SuccessQuest Podcast

Going Viral on LinkedIn with AJ Wilcox of B2Linked
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Going Viral on LinkedIn with AJ Wilcox of B2Linked

Show Notes

Going Viral on LinkedIn Aj Wilcox SuccessQuest

Jacob talks with LinkedIn Ads expert AJ Wilcox. They talk about college, taking risks, growing and scaling a business, entrepreneurship, and how to be successful on LinkedIn. 

AJ’s Story

  • LinkedIn - A Professional social network
  • LinkedIn tends to be a safer social network because people’s comments are tied to their professional profile. 
  • AJ came from a conservative family and never thought he would be an entrepreneur. 
  • He has technical experience and got a degree in Marketing. 
  • After getting laid off from a job, he started thinking about creating his own company. 
  • He took the leap and decided to start his company. 
  • B2Linked has now been in business for over 5 years. 

Is College Worth it? 

  • You don’t necessarily need a degree to excel. 
  • If AJ were to do it again he would get a degree in information systems. 
  • Find a marketable major!
  • College can be good for more than just the classes and course material. 

Taking Risks

  • Prayer! When trying to make big decisions in life, it can help to be grounded in prayer and spirituality.
  • It’s not easy. But it’s worth it. 
  • The first 5 months were some of the hardest times of AJ’s life. 

Growth, Scaling, and Hiring

  • B2Linked has grown a lot and now has 6 employees.
  • You can do everything on your own, but you will spread yourself thin. Eventually you need to scale. 
  • AJ made the mistake of hiring two 20-hour a week interns instead of one 40-hour a week employee. 
  • It’s scary to hire people because it’s such a large expense. 
  • It’s great to support other people and their families.

Entrepreneurship Advice

  1. Invest as much time as possible in things that don’t bring immediate revenue.
  2. Don’t be afraid to work for someone else and be trained in a skill. 
  3. Become the best at something.

About LinkedIn tips, tricks and strategies

  • LinkedIn is the easiest network in the world to go viral on. 
  • Everyone that likes, comments, or share’s your post expands the network that can see it. 
  • While LinkedIn isn’t as big as Facebook, the demographic of people that are on the platform are more affluent and decision makers. 

LinkedIn tips, tricks and strategies

  • Complete your profile! 
  • Professional photo that’s tight around your face.
  • A Headline that lets people know the value you provide. 
  • Fill out your about section!
  • Send customized, authentic connection requests.
  • Be active on LinkedIn!
  • Like, comment, and share posts from people you like, know and trust. 
  • Post often.
  • Make real connections with people!
  • LinkedIn ads can be expensive. The average cost/click is $6-9.
  • LinkedIn ads are good for big lifetime value products. For example, if a sale brings $15,000 or more over its lifetime, LinkedIn may be a great platform to post ads on. 

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Full Transcript

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting issues.)

Jacob Harmon  0:11  
Hello, and welcome back to another episode of success quest. I'm Jacob Harmon. And this week we have another interview for you. And this one's really, really good. It's also a little bit long, so we're going to just get right into it. All right. Well, today I am here with AJ Wilcox. And he is a LinkedIn expert. He owns a company called be to linked. Did I get that right?

AJ Wilcox  0:37  
That's right.

Jacob Harmon  0:38  
Okay, good. And they are they basically specialize in LinkedIn ads and being able to use LinkedIn as a tool to, to help help businesses. And I'm really excited about this interview. I was just telling AJ, before we started that I'm excited because I want to learn how to use LinkedIn better. Personally, I think I'm going to learn as much from this episode as any anyone who is listening to this podcast, I'm super excited to have you, AJ, how are you doing today?

AJ Wilcox  1:04  
I'm doing awesome. I'm so glad that you're ready to learn because LinkedIn is one of my favorite topics on the planet. Everyone else thinks it's the most boring of all the social networks. But that might make me a really boring person. I just love it.

