Yakov Smart of www.linkedleads.us is the founder of Linked Lead Enterprises, a consulting firm that helps business owners attract dream clients using LinkedIn.
He is the author of the book Disrupting LinkedIn which focuses on generating leads, receiving referrals and attracting clients through marketing on LinkedIn.
Based in the US and with clients around the world, he has helped thousands of people discover a new way of using LinkedIn to grow their business.
In this episode, Yakov shares how to apply his advanced LinkedIn strategies to a photography business.
Here’s some more of what we cover in the interview:
- Is LinkedIn a social media platform applicable to everyone in business
- The benefits of using LinkedIn for photographers
- The 3Ps for an irresistible LinkedIn profile
- LinkedIn as a tool to grow your business for increasing sales
- How lead generation works with a business-to-consumer model in LinkedIn
- Is Facebook better than LinkedIn for photographers
- People gravitate towards personality-driven content
- The strict protocols you need to follow in LinkedIn
- Should you correspond inside LinkedIn or direct them to landing pages
- The best strategy when using LinkedIn as a photographer
- Headshot photographers are more likely to have direct success with marketing via LinkedIn
- How to build your profile in LinkedIn
- How to build your network and connect within LinkedIn
- Ways to nurture your relationships within your LinkedIn network
- How to make micro funnels work in LinkedIn
- How drip campaigns work within LinkedIn
- The need to use cloud-based software
- How to make your messaging and approach in LinkedIn feel authentic
- Creating connections can be automated
- Undergoing multiple steps to fill in the funnel of prospects
- Things to consider when networking through LinkedIn
- Messaging tips that are applicable to photographers wanting to network in LinkedIn
- Long and blocky messages are less likely to be read
- The need to ask the right questions
- Offer valuable information when engaging with contacts
- You only need to talk to people who are interested and qualified
- The goal of using the drip sequence within LinkedIn
- Be direct and cheeky when going after potential clients
- How to build referral sources
- The importance of building relationships to guarantee sales and bookings
- How to set yourself apart from photographer competition
- The need to take the conversation off LinkedIn to discuss your business further
- Determining the right point of contact via LinkedIn
- How Yakov deals with 100 connection requests per day
- What connection requests look like
- How LinkedIn automated messages work
- Why you should sign up for a LinkedIn Premium account
- How much time should you invest in learning LinkedIn
- How long will you see results via LinkedIn when you put the work in
- What is the upkeep needed to effectively use LinkedIn
- How often should you log in and use LinkedIn
- How Yakov would look for a headshot photographer
- The first thing Yakov does when someone reaches out to connect in LinkedIn
What’s on Offer for Premium Members
If you’re a premium member, you should have received an email with links to your version of this interview – the full length and more revealing version where you hear the absolute best tips and advice from every guest.
If you’re on the fence about becoming a premium member, join with the $1 trial today and get access to the FULL interviews each week, get access to an amazing back catalogue of interviews and ALL future interviews delivered automatically to your phone or tablet.
Plus special member-only interviews.
You only get one chance at first impressions. – Yakov Smart
You'll also receive access to the members-only Secret Facebook Group where you can connect with other Premium Members and interview guests to help, support and motivate you to take ideas you hear in each episode and put them into action. There are also FB live video tutorials, role-play interviews and special live interviews happening in the group. You will not find more friendly, more motivated, caring and sharing photographers online.
Joining a Mastermind Group (encouraged by Andrew) has been incredibly valuable and fun, I look forward to connecting with my group members every week. Jina Zheng, Premium Member and Melbourne Children photographer.
Seriously, that's not all.
In addition to everything above, you'll get access to and instructions on forming or joining a MasterMind Group with other premium members. These groups are super motivating, make you accountable and build friendships with other pro photographers with similar motives to you – to build a more successful photography business.
What is your big takeaway?
Following this interview, I’d love to know if you're taking anything away from what Yakov shared. Is there something you heard that excited or motivated you to the point where you thought, yeah, I'm going to do that! If so, let me know by leaving your thoughts in the comments below, let me know what your takeaways were, what you plan to implement in your business as a result of what you heard in today's episode.
If you have any questions that I missed, a specific question you’d like to ask Yakov or if you just want to say thanks for coming on the show, feel free to add them in the comments area below.
FLASH SALE – Save 50% with a 6 Month Membership
Last week I mentioned a flash sale on the 6 month PhotoBizX Premium Membership after running late with the two latest episodes.
In light of the current circumstances, due to the coronavirus and the need for social distancing, I'll be extending this offer over the coming weeks.
It's my attempt to make the education and motivation provided by the interview guests and other members inside the secret Facebook Group as affordable as possible.
If you are an existing member who has already made a monthly payment this month, let me know after signing up for the 6-month membership and I'll refund your March $20 payment.
Once you sign up for the 6 month membership, make sure you cancel your existing monthly payments via your automatic payments dashboard inside your PayPal account.
For more info and to sign up, click this link —>> https://photobizx.com/sms
iTunes Reviews and Shout-outs
Each week I check for any new iTunes reviews and it's always a buzz to receive these… for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it's confirmation that I'm on the right track with the interviews and that they really are helping you improve your photography business. That's awesome!
Secondly, iTunes is the biggest search engine when it comes to podcasts and it's your reviews and ratings that help other photographers find PhotoBizX. More listeners mean more interviews and ultimately a better show.
If you have left a review in the past, thank you! If you haven't and you'd like to, head to https://photobizx.com/itunes and you can leave some honest feedback and a rating which will help both me and the show and I'll be sure to thank you on the show and add a link to your website or blog if you let me know the URL of your website and your name.
Alternatively, if you've left a review for PhotoBizX and are looking for more backlinks to help your SEO, leave a review for the new Photography Xperiment Podcast and email me your keywords or keyword phrase and where you'd like me to link to.
Another great way to get a backlink to your site is to send a video testimonial. It doesn't need to be fancy and your phone will be perfect. Click record and tell me how PhotoBizX has made a difference to you and your photography business.
Although this isn't specifically a review, I thought it's perfect timing of what photographers can be achieving right now…
The advice doesn't matter if you're not taking action
An email from Brabant wedding photographer and premium member, Sven Langeberg
Thanks for your mails and your podcast, I’ve said it before: they are a great resource and I try to plug you everywhere I can!
Last October I heard you mention that all of the advice doesn't matter if no-one is acting on it, which really gave me a push and made me start to implement the things you teach:
- – Used StudioNinja since November last year, helps a ton with automated emails and reminders
- – Ran a Bernie style ad for engaged couples (10k views, 35 leads, 12 winners, first shoot this weekend)
- – Downloaded ProSelect and started their training (Did you know that Carol never heard of your podcast before? I found that the weirdest thing!)
