it every day, right? What are the mistakes that are people that people are making right now when it comes to promoting themselves on LinkedIn.
Saarim Asady 6:09
They’re not giving value. They’re just trying to, they’re just trying to take, they’re just trying to, you know, do whatever they can do to get a client. But that’s not the right mindset to go into it. Right? The biggest mistake I hear is, I always ask people, like, you have so much knowledge in your brain, like, why are you not sharing that? They’re like, Oh, well, like, that’s what the buyers you don’t want the binding, I don’t know, doesn’t work like that.
You have to give it all away. You have to give every piece of life knowing you can get away. And I’m telling you, that is how you attract more clients. So really, the biggest mistake is, yeah, we could talk about systems processes, having a funnel, all that kind of stuff. And it’s true, that’s very important. But on a high level on a real What is it really boiled down to, it’s like you just got to give before you can receive.
Kenny Soto 6:55
Are there any other mistakes that you think are notable?
Saarim Asady 6:59
Yeah, treating LinkedIn like it’s like, like, it’s Facebook or Instagram. And each of these platforms is different, and they need to be treated differently. So for example, also a lot of people just repost their TikTok, you know, post their big TikTok videos on LinkedIn, and nobody engages with them, where I’ve noticed that the audiences are way less tick.
Well, it’s very obvious because people consume content differently on every platform. So you have to create content specific for each platform. So that is one of the biggest mistakes that I also see people make.
Kenny Soto 7:30
This is a trick question because it depends, but I want to get your opinion, what’s the best content format for LinkedIn video image copy?
Saarim Asady 7:41
That is a bit of a trick question. But I would say you shouldn’t just do one all the time, you should have a blend. And a decent blend to me would be 70%, copy written 30% video. And if you can have that nice blend, you’ll be able to get way better results. If you’re just doing a video, you’re just doing a copy. Like it’s so bad, but it’s just like to answer your question, what will get you better results, it would be a blend of those two.
Kenny Soto 8:08
And when it comes to your LinkedIn profile, what are some of the most important things that someone should consider when they’re building and or optimizing their profile? Great question.
Saarim Asady 8:17
Your LinkedIn profile needs to be you need to treat like a landing page. What is a landing page, a landing page is a direct point to take you from somewhere. So if your LinkedIn profile is just like, a description of who you are, how awesome you are, and your background and the school you went to and all that, that’s not good.
What it needs to be is, you know, people are looking at your profile thinking, how can you help me what’s in it for me, so direct them somewhere? So that could be like, Hey, I have a free ebook. I have free training, I have something for you to just check out. It’s like when you go to an ice cream parlor, right? What do they you know, what do they do to bring you in, they give you a little taste of the ice cream, a little sample for free, test it out, try it out.
So you should have that same you should think of your LinkedIn profile as a storefront to write to people give something to people, give them something for free, give them something so that they can essentially try it out. And if they like it, then they can move forward. So again, to answer your question, bring it back more succinctly and have something to give when people come on. Otherwise, they’ll just bounce to the next profile.
Kenny Soto 9:17
My next question comes from one of my favorite posts that you shared on LinkedIn recently. What are the three principles of getting clients on LinkedIn?
Saarim Asady 9:26
Well, this is my favorite thing to talk about. There are three key principles to getting clients online and they are traffic content and relationships. All marketing from the history of time I’m talking about from each and Babylonian times breaks down to these three things. Right now what they are as traffic basically means that you need to be bringing new buyers into your network on a daily basis.
Right, you need to find this and think about every single business that exists on this earth. You need to find the buyers that’s the traffic whether you’re a coffee shop in the middle of down Tell Manhattan, you need that foot traffic, whether you are an online e-commerce Store, you need the traffic, whether you’re an online court coach, whatever you need the traffic, that’s number one, you need to grab those buyers, and make sure that they are seeing you on a daily basis.
Number two is content the purpose of content is to build trust and authority, right? Get these people to understand that, hey, you are someone who knows what they’re talking about, you are someone who could help solve their problems, whether that problem be to make more money or, you know, suffice their caffeine desire at that moment, literally, whatever, that’s what content is. And number three is relationships.
You need to be able to engage with those people that show interest in your services. So those are what I call those three pillars of online marketing and just marketing in general. And if you can just build a marketing system off those three specific pillars, you will always always be in business.
Kenny Soto 10:50
Now let’s tie it back to content for a second, because, as you mentioned, giving away the stuff that you know, for free definitely helps. So when it comes to approaching content, regardless of the format, what are some pieces of advice you would give to someone who’s trying to create a content strategy for LinkedIn this year?
