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Growing Your Personal Brand: Why LinkedIn is the Place To Be

Today’s episode of the podcast is an interview with Gus Bhandal, where we talk all about the world of marketing and how to use LinkedIn to grow a trusted personal brand.

Gus is an experienced marketer and has worked for some of the world's largest companies. He now runs his own digital marketing agency and has been since 2017; where he has helped literally thousands of companies around the world with being better on LinkedIn. He is the UK's number one* LinkedIn trainer and offers social media and marketing strategy for business owners, senior executives and corporate teams.

*according to his Mum.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

  1. The right balance between personal, professional and sales in your content
  2. How to use LinkedIn for business growth through engagement and outreach
  3. How to curate your LinkedIn audience and manage spam connections

 

LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY’S EPISODE

Connect with Gus on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or X

Check out the M Guru Website

Connect with Teresa on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook

 

Transcript

Teresa: Hello, and a really warm welcome to this week's episode of the Your, Dream Business Podcast. Gosh, like I am not having a good day today. I've got a couple of episodes to record today, so God knows what they're going to be like, but welcome to this week's episode. Thank you so much for joining me. I hope you're having a lovely, lovely week.

So this week. Now I don't wanna put any pressure on, but I've got high hopes for this week because I am interviewing the very lovely Gus who in brackets the marketing guru. And Gus is very funny and we laugh and we see each other. So I'm really hoping that we're gonna have a bit of a giggle today.

Well, you learn some things as well, of course. So please welcome to the podcast, the very lovely Gus. Gus, how are you doing?

Gus: I'm very well, I think I'm even better now that I've heard that ridiculously fantastic, introduction. And it's, but I feel pressure now. I need to be funny.

Teresa: Yeah. It's always hard when people say that, cause I think I'm quite funny.

And then when people go, Oh no, you are really funny. I then feel like I've got to be really funny. I've got to be really funny. I'm much better off the cuff.

Gus: Absolutely. Yeah. It's going to be natural. Right. Yeah, exactly.

Teresa: I did a talk once. I did talk once in Nashville for some, seven figure mastermind, which was very intimidating.

But actually it was amazing and they were all women and they were like, you should do stand up. And I thought there's a very big difference to me coming out with a little funny and actually doing stand up. I'm fairly confident that wouldn't be for me. Fancy being of stand up Gus.

Gus: No way, no, it's yeah, far, yeah, far too much pressure.

I like, I like making people laugh when they don't expect it, when they turn up and think this guy's gonna be funny. That's the moment I'm not funny, basically.

Teresa: And you've been doing some speaking, and obviously, you know, I speak, and I've done funnies. Like, purposely funnies on stage, and some of them haven't landed.

Gus: Yeah. Yeah, you know, it's funny you say that, actually, because a lot of my, I said to somebody the other day, and I shouldn't give away my secrets, but I, I Pre plan my jokes kind of thing. So I know when I do presentations, I know where I'm going to stick something funny in and yeah, sometimes it's kind of, when I write it down, I laugh to myself and I think, this is hilarious.

I'm the funniest guy ever. And when you kind of stand up and say, and the room is all quiet, you have to quickly move on. You're like, okay, cool. That's yeah. Next, next, next item.

Teresa: That is me all over. Like I will do something and I will laugh about myself. Ages, I'd be like, God, I'm hilarious. I will literally like praise myself, pat myself on the back.

God, I'm so funny. But yeah, it is, it is a bit awkward and they don't laugh. I sometimes I have the problem where I don't leave enough of the, I don't let it land fully before I then move on to the next thing. Cause I speak so fast. So that can sometimes be a problem in my world. So just. You know, a little tip for you there, Gus.

Gus: Yeah. Yeah. Just, really wait for people to laugh. Yeah. Yeah.

Teresa: And if they don't get it, maybe follow up with a brrm ch.

Gus: Absolutely. Yeah. That's a good idea. Or I might just have a slide that says laugh, you know, like in the audience.

Teresa: Exactly. Cue laughter.

Gus: Now's the time.

Teresa: I think that is the one, what we should do. That's how they're going to get it. I love it. Gus. Okay. Now we've pitched you up to be a comedian. How about we start, as we always do, by you telling us who you are and how you got to do the thing that you do today.

Gus: Wow. Okay. So, I was born in the late seventies in. Yeah. Wolves grave hospital.

I won't go into that. You know, I'm a, I'm a Liverpool,like I support Liverpool, FC and I used to tell people I was born in Liverpool because basically people always say, Oh, how come you support Liverpool? And so I was used to, yeah, I was born in the Paul McCartney hospital, you know, in the seller black children's award, you know, it was the kind of, it was all very made up, you know, you know, Jimmy Tarbuck was the midwife and all that kind of stuff.

But yeah, no, I was born in Coventry, born and bred in Coventry. Spent my life here until I moved to London and started a marketing degree. And at that point it kind of all took off. I tried my hand at nearly every subject going and I failed at everything except marketing. And I thought, okay, maybe I'll, maybe I should make a career out of this.

So that, and that's kind of, yeah, that's where it went on. I spent years working for some large companies, international organizations. I worked for local authorities. I then run a pub and a restaurant for a little while, and then I started my own marketing agency and that's where I've, come and even, even that is niche.

So I, I help businesses with marketing and marketing strategy and all that kind of stuff. But, it starts with LinkedIn. That's kind of where I say to people, right. I'll train you on LinkedIn. I'll get you great on LinkedIn. And then we'll do other elements of the marketing mix.

Teresa: Okay. So a couple of things.

First off, I don't think I've interviewed anybody or they've certainly not alluded to me that has a marketing degree because I have a marketing degree. Did you start your degree in marketing? I started mine in business and then within the first year realized that I wanted to sack everything else off other than the marketing or did you go straight in marketing?

