Entrepreneurship and LinkedIn with Jackie Hermes
From selling cookies to building a 7-figure business, Jackie Hermes has done it all. She has seen both struggle and roaring success. With consistency she has built an audience of 85,000 people who love the knowledge she shares every day.
Her journey started with video content. She had no experience, she doubted herself and wondered if she even had something to say, as many of us wonder at the start of our journey.
This is her story of how she overcame hesitation, dived in and built a powerful personal brand, a successful business and launched her podcast.
Here is Jackie in her words.
Life before LinkedIn
At the start there was doubt. Jackie started at the same place many of us do, questioning if she had something valuable to say. But she threw caution to the wind and started her content creator's journey with the most feared medium-video! Here is Jackie walking us through her start and her triggers.
Who was Jackie before LinkedIn?
«The same person—but struggling more. I was five years into building a company and it was a struggle, that’s for sure. The start to our growth coincided with the beginning of my personal brand on LinkedIn, working on my mindset, and hiring a salesperson among other things!»
You sold cookies, launched a marketing agency with a small baby in hand, you have built an incredible community of 83,000 people on LinkedIn! What's your superpower?
«Great question. If I had a superpower, I would say it’s problem-solving. I try to see challenges as they are without adding emotion or worry, then come to the simplest solution to each problem. It helps me make decisions faster.»
What did you think of LinkedIn before you started creating content there?
«I started my career years ago as a recruiter and used LinkedIn as a tool to find job candidates. So, I thought it was just a place that people looked for jobs. And shared stuffy content. ;)»
What got you started on LinkedIn?
«Quentin Allums. He was one of my first hires and is now a friend. I’ve worked with him on three separate occasions now, and he just helped me with my podcast launch.»
Let's rewind a bit; back to when Jackie was a new kid on the block
Once upon a time, Jackie thought that LinkedIn was just a place that people looked for jobs and shared fluffy content. Today she is a force to reckon with. Her ideas around entrepreneurship, processes on brand building motivates millions who view and engage with her content.
Did you have a clear goal when you started on LinkedIn?
«Not really. I knew I wanted to increase awareness for my company but there wasn’t a solid plan or any kind of tracking mechanism in place like there is now»
What are three things you've achieved by being active on LinkedIn?
«- Growing my company to a 7-figure business
- Given my company a larger than life reputation, earning speaking engagements
- Meeting tons of amazing people that have become friends and important connections»
There are just a handful of people creating video content on LinkedIn, what made you dive into video? And what difference do you see compared to other content types?
«Quentin told me to! Right now, video isn’t my favorite medium. The videos aren’t going viral as often as they used to—many creators are moving to text posts and image posts instead. That said, videos will likely be favored by the algorithm again in the future, and when they are I will certainly create more! It is a balance of making content that speaks to people (like video), and also is seen by a wide audience (like text and images).»
Cracking the LinkedIn code 🔨
If you are looking for inspiration when starting on your own personal branding journey, look no further. Jackie decided to jump straight in and kept building her brand consistently. She shares her mistakes so your journey is faster.»
What has been the most important skill that has helped you create content on LinkedIn?
«Closing my eyes and doing it. I was terrified to start shooting videos and thought I had nothing to say. I just started— and take after take, it got easier. Oh, and I hardly ever watch my videos back. Once I have a take that feels good, I submit it to my editor. Otherwise, I’ll pick myself apart!»
What were the top mistakes you made when starting out? And how can someone avoid them now?
«Probably not interacting enough, and seeing LinkedIn as a business opportunity instead of a place to make friends. Now that I do the latter, I have built a real community of friends instead of people leaving lame, canned comments on each other's posts. ;)»
Why should founders/CEOs build a brand on LinkedIn?
«People buy from other people, period. Your company brand will likely never get the reach that a personal brand can.»
Being a power creator 🚀
When your content is seen by millions on average it brings the problem of managing time. Jackie has set up a system to create content and more importantly sets time aside to engage with her audience.