Saarim Asady 11:11
That’s a great question. I would say to have fun, right? And that is something that’s really, really important. Is it similar to what I was just saying with the landing page, your content, if you’re just creating awesome content, given all the free value, like we just talked about? That’s cool, but you’re just creating awareness, right? It’s kind of like those Coca-Cola signs, you see, right? Sure. But Coco is a billion-dollar brand. And the whole world knows Coca-Cola. So they can just create ads for awareness. But you know, you and I can’t right now, right? We don’t have brands as big as coke quotes.
So you need to be able to direct them somewhere, direct them, right? So whether that, again, be free training, video, ebook, even a free one-on-one consultation, or just as an opportunity for them to message you, give them some form of direction, right? When someone reads your content, give them the next step every step of the way, you should be leading them like, Hey, here’s my content.
Oh, you want to learn more? Here’s a free ebook. Oh, hey, hear you want to learn more? schedule a call with me? Oh, hey, you want to learn more? Here are my services. Oh, you want to learn more? Let’s be right. So every step of the way, you’re leading someone somewhere. And that is what you need for a good content strategy.
Kenny Soto 12:16
This is for the listener, but also for anyone else who might be planning to start their own business. And they want to know, like, what’s the business case for LinkedIn? What is the earning potential for business owners to get clients on LinkedIn?
Saarim Asady 12:31
That is a good question. So the earning potential I will always like to say Unlimited, but it really, really is unlimited. Like, I can’t explain to you how much of a blue ocean open field, LinkedIn is. And I always preach that the whole world is fighting for crumbs on Instagram right now. Right? It’s one of the most fiercely competitive online spaces to get clients or, you know, make sales for your business.
And on LinkedIn, there are more buyers than sellers. I don’t know what that is right now. But I remember a year ago, there were 550 million users on LinkedIn, and only 3 million posts of content going up per day. Think about that. They’re like, That is insane. It might be different now a little more, but I don’t think it’s caught up that much.
Right? Like, whereas on Instagram, it’s just like that ratio is way more skewed in the favor of like the other side, right? So just logically thinking about the fact that there are way more users just scrolling and looking than there are content producers. It isn’t a blue ocean for you to take over.
And I’m talking about pretty much anything that’s a slightly high ticket you can sell. Now, with that being said, there are some caveats if you’re selling just a book, or you’re selling a low ticket item as you know, an E-commerce like something, I actually wouldn’t advise LinkedIn. LinkedIn is more for the higher-spending consumers. So if you have a product over $500 Oh, yeah, you can dominate LinkedIn.
Kenny Soto 14:05
How do you keep your clients I know that we’ve been talking about acquisition, but I haven’t asked any of my previous guests about customer retention. So let’s say you get your client off. You get your clients to and give me on LinkedIn, how do you sustain that customer relationship?
Saarim Asady 14:23
Great question. So the simple answer here is results just get them the results that you promised them right there so I honestly think that it’s so you know, people I’m maybe I bite my tongue for this down the road, but I think it’s so easy to do business sometimes because all you really need to do is just get the clients or the results you promised them. Right when people sign on with you.
They have expectations now, yeah, if you just if you’re just in it for the money, sure, make your sale and walk away and you know, your business will collapse on its own. But if you can just deliver your clients the results they want and have ongoing support. They will stay with They will refer you. And like one of the easiest ways to tell if your business is in the right direction or not is how many referrals are you actually getting from your clients.
Right. And, to me, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate every time a client gives me a referral, because not only is that a sale, sure, but what’s more important to me is you trusted me enough to know too, then you are happy enough with the results that you got for me, that you were referring me to someone else. And that to me is like, you know, I can’t like I just all my gratitude is there.
So again, to bring it back to answer your question is just to get your client’s results. And if you can’t get your clients the results that you know, you promise them from the beginning, don’t, don’t be so hard on yourself, just continue offering your service, but go and focus on improving your product. Because a good product and a good service will always win in the end.
Kenny Soto 15:54
Let’s take another scenario, when do you know it’s the right time to end a relationship with a client?
Saarim Asady 16:01
Oh, that’s a good one. That’s a good one. I would say when things start to get between the outside of the lines of being professional, right now, there are two ways to end a relationship with a client one is if you fundamentally don’t believe you can get this person results and you thought they would let it end, right better to move on, like, work out an agreement, whatever that might be. Get, make sure both parties are happy and ended.
But let’s say that they are. It’s not, it’s affecting you negatively. And, you know, I call these vampire clients the ones that suck your energy out, right? That just makes you like, not appreciate your work anymore, and not be excited about work. And I’m telling you if you see those people run, run for the hills, right? So I would say that, if the better you get at it, the more you’ll be able to actually avoid it. Right, the more you’ll be able to actually, like when I first started. I’m not gonna say names.
