Episode 42: How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

Dina Calakovic is a LinkedIn power writer.

She’s a master at authority marketing and has quickly grown her following to 64,000 followers

In this episode we get into:

  • How she got into LinkedIn?
  • How to write a great LinkedIn profile from top to bottom? 
  • Her content writing process?
  • What she thinks of ChatGPT as a writer?

The goddess of LinkedIn Profiles will have you rethinking your LinkedIn profile and personal branding.

Follow Dina on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dina-calakovic-authority-marketing/

Follow ‘Mellonie Francis’ on LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mellonie-francis

And if you want to be notified when we drop another podcast like this one, hit follow.

And I would very much appreciate you leaving a review so my podcast can help others crush it on Linkedin and in business.

Transcript:

Dina:
Personal brand is not about who you are. It’s about what you can do for others. So the first marketing lesson is that nobody cares about you. Right? So nobody cares about you. Everybody cares about what’s in it for them.

Mel:
next guest, the god of LinkedIn profiles, Dina Kalakh avec on my show. So we get into what should be on your profile banner? What should be on your tagline? How should you position your About Me section and your experiences section in your LinkedIn? What’s the best practice? Listen in, this is going to help you’re looking to reposition your LinkedIn profile. And really keep up with what the best practices are. How did the journey begin? For you, you know, take me back to before LinkedIn, whilst you’re establishing and how that journey was and to now? Yes, sure. So


Dina:
I started my journey on LinkedIn about two years ago. So back then I was a freelance copywriter. And I was just looking for clients to get some copywriting projects. So that’s how I started. And well, my growth went pretty good. Like it went pretty fast. And I was generating all of my leads from LinkedIn. So I was getting conscious percent of my clients through LinkedIn. And then I realized that it’s something that I can do for my clients as well, you know, not just like write for them, but also teach them how to generate leads for their businesses via LinkedIn. And this is when I met Stephen, it was about that time. He’s my co founder now. So Stephen was working in a very successful startup. And he was like a great marketing marketers. So he had knowledge about strategy that I didn’t have at the time that I lacked, I was like, strictly focused on writing. But of course, writing itself is not enough to build a successful business, like you need all the strategy behind, right? So this is where we clicked. We were like the perfect match. And then we started an agency. So we started an agency, I think, like a year ago, or something like that. And yes, so it’s how it all started. I was just like, you know, looking for some copywriting gigs. And then in the end, I realized, okay, I can do much more than that.


Mel:
Awesome. Tell me about the difference in, I guess, being your solopreneur writing, and then agency or now like, what are the pros and cons between those two lives? For those listening on that? Maybe you’re not curious to build an agency? Currently, maybe copywriting? Only? That, yes, big jump and move and decision?


Dina:
Yes. Yes. It’s a very interesting question. The differences, of course, massive. So basically, you become from, from somebody who is just focused on one on what they do well, too, all of a sudden, you need to master like 187 skills at once, you know, from like, managing people, hiring people, you know, dealing with clients dealing with like, you have a business partners, for you to have to make all the decisions together. It’s not only about you anymore. So like, it’s really, really intense. And this is where I found, were found really difficult to manage my creativity, which is still a big part of my business, like have that creativity time and that management time. So that’s really challenging to juggle. Because, you know, when you’re into management mode, then you cannot be the most creative person in the world. So I had to learn how to handle that. So yeah, it’s much more, it’s much more intense. And I will say it’s much more challenging. But at the same time, it enables me to grow much faster, because without my business partner, I wouldn’t have all these like skill sets that he brings into the business. And I think I would grow much much forward. So what I accomplished in the year, I think, by myself or without my team without the people who work with us, I would accomplish maybe in five or 10 years, so you know that intensity, of course pays off. But it is challenging. Yes.


Mel:
Yeah. I agree with you about the creativity part that really spoke to me like I find, I want to sit there create my content, but everyone wants your time. More like you just don’t get that headspace to think, you know, I try and block out times like from, you know, okay, I’m going to be creative from 8am to 10am I don’t want anyone to interrupt me, but then it just doesn’t go down that way. And I’m still figuring that part out, you know, like some days it goes to what I plan but you know, 70% of the time, I think it doesn’t as an agency owner, because you’ve got clients, you’ve got your team, you’ve got people that need decisions from you, how are you managing that? As a, you know, now?

