String Nguyen is the founder of StringStory. String is a curious geek of the future. She loves startups, tech and fried chicken. She is a video innovator, she was a keynote feature content speaker at VidCon Australia and is the producer for the Shorty Awards' Snapchhater of the year. On September 12th, 2017 we had an exclusive #ama session with String in our Slack community.
Here's the transcript:
[9:30 PM] Hi Suzie, great to have our second #ama session with you. Thanks for making it, despite the fact it’s 6.30am in Melbourne, Australia.
I think Melbourne is 9h ahead of London.
So glad to have you. You had a busy week with VidCon Australia. Tell us, how was it?
It was great, I was the keynote speaker and I wanted people to know two things: 1. Fried Chicken 2. LinkedIn videos. I also chatted to Facebook, Redbubble and a few other amazing creators. So funny, I was doing a walk and talk meeting, yesterday morning. When a random came by and said "string, I love your talk about LinkedIn video".
Carsten Pleiser [9:39 PM]
I’ve been following you for weeks now, you’re quite new to LinkedIn. Tell us, what is your magic, secret sauce about boosting engagement? You are getting amazing engagement, amazing profile views and inbound leads.
String Nguyen [9:40 PM]
As a creative person... I had to develop my focus on two things: making bank and treating myself as a business - otherwise, I can't achieve my goal to buy my mum a house. So when I do projects it because it always a step forward to achieving that goal.
Carsten Pleiser [9:41 PM]
That’s a nice goal to have to stay motivated. (edited)
String Nguyen [9:41 PM]
I tell you how I got started and it will help people understand my strategies better.
F&C Member [9:41 PM]
Yes, that's the part I'm very curious about actually.
String Nguyen [9:43 PM]
When I first got beta access to video - I was able to reach 100k views with that one video --- so it went viral and I used that momentum to hyper-focusing on being the first youtube-like channel on LinkedIn. You may think I am an overnight success but the reality is, that I been playing with videos for the last 2-3 years.... I actually duplicating strategies from my meerkat days --- I had about 44,000 followers within 6 months.
The skills/tactics I learnt from Meerkat and I transferred over to LI are:
- Daily presence
- Daily content
- Community - developing your own tribe and engaging with your tribe
- Setting standards
- Creating meta like content
F&C Member [9:45 PM]
Have you noticed a difference in interactions if you just post a video, or if you spend the extra time to write a longer summary with each video?
F&C Member [9:46 PM]
What is your thought on the social selling index? Do you keep track of yours and do you consider it to be an important metric?
String Nguyen [9:46 PM]
I understand the habits of Linkedin users already. They prefer to read. For people to engage in videos -- we need subtitles. To be frank, a post so far has given 10-50k views, video - an average 5-10k view. But you have to understand something, you use video to PULL in your tribe. It builds knowledge expertise, builds cred and trust. Those are people you train and engage with.
Carsten Pleiser [9:51 PM]
Besides buying a house for your mum which is an amazing goal, what’s your biggest goal with your LinkedIn strategy? What are you trying to achieve?
String Nguyen [9:51 PM]
SSI is just an indicator where you sit in LinkedIn's market. Metrics wise to measure ROI, I use:
- Profile visits
- Total monthly traffic through posts
- Amount of calls / leads generated
- Amount of speaking opportunities
F&C Member[9:52 PM]
Nice! For those of us still less active on LinkedIn, what would you advise people on how to get started building their personal brand on LinkedIn?
String Nguyen [9:52 PM]
Great question. No matter what platform you're on, you have to consider your personal brand.
F&C Member [9:53 PM]
If you look at the amount of calls/lead gen and amount of speaking opportunities, do you only get inbound leads, or do you actively use your success to reach out for new opportunities yourself?
String Nguyen [9:53 PM]
Here's my formula for Personal branding - I call it the 4Vs:
Carsten Pleiser [9:54 PM]
Can you make it more actionable, @stringstory for the people who are just starting out?
String Nguyen [9:54 PM]
With that focus and clarity, you will develop your own style that reflects what you need to do.
F&C Member [9:54 PM]
Awesome, that's already some material to start thinking.
String Nguyen [9:55 PM]
Hmm - it's intense, but if you can commit to 30 days of writing/creating daily posts. then you will develop and test your 4Vs.
F&C Member [9:55 PM]
String, that will be very cool - you can grow an audience around being the first youtube-like channel on Linkedin. I know of this lady called Lynda West on Facebook - she's done over 1,000 live videos on Facebook. One every day. Now she's building a business around that.
String Nguyen [9:56 PM]
For videos, I recommend doing one takes. Think of one video - one takes - one thought or one question that you want to answer. - one minute. It's a daily commitment and she is one proven case study.
F&C Member [9:58 PM]
How many videos did it take till you lost your stage fright? (if you ever had it)
String Nguyen [9:58 PM]
I only focusing on inbound leads. So far, in 3 weeks I have had about 10,000 profile visits, but I noticed that when I do speaking gigs about LinkedIn videos, I get clients too. So it all works out.
ahh man - when you do video is a bit a paradox - you really should give zero fucks. I mean, you want to share your energy and opinions about something and you care, but you don't care. You care what you say and what your TRIBE say (edited). But when people do troll/hate on you, you don't care.
F&C Member [10:00 PM]
Daily commitment for sure! I'm working on my video presence. I've tried doing live videos, I seem to perform better when I'm doing an interview style with someone else. So I'm working on doing one take at the moment - while doing the text commitment.
