The Importance of Connecting on LinkedIn with Akua Nyame-Mensah
March 1, 2023
Are you connecting on LinkedIn with the right people?
Or are you scrolling the platform, absentmindedly liking posts, occasionally commenting, and keeping your fingers crossed that you’ll gain something from being logged in?
I know a lot of people on LinkedIn….and most of them don’t use the platform to actually connect with anyone. But LinkedIn is a platform based on networking, not voyeurism. It’s important to focus on connecting on LinkedIn if you want to grow your network…especially if you want to do it in a nurturing and organic way.
On this episode of Talk Copy to Me, Akua Nyame-Mensah joins us to talk about the world of LinkedIn and how to authentically engage on the platform. With plenty of tips and advice from personal experience, she shares strategies for setting boundaries as a highly sensitive person and navigating the unique culture of this social media platform.
You’ll also learn insights into the latest trends on LinkedIn, including the importance of short form videos. Like the other LinkedIn episodes, this one provides a comprehensive guide for anyone looking to build a consistent and authentic presence on LinkedIn.
Here is what Akua and Erin want you to know about connecting on LinkedIn
Why you should set boundaries and prioritizing your own well-being when using any social media platform
Self-promotion and thought leadership are important but challenging in today’s world.
It’s important to recognize and question the negative stories we tell ourselves that hold us back from self-promotion.
Consistency is important for creating a loyal and interested audience, but consistency looks different for everybody and should be based on individual income goals.
Curating and optimizing the content you consume on LinkedIn can inspire the content you create, so long as you understand the difference between inspiration and outright copying. (Hint: don’t you dare copy!)
How to recognize who you want to attract and how you make money, so you can create a consistent posting schedule that aligns with your business goals
Why trial and error is an essential part of any social media strategy
Quotes about connecting on LinkedIn from Akua and Erin
“This can be a potential great channel for you to leverage, but for you to be able to leverage it effectively, you need to make sure that you’re creating processes and approaches that you can use over time.” – Akua Nyame-Mensah
“You can sort of teach the algorithm what you want to see to a certain extent. Through your engagement, what you spend time on, what you click on—you’re going to see more or less of that.” – Akua Nyame-Mensah
“Sometimes, it’s very important to do the slow burn and just connect. It could be as very little as liking their posts, commenting on their posts, or reaching out to them in the DM and being like, ‘I love everything you’re doing at your company.'” – Erin Ollila
“If the first thing you do when you sign on to LinkedIn is click into your DMs and you just quickly delete the things that are not relevant…it doesn’t seem like a big deal. You’re kind of just like dusting. You’re just removing the dust so that you can enjoy the view that you do have.” – Erin Ollila
It is a healthy, mature thing to set boundaries…it is not your responsibility to take care of everyone on the internet.” – Erin Ollila
“Some people will respond, and some people won’t. You do not need to keep knocking on the door of the people who are ignoring you. Their not responding is not a reflection on yourself or your worth or anything like that.” But if you can look at it as not a rejection, just an one, close the door that you’re going to avoid, then then there won’t be that emotional connection or frustration with how cold outreach is going for you.” – Erin Ollila
“I love shouting out people who’ve helped me get me to where I am currently, and who’ve supported me to where I am as well. And I think that for most of us, that’s something that we can do genuinely and feels good [on LinkedIn]. It’s probably the easiest, low-hanging fruit to start with.” – Akua Nyame-Mensah
“I always, always recommend that when you are thinking about leveraging LinkedIn, that you start thinking about what you’re consuming, as opposed to what you’re putting out there.” – Akua Nyame-Mensah
Reflect on the strategy you have for connecting on LinkedIn
Akua says, “What is the one action you want someone to take after looking at your profile or looking at your content?…Who do you actually want to connect with as an ideal decision maker or an ideal client?”
Once you’ve started to answers some of those questions, take to your profile to make updates, follow people who would be ideal connections and remove those who are’t, and then overall, just be a bit more cognizant of how you do spend your time on the platform.
Akua Nyame-Mensah (www.akuanm.com) is a certified executive and leadership coach (ICF), recognized facilitator, speaker, and host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast (www.akuanm.com/podcast). As a former startup executive, she launched an online platform (Lamudi Ghana) for the first African-based technology unicorn Jumia Group. Akua has had the opportunity to live and work in the U.S., Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa and has consulted in and visited over 30 countries worldwide. In her work, she loves combining ‘traditional’ coaching approaches with leadership psychology, neuroscience, emotional intelligence research, and spiritual modalities. Akua works with leaders who are juggling a million responsibilities. She helps leaders clarify where they should focus their time and energy daily through her company ANM & Company. Outside of her coaching and speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations, including Google for Startups, Arlan’s Academy, Founders Institute, Seedstars, African Business Heroes, FemGems, The Coaching Fellowship, and the Google #IamRemarkable initiative.
And finally…Download her LinkedIn checklist to help you out when you’re focusing on connecting on LinkedIn.
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Stay in touch with Erin Ollila, SEO website copywriter:
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Here’s the transcript for episode 058 on connecting on LinkedIn with guest expert Akua Nyame-Mensah
NOTE: This episode of Talk Copy to Me was transcribed by an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors. SPEAKERS
Akua Nyame-Mensah, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends, welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk copy. Hello friends today we are back here to talk all about LinkedIn. And I am here with Akua yummy Mensa who is an executive coach. And she has some great insights on how to use LinkedIn as a business owner and a professional in a way that feels good for you. But there is something you may not know about Akua. And that is that she used to play semi pro soccer in Tunisia. So before we jump into LinkedIn, tell me all about this. This is so cool. I didn’t know this about you.