Gus: So, cut a long story short, basically I did business studies as a GCSE. And I thought, Oh, this is pretty cool. But then I wanted to be a lawyer. So then they said, Oh, you should do history for a level. So I did history for a level and I failed it. So I couldn't be a lawyer. So, but then I did also psychology for a level.

So then I thought, right, I'll do psychology at university. And I went to university and it was all biology. Like we were dissecting brains and stuff like that. And I thought, yeah, this ain't, this ain't for me. I started on psychology, I also did a minor in sociology and I hated sociology because there's no wrong answer.

It was just like, it was very wishy washy. It was just like, everything is right and I was like, I'm not gonna, you know, survive in this. And then I moved into law, I thought, Oh, I'll give my hand, you know, try my hand at law. And then I saw how long it was going to take to do a law degree and I thought, forget this.

Teresa: I thought law for a while and then don't forget that.

Gus: Exactly. And then I moved into marketing and that's where I, that's where it became second nature. Cause once I started doing marketing modules, it kind of, for want of a better phrase, it was like, this is so easy. It was like, I go, you know, I can do this standing on my head.

And I think that's the thing when something becomes second nature, it's so much easier to deliver to others as well. Kind of thing. So that's, so I failed at everything else before settling on marketing, basically. So psychology, sociology.

Teresa: What's left?

Gus: I went through the prospectus. It was, it was quite close. It was, you know, I almost got to zebra farming kind of thing. I was that far into the, that's an A to Z joke, by the way. That's for sure.

Teresa: He got it.

Gus: Yeah, good. Yeah, yeah. Cool. But yeah, I got to marketing and I thought, right, yeah, let's try my hand at this. And then I, luckily I stopped there.

Teresa: That is lucky. Cause I think if marketing LinkedIn is niche marketing on the marketing Zebras. Zebra care, whatever the Zebra thing was. Very niche. I'm not sure what the prospects are like for that. I am, I kind of, like I said, I started in a business degree thinking I actually was very good at maths. So I thought I would go down like a finance route and then realize finance had nothing to do with maths.

And it wasn't just adding things up, which was a bit disappointing. So, and then I started, like you, I started doing marketing and going, this is like, I could, yeah, I can do it in my sleep, like get it, I get everything. So yeah, I loved it and I love the fact that I have a degree in marketing. I think for us doing the roles that we do, I know, like you, I don't know what year you did your degree and I don't even think I can remember what year I did my degree, but I know that what they taught me obviously is not the world we live in now.

And websites weren't even like they were a thing, but they weren't like really a big thing that they talked about. However, obviously the, the strategy and the thoughts and stuff behind it is, so I still feel pretty happy that I've got that degree.

Gus: Yeah, absolutely. I feel the same. I think the, the theory will never change, you know, ultimately you're promoting a product or a service for somebody to buy and you want to make a, you know, you want to make a profit.

That's the ultimate, the underlying theory, but the, the purpose of a marketing degree, Not that I want to kind of brag about this, but I went on to study two postgraduate qualifications.

Teresa: You are much better than me Gus.

Gus: Then marketing, mark comms. I'm a member of the chartered Institute of marketing and all that have loads of letters after my name.

But the, the point is that I think a lot, yeah, yeah, I think a lot of people kind of, a lot of other people think that marketing is second nature as well. And it's kind of like, they'll just, they'll just try their hand at something and think, oh, well, you know, I'm now a Facebook specialist, so that makes me a marketer or I can, you know, I can write copy and that makes me a marketer.

And that's not always the case. So I know there are marketers who haven't got a marketing degree that get very, they get, you know, their knickers in a twist about the fact that when I turn around and say, well, actually, no, I've got loads of letters up to my name and I've done all the theory. And, you know, I did marketing before social media was a thing before Facebook or Linkedin or Instagram anything was invented.

Because the theory will never change and I've got, I'm glad that I've got that grounding, basically.

Teresa: And it won't. And I think this is the thing for me, one of my superpowers, and I think this has got to come from my degree is that I can put myself in customer's shoes very quickly and easily. So someone can come to me and go, this is who we work with.

And I can kind of very quickly go, okay, well, this is the type of person I probably am. This is probably what I'm interested in. This is how you probably talk to me. Like. I feel, and I feel like I can shift from one business to another really quickly. And you must've seen this and this episode was definitely not about, slagging off anybody that doesn't have a marketing degree, I can assure you.

However, I used to get, and probably would still get a little bit frustrated in people who. Like, so for instance, I worked with someone who had, she worked for me years ago and she basically was an influencer and she was a travel influencer and she built a very good, successful Instagram. And I used to have a tourism board that we used to do Instagram for.

So she was a perfect match because it was very much in her wheelhouse, very much in her zone of genius. However, Just because someone has built something themselves does not mean they can then go and market anything, because I've marketed, we'll have a market off, right? I've marketed chicken, i. e. processed chicken. I've marketed telescopic slides. So, you know, when you're in a car and you lift the thing and your seat slides forward or slides back. Obviously, I've got a fancy car, so I just press a button, but I remember those cars. Oh, wait. But like, those are telescopic slides. And like, if you've got, if you're pulling out like a big server on big, it's like the, the sliding, like I've marketed stuff like that.

And I think that's what marketing helps us do. We can market stuff like that. What have you, what's your most obscure? Oh, I've got another one as well.

Gus: Wow. What's my most obscure. So I have marketed. A sub region of where I live, I, I always used to work in automotive and advanced engineering and all that kind of stuff.

So that's kind of my background. So it's, I used to work in vehicle rental. Oh, yeah, yeah. You know, I essentially, I marketed Mercedes Sprinters and Ford Transits. Nice. And I was nominated for an award, which was called the Tranny Award. But Tranny is an abbreviation of transit, just so everybody knows. So, for example, thankfully I didn't win. I didn't wanna say that

Teresa: That's a niche award. To be fair.

