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24 min read

LinkedIn Ads Success Blueprint for Solopreneurs

LinkedIn Ads Success Blueprint for Solopreneurs


Watch the Episode on YouTube

On this episode of The One-Person Business Podcast, AJ Wilcox takes us on a journey of discovery that will transform your perception of LinkedIn advertising. It is truly your gateway to unlocking LinkedIn's unparalleled potential. Be sure to tune in to unravel the secrets of LinkedIn success and revolutionize your advertising game!

We discuss:

  1. Channel challenges people might face with other platforms that LinkedIn might help solve

  2. Pros to LinkedIn Ads

  3. The kinds of businesses that do best with LinkedIn ads

  4. Three elements needed for a successful social campaign

  5. The best types of ads on LinkedIn

  6. LinkedIn ads best practices solopreneurs should keep in mind

  7. Targeting and re-targeting best practices on LinkedIn

  8. The types of offer that convert the best

  9. Cost-effective ways to run LinkedIn ads

Plus so much more! Be sure to tune in.

Connect with AJ Wilcox

Favorite Quotes:

"I'm a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more lucky I get."


Going solo in business doesn't mean you're alone! Join our thriving Facebook community group exclusively designed for solopreneurs!  Connect with like-minded individuals who understand the unique challenges and triumphs of running a business single-handedly. Gain valuable insights, discover proven strategies, and unlock the power of networking as you engage in lively discussions and receive expert advice. We hope to see you there!

About AJ Wilcox

AJ Wilcox is THE LinkedIn Ads guy! Host of The LinkedIn Ads Show podcast and CEO of B2Linked, AJ has been running ads for over 12 years and has spent over $150 million on the platform. He definitely knows his stuff! He lives in Utah with his wife and 5 kids… YUP, 5!

AJ loves anything that goes fast, geeky data projects, music, and the great outdoors.

Like this show? Click on over and give us a review on Apple Podcasts Thanks!

Full Episode Transcript

AJ Wilcox (00:00):

The reason why we get such high quality leads from LinkedIn is because of the targeting.

Intro (00:07):

Welcome to the One-Person Business podcast, the show for solopreneurs, consultants and contractors who are ready to take charge of their business and reclaim their freedom. Join us as we bring you inspiring stories, invaluable insights and practical strategies from successful solopreneurs and industry experts, empowering you to create a thriving business that aligns with your unique goals and allows you to live life on your own terms. Here are your hosts, Joe Rando and Carly Reese.

Carly Ries (00:37):

Welcome to the One-Person Business podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Carly Ries.

Joe Rando (00:41):

And I'm Joe Rando.

Carly Ries (00:42):

I was saying this offline, but we wanted AJ Wilcox to come on today because 1) we think he'd be a great speaker for our audience. He knows a lot about the topic today. But also because Joe and I just wanted to hang out with him more than the last time we did. So, AJ is the LinkedIn ads guy. He is host of the LinkedIn Ads Show podcast and CEO of B2Linked. He's been running ads for over 12 years and has spent over $150 million on the platform. So he definitely knows his stuff. He lives in Utah with his wife and five kids, which is wild and loves anything that goes fast, geeky data projects, music, and the great outdoors. AJ, with all that being said, welcome to the show. We are so excited to have you here.

AJ Wilcox (01:29):

So excited to be here. Thanks, Carly. Thanks, Joe.

Carly Ries (01:32):

You are just a breath of fresh air. I'm so happy you're here. Let's start with the basics. I love your story about how you got into LinkedIn ads, so can you share that with our audience?

AJ Wilcox (01:42):

It wasn't intentional. I started out my career as a search engine optimization guy. This was right as I was in university. It was so funny to me because I was working a tech job. I've always loved technology, but I knew I wanted my degree to be in marketing. I was so worried as a college student back in 2007, lwho in the world is gonna hire me as a marketer if all of my experience is in technology? That sounds funny now 'cause marketing is all about technology, but back then that was like the worries of a college student. In one of my classes my senior year, a guy came in and started talking about search engine optimization and a light bulb went off for me and I was like, "that is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is technology plus marketing." I went up after class and I begged that poor man for an internship. He continues to be a mentor to me today. I started in SEO, I got into Google ads. At the time that was really like the defecto of digital marketing. It was organic and paid search. I got a job in a larger SaaS software company. I got a job as their digital marketer. This is back when they were private, before they went public. I was talking to my CMO, my new boss, and I laid out all of my search strategies, my SEO and my PPC. I remember her saying, okay, all that sounds great. Go ahead and move forward with it.