Jacob Harmon  1:17  
Well, I've been enjoying it too. And I'm, I'm more recently getting into LinkedIn. I have other social network profiles. I have Facebook and Instagram. But recently, especially once we started this success quest business, and in podcast, I've really started exploring LinkedIn. And so far, I've really enjoyed it. I I see a lot less hostility on LinkedIn. I don't know if that's an industry wide thing. Or maybe I'm just getting good connections. I don't know what that is, but seems like a much nicer platform.

AJ Wilcox  1:44  
Yeah, it's really interesting how people deal with it, because there will be snarky ness. Like you'll get people who publicly call you out and that kind of thing. But it's really kept to a minimum, because this is, you know, any action you take is tied to your professional career self. And that's an image, you usually want to keep pretty clean, just so if you're ever interviewing for something, they don't look and be like, hey, it looks like you were a jerk to this guy. But yeah, it's tends to be a network that stays a lot cleaner than YouTube comments.

Jacob Harmon  2:13  
Yeah, yeah. And I've really been enjoying that. Before we dig a little bit more into LinkedIn. Let's first talk a little bit about you, AJ, how did you get to this point where you're at right now? I mean, this is a success question. We talked about a journey to success. And we we really think that that journey is is really interesting. And so how did you get where you are? Kind of What's your story?

AJ Wilcox  2:37  
Yeah, so my story is, I'm probably the least likely entrepreneur I've ever I've ever met. The reason why is I come from a very conservative family, you know, my dad's worked for a bank for 30 years. And, you know, you know, how bankers are super risk averse. And, you know, he held a job, pretty much like worked at two companies his whole career. And that's kind of what I thought, like, I thought I was just going to go and work for for a company worked my way up, you know, manager, director, VP, BC level somewhere, go and work for the five fortune 500 build my resume. That was just kind of what I expected. I went to college at BYU. I think you also went, I do it as well. Yeah. Sweet. So anyway, same school, I was working on campus doing a technical support job with like Internet connections and, and servers, you know, very technical. And I was studying marketing, I knew I wanted to do marketing. But at the time, I was so worried that like, what happens when I graduate, who was going to hire me doing marketing, if all I know is technical. And that sounds really funny now, because marketing is so technical. But that was the fears of a college student. And one of my college professors brought in a guest lecturer who talked about search engine optimization. And as he was talking, I went, bingo, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is technical plus marketing. And so I went up after class and beg this poor man for an internship. Long story short, I learned about search engine optimization and about Google advertising, and about building websites. And that started my love. This is 12 years ago, started my love of digital marketing. And then about seven years ago, I was working for a local SAS tech startup. And I started running LinkedIn ads early on, and they were just killing it. I mean, putting every other platform to shame, the lead quality was so much higher. And long story short, I grew that to become LinkedIn largest spending account worldwide, and started kind of getting this this inkling about, you know, I've never been an entrepreneur before starting my own business. But what would happen if, you know, I found this skill, that I seem to be the only one in the world who's talking about it, maybe I should go and start a specialty agency. And as it happens, I ended up getting laid off from that company. And so it became very real. It was like, you know, I've got a wife of three kids with one on the way home and I had to go home and tell her that I didn't have a job anymore.

Jacob Harmon  5:11  
And it's scary.

AJ Wilcox  5:12  
Yeah, yes. terrifying. And, you know, I went to her and said, I've got this idea. I think I could start an agency that's just focused on just LinkedIn ads. And she was like, that sounds exciting. But could you just go and get some job offers? And so I did, I wouldn't interviewed at four different companies ended up getting two job offers that were for, you know, way more than I'd ever made before sounded really attractive. And, but we're pretty, pretty faithful religious people. And so I prayed about it. And the answer I got was, nope, don't take them, you know, turn them all down. And it was terrifying to turn down positions that were for more money than you'd ever been valued for before. But long story short, the answer I got was go and start this thing you've got an idea for. And so that became me to LinkedIn, we're going on five years, and I'm so glad that I've taken the entrepreneurial journey. But as someone who didn't really have the guts to go off on his own, I kind of had to get forced into it. I'm so glad I took the leap.

Jacob Harmon  6:14  
Yeah, there's a lot to unpack there. And I'd like to kind of take a step back in and hit a few of these points. I've been taking notes.

AJ Wilcox  6:21  
So sorry to lay it all on you like that.

