“Creator” mode and more new stuff on LinkedIn

| 24-min read

If you’re overwhelmed by all the things you can do on LinkedIn (or just curious about what's new), Episode #428 is for you.

I chatted with Beth Granger, a speaker and trainer who specializes in LinkedIn, and asked her all the questions you ask me, like “What the heck is creator mode and who is it for?” and “Should I connect or follow people?” and much more. (Transcript too)

So listen here (or below) and learn. 

 

If you like what you hear, we’d love it if you write a review, subscribe on Apple Podcasts and sign up for Quick Tips from Marketing Mentor. 

Transcript of Marketing-Mentor Podcast #428, LinkedIn with Beth Granger

ilise benun  

If you are overwhelmed by all the things you can do on LinkedIn, this episode is for you. I chatted with Beth Granger, a speaker and trainer, who specializes in LinkedIn, and asked her all the questions you asked me, like: “What the heck is Creator Mode and who is it for? Should I Connect or Follow?” and much more. So, listen and learn.

Hello Beth, welcome to the podcast. Please introduce yourself.

 

Beth Granger  

I'm Beth Granger. I'm a trainer, consultant and speaker, and I work with organizations and individuals to help them unleash the power of LinkedIn and networking.

 

ilise benun  

Let's talk about LinkedIn, first. What would you say is the power of LinkedIn?

 

Beth Granger  

It's not just one thing. For me, it’s a place that allows you to extend the in-person—or now virtual—networking that we all do. It's a place where you can share your expertise, and meet people, connect with people, have conversations, and that's not even including the whole job-seeker portion of it. 

 

ilise benun  

Would you say that LinkedIn is enough—that you don't need to do any more than what's possible on LinkedIn to do your marketing? If no, why not?

 

Beth Granger  

No. I like to look at being where your prospects and referral partners are. You want to be everywhere that they are. If they're on TikTok, be on TikTok. If they're on the golf course, in person, learn golf. You're going to reach different subsets of your community in different places. 

 

In fact, I did a post the other day, and it took off on Facebook. So many people saw it and were having conversations with me about it; and on LinkedIn, it got some play, but it wasn't fabulous. So, I like being in multiple places. That being said, LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful platform.

 

ilise benun  

A lot of people have been talking about Creator Mode, lately, so I wanted to ask you some questions about that. First, would you tell us what Creator Mode is?

 

Beth Granger  

Sure, it's a new thing that LinkedIn just launched and it allows you to change your profile in a couple of ways: It highlights your content more than on a regular profile. It converts your Connect button to the Follow button. 

 

Right now, honestly, I'm not thinking it's anything special, but I think it could be in the future. They hired a whole bunch of what they're calling “creator managers.“ It's going to be their job to do things with and for creators. 

 

The real difference is, the way I look at it, If you're looking to build a network, then you don't want Creator Mode. If you're looking to build a following or an audience, then you might.

 

ilise benun  

How would you define the difference between those two things? Who might be more interested in building a network than a following or vice versa?

 

Beth Granger  

That's a great question. I would say, if you already have a network, a strong network, and you feel like maybe you want to get your thought leadership out there, your message out there more, you might want the Creator Mode. 

 

The other thing is, if you are a speaker, an author, want to be an “influencer”—I'll put quotes around that—it might be something that you want to do. But, it's so new that I don't really know yet. I do want to see what they have in store for us, so, I am testing it, at the moment.

 

ilise benun  

So, you have Creator Mode on. I just want to dig in a little bit on some of the differences that you highlighted, like the difference between the Connect button and the Follow button. 

 

You said that Creator Mode turns your Connect button into the Follow button, so why would you want someone to follow you? What are the differences between connecting and following? Why do some people have only Follow as an option vs. Connect? I get a lot of questions about this.  

 

Beth Granger  

One thing I will say is that you don't have to have Creator Mode in order to have the Follow button as the default—it's a setting that you can decide to turn on. The difference between them is, if you're connected to somebody, you see their connections, they see your connections, it’s more of a two-way relationship. 

 

If you have the Follow button on, it's just like following somebody on Twitter; it's not a two-way conversation. They can see the content that you share, but you're not connected to them. You can see who's following you, as well, but it's a little different.

 

ilise benun  

But, no one else can see who's following you?

 

Beth Granger  

They can't see who's following you and they can't see your connections …

 

ilise benun  

… which kind of defeats the purpose of LinkedIn.

 

Beth Granger  

Yes, and some of the other creators and I have asked LinkedIn—we'd like to have Creator mode but we'd like to keep Connect. 

 

I've experimented with Follow mode vs. Connect to see if it changed either the quantity or the quality of the incoming connection invites, and I didn't notice a difference.

 

ilise benun  

It's interesting, because I just recently learned that there was a difference between people connecting and following you, and that I have people who have connected with me but aren't following me, or are following me but aren't connected to me. What is that about?

