Personal Branding for Marketers on LinkedIn with Nick Bennett
750 million users on LinkedIn and 1 person talking about Field Marketing. Meet Nick Bennett.
When you say Field Marketing, people say Nick Bennett. That's the power of building a niche.
But it wasn't always like that. He started out thinking LinkedIn wasn't for him. He scrolled, hit a few likes here and there, and went back to his computer, to his job. Till that one day when he said, «Wait, I can give this a try.»
We sat down with Nick to hear his story. The story of how he went from «LinkedIn is not for me» to building an audience of 22.000 and growing, starting a podcast, getting job offers, and being an authority on Field Marketing.
Taking up a challenge and sticking to it.
If you ever wondered what a nudge can do, then Nick can show you exactly what. Getting started is just the first step, Nick took that nudge and stayed consistent. He talks us through what triggered his journey, how he took a challenge and stuck with it.
Who was Nick Bennett before LinkedIn?
«Honestly, I feel like I was the same person I am now. With one exception, I'm more vocal now. I was always super quiet and didn’t really say what was on my mind. I was one of those people that just scrolled LinkedIn and went back into my work without saying anything.»
How did you perceive LinkedIn before your personal branding journey?
«To me, LinkedIn was just a scrolling tool. Before March of 2020, there were only a handful of people that I followed who were very active and you know who they are, Justin Welsh, Chris Walker, and some other sales leaders. But I never thought LinkedIn was something that I could learn from honestly.»
Was there a trigger that got you started on LinkedIn?
«Kyle Coleman (when I was working at Clari) was my boss. He put out a challenge to his team to get active on LinkedIn and start building our brand because of the success he had seen himself. He said, "It's a game-changer, the only way to level-up". A few of us took up the challenge. I'm probably the only one who kept going a year and a half later. If he hadn't put that challenge out, and I hadn't said yes to trying, I would’ve never posted anything.»
The power of zooming in
We often wonder why would someone listen to us, is there something we can say that can help someone else? Nick started with one thing that he knew and he doubled down on that niche. In fact, Nick's story is proof that the more focused one is, the stronger the association with your personal brand and your niche.
Did you have a clear goal when you started on LinkedIn?
«I didn’t. I still don’t. I really just wanted people to understand what Field Marketing was and what it wasn’t.»
You have built a personal brand in a very specific niche - Field Marketing, how did you decide on this?
«It was kind of simple. It was what I knew, it was something I was good at and no one else was talking about it on LinkedIn. Think about that, 750 million users and 1 person talking about field marketing. Mind-blowing.»
What are the top 3 benefits that you have seen by being active on LinkedIn?
«I've got job offers, I started a new Podcast called Rep Your Brand, and I've got access to people who I would never have access to before.»
Get started on LinkedIn
Nick has been writing for 1.5 years but he says writing doesn't come naturally to him. The only skill he relentlessly stuck with is consistency and authenticity. With that he's built an audience that's highly engaged.
What has been the most important skill that has helped you create on LinkedIn?
«Being authentic and vulnerable. Don't just talk about successes, but also failures. Talk about things you learned, and ultimately just try to provide value.»
How would you rate your writing skills? How does that impact content creation on LinkedIn?
«To be honest, I am a terrible writer. I hate writing, I really do. But I feel like I can write a LinkedIn post because it’s short, I know how to write choppy copy, keep it engaging enough that people will read it.»
Were there any resources that helped you along the way?
«Not really. I tried to figure it out on my own. I looked at other people’s posts like Chris Walker, and a bunch of others to see what worked for them and what didn’t.»
What were the top mistakes you made when starting out? (how can someone avoid them now)
«Don’t write long paragraphs. Don't make it hard to read your content. People only skim what you actually write. If they like it enough then they’ll read it. So I'd say keep your content short and concise. Make it easy to consume content.»
How do you know what to post, do you have a process?
«No process, I just go with the flow. I don’t write anything down. I throw whatever is on my mind out there and if it sticks, it sticks haha. Sometimes it flops, but it’s all good.»
What habits around content creation have you built for yourself?
