Tommy Mello was one of the first clients to use our personal branding services. This campaign took place almost two years ago, although had a continuation last year.
Our work was focused on building a personal brand on LinkedIn, but Tommy’s persona is a great example of personal branding outside this platform. That is why we will also add analysis of some tricks Tommy does to build a sustainable personal brand.
Tommy Mello is an example of an extremely hardworking professional, managing several companies and growing his expertise in the Home Service industry. Here are some of Tommy’s titles:
- Founder and CEO at A1 Garage Doors, a $30 million garage door company with over 100 employees in 7 states and counting;
- Founder of Home Service Expert, a learning platform featuring Tommy and other successful entrepreneurs;
- Co-Owner of Garage Door Nation, a leading supplier for garage door parts at wholesale prices;
- Co-Owner and Sales Manager at LeadGeeks, a lead generation platform connecting motivated home sellers with Real Estate investors and agents.
- Influential Home Service expert, whose opinion has been read millions of times on top business publications, including Entrepreneur.com, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and many more.
Initially, our goal was to create a strong presence on LinkedIn for Tommy’s profile (get in the top 1% within his industry), attract new, relevant connections and keep a high level of engagement with them. Later, we accepted our next challenge – use his profile to drive leads.
We started by identifying the target audience. The goal was to reshape the existing image of prospects (those employed in the home service industry) into characteristics that match LinkedIn search filters so that we can precisely target them in the future.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization.
The next step was polishing the profile. The texts, visuals and the overall structure needed to be in the best shape possible, so that people would be more likely to connect with Tommy.
Once the profile was all set, we started to connect with the selected individuals who matched our search criteria. Every day we were going through the search (using filters that we’ve created earlier) and checked the prospects who were listed there.
Instead of blindly pushing the “connect” button, we opened their profile, made sure that person is worth connecting with (profile is not empty, shows some activity in the relevant industry). Then we’ve sent a connection request with a personalized note to increase our chances of being accepted.
By doing this daily, we had already achieved great results in the first month, when our network of 1st-degree connections exceeded a thousand prospects. At this point, we started a more active approach, which also included engagement in the news feed.
This part was very straightforward, we were going through updates posted by Tommy’s connections and liked/commented the most relevant/interesting ones. This helped us to achieve higher profile views, which in turn meant a higher profile ranking.
It was the time to start building credibility around the profile and show Tommy’s expertise in business management. We started to focus on sharing relevant updates and posting articles written by Tommy on his page. This resulted in hundreds of views for each update and surely helped to get some extra attention.
Convert connections into leads.
Now, we were all ready for our final step – lead generation. At this point, we had a strong profile with a good amount of activity and attention from prospects. We’d prepared a message script together with Tommy’s team and started the in-mail outreach. Every day we were connecting with dozens of prospects, engaged in conversation with them and nurtured them into leads that were interested in Tommy’s service. Those who replied to us were marked in the spreadsheet based on the type of reply (positive, progressing, negative) and we responded accordingly with the script.
This was a major project, and we had a good amount of time and a very supportive team on the client’s side. It started with a simple task, to “improve the profile” and ended with long-lasting cooperation which evolved into a lead generation campaign using that profile.
As a result, we had a top-rated profile with more than 15,000 business-relevant connections, ranked in the top 1% among people in his industry. By managing this profile during the active phase of the campaign we generated a few hundred pre-qualified leads, which were sent over to the client for future sales.
It’s not over.
Your personal brand cannot exist only on one platform. It is about your digital presence everywhere. Being a seasoned professional, Tommy understands the importance of building this presence using different media.
Besides that, you should pay attention to the Main Rules of Personal branding on Social Media.
In this part, we would like to outline some strategies Tommy uses to continue his growth:
Just like we have mentioned at the beginning of this case study, Tommy’s articles are published by mainstream media. This strategy is definitely an expensive one, but it has huge inbound marketing potential. As soon as someone googles an issue – they find an article by credible media like Forbes or Entrepreneur. And who’s the author? Tommy!
This definitely does not have immediate ROI, but in terms of building a sustainable personal brand – it is definitely a nice decision.
If your budget does not allow you to collaborate with Tier-1 media, it is not an excuse for you. Tommy is constantly sharing his experience by creating informative articles, and sharing them on different social media.
Make sure that your content is relevant, timely, and actually useful for your audience. Post it regularly and don’t hesitate to share it with your network. Feel free to ask for feedback and adjust your content according to that.
Because of the great content, Tommy’s LinkedIn profile continues to grow even after our campaign is finished.
It is now a worldwide trend in B2B Content Marketing. A podcast is a great way for you to showcase your expertise and build personal relations with your audience. The magic is done by the feeling of getting information at first hand.
“Video is the next best thing to being in person,” says Michael Litt, Founder of Vidyard, and that’s because it provides us with the feeling of being there and experiencing something first hand – even if, in this case, it’s actually a virtual experience.
The most important! Be honest.
It does not matter how good you are at PR and Content Creation, you will not be able to build sustainable B2B relations if you don’t know exactly what you are doing. You can use “fake it till you make it” method to attract some attention to your persona, but you can’t fool people forever.
Imagine you have created a wonderful but fake personal brand. You have found a serious partner who bought it. Success? No.
As soon as you start working, your lack of expertise becomes obvious and that is the most devastating reputational risk you can ever face.
Here’s a great piece of Tommy’s podcast, where he expresses his opinion about this:
To sum it up.
Tommy Mello is a living example of a seasoned professional who is not afraid to broadcast his experience throughout the world. He is always frank and honest with his audience, which grants him an ability to build a sustainable personal brand.