Jacob Harmon  6:24  
No, no, it's perfect. That makes for a good podcast episode. Um, first off, you mentioned college, you mentioned that you went to BYU, and we've had this topic come up a few different times on success quest already. But I feel like there's this this mentality lately that that college isn't worth it. And you can get all the education you need by self educating, finding books online, finding, listening to podcasts, those types of things. And you're just spending a lot of money and wasting a lot of money college, and I'm still not sure where I'm at. on my personal opinion there. I did graduate, I do have a full degree. But I'm just curious. What's your take on that? Do you think people should go to college? They shouldn't go to college? Maybe it depends on the situation?

AJ Wilcox  7:06  
Yeah, it's hard for me to say because I was started on the trajectory that I was because of my degree, like, I'm sure the first couple positions I got it was a Oh, he's got his his bachelor's degree. So you know, I was a better candidate. So I am glad I got it. But I'll tell you what, I graduated in 2007, the digital marketing program at any university, and I mean, not just BYU that I went to was basically non existent. It was just a just worthless, you know, it's a super fast moving industry. And you can't take a professor who has, you know, has been just in academia forever, you know, for 10 plus years and tell them here, here's a textbook going to teach people digital marketing, right. So I am certain that I could have not had a degree and gone into what I'm doing now. And probably then just fine. But I'll tell you, if I had a brain, I would have graduated in animation systems. So I could handle all the hardcore technical stuff, and then learned the marketing skills on the side. I think that's the way I would have preferred to go.

Jacob Harmon  8:08  
Yeah, absolutely. I think that there's definitely something to that finding a very marketable degree, something that's going to be worthwhile. And no matter what industry you end up, I think that makes a lot of sense. I think it definitely depends on where you want to go. You know, I would never take back my college experience. If I could do it again, I would do it again. And it may may not be just for the things I learned. But it's also the experience and being able to meet people, I think that I met some people at college, that are probably going to be lifelong friends and an important part of my on my network, right. I mean, we'll be talking about LinkedIn on this episode. And having a personal network of people that you can lean on is important tonight. For me, that's one of the important things I got out of college. One of the other things I'd like to talk a little bit about is risk. I mean, you mentioned you came from a conservative family, your dad probably was the type who would be like, get a college degree and climb the corporate ladder the rest of your life. Yeah. And then I mean, your wife, also, when you when you got laid off, she's like, go apply for a few jobs, get some job offers.

AJ Wilcox  9:13  

Jacob Harmon  9:13  
So when you were trying to juggle that, do you want to be? Do you want to take a risk and jump in or not? What were some of the factors that that played? I know, you already mentioned the fact that that prayer was a big part of that. But what else did did you do that influence that decision?

AJ Wilcox  9:30  
Yeah, I've always loved startup culture. I've loved startups, I've loved entrepreneurship. In fact, back in college, I used to go to meetups all the time that were like startup themed events. And I would just, I would go and I'd network with these people who were so passionate, and I just loved everything about it. But then someone would ask me like, hey, so you know, are you starting something? And it was like, Oh, no, that's not quite for me. I don't have the guts to go off on my own. But when I kind of got that nudge through prayer, that was like, like, no, this is what you're supposed to be doing. That was really all I needed to say, Okay, cool. I've, I've gotten answers to prayers. Before that. I didn't take the advice. And I saw what happened. Okay, I'm going to listen this time, try not to be a total idiot. And yeah, so glad I did. But I'll tell you that first five months of, of starting out the company without having a significant revenue coming in, was just it was one of the hardest times in my life. I remember, my wife and I got into a really big fight one time because we had scaled back everything possible. And at the store, she bought Kraft macaroni, macaroni and cheese, rather than like the the Kroger version, like the cheapo version, and it costs 10 cents more. And we got into a fight over that, you know, that's the kind of the kind of stress that it put on me. But now we're in a position where I'm just I'm so grateful that I control my own schedule. There's no more politics, because you know, my company has six people, like you don't have politics in a six person organization. There's no meetings to plan meetings and stuff that I was used to incorporate before.