Akua Nyame-Mensah 00:57
Yeah, I grew up playing a lot of sports. And I grew up in Yeah, different parts of Africa. So first in West Africa, and then we were technically evacuated and then ended up in Tunis, Tunisia, because that’s where the organization My dad worked for, decided to send everyone. And yeah, I’d always played a lot of sports and Tunisia had at the time of really robust, athletic, I don’t know what you want to call it, like they had, yeah, they had all these opportunities to play sports. And they had, it was really well organized. You know, I grew up playing soccer or football. And so while I was there, I joined a team. It wasn’t that serious, to be honest, but because I was not Tunisian, they did have to, like register me in a particular way. And because it was, once again, I think it’s just the type of country Tunisia was everything, and everyone is registered. And so we were considered semi pro, but it was a ton of fun. The majority of my teammates did not speak French, even though that’s the other language I spoke. But we communicated in other ways.
Erin Ollila 01:59
Oh, my gosh, I love that, that you know, and you say that it was not that impressive. But to someone like myself, who is not necessarily the most athletically inclined, it is very impressive. Well, what makes it even more so is that you were communicating with your peers in a way that was not necessarily through the language.
Akua Nyame-Mensah 02:18
Lots of pointing, lots of heartening. Yeah, I mean, if anything, you can think of it as another language, right. So sort of, you know, letting go and believing that, you know, your teammate has your back, and they’ll, they’ll be there when you kick, you try and pass to them. And, you know, you practice a lot. So hopefully, you know, some things come together. I mean, it’s, I would say, quite similar to thinking about the work that I do now. Because I talk a lot about like, being proactive, as opposed to reacting. So even as a leader, right, taking the time to learn about yourself, connect with others, so that when tough times come and they do come, right, you’re not as reactive and you have at least a split second, you can take a breath to make a decision on how to move forward,
Erin Ollila 03:05
this is going to be a slightly corny transition here. But I would say the same is really true for how we like how we communicate on social media. One, there could be the like I just showed up, and I’m I’m reacting, you know, I’m reacting to what I see in my feed. And that’s exactly what I mean. What I mean is how we like plan our marketing content as solopreneurs small business owners, even medium sized business owners, we react to what’s happening in the world around us, what type of sales that we may be having, what other people are saying and doing on social. And that’s not to say everyone is doing that, I would say from the most people I talked to a lot of people are doing more reactionary content planning. Or let me say even just more reactionary community building, network, and nurturing. And we’re, you know, in the middle of this social media series, and I think that it’s really maybe helpful to jump in and talk about why being reactionary is not the best approach to showing up on social. And I love that we’ve had conversations before privately about LinkedIn and how you use it, because I was saying, I want it to show up better on LinkedIn. And I love that you had just kind of laid it out so easy for me, Erin, show up naturally, like yourself and talk to people you like, or you’d want to me and I’m not trying to oversimplify your advice on any way. But I think it’s probably the truest advice, especially when it comes to growing a closer network or thought leadership. Do you have any thoughts on all of that? Because I’m kind of quickly reviewing things that you’ve taught me. So I don’t want to put any words in your mouth.
Akua Nyame-Mensah 04:48
Yeah, no, I think that that was actually a really great transition. I don’t think that was corny at all. And I agree. I think that a lot of us spend a lot of time reacting on social media, right. So showing up in May we think we have to seeing what other people are doing and sort of just copying without really having a strategy or reflecting on whether or not it makes sense. And we can be consistent with it. And it, you know, will allow us to be able to show up and, you know, get what we’d need to get done. And so as I reflect on my own relationship with LinkedIn, and I’m sure I share this with you is that I’m incredibly reluctant to use social media incredibly reluctant. And I think that’s one of the reasons why people invite me to share my perspective on it. And I actually teach other leaders, other coaches about my approach, because it really starts with you recognizing that, you know, this can be a potential great channel for you to leverage but that for you to be able to leverage it effectively, you need to make sure that you’re creating processes and approaches that you can use over time. So I’m not suggesting you don’t get outside your comfort zone, right. As someone who uses coaching tools and techniques as their primary way of supporting others definitely mean it, make sure you no dip your toe out, see what feels good, you might have to do some things that feel a bit uncomfortable to start off with. But it’s really important that you’re able, you’re able to create that space. So you can do things based on how you define consistent, because that’s going to look different for everybody. And also based on your own goals and the vision you have for your business. And I think too often, we see what a lot of other people are doing on social media. And specifically, I’ll use the word influencers, I don’t consider myself an influencer, we can get into how I define it. And the reason why I don’t, but it’s really going to come down to you know what your product is, what your service is, and what makes sense. And also in terms of your income goals and sort of working backwards. For some people that maybe see me showing up on social media, they might feel like, hey, this curls out here all the time. It’s a lot, I promise you, it’s not my approach to leveraging social media is I am lazy, I put a lot of thought into building structures, and also getting support to make sure I can show up in a way that is consistent for me, that might look different for somebody else.
