Chris J. Reed is the Global CEO & Founder of Black Marketing, a “premium, personalised, boutique, B2B marketing consultancy” that specializes in building brands and their marketing strategies on LinkedIn.
He’s an elected board member of the British Chamber of Commerce Singapore and chairman of the Marketing and Creative Committee of the BritCham Singapore. He’s also the winner of the British Chamber of Commerce Rising Star Award 2015, Asia’s Most Influential Social Media Professional Award 2015, and the Silver Award for Best Employer Branding Consultants 2015.
With a LinkedIn Power Profile, 66,000 LinkedIn followers, and the best-selling book “LinkedIn Mastery for Entrepreneurs” – not to mention being the “only CEO with a Mohawk” – Chris is one of the most engaging and influential LinkedIn gurus in the world.
Chris was recently in Manila as a keynote speaker – the dude is highly engaging and gave a really solid presentation (you know, where you actually learn something!)
The Rave caught up with Chris and gave him 10 Questions:
1. What I loved about your presentation was you highlighted all the things people do wrong on LinkedIn – it was entertaining and really informative. Do you find this approach better helps people identify their online weaknesses?
Chris Reed: Oh yes. I do 160 slides in around 40 minutes and believe me I capture the attention of an entire room through a mix of speed, energy, humor, knowledge, movement – I did dream of being on stage when I was a kid, I always thought it would be as lead singer of a rock band rather than a lead CEO of a marketing company but hey I will take what chances I am dealt!
I love capturing the attention and keeping people engaged and not looking at their mobiles, get them to use them use their mobiles to capture the talk/slides from it and share not doing other things. That is the biggest challenge of any speaker these days and my technique of breathless presenting does seem to work!
2. So why LinkedIn? What drew you to become a LinkedIn guru?
CR: I came to Asia 7 years and didn’t know anyone so I started using LinkedIn to network. I found my first jobs on LinkedIn. I then used LinkedIn within those jobs to find clients and it worked so well that people started coming to me to ask for training and for me to manage their profile. That’s where the idea for the niche of just specializing in LinkedIn for entrepreneurs and CEO’s came from. I practice what I preach.
3. People still think that LinkedIn is primarily about finding jobs. In what ways is it so much more than that?
CR: That’s the old view and it has moved on so much. Now it’s used by sales and marketing professionals to identify and target prospects using the Sales Navigator platform. It’s used as the largest publishing platform in the world for everyone to become thought leaders. Content marketing has really come to the fore now too with people seeing LinkedIn as their main business news feed.
Employer branding is now done through LinkedIn as is social selling, personal branding and content marketing. Of course you can still use it to find people to work for you and companies you want to work for but it’s so much more than that now.
4. Why are the rules of being a great influencer on LinkedIn?
Very simply the rules are being engaging, share content that you think someone else is going to want to read, comment on, share and think it worthwhile their time reading, in a world of a million messages a minute you need to stand out with content
5. So LinkedIn is really growing and holding its own against Facebook and Twitter. There was a time when Friendster was the name to beat, especially in the Philippines. But then it went pfft. It’s often cited as a cautionary tale for tech companies and start-ups. As an entrepreneur, talk about Friendster and the perils of online business.
CR: Indeed, and of course MySpace. LinkedIn is now more powerful than Twitter and for business it’s more powerful than Facebook. It’s all about the data. You can find anyone anywhere in the world on LinkedIn in a professional context as all the data that you input about your current role, companies worked for, associations, who you know etc that you enter is also entered by everyone else. This enables anyone to be found which you can’t do on the other platforms. It has a niche and it’s professional and business, that’s why it won’t go the way of the others, there is no competition.
6. You’re the “only CEO with a Mohawk”. Name the funkiest business deal or opportunity that has brought you.
CR: So many! People see me present or emcee and can see that not only do I enjoy it but I’m very good at it. The mohawk enhances the number of times I am photographed as people love to be photographed with it or say that they saw it. This benefits the event organizer as they then get more social media coverage. As do I, of course! Win-win.
7. Your book, LinkedIn Mastery for Entrepreneurs, is an international best seller. How important is long-form content in this age of digital snippets and ADHD?
CR: Less than it used to be. The book is really to be dipped in and out of so effectively, it’s like reading all my blogs online – just in book format, paperback and digital instead.
8. Some people assume they can build a strong social media following in no time not realizing that it takes a lot of hard work. What should be one’s mindset when building their LinkedIn or other social media profile?
CR: Open mindedness and willing to connect with people you don’t know in order to build your connections but then get to know people through sharing your content and commenting, liking their content, help each out in a business context. Spend a little time every day doing something on LinkedIn and you’ll reap the benefits.
9. You are super passionate and energetic. In work and business, what excuses do you specifically avoid when the going gets tough?
CR: There are no excuses for anything, just s**t that happens and when it does you just have to become more resilient and more determined and keep on going. Always be positive and make things happen, no one else will, you will have to do it. Past is the past and move on, focus on the present and the immediate future not what happened. Always move forwards.
10. Lastly, what’s your one bit of supreme advice for those who want to maximize social media (for personal or business use)?
CR: Like any relationship the more you put in, the more you get out of it and enjoy it. Make it fun and you’ll love doing it like I do.
Connect with Chris Reed at: