Don’t Overthink Your Content with Teodora Pirciu

March 21, 2022
EPISODE 58
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps independent consultants & subject matter experts to get more clients without having to beg for referrals, or make soul-destroying cold calls!

We know that creating and publishing content is a key part of building your authority – you’ve heard it from many guests on this podcast. But yet it’s still difficult to find the time to create that content. And even after we create it, we still need to deal with our perfectionism and other fears that hold us back from hitting the publish button.

In this episode, Teodora Ema Pirciu and Alastair McDermott discuss the difficulties in creating good content, why we shouldn’t fear repeating ourselves, and how to avoid overthinking it all.

They also discuss tailoring the different types of content for each social network, what keeps people from repurposing content, and where to find great content for your LinkedIn posts.

Show Notes

Guest Bio

Teodora enjoys good stories. She’s a content marketer and strategist, writer, ex-pat, and day-dreamer, with a passion for language learning. From 2018, Teodora collaborates with Impressa Solutions, a team of word wizards, strategy sorcerers, and the bee’s knees of B2B.

Transcript

SUMMARY KEYWORDS
people, content, linkedin, write, create, podcast, post, publishing, repurposing, tag, person, produce, bit, experiments, sharing, read, audience, expert, book, hire

SPEAKERS
Alastair McDermott, Voiceover, Teodora Ema Pirciu

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  00:00

Why are you doing this? Is there someone who benefits from this? And the moment you start considering not just your need to write them to produce content, but also your audience’s need to get an answer to solve a problem, that’s when you have a strategy.

 

Voiceover  00:15

Welcome to The Recognized Authority, a podcast that helps specialized consultants and domain experts on your journey to become known as an authority in your field. So you can increase your reach, have more impact and work with great clients. Here’s your host, Alastair McDermott.

 

Alastair McDermott  00:31

Hey, if you are a regular listener, then you know that I’ve made a decision not to look for sponsorship for the podcast in a major part, because I don’t want you to have to listen to ads before during the podcast. But I do want to ask you a favor in return. If you are enjoying the podcasts and listen on a regular basis, can I ask you to take a minute to leave a review? It’s really easy to do this. You can go to TheRecognizedAuthority.com/review. And it’ll give you options that are appropriate for your device and your listening app. So that’s at TheRecognizedAuthority.com/review. And that link is in the show notes. So thank you, I really appreciate it. Now on to the episode.  So today, my guest is Teodora Ema Pirciu, I hope I’ve pronounced that right, Teodora? Thank you, she gives me a clap. And I heard her on another podcast recently. And I just had to have her on to talk about content marketing. So Teodora is she enjoys good stories. She’s a content marketer and strategist. She’s a writer, a daydreamer, and she has a passion for languages. And she collaborates with impressive solutions, who’s a team of word wizards strategy sorcerers and the bee’s knees of b2b. So clearly word wizards writing this, this bio, so I love it. Teodora thank, thank you for being with us today.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  01:52

Thank you for having me.

 

Alastair McDermott  01:54

So I want to talk about b2b content, content creation, for in the context of our listeners, they’re consultants and experts, people like that. And so they’re getting the advice, you know, you need to be demonstrating your expertise by creating content. So I just want to talk about that for a few minutes. Let’s let’s just take some, some easy ones. First, what kind of mistakes do you see people making when they try to create content for for the businesses like this?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  02:23

Well, first of all, hi, everyone. And I don’t know if I can call that like mistakes. But I think the problem for many consultants and solopreneurs, and people who are like, you know, trying to do everything on their own, is that they’re overthinking this, like you read this blog posts, and you say, hey, you need to create content to like, build your authority establishes yourself as an expert in your niche. I think these are like the the cliches, right. And I use them too. So it’s not like I’m just trying to shame anyone, I use the same expressions. These are like big words.  But actually, it’s not about overthinking this, and trying to establish your authority or your expertise. You need to start thinking that every piece of text, or every video, or every tweet, or every LinkedIn post that you write is actually content. So it’s not like you have to create something fancy to start producing content, most probably, you’ve been already producing content for some time now. So you’re already doing this. It’s no point in overthinking stuff. Because you’ve been already doing this. If you have a website, you created content to put on that website. If you don’t have a website, but you have a LinkedIn page, as soon as you start writing anything on social media, or anywhere online, you’re producing content, you make a video, you create either Instagram Stories, that’s content. So stop overthinking this, every piece you’re creating is already there, and you’re already establishing your authority, even if you don’t know it.  So I think the problem here is that people are doing things without knowing that they’re actually building something. And when they finally heard about the building authority with content, say, oh, I need to start doing this. Now you need to perfect what you’re already doing. It’s not like you’re starting from scratch. So use that previous knowledge, use those previous engagement, to understand what works and be more intentional about it. And I think that’s the main problem. The fact that people overthink this and postpone this moment in which they shift from doing whatever happens to be on hand, and being more intentional about what goes out there with your name on it.