- -Started advertising on Bing on top of my GoogleAds (paid €15, got €75,- as a bonus) brought me 2 great leads so far (3 weeks in, €20,- a week)
- – Upped my prices and lowered my working hours on my packages
- – Convinced my fiancé that our guest-room should become a studio (big win! renovating as we speak)
- – I will register at the chamber of commerce on April first, which is quite a big step to be honest since it adds a lot of paperwork from then on, but makes me feel like a real Pro AND I can register the business name Diafragma (aperture in Dutch) which no other photographer ever registered! The most obvious of names!
So all-in-all a lotta things going on, lots of moving parts, already 2 weddings in this year (winter here) and really hoping on selling prints soon.
This might all sound like peanuts, but I started my ‘business' to simply pay for my expenses. Since the end of last year, I changed my focus and will do everything within my reach to become a full-time pro. The day I can quit my day job I'll let you know.
Thanks for your amazing podcast and all the inspiration! If you're ever in the Netherlands let me know!
Graag tot snel!
Anna Sawin's Coronavirus swipe files
There are a lot of resources popping up for photographers right now, to help deal and cope with the uncertainty surrounding social distancing and photography business – bookings, shoots and sales.
One of the best I've seen is this from Anna Sawin of Pencil and Lens. Anna has created 7 swipe files you can customise and use in your business right now.
It's hard to know what the playbook is right now, because by the time I finish typing this, all the rules will have changed.
What I do know is that your clients need clear and compassionate communication from you now more than ever before.
So please download these seven swipe files to help right now–use them in blog posts, social media captions, emails to your clients, etc.
And if these aren't solving the problems you're facing related to the COVID-19 pandemic, please let me know what you DO need. We're all in this together.
You can download the files here: https://photobizx.com/pandl
I wqas lucky enough to be featured on the FujiCast Podcast with Neale James and Kevin Mullins and the episdoe went live this week.
The blurb Neale put together for the show says…
This week’s special guest on The FujiCast is Andrew Hellmich, whose PhotoBiz X podcast was one of the first photography podcasts to focus on the business side of making pictures.
He shares how he got started and some gems of advice given on the show to him.
Also, this week, finding your photography confidence, making a choice between the X-T3 and X-T4, the focal length you shouldn’t be without and another photo disaster story.
You can access the interview wherever you listen to yoru podcasts or directly from the FujiCast website here: https://www.fujicast.co.uk/andrew-hellmich-photobiz-x-podcast/
Links to people, places and things mentioned in this episode:
The FujiCast Podcast – episode 57 with me (Andrew Hellmich)
PhotoFilms for Photographers in Business – an interview with Neale James
Thanks again for listening and thanks to Yakov for coming on and sharing his thoughts and ideas on utilising LinkedIn to grow a successful photography business.
It's important to have what I call the 3Ps to an irresistible LinkedIn profile so that you can use it as a platform to elevate yourself, your brand and your business, not to mention get additional visibility. – Yakov Smart
If you have any suggestions, comments or questions about this episode, please be sure to leave them below in the comment section of this post, and if you liked the episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of the post!
That’s it for me this week, hope everything is going well for you in life and business!
Thanks and speak soon
Andrew Hellmich: Today's guest is the Founder of Linked Lead Enterprises. It's a consulting firm that helps business owners attract dream clients using LinkedIn. He's also the author of the book Disrupting LinkedIn, which focuses on generating leads, receiving referrals and attracting clients through marketing on LinkedIn. Based in the US he has clients around the world and he's helped thousands of people discover a new way of using LinkedIn to grow their businesses. I'm talking about Yakov Smart and I'm rapt to have him with us now. Yakov, welcome.
Yakov Smart: Hey, really glad to be here. I appreciate you for having me, Andrew.
Andrew Hellmich: Mate, it's my pleasure. It's my pleasure. For the listeners that aren't using LinkedIn, is it a social media platform that's applicable to everyone in business?
Yakov Smart: Well, I think it's a great question because just about everybody in business these days has a LinkedIn profile. I mean, you'd be remissed to find people that don't have a profile and then the question becomes what's the application terms of generating new business? Right? Because I think a lot of business owners have a LinkedIn profile just as a box to check off, right? It's like having a social presence. For some people, something they almost feel obligated to do. But the question becomes, is it something any business owner can use to grow their business and expand their clientele? And the answer to that question can be really intriguing because we've got some different types of businesses that I know who listen to this show and are listening right now. And they'd be wondering the same thing. And I would say there's two aspects that you know I work with people on and that we talk about when it comes to this new way of using LinkedIn.
Yakov Smart: And for most people it's a hybrid of these aspects I'm about to mention, and there's actually a third thing which I'll mention too. Number one is traditionally what you would think of as direct lead generation. So going out there and finding an ideal client, connecting with them and taking them down the path that ultimately leads to a business relationship or a sale. That's direct lead generation or another word for that is prospecting. And that's highly relevant to more of a B2B type of business because that direct prospecting piece is certainly available and it makes a lot of sense and a lot of people who have already at least considered that, if not, you know, done it themselves or maybe they've even received those spammy messages on LinkedIn that we all love. I mean that's something that comes up for a lot of people too. So that's one aspect.
Yakov Smart: The second aspect is a much more strategic aspect and that I personally love and really thrive on have built, you know, a lot of my business off of is strategic partnerships. So connecting with referral sources, people who have access to books of business of people happen to be your ideal clients. Okay. And so it's something like, for example, we were talking before we aired about a wedding photographer and naturally a good referral source for a wedding photographer would be a wedding planner or an event planner or somebody in the wedding space who knows maybe even a wedding caterer that's well known and they could use LinkedIn for building those types of relationships and developing streams of referrals. So that's another avenue.
Yakov Smart: The third piece of it, and this is a bit of an underrated aspect as well, is I'll call it visibility and credibility. So the position piece, right? Because a lot of people, even if you are on a B2C business or a bit of a nontraditional business, a lot of people when they Google your name along with your website, one of the first things that's going to jump out at them is going to be your LinkedIn profile and they'll look you up on LinkedIn because it's the easy thing to do and you only get one chance at a first impression. So it's important to have what I call the three P's to an irresistible LinkedIn profile so that you can use it as a platform to elevate yourself, your brand and your business, not to mention get additional visibility. And those three P's, just so everybody knows, presence, positioning, persuasion. So those are the three aspects that we talk about. And I think the differences, a lot of people stop way short where you know, even if they think of LinkedIn as a business tool, they think of direct lead generation where it's my contention that when strategically used, it almost becomes like a secondary marketing department for growing a business and raising sales and revenue.