Erin Ollila 07:07
Not everyone wants to nor should they show up on social media in the same way, you know, like Instagram was really pushing rails tick tock all of these things. And one, let’s just pretend someone is an introvert, like that’s extremely uncomfortable to think that they have to show up and perform and to, you know, what happened to the Google social aspect of social media? Well, a lot of determining your plan for like, what social network to use, and how to show up on that particular social network is first kind of recognizing where your comfort level is. I don’t mind video at all. I don’t want to perform on video. Side note here I was in theater my whole life. Like in high school, we won the Massachusetts like theater champions, we were actually we were I think number three. So we weren’t number one or two. But whatever we won, it was a big deal. So like I’ve done theater, I’ve proof I know how to perform. I’ve sang my whole life. But I just it’s not somewhere I’m comfortable when it comes to marketing my business. And as a personal brand. My business is very much me. So once I determined that it helps me figure out okay, well, if I don’t want to do this, how do I want to show up? Like what am I comfortable with? How much of my personal life? Should I share all of these types of questions? I think we’ve I don’t think we’ve really discussed this in any show so far. But I think that maybe before even considering what network, what you’ll do on that network is first kind of having a good sit with yourself and thinking about what feels good to you. How are you able to make that decision? Was it trial and error? Was it? You know, some prep work?
Akua Nyame-Mensah 08:44
That is such a good question. And I think I remember the conversation we had about like how like we don’t want to perform on social media. And you know, recognizing that these platforms are going to potentially prefer right, they’re gonna have algorithms that are potentially prefer a certain approach or a certain way of showing up. But that doesn’t mean that’s how we have to show up. And that also doesn’t mean that you can’t get to a point where you feel comfortable doing that as well. Right? I’ve come a really long way. When I think about the way in which I leveraged LinkedIn specifically, right? Initially, being really afraid of doing video to doing video consistently. And now I do a lot more audio because I have a podcast and I feel a lot more comfortable with that. Right. So I’ve tried different things. So definitely agree. I think a part of it is that trial and error piece, I also recommend, and I want to make sure that there is a distinction between copying and sort of modeling your content, you know, after others, but the modeling piece, and I think the distinction is around the strategy, right? You don’t know what’s going into the strategy when someone else is doing it, but you can see something that someone else does and be like, Hey, I like that. How can I use that for where I’m trying to go and making sure that you at least have a strategy and you’re not just copying outright? So that’s another way I’ve approached it as well seeing what other people do, seeing maybe what other people are a pull to get some traction from potentially, and thinking about, like, oh, how can I incorporate that? Or is that something that I want to try, you know, moving forward. Another way that I’ve also done it is by, you know, recognizing that a lot of the people, so this is sort of thinking about how you want to position yourself and who you want to attract in terms of expanding your network. Other people might describe it as their audience or their community is, you know, really reflecting on how you make money. And one of the things that came through for me, and I’ve been doing this now for four years is that most of my work is b2b, the majority of people that work with me will never engage with any of my content, they will never leave a comment. All right. So it’s also sometimes around changing the stories, you’re telling yourself about why you’re on social media, how people will engage with your content on social media, I find now that a lot of the things I put out on social media is an opportunity for me to actually test content. So it’s really about me just testing, doing market research. And that that is a better story, I think, for me to tell myself then like I need to get 100 likes, and everyone needs to engage with everything that I have. The last bit, also, I think, for me, has been sort of just setting myself themes. So if you look at my content over a week, you’ll see that there’s sort of our themes for each day. So typically, my most vulnerable piece is what I post on Fridays. And that’s just sort of recognizing that people do like seeing your face, they love baby pictures of you just that little bit of vulnerability. It’s what I feel comfortable sharing, there are a lot of other people out there that will share a lot more than that, that is honestly the most I’m willing to share. And anyone who knows me, as a speaker, facilitator, you probably also know that if you come to any of my workshops, or I’m doing an immersion, that I actually don’t share a lot of personal stories. And that’s just a decision I’ve made. That’s what I’m comfortable with. Other people are maybe more comfortable sharing more, and that’s fine. But this is where I’ve decided to plan what makes sense for me. And then once again, keeping in mind that most of my work is also b2b. So that’s also potentially going to help you think about how to show up, where to show up, and what makes sense for you and your business. But once again, that can evolve. And that can shift depending on what your goal is, and the vision that you set for yourself as well.
