Guest Interview with LinkedIn expert Maureen Kane

Mar 1, 2024 | Marketing Guest

“Show Notes”

Maureen helps elevate peoples Linkedin profile. She helps them create more opportunities and visibility. That creates more leads and more business. Maureen tells her story. She started off in the world of sales and marketing. She went from telemarking to field sales. To then running sales teams working with tech startups. As a Sales and marketing director LinkedIn was always her go to platform. She has always known that it is such a great tool. About 12 years ago Maureen had a son and wanted to work for herself. She started being a general marketing consultant. Before lockdown she was 50% marketing consultant 50% Linkedin work. During Lockdown this moved to being 95% LinkedIn marketing and only 5% marketing consultant. And this has stayed ever since. Sam asks about LinkedIn recent restrictions for those not paying to use LinkedIn. LinkedIn are now heavily restricting the number of people you can follow. So Maureen says it is getting harder to use, but is still a great platform to use. Marcus asks the difference between Brits and Americans using Linkedin. Maurenn thinks this just reflects the difference between US and UK culture and business culture. People are happier promoting themselves in the US than they are in the UK. Sam says photographers do like to hide behind their camera and really need to come out from behind it. Maureen says this is very understandable, but photographers do need to try and get over it. Maureen says having packages can really help, so you can get out onto LinkedIn and sell your package rather than have to sell yourself, which is harder to do.

Maureen says Linkedin is used to give clients value and build a community. But she does do one sales post per week. It might be subtle but she always has one. Marcus said for a commercial photographer then LinkedIn is amazing as it is B2B. which Facebook and Instagram isn’t. Maureen says focussing on a sector really works well on Linkedin. Send out posts for your niche, use relevant hashtags. And connect to people in the right sector. She says with a connection message you should get 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 connections. But connection messages are being limited. But, you can still connect with more people without the message.

Maureen says that if you spend an hour a day on LinkedIn you can achieve a lot. Send time posting, making new connections and follow up messages. Marcus says also that business people need photos for Linkedin for posts, headshot, banner images and more. So photography for people to use on Linkedin is a great area for photographers to work in.

Sam asks Maureen some top tips for their LinkedIn profile. She says a profile photograph is a must. She has 5 pillars of success on Linkedin and the profile is one of them. Look like the top dog that you are. Your LinkedIn profile needs to be generating work for you. It needs to have an amazing tag line. It needs to really shine. Your banner needs to be excellent. As a photographer you can feature things like images you have taken recently. The more visual your profile is the more you will stand out.

One of Maureen’s other pillars is let the other steal the show. So tell stories about other people you have been working with. Maureen says she gets customers by giving out hints and tips and talking about people she’s been working with.

You can find Maureen on LinkedIn (big surprise) or at her website

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maureenlkane/

https://linkedinbreakfastclub.co.uk/

“Show Transcription”

Sam: Marcus, how are you doing?

Marcus: I’m very well, thank you. Yeah, I’ve had a good week. Nice and busy getting back into the swing of things. And on this show, we have got a LinkedIn celebrity, Sam. Yes, we’ve got Maureen Kane. Yes, yes, yeah, we’ve got more in case she’s an expert in LinkedIn. But she also knows a lot about photography and working with photographers. So this show is all going to be about how photographers can benefit from LinkedIn. Over to Maureen, why don’t you introduce yourself?

Maureen: Thank you for that amazing introduction, being a celebrity. I wouldn’t say Kuwait. But I have worked with a lot of people and photographers and lots of creative people. And really what I do is help elevate people’s LinkedIn presence. So help them create more opportunities, more visibility. And you know, that does a lot for the good stuff, which helps generate leads more business, more awareness. That’s pretty much what I do. So to have what were quite a lot of photographers sort of try and keep it relevant to that.

Sam: Cool, do you want to tell us a little bit kind of your story more in kind of, you know, where you’ve, where you’ve come from, and how you’ve got to where you are, that’d be really interesting to it.