 

Alastair McDermott  04:40

Right. So instead of kind of acting randomly, and feeling out of control, we should just try and put a bit more shape a bit more control on what we’re already doing. So how can we be more strategic about that? I mean, like, how can we think about the content that we’re creating, if I’m going to write a LinkedIn Post or I’m gonna say shoot a video for Facebook or for LinkedIn or Twitter? How do I think about that? What, what should I actually be creating? What should I be recording? Is it just, you know, the last conversation I had with the client? Is it just whatever I think about random? Or how do I plan and try and make that kind of all all fit the narrative or fit a strategy?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  05:23

Oh, I think you need to start with why, like, why do you want to create that piece of content? Do you feel like writing just you know, you have something on your chest, you want to say that thing and you want to just get over with it? Is it it’s a pressure it comes from the inside, I need to know something, some people just need to write down things, because otherwise they’ll be just being there wandering in their heads, not letting them work. So some of them just write it down and accidentally hit publish.  So ask yourself, why if you’re creating that content, just because you need to, to make yourself heard, maybe just write it that instead of publishing that piece, save it as a draft. But if you’re doing like, why am I writing this? Because I want to help someone, or maybe I saw someone asking this question in a different group. Because often, for example, I write content for myself, when it happens, rarely. It’s generated by questions that I see on social media. And I say, Why do I write this? Because I know someone needs it, because someone asked about it. So that’s where the intention and the strategy comes from. From that why Whom are you helping? Why are you doing this? Is there someone who benefits from this? And the moment you start considering not just your need to write and to produce content, but also your audience’s need to get an answer to solve a problem, that’s when you have a strategy.

 

Alastair McDermott  06:48

And okay, and should we be doing that? You know, like, should we, should we have a, should we have a process for that strategy? Like, how should we approach that? Should I not, you know, take some time to create that strategy first? Or is it better to just start creating content and kind of, you know, just get in the water? So you can learn to swim? Like, should you be doing planning first or just diving in?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  07:12

It depends, if you’re just going to plan for six months and not write the single sentence and put it out there. Maybe it’s not exactly you know, like, you’re going to spend a lot of energy and money and not see any return. So maybe going for whole planning first. And then publishing might not be the right, the right thing. Then, if you have zero audience, if you have zero experience, maybe yeah, putting some thought into it is okay, but unless you have some data of some sort about what people like to read what people like to engage with, what people usually will answer to, then you need to do some experiments first, and find you know, where your audience is, and what they like, because you can’t make a strategy out of thin air, you need something and to get there, you need to know what your audience wants or needs. Or maybe if you don’t have time to go for that sort of in depth research, at least putting some thought into what would they like to read about? If I were my client what would I like to read about? So maybe a bit of both at the beginning, and if you’ve been already publishing for some time, and you have seen some engagement, take a few days to analyze what worked and build your strategy with that in mind, but always focusing on the audience.

 

Alastair McDermott  08:32

Yeah. And so I think it’s really important to know a bit about who your audience’s and, and what they care about and what their needs are. And having a, having a specific audience in mind really helps with that, right?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  08:45

Yes, it’s important to know what they want, it’s important to know who you’re writing for. But as I said in, in, like, other times, when I have this conversation, it’s not enough to know what they want, you also need to care enough like you know, yet, you want to give them the best, you know, they need this, they want this and you just don’t, you know, it’s not like, I’m writing something here today. And then I’ll just cross this from my list, you need to care like to make it also easy for them to get that content, to consume that content to engage with that content. So it’s like, it’s like a two-step process. First, I know what they want. And second, I care enough about what they want and what they need, that I’ll do my best to deliver in a way in which they can easily consume that and extract the information from what I give them.