Erin Ollila 12:15
Everything you just said is so valuable part of me wants to be like, let’s cut, that was a great episode. Let’s jump backwards just a little bit and talk about it’s funny, I say this, because you just you just said to us listeners, I don’t share a lot of personal details. And I am asking you not so much a personal question. But let’s bring this to be a conversation about you a cool, why LinkedIn,
Akua Nyame-Mensah 12:38
you know, when I think about my business, and what I do in my business, a huge part of it is that energy management piece, and I just felt like, LinkedIn just allowed me to engage with a platform in a way that just made sense. For me, I didn’t feel as overwhelmed. And this is also something that I teach, recognizing that you can sort of teach the algorithm, what you want to see to a certain extent, and through your engagement, what you spend time on, which you click on, you’re going to see more or less of that. And so I also just felt like in terms of my feed, I could just curate a little bit more. So I didn’t feel as overwhelmed. And like I said, that’s something I love to share with other people who are looking to leverage the platform as well, recognizing that it’s not just about output. But there’s also a lot of information that you can actually get from the feed. And that can sort of feed you. So I love to talk about how you optimize the feed to feed yourself. Also, like I said, I feel like LinkedIn allows you to share allows you to also absorb. And then of course you have that that direct messaging that DM feature, which is actually where I spend the majority of my time. And so I like having all those different avenues. And to me, it just I’ve been able, I think to create an environment on that social media platform that sounds overwhelming. And I’ve never paid for LinkedIn. So that that’s another thing as well, right? I’m able to do all these things without actually having to pay for it. It’s just a little bit of intention, and a little of engagement, you know, that allows me to have, I think, a much better relationship and feeling from engaging with that platform as well. Let’s
Erin Ollila 14:13
just stay with the b2b part for one second, because I think that’s a key factor in a few things, right. So LinkedIn in in an unfortunate way, which I think may be shifting potentially with the downfall of Twitter, but LinkedIn has kind of been known as to be a little bit more stuffy, let’s say are a little bit more corporate. And I hear a lot of people in the online business world be a little nervous about like dipping their toe in to LinkedIn. For that reason. Not they very well might have their own b2b business, but they may be worried about like, just the conversations that they have. They’re so used to being done differently in other platforms. But you know, one thing that you said before, and I wanted to like throw exclamation points around this on the notes that I’m taking right now. As you had said that you have to change the stories you tell yourself when it comes to how people engage with your content. And I’ve worked with quite a few coaches before, for their, with their websites, and we’ll have this conversation is a lot of them will say like, you know, I work with execs, but they’re not really comfortable stepping out and like engaging with me socially, because then they would have to admit, you know, they were struggling, regardless of whether those struggles were something so normal, something that like everyone experiences, like things like overwhelm, let’s just say like they’re doing a great job, like they’re doing a great job leaving their teams leaving their business, they’re just tired. And there’s like a facade that they have to hold that they have to show up in a specific way. So what I’m about to ask you is kind of like a two part thing. The first question is when people come to LinkedIn, and either they’re afraid to show up, because they’re a little nervous of that facade they have on their own business, or they’re speaking to people with a facade like that. Do you have any advice on how to kind of break through that a little bit lower? We’ll just stay with that one question. I know, I said two questions, but we’ll stay there because that’s a big one. Yeah. And
Akua Nyame-Mensah 16:05
that’s why I feel like, you know, the DM feature is what’s really helpful. So I mean, I, you know, I’ve had people who reach out to say, hey, something that I shared, or a video I posted resonated with them. And you know, everyone approaches having these conversations differently. Typically, I’ll say, Hey, you want to jump on a call? Right? So, you know, there, there is sort of one school of thought that says, No, you must do them until the world comes to an end, right? Go back and forth, go back and forth. But if you feel like they are a good potential candidate for one of your services, you know, just jump on a call right away, I will say, you know, I will filter. So there are people who will connect with me. And that’s the thing and what’s nice about LinkedIn, you can go onto their profile, see what they’ve done. And that can give you a little bit of an indication about whether or not it makes sense to jump on a call or suggest that or even offer that. And then if you say, hey, they might not be the best fit, you can have a bit of a DM conversation to help once again, qualify whether or not it makes sense to do that. But I think, yeah, you know, trying to encourage people with different calls to action, I think can be very helpful. So one of the things I try and do is vary my calls to action. It’s not always like, Hey, give a like or comment below that, hey, send me a DM, right, because that’s something people sometimes forget when they’re engaging with content. And you’d be surprised the number of people that will actually follow those calls to action. I always feel like this is kind of weird. No one’s going to do it. And I’m always surprised, like, oh, people actually reached out, or people actually did the action I suggested I did, right, we’re so busy, just like doing doing doing that having a really great call to action and very direct call to action can actually help you get that engagement in a way that shows interest and that you can connect with them, ya know, and
Erin Ollila 17:37
that’s so valuable. And I would say, you know, a lot of people, it goes with the what you were saying about training yourself to recognize engagement doesn’t have to look one way, right? So, no, it didn’t like you don’t have to have a call to action at the end of your LinkedIn posts. And it’s like, Tell me about a time you are struggling. Or tell me about like the trouble you’re currently facing with your team. Guys, if there are girls, folks, I should say, if their team is on LinkedIn, they’re not gonna be telling you about the trouble that they’re having with their team. Like, it’s just not something realistically, people are comfortable doing. But you could say, you know, Hey, are you struggling with this? Like, can you do you just need a second to vent? DM me, I’m here to listen to you, right? Or like you want to book a call, like everything that you’re saying makes so much sense is knowing your audience to determine what type of call to action. And let’s remember, I loved your example. Because really, what we want to do is we want to drive our business. So we do have to be thinking about like how to connect with the right people. But I think it’s important to remember to, especially on the world of social when sales are being driven so often is that sometimes it’s very important to do the slowburn and just connect, it could be as very well as liking their posts, commenting on their posts, reaching out to them and the DM and being like, I love everything you’re doing at your company. Yes, in a way that it’s not sales oriented. You know, and I think this is where I feel excited and frustrated as a as a user of LinkedIn, there are so many times I’ve had these great conversations with people who I didn’t know, right, or maybe had like complementary businesses, people who could potentially be my clients, people who potentially wanted me to be their clients. And it was just a conversation that ended up feeling good. And then we stayed connected. And over time, we either were referral partners, or we did work together, right. But it wasn’t a sales conversation. So those were some exciting moments on LinkedIn. frustrating moments is I get so many DMS of people that I’m like, there I can see the relation of why they’re contacting me right? Like they maybe want me to write an article for their website at the rate of like point 001 cents per word, right? Which I mean, I’m sorry, folks, like if I’m writing for brands like Oracle and ADP and staples, like you have to believe that I’m not going to get paid less than a penny per word. This is just not, not my my area. So when you had mentioned that you spend most of your times in the in the DMS part of me felt like okay, that that feels like you Right? Like you’re not you’re not going to be performing. You’re you’re you are that reluctant person to show up. So you’re going to have those side conversations and that fits. But then I was like, Well, what the heck is she doing in the DMS like that? Just also, the DMS feels so salesy to me. So do you think that because you’ve, you’ve curated your feet, like the algorithm a little bit that you’re getting those better conversations in the DMS. And if you’re still getting the salesy ones, like I’m getting, how do you go about kind of reducing that?