Maureen: Yeah, I’ve got quite an interesting story. And my, my career path has waved a little bit like many people, I started off in sales and marketing and left school at 15, actually, and went into sales and marketing and pretty much learned that it was an easy way I thought, earn lots of money. And I watched sales and marketing. I went from being a tele-sales person to feel salesperson and became a sales and marketing director, which will watch out for 15 years. And it was mainly with startups and tech companies, mainly being small companies, which meant they didn’t have a lot of marketing budget. And LinkedIn, believe it or not, I’ve been using for 20 years. And LinkedIn was my go to platform as a sales and marketing director 15 years ago actually had a team of seven LinkedIn specialists working for the company that I worked for. So LinkedIn has always been a huge part of my journey. And I actually trained one of the first sales directors how to sell. So anyway, but LinkedIn has always been part of my journey, because I knew it was such a great tool number one, it was free to use. But number two, it was easy to accept loads of people. So use LinkedIn as an employee, and then about when my son was about 12 years ago, and I had a son and I decided I wanted to work myself. I wasn’t quite sure what to do. But I thought I’d become a sales and marketing consultant and felt my way around for a couple of years. And I did lots of video marketing. And I did lots of visual creative design. And pretty much everything still led me back to LinkedIn. So when locked in happened, I was probably doing 50%, LinkedIn marketing 50% Marketing Consultant video marketing, but when locked in happened, it turned to be 90% because every single small business owner of freelancer, photographer creative, newly hired to be online, and pretty much no, my business is 95% LinkedIn marketing, and it has been for the last four years. And you know, I got there by and the reason why I can find out how LinkedIn works a well was pretty much when I was a freelancer myself, I had to use a platform that was free, and got me lots of leads and got me lots of visibility. And I learned how to track it myself. And then I started training other people how to do it. And the rest is history. No, I train and work with people every day pretty much doing LinkedIn marketing. So for that long, long reason.

Sam: That’s amazing. Interesting, interesting. You mentioned the free things quite a lot there. Because LinkedIn are gradually been introducing more and more restrictions on the free thing, kind of in your opinion, is LinkedIn still a great place and with the restrictions, there are you can still use it for free and still get great results.

Maureen: Absolutely. And you know, I guess it’s a bit like Facebook, Facebook to 20 years ago as well, you could do lots of things. LinkedIn is definitely nailing down what you can do for free. And even the number of people you connect to etc, if you’ve noticed, is limited if you’ve had an account.

Sam:  Definitely this morning.

Maureen: So if you’ve had an account for a long time, you’ve got a flurry of new followers. They don’t seem to be restricting yet. However, with new clients that I’ve started working with, I’ve definitely noticed also that the limits heavily the number of people you can connect to. And if a talk later on growing followers is key. There is ways around it. And that’s why if you follow me on LinkedIn that so yes, it’s slightly harder, but it’s still a great, great platform to get in front of 1000s people every single week. If you know a little Tips and Tips and Tricks, it’s hopefully I can give you today.

Marcus: Yes, both Sam and I are big advocates of linkable read, and I’ve done training with you, which I found extremely beneficial. So yeah, we’re, we’re right behind you on that. You think? I mean, it’s an American company, but I think which use it a little bit differently to the American, it’s just that white.

Maureen: I think it’s the nature of how we do marketing and sales to be honest. And in typically, I mean, for British people take longer to make decisions and sales. That’s just I think the nature of who we are. And if you’re targeting the US market, genuinely make sales quicker when it comes to money. But I do think also, we’ve been traditionally a more face to face type of kind of nation, and locked in, obviously change that a lot. But for and also LinkedIn, I think this is a stuffy nature of the British people, we like to we don’t like to be as into promoting ourselves. And you know, particularly for creative people, which is quite interesting, we don’t like to be seen to be selling ourselves. And, you know, I think they’re self employed freelance market in the UK has grown significantly. And it’s not as big as the US, of course, the US are probably 10 years ahead of us. But the freelancing, the kind of solopreneur journey is going to grow and grow and grow in the UK, it has been so we’re gonna have to get used to getting out there and promoting ourselves. And I think we are getting better at it. But we’ve still got a long way to go compared to the US.

Sam: Definitely, and I think I think I think we were saying earlier, that photographers do like to hide a little bit behind their cameras, some of them and yes, I think they need to come out, don’t they, and we need to see who they are, and not just see the pictures they’re taking.