 

Alastair McDermott  09:35

Yeah, yeah. So I’m interested in the mechanics of content creation, and you know, how much time that we should be like I, I wonder, all the time, really, how much time should I be spending on client work versus creating content for my business? Do you have any answer to that?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  09:54

No. And I don’t have an answer to that because it’s a question I asked myself. And then saying, you know, I want to dedicate 30 minutes to I don’t know, creating content for myself. And it’s not always happening. So it’s not like there’s a, I don’t know a universal answer to this, it depends on how much you work. It depends on how fast you are. Because I had this conversation on Twitter, I think two days ago about how fast people write like writers, right, not just, you know, and we’re I discovered that we have different processes, and that what I write in three hours, someone else will write in one hour or in six hours. So it’s not like we can create this universal recipe, and we’re all writers. So if we’re, let’s say we work faster than people who have other thoughts in their mind, not just writing.  So ideally, I wouldn’t say at 20, 80%, but maybe 30% of the time should be focused on growing your business, maybe even more. But again, this is like fantasy, and a bit hypocritical, because I have weeks in which I don’t do barely anything for my business, I can barely find the time to tweet and not create any other content, because I don’t have time. So yes, I would say ideally, you want to dedicate, I don’t know, at least 30 minutes in the morning, building content for your business and working on your business. But the truth is, if it doesn’t happen for 3,4,5,6 days in a row, I mean, it’s not going to happen anything. As long as you still keep that thought in mind, and the week after you find the time because stretching yourself too thin won’t help either, either. And before producing and publishing poor quality content, just for the sake of it. Maybe just let it go for a few days and go back to this when when you’re ready.

 

Alastair McDermott  11:50

Yeah, and content quality is something that I go back and forth on in my mind as well. Because deep down, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And so I’d rather polish something and keep polishing it before I publish it. And then I know that, you know, that means I’m not going to release stuff as often as I should or, you know, I’m gonna write, I’m gonna write one great chapter of a book in two years, instead of writing, you know, 15, good chapters, you know, so. And that’s not, that’s not a good way to approach writing a book or doing pretty much anything in terms of content. So yeah, I do find that the content creation, that the quality thing I heard somebody on Amy Porterfield’s podcast talking about doing b minus work as as good enough and kind of make that your goal. So do you have any thoughts on quality of work that we should be outputting?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  12:45

Well, my father used to say that better is good’s worst enemy. And that’s because, you know, like, he said, yeah, if you just try and doing better, better, better, better, you’ll you’ll end by breaking what’s already working. And I think it’s the same with writing. If you start cutting and cutting and editing, at some point, you’ll get to a certain point in time when everything after that. It’s just going to make it worse. Of course, I’m not saying published, I mean, publish without reading without editing.  But I’m saying if it takes a week, and maybe there’s something wrong there. And as you said, like trying to be perfect, there is no such thing as perfect. I mean, even if it’s something that there are like huge writers out there classics, huge writers, writers that we’re studying in school, and they’re all there’s always going to be someone that that Hemingway, it’s not such a good writing, or I don’t know, does he have ski? I hate it. Or, you know, there everybody has haters. And there is that there’s no perfect content, someone out there will say this is bad. So just, perfect by whose standards, after all? If people like it and engage with it, and connect with you, then that’s the best you can get.

 

Alastair McDermott  14:02

Yeah, yeah. So I guess, for me, it’s just a question of trying to damp down that that perfectionist instinct and saying, Okay, this is good enough. And I think the phrase I’ve heard it phrased as “done is better than perfect”.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  14:18

Oh, yeah, for sure. Yeah. And if you work with an editor, I mean, this is like an exercise, outside, maybe producing content. If you work with 1,2,3 editors, and you get used to that feedback. You know, editors will always find something that’s not good. I mean, you have this perfect opinion about yourself and about your article. And then an editor comes and just, you know, does the work that needs to be done. And then it’s like, it’s not like you’re, it’s not reading your ego or anything. But you get used to having that idea in your mind that whatever you’re doing, it’s not going to be perfect, and I think it educates you a bit as a content creator.  So even if you’re like a solopreneur and want to produce your own content, my advice is have someone to take a look at what you’ve done, or what you did before publishing an editor, a second pair of eyes, it can be someone in your family if you can’t afford to pay an expert. Just having that second opinion, someone who will see the typo you haven’t seen because you’ve been staring at the same piece of content for, I don’t know, three hours. And with that in mind, you can just you know, get rid of the perfect thing. Just bring someone else to the table when you feel like no, I can publish this. It’s not perfect. I still want to work on it. Get a second person to take a look at that. And then you’ll see that it gets better.

