LinkedIn PPC Paid Advertising to increase sales

Paid advertising is common on most social media platforms like LinkedIn.  They each have their own strategies and require a specific way of dealing with them. This includes the placement of Ads on LinkedIn and LinkedIn PPC. To learn how LinkedIn PPC works we invited AJ Wilcox to this week's Exit Your Way Live.

Paid advertising is common on most social media platforms like LinkedIn.  They each have their own strategies and require a specific way of dealing with them. This includes the placement of Ads on LinkedIn and LinkedIn PPC.

To learn how LinkedIn PPC works we invited AJ Wilcox to this week’s Exit Your Way Live.

The conversation started with Damon asking AJ about how he got into this field. AJ said that his initial interest of study was psychology but later on when he went to BYU he decided that he wanted to try another major. This is how he got into Marketing.

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After this AJ shared that if he had the chance to study again, he would choose a subject other than marketing because marketing can be learned either way. Moreover, AJ also mentioned the various companies he worked within his career.  One notable item from a role of AJ played was that one of his employers was the largest LinkedIn PPC advertiser at the time and AJ managed the account.  AJ has been helping people advertise on LinkedIn for a long time.

Later into the conversation, he talked a little about LinkedIn marketing and how its algorithm works. He also talked about LinkedIn PPC. AJ said that LinkedIn has very specific targeting where you can get your ads in front of your ideal audience.

While talking about LinkedIn PPC and other Ads technicalities, AJ said that it depends on what approach you use when working on LinkedIn Ads. For example, most companies go with an ad that says to take their free trial, etc. But this approach only gives you about 4% of sales chances.

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Whereas when you use an approach of inviting the potential customers to a webinar or something like that. This makes it a secondary targeting which is a more effective approach.

By the end of the conversation, Damon asked AJ about the best kind of company for LinkedIn marketing. To which AJ responded that it doesn’t matter, if you are a service, a product, or an ecommerce platform, all it matters is the approach you use.

He also said that if you do all kinds of things in the wrong way and do marketing in the right way you can still turn out decent.

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You have to have an approach in which you bring something valuable to your customers, only then you can actually capture something, good customers, via LinkedIn. After this AJ also explained some more about LinkedIn PPC and how that works in LinkedIn marketing.

The conversation ended with Damon thanking the guest for joining the show.

Thanks to AJ for sharing their time and knowledge.  Watch the video below for the entire conversation!

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AJ Wilcox, Damon Pistulka


Damon Pistulka  00:01

All right, everyone. Thanks again for joining us. In our last episode of the exit your way round table live for 2020. I can’t believe it. Today with me, I’ve got AJ Wilcox. Welcome, AJ


AJ Wilcox  00:17

Damon excited to be here. Thanks so much for having me.


Damon Pistulka  00:19

Awesome. Awesome. I hate man. I’m just, I’m just feeling lucky to have you here because we are gonna have some fun today we’re going to talk a lot about LinkedIn advertising. Oh, yeah. Yeah.


AJ Wilcox  00:33

One. So like I’m authoritative on?


Damon Pistulka  00:36

Yeah, yeah, we’ll go through that. We’ll go through your history. I mean, cuz man, I was looking through it. And we’ve talked before and you got a hell of a background here. And it’s good stuff. Oh, we got Robert Murray showing up from Alaska. Now, Robert. Robert is like, if you get on his profile, look, he put up a video of him going out to cut wood. Now this is serious, like four wheeling to go back into the forest to find the wood and cut it up and bring it back. He’s awesome stuff. But anyway, I digress. Man, we got Nick Dorsey showing up or no.

Yep. Nick Dorsey showing up out of Arizona. Outside Scottsdale. He’s just starting to do some while he was down there with with one company and now he’s with other facilities. So it’s awesome to see you, Nick. So good. Well, AJ, tell me a little bit about your background. Because man, you got a really a pedigree of marketing. And then where you ended up today. But let’s start kind of back in the beginning and talk about, you know what? You went to BYU for marketing? Well, I mean, that kind of starts from there. But what really caught your eye with marketing. And, you know, why did you take the path?


AJ Wilcox  01:49

Well, it’s funny in high school, I took a psychology class, it was like an an AP psychology. And I was like, Yes, this is what I want to do. Like, I love psychology, I want to be a counselor or a therapist. And then by the time I got to BYU, I kind of decided, oh, you know, that when I don’t think I like psychology anymore. I know, I want to do something with business. So I went and looked at the business school at BYU.

And there were a whole bunch of different emphases you could choose and I didn’t know which one to go with. But I saw marketing and went, Oh, I don’t quite know what marketing is. But I remember when I was young, I would watch Star Trek episodes with my dad.


Damon Pistulka  02:29




When it got to the commercials cuz he’s a big Trekkie. When it got to the commercials. He would ask me questions like, Hey, who do you think that that commercials for? And why do you think they? Why do you think they chose that kind of message. And, you know, he’s a banker. He’s worked in banking, his whole life, like no marketing in there at all. But I remember that just being really fun to think about.