Dina:
Yes, so are the startups ongoing, I’m gonna like divide my time. So I’m going to have, for example, I have client calls only two days a week. But then I devote those two days fully to clients, and three days a week, I leave for my creative processes. Of course, it’s that easy like that. But what I tried to do, what was really a lifesaver, when I changed the habit of checking notifications and emails in the morning, as soon as I wake up. So I use that morning time, which is the most productive time for for anybody, like 10:10am is scientifically proven to be the most productive hour in the day. So around these hours, I always try to do my creative job, do the writing, do the doodle strategy, and, and everything I need to, you know, do something in that day. Otherwise, I would just spend the entire morning answering emails. So I decided to Okay, no, my phone is on Do Not Disturb until let’s say two or 3pm. And then I start checking, you know, all the messages, all the emails and everything. So this was a lifesaver, like, That’s rich, because before that, I would often end up at like, 5pm to like finishing my emails, and then I will need to do something productive when I was already like that, you know, how that which was impossible. So yes, now I change that. And it also helped before I will have client calls every day. But then I realized no, like, it drains me too much. So I need to have like, three full days without client calls. I mean, of course, I will, I will make a call if something is, let’s say urgent. But I will sometimes make an exception, but I try to stick to that schedule.

Mel:
Yeah, that’s, that’s cool. So then take me to your content creation process, you know, being you know, quite an influencer in LinkedIn, I’m just curious, and I think a lot of people would be is how does the content ideation come about? Like, are you kind of recording that in your phone somewhere? Like, you know, what, when we have that, oh, that’s, that’s really cool. Are you like inspiring yourself just going on the newsfeed or, you know, we’re, how do you deposit and curate all the content ideas? And then, you know, how do you move that into the next phase, like a you just in the morning, punching out five, six pieces, you know, at once a week, or, you know, how does that whole process work from the start of ideation all the way to when we see it in its finality? On our feed?

Dina:
Yes, so I read a lot, which helps I constantly read I constantly educate myself on my expertise. So basically, everything I read that’s interesting that’s written well, I will take a picture of it I will I will screenshot it and put it into different folders. So I use a lot of these screenshots as as inspiration. Also, I use a lot of client work as an as an inspiration for whatever we do I turn it I can turn it into my content. So let’s say for example, we recently had a big success with something in Provo. I will write what was the source of success about and how did we accomplish that, you know, how did we approach writing in that specific profile, because every profile is a challenge for itself for example, and in each profile, you you need to do something like let’s say overcome some challenges for example, maybe a person is doing something today that doesn’t match with their past skills. So you need to connect the two which is not so easy to do. And then I realized okay, many people probably struggle with this I can write a post about it, you know, I can write find ways to, to link your past experience to recurrent expertise. And that’s one post for example. So whatever we do, can be an inspiration for my writing or whatever clients asked me on consulting calls, they have a lot of questions, I can write each question down and just, you know, answer it through my posts. So each question can be one post. So there is already you know, a lot of content so basic Yes, I do, I use a lot of inspiration from what we already do, you know, so so it becomes very easy. And then when I’m stuck, when I really don’t know what to write about, I go through these screenshots and use them, you know, as an inspiration. So I don’t know, for example, if somebody wrote, I don’t know, this is the result I had in my industry, I’m thinking about, okay, whichever result I had, with my work that I can I can put into posts like that, you know, so it really does help. So the more you read, in general, the more you can write, there is a saying, read in the morning, so you can be a good writer in the afternoon. And you know, I believe this right.

Mel:
Oh, cool. And then what about when you’re, when you’re writing? Or you just kind of writing every morning? Are you writing batch writing for a couple of days? Or, you know, like, how do you how do you kind of write it every day?

Dina:
Or? Yes, well, for my Foellinger, specifically, I always, I always dedicate one day to write five posts for the for the next week. And I always write my newsletter one week ahead. So I always do these two together. And regarding gutter auto writing, go for like for my business, like curl landing pages, sales pages, and stuff like that. I do it like, you know how, okay, like I don’t have a strict schedule, because of course, it will depend on you know, what we need to write. But for content for something or content, like on LinkedIn, or newsletters, something that has a schedule, I will always write a week in advance. I heard that some people do it like a month in advance, but I think that’s like a little bit too much. Because things in business change, like very fast. So a month in my opinion, is really like two way like it’s worth sparing a long period of time, like maybe something will happen, we’ll have some as a result in the meantime, that I want to share with my audience. And if I already have like content for that week, from like, three weeks ago, I won’t be able to do it. So I practice like one week in advance.