Maureen: And absolutely, I would agree with that. And I know myself, even though I was a sales and marketing director, and then I did video marketing, the thought of getting behind camera and actually going in video on LinkedIn terrified me, and I didn’t really do it for four years. So I totally get that. But ultimately, you know, my skill is sales, and it’s easy to sell something else. But when you have to sell yourself, even a lot of sales and marketing people have an issue with it. So certainly creatives, and one of the ways that I try and run that with people is trying to productize what you do. So instead of thinking, right, I’m promoting myself, I’m not saying amazing, you package up what you’re selling into a product or service, and you promote that. And a lot of people find that easier. And it’s a little less uncomfortable. And that’s, you know, what I’ve done with a lot of the creatives that I’ve worked with, try and package up and the first thing what I’ll ask them the problem is, what packages do you have? And if they see none, I’ll say we need to get some because obviously LinkedIn is an online platform, you have to be able to get something that people can click to book a clip to buy. So again, doesn’t need to be clicked a book, you can be clicked to book your service, which makes it easier, I think.

Sam: Yeah. Okay. And so you’re so you’re kind of advocating that direct selling through LinkedIn, rather than kind of taking them through on to newsletters and stuff. You’re going no, just go direct sell through LinkedIn.

Maureen: I think there’s a combination of both. And definitely, for me, LinkedIn is a platform for increasing visibility and presence. And it really depends what stage you’re at your business. And what if it’s just you. I mean, 100%, LinkedIn is a great place for getting yourself noticed. Educating people, but what you do and a lot of people and then leading it to the needle, next sales action, that could be to download a frog, a guest email address, and that takes off LinkedIn, it could be, again, a lot of people are scared to say, here’s my great photography package and doing an offer for January booking, I think is a combination, you shouldn’t be using it in my opinion, to sell every week. And typically, I use LinkedIn to give a lot of value to grow my tribe or my following. And then out of that, naturally, some people come to me, but I will do blue one sales posts a week. And it might be subtle, but it’s still a sales post. And because if you don’t, you don’t get it. So I think don’t be scared to sell. But absolutely LinkedIn, if you use it with email, if you use it with a lead magnet, etc. It’s really going to help you use LinkedIn to get those conversations, but then use other platforms to get talking and get the sales in.

Marcus: I mean, the great thing about LinkedIn, let’s not forget for a commercial photographer, is it’s b2b. You know, I mean, Facebook isn’t b2b, Instagram isn’t b2b. But with LinkedIn, you are dealing directly with the client with the customer. You know, that’s the big thing about it for me. And also, I think, with LinkedIn, if you can build a following. I know there are restrictions coming in and it’s getting tougher, but nevertheless, I really compared to my growth of Instagram, LinkedIn is so much easier and much more direct.

Maureen: Absolutely. And I have worked directly with a couple of photographers, and I think this is where the chance and comes in, not just for photographers, but for anybody. It’s in the knowledge of knowing what to do. And again, it adapt, you have to adapt all the time because it’s changing. But also consistently doing it week in week out. If you’re a busy photographer, it’s quite busy to have that time. And it was chicken and egg scenario with any marketing, you know, DP Sunday, you do not, but the more successful campaigns that I’ve done for people as when I’ve done it for them. And that is, I mean, I can tell you, very quickly, I can go into more detail if you want. It’s basically posting at least two to three times a week. And if your photographer posts your bloody pictures, you know, make sure you’re posting your work, and try and niche down if you can. So for example, construction, accounting, whatever it is, you got a couple of different sectors is so easy for you to post, use the hashtags for those sectors, talking about those sectors, or even just talking about interesting for pictures, interesting stories about your work. Make sure you’re connecting to that sector every single week, even though it’s limited. And I’ll give you a tip right now if you want is limited, let’s say for example, you’re targeting commercial photography, construction, you can easily type in managing director construction, and a list of 1000s will come up in whatever country you’re in. And I’ve done many campaigns for the you might be targeting entrepreneurs in London, you might be targeting digital marketing agencies, I’ve done them all for photographers is 1000s of them. If you want to send a personal message, you limited top tip, if you just click Connect, you’re not limited. So you can send probably 20 to 30 invites by not sending a message just clicking on Connect right now. That probably will change soon. But if you’re limited so normally for Mike.