So when I saw marketing, I went, Okay, I can always change my major later, like, all declare marketing. And sure enough, the very first marketing class I took, I was hooked. Because I love cars. I love exotic cars. And the professor who was teaching like the marketing 101. He worked all of his career in automotive, and was using examples of Audi and BMW and yeah, just, it hit me. I


AJ Wilcox  03:14

just decided, right that I was going to be a marketer.


Damon Pistulka  03:17

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s a lot of people look at it and they go glamorous, you know, they’ve watched what was that? That once there used to be a show? I can’t remember it was with the guy madman, madman. Oh, yeah, there you go. I mean, that was that was quite a quite a quite a series. But you know, people think it’s, it’s a lot of glamour, but in the end, it’s a lot of hard work.



It is the, if I could go back and do it again, I would have studied something like Information Systems, because I mean, it’s really hard to learn the tech stuff. Like, on your own so much easier when you have a professor helping you out. But marketing marketing is free to learn. I mean, there’s there’s a ton to learn and understand. But boy, all the informations out there free. It’s really easy to learn. So I wish I would have like, learned marketing on my own, but I am glad I got my degree in it.


Damon Pistulka  04:09

That’s cool. That’s cool. And you’re right I mean, because any more marketing is is as much about a you got to know who you’re marketing to and all that that was the same I mean, I think that’s that’s stayed relatively similar other than the the way that people want to be sold to now but the the systems and the technology behind it are so complex, when you talk about these things that people are using with multiple stages of, of messaging that’s going out in and just down to the analytics, this whole thing. It’s pretty crazy.



Oh, yeah, that the data that comes from marketing is way more valuable than like, I’m in the marketing itself. It’s, it’s a clear path to I all say like slaying it as a company. If you understand who your audience is, and better how to reach them. That’s what the data tells you. And you just can’t go wrong if you know the data.


Damon Pistulka  05:06

Yeah, yeah. Well, that’s That’s right. That’s right. And I think that’s where a lot of old school people like myself, you know, when we, you know, shit, this is be honest, 2020 years ago, when we were selling, it was a different game, it was talking about getting in front of people, you have to actually dial a phone, go meet with them and do what they’re doing now. This is its flipped 180 degrees before to 2020. And then COVID hit, and then it just launched this, they had another 10 years in 10 months, 12 months, whatever the heck you want to call it. And and now we’re like, we’re lightyears ahead where we were 12 months ago.



Yeah, it’s nuts. I the the tactics, the systems, the platforms, they are changing at a lightning pace. So if you call yourself a marketer, you gotta be caught up. But yeah, it’s interesting. The principles of marketing have not changed in 1000s of years. And like, you learn those and you’re good. You can figure out a system.


Damon Pistulka  06:04

Yeah, yeah, that’s for sure. So this thing is back through your your history a little bit. You worked for some some pretty well known companies throughout your, your career there and in Salt Lake City.



Yeah, they, my beginning was, I’ve always been a really technical person. I’ve loved computers. And so in college, I had a job as like, second level networking and, and, and server support. Yeah. So it’s essentially like a, like a tech tech support guy. But I loved it. And I was making more money than anyone else on campus. It was like, it was great. And I knew I was studying marketing, I was gonna graduate in two years, and I had to go find a job in marketing, but me with my limited understanding of the world, I said, Who in the world is going to hire me for a marketing job? If the only thing I’ve ever done is tech?

Yeah, it seems funny now. But back then, like I was really worried. And in one of my marketing classes, we had a guest lecturer come in, who came in and talked about search engine optimization. And as he was talking, I went, this is what I want to do. This is marketing plus technology, like, so I went up after class, and I begged this poor man for an internship. He ended up bringing me on, and that was where I got the start. It was a company called CBOE marketing. And I learned search engine optimization, building websites, and Google ads, they call it Google AdWords back. And back then, that was really my start was like that agency atmosphere.


Damon Pistulka  07:31

Awesome. Awesome. So and then, and then you moved into some other companies? Because I mean, is the thing that I’ve learned over the past year is that Salt Lake City has a long history of digital marketing companies and software companies, which you wouldn’t think of unless you were around there.



Yeah. And it was so interesting. The next company I went to was called orange Yeah. And you ask anyone in digital marketing, orange,, and Both of those were local to us. And they really, they really kicked off a big digital marketing boom. And you can see this banner behind me on the camera. This is for the Utah digital marketing collective.

I’m on the board of it’s a nonprofit that, like, you know, we get together and we bring in a speaker to come and teach us about some element of digital marketing. It is, there’s a whole bunch of these kinds of organizations across the country, little digital marketing professional works. But it’s so funny that the one here in Salt Lake is the largest and most active of all of them. And wow, I mean, it started with orange soda and And, you know, I had an offer from ended up working for orange soda, and got to see at least a lot of it from the ground up.