But just so you know, we started a pilot with LinkedIn ads about two weeks ago. So your job is to take that over and see what you can do. Of course, I didn't want to look stupid to my new boss so I saluted and said, yes ma'am, and jumped into the platform. I actually applied my same strategy that I used with Google ads at the time. I applied that to LinkedIn just 'cause that was all I knew. About two weeks later, I had a sales rep come up to me and say, Hey AJ, we don't know what you're doing over here, but we are fighting over your leads. Keep it up. So I went to go log into the CRM to see what in the world, what leads is this guy talking about?


Every single one of the leads that he had mentioned was from LinkedIn ads. Long story short, I ended up going all in on that platform over the next two and a half years. I kept investing until that account became LinkedIn's largest spending account worldwide. After two and a half years of that, I actually got laid off, which was a huge blessing in disguise, but after that I went, "okay, there has to be more than just this one company that LinkedIn ads would be successful for." I started B2Linked, that was back in 2014. So it's been a while.

Carly Ries (04:29):

The rest is history, as they say. You're right, back in the day, paid search and Google were basically the top dogs but today there are a lot of platforms, Meta or Facebook, whatever you wanna call their ads, there are ads on that platform. There are a plethora of other places you could be advertising. But what channel challenges might people face with those other platforms that they may not face with LinkedIn that would make LinkedIn a better solution for them?

AJ Wilcox (04:57):

Starting with Google, Google is showing your ads based off of the keywords that people are searching for. Let's say that you have a disruptive new product or service that people don't know exists. Well, if they don't know it exists and, and there's no category created for it already, there are no established keywords, then paid search isn't gonna help you out there. So that's one. The other big challenge is that with Google Ads, people are signaling what it is they are looking for. So there's that intent, but what you don't get is any qualifications about who that individual is. Are they qualified to actually make the purchase decision? Do they have a big enough budget? Do they represent a large enough company? Are they in the right industry? So Google is absolutely wonderful, like no shade on Google as a platform.


But the reason that we went all in on LinkedIn was we feel like being able to reach exactly the right person was more important than catching just the people who are showing signs of intent. Meta's a little bit different. Meta is like Facebook and Instagram basically right now. They have a few other properties as well. But, Meta doesn't know anything about you from a professional standpoint, but it knows what you are into personally. For instance, if I'm looking to reach senior IT people, meta can't make sure that I'm hitting high level senior IT people, but it will be able to show ads to people who are interested in it, they can find many of the right people.


But for a client of ours right now, we actually have a live case of this where we're tracking our LinkedIn traffic and our Facebook traffic. They are paying a third as much on Meta as they are for a lead on LinkedIn. So you look at that immediately and go, oh, better go all in on Meta because it's a third the cost. But then we talk to their sales team and find out their sales team has to disqualify 95%. They have to disqualify 95% of the leads coming from Meta, but from LinkedIn they're only disqualifying 5 to 10%. So by the time you get to this stage of a cost per meeting or a cost per proposal, or a cost per closed deal, LinkedIn costs half as much as meta. So when you're talking about which platform produces the higher ROI, in this case, even though LinkedIn is three times the cost, it is actually producing the highest ROI.

Carly Ries (07:42):

So ROI is huge, what are the other big advantages for LinkedIn ads? You talked about the disadvantages for some of the other platforms, but what can people really get excited for if they use this platform?

AJ Wilcox (07:54):

The reason why we get such high quality leads from LinkedIn is because of the targeting. When you and I go to LinkedIn and we create our profile for the first time, we tell it what our job title is and what company we work for, and we claim certain skills for our profile. We may even go above and beyond and join a group about a certain topic. LinkedIn is able to stitch together all these things and figure out, okay, job title, level of seniority, department you work in, what size of company, what kinds of company growth rate might be happening, and, what skills you've mentioned and interests based on what you interact with. This profile gets built out in a way that you just can't target on any other platform. I think the targeting is the reason that we pay a premium to advertise on LinkedIn.