Akua Nyame-Mensah 20:42
Yeah, it’s a combination of things. So I think the first thing to keep in mind is that LinkedIn is a platform that is trying to make money. And the way they make money actually, is by selling our information. So that’s the first thing to keep in mind. And so when you are building out your profile, there are certain things that are going to be caught within that search, right, copywriter is a big one, you put you’re a coach, a business coach, there are lots and lots of complimentary service providers that like to serve that, you know, that demographic, so recognizing that just by saying you’re a coach or consultant, you’re already going to be inundated with a lot of cold outreach. And let’s let’s be honest, that’s initially why, you know, that’s why LinkedIn is there. That’s how LinkedIn makes money by selling by selling us and selling our information. So part of it, you know, is is about thinking about, you know, your profile, potentially another part of it, unfortunately, this is not something that I can validate, because I don’t have the details. I don’t really understand the back end. But one thing I will say, I think I see it also depends on the country that you’re in. So I think that in countries where, where LinkedIn is actually selling that, that, that service of getting access to, to information, it’s more than likely you’re gonna get those salesy very annoying messages as well, I don’t get as many because I am not based in the US. I’m also not based in Europe. So if you’re thinking about LinkedIn is biggest markets, where I sit in the world on the African continent, it’s not a really big one. So I think that’s probably why I don’t get as many as people in the US, for example. So my sister, for example, everyday, she’s talking about someone’s in her DMs, you know, direct messaging her because they’ve paid for I forgot what the product is called one of the LinkedIn products. And they’re cold messaging her saying that they can turn her website into an SEO machine. So I think a part of it’s also that as well. So I think when when you are building a routine, and I always recommend that you have a LinkedIn routine, right? So I think I share something I have like a 15 minute LinkedIn checklist, what you can do is build a checklist where you know, when you get into your DMS, the first thing you do is just go through maybe and you just delete all the ones where it’s, it’s someone who’s reached out and there’s certain parameters that you give yourself in a certain period of time that you give yourself just to do that, right. So you’re just cleaning up your DMS, that’s maybe the first step that you go through your LinkedIn routine. And then after that you go through and you think about who do I need to follow up with? Who maybe should I send my, you know, calendar URL to, you know, who should I dm as opposed to sending in my calendar URL too, you can, you can start to build a process that you can use to help, you know, make these things habits and to help build a routine. So you don’t feel as emotionally charged by some of those reach outs, because I know how annoying it can be, like I said, my sister all the time she’s really annoyed about and I’m like, No, don’t focus on the annoying people, there could be that one great potential client that you know, reaches out in the DMS or was connected with you and you need to make sure that you connect with them. But as human beings, we do tend to focus on the negative. So it’s important that we sort of counterbalance that by having habits and building routines, and maybe even checklists that just allow us to work through that because it is going to happen, we’re using a platform, most of us are using it for free. That’s how they make money. So we need to just reconcile that and think about and focus on the elements that are going to help us get closer to our goals
Erin Ollila 24:01
when you approach it that way. If the first thing you do when you sign on to LinkedIn is you click into your DMS and you just quickly delete the things that are not relevant without putting any of your like your own brand space into it. It doesn’t seem like a big deal right? Like you’re it’s kind of just like dusting like you’re just removing the dust so that you can enjoy the view that you have right or like get more light into your and whatever. Yes, I
Akua Nyame-Mensah 24:23
love that. Yeah,
Erin Ollila 24:24
I’m glad you love that because I’m really just reflecting everything that you just said right here and it feels okay like if I am highly sensitive and I I will say I’m part of the art my own problem. I get another group that I get a lot of is an entry level copywriters who maybe are just jumping into the copywriting world and because I’m so highly sensitive, I want to help everyone right there but I do not have the bandwidth like I don’t even have the bandwidth half of the time to have the self care that I like to have. So I try to remind myself of that but being that person who is highly is sensitive in some ways, I feel like I have to respond to things. But the truth of the matter, like as an adult was somewhat mature adult, I will say the matter is, is no one can demand certain things from you, right? Like, we do have to set our own boundaries, but we do have to determine our comfort level for things. And we do not owe ourselves to everyone. And this is a reminder to myself, not just necessarily preaching, you know, like, there was a copywriter, or entry level copywriter I worked with for a little while this year, who was lovely, and I was really glad we connected. And I spent a little time nurturing that relationship, even though it wasn’t beneficial to me at all right. But for the rest of the people who will say like, teach me what you know, I want to be a copywriter, I want to do this, I can’t within running my business, running my family and taking care of myself. So if you are a highly sensitive person, you hear what Akua is saying about like doing this as part of your checklist and you’re like, but I can’t delete these messages, recognize that it is a healthy, mature thing to do to set boundaries. And that it is not your responsibility to take care of everyone in the internet. So by doing it in the way that it is like second nature to just quickly delete, you can remove the sensitive part, you can remove the emotional attachment to these things, and then show up as great as you can bring all of your sensitivity into the rest of the relationships.