Sam:  Yeah, but what you find about like on I’m wondering, though, because I found those connections you get much more connections if you send the message though, I don’t know what you found.

Maureen:  I mean part one and part of my done for you services is connecting so I do monitor and report to my clients what the percentages and at the moment for So, normally my clients I would say right we’re going to send an intro message which again is bespoke Hi, Sam, how you doing and not too salesy. We send a follow up message again, not too salesy, sometimes in the third message, but the depending on how high you want to go office, if you want to connect to the CEO shell, that’s not going to happen. But if you’re looking to connect to small businesses, medium businesses, MD typically you’re going to get one to the one to four connection rate, which I think’s amazing. You think of a building a tribe, if you don’t put a connection, a message as enteral is slightly lower. But if that’s your only way in right now, I mean, one of my clients right now has got 50 connections, they can only send about 2030 a week, LinkedIn are banning them. I’m not buying the blocking them, but what how I’m getting around it is clicking Connect. Still I’m looking for the right target audience, bringing up a list and clicking Connect. As soon as that person connects well, a couple of days later, other than follow up or thanks very next on them. And I can tell you the process that’s just a little look pool roundish. So that’s a top tip, but these I forgot what we’re seeing. But I think ultimately, if you can connect to people every single week, message them try and spark those conversations, give it valuable content, good stories and tips and hints. And connect is going to do this consistently we can work out if you target the right people and you’ve got a good package because the third message probably would be here’s  a little snapshot of what it’s like to work with me maybe give them an give them a link to your packages. Now I know for a fact song gets sold many many I’m talking there a class in a year of those packages from LinkedIn. So we’re talking for from experience that does want but you do need to put in that work make sure the sales process is in place. And again, it’s difficult if you do it yourself and you’re out on the road that’s the trick.

Marcus: Very interesting.

Sam: I mean, I know it’s about kind of being consistent so under somebody’s marks and then yeah UK and I still get it’s kind of being consistent in doing those invitations consistently. And having a plan what to do when you connected so not going Oh Hi John. How are you? Oh, you’re having a nice day. Oh, don’t really say next it’s having that knowing what you’re going to say and having a plan it doesn’t have to be like a rigid script does it because it’s going to vary from person to person but have a plan to where you’re going and have a right I’m going to every week can connect to  X many people and making sure you put aside the time to do it.

Maureen: Yeah, and it could be just an hour a day and already it’s gonna be three posts per week. One could be giving tips. One could be your backstory. The other one could be somebody you’ve photographed and spending maybe 30 minutes a day or 20 minutes a day connecting to the 20 people and in full I typically do my follow up message on a Friday because I’m and you know you can either do it Paris, you It depends how much time you want to do but if you do one or two messages, not too salesy giving value, and it really does help if you’ve got a lead magnet of course which is valuable lead magnet, you can put that in there, the messenger as well as why don’t use my free guide on something to do with photography.

Marcus: Yeah, I mean, I think I’ll show you another aspect about LinkedIn for photographers, which I think is fantastic is yesterday, for example, I got a phone call. Client wants LinkedIn photos, and I’ve got a call with them after the show. So that’s not just headshots, we’re talking about when you talk about LinkedIn photos, you talked about the banner at the top, which is a very difficult thing to try and do yourself, get photos that look good on their digital profile photos, it could be photographs for blogs, or for posts that they’re going to be putting out. Really, it’s a whole, there’s a whole package there of work you can do as a portrait photographer for a LinkedIn client.

Maureen: Absolutely. And I would even have a specific package for LinkedIn, you could do a LinkedIn discount. And again, from videos, a lot of clients want an image great imagery for videos. And again, LinkedIn is one of these things, content is forever. Visuals are amazing, you know, visuals, I mean, my background is visual marketing, so visual standout. So photography, if you’re selling to, let’s say, and commercial companies, I see it’s a lot, it’s not easier. But there’s this rather than doing headshots is the sales tickets going to be higher, obviously. So rather than just selling one shirt, I’d be selling along the one ship per quarter or something, because eventually they can use over and over again, through LinkedIn, that’s got to be fresh, got to be relevant pictures of the team, any companies I work with, I’m like, You need to get your team on there. So team pictures, you know, it’s all about building that credibility, building that trust, the more people can build that credibility and trust, which is by seeing people which obviously photography companies, right enter is going to help them click to book a meeting, click to look at the website. So visuals are key, not just of the individual, but have the team have the where they want all that good stuff, you can easily create a nice little package for companies.