Damon Pistulka  08:47

Yeah, yeah. And that that’s something because, you know, looking at things today, and and this year, I mean, I I’m not familiar with LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to talking that but I know on the Google side, the the paid AdWords space in Google changed so much from February to June or so. And then through the rest of the year that it’s like it’s a different world, different world because everybody decided all of a sudden that they didn’t want to buy any AdWords in March and then everybody said I have to buy double the AdWords in June and and the price went you know, went to dirt cheap to 400% of what it was before.

And and you know, all these people that have been counting on Pay Per Click on Google, because let’s be honest, that’s what a lot of people didn’t invest in the SEO and content development on the backside and wanted to do pay per click and thought that was the the panacea, what they were, you know, I’m going to keep them forever like it you know, before Google added all the other ad spaces on their page and stuff like some of those people caught in that years ago. Yeah, this, just put them Of being competitive with what they’re selling, and their advertising dollars. So it the the thing that I think is people have to realize is that these are fluid.

And they’re never it’s it’s all it’s in. It’s interesting how that works. But let’s talk a little bit about LinkedIn. Because I mean, I’ve never I know that LinkedIn has pay per click advertising. I don’t know how it works that well. But I, you know, I’m familiar with Facebook a little bit, Google a fair amount. But so what drew you into LinkedIn, rather than Google or Facebook or Amazon or something like that?



Well, it’s funny, I started out in really heavy Google, and I went to work at my most recent company. So I went to a company called They’re a business to business. They’re now public, but they weren’t back when I was working for him, I got brought in to run all of their digital marketing. And on my very first day, I’m talking to my new boss, the CMO. And I laid out all of the different marketing channels and the strategies I wanted to pursue. And I remember her saying, Oh, yeah, great. Go ahead and execute.

But just so you know, we started a pilot two weeks ago with LinkedIn ads. So see what you can do with that. And I saluted and said, Yes, ma’am. Absolutely. And went kind of walked out of her office going, I’ve never heard of LinkedIn ads, like, Yeah, well, you know, what’s this gonna be like? I didn’t want to look stupid to my new boss. So I jumped in, start playing with the platform. And within a couple weeks, I had a sales rep who came up to me and said, AJ, we don’t know what you’re doing. But we’re fighting over your leads here, keep it up.

And I didn’t know what he was talking about. So it looked at the leads, and every single one that he was mentioning, was coming from LinkedIn. And that was not the only ad channel I was running. So Wow, long story short, ended up just continuing to grow and grow and grow and invest in the platform, learning more about it and learning all the tricks and everything, until I took it to become Lincoln’s largest spending ads account at the time. Yeah. After about two and a half years of running that I went, Okay, this is cool. No one else is talking about this platform. But it’s amazing.


Damon Pistulka  12:17

Yeah. That’s, that’s a great story, dude, that that’s awesome. Because it was like, literally, when they started LinkedIn ads, it just started Domo, and started working with them a little bit, and then you took it from that to the biggest LinkedIn ad account?



Yeah, it was cool. And I still use a lot of the same strategies and techniques that I use back then. They’ve been refined quite a bit, but I am just great.


Damon Pistulka  12:42

Yeah, no doubt, that’s a heck of a learning experience. And to be able to start at that point, and understand and be able to then grow with it, and understand the transitions. Because the one thing that we’ve seen in clients, when we’re helping ecommerce clients is that, you know, Google ads are at, you know, $1,000, or $10,000, a month is much different than $100,000 a month.

And when you when you go through those transition spots, just like growing a business, you get to a certain pace, you got to really gotta redo it and change what you’re doing. I’m assuming that LinkedIn did that. Your your management of LinkedIn had to evolve as the spam got bigger. The campaign’s got more the targeting got more focused and those kinds of things.



Yeah, back when I first started, there was only one kind of ad format you could use. And it was Yes, it’s called text ads, we still use quite a few of them. But they now have three others and and have probably 10 more ways to target people. So it just gets more and more detailed. And I am glad I have the historical context. So I can Yeah, no, the new stuff fits in. What’s that? And then I can at least know where the all the new stuff fits in. Yeah, yeah. Historical.


Damon Pistulka  13:56

Exactly. Exactly. Well, that’s cool as heck yes. Because? A I don’t see. I mean, the other thing had to be kind of, quite honestly, is it’s kind of a unique space.



Yeah. What I’ll tell you is so so cool about it is, you know, I come from that Google world, the world that you understand, obviously, a lot have done a lot of Facebook. And what I found is all those other platforms, they really ignore and kind of turn their back on, on the business to business marketers, and business to business. I mean, we can hack facebook to make it work. At really small scale. Google, you just kind of go after keywords and hope that they don’t get too expensive.

Yeah, LinkedIn, it’s the only platform that really caters to you know, this really minute targeting ability, but it was never widely adopted. Because, you know, Facebook started out at, you know, they were charging less than a cent per click. Starting out Google, from the very beginning had a five cent floor so as long as you’re willing to bid five cents You could get traffic. LinkedIn when they started had a floor of $2. So they’ve always been expensive. And you know, now they’re several times more expensive than on Facebook. Oh, yeah.