Akua Nyame-Mensah 26:27
I love that. And just to like add, like I think everyone who’s probably been doing something for a bit of time probably gets those reach outs from people who want to be like them. And I also recommend, and this is something that I love, love to share as well, like, have templates have messages that you know that I literally have, like, I use OneNote. Now I used to have, like Evernote and I just literally had all these like canned messages along with like different URLs for like different lengths of time that I want to connect with people. So I had a URL for meeting for 15 minutes, one for 30 minutes, one for 60 minutes. And it’s all just there in a document that so you can quickly copy paste, right. And now I even have a script for saying, Hey, thank you so much for reaching out, I don’t have the bandwidth. This is my website, if you want to learn more about my background, or do you have a question, I can maybe handle it on my next, you know, podcast, creating all of those things in advance can once again help you remove the emotion and work through that a little bit more efficiently. Because I know for a lot of people I know for me, social media can be very, very emotional. And you might not even recognize it. But you know, it can make me very anxious, you can get very overwhelmed from it. And that might not be something that you even recognize necessarily,
Erin Ollila 27:39
yeah, no, lots of helpful. And I love the organized approach there because it not only is it saving you time, which seems like the easiest benefit to this, but it is also still providing value when you’re doing it in a way that is really saving your energy and being kind to the people who are taking the effort to reach out because there is nothing wrong with a reach out. Like put yourself out there friends, like Do not be afraid to grow, be afraid to message people just understand that like if cold outreach is what you’re doing. And I’m not telling you not to. But if cold outreach is what you’re doing to words of advice, do your research first so that they that way, the cold outreach feels good to the person who’s getting it and it’s not like a cool was saying like we’re our sister is getting like, do you want me to change your life with your new website? Like that feels wrong, right? Do it. So it’s like, Hey, I admire you, or hey, I’ve been following your content, I noticed this thing XYZ. So it starts a true conversation. Secondly is if you are doing cold outreach, and you’re not getting responses, it just accept that right? Like, that’s what that’s part of the cold outreach life, like you put yourself out there, some people will respond and some people won’t, you do not need to like, you know, keep knocking on the door of the people who are ignoring you. And that they’re they’re not responding is not a reflection on yourself, or your worth or anything like that. But if you can look at it as not a rejection, just an one, close the door that you’re going to avoid, then then there won’t be that emotional connection or frustration with how cold outreach is going for you. Because you know, from the people who are getting the cold outreach, again, we have to protect bandwidth and we will connect if it feels good and if it feels right, moving on for a quick second because again, you know, you mentioned this the beginning and we’ve kind of touched on it throughout. I love the idea of talking about like you being reluctant in a sense to show up because you are so so not alone. I would say so many people I’ve worked with who are like leaders experts, they feel nervous kind of stepping outside of their comfort zone especially as it relates to two things self promotion and thought leadership. And I guess from our conversations, you’ve had so much wonderful like a content or like ideas to share with me when it comes to that. So what would you say for the people who are listening that they want to try like then and they like the idea about kind of, you know, like curating their feed, like setting an approach to showing up on LinkedIn that feels good for them. But they’re still kind of behind that wall of like, I don’t know what to share. I don’t know how to sell myself, how can they move past that and into actually sharing thought leadership and promoting themselves in their business? Such a great question.
Akua Nyame-Mensah 30:20
And I think the first is by just acknowledging that, I think that that already can be very helpful. So acknowledging that, hey, there’s something here that’s blocking me trying to get a little clearer on some of the stories that you might be telling yourself, I even am part of an initiative that actually focuses on supporting individuals with this concept of self promotion, because it’s really an issue that everyone struggles with. So recognizing that a lot of times we tell ourselves that, hey, like, I will just need I just need to work hard, and someone will see it. And that might be true in some situations, but for so many of us, and now the way the world is going, like we have to take it into our own hands, we have to get comfortable sharing with others, like, Hey, this is something I can do. And therefore this is something I could potentially do for you. Or it translates to this. Another story that people tend to tell themselves is like, hey, like, I’m not the type of person who sells promotes, right? So I’m introverted. So I don’t sell promote. I’m a woman. So I don’t sell promote, I’m from this culture, this society, therefore I don’t self promote, and recognizing that once again, that that can really hold you back, depending on you know, what your goals are, and where you’re trying to go. I think first, just acknowledging that self promotion is difficult is really big, thinking about maybe some of the stories that you’re telling yourself, and then, you know, recognizing that, you know, self promotion itself is neutral. So, you know, are you giving it a negative connotation? Why, right? What what’s coming up for you there, and starting to think about what is a one step that you can take that maybe will get you closer to attempting to self promote, or trying to self promote? Are you more comfortable sharing, you know, your wins in specific situations, do you feel more comfortable writing versus talking about it. So also, getting clear on your preferences as well will help you actually start off. And then when I think about, you know, leveraging a platform like, you know, LinkedIn, some low hanging fruit, honestly, it’s just sharing that you’ve achieved something maybe related to your education, or you got a new job, if you look at the content on social media, or specifically LinkedIn, people love when other people when when I, when I look back at some of my content, the things that get the most