Andrew Hellmich: Right? So there's different listeners tuning in now and some of them may not even have a LinkedIn profile because you know, they're mainly dealing with moms and dads, you know, or even young couples and I guess they're not targeting other businesses. So can they still get value, I guess through the referral source, but with the direct lead gen or they shouldn't even consider that?
Yakov Smart: The way that to do that for a strictly business to consumer. So let's say the topic is weddings, it would be to build a community. So building, for example, LinkedIn group or posting content or you know, better yet being able to, for example, they took a wedding photo, right, of a couple and if they were to post something on LinkedIn, if that couple was on LinkedIn, then they could access people in that client's network and trigger more referrals and trigger more of that right visibility. So I would consider that as another opportunity as well with the best bang for their buck is going to be, you know, accessing those streams of referrals or building a community around their subject matter expertise. Because you know, another thing that I'm really big on is establishing influence and authority as a subject matter expert. Even if somebody, for example, is a wedding photographer there, I don't know anything about photographing weddings.
Yakov Smart: I know nothing. I just know that it needs to be done right. And I think the majority of people where they start their decision making process is in the phase of wanting more information. Okay. And being able to build a community around a expertise or a specific subject matter can be very valuable as well. In the B2C space, it's a bit of a more advanced strategy but to keep things basic and to most directly answer your question, absolutely there's value. And the other piece that's really intriguing that should be intriguing to people anyway is you know if it's not a place, if you're a wedding photographer for example, it's not a place that's well utilized or a platform that's well utilized by other people in your space or the people in your market. So anytime something like a situation like that arises in that context, it opens up the door for different types of opportunities and a chance to zag when others zig or zig when others zag.
Andrew Hellmich: You said something there that really caught my attention and that was let's say that I photographed a couple that are in business, they have LinkedIn profiles and I'm guessing I'd have a network. Let's assume they do. And this could be for a portrait photographer too. I photographed a mum and dad and kids. Mum and dad have businesses, they've got LinkedIn profiles. Can I show off the work that I've created for that client and show it off to their groups, their networks on LinkedIn? Is that what I'm trying to do?
Yakov Smart: Yeah, that would be one tactic that you could use. And the way to do that would simply be to post that photo and it'll keep them in the loop because it's one thing to just tag them in a post, but it's a completely different thing when they sing your praises in the comments as well. So, absolutely that's one strategy and when that happens, you have certain people that are connected to in their networks who's happened to see that post. So it's a great way to plant that idea in people's minds and also to be able to instantly get additional referrals.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. I like that. So I know from experience and for the listener as well, we get a lot of referral works. If we photograph a wedding, we tend to book weddings from other people that were at that wedding. And same with families as well. For a total newbie to LinkedIn, what are the advantages of doing, you know, talking about that strategy specifically posting a previous clients work and tagging them and having them share or having their network set on LinkedIn as opposed to Facebook or should I be doing both? Is one better than the other?
Yakov Smart: I would say to do both, and I would say this comes down to, you know, having a checklist for all the ways you can get referrals from the work you've already done because it's an important part of your business. And if you're going to post on Facebook and maybe even Instagram wouldn't be an obvious fit as well on LinkedIn, it tends to be a bit of a different audience that's paying attention. So you could tag them and have the same blurb or the same wording on all the posts and you would reach different people on all the different platforms to be placed.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. So is it going to look totally out of place, me posting wedding or family portrait photography onto LinkedIn?
Yakov Smart: You know, that's a great question because at first glance, I think a lot of people assume that LinkedIn is very stuffy and professional.
Andrew Hellmich: Yes.
Yakov Smart: And when I've long discovered, even though it used to be more of that tone, what I discovered a little while ago is the people on LinkedIn are bored. That's been my discovery. They're wanting personality and you know, I've seen over the past couple of years how you know, people really gravitate towards personality driven content and towards stories. So anytime there's real eye-catching photography, it tells something, a story of something as powerful as a wedding, it's going to grab people's attention so it's completely appropriate. And also a wedding is a big deal in somebody's professional context as well. I mean relationships are a whole big thing and people's personal growth and development, so it's a good angle. It ties in nicely and it's nicely unique that you're going to get more attention on LinkedIn from that post too. Not to mention being able to have people in that client's network now be able to see it and be reminded that they too are having a wedding or they too are looking for a certain type of photograph.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. All right. So because of that image, that stuffy image that LinkedIn does have, and I know that it's obviously used for business to business networking. Do I have to be careful? Is there any protocol that I should be following? Let's say a photograph and executive and you know she's high up in her business, in her corporation, in her industry, and I then post a family photo and tag her in it. Do I have to be careful with that or is that okay?
Yakov Smart: There is no set rules. I would run it by her as long as she's okay with it and comfortable. Well she's usually going to be if it's a good photo. Right. I mean I'm saying some people keep those two things very, very separate. So it's a personal preference on the person, but if she's okay with that, there is nothing to say that you couldn't or shouldn't do it. I would just definitely check in with that person because you don't want them to be uncomfortable or have a bad taste in the mouth.
Andrew Hellmich: Sure. Okay. Got it. And, and I know we've jumped sort of straight into the deep end here, but for the LinkedIn newbies, is the idea when we're using the platform to keep people in LinkedIn or are we adding links to take them then to our website? What's the best strategy for LinkedIn?
Yakov Smart: The best strategy is to build a network and a database of people you're connected to on LinkedIn, who you're connected with strategically. But it's also is to get them to the website or better yet to opt in through a landing page or better yet to book a shoot or you know book a consultation with you about their next opportunity. Right? So that's the call to action. It's all about getting the right piece to take action. And really the profile is a tool and a vehicle for getting people to take that next step. Whether it's booking a consultation with you or you know, requesting your portfolio. It's taking some sort of proactive action. It's going to be the next step towards them eventually doing business with you.
Andrew Hellmich: So does that happen already from the profile that we create or does that happen from the posts and content that we create on the platform?
Yakov Smart: Well, if you're doing it effectively, it should be a combination of all of the above because the profile is designed in a way to position you as the authority to show your expertise and skills and talent and to invite people to take the next step and either booking a consultation or at least reviewing some of your portfolios on your website. And it should also showcase you as unique because there are, you know, at least where I live, a lot of people who claim to be photographers. So there's having that unique selling proposition, having that unique vantage as well. And that should be prevalent on the profile, prevalent on content that you're posting on LinkedIn. And also in direct messages, you know, you have the opportunity to invite people to take action or to build relationships through direct messaging and direct communications. So those are three different pieces of a strategy that's effective on LinkedIn.
Andrew Hellmich: Right? Okay, let's take it back a step. So let's say you're coaching me. I don't have a LinkedIn profile, I'm starting out from scratch. Where do we start? What do we do?