Mel:
Cool. Cool. And what about for your clients? Are you also then writing one week? Or in that case? Because I’m guessing some of them are time poor? Or various reasons? Are you then you know, how do you kind of do it for someone else’s voice? Because it’s harder to like, be in touch with someone to that degree? Every every week as a business owner, as well, when you’ve got multiple clients? Are you doing the same exact thing? Or would you say it’s different?

Dina:
Well, we don’t do ghost writing at the moment, we don’t do like, Yeah, we don’t do ghost writing, we only write like, client, for example, LinkedIn profiles, or sales pages. For that, I already have a team that writes for me, so I just have to do the polishing, I have to tell them what to improve and stuff like that. So my, my main role currently in my business is that I write for us and I only review client work before it’s good to go, it needs my approval. So

Mel:
that’s pretty sweet. That’s not that’s pretty sweet. You just get to work for yourself, I’m jealous. So let’s then talk about the LinkedIn profile, right? Let’s go from the top, all the way down to the bottom, all your best practices, best kept secrets of someone that’s listening on us to you know, let’s go all the way to the top and talk about the LinkedIn profile banner. And for those of you that’s early to your LinkedIn journey, it’s the thing that is, you know, on top of your photo, right up the right up the top, and there’s this space, that some people have empty, which is really wasted. If you’ve got nothing there, or if you’ve just got, I don’t know, a meaningless picture. That is, you know, you’re really an important part an asset. So, I guess from your perspective, this is going to be really interesting. What goes on that LinkedIn profile, Banner part.

Dina:
Okay, so yes, you’re right, like the banner is one of the first things that people see on your profile. So you really like need to think about it and what to put there. We often practice putting up provoke question. So just to like hook your target audience’s attention and compel them to keep on reading. So we will usually put some some question that target are their main problems. So something that will provoke them and think then make them think, Hmm, like I need to read more like this person is interesting. Then in the headline, we provide a one sentence solution. So who do you help? Why do you help them with and how? So mostly banner is problem oriented, while headline is solution oriented? Like in the headline, it really needs to be clear, who do you help? And what do you help them with. And then comes the about section. So in the about section, it’s really important that you talk to the reader that you don’t talk about yourself. So 80% of the time, I would say you need to talk about your target clients main problems. So their main fears, their pains they’re going through, basically, your job is to trigger their dominant emotion by talking about their greatest perceived problems. And once you’re done with writing about our problems, you offer your solutions. So that solution needs to be something that will obviously solve that problem you were just describing, and needs to be like something that they will consider their next logical step to solve that particular problem. And then in the end, you will put short one sentence call to action, like for example, were to contact you where to reach out what like, for example, if you’re a consultant, you will say, I don’t know, if the above makes sense, you know, reach out in India more, shoot me an email, whatever. So you need that call to action in the end so that people know basically what their next step is. And then in the experience section, this is something that most people do wrong. They never tell stories, they just like cram a bunch of bullet points, which is, of course, not effective, because nobody can connect to that. And what also people do is, again, talk about themselves in that experience section, which doesn’t work. So your profile is basically not about you, it’s about your target customer. So in your experience section, what you need to do, you need to link all of your past experiences to your current expertise. So why you need to provide to these experiences make you a better expert that you are today. So for example, I don’t know even if you’re a waiter before, how does that make you a great lawyer today, you know, so you need to link everything to that current business, which 99% of people don’t do, I believe this is extremely important for high ticket services, you know, before somebody, before somebody buys your couple of $1,000 coaching, or whatever it is that selling that is high ticket, like they will read your profile, you know, they will, they will check and bow the about section and they will check the experience section before they decide to invest in your solution, because there are many other obviously on this planet. So you really need to prove them, you’re the best possible solution for them. This, this whole process that I was telling you about now is outlined in our 15 Step Guide, that specifically pulling in profiles, and will lead you like step by step with formulas and frameworks. So you know exactly what you need to write where.