engagement, honestly, is when I share things like, Hey, I did this, you know, awesome, you know, coaching certification, and I had a lot of fun doing it, and these people were involved in it. So I always suggest starting off with those some of those wins. And I think they’re quite easy, new jobs, new certifications, new licenses, maybe that you got in relation to your job. And then I also think practicing gratitude as well. And that’s something that I love to do also on LinkedIn, like I love like shouting out people who’ve helped me get me to where I am currently, and who’ve supported me to where I am as well. And I think that for most of us, that’s something that we can do genuinely and feels good. And it’s probably the easiest lowing hit low hanging fruit to start with. So those are two, I think, interesting ways to start off. Another thing you can do is look at people who are comfortable putting themselves out there on LinkedIn, and thinking about what is the content that resonates with me? What what do I like to engage with? Or what do I at least like to look at? And maybe that’s also a good starting point for you as well? How can you look at something that they’ve done, and once again, not copy, but model, see how you can model or build a template off of that and start there, I you know, always, always recommend that when you are thinking about leveraging LinkedIn that you start with thinking about what you’re consuming, as opposed to what you’re putting out there. So really reflecting on what’s in my feed, what do I want to see more of what do I want to see less of I call it optimizing or curating it, making sure that you’re blocking things, you’re reporting things, if necessary, and you’re engaging with the things that you want to see. Because I think once again, that’s going to help to shift your perspective of what you’re doing on that platform, right? That last bit is probably the why, why am I doing this, right? And reminding yourself of that intention, as you post and as you put yourself out there, as you send a DM, as you cold connect with someone. And if you do cold connect with someone, please make sure you leave a message, there’s an opportunity to do that. Make sure you do that and make it real specific. So that’s that’s really, I think, what I would suggest in terms of a starting point, so practice gratitude, share your you know, the obvious wins, model what you do after others and remember your why even when I post on LinkedIn now, sometimes I still squirm. It’s still icky. I’ve been doing this for four years. You know, if you look at my content, I’m probably posting at least like once a day, and it still feels weird, right? And I even get help with this. So another thing you can also do if you’re at a point where you have enough content and enough awareness of your voice, where you can teach somebody else to sort of sound like you, you can start to outsource it and that kind of makes it a bit easier. But you can only get to the point of outsourcing if you’ve done a bit of that work before Write, you really can’t get that support if you haven’t done the work yourself. And you don’t have a clear point of view, because that’s something I also see a lot of people doing on LinkedIn. And yeah, it’s I think it’s hard to get ghost writers. If you haven’t, you haven’t built your own body of work, right, I think it’s a lot easier to have a ghostwriter or copyright support, if you have a podcast, or you’ve written a book, where you have some body of work that someone can sort of get an idea of your voice and approach from to support you.
Erin Ollila 35:25
Yeah, you could absolutely outsource just make sure that you have that level of leadership, that you have that voice that you’ve created, and you have clear guidelines on what’s okay and what’s not okay, right. Like the people who are creating content for you can only create content to the level that they know feel is right, based on what they’ve seen. So let’s say they’re someone writes a social post for you. And the post itself was great, but all of a sudden, they start including gifts in it. And they include gifts of like, like TV shows that you absolutely hate, and you’re like, oh, wow, I would never do this. Well, that’s okay. That’s they just don’t know that. Right? So if you’re going to onboard someone, maybe make like a style guide, like what you like, what you don’t like, what would be off brand, even if the idea of a brand. Let’s say you’re like an executive, bigger business, or just feels weird to think that you have a brand? Well, just just bear with us for this part of the conversation you do, right, your thought leadership is kind of that brand. So what feels right to you. And then you can outsource some of this stuff, and then show up more presently, in those DMS in the conversations you’re having with people. All right, ACOA, you have been so helpful. Before we end, I have a couple of questions for you. If you could give a small homework assignment to the people who are listening, based on what we talked about in today’s conversation, what would you ask them to do?
Akua Nyame-Mensah 36:42
So the first step, I guess I teach in relation to leveraging a platform like LinkedIn, and I think this is relevant to any social media platform is really reflecting on that strategy, right? What is the one action you want someone to take after looking at your profile, or looking at your content? So for someone like me, who’s a business owner, that means I need to reflect on who actually pays me, right. And for me, once again, because most of my work is b2b, it’s an ideal decision maker, not the user. Right? So typically, it’s two different groups, right? There are people who pay me and those are typically different from the people who actually use my services or who enjoy my workshops and speaking. And so getting really clear on that, I think, is key. If you’re not necessarily leveraging LinkedIn for a business, that’s fine, you still have an ideal decision maker you want looking at your platform, I love supporting some of my clients with thinking about the perspective of what do they need to put on their profile, if they want to get board members, if they want to be an advisor within a company, those are still very specific things that need potentially a strategy and for you to think about who you want to connect with, ultimately. So that’s really what I’d love to leave everybody with, who do you actually want to connect with is an ideal decision maker is an ideal client, right isn’t an ideal sort of activity you want to do, right? So a lot of my clients also volunteer, and that’s something they want to share through their platform. So they get other opportunities to share their thought leadership, or share the impact they can have through volunteering.