Yakov Smart: The very first thing to do is to have an outcome, is to have an intention behind what's even the point of marketing for your business on LinkedIn. And that comes down to, you know, what product or service do you want to use LinkedIn for promoting, right? So let's say, give me a specific niche within photography we could play there.
Andrew Hellmich: Well, let me ask you then. So let's say you're talking to a wedding photographer, a family portrait photographer, and someone who photographs headshots or does branding for other business owners. Is there one there that stands out that's going to have the most success with LinkedIn automatically?
Yakov Smart: Well, the most direct success is going to be the headshot photographer who does branding for business owners because that's a very direct route. The other two though, I wouldn't dismiss it because you can access different referral sources and key connections using LinkedIn as well. So one is just a little more direct route to success, but there's routes to success for both.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. Let's go with the headshot branding photographer to make it easy and then we'll swing back to the wedding and portrait photographer if we get a chance.
Yakov Smart: Okay.
Andrew Hellmich: So I'm a headshot photographer. Yeah. My target is other small business owners. It could be larger businesses as well, you know, with up to 50 or a hundred staff. And you know, my business is revolved around headshots and creating branding images for those businesses.
Yakov Smart: Yup. So the very first thing, and I'll walk you through what to do, very first thing is to understand who you're wanting to reach, which we're talking about, and to build a profile that's going to be geared towards that person that's going to address maybe some of their frequently asked questions around getting a quality headshot. Maybe they have frequently, well I call them FES, frequently expressed frustrations around getting a headshot around branding and to use your profile as a way of bridging that gap and showing people that you understand you care and you're somebody they can trust. Okay, so the very first thing is setting up your profile. There's some key components, your headline, your summary, experience section and making it flow the certain way that we're talking about. Once you've set up your profile and feel free to interject if we want to get deeper on any of these.
Yakov Smart: There's plenty of ground to cover here, but once you've set up your profile, let's assume your profile is very much adequate. Then needless to say, you want to have a great photo on your profile because that's what's sorta, you know sort of be a detriment if you did and you were a headshot photographer for head shots on LinkedIn, but assuming you do, assuming your profile is well positioned and positions who's got authority. The very next piece is going to be to go out there and using LinkedIn search, start to find the specific types of people that you want to work with. So it's a build a targeted list. You can do this a number of ways on LinkedIn. You can search in the free search, you can search by groups. For some people it makes sense that you have a premium account and do more advanced searches that way and once you found those people, what you can start to do is to start to build a network and actually connect with those people and be connected with them on LinkedIn and take them into becoming first degree connections. And then the next piece is figuring out how to, in an authentic way, connect with these people and offer them an opportunity to take a look at your work or better yet, schedule a session.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay, let's say I'm in a suburb in a city and I want to, for example, target accountants or solicitors, lawyers because I know that they're frequently moving around between businesses, they're updating their profiles and their businesses when someone new comes on. Do I then search for specific businesses by name or can I search for accountants and lawyers?
Yakov Smart: You're better off searching for accountants and lawyers and you can see very quickly how even in a specific suburb you can often pull up list of thousands of these people within seconds. So you could get as specific as accountants at firms that have 10 or less employees or firms that have 500 plus employees, you can get very much specific or a soloprenuers if you'd like.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. Okay. So then let's say I've got my list, how do I make that connection without being, or can I be overt and open about why I'm wanting to make the connection?
Yakov Smart: Well, the very frist, and there's a lot of different strokes for different folks here, but back to the headshot photographer example. If it starts with the connection request. So it starts with saying, and if you're doing this locally, it's that much easier. It's like, "Hey, we know a lot of the same people. Would you be open to connecting on LinkedIn?" And then that's the very first question because the very first yes, it's a series of getting micro yeses. The very first yes is getting them to accept your connection request and most people will accept and you know, they'll take a look at the profile and you wouldn't believe how many people and how often this happens if you're doing this at scale, which is the right approach. How many people will go and they'll say, if your profile is good, they'll say, "Hmm, okay, I'm overdue for a head shot. Let's check, take a look at this guy." They can go and they can soft book. That happens sometimes too. So just from the connection, you start to trigger that relationship and good things start to happen. It's from the different laws of averages there. Well, let's assume you connect with somebody and you know you're in the door there, they've agreed to connect with you. It doesn't mean that they're doing business with you and looking for action, right. So then you have to figure out how to nurture that relationship or better yet how to accelerate that relationship into something that turns into, you know, a new client for you. Okay. And there is a number of different ways to do that. I am a big proponent of multi-step messaging and there's a couple of different routes a headshot photographer could take. The more of the longer route yet more rewarding route but it takes more steps. It's more advanced would be to create a LinkedIn group around a great personal branding with great headshots and to be able to invite people into that LinkedIn group first before asking anything and building a LinkedIn community. And now you're the person who's the obvious authority on taking good headshots and good branding on LinkedIn. Okay?
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. So let me just ask you a question, Yakov. So let's say I'm an accountant and I get a request from you, the headshot photographer to join this group. Would I necessarily say yes?
Yakov Smart: You wouldn't get the requests out of the gate, you'd get a connection request first.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. Okay. And you would say I would go then, if I'm an account, I'd go and check out your profile and say, "Hey, this is Yakov he's a headshot photographer. Looks like he knows what he's doing. Looks like an authority. So I would agree to connect with you. So now we have a connection. And then is that when you would follow up with starting this group?
Yakov Smart: Yeah, that's when I'd follow up and it's an invitation to join a free group around a topic that you'd be interested in and you know, inviting you into the group. And this is just one approach. There's, you know, we work with people and I call these micro funnels, right? Because there are multiple steps as you can imagine, you get a little more complex but, you know, what is this one of probably 20 different approaches to be able to take. Well yes, if you're going to build a group, that would be the very first step and then consistently following up almost like a drip campaign with samples of your photos and with MPS, if you're looking to update headshots, here's what we have. But still with that more subtly.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. So this drip campaign, is that happening within LinkedIn and articles or messages or is it going to email once they've opted into something?
Yakov Smart: It's happening within LinkedIn messages and certainly when they opt in an email, that's a little bit of a different topic. The other great thing about this is when they're connected with you and you're posting, which for photographers, this is important, posting examples and constantly staying top of mind. It's a great way to have them say, you know, if this person is the one that comes to mind when it comes to getting my head shot, and lo and behold, they're omnipresent, they're everywhere. So that's another thing, another big perk of posting. So there's multiple ways to make these touchpoints, but you can set it up and there's different automation softwares out there as well where you can set this up where there's, you know, you can take people through multiple steps inside of LinkedIn and almost becomes like sending emails within LinkedIn. They, you know, ask the right questions and get people interested in raising their hands.