The other cool part about the targeting though is that it's at near perfect scale. I especially here in North America, it's something like 90 to 95% of white collar professionals have a LinkedIn profile, and then the average member logs in three or four times a month, which doesn't sound very often, but there are more active members that you can reach more often. You're talking about near a hundred percent of your ideal target audience is there and you're able to reach them in a way that you can't reach them on any other channel.

Carly Ries (09:23):

Let me ask you this. Our audience is made up of solopreneurs. So it's all these one person business owners. Are there any types of businesses or industries that do better on the platform? Are solopreneurs at a disadvantage?

AJ Wilcox (09:40):

Being completely transparent, LinkedIn is a more premium network to advertise on. We pay an average of 10 to $16 every time someone clicks on our ads targeting here in North America. It is significantly cheaper in other parts of the world. But, that is a lot. And most of the time when I hear solopreneur, I hear someone who probably doesn't have a significant advertising budget. Really the size of the company doesn't make a huge difference for LinkedIn ads. I think it really comes down to is, your ideal target audience, are they there and do you make enough from them to make a positive ROI? What we've decided is somewhere around $10,000 or more of a deal size or a lifetime value. If what you sell is worth $10 ,000 or $15,000, chances are LinkedIn ads are for you, then it just comes down to a budget and time constraint.


Do I have enough budget to get in front of these people often enough and capture them and work them down the sales process? Of course, you need to have good content to help nurture these people, get them to know, like, and trust you so that they will respond when you finally show an ad that says, "Hey, let's hop on a call." But yeah, it is certainly harder for those with smaller budgets, but definitely not impossible. We will get to talk about strategies here in a little bit that are tailored to the solopreneur.

Carly Ries (11:12):

Great. I want to talk a little bit about strategy. Let's say somebody is, "I want to do this, it sounds great." You talk about the components of a successful social campaign. I think there are three of them. Can you touch on that a little bit?

AJ Wilcox (11:26):

Yeah. This acronym that we came up with, AMO, it's the three things that every social media campaign needs. Is A- your audience, M- your message and oO-your offer. I'll walk through each one of those,. Your audience, this is why we go to LinkedIn and we're willing to pay a premium, is access to that premium audience. That's kind of a no-brainer when you come to LinkedIn. M your message, this is made up of three things. It's the ad copy you choose, the visual creatives that you choose, and the ad format that you choose. It's basically what the prospect sees in their newsfeed or when they're on LinkedIn. And that's moderately important. It obviously has to catch their attention. You have to properly describe your offer. But O, your offer, is by far the most important part. It is what are you offering your prospect in exchange for their attention? An offer can be anything. It can be just come and read this blog post, or it could be buy something now or anything kind of in between on a friction scale, but you are offering them something to try to get their attention. That's an offer. Anytime I'm doing social advertising, I'm passively thinking in my mind about this acronym, bring my AMO to social advertising.

Carly Ries (12:51):

I love it. Let's say somebody has their AMO and they're ready to go. I think an intimidating thing for especially solopreneurs is they get to the platform and then there is a ton of options for people to choose from in terms of types of ads. I know that's on different platforms, but for whatever reason, what I get on LinkedIn, I'm like, oh, I don't know which one's gonna get clicked. I don't know which one's popular. Can you touch on some of your favorite types of ads and what you think would be best for solopreneurs to dabble in?

AJ Wilcox (13:22):

Absolutely. I have three favorite ad types on LinkedIn. The first is called single image sponsored content. Two of the three of my favorites are sponsored content. What that means is they show up in the newsfeed and that's the default experience, whether you're on the LinkedIn app or whether you log in on desktop. So a lot of people see these. They're single image, which means you just have to come up with one image and then about 150 characters of text up above and about 60 characters of text down below. I can't think of a single offer out there that I can't describe in this confluence of elements. So it's a really easy thing. I mean, anyone can just go log into Canva and put together an image. Put some text and throw an image together very quickly.


Writing ad copy is free. So the single image sponsored content, I think, is a pretty ideal place to start. If, however, you're a little bit more ambitious, video ads on LinkedIn are starting to become incredibly powerful. The reason why I think, is when I talk about trying to get someone's attention and walk them through this getting to know me process. If they go and read five of my white papers or five of my blog posts, chances are they're not gonna know and trust me any better. But if they watch me for two minutes on a video, all of a sudden, we make that personal connection, I think humans are so much better at that. So if you do have the capabilities of doing video, and don't overthink it, just you talking to your cell phone is plenty.