String Nguyen [10:01 PM]
To answer your question about starting. Can I ask you, are you working for yourself or are you employed?
Why not start interviewing people? That's how I build my baller and global network. Instead of picking people's brain, I used it to learn and document the chat. It's a better value exchange. You learn as you go and you have on-going content too.
F&C Member [10:03 PM]
String, rather employed at this moment (co-founder of a company), but I do want to move more into other projects/freelance projects hence the personal branding becomes a bigger topic.
String Nguyen [10:04 PM]
How about I give you a challenge and anyone is welcome to join - would you like to accept?
F&C Member [10:04 PM]
So far, I've been the one being interviewed. Haven't tried the other way round yet. But that's something I would be interested in.
F&C Member [10:05 PM]
String, why do you think videos are used so infrequently across LinkedIn?
String Nguyen [10:05 PM]
Fear ear of showing their face is a big reason
String Nguyen [10:06 PM]
We have an Engagement Pod, to keep accountability and support (that would help boost engagement for your post) and it allows you to experiment with trusted friends. We do it here. A Founders & Creators 30-day challenge. The bonus is that you learn a lot about yourself and develop your voice.
F&C Member [10:07 PM]
Interesting - okay why not give it a try. I'm gonna start working on my 4Vs.
F&C Member [10:07 PM]
Carsten, at the moment I spend 50% of my time writing, then 50% shortening it to 1,300 chars and I haven’t built up large queue yet. I should probably spend the weekend to write the content for the entire week in advance, instead of on the same day.
String Nguyen [10:08 PM]
The 4Vs is a concept I develop with my own clients and it works.
F&C Member [10:08 PM]
String, how do you write your articles/record your videos? In bulk/or one day at a time?
String Nguyen [10:08 PM]
I create a bank because I get busy over the week. A bank of library of things and push it out. Here's a good hack: Go to conferences and interview people, you can easily collect 5-10 in a day. Another hack I use is, turn off your internet and write dirty content. I say dirty, because your first drafts are usually the best.
F&C Member [10:09 PM]
How long do you take to create each piece of content?
String Nguyen [10:10 PM]
It's more a process for me. I have a list of things I want to chat about - pick one question and I do a one take
F&C Member [10:11 PM]
Do you have someone to help you record or to frame you? Or do you do it all by yourself?
String Nguyen [10:11 PM]
Sometimes a one take can take me 5-10 minutes. It's me, my headphones, my iPhone and i Tripod. I do have a pro team, though. But that's for other work.
F&C Member [10:12 PM]
My question is how you find speaking gigs?
String Nguyen [10:13 PM]
I use my VAs to help scope out conferences and I cold email the organisers. Plus, I get headhunted because people watch/follow my journey. You never know who watches or reads your stuff.
F&C Member [10:13 PM]
Nice!! True that!
F&C Member [10:14 PM]
Do you think a B2C can use Linkedin and video effectively to reach new audiences. If so, how?
String Nguyen [10:15 PM]
Can you be specific about your consumer, who is your target audience?
F&C Member [10:16 PM]
We are a Men's lifestyle brand targeting young professionals. We're developing the brand and understanding our niches within this!
String Nguyen [10:17 PM]
My content has b2c feels - as long as your entertaining and provide informative value you be awesome. Personal development would be a BIG thing on LinkedIn.
F&C Member [10:19 PM]
If you were making videos about men business fashion tips, that would probably work?
String Nguyen [10:20 PM]
How to look professional and still look dapper? Best 10 places to look dope af and be a pro. Haha, I'm surprised no one has started listicles yet. 5 hairstyles for men of calibre. Or do video show styles. Barbershop with 2 busy men.
Carsten Pleiser [10:22 PM]
Best dressed business men & styling tips videos...
String Nguyen [10:22 PM]
Pretty much. That's a good one @carsten. Everyone here is a passionate or expert in something, use video to share your sparkles. You rather do a video about something you're excited about because energy is felt on video.
Carsten Pleiser [10:23 PM]
String, we're coming to an end here. Can people connect with you within the Slack community?
String Nguyen [10:23]
Sure...please reach out to me here and follow me on LinkedIn.
F&C Member [10:24 PM]
String, thanks a lot for those insights, I have to go now but I'm gonna start working on this 30 days challenge!
String Nguyen [10:28 PM]
Thank you, everyone! Thank you @carsten for organising this.
Carsten Pleiser [10:28 PM]
Thank you, @stringstory and everyone @here. Tomorrow, let's start the challenge.
String Nguyen [10:29 PM]
It's cool, being part of the group or being there is part of the preparation. Use it as a sounding board of ideas.
F&C Member [10:30 PM]
We might collect a pool of topic ideas for those who have difficulties finding a topic.
String Nguyen [10:30 PM]
F&C Member [10:30 PM]
I'm new to content creation on Linkedin but would love to be part of the journey and give it a go!
String Nguyen [10:30 PM]
Yay, love your attitude. Giving a go is the way to go.
String Nguyen [10:31 PM]
@carsten can you set up a channel for the #30daychallenge
Carsten Pleiser [10:31 PM]
YES, good idea.
String Nguyen [10:31 PM]
and we can make it an open invite.
Carsten Pleiser [10:33 PM]
#30daychallenge here’s your support channel for bouncing off ideas, asking questions etc. Then once you have a post, video or status update, post it here for engagement: #linkedin_engagement (edited)
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