Andrew Hellmich: Got it. Okay. So with LinkedIn so let's say I've got my group and I'm starting to invite people to join this group these first connections, and I write or put together a post on a recent headshot shoot that I did for another local accountant. Do my contacts automatically see, or my connections automatically see that post?
Yakov Smart: A portion of them and LinkedIn decides that, you know, they've got a built in type of algorithm that distributes content, but a portion of them would, and what's really nice about this too is right after somebody connects, what typically happens is the likelihood of that concept being in front of them goes up on the immediate connection because LinkedIn wants to know if they care and if they spent some time engaging and giving it a like a comment or sharing, or even looking at it for a certain period of time, LinkedIn is going to be more likely to continue putting your concept in front of them. So it's developing and seeing what the affinity is between your content and them.
Andrew Hellmich: Got it. Okay. So very similar to Facebook in that regard.
Yakov Smart: Yup, exactly. Yeah. It's similar to how the old term, way back in the day it was called edge ranking and it's not quite like it used to be. But LinkedIn had its own variation.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay, so then staying with that theme of building this group, I'm inviting people to my connections into this group when I've started that drip campaign, is that going out to the group or to each person individually in the group?
Yakov Smart: It's going out to people individually. They don't necessarily have to be in the group, but what's great is if you are doing additional followup, you can segment that list through the group. So where that becomes valuable is you get to have it set up like imagine you know you go out in and during the course of a month you go out and you make 300 new connections who are business owners in your city or your suburb. Okay. You can have all 300 of them on let's say a five step type of campaign that's automatically triggered and where it's pretty much set it and forget it where you don't have to do anything until they reply that their interested.
Andrew Hellmich: And can I do that all within LinkedIn or do I need additional software to do that?
Yakov Smart: There's some additional software out there and there's a couple that are very, very good. What you need to look for though is you want to make sure that they're cloud-based because it's a great area within LinkedIn. Technically you're not supposed to be doing that sort of automation. If it looks like automation, there's a very fine line in making sure your messaging and your approach feels authentic and is relationship-based. But let's say that it is. Okay? Then the key thing is making sure that you're using a software that's cloud-based and that you're staying within, that you're not going too crazy with it, so you're not, you know, trying to send out a thousand connection requests a day.
Andrew Hellmich: So have you actually trying to create connections automatically as well, or are you still doing those individually?
Yakov Smart: Oh, that entire process can be automated, from connections to different messages. Oh yeah.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. So this rabbit hole that we've sort of gone into, is this advanced stuff or pretty much, this is what anyone and everyone can and should be doing with LinkedIn? You know, creating these connections, creating a group, running a drip campaign.
Yakov Smart: I think it's advanced to most business owners and most photographers because there's not that level of awareness. And I think where it gets more advanced and where the nuance comes in, where a lot of people want to work with us is you know, what in the world do you say? Right? Because wording is everything here. And positioning is everything as well. So that's where we get into, okay, so the basic concept is multiple steps, filling that funnel of prospects, for instance. But what's it say to them? How do you get them to actually enthusiastically respond? Which is a whole different type of rabbit hole. But the framework is, you know, I don't think in business history, there's ever really been anything quite like this where you have an opportunity to go out there and meet a hundred people a day or you have the potential of meeting a hundred people a day who are potential clients and have automation starts to build those relationships. And where you come in is where somebody raises their hand and they're interested in working with you as a specific question. Something like that, to my knowledge, has never existed and it doesn't require an ad budget. It's a direct person to person connection that's done at a one to many type level.
Andrew Hellmich: Yeah. And that's what I was going to ask so this isn't anything to do with advertising? This is all your automation that you've set up with this cloud based app.
Yakov Smart: Yeah. It's all organic. Yeah. So no ad spend required.
Andrew Hellmich: So let's say I'm running this drip campaign, this funnel, what happens? Does someone respond? Is it like an email where someone responds and okay, then I segment them where we start having a one on one conversation about the possibility of a shoot?
Yakov Smart: Exactly. Yeah, and you have some of the software. There's a dashboard where you can see where all the responses are.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. Is there a particular piece of software that you recommend?
Yakov Smart: I wouldn't say publicly because this changes, and I don't want to date this, but there is different ones. I'll give people a more of a framework. I think that would be a better justice for everybody because these softwares, you know, they can change. There's different things and policies and regulations, so I'll give people a checklist. That's going to be pretty much everybody. How about that?
Andrew Hellmich: Sure, sounds good.
Yakov Smart: Okay, so number one, you want to make sure that the software is cloud based. If it's a Chrome extension or a browser extension, it's a no go or that'll get flagged by LinkedIn. Number two is you want to make sure that it's easy enough to navigate where you can find things. If it looks like it's a very technically challenging, it's probably not going to be easy to run or setup. Number three, you want to make sure that it runs without you having to be logged in where it runs on the cloud and it's run independent of whether or not your computer is even turned off. Okay. Four thing is you want to make sure there is some type of dashboard where you can track and you have real time metrics because it's all about understanding the metrics. Okay. And the fifth thing is, and this is something to self-assess, you want to make sure that you're watching your, you know, limits on connections, right? Cause there's best practics depending on the size of your network as to how many people you could connect with and you know, how to make sure basically that you're playing in the right sandbox and not getting flagged. So, and the good softwares out there, they sort of comply with those guidelines because they get those as well. So those are the five things for people to look for. And it's important to also, with that, just be very aware of the messaging and how important that is.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. So can you share some things about messaging that you think are going to be applicable to us?
Yakov Smart: Absolutely. So very first thing, short, concise, to the point and sort of a talking level, right? A lot of people come up with these fancy messages that are very wordy and long and you want to keep it home instead of fourth grade level. And also, you know, you want to use simple sentences, easy to read. If it looks like it's long and blocky and paragraphy, people just aren't going to read it. Additionally, one thing that could be a good strategy for a photographer, you can actually attach photos and examples in your messages. So it could be something to play with it. And I would also, you know, think of asking the right questions, right? Asking questions that they might have or questions that, you know, I call these magic questions, right? So you know, have you ever thought about, or has this ever been a priority for you or would it be possible for you to, you know, these types of questions and then staying away from those long spammy messages, right, that are paragraphs and paragraphs long. And also if you're making an offer, which is perfectly okay to do, to offer something of value, right? Whether it's something information-based or you know, to send them an example or just something that would be of value rather than, "Hey, if you're looking here is the direct link to book." Being that direct typically is not as well received and also to understand that sometimes there's going to be multiple steps there and having multiple steps. The messaging and then being able to respond when people actually respond because until somebody raises their hand. Yeah, I always say let the automation take care of the rest because you only want to talk with people who are interested and qualified.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay, so this drip sequence, this is what we're talking about. Am I using that to, I obviously I want to generate a booking so I'm going to have a call to action, but am I using this to build authority? Am I using just to show up my portfolio? I'm obviously asking questions like you said, is it meant to be a funnel where I'm directing them to the clincher, which is, "Hey, if you need to update your headshots, call me now."