Damon Pistulka  15:11

Yeah. And that’s, that’s a that’s I’m just writing some notes here. But that’s, that’s pretty cool though because, you know, they have they have an an audience like no other for the b2b market, though.



Oh, yeah. Especially for those like the, the higher deal size types of deals. If you advertise on Google, you can’t. You can’t pick and choose from all the people typing keywords like who has who represents a large enough company, or who has the authority, you just kind of get whatever traffic comes. But on LinkedIn, you can say, Hey, I only want to target this title. And they’ve got to be, you know, manager and above or director and above, at a company with more than 500 people. So it’s, it’s great for special tickets, where you just couldn’t reach them effectively anywhere else.


Damon Pistulka  16:03

Yeah, yeah. So if you’re selling an E RP system into, you know, $100 million, plus manufacturing companies or whatever distribution companies, you can target the, the whatever, the CTO at those companies or something like that, and you’re not wasting clicks on on, you know, me down the street that has a little warehouse with, you know, 10,000 square feet. Exactly. Ah, yeah. Well, and that’s, that’s really something because the, the Do you see what kind of conversion rates Do you see on a good campaign and in LinkedIn advertising?



Yeah, it depends on the approach. If your approach is, I think everyone tries this at least once pushing someone right to a, hey, here’s what we do, click here to talk to a sales rep or get a demo. It’s a little bit too much too soon. Yeah. And if you do that, you’ll end up with like a one and a half to 4% conversion rate. Yeah, if you lead with value first, like, here’s a guy to come join this webinar, or download this ebook, or free checklist or cheat sheet.

If it’s a really good offer, then it’s going to convert it over 15%. So you’ll end up usually between about 40 to $80 per opt in. And for access to this high, high quality super VIP kind of audience, then, you know, most can make this work for the smaller companies or smaller deal sizes, like LinkedIn ads might be too expensive. But


Damon Pistulka  17:35

yeah, yeah, yeah. But if you’re if you’re a if you are, if you’re selling a high ticket item, no 40 or 80 bucks to get somebody into a, you know, 75 bucks to get somebody to set in your webinar that you think you’ve developed a really nice webinar that’s going to give them good value, and show them why you’re the one that can get them from point A to point B. That’s a hell of a thing.



Yeah, exactly. And that’s why when advertisers go, oh, LinkedIn ads are too expensive. It’s like, Well, yeah, if your deal sizes too low, or your funnels aren’t very efficient, yeah, LinkedIn ads are going to be really expensive. Yeah. If you’re really buttoned up, then this will be the best traffic you’ll get. And you’ll see a much higher return on investment there than you could with all the lower quality leads that you’d get from Facebook or Google.


Damon Pistulka  18:23

Yeah. Yeah. So the Yeah, that’s really cool. So when you see people, so you’re going to create this LinkedIn, LinkedIn campaign Pay Per Click campaign on LinkedIn, you’re going to get these people there. What do you see the biggest problem that people have once they’ve got them?



Do you mean once they once they’ve gotten the user to click or Yeah, they got used to the


Damon Pistulka  18:51

click they and then it just doesn’t go anywhere? Do you see that? That’s people go, oh, if I just get them to click that. And they really haven’t thought about it after that. That’s what I’m kind of asking. And,



yeah, we find that the role that sales plays is just as important as good campaign management. Because we’ve had clients where we just absolutely slay for them, like we’re getting them the lowest cost per lead out there, and the highest quality leads, but if their sales team isn’t buttoned up, and like they drop everything, or refuse to call or like follow up on the leads, then it makes all of our efforts look bad. And we have some who have a really good sales process. And even if their content isn’t very good, for instance, they’re still way in the green so yeah, yeah. Sales follow up. super important.


Damon Pistulka  19:39

Yeah. So it Yeah, don’t try it without getting having a good sales process.



Yeah. Yeah. Know your metrics, like be able to track them. That’s really where if you compare LinkedIn cost per lead with Google or Facebook, it’s usually going to look significantly higher yet because the quality of the latest, so much better. If you track down to like a sales qualified lead, or a cost per proposal. That’s when LinkedIn all of a sudden really starts to shine. So make sure you have a CRM in place and a sales team that’s, you know, pushing people towards those later stages. Yeah, you’ll be able to tell it’s working.


Damon Pistulka  20:14

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Nick, Nick was commenting on these. There’s several people here that are commenting back and forth, Nick and Robert and I are talking about, you know, building the platform on LinkedIn, we’ve got these guys are, are pretty well established on some of the platforms. And and, and it’s, it’s amazing what you can do on LinkedIn, even from the free side without if you do that, right. And then I’d imagine too, that you run into clients. Let’s back up a step.

Does it help when you’re going to do a LinkedIn paid ad? campaign? If someone is already somewhat active on LinkedIn, so say, I’m the company, I’m going to do it, my company is going to do it? And if if they can come and see that our company is posting relevant content, or we have, you know, videos like this that’s relevant to our audience, does that really seem to help the the process? Or do you think it really doesn’t matter much?