Gus: It's a very, it's a very niche award. Yeah, absolutely. I'm glad I didn't win, so I didn't put on my cv. I'm a winner of a tranny award. That would be very strange. So, yeah, and I, you know, it's, it's all that I used to work in motor sport and et cetera.

So vans, cars, you know, motor sport, all that kind of stuff. So I don't, I don't think there's anything too obscure, although I used to work for a local authority. That's pretty obscure in yourself.

Teresa: Yeah. I've done marketing for children's care homes. I mean, that's random. I also worked in the car industry.

I worked for a company that bought, this is interesting, our lives might have crossed Gus, although I'm a bit older than you, I think. I worked for a company that bought ex rental cars and sold them to dealerships. So they would go to someone like enterprise and buy as they all like, cause obviously rental cars can only be on their books for so long and then they have to be gone because they get too old.

Like when we say, oh, they're like six months old, they would buy like hundreds of them. And then we would sell them to dealerships or not dealerships, independent dealerships all around the country. And then I've also marketed adult toys. I've done it all Gus.

Gus: You mean like playstations and stuff? No, no, no, don't, no, stop that. I get it.

Teresa: Yeah. Not, not what I mean. No, it was fascinating. It was, but it's funny because this is the thing we're trained in marketing to go there's a product, there's a customer, there's a need, there's a pain point. There's a like, and just put our marketing thing on it. So it almost kind of doesn't matter what the product, who the customer or any of that, you just put your kind of blueprint back on it and go, okay, how does this work?

Gus: Yeah, absolutely. I think all marketers, all proper marketers have a marketing toolkit, like a marketing blueprint that they will kind of, they can overlay onto whatever the product or the service is. And, you know, we can talk about acronyms like the four P's and the seven P's and PESTEL and SOSTAC and DAGMAR all these other kinds of things.

And, you know, and then we intersperse it with a bit of psychology, like Maslow's hierarchy of needs and all that kind of stuff. And, and it all come, you know. And we say all this fancy stuff and use all these, you know, long words and all that kind of stuff, but ultimately it's the blueprint that kind of we overlay onto anything that can then deliver that.

And I think that comes from knowing the theory, knowing the stuff behind stuff. So we could quite literally market Anything and anyone. Yeah. Yeah. And that's where Eskimos is the favorite one, isn't it? Absolutely. Yeah. And now that we run our own organ, our own businesses, I think that's the thing that we can, whoever comes in, because people always say, well, what's your niche?

And I normally say, well, service industry businesses, which sounds like everybody says that, right. But it's kind of, it doesn't matter if you work in HR or accountancy or wealth management or photography or videography, I can market your business because ultimately I understand the marketing.

Teresa: Yes. Yes. It is. And I think that's why I've never had a niche because, because I can market anything. This is so cool. I don't think I've ever spoken to a marketer like this before, but it's really interesting. Tell me then, and we're going, I did tell you we'd go around whatever direction that we took us and this is taking us a different direction, but I love it. So when it came to your own stuff, because I very.

I'm going to use the word arrogantly and I'm not arrogant, but I think I confidently walked into having my own business and going, but I know marketing so I can market myself no problem. And I couldn't, I found it really hard. How do you find marketing yourself?

Gus: Particularly in the first couple of years of my business, it was, it was really hard.

The reason I started my business was because I left a Long and illustrious marketing career to then run my local pub. And what I discovered was that without social media, without proper marketing, et cetera, I wouldn't get bombs on seats, but it was, you know, marketing is more or less a full, you know, full time job.

So what I, when I started my own agency, the whole idea was that I was going to help other businesses. And particularly my first couple of clients were like, Other pubs, and my competitors. So I kind of went to them and said, this is, this is what I do. So it's very easy to do it for other people. But when I was marketing my own agency, it was very difficult.

I like the, the, what was it? The cobblers children doesn't don't wear shoes and all that kind of stuff. It's, it's very difficult to market your own business. And so the first couple of years were really hard, so I could do it for anybody else. I can do a standing, standing on my head, but when it comes to myself.

So I think as business owners, we don't and again, obviously, as you are well aware as a coach, I know it's what you a lot of what you deliver. We don't spend time working on our business. We spend all our days trying to help other people. And therefore we make money and pay our bills by helping others.

And sometimes we have to just sit back and say, well, how do we do this for ourselves?

Teresa: Yeah. And it really shocked me how, how much I thought it would be easy and how not easy it was. And even now, this is why I still have coaches. This is why I still get help. This is, I was with them lovely Becci Hollis the other day.

So Becci Hollis was, she worked with me for a long time. I met her when she did her degree in marketing. She was doing a dissertation on social media. I think it was. And she found me on the internet and interviewed me and asked if she could interview me and I was like, yes. So then she came into my world and then she just kept coming back into my world and back into my world and eventually she worked for me and I saw her the other day.

And it was so funny because obviously I've coached her for years and years of her business, by the way, Gus, she is just done. I'm like a pride parent. She is amazing. And I sat with her the other day and I'm chatting away and I was showing her something. I'd done a reel, I was feeling very proud of myself.

And she looked at it and she went, it's too long. This is this changes, do this, do that. And it was like, and then she went, Oh my God, I'm so sorry, T is that I'm so sorry. Because obviously it was like roles reversed. And I was like, it's fine, Becci, because Like, I can't do it for myself. I can't look subjectively to myself.

I need someone else to look in and go, actually, this would be better this way. Or, you know, this is how I think about it or whatever. So, yeah.

Gus: Absolutely. You know, I always, it's funny you say that because I'm doing this coaching program at the moment as in receiving coaching. I was, I was saying to the coach.

Teresa: Not by me?

Gus: Not by you. No, no, this is a, this is a free program. So yeah. So, and if that goes well and I make enough money, I'll be able to pay you.

Teresa: Thanks, great. I look forward to it.