Yakov Smart: Yeah, that's ultimately the goal there, ultimately the outcome. But I would, you know, look at, again, you can do all those things in your messaging, but you're also building a list. You're building a database of potential prospects that's very valuable as well because when they're connected with you on LinkedIn, they're part of your LinkedIn database. You forever have the ability to message them directly and reach them, often times on their mobile device. So it's an important thing not to miss there as well. And that is the ultimate call to action. But before even giving them the call to action, you want them to respond to something that you have to say and say that they're interested in.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. So is that usually going to be an offer or is it a conversational piece where you're looking for some feedback?
Yakov Smart: It could be a combination of both, but if they're not, that's why sometimes it's, it's good to put something out there and say, "P.S. If you've ever thought about this, we have something special. Here's the link to go and book." Where if you ever, or you know something is happening in the season or there's an event coming up or you know, it's a reason, I like, I call it a reason why. Right. So giving you a reason why behind the offer.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. Okay. All right. Can I be more overt or active in going after particular clients? Let's say I'm making these connections and I can see that some of the connections I'm making with people, they don't have a fantastic headshot on LinkedIn. Can I actually point that out to them and tell them that's what I do? Or is that getting too, is that too pushy, too cheeky?
Yakov Smart: I'd say it's too cheeky, but I would, if you're willing to test it, I wouldn't say your headshots sucks and I wouldn't, I wouldn't be overt like that, but I would say, "Hey, you know, we've noticed" for example, "that you're a CEO of a local company and we have a special coming up for, you know, CEO's in the area and you know, we're looking for a small handful to be a part of this special package. Let me know if you're interested." That's a little bit of a different way to position it and you know, add a value to it a little bit differently rather than, and web designers do this too. They say your website sucks. Um, can we, we need to fix it. Like that's typically meet some resistance but doing it the other way is, you know, Hey, by the way, I've noticed how great you are and that's why something you've probably jump all over.
Andrew Hellmich: Yes. Okay. All right. So just be a bit more strategic with that direct messaging.
Yakov Smart: Exactly.
Andrew Hellmich: Got it. All right, so that's the direct lead gen, isn't it? That we're talking about here. This is that step, that first point you made, this B2B direct lead gen. What about if we're looking to build referral sources? Are we going about it the same way?
Yakov Smart: Going about it a similar, way or being a little bit more new ones. You know it started, that's work question asking. You want to get them to enter a conversations of asking about, you know, what types of clients they work with or something about the profile and then saying that you might have a couple ideas to collaborate. You want to run by them and then transitioning that conversation either to phone or person because for them to send you business there's gotta be a little bit more of that relationship build and that's where you can make an offer. That's where that starts to happen. But that's more of a just asking questions and you know, finding out about them first and then you know, inviting them to see if it makes sense or in what ways you might be able to collaborate. Right. And you know, I would imagine somebody like a wedding planner, if they're getting a lot of, and I dunno if they are or not, you maybe you can fill me in if they're getting a lot of wedding photographers reaching out to them.
Andrew Hellmich: They would for sure. So if there's a wedding planner that's getting a lot of bookings, they're popular and they rule the roost because they're choosing the services for their clients. So if I can get on that list and they refer me, that's definitely a win.
Yakov Smart: Yeah. So they'd be open to accepting, there might be a little more resistance. So that's where we'd be a little bit more creative. And how do you, you know, break past that and get them to respond and want to at least have a conversation. That's where we want to be a little bit bolder or you know, really showcase what makes you unique from all the other 15 photographers knocking on their door.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. So that's when you get to showing off more of your portfolio and sharing a little bit about what makes you different, what makes you special.
Yakov Smart: And how you can make their life easier. Why it's just easy for them. If you could show them how you can get them more business, how you know your...you can market their business and you've got this, these different tools and you know how you market them to your clients. These are all different things and if you package that up in a sexy way, then all of a sudden it's a bit of a different pitch than what other photographers are probably telling them.
Andrew Hellmich: Yes. Okay, let's say that I do go in with that tactic and I'm asking about them, how I can help, what I can do for them, how can make their life better, in your experience, is it likely that they're going to really just be ignoring me until they see some results from me?
Yakov Smart: I think the very first thing to do is you want to take that relationship off of LinkedIn, right? Cause to communicate some of the things that I just mentioned, it's better to communicate that via the phone or in person, which just it hits home and you have a longer attention window versus just you know, on a message that can be easily ignored. So the very first thing is to cut through the doors and get them to have a conversation with you and you know, you could say, I want to run a couple ideas by you. It's very unique that allows a wedding planners to be able to grow their business through partnering with us and get more referrals. Is that something you'd be open to hearing more about? Is that something I can share with you? And it's positioning it in that way. That's the key thing.
Yakov Smart: And then you know, in that conversation saying, okay, here's what's available. What are our next steps? What would be the best way to, you know, we'd love to have you say at least, you know, test this out and see how we can work together. And that becomes, you know, them seeing what they want, where they're at. And it is a sort of a different type of sell but a sale, excuse me. But at the same time, that's the approach there. And oftentimes, you know, if you're getting quality wedding planners referral sources, if they're really the stars in the area, then you probably getting just one or two you would be booked solid. But they're really the right wedding planners, you know, it takes more depth and a little more effort generally, but at the same time the payoff can be tremendous.
Andrew Hellmich: Yeah, for sure. And I loved the way he said, you know, take the conversation off LinkedIn, off social media and go on and have that in-person conversation. Cause that's really where the relationships are sealed, aren't they?
Yakov Smart: Oh yeah.
Andrew Hellmich: Yeah. I love that. Just let me take you back to the headshots say slash branding photographer and you talked about creating our groups and these connections. Let's say I'm looking for accountants in my local area and other small businesses. Is it very clear that I'm speaking to the right person on LinkedIn or, you know, it could just be a staff member there, whereas, I want to be speaking to the marketing manager for example? Is that all very clear on LinkedIn who I'm actually talking to?
Yakov Smart: Absolutely. You want to go straight for the decision maker. I'm big on the top down approach, so it's person to person. Very clear. Now, could somebody have their assistant managing their profile? Yes. That's a possibility. At the same time, often times, even if that's the case they have the app on their phone so you can still reach them directly and they'll still see your message.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. How often are you using direct messaging?
Yakov Smart: Personally?
Andrew Hellmich: Yeah. You, yeah.
Yakov Smart: I am using it extremely often. I mean I have something automated where, you know, I'm reaching out the connection requests about a hundred people a day.