 

Alastair McDermott  15:38

Yeah, yeah. So let’s talk about the actual process then of creating content. And I know that you’re a big fan of content repurposing. Can you tell me a little bit about how you approach repurposing content in order to, you know, create more from from less?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  15:54

Well, it’s a complex process. Honestly, I believe that every piece of content that is good can be repurposed in several different ways. Like, if you have a podcast, you can create blog posts or tweets, LinkedIn posts, tiny videos, for reals for Instagram. You can bring more pieces of content and create an ebook or create a more valuable resource, or there are so many things that can be done. And the only thing that keeps people from repurposing content is that we are on this rush to produce more, more and more and more and more, because we think that yeah, we’ve already talked about this, it doesn’t make sense to repeat myself. It’s redundant. No, it’s not because people need to hear the same things more than once to understand and to remember, we’re like permanently assaulted by information from all parts.  I’m good to listen to a podcast and not remember maybe 80% of what I’ve heard. If I read a blog post, written after a podcast, probably I wouldn’t even realize it was the same conversation. Or if I see some tweets, maybe I will remember something. But I would still find value in that, because repetition is the best way to learn. And the process here should be like, relatively simple. What did I say during this conversation? These are the main topics. How can I take each topic from this conversation and turn it into a different piece of content? Is it something that allows me to write blog posts, okay, if not, maybe we can just write some LinkedIn posts or maybe some tweets. Or if I’m good with video, I can just jump on a short reel, or Instagram video or Instagram story.  The thing is, you need time to do all this. Because that what does it mean? It means that once we have this conversation over, you need to go there, really listen to the entire conversation, even if you take notes, I mean, it’s not like you can with that only with the notes, edit the video, you’ll have to go there again, listen to the conversation again, maybe even twice, you know, because you want to look for those pieces of content that are the most valuable and most likely to get engagement. And then you’ll have to edit that video, maybe type something, rewrite some sentences to make it look more and text worthy. So it’s just a matter of putting time into it. It’s not this big philosophy. It’s not like we’re reinventing something here. It’s just that you need the time and the patience to stay behind such a process. That’s all.

 

Alastair McDermott  18:26

Yeah, and it is hugely time consuming. I mean, I know just for the process of producing one episode of this podcast, I have a workflow, a list of tasks. And each one of these tasks actually would break down then into a number of sub tasks. But the list of tasks on its own is 30, 30 items long. And that’s, you know, I know that one part that takes me quite a while, for every podcast episode is just writing up the show notes. That takes me about an hour a week to write up the show notes. And that’s quite short, like that’s maybe 200 words of text, 300 words of text. But it’s, it’s amazing how long it takes, you know? And yeah, so I know that all of, all of these things take time. So, so outsourcing is one solution to that is just going and finding somebody who can take care of, you know, the editing and posting of all of this for you.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  19:19

Yes, if there’s something I’ve learned working with, with an agency is that there’s a VA for everything. There’s no task that you can possibly do then that there’s no there’s not the VA for it somewhere just need to find that. Find that person or that company. So I suggest like taking those like one-two hours, maybe take a look at how much it costs you to write that content from scratch. I don’t know for research for actual writing for editing, and then try to think about how much would it cost to hire a VA to do the same thing but for my older posts and repurpose them and you’ll see that actually, hiring the VA for this would just cut down your costs and help you produce huge amounts of content, of course, that it’s the case for people who already have content like you, you already have podcasts, you’re and if you’re a solopreneur, and you’ve been working for some time, I’m pretty sure that you already have content.  And I challenge your, your audience to go back to their website to their social media to do all LinkedIn posts from last year. Nobody remembers what you wrote last year. I mean, we are stalkers, stalkers, but not that kind of stalkers, we can remember, nobody remembers what you wrote last year. Take them, take those pieces with the experience, you have now made them better, you can repurpose that. And if you don’t have the time, just hire someone to tell them, hey, pull out all my LinkedIn posts from the last year, or I don’t know, blogs, or my all my tweets, or go through my videos. Help me find those pieces that are most valuable, and repurpose that and you’ll spend less time on it, you’ll be less overwhelmed and frustrated when you feel like you don’t have an idea, because and you’ll see that going through all that stuff.  First, you’ll realize how much confident you’ve been producing already. And second, you’ll get new ideas because ideas come from other ideas. And when that frustration and that feeling of not having the idea to write about or to talk about when that thing vanishes, your creativity will skyrocket. And you’ll produce more with less.

 

Alastair McDermott  21:31

Yeah. And you just reminded me of a quote, I think I’ve mentioned this on the podcast before. And I don’t know if my friend Guillaume is the originator of this quote. But he says I don’t write because I have ideas, I have ideas because I write and I think that’s really important that you know, you actually create content that you write, because it will help it’ll, it’ll help you get better as a as an expert in your field, it will help you see the pattern and see the links between ideas and it’ll just just make you better overall at what you do. I think writing is really important. So I would encourage anybody listening to this to make writing about what they do a regular part of, of your kind of your week, your, your, your work week, however you you fit it in, just find time to write. So and the other thing then about content repurposing is we can actually take video and video is like the the mecca for content repurposing, because it can be used in so many different ways.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  22:26