I think video ads are my number two favorite. My third favorite is one called text ads. This is going to sound a little bit silly to you guys why I like them. They are the ad format that no one clicks on on LinkedIn. They have the lowest click-through rate, it's 0.025%, which means on average you serve these ads 10,000 times and you'll get two and a half clicks. So the natural question then is, "AJ, why in the world do you like this ad that no one cares about?" What I love about 'em is, first of all, they are LinkedIn's cheapest ad format. So especially for solopreneurs who may have a lower or more limited budget, you can go all in on these ads and it costs next to nothing. Number two, because they hardly ever get clicked, your logo is showing up on every page that someone refreshes when they're on LinkedIn.


And what we find is, if we're running sponsored content and then we turn on text ads, our click-through rate on our sponsored content will usually rise by about 13%. I think what's happening here is people are constantly seeing your logo so by the time they see your sponsored content pop up, they say, "oh, I've heard this company before. They must be legit. Yeah, I'll give them a little bit more of my attention." Those three ad formats I think you can start. You could probably spend 95% of your budget on that and get the greatest performance out there available to you.

Carly Ries (16:32):

So the third one is kind of an awareness play more than anything. That goes to my next question. Because video is huge right now, but a lot of people don't really know what they should be doing with video. So you have your AMO, you have these formats, are there any best practices people should be implementing once they have all of this in place? I feel like that still sometimes isn't enough to get people over the finish line.

AJ Wilcox (17:00):

Yeah, I have some helpful thoughts specifically for video. Number one, you want to keep your video ads short, especially if someone's never heard of you before. If you have a video message that's between 15 seconds on the low end to a minute on the high end, that's enough that you're going to get people's attention. The other thing, we've tried this out. I've filmed video ads in my office here, with professional audio, pretty good video, good lighting, and it didn't perform nearly as well as me holding my phone up outside, just in a park and saying the same thing. So like I said before, don't overthink it with video. Don't feel like you have to rent studio time and get everything perfect. People are kind of done with perfect. They want to see the more raw. Keep it short, keep it action packed, start the video out with some kind of a knowledge bomb or something that stops 'em in their tracks.


The last thing I have for you, 80% of people are going to watch these video ads with their sound off. Immediately you're thinking, okay, I need to make sure I have subtitles. Well, we just did a test and we found that when we used what I call snazzy subtitles, but many of you may have seen them as TikTok subtitles or Alex Hermozi subtitles. These are animated subtitles of the words popping up on screen with emojis and action happening. When we did those kinds of subtitles, our watch time doubled. The number of people who are willing to watch all the way to the end of the video ad literally doubled. So that's my last tip. It's worth investing in some of those subtitles and there are a lot of services out there that do this relatively quickly and easily and definitely cheaply.

Carly Ries (19:01):

That's all really helpful, but what's funny is, you may have the perfect ad, but it means nothing unless people see it. You said at the beginning of this episode that one of the selling points for LinkedIn is just how wonderful their targeting is. I don't know if you touched on everything you wanted to on that, but at the very least, I know retargeting is also a big deal with LinkedIn and that may go over a lot of our listeners' heads. Can you just give us a brief rundown of how people might be able to utilize retargeting to get the biggest bang for their buck?

AJ Wilcox (19:32):

Yes, retargeting is incredibly important and it's because of this. I've kind of intimated here in some of my answers. People are not going to be ready to buy from you the first time they see your ad. It's extremely rare. So what it means is it's super important to show up to the same person multiple times. You can do this a couple ways. You can either spend a lot of money on your advertising in hopes that you'll hit the same people over and over or we can use retargeting, which is a lot easier and requires a lot less budget. Here's the concept. You can install a little piece of JavaScript, LinkedIn calls it the insight tag, on every page of your website. Then every person who visits your website that LinkedIn recognizes, it kind of radios home and tells LinkedIn, Hey, stick them into this separate audience of people that I know who visited this website. LinkedIn calls this their website retargeting feature.