Andrew Hellmich: Wow. Okay. So you're using one of these apps and it's going out there searching for you a hundred a day. And are these actual personal private messages that people are receiving or is it just, you know, like a simple message to connect?
Yakov Smart: It's a message to connect and then after they connect they get a personal private message and that message, as far as the conversation, depending on that audience, sometimes there is an offer there to request something for free that would be a value. Sometimes it's asking them what I call magic questions to stimulate the conversation. Sometimes it's inviting them into something and sometimes it's a little bit in between. So it's constant. And what's great about it is, you know, I personally, I don't spend much time manually doing upkeep at all. You know, I have somebody I work with on my staff and she will go in there for a few minutes every day for the upkeep part. But personally, you know, between us, we're not spending more than 15 to 30 minutes a day and if that and it's a consistent way of, you know, prospecting and increasing lead flow without having to manually do anything. I mean, there's never been anything like it.
Andrew Hellmich: That's incredible. Okay, so if I get a connection request from you, does that show up as a private message?
Yakov Smart: That shows up under connection requests. You're going to see a connection request for me. You're going to see a couple of different things. You're going to see my photo. You're gonna see my headline and you're gonna see my name.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. So I'm going to see your name, your photo, and the headline is for you. I can see I have it on my screen now. So that's author of Disrupting LinkedIn. Who else wants a new way of attracting hard to reach clients and referral sources. So that's your, that's the headline?
Yakov Smart: That's my LinkedIn headline. Yep.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. So I'm going to see that. I'm going to accept. So then I get the message. Does that have a personal feel to it or do I know automatically that that's automated?
Yakov Smart: Well if it's written effectively, then it should have a personal feel to it. However, like if you sent me a connection request right now, for example, and I accepted, or if I just sent you one manually, cause I still do that from time to time you wouldn't automatically receive any follow up unless I cued you up in the system. Then we would just be connected and I could put a different campaign out there and direct message you differently if I want to.
Andrew Hellmich: Right? But if I'm on the automated system and your automation parameters targeted me and I saw your request, I accepted. Then, I'm going to get a follow up private message and that's going to be one of these ones to take the conversation to the next level. Do I know that's automated or not?
Yakov Smart: I hope not.
Andrew Hellmich: Not if it's written what, so does it have my first name, for example?
Yakov Smart: Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay, so with the apps that I'm using, I can use it like email. I can use my first name only and it feels personal.
Yakov Smart: Exactly. Yup.
Andrew Hellmich: I guess you would have it set up so it doesn't come immediately. Otherwise it would feel spammy. It would feel automated.
Yakov Smart: Yeah. You can do a delay on it. Absolutely.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. Okay. What's the best way to learn this stuff? I mean, I know like you're going to be piquing a lot of interest from listeners. You know, is it your book? Is it going to YouTube? Is it just getting in there and having a go? How do we learn?
Yakov Smart: Yeah, absolutely. A good question. So I would not go to YouTube because there's a lot of stuff on YouTube that might be misleading or outdated or you know, cause anybody can post there. The book is a good introduction. It was written back in 2016 so it's, or yeah it was at 16 or it might've been 17 but there's a bit a ton of changes even since the book. I'm actually going to be updating it sometime in the near future as well. But the best way would be to either attend one of our events. I mean we do discovery days pretty much worldwide where somebody can come in and bring their computer. And really it's an eyeopener because some of the things that we talked about, it's one thing to hear about them, but it's another thing to see real life examples. And we do hot seats where we take business owners and within a matter of minutes, start pointing them in the right direction of how they can start to substantially grow their businesses using LinkedIn.
Yakov Smart: So these events, the discovery days they have worldwide and attending one of these events is a great experience and a great introduction into what's possible and a great opportunity to get started. And then also online, you know, if you go to our website linkleads.us. You know we've got a number of different things that we've got a case study on. There were a number of case studies somebody can access to be able to sort of see what's available. And then beyond that, the most turn key and easiest ways are to work with my team and I directly where we have entire on demand training programs that are fully recorded on demand, transcribed, ready to go that walk people through this system step by step. And the great thing about this, which is such a big thing for business owners, it's set it and forget it very much. Once you have a system like this in place, there's testing and refinement. But you know, once you set up the technical stuff, the system, the messaging and the list building, which you know we cover extensively, then you're well on your way and you've got a consistent lead source or a consistent way of going out there and generating leads or referral sources that sort of works on its own. You know, it's almost like having a sales person on your team or prospecting or biz dev type of person working for you who you're not paying a salary to and who happens to be very, very good at finding the right people and getting them to respond.
Andrew Hellmich: That sounds cool. Okay, so what are the costs involved in joining something like that where I can do the on demand training, I guess I've got to buy an application to run the things that you're talking about? Are they big expenses?
Yakov Smart: Yeah, so on the tech side, I recommend clients use a LinkedIn premium account as we're talking right now and that's 85 a month and that's a sales navigator subscription. Then the automation softwares, they vary. There are softwares that are as low as 49 a month and there are softwares that are as high as, well, there's one that's 597 a month, but I mean there is a wide range for most people at 49 a month you'll get everything you need and more. And then as far as our programming prices on those vary, and we have different promotions on those as well. And the discovery days, um, those events typically retail for anywhere between 297 to 497 US dollars. However, anybody listening to this, especially as people are listening, we're going to have some events coming up, one coming up in Melbourne and more than likely another coming up in Sydney. And as a gift, they can go and attend that for free and start, you know, the process and see what's possible for themselves. So that's what's available. And for those listening in the U.S. or traveling to the U.S. That's where I'm based out of Scottsdale, Arizona. That's where we do most of our events. But the easiest way if you have specific questions and Andrew I think this is the part and forgive me if I'm throwing this out a little bit early, but if somebody has specific questions they can simply shoot me an email. It's email@example.com about which program is right for them or about in coming to one of our events or continuing to stay active or anything at all. And I'm glad to at least point anybody who's listening to the show in the right direction.
Andrew Hellmich: Fantastic, Mate, appreciate that. That's great. And thanks for that generous offer too. For the Ausie listeners. That's amazing. For the listeners that can't make one of those live discovery days, are there recordings of those or can we set an example of what's actually possible? Some of the things we've been talking about online with your training.
Yakov Smart: Yeah, the training is entirely recorded and on the website. We're working on getting a new things up there too. We've got some good case studies that we're putting up there as well. So it's another way to take a peak and you know, sooner or later there comes a time where you know, it's getting your hands a little dirty and being willing to roll up your sleeves and you know, take that first step and then continue to stack strategies continue to get better and better.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. And for the, let's say the headshot branding photographer who is business to business, I know you're not spending much time, but how much time would you say someone has to invest it? Sort of get a bit of a grip on this and then secondly, how long should we expect to be waiting to see some results if we put the work in?