Jacob Harmon  11:04  
Yeah, that's the life. I think that that's definitely the goal for us here at success question. And in my case, I have a full time job I'm working it. And success quest is kind of the side hustle, the thing that we're doing in the evenings on our own time. But I can definitely, definitely feel, feel that desire to kind of get to the point where it's self sustaining. But it's stressful

AJ Wilcox  11:27  
And you're in such a good position. Oh, totally is and you're in such a good position. Because if you can get success quest to the point where where its revenue eclipses your full time job, it's really easy to make that transition and just say, cool, see a full time IT job. Whereas I just kind of got kicked out the door and had to figure things out.

Jacob Harmon  11:46  
Right, right. But I think you learn a lot that way too. It's kind of like being thrown into the deep end and learning to swim. There's a lot of valuable experience that can come from that. So that's really cool.

AJ Wilcox  11:55  
Yeah, certainly, if I if I weren't just kicked straight to the curb and had to figure it out. I wouldn't be working I am. So I am grateful for the way it turned out. But no one likes to get laid off. It just feels like the biggest slap in the face.

Jacob Harmon  12:06  
Absolutely. Absolutely. One of the other things you mentioned is you currently have a team of six people. And how is that dynamic worked in your company? It was difficult to get to the point where you want to hire other people. Because I know personally, for me, is it I'm the type of person that's like, Oh, I can just do everything. I can do it all. I kind of put the whole world on my shoulders. But how did you get to the point where you were like, okay, it's, it's time to get some more help. And here, it's time to get more people and scale the business and grow?

AJ Wilcox  12:38  
Yes, such a good question. And this was something I didn't ever think would be as big of a challenge as, as it was. But, but I sure found out how difficult of a decision it was. When the business when I was taking everything on my shoulders doing everything myself, I got to a point where it's probably, you know, six, seven months in, I was managing, you know, 20 years, one accounts, I think by myself, I was not not able to make it to the gym. I was like, you know, till two or 3am, every night working, I was just running myself ragged, but the business was making a lot of money. And so I went, Oh, man, if I hire someone full time, I'm just, I'm literally just trading some of my sleep time for for money. And so it was really hard to make that decision. And I made the wrong decision. You know, very early on. I said, Well, I can't afford or I don't want to afford a 40 hour a week person. What if I hire to 20 hours a week interns doesn't that mean the same thing. And what I found out very quickly is if delegating to two people rather than one is twice as hard. It takes twice as much time and effort. And also anytime you have an intern, whenever it doesn't matter how great they are, every time that midterms or finals come around, they are Gonzo for a whole week at a time and just left everything in my app again. So it took me about a year before I finally said okay, I'm willing to invest in someone full time, so I can stop gaining weight and stop losing hair. And and that was the best thing that happened after I hired my first employee. I ended up taking taking a cruise vacation three months in. And it was just magical, magical to be disconnected for a full week. So every time we hire a new employee, it's scary. It's like Do we have enough revenue to justify this person? If we lose a big client? Do I have to tell someone that they don't have a job anymore? So every hire has been scarier. Right. But you know, now that we've got six, it's so much easier than that decision for the first or the second. Well, that makes sense.

Jacob Harmon  14:46  
And that's that's the part that I'm looking forward to, but also dreading because yes, I mean, it's not just yourself and your own life that's now in your hands. But the success of your business is actually sustaining other people's lives and families and, and that is so stressful to me. I was talking to my business partner about it once and I was like, there's a part of me that's afraid to scale and afraid to make a lot of money. And I know that doesn't make very much sense. But in my mind, it's like, oh, we all feel then there's so much more pressure right now. If success quest fails, like, it was a fun little trial, it was a fun thing that we did. And we learned a lot. But if if it gets to that point where I'm getting ready to quit my job, and I'm going in full full time like that. That's where there's a lot more stress. So So I totally feel what you're saying there. It's the excitement of business.

AJ Wilcox  15:36  
Yeah, totally, totally way more stress. Yeah, but so cool. When you can sit back and realize that you are making people's careers, you are fueling their families. And so if you can get to that point, it's so exciting. But Wow, the stress piles on.