Yes, and it’s also engaging, short video, long video. I mean, it generates engagement. And I would also say that audio without video is like, becoming like the new, the new thing in town, you know that, the new trend, I think we’re going to see a lot of audio, maybe this in the next year, not sure about next year, but this year is going to be so much about audio content, because it’s easier to produce, it’s easier to edit, it costs less, and you have more channels to share that and people can easily listen to the audio without the video when they’re driving when they’re doing other things. It’s becoming a sort of a trend to fashion. Like, hey, I’m running and listening to a podcast, I don’t listen to music anymore, because I don’t want to waste time, you know.  So I think video for this year will be will be huge. More than sorry, not Video, Audio audio for this year will be huge. And maybe video will just gain back next year. And I mean, we also see social media trying so hard to bring tools for their users to create more audio content. On Twitter, Instagram, I think even Facebook was thinking about something like that. I don’t know if they managed to launch anything or not because I’m not so much on Facebook lately, unfortunately.

 

Alastair McDermott  23:49

So you’re talking about clubhouse and LinkedIn, live audio and Twitter spaces and things like that?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  23:56

Yes, every I mean, if you’re looking at this, I don’t know if the trend came because social media pushed it or social media push this because the train that just happened to arrive. But they’re just moving like in tandem route right now. And I think for this year, everyone will want to test it. And people actually like it because it gives them the freedom to do whatever they want and also listen to something valuable. And that’s one thing with audio. It’s pretty much the same as with video, you can repurpose it easily. You can write from it, you have the captions. I mean, it’s all and the tools we have today makes make this process so easy, even for people who aren’t exactly tech savvy. So I’m not very tech myself, but I still see how easy it becomes to have a conversation into their spaces, for example, recorded get the captions written down for you by some sort of AI power tool. It’s not going to be perfect. You still need to go there. Air and you know, edit and correct some something that didn’t, was written correctly. But hey, like 85% of the job is already done for you. So that saves everyone tons of time.

 

Alastair McDermott  25:13

Yeah, for sure. And and I can tell you from experience that editing audio is much easier than editing video. And it’s also much cheaper because it’s less time consuming. And so yeah, it’s, it’s why, even though we’re here on video recording this, right now, I’m only releasing the podcast in audio format, because it’s just so much easier to edit. At some point later, hopefully, it will go back to the archives and release the videos as well after we edit them, but very costly to go back and do that right now. So we do automated transcriptions with a tool called otter, otter.ai, you can get that out. And that’s, that’s very reasonably cost. You could also do manual transcriptions would rev.com. And that would be a bit more expensive. But it would give you nearly 100% accuracy. So that’s another option for people who want to when actually do that but,  Okay, so let’s just talk about fitting content. So one problem that I have, and this is only a problem for going to be a problem for people who’ve created a lot of content. One problem that I have is I have this huge backlog, our archive or back catalogue, let’s call it of podcast archives, I’ve got these podcast posts, I’ve got all of the guests quotes, things like that, that I can put up a social media posts, but I’m kind of I’m a bit concerned about overwhelming my, my social media followers with just, you know, inundating them with with too much. So how do you handle that?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  26:38

Diversity. Diversity of format, and diversity of, of information or of style. So it’s not like you take out the podcast, title, cut it into, I don’t know, 25 tiny pieces of audio or video and start sharing them. What if, instead of having 25 pieces of audio video, you’ll have five of audio, and then you’ll create a tiny quotes in images and just published up quotes, the other on a different hour, right?  Or you can create, you can use Canva to create like, take images and associate an image with something that person said. What, to break down this monotony, I would also make sure I tag the person that the guests the person who said, you know, get the quote, tag the person, give them credit. That’s another thing that is like, I think it’s called the snowball effect. You tag the person. You quote them tag the person they will see they will share, other people will see, other people will share.  The moment on social media the moment you tag that person and they answer back, you get access to a different audience for a second time. Because yeah, they may be listened to or didn’t listen to the podcast when you invited that person. But by tagging them into these tiny pieces of content, basically, you’re capturing their attention once again, what matters here is being polite. And always letting the person know, hey, I’m repurposing the content, I’m going to tag you, I’m going to quote you maybe if you have the time, or if they ask for it, you can also send them the quotes maybe I don’t know, say do you want to add a picture with this quote? So that they know. And they answered because for example, I noticed that LinkedIn, if you text someone, but that person doesn’t answer back, LinkedIn isn’t going to, you know, show that post to a high audience to a large audience. But if you tag them, and they answer back to you, then LinkedIn will actually spread that across your audience and the other person’s audience. So that’s something I noticed, while trying some weird LinkedIn experiments last year.  On Twitter is easier. I don’t know if Twitter actually cares about data you tag the person a lot of people will see. But again, this depends on on every every medium that you’re using. I don’t know how it works on Instagram, for example, because I’m I’m not very good at Instagram.  That’s one thing. So you create small pieces of audio or video, you create small quotes. You can add images to those quotes. You tag people you see, it’s not the same post, there are different posts, and then you just won’t publish them back to back. You will try to have a cadence you put them in different batches. And from it that each batch you pull something and you have a cadence of diverse posts that you publish out there.  And let’s be honest, people are not going to think about you all the time. And not all of them will see all your posts. So think yeah, I’m going to overwhelm my audience because I put all these half of them will only see one in five maybe, if you have huge fans, they will see three in five. But I follow people on Twitter for example, and they’re very interested in their content, and they still don’t get them in my newsfeed. And sometimes I need to go to lists to see them if I’m actually super interested. But I can’t do that with everybody. So I’m saying I’m trying to say that not the same people will see the same posts every day. We’re not that lucky.