Gus: That's the important thing. Yeah. Yeah. So, and I wouldn't, obviously I wouldn't go anywhere else. Yeah.

Teresa: Well, I'm glad to hear that.

Gus: But what I was saying was what I said to this business coach was that I, I very much sometimes feel like I don't want to bore anybody with history, but it's the whole Leon, the Leon Trotsky thing.

So when Leon Trotsky and kind of Stalin were going to replace Lennon, Leon Trotsky thought he was great. He was like, he didn't have to promote himself. Every, he thought he was a shoo in for the job. And he just kind of told everybody I'm great at what I do. That's the way it is. Ultimately he was killed with a pickaxe in the, in the middle of the mountains, but that's a different story.

But it's that sometimes it's the arrogance of I'm brilliant at marketing. So I should be able to do this. It's nice and easy for me kind of thing. And it's not until you actually get into the weeds and you think. You know, sometimes you need those other people to tell you, well, this is how it is, or this is how I can help, or this is what you should do, etc.

And it's kind of those epiphanies where you think. Oh, really? I, I should know that, but I spend too long working with other people and working for other people and helping other people make money and all that kind of stuff. So yeah.

Teresa: And I think we can always learn something. Like I, I constantly learn things and okay, not so much about the marketing basics.

Cause we know that and we know the strategies and we know the. Like that sort of stuff, but I constantly, I constantly look at, you know, I didn't used to look at other people's stuff and I'm now opening back up to it in terms of like going, Oh, okay, that's interesting. They did this and that was the result they got.

And, and this is a thing because it is such a moving feast, although the strategy remains the foundations. And if you've got that wrong, then you've a little bit buggered, but the, we've got that bit, but sometimes the, the way we, use those, or sometimes the way the tools that we use on top of that strategy can be different.

And it's interesting to see. And I think we've just got to stay open and curious and just be like, you know, who's doing what and how could that be good? And could it work for us? And that sort of thing. So I think I have no problem in someone sharing their thoughts with me about my stuff.

Some people has a better weight than others in terms as to whether I'll listen to it, but they can share. Absolutely fine. Not a problem. Yeah. Anyway, we've whittled on about this too long, although I do have to say one more thing, right? So you did a marketing degree, four Ps, you would know who Philip Kotler is.

Gus: You know, just in my head, I was just about to mention that because when somebody says to me, Oh, I do marketing or, you know, I've got a marketing background, et cetera.

I always, I always ask what was the last Philip Kotler book you read kind of thing, because, because most people like and it's, and it's really, it's fascinating because I'm actually on that note. So my business is called the M Guru and the M unsurprisingly stands for marketing. Now Philip Kotler is the original marketing guru.

And that's kind of what everybody knows him as and why he calls himself and if you type in, if you Google the marketing guru, the Philip Kotler, you know, comes up and, and it was. When I was studying marketing and then when I got my first job, it was my boss at the time that said to me, Oh, you're like our marketing guru.

And that's kind of where the name stuck. So I'm going to run a business with that name. But obviously it's trademarked and copyrighted elsewhere. So the hence why I shortened it to him. But anyway, it came from Philip Kotler and that's the thing. And I think most marketers, most good marketers should know who Philip Kotler is.

So it's always, it's always a question I ask when somebody says, Oh, I'm, I'm just like you. And I'm like, yeah, you're really not me.

Teresa: So did you know that I spoke at his only UK event he's ever done?

Gus: No way. Really? I did not know that.

Teresa: I met him and I nearly like, first off, this is like between, you know, you, I, and the rest of the podcast listeners.

When they approached me, I thought he was dead, right? Cause he was old when we did our degree. When I did my degree, like he was the, like I said, he was the marketing guru. I assumed this guy was ancient and there was no way he'd still be alive now. No, he's very much alive. And he did an event in the UK. So he has world marketing something or other, and he does events all around the world.

And he was bringing his first one to the UK. And somehow they found, they found me through my TEDx, which was awesome. And then they contacted me and said, would you speak? And I was like the only professor, the only one that wasn't a professor, the rest of them were professors. And obviously they all, a lot of the speakers, not him, but a lot of the speakers spoke like they were professors and everyone was university students.

And there was a lot of university students. That was kind of the point of it. And then of course I get on being like, yeah, like some crazy woman. Anyway, but it was madness to actually stand next to him and be like, I learned from your book at university. And now I'm speaking at your event, like this is mind blowing.

And then we did one, we did one over lockdown. So he then did the world's marketing summit. Which again was going to university students, so it's not my audience. However, like if he asks you to do something, you're not going to say no. So we did an event, it got streamed to 104 countries and it had half a million people attend the event. That is nuts, isn't it?

Gus: That's quite the audience. Yeah, absolutely.

Teresa: And I was getting all these DMs from very strange countries. The countries aren't strange, but it was just odd. So, like, I was getting DMs from, like, Pakistan. I was getting DMs from, like, Like, just, you know, a lot of, a lot of countries that my husband had been to in the military, which was, he was like, what are you doing?

But like, and there was pictures. They would, they would take a photo of me on their TV at whatever country they were in and DM me going, thank you, Miss Teresa. It was so hard. I was just like, this is nuts.

Gus: That is, that is nuts. That's mind blowing. And it's. I mean, first of all, the fact that he asked you back, I mean, that's, you know, that's one thing.

I know, right? Yeah, yeah, that's, yeah, I know, amazing. But the fact that they found you in the first place, you go, you know, you got to stand next to Philip Kotler and kind of deliver on the same bill and all that kind of stuff. I mean, that is, yeah, that's crazy. It's like a, like a

Teresa: For a maths degree person, that is like, that is like goals, isn't it?

Gus: Yeah, it's the, it's the, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Holy God. And, you know, it's funny you say that because one of my goals was always to be on your podcast. So, yeah, that's the thing. So, yeah, I kind of, you know, I kind of feel like, you know, I know where you're coming from.