Jacob Harmon  15:51  
Yeah. Is there anything else? Before we move on to LinkedIn and some tips and tricks for LinkedIn? Is there anything else about b2b linked or, or kind of your journey that you'd like to mention,

AJ Wilcox  16:02  
I would just say, if any of you are thinking about kind of making that leap into entrepreneurship, maybe you're in your position where you're working a full time job, I've got a couple piece of advice for you. Number one, invest into things that don't bring immediate revenue, you know, you'll be faced with all kinds of activities, should I go and speak at an event and, you know, pay for airfare and hotel to get in front of people? Should I launch a podcast? Should I write content, blog posts, things like that, that are much more of a long play. And I would say invest as much time as you can afford to early on, because all of those efforts will pay off in droves later on, even though it's scary right now. So invest in something that is real that will build No, this is not just a stick or a house of cards that is just going to fall down at some point, you know, you're building something real. The other piece of advice I'd have is, you know, if you're if you want to be an entrepreneur, and you're like me, where you're saying, I don't know, I don't really have the guts. Don't be afraid to go and work for someone and get paid to be trained in, in some skill go in and just be the best in the world at something. Once you get to the point where you are the best in the world at something that's a great time to jump off. And you know, you could start an agency like I did around it or go and launch a product. But that's what it takes is like be the best in the world at something get get paid to be trained in that. And certainly there's no, there's no harm. It doesn't make you less of an entrepreneur just because you didn't like go start your own thing right out of college.

Jacob Harmon  17:37  
I love that. Thank you so much that that's some solid advice there. All right. Well, now let's get a little bit into the the meat of LinkedIn. We already talked a little bit about LinkedIn and how it's it's a really great platform. But I think a lot of our audience, maybe they have a profile on there. They probably uploaded the resume at one point in time when they were applying for a job, but then maybe haven't looked at it since. What would you recommend? How would you get started on LinkedIn? And maybe why is it even important? Why is it a big platform? To to be active on?

AJ Wilcox  18:15  
Yeah, it's a great question. I mean, LinkedIn started out being essentially a resume and job searching site. But back in 2013, they also launched this whole content portal. So ever since 2013, now you have a newsfeed where you can share stuff you can write, you can publish, and you can interact with other people. And so it became way more of an actual social media platform. what's so cool about LinkedIn right now, especially, is it's the easiest network in the world to go viral on. Oh, really? To give you an idea. Yeah, yeah, totally. I have, you know, less than 6000 people who follow me, but I shared a post a few weeks ago that got 76,000 views. And you look at that and go Wait, if only 6000 people are following you, how did you get 76,000. The reason why is because anytime that someone hits, like comment or share on your post, it then becomes eligible to be shown to a portion of their audience. And so when you're engaging people getting them to, to socially interact. Now, all of a sudden, you start getting access to your networks network and your networks, networks network, which is really, really exciting for staying top of mind for meeting new people for getting introduced to new people. And all of it is free. I mean, this is like the heydays of Facebook, you know, five, six years ago. That's what LinkedIn is right now.

Jacob Harmon  19:37  
And is it also, are there a lot less people on LinkedIn right now? Or is it actually as big as some of those other social networks at this point?

AJ Wilcox  19:46  
You know, I think they just announced that they have 635 million users, which compared to Facebook's 2.1 billion, like, it's a quarter, but that's okay. The people who are on LinkedIn, they are they skew way towards affluent, they skew towards being decision makers. So if if your goal in networking is to be network with the type of people who can make your career, who you can sell to who you can, like, grow in association with LinkedIn has the right network to be you spending your time on.

Jacob Harmon  20:19  
That makes sense. I mean, in the little bit of time that I've been spending on LinkedIn, I'm networking with people that probably wouldn't even give me a second glance if they saw me in the real world, because they'd be they'd be too busy. I'm talking to CEOs of companies and things like that. And so it's really a great place to get to meet people that have influence and have, like you said, they're more affluent. And so how would you recommend reaching out to someone on LinkedIn, maybe someone that you've never met? Or you don't have a connection to? How do you start a conversation?