But yeah, I took on a few vampire clients. And it was tough. It was tough. And it took a lot of courage. Because, you know, the, you know, it becomes almost a psychological mind game where, you know, these people are paying you money, but they’re taking advantage of you and stuff like that. So you got to be very careful.
But one and I think maybe everybody, every entrepreneur might need a vampire Klenner in their life because it’ll, it’ll, it’ll teach you a lot about how to handle clients, how to be professional, but now I’ve where I’m at now, if that happens to me, I’m very quick to end the relationship to me. It’s not about the money.
It’s about, you know, building a business building and making an impact. And if I can’t make an impact in your life, whether that be due to my performance, or whether that be due to you know, our incompatibility, finish it always just take the high road always.
Kenny Soto 17:47
Sorry, where do you go to learn more about digital marketing?
Saarim Asady 17:52
Be personally? Yeah. Well, I invest in a lot of coaches, I really, really do. Like, I think learning from people is one of the most important things. And I really live by the quote always that every man is your superior. Right? And that means that you can learn something from everyone, right? I, you know, people will say, Oh, and learn from people who are ahead of you. Sure, that’s fair, I respect that.
But you can learn something from literally anyone, you can learn something from someone who’s just sitting on the street, they know a lot about life, you know, that you might not know. So I really recommend just keeping an open mind. And one tactic that I do very practical tactic that I do that really has helped me a lot in digital marketing, is I have an online conversation with myself, like, I just have like a WhatsApp chat with myself.
And whenever somebody says something, an idea hits me, I learned something, I just write it down, I write it down, or I just Voice Note it to myself. And then I come back and I learn and I learned so that’s one thing I do. And then again, coaches and books, I sometimes don’t have time to sit down and read a book all the time.
So thank God for Audible is not a sponsored post by any means. But really, really Audible has been awesome. Just read books, listen to what people recommend, you know, Daniel, who we both know recommended me a few books, and like they’ve just been a pretty breakthrough for me. So I read definitely say get a coach, someone who can keep you accountable, read books, and always have an open mind and believe that every man, including woman, is your superior.
Kenny Soto 19:18
You might be, I think, like the 12th guest on the show. That’s also mentioned, getting a coach or getting a mentor is like a secret hack. And it’s not that difficult. You just have to reach out to people to see who’s available, have some kind of way to like, have like a reciprocal relationship with them, and just be given to a kind of just be take, take you to have to give something in return. But there are definitely a lot of marketers out there who would love to mentor anyone who’s trying to learn.
Saarim Asady 19:47
For sure. Absolutely. It was one of my best friends at the time. He was just so much smarter than me. He knew so much about digital marketing and like I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him truly like he took my hand taught me how to close sales calls, taught me how to create content taught me how to like make like, basically run an online business.
And for me to figure that out all on my own woof. I don’t know, I like learning how to write. I really don’t know where I’d be like, maybe an extra 25 years behind the series. And so having a mentor can be like it beyond the arc. It’s, it’s, I would say it’s necessary. It’s yeah, it’s like, you wouldn’t go to school if you like to think about our lives, right? Like learning English, you know, math, everything. You wouldn’t just sit at home and be like, Alright, I’m gonna figure out my multiplication tables in my own year.
Kenny Soto 20:33
Yeah, absolutely. And I got into digital marketing because of my mentor. So Oh, yeah, there you go. I could definitely attest to that. Sorry. My last question for you is hypothetical because time machines don’t exist. But if they did, and you’d go back in time, knowing everything you know, today, about 10 years into the past, how would you accelerate the speed of your career?
Saarim Asady 20:53
Or accelerate the speed of my career? In three words, post more content. Really, I want to give you something practical, not just saying, you know, go hard, keep working, stay consistent. All that stuff’s true. But if you just started today and posted the content every single day and never stopped, your wildest dreams would come true.
Kenny Soto 21:17
That’s a beautiful note to end on. Sauron. If anyone wants to say hello to you online, where can they find you?
Saarim Asady 21:23
I just go to my LinkedIn profile. And you can always send me a message, add me as a connection and just say, Hey, I heard your podcast with Kenny was awesome. Again, it’s just one of my links go to LinkedIn and type in Sauron Sadie S A R I M, last name Assadi. As ad why you’ll find me it’s a big, you know, I have a big smile and Bob blue background behind me and you’ll find it but that’s how you can get in touch with me
Kenny Soto 21:45
Perfect. And we’ll put your URL to the profile in the show notes. And again, thank you for your time today. And thank you to your listener for listening to another episode of people’s digital marketing. And if you have the time, please rate us on Apple podcasts and have a good day.