 

Alastair McDermott  30:21

Yeah. And that’s a good point as well, you make you know, people actually follow you because they want to see the content from you. So yeah, I guess I’m, I’m holding back a little bit too much. I think there is a need to get more, not more aggressive, but more confidence in putting up more of that content.  One thing you mentioned there that I’m really interested in just digging into a little bit, is your LinkedIn experiments. Because I know that a lot of people listening to this will be really interested in LinkedIn in particular, because it’s going to be the the social network of choice for a lot of listeners. Can you tell me a bit about what you experimented with what you’ve learned about LinkedIn? What works? What doesn’t?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  30:59

I was doing these experiments last year, honestly, lately? I haven’t. I’ve been so busy. And I had just had to quit something. So we just said it’s going to be LinkedIn. But I think last year I was doing this these experiments to see what happens when you tag a person. What happens when you tag two people? What happens if the answer back? What happens? If they don’t answer back? It was this idea that if you share content on LinkedIn, people don’t see the shared content. So I just tried to understand how this how does that all this works, you know, like, so I started sharing content from like, again, it’s better of being polite and asking.  So I wrote a DM to this person to mark and say, hey, I want to test and see if sharing a LinkedIn is actually something that works. So I’m going to share three posts, you’re right in three different days, pretty much at the same hour, and I’m going to tag you in it. And please answer back to this one. And don’t answer to the other one. And I created this I waited for a week, I saw how much engagement I have for each one how many views I had for each one, and then just published the results. It was a like pretty empiric and basic and stupid experiment. But actually, I realized that sharing on LinkedIn, from people who are doing better than you on LinkedIn actually works, as long as you tag them, and they answer back.  So I think LinkedIn doesn’t want you to take advantage of other people and their growth. But if they endorse you, and interact with your posts, then LinkedIn will see that and actually promote and make these posts more visible. And then I tried publishing with image, without an image. I didn’t get any conclusion conclusion, the results there, because I think it’s more about the topic than about the image, using hashtags inside the post using hashtags under the post, you know, all those LinkedIn myths, everything I could find about LinkedIn online, I didn’t take any information for granted that I’m going to run my experiment. But I had a lot of time for that. So I was dedicating, I think an hour a day to LinkedIn back then it got me a writing opportunity, a writing gig.

 

Alastair McDermott  33:15

Yeah. One of the things I love, what you’re doing there is you’re doing research in your specialist area, which is kind of cool. Because you’re, you’re kind of you’re, you’re learning more, you’re creating loads of content from this research, and you’re learning as you do it. So I think that’s, that’s brilliant. I know some of those myths that you’re talking about. And, you know, I hold some of them myself. And I wonder sometimes, like, for example, I won’t put a link in a post, but I’ll put it in the first comment after a post, which I think link LinkedIn are probably wise to things like, that’s a good one, you know, only tag somebody if you think they’re actually going to respond to being tagged. Because I know, you know, I’ve seen these things I there’s, there’s a couple of people who tagged me in posts regularly. And I always ignore those posts, because I just don’t like being tagged, or I don’t like being tagged in every post by that person. But I don’t want to block them either. Because I don’t want to go that far. But yeah, so, so that’s not really helping them. I think that the way that they’re tagging because people are not responding to them.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  34:23

