The Agency Interview: 18 Questions With John Nemo

March 14, 2017


John Nemo is the Founder of Nemo Media Group, a company that helps small business owners, salespeople, and others leverage the LinkedIn platform. Below John shared his affinity for the 1980s, his storytelling obsession, and why content is so crucial for succeeding on LinkedIn. We asked John 18 questions; here are his 18 answers.  

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Raisin Bran Crunch.

2. What’s the last great thing you binge watched and why?

“Stranger Things” on Netflix —such good storytelling, and as a child of the 1980s, I couldn’t help but love the setting and all the nods to my favorite movies, like “Goonies,” “E.T.” and a host of others.

3. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days?

Can I say, “All of them” … LOL. I’m a huge believer in simple, clear, easy communication — especially on LinkedIn. Buzzwords drive me batty!

4. Your influence and reach is quite impressive. How did you get your start with blogging and speaking?

I grew up as the son of two English professors in a house where our basement was literally lined from floor to ceiling with books. I’ve been obsessed with writing and storytelling ever since, and have followed that through each era I’ve lived in.

I graduated college in 1997 and started out as a “print” journalist (remember newspapers?) for The Arizona Republic. Later I worked for The Associated Press and then transitioned into PR and Social Media work for employers, and then out on my own.

I got started with guest blogging a few years back by utilizing my journalism background and experience along with some sample posts on current topics (how to utilize LinkedIn for sales and marketing, for instance!) to get my foot in the door with a few well-known business sites.

As for speaking, I love doing it and started out by leveraging talks and presentations I gave at industry conferences and events (while working for different trade associations) to get additional speaking gigs once I went out on my own full-time in 2012. Once you land one gig, and do well, it can lead to another, and another, and off you go!

5. You’re the author of seven books. Which is your personal favorite and why?

Fired Up! is my favorite by far. It’s the book I felt like God put me on this planet to write. It’s all about helping people discover their true calling, live a more meaningful life and create the career they’ve always wanted. I poured my heart and soul into the book, shared stories I’ve never shared anywhere else, and feel like it’s the kind of book that can help anyone in any circumstance live the life they were meant to.

6. How do you use LinkedIn — for networking? For content marketing? Searching for talent? For sales prospecting? For staying abreast of news?

I use LinkedIn to generate sales leads, add clients and increase revenue. I literally built my entire business off the platform!

It’s a story I tell at length in my book LinkedIn Riches, but long story short, when I quit my day job in 2012 and started my own business, I needed customers —fast. I turned to LinkedIn, which I’d been using since the mid-2000s for career purposes, and realized that it had a treasure trove of potential clients just sitting there for me to connect and engage with.

Once I figured out the right way to connect and engage with prospective customers on LinkedIn, amazing things happened. I was able to generate six figures of revenue in just 90 days for my new business, and I did all by myself and all via clients I found on LinkedIn.

Today, I spend all my time teaching others how to do the same thing. The key is understanding how to sell on LinkedIn. One of the reasons I’m such a fan of LinkedIn’s marketing team is that you guys do it the right way (with content marketing!), and set up a model everyone else should follow.

7. What’s the biggest opportunity B2B marketers aren’t taking advantage of on LinkedIn?

I would say content.

If you want to “buy” the time, attention and interest of your ideal customers and clients on LinkedIn, you need to create content that helps your target audience accomplish one of their goals.

The days of just asking someone for his or her time and attention (on LinkedIn or anywhere else) are gone. Instead, you have to earn the right to ask.

Creating and sharing helpful, problem-solving content with a specific, niche audience on LinkedIn is how you earn that ask.

Also, we are overloaded (on LinkedIn and elsewhere) right now with people who claim authority. It’s one thing to claim it; it’s quite another to demonstrate authority. To really win someone’s trust, you must first demonstrate authority. Your free content proves to people that you are the expert, that you can help them achieve their goals, etc.

8. What’s the most important way the rise of social media, from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, has changed the way companies reach their audiences?

The gatekeepers and cost barriers are gone. You literally carry a television studio (iPhone) in your pocket for crying out loud! There are no more excuses for anyone not to find a way to monetize their passion and turn it into a business.

Social Media means that talent, value and creativity now carry the day. Content is everything, and great content can literally reach millions of people in an instant.

LinkedIn gives you the best of both worlds, because it has the tools and platform you need to create and showcase your content, along with the ability to share it with the exact people it was designed for!

One of my favorite tips I give LinkedIn Riches students of mine is to create content that is hyper-focused on a specific audience or niche.

In fact, I’ll even encourage them to write a blog headline that puts their audience name in it.

So the headline formula is: “Target Audience Name + Your Service + Benefit They Want”

Example Headline: “3 Ways Chiropractors Can Leverage Online Video To Land New Patients!”                   

Chiropractor = Target Audience

Online Video = Your Service

New Patients = Benefit They Want

You take the product or service you provide and turn it into a helpful piece of content, and you make sure that it helps a specific audience solve one of their key problems.

9. What’s Your Proudest Moment in life?

I would say spending time with my wife and our three young sons is my biggest joy. It’s a crazy, busy, wild ride, but I love every minute of it!

10. Is content marketing an evolution or a revolution?

I’d say an evolution — it’s the new normal when it comes to lead generation, sales and marketing. There is no going back. The old methods of interruption advertising (telemarketing, cold calls, print ads, billboards, TV commercials, etc.) are dying a slow, agonizing death, and it can’t come soon enough!

Content marketing is the present and the future, and if people use it correctly, it’s win-win for everyone involved.

11. How has the availability of data changed marketing (or not)?

I think our ability to measure online behavior is key, from website heatmaps and click-through rates to who’s looking at your LinkedIn profile.

Particularly on LinkedIn, the data and analytics of who’s engaging with your content, who’s looking at your profile, etc., gives you context for a conversation. On LinkedIn, people pre-qualify themselves by engaging with your content and presence on the platform. And, because LinkedIn makes it easy to see who someone is and what he or she does, you immediately know if that person is a good fit for your business — or not.

12. What is your top-secret superpower?

Celebrity voice impressions!

13. Who should play you in the movie version of your life?

Will Ferrell.

14. If you weren't in social media consulting, what would you be doing?

I’d love to play lead guitar in a rock band. I was in a band right after college, we recorded a CD and toured a bit around the Midwest and had a blast. I’ve always loved music.

15. What is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Homer Simpson, because he makes me laugh every time he opens his mouth!

16. Best movie ever. Go:

I can’t name just one! A few of my favorites - Saving Private Ryan, The Paper, Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, Star Wars (except for the ones with Jar-Jar Binks), Miracle, Road To Perdition, Glory Road.

17. How long would you survive a zombie apocalypse?

Minutes at best — I’d be screaming like Homer Simpson.

18. What are your B2B marketing predictions for 2017?

I think webinars and online trainings are going to become the single best long-form sales resource in the B2B marketplace, and those who do them well using all the newest tools, techniques and platforms will reap the rewards.

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