«The first thing I do in the morning is posting, around 8.30 am-9 am. Other than that nothing really.»
What habits are you trying to establish right now?
«I'm focussing more on numbers that tell stories. People love that.»
The unexpected opportunities
Posting to LinkedIn is for everyone. It democratizes influence. And it throws unexpected opportunities your way. Nick found his by starting his Podcast, Rep your Brand.
Did being active on LinkedIn play any role in starting the podcast?
«100% it did. It’s how the team at Motion noticed me and offered to work with me. We’ve developed an amazing relationship from that. »
How does LinkedIn play into the success of the podcast? (any numbers?)
«This is an interesting one as I don’t have monster stats from downloads specifically, however, I release short clips of episodes on LinkedIn. That alone gets a lot of viewers for the podcast.
Does it translate into downloads of the actual episode? Sometimes it does, but not always.»
A story in numbers
Nick has been consistently creating content on LinkedIn for one and a half years now. His journey is proof that being consistent is the single most impactful thing when building a personal brand. And he's got numbers to back up the claim.
What numbers do you track?
«I really go for engagement, so that’s a big one. I do look at views, comments, likes, shares just to see how I am trending month over month or year over year. It just helps tell a story that is easier than me pulling numbers from the air. And Shield, 100% hands down, is the only tool I use. #NotanAd »
How do you use that information?
«It helps me think about what I want to talk about. I really break it down into a few buckets. Field Marketing/ABM, Personal Branding, Personal stuff and by tracking those I can understand what works and what doesn't.»
How consistent have you been on LinkedIn?
«2019: 2.8 posts per week, started slow, shared links etc.
2020: 7.6 posts per week, made a commitment, pushed through.
2021: 6.3 posts per week, found my pace, now it's a habit.»
What were your average likes back then?
«I'd be lucky if I got 5 likes on a post when I started! I was like well, this sucks. Now I get 150 reactions, 60-100 comments and thousands of views.»
The home of creators: LinkedIn
A network of professionals from around the globe, an opportunity to connect, engage with anyone you wish to, is what makes LinkedIn the ultimate networking event.
The crazy part? The doors are open 24/7/365.
Why is LinkedIn the place to be? Why should creators choose LinkedIn?
«750 million users. Massive organic reach.
You're leaving money on the table if you aren't creating on LinkedIn. It’s the way to get your next job, podcast, freelance gig, clients, the list is never-ending...»
How do you stay close to your tribe? Do you respond to all comments, DMs, emails, etc?
«100%. I comment back on EVERY single comment. I even go back and see if I missed anything over a few days. I think if you go back and look you’ll see that I have never missed a comment. It’s a community. Commenting back for people that take the time is huge. It shows them that their time is valued and that they will continue to engage with you because they know they’ll get a response.»
The creator's future
The journey of personal branding starts with that first post, that first bunch of people who cheer us on. From there it can take off to places beyond what we can see.
What does the future of your brand look like?
«That’s a good question. I am not 100% sure yet. I have had a lot of fun side projects that have helped me elevate my brand I think. I have had many offers to do freelance gigs that I’ve turned down due to bandwidth. Maybe at some point, I’ll focus more on consulting with field marketing and then supplement that with consulting for LinkedIn people that want to build a brand.»
Where are you headed with the leverage you are building?
«To the moon! Haha. Nah, I am just super humble and keep doing my job every single day.
Think about this, let’s say I got fired or laid off for some random reason, I am 95% sure that I could land something within a week or two because of my brand.»
Are you monetizing your audience or plan to?
«Right now, I am not. People tell me I am dumb not to. I just give it away for free, but down the road who knows. I’ve got ideas floating around in my head though.»
What are your thoughts on personal branding? Creator economy?
«I think it’s a no-brainer. You have a personal brand even if you say you don’t. The real opportunity lies in how you leverage it and in what capacity.»
And that's it folks. A sneak peek into how Nick is building his personal brand, seeing tangible results and creating a name for his brand, his reputation.
Make sure you Follow Nick Bennett on LinkedIn for more on Field Marketing, Account Based Marketing and LinkedIn growth.