Teresa: Well, thanks. Thanks, Gus. So, we better give these people some content. I hope you enjoyed that. I've had a lovely time.

Gus: This is great. Yeah, exactly.

Teresa: So, you are, the number one LinkedIn trainer. As said by your mom, which I love my mom. Yeah. Well done. Also, sorry. The other thing I was thinking about, because you've done all these post grad stuff, are you a doctor? I think Dr. G would be great brand name.

Gus: That would be, but no, I'm not a doctor. No, I, yeah, I might look into it. Yeah. PhD.

Teresa: I think I would just do one just for the brand of Dr. G the marketing guru.

Gus: I could. Yeah, I should try that. Yeah. Yeah.

Teresa: I think that's very cool.

Gus: Yeah. Leave that with me.

Teresa: I mean, it won't take long to do a doctorate. I'm sure it should be fine. Just buy one off the internet. Let's talk LinkedIn. Okay. So why did you pick LinkedIn? What was it that it did for you?

Gus: So. It's where I started to get most of my lead. LinkedIn is the place where I started to get most of my leads, when I first started my business.

So, I tried my hand at Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, and I still do kind of those because I, I very much like to keep my hand in, in kind of like most social media platforms, but LinkedIn was the one where I was getting the most interaction, the most engagement, et cetera. And actually it was the place where I was you probably found the realist me, if that makes sense. I used to tell.

Teresa: That is interesting.

Gus: Yeah, I used to, like everywhere else was very, because on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, et cetera, you have your business accounts, you know, alongside your personal account. So I was Gus Bandel personally, and then, you know, professionally, the M guru kind of thing.

Whereas on LinkedIn, you focus on your personal profile. Yeah. So just, you know, I, I was Gus Bandel, but I was the real Gus Bandel. So it's where I told stories and where I kind of. Which share my life and all that kind of stuff and et cetera, as opposed to everywhere else where I said, Oh, I know this in marketing and you should kind of buy my services and all that kind of stuff.

So, I chose LinkedIn because it's the place where I could, I could really be me and really kind of push forward on that. And when I started getting leads and inbound leads and all that kind of stuff, I thought, Oh, actually there are some people out there that like me. Kind of go all in on it. Yeah. Yeah.

It was, it was, yeah, it was, it was surprising. Yeah. Yeah. Thanks. Thanks.

Teresa: That's interesting. Cause I think if I was to ask people, which is the platform you're most real on or most you on, I don't think many people would say LinkedIn because I think, and I'd love to get your thoughts on this. I think there is a history of well, LinkedIn is just business.

So you just shut business must've been, I dunno, five years ago. I was at social media marketing world. And, who was it? Who was it? I can't remember his name. He's pretty big in our space. He was talking about, actually, he's just chucking everything on LinkedIn. And I remember at the time sitting there watching it thinking, you're doing what?

Like, what is this craziness? But like, how do you feel about that? Is it somewhere we should be putting our real selves? Is it somewhere like at the weekend? I don't know if you've seen my Instagram, but I hate saying that cause it makes me sound like a right idiot. But my Instagram this weekend, I was sorting out my dad's house.

My dad's moving house. Well, he's actually been with me and my sister after 50 years of living in our childhood home, and we are going through the home of 50 years worth of stuff. It is a lot of work. I am finding all the photos. So I put some photos of me up on Instagram. Oh, I was. I was a stunning looking teenager, I can tell you that.

Gus: I have no doubt.

Teresa: Someone replied to me, it was brilliant, saying, this is more Nigel than Nigella. Nice. Yeah, that's how good those photos are. So obviously I did a story in the morning and I'd got my hair plaited, I'd got my hoodie like, I'm going to my dad's, I'm sorting out his house, do you want to see any embarrassing photos of me?

Put up a poll, obviously everyone said yes, because you know, who doesn't? And then put some photos up of me, like, is that the stuff I should be putting on it, on LinkedIn? Like, how personal and real are we being?

Gus: The short answer is we have to be as real and as personable as possible, I think, and, you know, we live in a world now where people buy from people.

It's very, you know, all the big Sorry, most of the big brands have a face kind of thing when we think about Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk and Richard Branson and etc, etc. You know, a lot of big brands have a face and, and most of those personal brands have a bigger following than the companies that they run.

And if we bring this down to like a mere mortal level for us, I think, you know, people buy from us. And what I always say is it's a case of making yourself ungooglable. That is a word I just made it up, but it's, it's, I do this a lot in presentations. It's about when people think about what you do for a living, you don't want them to go to Google because as soon as they do that, they, you know, you've lost them.

So if somebody goes to Google and types in social media manager or LinkedIn trainer, et cetera, me personally as Gus, I'm not on page one. So I've lost people. Yeah. The point, what I do is I post as much content about myself on LinkedIn so that when people think I need a social media manager, I need a LinkedIn trainer.

I need to help with this. Rather than go to Google, they, they think of my name kind of thing. And I think it's that because people buy from people, I think that's where LinkedIn is the number one platform for us to kind of share that information with people.

Teresa: You know, basics, what type of things are you posting? How are you, you know, when I think personal stuff, like what I posted yesterday, it has nothing to do with what I do as a business. It was literally, this is what I'm doing on my Sunday. How, if that's the right kind of content to put on there, the question I used to get from everybody when we, when I talked about social media was, well, that's not going to buy from you.

They're not going to know me as Teresa, the kick ass coach, like, so what type of stuff are you posting and what's the mix of like sales and personal and that sort of stuff?

Gus: So personally, I have, so first of all, in terms of the numbers, I have an arbitrary figure of roughly around 70, 70, 30. So basically 70 percent of my content is personable content.

Ultimately as business people, we have to sell, we have to tell the world, well, this is what we do. So, you know, for you, it would be. Here are some, you know, old school photos or here's me making a lasagna or here's me delivering a talk or here's me going networking and then in disperse that with the 30 percent of I'm a kick ass coach.