Mel:
Yeah, one thing I have toyed around with this, I’ve sometimes gone with the story in the about section, because it depends. I guess for me, it depends on the person’s goals and objectives sometimes that they don’t like they sometimes the people that are founders that are raising money, for example, they don’t have the objective of leads or not coaches, right. So what I usually try and do for them is more flipper that experienced party talked about can go in about us so that people get a feel of them. Because if someone’s going to invest in them, they need to know that what’s this person’s story. And sometimes experience is maybe too low for that particular purpose of what they’re trying to achieve. And some people have already like kind of already. They’re not they don’t feel they’re solving a problem because it also related to six, seven companies that they’ve established. And so in that situation, they want it to be more personal branding. So what would be the suggestion, then if they’d like I don’t have you know, I don’t have a lead generation purpose, or I don’t have that purpose of kind of multiple anthropic, or you know, I’ve moved on from that phase or I’ve exited and now I’m just nurturing five different ventures that have separate CEOs who are deriving that In that case, you know, what would be a different way to then go about the profile? Banner? Like, could you go more softer? Like, like, you know, a lot of my clients will say, I want to be like Simon Sinek. And I mean, he’s just got a star up there. Do you know what I mean? Like, he’s literally got to start with a quote, it’s like an orange background with a star. I mean, I don’t. So what would be your advice, I guess in that situation where it’s in between, maybe it’s a little bit different for this. And it’s purely more personal branding. It sounds like,

Dina:
I mean, personal brand is not about who you are. It’s about what you can do for others. So the first marketing lesson is that nobody cares about you, right? So nobody cares about you, everybody cares about what’s in it for them. So basically, personal brand is still not personal, because nobody cares about what you have to say, until it became become valuable to them. And before you make it about them. So I would say if you don’t have a clear goal for if you have, let’s say, multiple business ventures that are completely like that are not connected at all, then you will have to decide if you’re going to be active on LinkedIn, what’s your LinkedIn goal? And which? Which basic water? What about easier to talk about from all of these, like different areas, and water trying to achieve with that? So you should always come from that perspective, what are you trying to achieve from LinkedIn, because if you want to be successful on LinkedIn, it will take a like, a lot of time, a lot of your energy. And if you’re just doing it, that’s for like, you know, no reason or like writing everyday about something else. I mean, it won’t position you as an expert in any of these areas, people will just be confused. Maybe you’ll get likes, like if you if you write very topical content, you will get flagged but you you want to convert anything. So I don’t know if like it, if it boosts your dopamine, then maybe you’re doing it because of that, like, I don’t know, but, you know, my expertise is not in in that area. So we always help people get clients through LinkedIn. That’s what we coach people on. We don’t coach people who just want to have votes, you know. What

Mel:
I want to move to is the biggest trending topic is Chad GPT. And Chuck GPT and this writing and this is everything that it can potentially do and in your business, have you yet you know toyed with chat TPT Where do you see copywriting and the future? of you know, even Yeah, content now that there is this artificial intelligence that can do X Y, Zed, if you can know how to input and play with it?


Dina:

Yes, well, I’m not the person who who will adopt it. Like who will use it? Like about like, who will use it and like stick to it. So I’m probably one of the one of the writers that like tried it once thought, Oh, my God, this is so shit and like stopped. Because like, in my opinion, Chad GPT can write average. And the main problem here it can use. It can it can really be used for for research. But I will just name it like glorified Google. So nothing that I can check on Google is there that that I cannot check on Google? Like, I will find they’re basically the same thing. But even with like the advanced prompts and everything, like I was trying, what are people were advising. I wasn’t very surprised. I didn’t invest too much time into it. But the problem is it can it can write average, right. And this is the pitfall, basically, every business problem is that they’re either average in their writing or even below average, but let’s say average and they cannot stand out. Because competition is outrageous, like competition is savage. So you really need to be able to stand out and write extraordinary well to be successful, right? Which GPT cannot do. So with CHARGE GPT you will just have your average post, okay? It’s really impressive that it can even write average, right? But there is still no way you’re gonna you know, sell to that you’re going on, stand out. So it’s really not on that level yet. For content and especially not for coffee, like coffee is way more challenging than content So I don’t know, how fast will this AI technology develop? And maybe I don’t know, in 10 years or five years or two years, I don’t know, it will be possible to write like, extraordinary copy. But at this very stage, it’s shit. Sorry, no, it’s crap. And I will say openly what I mean, because it’s crap, right? You can use it for research, but it’s not for writing, like writers can only use it for research. If you don’t know anything about writing, you cannot rely on that.