Marcus: That’s a very good idea well enough. In fact, I’m going to think about doing that myself. Leadership package I like that, that’s very good.

Maureen: Because let’s face it, if you’ve got an office lots we were back in the office now getting get going in for the Dean get photographs or the workplace, you could basically get visual content for a month out of a half day, shoot probably or a full day shirt, get older individuals, get people talking, get the team, get the executive leaders, it’s you know, it’s a really valuable asset to have. And they can use that over and over again, as you know.

Marcus: Yeah, perfect.

Sam: That makes sense. And then completely different topic of LinkedIn profiles. Maureen go you can you give us some like top tips on what you might want to do with your profile?

Maureen: Absolutely. Well, I mean, again, a photograph is a must. I mean, I would never not connect to me, it’s got a photograph. Ultimately, you know, I’ve got five pillars of being successful on LinkedIn. The first one is about your profiles look like the top dog you are I say your LinkedIn profile needs should be generating leads for you. It needs to have an amazing Hey, headline, which is your basic your tagline your product, your Balinese DeSanto, you’ve got your sprinkler Stardust make that Shane. So that creates demand for you the right LinkedIn profile is like your LinkedIn landing page. So having good visuals on that, so on your LinkedIn, there’s so many visuals you can have, you can have your banner in picture, obviously, you can also feature key things. And this is where again, you could use great visuals, great photographs, because you can feature things. I mean, I’ve got featured right now my LinkedIn strategy session, but I’ve got a great visual on that. And again, if you’ve got a great set of photographs down, you could use those visuals to feature things. These are all things that people can go from your post, to your profile to click to book something, or again, click to buy something. So the more visual aid is going to help you stand out and meet make you look credible and look like the top dog that you should be, which is going to result in conversations and sales.

Marcus: Video poorly put, I mean, that said never really thing I do love about LinkedIn is that there’s no restrictions to the size of photograph to put in the dimensions your photograph with Instagram, it’s got to be square or 16 by 9 to make it look good with it with LinkedIn, you can put anything on there and it looks great. The compression they use is very small. So images, the quality is retained. And you can have any size. So that’s a really big plus point for me about using LinkedIn to promote my work.

Maureen: Absolutely. And also that people want to see me, I posted this morning about verification, people want to see that you’re real and you’re working with a lot of companies that use like stock footage. It’s just, you know, and I think it doesn’t really sit well people want to see the real person. So if you can promote people of your clients of you and your colleagues, it’s really makes you look more credible and trustworthy, which again for me is essential for getting those sales and I talk about that a lot because, you know a lot of people might think you look good on LinkedIn and then later you’re seeing but you need to be credible. I’m trustworthy for them to want to spend money with you. And that’s essential.

Sam: Yeah. And that’s interesting for photographers, because that’s vital for their business. But actually, if they know that it’s a great way into other people, if they can see other people on LinkedIn who profile pictures of rubbish, that banner picture of rubbish and stuff in the post, they’re using stock images and stuff that’s a great introduction isn’t go, you know, I can really help you with this, I can get you some amazing shots that will make you stand out which you’re not doing now.

Maureen: Yeah, and you can, there’s lots of things you can do, you can book a free 15 minute review of their LinkedIn visuals. For example, when I and again, depends how much time you got, if you’re looking to generate leads, it’s worth putting that time in to maybe see your offer a 50 minute review of the LinkedIn visuals, and give them some recommendations of how you can help them some might result in sales, but others won’t. And, you know, the biggest one of my other pillars for success on LinkedIn is let your customers deal with soul, and nothing having that it’s so important for photographers, the more people you’ve worked with, if even you only if you posted twice a week, once a week posted, somebody that you’ve worked with, tagged them on LinkedIn, give a little story about that, that’s going to be a lead magnet to get more people to work with you. And especially if you can get a couple of people all in the same sector. You know, the news, fat and get referrals, you know, if you let’s say, for example, you targeted property developers, maybe not the best home right now. But let’s say property, or interior designers Fe got three shirts done with interior designers posted in one week after another use use the hashtag interior design, you are connecting also to interior designs every single week, I can guarantee you within three months, you will have sales from interior designers that could apply to any sector. And that’s the key thing about having a little bit of strategy. And the strategy, really as simple as that. Pick a couple of pick a couple of sectors, get some clients, and then even if you had to do some free shirts to start with, if you were really struggling, and you know, we’ve all got to start somewhere, once you got those, those customers that you will soon spread into getting more in that specific sector.