You can go set this up for free. It costs you nothing to just start building this audience of everyone who's already come to your website. You can get really ninja too. You can say, how about we add someone to an audience just who lands on a certain area of my website? So maybe it's like if you've landed on my pricing page or if you've landed on one of my thank you pages that you'll only get to when you've become a lead or downloaded a piece of content, hey, now we're building this extra warm audience. The next thing is LinkedIn realizes that not everyone who visits the website is going to be tracked. Especially with all of these changes. You might have heard of the iOS 14.5 update where cookies are starting to go away and retargeting is very much fueled by cookies.


So what LinkedIn did to combat this is they started allowing us to do retargeting based off of actions that people take within the LinkedIn platform. This has a 100% match rate. If you are on LinkedIn and being served an ad, you are logged in, LinkedIn knows who you are. And so if you click on, or engage on one of my ads or watch at least 25% of one of my video ads, or you visit my company page, LinkedIn is making note and saying, this user took this action on this date. I can go in today and set up one of these retargeting audiences and say, Hey, LinkedIn, create an audience of anyone who's visited my company's page on LinkedIn for the last 90 days. And LinkedIn will do it. They'll go back in arrears and build this audience of anyone who's done that in the last 90 days or 180 days. All of these retargeting features, LinkedIn keeps rolling them out. We keep getting more and more and it just makes it more and more powerful for staying in front of your ideal target audience, being able to continue that conversation. Because they need that, to walk someone from being a cold audience to where now they know, like and trust you and are ready to become a customer. They had to have multiple touchpoints with you along the way. Retargeting does that.

Carly Ries (22:38):

Gosh, technology is so wild, it just blows my mind sometimes. So you can put anything as an ad, you can the blog post, read this ebook, blah, blah, blah. Are there any offers that convert better than others are get that get higher click-through rates?

AJ Wilcox (22:59):

What we've found over and over again is to get someone to convert or take whatever action that you want someone to take, there are two factors that play in. One is you're providing them a benefit, a lure of some kind, like there's a benefit for them in taking this action. And then on the other side, you have friction. Things that are going to scare them away or make them not want to do it. I'll give you a a a for instance here. Let's say for instance your offer is saying, "Here's this blog post we just wrote on this topic that's really valuable to you. Come check it out." We see this benefit to the user like, oh, I can go and read this important blog post about something that's happening in my industry.


And then they think about the friction and it's like, I'm on my way to do something right now. Or I'm kind of busy. Do I want to click over and see something? They'll probably say yes. What if we took the same kind of content? Is this something really valuable? It's a free checklist or a free cheat sheet or a guide and it's very valuable, but we've now put it behind a form of some kind. Now the user's going, I want this thing, it's probably really valuable to me, but I do have to fill out this form and maybe if I fill out the form, some thirsty sales rep is gonna come hunt me down and knock on every door of mine that they can find. A lot of times, when you ask someone to read a blog post, especially if it's good, you could have 50% or 100% of people actually take that action.


But as soon as you put it behind a form, now that conversion rate drops down to 10, 20, 30%. We're starting to weed people out with that friction. For certain, when we're just getting someone to know us as a company and starting to get them to like us and trust us, we don't want to put friction. We want as many of them to come to us naturally as possible. But at some point when you have nurtured an audience enough, you've earned the right to now ask them to identify themselves and learn who they are. At that point, the kinds of offers that people will fill out forms for and identify themselves over, these are going to be things like a free webinar or a free online event, a guide, an ebook, a checklist, a cheat sheet, a free in-person event, certain kinds of offers.


They just make sense. In order to sign up for a webinar so that we can send you a calendar invite, we have to know your email address. People aren't gonna think that's weird to give their email address in order to sign up for a webinar. Realize that you have to nurture someone to get to the point where you've earned the right to then ask them to fill out a form. I will tell you, what will happen if you go to a cold audience and say, "Hey, download this free guide," You will have 10, 15, 20% of people give you their email address and they will all become what we'd call in marketing, like a marketing qualified lead or an MQL but 0% of those will graduate to a sales qualified lead when sales goes to reach out to them.

Carly Ries (26:17):

Good to know. Big waste of time. And especially for solopreneurs, you don't want to keep chasing the ones that don't go through.


On that note, for me, I'm also solepreneur, you sold the last time I heard you talk. I was like, "oh, I wanna go test LinkedIn ads" So if people are sold but they're still, "well my budget's a little tight", do you have any other advice for one-person business owners that have a tighter budget that really want to approach this that you haven't already covered?