Not at all. Sometimes I would tag people like in a good with a good intention. So I don’t know which one thank them or to mention them because we did something or they contributed to a post or and if let’s say I tagged them to say thank you and they don’t see it or you know, people aren’t on LinkedIn all the time. So maybe they will see it after three days or after five days. So the fact that I tagged that person without letting them know just it made it worse for my, for my post.  As for the, right now my LinkedIn is not working well ’cause I don’t give it enough attention. So I have like very, very low numbers. But I want to say that I put the link in the actual post, and it performs just like any other post, maybe because I don’t have the numbers, I don’t know. But you know, all this like link in the first comment, it’s, how do I say this, I need to take an extra step. So you’re, I read your post, I need to click on more to read it all. And then you say, link in the comment, and then I need to go down and think and maybe click on something again, or that’s an extra step, it might help you get to more people, but you make those people work more to get the information. It’s something that I don’t want to do it.  Again, thinking about how the person you’re writing for consumes the content. So if I have to sacrifice the user experience, and put the person to work extra to link to click on that, I’d rather not have that engagement, because I don’t want to make people work more. This is social media. It’s where I’d come maybe to learn something to find information quickly, or just to have fun and relax. I don’t want to make anyone work extra, because maybe they will click maybe they won’t. And I will try one of these experiments, you know, if you’re doing this, like, take a post, put that link in the comment, take a post, put the link in there and see not just how far it goes as reach. But how many people actually click. Because I think that’s more important than how many people actually see that post.

 

Alastair McDermott  36:34

That’s good advice. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I’m, again, this is this going back to myths, maybe. But one thing I’ve seen people do, and I’ve done it myself is replying to a friend’s post with a comment rather than sharing it. So I’m going to respond and say, Hey, I’m replying to your post, Teodora, because I want people in my network to see it, rather than hitting the share button, because I, I feel that there is a myth out there that hitting that share button, very few people are going to see posts that get shared.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  37:11

Yeah, that was something I think like, there, there would be many people who would just comment for visibility or, and the truth is that LinkedIn will show you that I don’t know, your friend commented on this post, or I’m not sure how the algorithm works here. And I wouldn’t like to say me, like, I’m not a LinkedIn expert, I just run my experiments. And I don’t do this for a living LinkedIn is not my, my jam. But again, it’s about you know, the user experience. And if I want my audience to see something, I would share it.  The thing, the thing I discovered from these experiments is that sharing it without the comment is worth zero, sharing it with a comment. It’s when you know, you get some interaction and some reach, because you don’t just share the thing. You add your opinion to it, you talk you add value to it. It’s that when LinkedIn actually pushes a bit the post, so I tried this experiment to sharing with the comment versus sharing without the comment, and sharing with the comment performed way better than sharing without the comment.

 

Alastair McDermott  38:20

Okay, that’s, that’s pretty interesting. And that also makes sense, because you’re providing that context. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. I want to just ask a more general question. Is there anything that you wish you knew, before you started your own business before you started working for yourself?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  38:36

Oh, so many things. I made all the mistakes in the world, I think. The only mistake I didn’t do and this is something that I advise every person who says I want to start something, hire an accountant. I mean, that’s the first thing I did. And I think all the people who don’t do that, they’re taking useless risks. Like that’s the most important thing, hire an accountant, having that on your shoulders, it’s going to block you keep you doing the work you shouldn’t be doing and with high risks. Because if you’re not an expert, you don’t even know what mistakes you’re doing. And when the moment do you mean like, if you have an audit or something similar, it’s when you’ll discover that you’ve been doing things wrong, and why it’s for the peace of mind, hire an accountant. I mean, it has nothing to do with marketing. But you can’t be creative. If you always have to think about what if my taxes aren’t right? What if I’m not doing this right? And that that’s like, off topic completely.  And the other thing like to let go on top on on topic. I needed a pandemic to realize that I wasn’t actually having a business. I was just working for random people and not thinking thoroughly about my business at all. So I was doing marketing for others and zero marketing for me, is when the pandemic hits that I realized that I had no social media presence. I had no, nobody knew about me. I was like, I didn’t exist. I only existed for my clients and some referrals. So put yourself first in, just like, you know, yeah, work for your clients, help them make your goals, their goals, but at the same time, put yourself first and treat yourself like at impressive solutions. I learned this be your best client. When and actually I joined this team in a moment when they were actually rebranding. And that’s how I, I grew up with them and learned with them about this. And we want to be our best clients. And we want to do the things for us, as we would do for our clients. Because, you know, that’s how it works. I mean, let’s change this myth that the gardener never has vegetables or I don’t know.

 

Alastair McDermott  41:01

The cobbler’s children have no shoes. Yeah.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  41:04

Yeah, exactly. That’s something that maybe happens in life. But we have control over this. There are so many things we can control. But we can’t find time to be our best customers. And if you’re an if you’re a business coach, and you can’t coach yourself, hire a coach, if you’re in marketing, and you can’t market yourself, because that’s super difficult, find someone who would do it for you, and maybe just barter and you would do it for them, or find the solution. If you don’t, if you can’t afford to hire, find the solution to be your best customer.