This is what I do. This is how I help and all that kind of stuff. And it's the two, it's, it's the two stories that intertwine that kind of get people together to say, well, actually, yes, she's a business coach, but obviously if I went to Google and just typed in business coach, there's a million pages, right?

What I want to know is who is a business coach that I like, that I can get on with that. I think it's fun. You know, and all that kind of stuff. If I'm looking for fun, if it's just, I'm looking for somebody really professional and boring, then your content should be professional and boring. It's not, yeah, exactly.

So it's, it's that element of, you still have to sell, but actually you have to tell the world about the kind of person that you are. So in terms of the content that I post, it is very much the. You know, this is what I'm doing with my week. This is what I'm up to. I'm going networking. I've got speaking gigs.

I've just bought some orange trainers. I've, I dunno, I've eaten some Terry's chocolate orange, you know, et cetera. It's all that interspersed. It's, what I don't do. I never, generally, I never talk about my wife or my child.

Teresa: Okay. That just personal preference.

Gus: That's just personal preference. Yeah.

That's just, it is just not something I do. But, and it's not weirdly, it's not intentional. It's not, it is just, it just works out that way. 'cause I'd rather, you know, I'm, I'm very self-involved. I'd rather just talk about me, you know what I mean? Don't want anybody else taking the limelight. So that's the other thing.

Teresa: And kids that normally cuter people like them. So you're probably.

Gus: Exactly. You know, exactly. I mean, he's almost as cute as me. Yeah. Don't tell him I said that. So, you know, it's that case of, you know, what, what makes you tick? What's the kind of person that you are? And I think that's where you know, people resonate with you. So for example, a lot of my content is comparatively inane.

It's not overly professional, et cetera, but I get a lot of clients who come to me and say, we want you to teach us how to be personable on LinkedIn. One client specifically said. You write a lot of shit on LinkedIn. Can you do that for me as well? Great. Yeah, that's exactly, you know, and that was the exact quote kind of thing.

And so it's, it's that element of, your vibe attracts your tribe. I know that's a very, but it is, but it's true. Yeah.

Teresa: So what about, what shouldn't we be doing on LinkedIn?

Gus: You shouldn't own, personally, I think you shouldn't only be posting about work. If all of your content is, this is what I do. You know, I'm running strategy days.

I do marketing strategy. I do this. I do marketing. I do social media. I can help you with this. I can help you with that. Ultimately, your audience will eventually switch up because they'll think, well, yeah, this person does that. But that, that's it. What I want to know is all the other bits that will mark you out like different to everybody else.

The bits that will make you ungoogleable. I don't want to go to Google to search for someone like you. I want to find you on LinkedIn or any social media and work out that you're the person I want to work with. Once people go to Google, once people leave and start searching for the, the job that you do, you've lost them, basically.

So it's the idea of, telling enough stories. So what you shouldn't do is only post about work or only post the, the professional stuff because people switch off to that. I think there's a, yeah, there's a. that becomes a kind of, you know, blind side where people just think, yeah, yeah. And I know what they do.

Yeah. Yeah. And then people stop interacting, they stop engaging. And then you kind of, you fall out of the mind's eye. So at the moment they are ready. They're not thinking of you because you're just like everybody else.

Teresa: And how do you know that? How do you know, if Like, so my engagement on LinkedIn is not amazing.

So what am I, but we're posting regularly, so what am I doing wrong? Or what should I be doing to help increase that engagement?

Gus: Have you posted photos of You as a child or the photos that you found

Teresa: on LinkedIn. No.

Gus: Exactly. So that's what you should do. And that's the, that's not just specifically that, but lots of things like I know, like I can go through your Instagram and learn all about you because I know you post on Instagram.

If you shared that content on the LinkedIn, your engagement will go up. I can't guarantee that obviously, but in theory, your engagement will go up. Just on that note, what I should say is. Everything that I teach on LinkedIn, everything that I train people with, everything that I talk about is from personal experience.

I have read all the LinkedIn books. I follow all the LinkedIn, other LinkedIn trainers and all that kind of stuff. But I Deliver work. So I can kind of say, this is what's worked for me. This is what's worked for my clients. And this is what I can see. And I think in particular, when you start telling those, when I started telling personal stories and started talking about my life and journaling my week and all that kind of stuff, I started getting more leads.

And it was people that wanted to talk to me, wanted to kind of be in my, you know, fall into my force field, et cetera. So for you, I think it's sharing that personal content. Without being too personal, it's more about this is what's going on in my life rather than kind of saying, Oh, you know, here, you know, here's my daily about me, whatsoever.

Teresa: Yeah. I'm having a breakdown or something. Keep that.

Gus: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Go on. You could, you could share while I'm having a breakdown and you'll, you know, you'll get a lot of empathy and all that kind of stuff. But at the same time, you know, do we, do we want a business coach that has breakdowns? I don't know.

Teresa: I don't think so. I don't think so.

Gus: You're supposed to help us without breakdowns.

Teresa: Exactly. I meant to be way over my breakdowns by the time I coach people.

Gus: Exactly. Yeah.

Teresa: It was funny. I did. Obviously, I have someone help my social media and I did a thing a few months back where I very bravely got into swimwear and went and stood on a beach all part of this thing with Bryony Gordon, who's a, telegraph, journalist.

And there was a, there was an ulterior motive, which will eventually come out at some point as to why I wanted to get in front of Bryony. But anyway, in order to get in front of Bryony, I had to get in my swimwear and stand on a beach and have photos taken. And. There was a competition and I thought, Oh, I'll just enter the competition, which was to win swimwear from a brand called Curvy Kate and I won.