Yakov Smart: Yeah, so fortunately, I mean, well if somebody goes and tries to figure it out on their own, I mean that could take literally forever cause they take the first step and it gets frustrating that do anything. But fortunately we've got resources available and you know, those resources, you know the setup, it's really a matter of if you really know what you're doing or if you have, you know, some of the messaging honed in, it's a matter of, you know, setting it up. Usually that takes, and that depends too, because not everybody's a copywriter and wording. We have different templates and different things. So there's a big variance on that amount of time. But once it's set up that 15 maybe 30 minutes a day, the upkeep is minimum. And you know, these 60 and 90-day window days, if somebody were to go out and if somebody just absolutely did a horrendous job of this, right? And they went out there and all they did was send a hundred connection requests over the course of 30 days. Right? Or even, you know, let's say they just did weekdays, that's 2,400 connection request out there. Let's say just, you know, for simplicity's sake, let's say just 25% accepted. Okay, so that's 600 new direct connections, decision makers in your database, if you will. Getting messaging and marketing and correspondence and relationships and even just just playing the numbers game, you're pretty much balanced. You'd get one or two or three or four or five bookings and that's if your strategy isn't that great.
Andrew Hellmich: Yeah. Right. Okay. So it doesn't take a lot for this to pay off if you do it correctly.
Yakov Smart: Exactly.
Andrew Hellmich: You mentioned upkeep a couple of times a year. I know you've got people helping you with that and you suggested that we're going to have to do that. What is the upkeep? Is it deleting stuff? Is it checking things or running smoothly, what is the upkeep?
Yakov Smart: It's checking things that are running smoothly, updating the list, being able to, when somebody responds or has a specific question or ask something specific, being able to respond to them manually if you need to. So that's, and then posting the content and having constant frequency as well.
Andrew Hellmich: Right. Okay, so you're producing content which you can use on other platforms at the same time and repurpose it for LinkedIn as well or vice versa.
Yakov Smart: Exactly.
Andrew Hellmich: Okay. And I know you talked about spending 15 to 30 minutes a day for running this process or these processes. What about for you personally? Like how often are you logged in and checking LinkedIn and are you using that say like someone else would use Facebook. Are you using both, and Instagram for example?
Yakov Smart: Well, personally I use Instagram very sporadically recently got back on it. But as far as you know, LinkedIn and Facebook, see Facebook is a little more personal. Even though I'm connected with a lot of people there at LinkedIn, you know I usually have it up, but you know, I'm definitely not spending a whole lot of time out of it. And sometimes you all can get behind for a couple of days and I have to take a peek at everything. But yeah, I mean my personal time investment maybe 15 minutes a day for a few different days a week. But everything is, you know, if I want to go out there and if I have a new audience or a new offer that I want to market, like, you know, after our conversation today, actually one of the things that's on my lists, to get to is, you know, putting out a new offer out there for something very specific here in the Scottsdale area. And so that's going to take me maybe a whopping, you know, between writing the copy and setting it up a whopping 15 or 20 extra minutes. But it's completely worth it because it's, again it's like somebody going out there and prospecting for me and selling for me and it's wonderful.
Andrew Hellmich: Cool. Last question. What about for you? Let's say you've got a new haircut, new suit, maybe you look a bit older than the current profile and you need to update your profile photos. How would you go about doing that? And I'm obviously guessing and abusing LinkedIn, but how would you find a photographer personally?
Yakov Smart: Well, and I'll put this out there to anybody who is well anywhere you can reach out, but I'm in Scottsdale, Arizona, I've had issues with getting good headshots for whatever reason. And oftentimes I've done searches on LinkedIn and work with people. I've done Google searches. So I always look at the visuals. But you know, you know what I've seldom seen that I wish that would sell me even if a photographer was a little bit of a higher price point is if they understood that they had a process or a methodology for great head shots and they address some of my concerns because you know there's the, you know I've taken head shots before but I didn't. Right. So they address that head on and showed me why that wouldn't be the case and why they offer a VIP type experience. That would be appealing to me personally and in very attractive in terms of who I want to work with for headshots. Cause I know headshot photographers are a dime a dozen, but I'd want something that I can use everywhere. Not to mention, yeah, the importance of making that first impression.
Andrew Hellmich: Got it. Got it. So if you saw a message pop up in your LinkedIn feed as an offer or a suggestion to connect to a headshot photographer, you would accept that. And then so what would your first step be? Would you obviously look at their photo, have a look at their byline, would you go through their website or just stay inside LinkedIn?
Yakov Smart: If they connected with me, I would connect and I would be so impressed that they actually reached out proactively and made me an offer or ask me a question that I would immediately, not immediate, but I would, I would very shortly check out their profile and then check out their website and portfolio. Cause I want to make sure that, you know, they have something where they're, I like their style and also, you know, a big plus for me is if they already have a studio because outside it gets windy and the hair and all those different things. So that would be my process. And then yeah, that's what I would look for. And so it's a combination of both. For me, I like words. If I saw a messaging that really resonated with me that would be extremely attractive because if that person gets it, then I'm very interested. In fact I found a lot of photographers don't quite get it or they don't customize their approach based on the client. That's sort of been my experience, but I also like to be to the point as well and I think there is such a art to taking photos and you know even not head shots, even getting good photos went out and about and or at events like there's such a, you know gracefulness to it that's potentially out there that somebody's conveyed in their messaging that they at least understood that or thought about that I'd be blown away and I'd instantly be quite intrigued by what it is they have to say and if I saw the visuals that looked appealing, I would pretty much be all about it.
Andrew Hellmich: You've given us so much food for thought here and it sounds like there's so much opportunity available to us in ways that certainly, I have not even considered as far as LinkedIn goes. Yakov, you've been fantastic. It's going to be a lot of people thinking, wow, okay, let's look into this more deeply. So I've got your website address is linkleads.us that's the best place to learn more from you?
Yakov Smart: Yup. Linkleads.us or if somebody just emails me with the name of your show on the subject line, you'll have somebody checking email for me, but if somebody puts the name of your show in the subject line, we will take a look at that email and send your response with any questions or if you'd like more links about events or programs, we can definitely get those over to you. And if you're listening to this and you happen to be in Australia, in Sydney or Melbourne and it happens to be before, you know, February 7th then definitely feel free to email us and reach out and we can definitely have you come as our guest on behalf of Andrew to one of our live events and I think it'd be well worth your time to attend and I'd love to be able to meet you in person.
Andrew Hellmich: Fantastic. That sounds fantastic. It really does and particularly if you're going to be in Sydney, which isn't too far from me. Yakov, you've been fantastic, mate. Thank you so much for your time. Really appreciate it.
Yakov Smart: Most definitely. Really appreciate you for having me.