It can. So the big dichotomy here is you have what’s done on the company’s page. And then what you do on your personal profile? Yes, can post both can interact. And so all of your ads are going to come from the company profile. So someone who you’re advertising to, they’re not going to know, they won’t be able to link to or see your profile, unless you call their attention towards it. Yeah. So what you’re doing personally, although LinkedIn organically from personal profiles is like, it’s amazing. Right now, it’s the easiest network in the world to go viral on. But it won’t help your ad efforts, unless you’re also working with the company page and followers up and posting good content there.


Damon Pistulka  22:00

Yeah, yeah. So you got to be posting good content on your company page, and getting the follower count up to be able to really maximize the the pay per click campaigns if you want to?



Yeah, like on the personal side, when you get your, your number of connections over over 500. It just says, you know, 500 Plus, it’s kind of a an implicit endorsement that you’re well connected, that you’re you’re active. Yeah, same thing with a company page. If you see a company page with like, I don’t know, less than, let’s say 300 followers or something. You’re like, oh, they’re probably not taking this all too seriously. So if you can get those follower counts up, so it’s more social proof.


Damon Pistulka  22:36

Yeah. So what do you think of someone that this is a good question, because we see this a lot. I mean, I got some big companies, they got 100 followers, 100 followers. And then, you know, we got some some small companies got 10,000. So what is what isn’t a reasonable number that you think if you’re if you’re in business that you should have?



That’s a good question. I mean, I think it does depend on your company size. Oh, yeah. If you are a big company like I do, I expect you to have a lot of followers to show that I’m on the right page and that you’re legit. This isn’t, you know, yeah. hijacked somewhere along the way.


Damon Pistulka  23:13

Yeah. Well, give me a name of a company. I’ll look it up. We’ll see. Cuz it’s surprising. It’s surprising. Yeah. always surprised by this.



Look at try something like IBM, because IBM probably has a whole bunch of pages.


Damon Pistulka  23:27

Yeah, IBM, I’m sure they’ve got a huge one. But yeah, IBM, big. There we go. I’m sure they’ve got millions. Yeah. 9.7 million. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, that’s pretty crazy. But then, but then, you know, I can’t I can’t remember I should have wrote wrote it down. But I looked at one the other day, and it was like it was it was a billion dollar like company, and it had like, 1000. And I was like, what, what are they doing? So they’re just not doing anything? I guess on here?



Yeah. So one of the best things that you can do for your company page is every admin of your company page can invite up to 100 people to follow the company page, and it comes across like a like a connection request. It says AJ Wilcox wants you to follow the two links. And all you have to do is just click the button and do it. So


Damon Pistulka  24:19

everyone plays, every admin gets 100.



Yeah, it might even be more than that. You might not even need to be full admin to get it. It might just be an employee. But yeah.


Damon Pistulka  24:32

I didn’t realize it was for every admin because man, I’d be adding like three or four more admins. Every month.


AJ Wilcox  24:37

Yeah, exactly. That’s the way to do it.


Damon Pistulka  24:39

That’s a great, that’s a great point. Because if if people aren’t using the the, the the right techniques, I mean, it’s hard to grow your company following.



Oh, it is. Yeah, especially because when you post something from a personal profile, it gets 10 times the engagement as Yeah, if you post something from the company, so of course I’m guilty of this. As well, like, why would I post something in my company page? If it’s gonna get 10? times the eyes? personally? Yeah. But yeah, it is valuable to know both of them.


Damon Pistulka  25:08

Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. So what do you think the biggest thing you’ve learned in 2020? about, you know, paid advertising in general and and the LinkedIn game?



Oh, you know, we did the study, right? I think it was in July or August, where we looked back through all of our data, and found what happened to prices every day. Up until then. And like you mentioned before, with Google, we saw something very similar where, you know, March budgets were okay. And then they just tanked in April. And as they did, the costs went way down, too, because it’s all competition based.

Yeah. And, you know, if we would have known wow, you know, it costs, you know, 40% less right now to buy a LinkedIn ad. This is great. Like, we could have had people go all in. But by the time I did the research in August, we had come back up, and only one of the four ad formats was still cheaper. The others were more expensive. So if you’re looking for a discount, it’s it’s now gone since so many people said, Well, you know, we still need leads as a company. life hasn’t gone back to normal. But we got to go back to advertising.


Damon Pistulka  26:20

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that’s as cool as I understand that. And I forgot to say your company has been linked, right? Yeah. Yeah. You’ve had a friend you met in a while to six years. I mean, there’s there are a lot of people that that, you know, you’ll see there. I’m sorry. But I always pick on coaches, and I don’t want to, because I I do a fair amount of business coaching myself, to some of our clients.

But man, you see a coach is even in it for 10 months. It’s like, Okay, come on. Really. You just made a career change? Whether it was planned or not? Exactly, yeah. But you’ve been at it six years. So you’ve been in this game a while and when you consider don’t want ahead of that you’ve been? You’ve been on LinkedIn ads for a while. Yeah, it’s



funny because I have ADHD, like, I’ve never been able to buckle down to anything. The longest I ever stayed at a job was like two and a half years at Domo. And yeah, so I thought, Okay, I’m going to start this company. But how long until I get bored? Well, we’re six years in, I’m still not bored. I’m still excited every day to come into work. So I’m at


Damon Pistulka  27:26

least in for the foreseeable future. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So I see any got some guitars hanging in the back there? So are you a guitar player?