 

Beth Granger  

Yes! The way I use Following, if I’m going to Follow somebody—that's for someone that I don't ever think I would connect with. For instance, I don't know if she's on the platform but, say I wanted to follow Oprah Winfrey and see what she had to say. I would never think that she would connect with me, but I could …

 

ilise benun  

So, she wouldn't accept your invitation to connect?

 

Beth Granger  

Right. So, you can follow somebody, if you want to see their content and be aware of the things they're involved in. Connecting is the start of a business relationship, so they're very different.

 

ilise benun  

If someone connects with me—either invites me to connect or I invite them to connect—and they accept, does that mean they're also following me?

 

Beth Granger  

Yes, initially, that is what happens. But, what you can do is—I would never say this would be the case with you, but—say you were connected to somebody and you kept seeing so much of their stuff in the feed and it wasn't of interest to you in any way. You could still be connected to them, but stop following and not see their content.

 

ilise benun  

Interesting. This is one of the beauties and worst things about LinkedIn: that there's just so much; that there are so many little things that you have to understand and figure out; and then it's also constantly changing so I always have to get the latest on whatever's happening.

 

Beth Granger  

That's why I have a business. 

[Laughter] 

It's a dilemma because the fact that it's a confusing platform is good for me, as a business owner, but it can be frustrating, for sure.

 

ilise benun  

What about the Cover Story? Tell people what it is and what you think about it.

 

Beth Granger  

So that, I like. That is a 30-second video that lives behind your photo on your Profile. I like it because we all know the power of both hearing somebody's voice and seeing them. So, it's a chance to introduce yourself or get creative. People are doing some interesting things with it. 

 

I've been experimenting and updating mine. I've only been doing it monthly, because I didn't want to do it more frequently than that. Whatever I want to say, if I wanted to promote something, I could change my Cover Story to say, “Hey, It's Beth Granger. Did you know I'm doing this thing if, you're interested.” 

 

You can use it in a lot of different ways. I think it's also great for people to very quickly get to know you or feel like they know you a little better.

 

ilise benun  

But, it's not available to everyone, yet. Right?

 

Beth Granger  

That's a great question and I don't know if I know the answer. I thought it was rolled out completely, but it might not be. LinkedIn rolls out things over time. So, the way to know if you have it is, first of all, you only can record it or upload a recording from your mobile version of LinkedIn. 

 

So, if you go to your Profile on the bottom right of your photo, if there's an orange, Plus sign (+), that means you have the ability to make the video, unless they've changed that. That's how it was when I first made mine. It could be different. You never know.

 

ilise benun  

This goes back to Creator Mode for a second, because I'm not an early adopter, in general. I like new things, but I like to wait and see how it's going to unfold and whether or not it's really going to be “a thing.” So, I have not done a Cover Story yet, and I especially haven't because I don't like the fact that you can only do it on the phone. That makes no sense to me. My best camera is on my desktop.

 

Beth Granger  

Well then, I'll give you a tip—I didn't do mine on my phone. I did a Zoom recording that I actually brought into Canva and added some text, and then you can upload it. It doesn't have to be a direct recording. You can do as many takes as you like. In fact, I shared, recently, the blooper reel of all the takes.

 

ilise benun  

That's fun. Okay, and then the thing about Creator Mode that I find annoying, in a way, is that they call it “Creator Mode,” so you think, “Oh well I'm a creator, so that's good for me.” 

 

I think that unless you really have content, and are in the mode of creating content, it doesn't make sense, because it pushes your About section down so that it's not as easy for people to see—and that, to me, is where they learn about you.

 

Beth Granger  

Yes, I agree. 

 

ilise benun  

Will you tell them about this? 

 

Beth Granger  

Happy to. The tricky thing is, it's not like your own personal website where you can see where people have visited and clicked. So, I'm not sure: Are fewer people seeing my About section and what does that mean? 

 

It's still so early on, that I'm giving it a chance. I want to see what those creator managers are going to be all about, and what additional features they might have for us.

 

ilise benun  

Excellent. All right. Is there anything else you want to tell us about LinkedIn, because I have another topic I wanted to ask you about. 

 

Beth Granger  

No.

 

ilise benun  

All right. You and I were talking about the difference between “word of mouth” and getting “referrals” or having “referral partners” or making it easy for people to refer you. This is definitely one of my pet peeves because, when I ask people how they market their business, they often say, ‘Word of mouth.” And I say, “No, word of mouth is not a marketing tool. It's not something you can control.” I think there's some confusion, also, between word of mouth and referrals. Tell me how you think about this.

 

Beth Granger  

Yes. So, to me, word of mouth is what happens when you have a strong brand and referral partners, because people know who you are and they know enough about what you do to be able to tell you. 