AJ Wilcox (26:48):

This takes us back to the retargeting conversation we had. If you have a limited budget, why waste any of that on audiences that are completely cold, that you're gonna have to spend months or even years nurturing to get them to the point where they're warm. What you want to do, on a small budget, is go immediately to your warmer audiences. That means starting with retargeting. Immediately set up that retargeting audience of anyone who visits your website so LinkedIn can start building that. The things like they visited your company page, they've clicked on one of your ads or, watched at least 25% of one of your video ads. So many of those things are actually based off of having advertised before, but start that process of working with the people who are already on your website and are already interacting with you.


The next really cool thing that LinkedIn has that no one else has, there are other platforms where you can upload a list of email addresses to LinkedIn for being able to target people. Every other platform, every major platform has this as well. But what makes LinkedIn special is two things. Number one, when you upload a list of contacts, you don't need email address. If you have their first name, last name, job title, and company name. With those four things, LinkedIn knows exactly who you are and they can match you even if you don't have an email address for them. That makes it powerful 'cause you can't upload to to Meta or Google without a list of email addresses. That's number one. Number two is LinkedIn has the ability to upload in mass, a list of company names. You can upload up to 300,000 company names and then be able to either target or exclude.


So if you are a small business, with small budgets, why wouldn't you spend a hundred percent of your budget on those who are most likely to use your service or to need it or to want it? All of that expert level targeting that you can do. We're talking about small audiences. It's going to cost next to nothing to show ads to all those. And then once you've kind of gotten the machine moving by that point you may have earned up enough, or saved up enough money for a budget that you can start advertising to cold audiences and start putting them through that machine.

Joe Rando (29:15):

I have a question. I heard a podcast the other day with Dan Roth and Alice Xiong from LinkedIn. They were talking about the changes that were made to the algorithm recently. What I noticed a while back was that LinkedIn was starting to look a lot like Facebook, you know, all these kind of posts about personal things and a lot of 'em were kind of nice and and stuff, but they weren't really related to your business, your professional side and they've addressed that or they're trying to address that. I'm curious if you have any thoughts on that, any advice on that or maybe ways for people to supplement their advertising. Obviously if you can engage people to your posts that's gonna help your ads do better. Any thoughts in this?

AJ Wilcox (30:06):

Yeah, the organic side of LinkedIn is really interesting. If I wouldn't have gone all in on on ads, I probably would've gone all in on the organic side of LinkedIn just because how exciting it is. The fact of the matter is if I go and post something on Facebook, my mom will like it, my mom will comment, but other than that, I'm probably not gonna get a whole lot. That's because a hundred percent of the people who are on Facebook are willing to post there. There is no barrier there. It's not scary for them. They're used to it. On the other hand, LinkedIn has the same algorithm that Facebook has. Everyone complained about it when Facebook did it because it took organic reach away, but with LinkedIn it actually gave organic reach. That's because when someone is on LinkedIn, I don't know whether they just don't think to post there or maybe it's a little bit scary.


If I mess up, I'm messing up in front of all these potential business prospects, and business people that that could impact my career going forward. I don't know what it is, but only about 5% of LinkedIn members on average will post. But a hundred percent of us need a feed full of content when we log in. So what LinkedIn does to fill up people's news feeds is they look for engagement. Let's say I post something and let's say you have 5,000 followers on LinkedIn. If you comment on my post, my post now gets seen by a portion of your 5,000 followers. I just went viral and it's all because I created something that was worth commenting on. So as LinkedIn continues to adjust their algorithm, they have an idea of who they want, whose posts they want actually seen and to go viral.


I don't think they want the thought leaders to go viral. I don't think they want Gary V's posts to all get 1.2 million views. I think they want interesting posts by individuals no matter how many people they have following them to be seen. So I'm curious, I actually haven't watched that interview. I would love to go see that one and catch up. I wouldn't be surprised if they are kind of doing the Robinhood thing of taking from the rich and giving to the poor.

Joe Rando (32:35):

It is the Entrepreneur Magazine's, Problem Solvers podcast June 26th. Very interesting. Good stuff, definitely check it out. I think you're on right on. They're not rewarding virality, they're rewarding engagement and that makes a ton of sense for the kind of content you want moving around on LinkedIn.