Do you have a plan for posting to LinkedIn?
«I do, my assistant runs the plan and we post a specific amount of content every week. We try to be systematic about it. I post Monday-Friday every morning before 9 am, incorporating at least one solo video, 1-2 image posts, sometimes an article, and sometimes collab videos with my team or other business professionals. Now that I have her help, we plan content out a lot further and it’s a lot less stressful!»
How do you stay authentic when your audience becomes as big as yours? (There must be topics that they love way more than others, do you post more of what your audience wants or more of what you want)
«I think that what I want to post and what my audience likes are the same thing—I built it that way by consistently talking about only the things I want to talk about. Everyone told me that I should be posting about topics specific to my marketing company and that never felt right to me; I wanted to relate to my audience about the process of building a company, instead. So, that’s what I did. I talk about everything from the mindset required, the things we think about, our doubts and fears as entrepreneurs, to tactical business tips. The content seems to resonate!»
How many DMs do you get daily? Are you able to keep up and reply to all of them? What about comments?
«Probably about 15-20? It varies. I do keep up with all of them except the blatant sales messages, and sometimes I skip messages that are just hitting me up asking for things without building some kind of relationship first. I believe you have to give before you receive. Although, when I have time I like to try to answer those messages as well.»
Do you have any habits around content creation that help you manage your time?
«I try to batch my content, reuse content (usually not word-for-word, but a different take on the same topic, or new copy for videos, etc.). I create a LOT of content—at least 5 posts a week on LinkedIn, a weekly letter via email, and now three podcasts a week, in addition to running my company and being a wife and mother. I think one must have really good systems to manage it all.»
The role of data and what the numbers say
It's not all about the data. Jackie uses data to guide her to double down on what works and do less of what doesn't.
Why do you track metrics for your LinkedIn data?
«The numbers tell me what’s working and what’s not—but it’s not all about the numbers that you see on LinkedIn. Sometimes the smallest number of views generates the most thoughtful commentary. And sometimes it’s not the viral posts that generate leads. You have to make sure you’re tracking what’s important.»
What metrics are important to you and why?
«I track a mix of metrics—but the most important is probably inbound leads, consulting inquiries, or people that are interested in the course. There definitely has to be an ROI for the amount of time I’ve invested in LinkedIn over the last few years!»
Creators are the future
Posting content consistently is the only thing we can control. The recognition and fame that follow is a by-product of that. Jackie talks about the power of an +83K audience and what comes next for a creator.
Why is LinkedIn the place to be?
«Two reasons: 1/ Decision-makers (with money) are on LinkedIn, and 2/ it’s the best place to organically reach your audience rather than paying to get in front of them.»
What's the next step after building such a powerful personal brand?
«I am going to continue building on LinkedIn, expand to new platforms, I just launched my podcast yesterday. So, making that personal brand more powerful. That in addition to growing Accelity keep me very busy. We’ll see what other opportunities come to life in the future!»
Are you monetizing your LinkedIn audience, or plan to?
«By way of leads for Accelity and course sales, yes. I don’t run a coaching program or anything like that, and right now I don’t plan to. There are lots of great coaches out there already competing for airtime. I don’t want to add to that mix at the moment.»
Sources of your inspiration - For the ones who want to dig deeper
Resources that keep Jackie motivated. Dig in to find
Your top 3 podcasts
Earn your Happy with Lori Harder
The Art of Entrepreneurship , this is mine ;)
Your top 3 books right now
Questions are the Answer - Hal Gregersen
They Ask, You Answer - Marcus Sheridan
Favorite content type?
«I got my start on video content but I don’t watch a lot of videos. I consume content better when it’s written, actually!»
And that's it, folks. This was a sneak-peek into how Jackie is building her personal brand, and driving revenue for her business.
Make sure you Follow Jackie Hermes on LinkedIn for more on Entrepreneurship, business process, motivation and LinkedIn growth.