Erin Ollila 38:09
You just led me perfectly into my next question, which is, who would you like to meet? Who would you like to connect with?
Akua Nyame-Mensah 38:17
Thank you for sharing this with me in advance? Because if I hadn’t had this question in advance, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to answer this. But one of the things I’ve been thinking about recently is and this goes back to this thought I have about sort of modeling how you show up based on others. But recognizing you don’t know the secret sauce, you don’t know everything. But I think it’d be really cool to connect with the CEO behind the diary of a CEO. I’ve recently been watching some of his episodes. And I mean, when you when you think about, you know, podcasts or any sort of content, like there’s a structure, there’s a template. So I always love to sort of look at what other people are doing. And I think what Steve Bartlett’s doing and what his teams are doing is amazing. I, of course, can’t create it at that level, because he spends a ton of money on everything. And I think that’s great, because he also makes a ton of money with it. But I think just that intentionality that he that he takes to how he approaches what he does online, I think is something that I’d love to learn from, and it’s something I’m keeping in mind for my podcast.
Erin Ollila 39:19
That’s awesome. And you just led me into my final question in 2023. What is your big expectation for LinkedIn itself? That’s a platform
Akua Nyame-Mensah 39:30
so one of the things that I’ve I guess been able to do and this is so weird, because I mentioned before I don’t consider myself an influencer. I don’t think I’m an influencer. Like, when I look at my numbers, I’m not trying to compare myself to others, but you know, I don’t really focus on the numbers necessarily in the same way that some people do. And like I said, there’s there’s a lot of reasons behind it. If you want to hear about it, happy to share that perspective. But I have recently been invited to like LinkedIn creator opportunities. So based on those conversations I’ve been hearing, I think that LinkedIn is really going to prioritize a lot of video and audio content. And I think, you know, it’s probably just direct, indirect sort of competition to what you’re seeing probably on Tik Tok. And even you know, Instagram video, I think is short video, specifically, I think is increasingly becoming interesting on the platform. That’s not what I engage with. So it’s also very interesting to reflect on, you know, what you’re comfortable with and what you engage with, I don’t engage with short videos, I don’t even on LinkedIn. And I mean, even on Instagram, I don’t and as I mentioned before, I don’t even spend any time on tick tock, but in terms of the attention spans that we have as human beings, and those are increasingly becoming shorter, because it’s just a habit not to spend as much time on things, you know, I think short video is going to become even more more important on LinkedIn, audio events are a big thing on LinkedIn, there’s a lot of new things that LinkedIn has rolled out with polls get a lot of engagement. So if you create a poll, that’s definitely gonna get a lot more visibility than anything else on LinkedIn. That’s something I’ve even seen within my own content, audio events, I’ve actually never hosted an audio event, but you can get a lot of people joining. And that’s great for engagement. LinkedIn lives, that’s something I’ve done, those also helped to bring you to the top of the algorithm. I’ve heard people say, Hey, I see you all the time. And that’s typically when I’m doing consistent. LinkedIn lives I recently haven’t. Just because, you know, I’ve switched some things in my business, I might go back to doing a little bit more next year. But so far this year, I’ve sort of dropped off on doing that. So those are some of the things I think that LinkedIn is probably going to give a lot more visibility to. But as I’ve mentioned before, and if there’s anything that you’ll take away from this conversation, in terms of how I show up, I don’t determine my behaviors, and where I spend my energy on what others people are thinking and what other platforms are doing, I’ll look at it, but that that, you know, just because they you know, they’re going to prioritize that or I think they’re going to prioritize that it doesn’t mean that we’re going to spend all my time and energy.
Erin Ollila 42:00
Yeah, I love that. And one thing I really want to say that you just mentioned, and we didn’t really talk about is we talked early on or you mentioned, I think that consistency is very important, which I can always stand behind I think kind of training your audience to know what to expect from you is what’s going to make them more interested in you and and expect that right. But you had mentioned that you did lives and you haven’t been doing them lately. And that is okay. Right? Like, oh, yeah, we part of the story we tell ourselves is like, okay, now I know what my you mentioned themes. I know, my themes are I need to show up and do this. I know what like my approach is working best I need to show up and do this. No, you don’t. And there are seasons to how you show up on social of as a content person, I’m always going to tell you consistency is the number one thing, but as a human who has run a successful marketing business, who has worked with success, very successful businesses and huge brands. Consistency is important, but also understanding the why like, you know, because when talking about like the why behind things is also important. You know, for whatever reason, the lives were really working well for you. And not that they weren’t, but you just didn’t need them in this next season. And as you mentioned, maybe next year, you will start to bring them back, right like so there are different needs we have there are different wants different interest. And it’s really okay to cycle within, like into them and out of them depending on what’s happening within your business. And doing it in a way that works best for you is going to be where you’re getting the best result. Yes.
Akua Nyame-Mensah 43:37
snaps to everything that you said.
Erin Ollila 43:39
Oh, thank you. You’ve been so great friends, we are on a podcast, which means I am in your ears right now. I will put all of the ways you can get in touch with Akua in the show notes in the podcast description. But while you’re here and your podcast player, I invite you to go check out her podcast called Open Door conversations. In addition to that I was just on the council cast podcast. So if you want to hear Aaron from a different lens of being the host, and instead being the guest, you can hop on over there. But I thank you for your time today. Akua. I thank you for your time listeners. And we will be back next week to talk about a whole different social media platform. All right, have a great day. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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