 

If they're in a conversation, and someone says, “I wish I could figure out how to use LinkedIn,” they could say, “Oh, you have to talk to Beth Granger.” So, to me, that's word of mouth. But, it doesn't just happen; you have to have built those relationships and have your brand, essentially, out there for people to know. 

 

Referrals are a much more deliberate activity, where you have people that really know you, and if the relationship is strong enough, it can work both ways. You can go to them back on LinkedIn and say, “Hey, I see you're connected to ilise on LinkedIn. Do you know her well enough and are you comfortable making that introduction for me?” So, referrals can be incredibly powerful, and more deliberate and more strategic than just waiting for someone to say your name.

 

ilise benun  

You mentioned, also, referral partners. Talk a little bit about, for yourself, who are your referral partners.

 

Beth Granger  

For me, it's been a very interesting mix of people: some, that make sense when I think about it; others, it's just random conversations, but the person knows me well enough. I get a lot of referrals from previous clients, for one; business coaches, sales trainers, other people who deal with the same person that I deal with within an organization.

 

Ilise benun  

Give us some examples.

 

Beth Granger 

An example is, if somebody is a sales trainer, one of the tactics they might use is to recommend using LinkedIn more. But, that sales trainer usually is more focusing on the conversations and what you say when you get on the phone with somebody. So, they might be able to refer me and say, “For the LinkedIn part, you have to talk to Beth.” 

 

People who see or hear, and are advisors to other people. A business coach would know if somebody is struggling with getting their message out there and doing some prospecting and doing some networking and can recommend me to help people.

 

ilise benun  

I would think a business coach could recommend, not only, someone like you, but a copywriter, a designer, a videographer, anyone who can help support more business.

 

Beth Granger  

Absolutely. It depends on where they need help, and that's going to be different for everybody.

 

ilise benun  

What about making it easy for referral partners to make the referrals—do you have any strategies for that?

 

Beth Granger  

Yes. You want to make it clear what they should listen for, or what is something that someone might say, so they know to introduce you. For instance, a financial planner in my networking group talks about working with a lot of women who are getting divorced and are the primary breadwinner. That's very specific. So, if you're in a conversation with somebody and they say, “I am getting divorced and this is the situation,” you know to make that introduction. It's helping people understand what to listen for, or that type of thing.

 

ilise benun  

Actually, I have a couple more questions about LinkedIn that are coming to mind, like: How often do you post on LinkedIn? How is that different from posting on some of the other platforms?

 

Beth Granger  

It is different. It's definitely a different animal. And, it changes. So, there are some platforms—say, Twitter—you can be tweeting all day long and it's not going to be a problem. On LinkedIn, right now—and this could change tomorrow or you could be in a test group so it might not apply to you—it seems that posts are having a longer life. 

 

So, what I like to do, if I don't have something that I have to post because it's time bound, I like to do a post and then watch and see how far the engagement goes, and not post again until it sort of dies down and it's ready for the next thing. 

 

What I've noticed is, I had a post that was doing really well, and then I was having a LinkedIn Live episode coming up so I went to promote it, and it was as if I told the algorithm, “Okay, ignore that other post now, because there's a new post.”

 

ilise benun  

And, what is “LinkedIn Live?”

 

Beth Granger  

It's like Facebook Live, if you've seen that, but it's where you can broadcast live, and it gets recorded, so people can watch it or listen to it, after the fact. 

 

People are using it in all different ways. I use it in two ways: The first year-and-a-half that I had it, I did interviews. I took people in my network and exposed them to my larger network by having these half-hour interviews, conversations with them. Kind of like what we're doing, but with video. 

 

And then, sometimes I do a “Live” about something going on at LinkedIn, or if I get excited about something. When LinkedIn launched a bunch of new features, I just went “Live” to share: “Hey, there are these new features, here's what they're about,” and educate my network.

 

ilise benun  

Anyone can do LinkedIn Live? 

 

Beth Granger  

No, you have to apply and be accepted. It's kind of interesting, because it seems like more people are being given access, lately, but then there are some people who have tried over and over and just can't seem to get it. I don't know why, as it’s human beings making the decision, so ...

[Laughter]

You can't control it. 

 

They do say that a couple of things in order to be considered more seriously: They want you to have Two-Factor Authentication turned on. I don't know why that would be “a thing” because they could say, “Yes, we'll give it to you, but you must turn this on.”

 

ilise benun  

Wait, so Two-Factor Authentication on your LinkedIn profile?

 

Beth Granger  

Yes, for security. That's where, if you log in from an unrecognized device…

 

ilise benun  

Oh, when you log in? I’m just always logged in, so I guess I don't know. Okay.

 

Beth Granger  

And, in the application, be really clear about what you're going to do, and share examples of other video or live broadcasts that you've done.

 

ilise benun  

Interesting. Do you find it helpful? How does it change your business? Do you get more clients after you do a LinkedIn Live? How does that work?