Sam: Yeah, it’s kind of if you read the Seth Godin marketing book, one of the key things he says again, and again and again, is you got to kind of do that people like people like I forgot what’s gonna say no. People like us buy from people like you, you’re kind of seeing people like you. Yeah, if you’re giving testimonials are going on. That’s somebody like me, they’re like me, and they’re using that person. So I should use that person too.

Maureen:  And honestly, I mean, the way I get most of my customers, once a week, I will put up, it could be a comment. It could be a hair salon, it could be review. And once a week, I’ll put up something and quite often it’s actually a comment on LinkedIn. Say, Maureen, you’re amazing are so I’ll put that up and make sure they got their name on it. And this is what brings me customers, because I’m giving out tips and hints. But I’m also sewing about customers. And again, if you’ve got the visual as a photographer, as a photograph, nothing salesy like then even if you can get a couple of lines from that person and how much he enjoyed it. Good. It takes two minutes, you can just put that on, and you’re on top of the photograph or the headline.

Marcus: Yeah, that’s actually, I mean, we’re coming. We’re coming up to the end of the show. Now, Maureen. So I mean, we shouldn’t put too much on the spot, can you think of maybe just a little recap that photographers can do I know we’ve got paid for a lot there. And it also must change some very advanced things that I’ve never heard before. But what you can do or can’t do on LinkedIn, but just can you give us a bit of a recap on that morning.

Maureen: I’ll try my best. I mean, first of all, have a little bit of a LinkedIn strategy, it could be on the back of the five packet, literally think about agree to yourself, you’re going to pause a couple times a week, you’re going to connect to a specific sector, every single week, and you’re going to try and send at least 108. So either with a personal message or without, you’re going to follow up every single week with a follow up message to everybody that’s connected. And you’re going to try and create content that shows that you’re working with other people. And you’re also going to try and give it value so that you make people want to connect with you. And the final thing is your profile, make sure it looks you look like the top photographer that you are and they attract leads to use and make sure you’ve got everything filled out correctly. And you are featuring your packages on there. Because again, LinkedIn as an online platform, nobody’s going to come looking for your button to buy, make sure it’s all over your profile, click to book a meeting click to buy from me. And if you don’t have packages, I would highly recommend that you do have at least an intro package. Of course, we all have the sport packages. You could have an intro package just for LinkedIn connections that they can click to book or click to click to talk to you about and that’s a great way people like to know what they’re getting. That was my top tips. Of course, if anybody wants to reach out they can connect to me happy to have a chat to them as well.

Sam:  I will put all the audio details and put them all in.

Marcus:  Yeah.

Sam:  So just to recap on that, just say, Marcus.

Marcus: Yeah, I’ll just recap with that there Starbucks strategy, have a strategy in place, connect and follow up 100 times a week, if possible, add value to your posts. And also on your profile. Don’t be afraid of including some kind of package on there. That’s going to help you sell your products.

Sam: Thank you very much, Maureen. It’s been really, really interesting. Speak to absolutely loads and loads of stuff there for people to go away and do. And as you say, and consistently do get that plan in place. And yeah, consistently do. We got a whole podcast in fact, on consistency, which is yeah, you’re saying that thing? Just keep doing it? Um, yeah, amazing. There is going to be a little bit of extras in our newsletters and warnings gather a little bit extra for our newsletter listeners. And if you want to become one of the newsletter listeners or readers, whichever way you want to look at it. Then if you just go to the website, shoottothe top.com, and you can sign up to our newsletter there. So thank you so much, Maureen. And Marcus, I will see you next week.

Maureen: Yeah, thanks, guys. My pleasure. Okay, see you.

Marcus: Bye. Bye.