Mel:
Yeah, I mean, there is some people that are using it with prompts and there’s like prompt engineers that I see on LinkedIn have become influencers overnight, of course,

Dina:
we’ll try to learn on the new hottest thing, because everybody wants a new easy solution. I mean, it doesn’t work that way.

Mel:
And I haven’t written my thoughts on chat GPT for like, I’ve just been watching everyone, you know, really, just everyday, it’s just chat GPT on your newsfeed, right, every day you’re swiping and the only thing I remember I posted about was when do you think these guys are going to charge you like it just wanted to take a vote. And I had like people going on, it’ll be month and month. And it was like, two weeks later? Yeah, it was, you know, a charge on it. And then my other question was, well, how much do you think they’re going to charge? For? You know, is it going to be words? So? But since then, I haven’t, I haven’t yet been able to post on it. Because I’m still like, in a discovery state of how its power can be. Can it help in a draft format for copywriter? You know, can it actually be more efficient in the future for a copywriter to get that first draft? Especially when you’ve got writer’s block? Yeah, sorry, writer’s block, over in your mind, like, and you just, it’s not happening for you like, and you use it like that in your business process to help ignite something because you’re stuck. So I mean, it’s gonna be really, really interesting. Because when I when you first saw it was like, Oh, my God, like, yeah, people were talking about it and ramping it up. So yeah,

Dina:
there’s a big hype around it.

Mel:
Oh, yeah. Like I was getting people like clients writing to me and going, you know, let’s just write everything using base and it’s like, you go do that then?

Dina:
Yeah,

Mel:
like that. That tool is for copywriters, not like, you know, for someone that doesn’t understand what you’re doing, and they’re using it. I think so. But yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s been. So what, in terms of what other trends are you currently seeing on LinkedIn through your content right now? Like, we’re, where are you, when you see the carousel kind of come up, and everyone’s a carousel, carousel carousel, but I see you quite stick to your format, which is nice. Like your style, you don’t get pushed by this, the trend, the hottest trend, you know, I’ve got to get the reach, do you like you kind of stick to the same format, and you show up in a very similar, you know, the same way of talk me through that ideology, like how you resist that urge to be like, I need to now do carousels, everything,

Dina:
because it’s like principles over tricks. So principles, what foundationally works, or what is hype now, because what is hype now can can last for one to three weeks. But human psychology never changes how people make decisions to guide that never changes. That’s always the same. So basically, I always just use copywriting principles that have been proven to work over the last hundreds of years, literally, rather than, you know, something that’s hyped out at this very moment and will pass in two or three days. So basically, I would always suggest that you focus on human psychology and how people how people trust you to buy. So before people trust that you’re an expert that can solve their problem. And before, yes, before you manage to make them trust, you can do the do your job, well. Nobody will buy from you. So basically, you just need to focus on how to convince them they are the expert, you are the expert are looking for. And this is this is the only thing that I think of before writing. Each of my posts, like does this post proves my expertise even further. If the question is yes, then it’s all that matters. Like it doesn’t matter if it’s in a carousel if it’s just the text post. If it’s one picture, the point is in values. So that’s all what matters.

Mel:
Got it. Got it. Well, I’ve loved the conversation. Dana, thank you so much, so much. It’s been The pleasure talking getting introduced to someone doing awesome copy awesome LinkedIn profiles and you know, you’re amazing to follow, you’ve got so much cool tips. So for those of you listening on make sure go check out Dina and all her details are in the podcast with LinkedIn profile URL, you can go here if you like what you see, follow engage. So thank you again for sharing in this series of you know, my LinkedIn Gods series. So I look forward to staying connected and you know, chatting more offline and online.

Dina:
Likewise, thank you so much for having me. It was really a pleasure.

Mel:
You all listening to innovative minds

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