Carly Ries (32:57):

I had a good friend of mine, she's very talented, very smart, and she got laid off last summer and she did a post that was just like, "I got laid off. This isn't easy." She was just super vulnerable and there were all these comments, like, if anybody knows or has any feelers and if anybody wants to talk about getting laid off and just that feeling you have, I'm happy to chat with you. And her posts just blew up through all these offers for her. She was looking for jobs for other people who have been laid off. They just kind of created this whole little network of "I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine." and it was amazing, it blew up. I mean, while she's talented and brilliant, she's not "an influencer" by any means. And it went nuts.

AJ Wilcox (33:45):

That's a beautiful story and now she sees the capabilities of like, oh it is powerful to post on LinkedIn. I can reach networks outside of my own that are very influential people. I would not be surprised if she goes on to now be more active on LinkedIn and think to post more often there. That's what LinkedIn wants. They want people to come and be more active. Of course that does take views and virality away from other people who may be used to it. They might be complaining, "my post used to get hundreds of thousands of views and now I'm only getting 50,000". They want the people who are lower in engagement to start getting engaged in the platform. Not putting words in their mouth, but if I were them, that's what I would be trying to do

Carly Ries (34:31):

Well, big LinkedIn hug

Joe Rando (34:35):

One more question, Bromes? Yes or no,

AJ Wilcox (34:39):

For those of you who don't know about Broatry, this was something from a few years ago. There was one guy specifically who ran an agency that all they did was was help content go viral on LinkedIn. They figured out that if you write in all caps and with a really strong hook at the beginning and skip a line in between, so someone reads the first two lines and then they're hooked. They want to click to see more, they called that broatry or Bromes. That was something that LinkedIn patched very quickly. I think they made a manual patch to their algorithm to stop getting so many views. But even with that kind of style, I wouldn't write it in all caps, but that kind of style of a short hooky, something that grabs people's attention and leaving lots of space for readability. I think that is actually a great format for writing content and telling a story on LinkedIn

Joe Rando (35:40):

And not being too dense, because then people go, "I don't have time, I'm busy." It makes sense. Yeah, but not broatry.

AJ Wilcox (35:48):

No a giant wall of text.

Carly Ries (35:51):

Well AJ this has been so wonderful. Take a deep breath. We are done with the fire round of the podcast. You help people be successful on LinkedIn and you yourself are a success story there. So I want to know, what is your favorite quote about success?

AJ Wilcox (36:08):

My favorite quote is oftentimes credited to Thomas Jefferson, but he wasn't the first person to say it. It was actually a guy by the name of Coleman Cox and he said,  "I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.." I definitely feel that. We talk about getting lucky. How many of the overnight successes actually represented years of long nights and hard work before that luck finally happened. I'm also a great believer in luck.

Carly Ries (36:42):

So true. Well thank you so much. We are lucky ourselves to have you on this show today. If people wanna learn more about you, about your company, your podcast, where can they find you?

AJ Wilcox (36:53):

That's easy. If you just search for LinkedIn ads in your favorite podcast player, you will see the LinkedIn Ads show. My smiley, cheerful, chubby ginger face is gonna be right there on your player. You'll see it. If you want to connect with me or follow me on LinkedIn, AJ Wilcox, just search. I should come up very quickly. As a quick note, if you want to connect, just make sure you customize the connection request and say that you heard me on this show, then I'll know to accept it. I have a thousand connection requests sitting there that they're not telling me why they want to connect and I just have to assume if there's not a reason, it's probably spam.

Carly Ries (37:31):

You're kind of a big deal. I think a lot of people just wanna be your friend

AJ Wilcox (37:35):

Be my friend. This sounds great. Let's all connect

Joe Rando (37:38):

Just say that in the message. I just want to be friends.

AJ Wilcox (37:43):

I like it.

Carly Ries (37:44):

Well, this is definitely see you later, not goodbye. And audience, thank you so much for tuning in today. You can find us anywhere you listen to your podcast or on YouTube now because season two, we are now on video and as always, be sure to subscribe. We'll see you next time.

Closing (38:02):

You may be going solo in business, but that doesn't mean you're alone. In fact, millions of people are in your shoes running a one person business and figuring it out as they go. So why not connect with them and learn from each other's successes and failures. At Lifestarr, we're creating a one-person business community where you can go to meet and get advice from other solopreneurs. Be sure to join in on the conversations at

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