So not only did, was I going to this thing I'm going to get in swimwear, I'm now one wearing one of their swimwears and they were sponsors of it. So I ended up on their social media with like 400, 000 plus followers across all their social media platforms. Me stood full picture in swimwear. Which I can not tell you how out of my comfort zone that was and after a little while, Becci said to me, can we do a post about it?

Cause I put it in an email and it was on my stories. So I was like, right, so she said, send me some pictures that you're comfortable with. So I found a few pictures that I was semi comfortable with, but still pushing myself about my comfort zone and without even thinking about it or talking about it, Becci just did what she normally does.

And she posted to Insta, to Facebook and to LinkedIn. Wow. And I didn't even realize, so I'm sat there one day and I get, go into LinkedIn and get lots of notifications. I'm like, what's going on here then? And there's me in my swimwear on LinkedIn and like old clients, old male clients going, Oh, well done T, excellency.

And I'm just like, Oh, what have you done? And I'm basically going, she's put it on LinkedIn, and she's like, why would I? It's like, don't put it on LinkedIn. But she did. And the engagement was kick ass.

Gus: Yeah, absolutely. And it's not just because you were in a bikini. I mean, I'm sure that helped, but it's, it's the fact that it's real life.

But there was a purpose, right? There was a purpose. So it was, you know, it was for a good cause and all that kind of stuff, etc. I mean, I've made a note here, Curvy K, go check out the website, ASAP, kind of thing, etc. Yeah, bookmark it and all that kind of stuff. But that's a different story. That's a different project.

Yeah, exactly. But, you know, it's that, it's that real life element. Do you know what I mean? And, you know, and I, you know, if we, I don't want to talk about the dark side of LinkedIn, because I think LinkedIn is great and it's the best platform ever, et cetera, but you know.

Teresa: I think we should light and dark together. Yeah.

Gus: Yeah. There's always that element of, well, you know, how much of that engagement is because you're an attractive woman in a bikini, you know, and it's, you know, but there's that we can attribute it to like DMS and all that kind of stuff, et cetera, but ultimately I think for the most part, most people on LinkedIn.

Although it's a professional setting and they recently at the time of recording this podcast, they recently announced that they, you know, hit a billion members, et cetera. It's a billion professionals. So people on there who want to talk to each other, but to separate ourselves from the other billion people on there, we share these photos of us or share bits of our lives, et cetera.

And if you just went on there and just said every day and said, I'm a kick ass business coach, eventually people would switch off. And I think it's that, yeah, that element.

Teresa: How much proactive engagement do you do other than just posting? And what does it look like?

Gus: So somebody said to me the other day, they said, Oh, you know, you're all over LinkedIn.

You're like, we see you every day. And I said, well, actually, I only post twice a week, two to three times a week. It's like an optimal amount. But people will see me every day because I do a lot of outbound engagement. So what I normally say, like I, again, I have an arbitrary figure of 10 to one basically.

So for every post I post, I engage with a client with like 10 other posts, et cetera. And when I say engage, I mean like actual, like reading it, commenting on it, etc.

Teresa: Genuine responses.

Gus: Yeah, exactly. And, and not, not just for the sake of, I don't just scroll through my feed and pick the first 10 posts. I pick the ones that are relevant to me or the ones that my ideal clients would see or the ones where I want my network to see and, and all that kind of stuff.

So, again, like I said, it's an arbitrary figure, but I do a lot of outbound engagement because I think that's where the gold is. The gold is in the engagement. It's, you know, all marketers will say the keyword in social media is social, right? So it's all about that personality, that being personable, engaging with each other, treating it like a networking event, et cetera. So I do a lot of outbound engagement, whereas I don't post every day, you know.

Teresa: Which I think, you know, to some people that must be a blessed relief to not have to post every day, but also there's something pretty rewarding about LinkedIn because you're not fighting. Now. Yes, they've got a huge following, but.

As we stand at the moment, and correct me if I'm wrong, it still has pretty good, like, the algorithm is still pretty kind to us, we still get, like you said, you can post a couple of times a week, and that, the lifetime of that post will last, like, Yeah. In terms of something like Instagram, or, I mean, I've now actually come off Twitter.

I've, my account's still there, but I've basically said I'm not on here because it is a very, just a really interesting place to be and not one I want to be, so.

Gus: It's accessible, yeah, yeah.

Teresa: Yeah, so I paused that, and Facebook is just so that I can advertise when I advertise, and we post there, but really for me, I think LinkedIn and Insta are going to be the two that we focus on, but it is better from a, Spending time and getting rewards back than something like Insta, would you say?

Gus: Yeah, absolutely. I think the algorithm still rewards people that use the platform, how it's supposed to be used. And there's lots of people that will trot out the old kind of the stats. So, for example, only 1 percent of people on LinkedIn post consistently. For example, so just by posting, you know, once or twice a week, you're, you know, you're better than 99 percent of the billion people that are on there.

For example, the other thing is, there's no reason to post every day. There is a reason to do the outbound engagement, but the way the algorithm works is it will recognize that people are using the platform and then we'll share your content with more people and with your audience, et cetera.

Related to that linkedIn is still the only place you get to curate your own audience. Everywhere else, like Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, et cetera, you have to rely on people following you. On LinkedIn you get to use the search box and find exactly who you want to talk to. And if you connect with them and they accept your connection request, all of a sudden you've got a positive echo chamber of exactly the people that you need to speak to.

Which then helps to grow your engagement because your ideal clients are the ones reading your content because they're the ones you've connected to.

Teresa: How do you, one last question because I'm conscious of our time because we talk so much about marketing and, but how do you manage, because I know one of the things that puts people off and certainly puts me off is, I get a ton of connection requests and they're just like that.

I'm going to say the spam, but they're not actual spam. They are real people, but they have an objective in mind. And inevitably that objective is to probably sell to me. How do you manage with that side of LinkedIn? The very, the cold DMS, the connecting, Hey, I just wanted to connect with you. Oh, have you seen this thing?