 

Beth Granger  

I think it depends on how you decide to use it. I mostly use it as a working tool to bring eyeballs to my referral partners, to essentially introduce people to my network; less so, as just a straight marketing tool for myself. Of course, people get to see my style and I'm also a speaker so they get to see a little bit of that. Really depends on how you use it. 

 

Has it led to business? Yes, but not necessarily in a direct way. Not that somebody says, “Oh, I saw that live—can we talk?”

 

ilise benun  

The LinkedIn Newsletters—is that similar to LinkedIn Live and who's eligible to have a newsletter? 

[Laughter]

 

Beth Granger  

LinkedIn is nothing, if not quirky. Newsletters, you can't apply; they just decide. 

I have a newsletter. I've only got one, so far. You know that you have it if you go to write an article and, up on the top right where it says “Publish,” it'll say something about “Newsletter.” 

The benefit, the thing that's great about a newsletter, is people can subscribe to it, they'll be notified by email and on LinkedIn every time you publish a newsletter.

 

ilise benun  

You’re saying, that’s worth doing.

 

Beth Granger  

I think it's worth doing, especially if you have Creator Mode, because it's sort of connected; it's almost like having an email list, it's just that it's on LinkedIn.

 

ilise benun  

Alright, one more question for you and then we will wrap up. I've noticed that you can also do Audio Messaging in the messaging app on LinkedIn. I keep daring my clients to do it, I don't think any of them have—

 

Beth Granger  

And video.

 

ilise benun  

Right, so what can you tell us about that? Are people actually using it? Have you used it?

 

Beth Granger  

Yes, I love it. Just like I said with the Cover Story, hearing somebody's voice, you feel like you know them. 

 

I have a network of people that do what I do, around the world, and there was somebody from Australia, and I had never spoken to them. We've known each other for years and we've talked in various text-based ways, and they sent me an audio message, and it was just so lovely to hear their voice and say, “Oh yeah, they are from Australia.”

 

ilise benun  

So, that's something you can only do on mobile, too, right?

 

Beth Granger  

Correct. 

 

ilise benun  

Do you think some of these features on mobile will eventually be available on the desktop, or not necessarily?

 

Beth Granger  

I think, not necessarily. I do have this theory that the mobile people and the desktop people at LinkedIn work in separate buildings and aren’t allowed to speak to each other. 

[Laughter] 

 

ilise benun  

I bet you’re right about that.

 

Beth Granger  

There are some things that you can do from both places, but I don't know why that is. There's no reason that you shouldn't be able to do it from desktop. The functionality is there. I don't know. 

 

ilise benun  

It's a quirk. LinkedIn is nothing, if not quirky. Alright, good. I think, at the risk of overwhelming people listening, I think we've given them plenty to think about and try out, and I want to thank you, Beth, for sharing what you know. Please tell the people where they can find you online. 

 

Beth Granger  

Well, of course, they can find me on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/Beth Granger.

 

ilise benun  

Actually, let me ask you: Do you accept, everyone's invitation?

 

Beth Granger  

I do not. Because I have Creator Mode, I currently have “Follow” on. Really quickly, my process is, some are an immediate “Yes,” if I've met them somewhere. Some are an immediate No,” and that's a gut reaction. And then, there are the in-between people that I have to go through and vet. I try to figure out: Who are you? Does it make sense for us to be connected? 

 

People can also reach me—I'm all over the place—I'm on Twitter, not so much; Clubhouse, a little bit. 

 

ilise benun  

And your website, too. 

 

Beth Granger  

I'm not super active there, but I do have a website, Bethgranger.com

 

ilise benun  

Okay, excellent. That is interesting. That's what I've been telling people, too. Don't bother with a website, right now; just stay focused on LinkedIn, at the beginning, especially.

 

Beth Granger  

If you have a website, you have to do the work to get people there. People are already on LinkedIn. It's like having a party and having to get people to come vs. there's a party and you're invited.

 

ilise benun  

I like that analogy. Perfect. All right, Beth, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time and you sharing, and I'm sure we will have another conversation soon.

 

Beth Granger  

Thank you. It was a lot of fun.

 

ilise benun 

I do hope you learned a little something. Little by little, I promise it will get easier, and before you know it, you'll have more and more confidence. Speaking of confidence, if you cringe when a prospect asks for a proposal, or if you can never come up with the right thing to say in the moment, I think you'll like my latest ebook: Worth It. How Getting Good at the Money Talk Pays Off.” It's packed with case studies, resources, and plenty of “what to say when” scripts for tricky, in real time conversations and email messages. So, you never again say the wrong thing. You can find it at Marketing-Mentor.com. I'll be back soon with more conversations with creative professionals who are practicing what I preach to overcome, once and for all, the feast or famine syndrome. Until next time.

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