AJ Wilcox  20:54  
Yeah, it's an excellent question. You know, when you very first create your profile, or if you're, and it hasn't been updated in a while, it's important to go and fill that out, so that you know, the lights are on and someone's home. Because people will want to come and visit your profile. And to check you out, you want it to be a good representation of who you are, make you look great. So that's number one, go spend some time on your profile, make sure you fill it out, make sure you're showing what what value you can provide right off the bat. Okay, then the next is, as you're networking with people, you can reach out to anyone, you can send a customized connection request to the CEO of GE if you want. And so I would recommend anyone that you want to connect with, send them a customized connection request. And just make sure that this is authentic, they know that this was not a copy paste approach that they get hit up with all the time. If you're looking to provide them value, tell them what it is, if some people are just really interested in providing value to other people, so you don't have to say, Hey, here's what I can do for you. Let's can, you could definitely say, hey, I've, I'm looking for help on this. And you know, you're someone I really trust in the field, I've been following your your work, can I get your help on this. And you know, people like to be altruistic and helpful. So just, it's got to be customized to where that person understands that you want to connect with them. They're not just a numbers game to you. Absolutely. And

Jacob Harmon  22:23  
I've had a lot of people reaching out to me on LinkedIn. And immediately once I connect the I get this big, long sales pitch. And that box the crap out of me. Yeah. So don't do that.

AJ Wilcox  22:36  
Yeah, don't be the crap sales guy that just like goes for the kill on the first shot. I mean, if you are prospecting on LinkedIn, that's great. Just have a conversation, buy me breakfast, you know, first before, before going right for the kill?

Jacob Harmon  22:49  
Absolutely. And I mean, in my personal experience, connecting with people on LinkedIn has been invaluable for this podcast. Because we're looking for experts, we're looking for people that have knowledge to share. And that's where they are all the experts on LinkedIn. So I think that it's a wonderful place to be, and I've been really enjoying it. You talked a little bit about updating your profile, what are some best practices for profiles? I'm assuming a professional profile picture not like some picture with I don't know what in your swimsuit or something. But what what are some other things that people can do to really make their profile stand up?

AJ Wilcox  23:27  
Yeah, I have a rule that I call my credo principle for profiles. That is the alliteration I like but the credo principle is more commonly referred to as the 8020 rule. And so it's, it's the 20% of things that you can do on your profile that make 80% of the difference. So the things that work with the credo principle, here are number one image, like you want it to be pretty tight around your face. So if you're meeting someone for the first time, and they look at your profile on their mobile app, they can recognize you in that Starbucks, it should look professional, it should look inviting, you don't want it to be you holding up or like, like three people. And you have to guess which one is the person I'm meeting. So that's helpful. Number two is your headline should let them know what you are best in the world and what value you provide. If all it says is VP of x at y company. If they haven't heard of y company before, that doesn't help them. It doesn't add much value. But if you said, here's how, here's what I do to help people and here's why, you know, that type of headline really categorizes them. And they understand immediately that the type of person you are. And third is your, they call it your about section. Now it used to be called all kinds of different things. But it's 2000 characters do you get a free form text that you can write anything you want. And the first three lines are visible. But if you can kind of tease someone in the first three lines, and make them want to see more, you got 2000 characters, where you can just straight tell someone your story, this is why I do what I do do this is what gets me up in the morning. This is why I'm so passionate about helping people with something. And people like eat that up. But we love to do business with with with a story with someone that we want to support.

Jacob Harmon  25:16  
Absolutely. Thank you. and so that about section? I mean, you're an SEO guy, digital marketing guy, is that part of the SEO on LinkedIn search engine? it? Are we wanting to put keywords in that thing? Or is it really just if someone finds you, that's something they're going to read to learn about you?

AJ Wilcox  25:34  
Yeah, I, I spent the first like seven years of my career as an SEO guy always worried about getting that keyword in. And in the last several years, I've just kind of said, You know what, as long as I'm providing real value, the search engines will recognize that eventually, maybe not immediately, but eventually. So I don't go out of my way to stick keywords in places anymore. But certainly, your your profile in the About Us section is a lot of text that search engines can see and recognize. So I do think there's value in strategically inserting the right keywords there.