I really badly I am. Yeah. I just intensely love music. I grew up playing piano. I play drums, guitar, bass, anything I can get my hands on, I play really terribly. Yeah. And so my goal is, when I, when I eventually retire, or at least can like step away part time, the first thing I’m going to do is just take a bunch of music lessons, because that stuff just fuels my brain. But as for right now, I’m taking guitar lessons and learning to play some pop punk songs that I loved from high school.


Damon Pistulka  28:08

There you go. That’s kind of sounds my son does it too. He’s taught himself how to play over the last few years, and he’s actually getting pretty good. And he’s in college yet, so he still has the time to do it. Now, like now, like you were you, you actually got to work, right? Yeah, well, that’s cool. Because it is I tell you, they the the thing that I’ve really found, and especially over the past 10 years or so is that the the amount of extracurricular activities and the intensity at which you do them, allows you to do better at work. And I say that is as an I’ve always kind of done this, like you’re saying guitars,

I mean, I I amateur but I was an amateur wakeboarder in competitions until I was damn near 40 until I racked my back, you know, and then before that I was I was you know, I did I played to man sand volleyball for 15 years and, and those kind of things because it’s, it’s just that kind of fun and camaraderie and stuff, I think allows you to really blow that steam off that you build in business. And then you’ll come back with the intensity that you need to really drive the success because, you know, I gotta imagine your business, you know, didn’t start with with a bunch of clients you had to build from from zero. And that’s it. That’s a challenge in the beginning.



Absolutely. You know, when we hire, I figure I can teach anyone in the world I can teach a monkey how to run LinkedIn ads. That’s not the challenge. But what I need is someone who’s driven and motivated and excited. And the only analogy I can find for when I’m asking questions in hiring, I asked them, What do you do on the side?

What are your pet projects you’re working on, and I find that when Someone has a pet project, one of our employees, he’s writing a graphic novel on the side and another loves, like programming in Excel to make his his family budget better. Like all of these, it doesn’t matter if it’s related to advertising or not. It shows that, like you have passion and follow through, and you probably going to learn extra quick. And you’re so I went on the team.


Damon Pistulka  30:21

Yeah, that’s cool. That’s cool. And I think you’re right. And it’s it shows that that people, yeah, because if they have passionate about something, that’s the start, because you got it because there’s some people that just don’t naturally have that and people that do it’s it’s really fun to, to see them because that diverse diversity in those businesses is really what’s makes it successful. Like you said, just think of the diversity in the minds between someone that’s doing a graphical novel, and someone that’s doing the excel programming, like you said, and how that when they come together, they make the solutions become much better.



Yeah. And they both are so much able to solve different problems and teach each other like, yeah, that was a good example. Because they these two work really well together.


Damon Pistulka  31:04

Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. He talked a little bit about about exotic cars. Yeah. So this is a question. I mean, I’m an old car guy, but you’re an exotic car guy. So what is your favorite exotic car? If you could just pick one and go? Oh, this is the one I want to pay for daily driver First, we’ll start daily driver first.



Okay, I like this line of questioning. It’s not it’s not new anymore. So I’d have to buy it Pre Owned. But the Aston Martin DB nine is by far my favorite car ever. And the DB 11 they replaced it with I don’t think is quite as pretty.


Damon Pistulka  31:39

Yeah. That’s Yeah, Aston Martin are nice. That’s that’s a good choice. That’s a good choice. Okay, so now you’re going to go into the to you’re not going to go into the Bugatti they’re not gonna go there. But you’re kind of you’re kind of into the the affordable above the Aston Martin kind of car. What are you going to go to their fast car?



It’s actually around the same price. But it’s the Acura NSX. The new one? Yeah, I love the old one, too. But same price pretty much as an Aston Martin, but it’s much more track focused, much less comfy for daily driver, but


Damon Pistulka  32:17

I love it. Yeah. Yeah. That’s cool.



That’s cool. Same questions for you. Like even even in classics. I want to hear what your tastes


Damon Pistulka  32:26

Oh, I I want a 68 Chevy Impala. And then just because that was that was I had my first car was a 68. Pontiac Catalina and you really can’t find a two door. Two door. convertible is what I want. But I don’t I don’t have it yet. But just because that’s what it was. I would like that it comes with a 400 small block, and you can fix them up really nice. And I would have to have the eride and think i would i would have a lot of fun with it. And there’s some people in your area that would fix it really nicely, too. So, yeah. And that and then I would I would probably want a tricked out international scout.


