Since I began writing for LI & Business, I have had the opportunity to connect with some incredible people and it’s interesting that one of the most impressive people I’ve encountered so far had been closer to me than I realized. He hasn’t been closer to just me but also to anyone who has ever read LI & Business magazine because I’m talking about it’s Executive Editor, Nate Kievman.
FULL PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH NATE KIEVMAN
I have no intention of succumbing to the usual hype-fest that follows a great interview but forgive me if it sounds that way because I feel that I really “got the goods” from Nate, probably to the point that he should have charged me. Just kidding, Nate! I’m sure that will get a laugh during editing…
In addition to the massive undertaking of LinkedIn & Business Magazine and it’s 14.5 million subscribers, Kievman also runs the #1 LinkedIn Strategy Group on LinkedIn and has taught more than 35,000 people how to master the platform. He’s authored three books on the topic including LinkedIn Mastery: An All Inclusive Guide to Mastering LinkedIn. Kievman has also presented as the keynote speaker on social media strategy for the National Speakers Association Winter Meetings just this last 2011.
He’s not your average social media bandwagoner, to say the least!
Nate Kievman is an educated guy. He has two Masters Degrees (one in Business, the other Sports Administration) but really credits the “school of hard knocks” when trying to build his own businesses.
“I realized the power of LinkedIn and I kept using it as a tool to help my clients accelerate their growth,” says Kievman as he discusses the evolution of his consulting practice and the successes that led to it.
“People can hide behind their computer and they don’t realize it is so personal.“ ~Nathan Kievman
Related: LinkedIn webinar to teach you exactly how to optimize your profile and attract your ideal clients! Click here to register now.
No Bones: Talking ROI & Social Media…Again
Kievman’s perspective on ROI should be enlightening for many entrepreneurs and business people that struggle with making that word show up in the same sentence as social media.
Kievman asserts that most organizations come from two strands of thought:
- ROI focused but also very results-driven (Favored by Direct Marketers like Kievman)
- Branding organizations that are focused on building a brand
As we continued to discuss the big divide that exists between these two ways of thinking in the social marketing world, it was determined that both of these strategies are very applicable and very powerful in their own ways but you can’t measure them both in the same way.
“You will see things like Radiant6 (popular social marketing tool) and other tools like that that have come about because they are measuring influence by mentions which is a branding metric of success.
“When most people think of ROI, they’re thinking return on investment when social media oftentimes is return on energy, return on efforts (ROE), and that’s the branding side of the word but it’s not to be taken lightly because that’s extremely powerful.”
Kievman’s words resonated with me, especially as an entrepreneur working exclusively in the social media marketing domain. When it gets down to the nitty gritty of the almighty dollar, Kievman suggests LinkedIn, especially in the B2B space when putting very specific programs and campaigns that aim for a very specific result.
He compares using LinkedIn to a direct mail program because of their equal tendency to be extremely powerful when executed properly or a colossal waste of time and money when done it wrong. Those of us who remember the prime days of direct mail know this all too well.
“If you go about it with the approach that you’re going to just go pitch everybody and send a traditional sales copy through LinkedIn, then you’re not going to have the success that you’re hoping to get.” Kievman leaves little room for rebuttal here and suggests that ROI is primarily valuable through that method or by taking an editorial approach with a long-term strategy for “creating influence and of your own brand through the content that you contribute.”
If you follow Nate Kievman’s group on LinkedIn, Linked Strategies, you already know that it has nearly 35,000 members and it’s bursting with activity and engagement. The group continues to get thousands of new members each month and has effectively positioned Kievman as a thought leader, effortlessly attracting hundreds of attendees to a webinar with only 20 minutes notice. It doesn’t matter who you are in the webinar world, those are stats anyone would be very happy to have.
When he originally started the group it only had around 300 members. After running some copy that was used to target very specific entrepreneurs and business professionals to join the group, the numbers managed to double to 600.
After some frustration with the lack of desired progress, Kievman resorted to doing some research and found two to three other groups that were essentially doing the same thing. He managed to convince the individual owners of those groups to merge all of their groups into one, which immediately took them to 3000.
Organic growth brought them along to around 7000 members but a communication strategy was implemented that helped them to grow by about 1000 to 5000 new members each month ever since. When direct marketing is done to grow the group, they consistently grow by 5000 new members each month.
With a few solid keyword strategies, Nate’s group Linked Strategies manages to stay at the top of the results for many of the major Ivy League schools and cities that people are typing into the LinkedIn search engine. This helps with organic growth in the range of 30-50 new members joining each day. That’s what I’m talking about!
When I asked Nate what aspects of his education he thought really contributed to his success with social media, his answer hit home when I thought about the struggles many have when trying to wrap their head around social networking online.
“The biggest benefit of it was actually the networking. The Sports Administration program from Ohio University I attended was one of the top in the country and the network that I became a part of there really educated me on the power of a network. How can I leverage a network of 2500 alumni to accelerate my own results?
“I started my career in consulting and strategy advice for businesses by doing interview series with people that were in my alumni network and that was amazing. I got to interview billionaires and the head of marketing at Coca-Cola and some amazing people in my network and so I guess if anything, that was a huge contributor to where I’m at today.”
I couldn’t help but agree as he discussed the importance of a network without mentioning social media or the Internet. So many people forget that social media is really just networking online and the things that many do online are completely non-conducive to what they would do in-person.
Every corner you turn on social media it seems there is someone ready to pop out and just start pitching you and trying to sell you stuff. The bottom line is if it’s not something that you will do face-to-face at a networking event, then you shouldn’t be doing it on social media. I mean, c’mon, would it work if someone just approached you and said, “Hey! Buy my stuff!”
I didn’t think so.