Jacob Harmon  26:09  
Okay, great. And when it comes to engagement, and posting on the platform, what are best practice practices there? I know that you already mentioned that if someone likes or shares or comments on your post, the reach of your posts grows exponentially. So is it something where you should be posting every single day on LinkedIn, if you kind of want to get some exposure, or once a week, and then also commenting and liking on other people's posts? What are kind of the best ways to engage on LinkedIn?

AJ Wilcox  26:39  
Yeah, I think everyone wants to support someone that they know, like and trust. So if you build your network with people who do know, like and trust you, you're building this group of people, this whole base, that when you share stuff, they'll want to like, comment and share it and it forces you to go viral. So be smart about who it is you're connecting with and build real relationships. Don't be like the sales guys that we've both been approached by, which is just a, it's a churn and burn approach they want you to accept, so they can send you a free spam message. So yeah, avoid that for sure. And LinkedIn algorithm really likes it when you when you're active. So if you want your posts to go viral, go and like comment and reshare other stuff in your feed. So go to those people that you like, know, and trust, and give them a like on their their posts, comment, you know, really thoughtful things. And then they'll want to do it in in return, thus making you more viral. So obviously, I'm talking about it very much like a do this, because you're going to get a benefit. But social media and building real relationships is much more altruistic than them. But certainly there is benefit if you're willing to put in the work and help support other people.

Jacob Harmon  27:51  
Right. And I really like the fact that you said making real connections with people and real conversations. It's not just about the algorithm. It's not just growing, becoming more visible on the platform. But it's a perfect place to really meet people and have genuine real conversations about professional things. So I think that that's awesome. And so be two linked is very much company that does a lot of with LinkedIn advertisements, right? When would you say is the time where a company or a person might be interested in purchasing ads on LinkedIn? I know we've talked a little bit about this in the past. And he said for podcasts, it probably actually isn't a great idea. And maybe explain why and what in what circumstances would it be a good idea to purchase ads on LinkedIn?

AJ Wilcox  28:37  
Yeah, great. So anytime that that you use the platform, the advertising platform on LinkedIn, you can they have incredible targeting, you can reach people by their job title, their company name, their company size, Industry Skills, seniority groups that are members of I mean, you just have such amazing targeting. But boy, does that come at a cost, the average cost per click on LinkedIn ads is somewhere between about six to $9. So if you're paying, yeah, if you're paying six to $9, a click to get someone somewhere, you know, let's say it's just getting them to subscribe to a podcast. If it has a 20% conversion rate, you're still looking at like a, you know, 50 $60 cost per listener. And that's really difficult as a podcaster. To to say, yeah, I'm willing to pay $50 to get one subscriber or whatever. So because of LinkedIn cost, they've priced themselves out of the market for certain types of companies and offers. But I think it really makes sense. If you've got a big lifetime value, let's say when you close a deal, it's worth $15,000 or more to you over the lifetime, then that's a total no brainer. LinkedIn ads is the right place to be. But if if they're if you don't have a real strong potential for return on that investment, then I tell people to shy away because I'm a I'm a conservative, like financially minded person.

Jacob Harmon  29:58  
Well, and I appreciate that even especially since you're selling LinkedIn ads, basically. And I really appreciate it when business owners are completely honest. And they say, Hey, I'm not going to sell this to you, because it's not going to help you.

AJ Wilcox  30:10  
And so thank you. I appreciate that more sales guy in the world right here. But it's true. I, I just I never want to sell someone and then have a hard conversation, you know, one or two months later, where they go, why isn't it working? You should have known I just, I never want to never want to try to pull the wool over someone's eyes and sell them when you know, there isn't a good benefit or value there?

Jacob Harmon  30:29  
No, that's awesome. You say you're the worst salesman, but I think those are the best kind of salesman, because he trusts him. And then you come back and you do more business with them later. So we talked a lot about that. And being good is one of the best things you can do to be successful. Just be a good person.

AJ Wilcox  30:44  
Sure. Thanks. So the people who stab each other in the back, and it's all about growth at all costs. Those are the people who lose friends pretty quick. So I feel like that if you can, if you can afford to build relationships, rather than just your your wallet, your bottom line right now. It build your future a lot more. I'm a huge believer.