Like, how do you manage with that? And not get too, like, I can't even cope with it anymore.

Gus: So, personally, so, when I receive a terrible connection request if it's one that's kind of basically said, Hey, this is what I do for a living, you know, we should book a call or whatever. I would respond and say, well, actually I do LinkedIn training and what you've done is not wrong or not the right way to do it.

So how about you book a call with me first kind of thing, you know, and all. So I do that kind of thing. And obviously it's, it's a very low success rate to be honest. Cause when you tell people that they're wrong, they, they don't like it. Yeah, it's funny that, right? So, but I, I always do my due diligence.

So whoever is coming in and however they, because ultimately people have to sell. And I think people have just been trained badly. I think that's the thing, as opposed to people being purposely, purposely rude or anything like that. So I always do my due diligence. If it's somebody that I could either work with somebody that could either be a client or a supplier, or is good for my network, or we have lots of mutual connections, or we're both based in the UK and all that kind of stuff.

Then I'll normally accept. At the moment they kind of hit me with a pitch without actually getting to know me, et cetera, then it's, it's a delete. It's kind of like, thanks, but no thanks. I'm now going to delete you because I don't want you to do doing that to my network, et cetera. So, so it's all about doing that due diligence, but it's making sure that somebody fits the profile of the people that you want to be connected to.

Like, I don't connect with, for example, people from India or Pakistan or et cetera, because I know some, like, for example, an SEO specialist in India, they don't have a network that's going to be suitable for me. I'm not going to use them for my work, et cetera. So I just don't connect, et cetera.

Whereas if it's, yeah, if it's somebody UK based, if it, you know, et cetera, as long as they've sent the right message or, they have the, the right things on their profile of your mutual connections, then, then I accept, but it's due diligence. It's all about the due diligence. It kind of takes time to create the perfect audience.

Teresa: So, two quick fire questions, even though I said that was the last one. First one is, do you get people to follow you or do you get them to connect?

Gus: Ideally, I get them to connect. LinkedIn is a massive networking platform, so I'd rather have two way conversations, etc. So as a And I could talk for days about this, but it's all about creator mode.

So I've got creator mode switched on, which turns the connect button to a follow button. So when I meet people, I always say, please click the three dots and connect with me as opposed to following me. But also on the flip side, what I do is I go through my followers, anybody that has just clicked follow and not connected, I go through and if there's anybody interesting, I'll, I'll connect to them basically. So, but in an ideal world, you want to connect as opposed to follow.

Teresa: And then the last one. Is it just a case of, and I'm sure that I probably have given this advice in the past, like connect with as many people, or are you really trying to curate your feed and therefore you're being very strict? So for instance, if we were friends, but I was in a completely different industry, doing a completely different thing, you wouldn't connect with me because I wouldn't, you wouldn't want me to mess up your algorithm.

Like, is it like that? Or.

Gus: So, I don't believe that you should have a massive following, like don't just connect to anyone and everyone. There's no, the numbers, you know, they're just vanity metrics, right? They don't mean anything. And I know there's lots of LinkedIn trainees who say, Hey, I got to a hundred thousand, you know, followers and stuff.

And it's like, yeah, but nobody likes you anyway, kind of thing. Yeah. Like regardless. So this, you know, that's how I always use profanity then, but I won't, but yeah, everybody still thinks you're a, you know. But. On the flip side, it's about curating the perfect audience. So even if you meet somebody and you think, well, they're not an ideal client, they're never going to buy from me.

I'm never going to buy from them. It's about people's networks, for example. So it's where, you know, what I call the octopus tentacle to go through the network and start sucking people back into you. So you may not be my ideal client, but I'll connect to you because you might be connected to people that would want to use my services and vice versa.

You know, I'll have people in my network that want to use you. And when we engage with each other, those networks kind of see each other. So it's just that in the whole six degrees of separation thing.

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. So, so yeah, you can follow anybody or get anybody to connect with you. However, just don't like do it just for numbers.

Gus: Yeah. Yeah. Don't do it willy nilly. As I say, it's not, it's not about the numbers. It's not about just, you know, having a massive following. Cause ultimately there's only a small part of your audience at any time that will see your content anyway. So you, if the more people that you connect to, the larger your audience is, the tougher it is to get to the people that actually should be. Ultimately giving you money, basically.

Teresa: Yeah. Yeah. Gus, thank you so much. I have loved talking to you. It has been such fun as I knew it would. Obviously, well, it would have been funny if I go, where can people find you? You're not on LinkedIn. How can they, how can they find you? What are they searching for to find you?

Gus: So you can either search for Gus Bhandal, or you can search for my hashtag, which is mguruuk. And if you like, literally, if you go to Google and type in M Guru UK, you'll find out all about me. There's all my, there's my website, all my social media channels, all my memberships, my inside leg measurement, everything. It's all over Google basically, but M Guru UK.

Teresa: His only fans account. I'm only joking.

Gus: Yeah. No, that's a, that's, that's private. You won't find that on Google. That's only on Bing.

Teresa: We always joke, I, Biz Paul is a very good friend of mine, and I know you know him, and, we do like a little mastermind every other Monday, where we get on a call and have a chat with each other, and if ever one of us is like, oh, it's tough at the moment, the other one goes it's always only fans.

Gus: Well, there is. And now, now that I, I mean, you're only fans is going to be like a, just an extrapolation of Kirby cake. So yeah, I'm going to check that out later. I'll send you a chat.

Teresa: Thank you so much, Gus. I really appreciate you having you on the podcast.

Gus: The pleasure is absolutely all mine. Thank you, Teresa.

Teresa: Thank you. So there we go. The lovely, lovely Gus. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please do go check him out. Please do tag us in. He is on Instagram. I'm on Insta as you know. Please let us know what you thought of the episode.

We love it when we hear from you. Have a wonderful rest of your week and I will be back next week. Until then, take care.