AJ Wilcox  33:05



Damon Pistulka  33:07

that would be cool. That would be my other car, I think. Yeah, yeah. It’s something that you know, doesn’t go over about 45 miles an hour. It doesn’t have to be a rock crawler. I just want it to be able to Yeah, that’s those are two. I’d probably like Yes. And you know that in the drivers. I’m simple. I’m simple for the drivers. You know, I like big vehicles. I get an escalator that’s just there. They’re smooth. They’re, you know, I go for a Midwest guy. That’s what I get a four wheel drive. Give me something that drives smooth, and I’m good. So yeah,


AJ Wilcox  33:43

shaky around every time you drive.


Damon Pistulka  33:46

But I tell you, I can say I can still remember the first day that I ever saw an F 40 Ferrari at 40 in birth, nearly in the showroom. And then I was 25. And I was walking. I was actually there hitchhiking kind of across Europe with some people and and I said, you know, here I am from the Dakotas. And as this damn Ferrari dealership, I’ve never seen one. So I walk in and I’m just like, hanging open. I saw him in posters before and I can still remember the salesperson I asked him Can I take a picture?

And my Italian was horrible. He was like, Yeah, yeah, I could get that done and get the hell out of here. Yeah, we got real customers so yeah, real customer it’s not gonna duel at the car. It’s the the exotic cars that they’re really something and when you look at some of these other ones that you know, Bugatti is just crazy. That one’s off the you know, but just some of the technology in them now is insane.


AJ Wilcox  34:44

Oh, yeah. Yeah.



Good. I’m glad you got to see the 40 that’s one of the most rare cars. I’ve seen one in person and it was a near religious experience.


Damon Pistulka  34:53

Exactly, exactly. I mean, you know, cars and you see that when you go oh my god. Yeah, I mean You ever see that again? In my life? Yep. You know, when people like i don’t i don’t know that Jay Leno has one probably? I know he doesn’t. Because I because I mean, they are super, super, super rare. And and just to see one and then new in the showroom like that that was years ago, obviously.

Yeah. But it’s good stuff. So the so what do you think in the LinkedIn market that if people are considering this, what are some of the better thing? You know, so I’m in this company, and I might want to consider it, what do you think are some of the better companies that are the better industries and things like that, that really work well, with with LinkedIn marketing, pay per click?



Yeah, the way I break it down is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a product or a service, whether you’re doing lead, Gen. e commerce doesn’t work very well. But pretty much everything else. Like if you have a high lifetime value, and a specific kind of person that you need to get in front of, then LinkedIn is going to work, I tell people, if your lifetime value is over, like 10, or 15, k, then it’s a total no brainer.

Like you got to be doing LinkedIn, really. And yeah, and like we talked about earlier, if your approach is I want to push you right to a demo or to talk to sales, chances are like 95% of the time you’re gonna fail. But if you can approach with something really valuable, that you’re bringing your audience that they really care about, then you’ll be successful, even if you have a misspelling in your ads. And, you know, if you do all kinds of stuff wrong, but a good offer will cover a multitude of sins.


Damon Pistulka  36:35

All right, that’s cool. No, that’s cool to know. Because I think that Well, obviously there’s there’s a lot of companies that are are trying to find their way, they’re trying to find their way because they’ve gone for how many months now are they can’t freely roam and meet people move across the United States and, and those kinds of things. And they’re, they’re struggling to find different ways to do this.

And I think one of the interesting things that I think and you brought this up is, is really how a medium like LinkedIn pay per click advertising could feed into a traditional Salesforce that may be no longer as going out and meeting with quite as many people but they find interested people that have found them through the pay per click.

And, and they’re there. The role changes a little bit, I was actually thinking about this the other day, and thinking about how this all could the hybrid of video, the hybrid of digital inbound marketing, or pay per click, how that would change if you could really get your leads coming to you. Because again, like people want to be sold to they are not they don’t want to be sold to they want to buy from the people that they’ve they’ve figured out basically that are the ones they want to buy from, and how does that really make your Salesforce change?

And can you come up with an effective one like that, and there’s a long winded story, but I was just thinking about that, because I really as I as I was thinking about us talking and, and things and then the way LinkedIn works, that I’m really wondering if we’re going to find a hybrid of of the traditional sales force that’s integrated digitally now that, you know, they they’re going to get a certain portion of their leads anyway, that comes from Digital inbound of whatever method, and their role is going to change a little bit.



I can’t tell you how many companies came to us, you know, in just the last few months, saying, we used to spend 100% of our marketing budget, going to trade shows and having a booth and traveling our wholesale staff. And now because getting together in person isn’t a thing anymore. I guess we have to go digital and it’s like, yeah, yeah, you’re you just learned what all of us have been, you know, learning this last, you know, 1015 years is that digital is not going away, and find the opportunities now, because your competitor will find them tomorrow. So


Damon Pistulka  39:00

that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s is why I gotta write that down. Yeah. That that can because it’s right. It’s right. Because really, you’re getting what what can happen in this and I think anyway, is you can have a company that’s half your size. And I’m talking we’re talking $100 million company and a $50 million or $20 million company, and that $20 million company figures this out and the next day, next day, but a year later, that 100 million dollar company, which they are setting back fat and happy we got our big cut clients that are still buying from us.