Jacob Harmon  31:02  
Absolutely. All right, well, I don't want to take all your time from you. But is there anything else about LinkedIn that you'd like to share with our audience, I mean, any other valuable things you think they should know about the platform.

AJ Wilcox  31:17  
So from a LinkedIn ads perspective, there are a few types of companies that work really, really well. You can do high value lead gen, usually business to business, you can do recruiting works really well, like I want to hire you, or I'm interested in you for this position, you know, you want to apply and higher education, like MBA programs. So those are great types of companies to use it. But for anything you do on it, realize that you're showing ads to people, when they're not necessarily looking for it. Like they were looking for it, you could advertise on Google, but now you're targeting them by who they are not what they're looking for. And so you need a little bit softer of an approach, you can't just have an ad that says click here to talk to my sales app, or open up your wallet now and buy this. So you go up the sales process a little bit and give them valuable content. So right, maybe in exchange for an email address, or first name, last name, email. And that gated content, the stuff that works the best on LinkedIn are things like a free checklist, or a cheat sheet, a guide, a webinar, a free in person event, those types of offers work well. So as you're approaching it be thinking, what value can I provide that people are so desperate for, that they're willing to give their email address for that will set you up perfectly for LinkedIn ads, as well as any other social platform really,

Jacob Harmon  32:36  
that makes a lot of sense. And plus, then you're getting something from them that email address, that then helps you have a continued relationship with them. Whereas when I think of like a Google search, you're getting them to visit your site. But then if they leave, they're gone. like they've disappeared. So trying to get them but also to get a piece of of identifiable information. So the you can actually target or talk to that person in the future. That makes sense to me,

AJ Wilcox  33:05  
it's a longer game for sure, you know, your sales cycle is going to be longer. But because you got to use LinkedIn targeting, you've reached exactly the right kind of person who is like your ideal customer. So the leads are worth gold, you just have to work them a little bit longer invest more into them. And it really does become more about relationship than it does about transaction.

Jacob Harmon  33:24  
That's awesome. Well, thank you so much. AJ, where can people find you obviously be to link they can search for that? what's your website? Maybe your socials?

AJ Wilcox  33:34  
Yeah, I think the easiest way to find me if you go to be to link calm and fill out the form at the bottom of any page, the dirty little secret is if you fill out the form on any of those pages, we don't have a sales rep. So you're not going to go to a sales rep and you're not going to get added to our newsletter, you just go directly to my inbox, and I'm not a sales guy. So feel free to reach out and ask anything. I'm more than happy

Jacob Harmon  33:55  
to  help. Awesome. Well, thank you. And I think you mentioned you're coming out with a passion castrate

AJ Wilcox  34:01  
who I am Yeah, so I have the LinkedIn ads show is going to be the name. So we're starting to record our first episodes this week. And I'm super excited.

Jacob Harmon  34:10  
Awesome. Well, speaking of targeted advertisement, the people listening to our podcast are obviously podcast listeners. So yes, definitely go and check that out. When is it gonna be coming out here in like the next few weeks? next few months?

AJ Wilcox  34:22  
Yeah, I think I'll have at least the trailer episode by maybe the end of the month. So I'm hoping to launch then. But if you're if you're hearing this within a month or two, and it's still not in the in the in the app store or whatever. That's my failure. But I'm assuming here in the next month or two, I should have like the first couple episodes out.

Jacob Harmon  34:41  
Awesome. Well, thank you so much, AJ, I really appreciate it. I think you provided a lot of value for our audience. So thank you so much for being here on the success quest podcast.

AJ Wilcox  34:50  
Jacob, thank you so much for the invite. This means the world to me.

Jacob Harmon  34:54  
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of success quest. If you learn something on this episode, or there was some sort of value that you gained from this episode, please share it with your friends and family. A great way to do that would be to take a screenshot of your podcast app and post that on social media. Another thing you can do to really help us out would be to leave us a good rating in your podcast app of choice. It really does help people find the podcast and honestly we're just happy that you're here on the journey to success with us. Thank you again for listening and have a successful day.

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