 

Alastair McDermott  41:37

Yeah, all of the best people who I’ve spoken to all have business coaches, all have advisors. Many of them are in mastermind groups, peer groups, but there’s just nobody I’ve talked to who is very successful, who doesn’t have some sort of advisor, somebody to bounce ideas off. Like even you know, Nadal or Federer or Tiger Woods, or these people, they all have coaches. I don’t know if Roger Federer is tennis coaches, better player than he is, but he’s probably a better coach than he is. So we all need experts to to help us out.  So yeah, I totally agree with you on the accountant thing as well, I have probably a slightly more expensive accountant than then typically somebody would have picked in their first year of business, but I got a referral to somebody who’s very, very good. And I’ve never had to worry about that in 15 years. And I have seen other people getting into serious trouble with with taxes because they, they did it themselves, or they hired somebody who wasn’t very good. So that could be a very expensive mistake.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  42:43

Yeah, I mean, like an accountant. And for some industries, a therapist, the very best spend, I mean, it’s not like you could spend money in any other way. Like, I mean, I know industries where you know, like having a therapist where you can go and just complain.

 

Alastair McDermott  43:02

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  43:05

Because when you work with people, you need you need to be to have someone to be your cushion and just complain.

 

Alastair McDermott  43:13

I know we’re a little bit over the time that that we agreed. So I want to wrap this up. I just want to ask you, finally about books. Do you have a favorite business book or resource that you would recommend?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  43:23

Oh, I don’t know if it’s a business book. No, it’s not a business book. So it’s an old book. It’s called “The Universal Journalist”. And it’s book for journalists, of course. But I think everyone who reads that book, David Randall wrote that book, everybody who reads that understands a bit better, how the information is spread, how we consume information. Yeah, related to, to media to journalism. But when you start publishing, you’re doing a sort of, maybe not exactly journalism, but hey, you somebody is consuming this, this content you’re creating, and I think it teaches us a bit about responsibility. It’s not just beyond writing. It teaches us about the responsibility that comes with that publishing button. Because when you put something out there, you’re responsible for what you said. And if more people understand that, I think we can build a better virtual environment for all of us.

 

Alastair McDermott  44:29

Very interesting. I’m just readingit. It was published in 1996 by David Randall, a step by step guides, the skills and attitudes needed to produce good journalism. So yeah, that sounds really interesting. Let me ask you then about fiction. Do you read any fiction? Do you have a favorite author or favorite book?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  44:44

I love fantasy books. I’m like a teenager you know. Like I never got overdid “The Kingkiller Chronicles” and “Game of Thrones” and the you know, the disowned device and fire. And I like “Harry Potter” and I live for “The Lord of the Rings”, and you know, all that kind of stuff. But my favorite, favorite favorite book in the world is “The Little Prince”. And as an adult, you read it differently. And they have it like in, I don’t know, seven, eight languages, I collect the little prince in various languages. I don’t need to understand those languages, because I’ve read that book so many times that I can read it in any language and still understand what it says by the pictures.

 

Alastair McDermott  45:26

Yeah.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  45:26

So um…

 

Alastair McDermott  45:29

That’s Antoine De Saint Exupéry.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  45:32

Exupéry. Yes. And actually does. The typology of people that the Little Prince meets during his journey to the Earth are just like some sort of very fancy non marketing buyer personas. And if you read it with a marketer’s mind, you’ll see that Exupéry built some very fancy personas there.

 

Alastair McDermott  45:54

Right. Okay. Interesting. Yeah. That that I hadn’t thought. It’s a long time that I read that book. But that’s, that’s fascinating insight. Teodora, if people want to find you, where do they go to if they, if they want to learn more?

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  46:08

I live on Twitter. I mean, I will, I promise, I’ll try to be more active on LinkedIn as well. But I live in Twitter. I’m on Twitter every day. It’s what I do, to have fun, to learn, to relax, to get in touch with people. So, if you ever need, like, one, ask questions, and if I can answer, it’s definitely going to be via Twitter.

 

Alastair McDermott  46:31

Very cool. Yeah. I’m a big fan of Twitter. It’s it’s my, it’s my first social network of choice. LinkedIn, probably second, and then I don’t even know if I have a third after that. Facebook wouldn’t be on that list anymore, for sure.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  46:45

We should be so…

 

Alastair McDermott  46:47

Okay. Well, thank you so much for being with us here today. Teodora, it was great to chat with you. And I know that you did all of this on a teenager’s laptop at the last minute, so I appreciate you coming on and sorting that out.

 

Teodora Ema Pirciu  47:04

Thank you.

 

Alastair McDermott  47:08

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