And what happens is that $20 million company figured out this digital method, they’re figuring out they’re refining, they’re getting better, they’re doing pay per click, and pretty soon, they’re $70 million, and that 100 million dollar company is still $100 million company and they don’t know how to get to 150 and the other one goes we know and we’re going


AJ Wilcox  39:54

yeah, yeah, we’re gonna switch places here pretty flip flop, you know, and that’s


Damon Pistulka  39:59

Yep. Yeah, that’s the thing and i think is happening. And like you said, these companies coming to you, Lisa coming to you and identifying it, because it really, I think there’s a fundamental shift that’s been made this year that that’s not going to change. Especially when you consider a company gets to a certain size and the geography that a salesperson is covering and the effectiveness they can have using more digital methods. Oh,



yeah. The one too many is so much more efficient.


Damon Pistulka  40:30




Yeah. What I like, I’m just like the story you told earlier about Google ads, all of a sudden prices shoot way up. And if that’s your only ad channel, you’re bankrupt. Like, it’s just a bad, bad situation. But when you’re diversified across a whole bunch, when Google’s prices shoot up? Yeah, it sucks. Like you just took a hit. But you can continue investing in your Facebook and LinkedIn. Yeah. Yeah. And whatever. And it’s, you’re not bankrupt.


Damon Pistulka  40:58

Yeah, that’s for sure. That’s for sure. This is interesting stuff. AJ, I just because I really believe I LinkedIn on a platform, I think is just a first of all, if you’re doing business to business, it’s like you said Facebook, you can kind of piece it together at low, low scale. But LinkedIn is the place where you can do volume, and with the right people, and that’s pretty cool. But I really it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with the integration of the the in these larger companies with the traditional sales and the digital methods. Yeah, yeah,



we’re all gonna be forced to catch up real quick, if we haven’t already. So yeah, yeah. So given? Yeah.


Damon Pistulka  41:43

Yeah. Well, that’s interesting that you’re seeing companies come to you that are going with the trade shows, and awesome. You know, we we do a fair amount of virtual events that, you know, some other people that that actually turned us on to the platform that we use, and they are doing virtual trade shows, too, which, which even takes us to a different level. And that part of the trade show world. But yeah, there’s no doubt that that 2020 has kind of forced us to leapfrog a few years in this stuff.



Oh, yeah. And I hope this doesn’t happen again. But you know, it’s totally possible that there that this is not the last pandemic that we’ll see in our lifetimes. Yeah. So I’m just I’m grateful to be alive right now. Because if you would have told me 20 years later, like, Hey, there was this time when the whole world shut down for a year year and a half, I wouldn’t have believed you so this is fun to experience Yeah.

Also like it’s I don’t want to be little anyone who’s got really sick or died or lost. Yeah, but I think this is a warning shot if if you know something like COVID that was not ultra devastating. gets us in the right the right mindset to to engineer and and and run our companies the right way. Because we we’ve worked through this we know how to how to diversify. I think it puts us in a really good spot in case Yeah, future something else happens again.


Damon Pistulka  43:09

Well you’re right you’re right i mean it and this is it goes back to as simple as this if it doesn’t kill you, it’s gonna make you stronger. Exactly. That’s as simple as that because you are right, these changes this digital change and and I’ve been harping on this for years with people this digital change was happening 10 years ago, to a certain extent, five years ago, it was picking up steam last year it was it was even more steam and and it would have continued on but it takes an event like this year to to force people to see it because the the traditional methods are no longer I think it does show that there there are some other other ways to do it.

And and yeah, it’s it’s an unfortunate incident. But man, I tell you what I can I can point to a lot of people that have had really bad situations with it, and a lot of people that have really good situations.

And the thing that’s encouraging now I think is to see it talk to people like you that, you know, there’s good things happening. And then you see some of the new entrepreneurial things that are springing up that people are doing that are really interesting. I mean, even in restaurant industry now you see in these restaurants that are no longer that come in and dine kind of restaurants, but they’re specifically set out for takeout. They’re a wonderful takeout restaurant, and just there’s just all these kind of things that are happening that that were forced by it. It’s Yes, there’s a ton of bad, but it’s not all bad.



Yeah. David, I’m glad you have the show because you said it way more eloquently than I did.


Damon Pistulka  44:49

Well, you know, it’s it’s it’s fun in and I love talking with with people like yourself, you got such great energy, AJ and it’s just a feed off of dude It’s so good, but I just I’m so grateful I mean in our last last show of 2020 getting someone on like you that you know it on LinkedIn, which is a LinkedIn is my favorite platform man, I just gotta say it and because that’s where my tribe lives.

That’s what I do. It’s it’s a lot of fun and, and, and getting to learn from me on this is is awesome. So I appreciate you stopping by today and dropping a little bit of knowledge on us. I look forward to seeing you in 2021 and talking more about this and and you know maybe giving us an update some time about what you see and and just what’s working and what’s not. Awesome, David, it’s



been so much fun jammin with you and absolutely have me back for round two any day.


Damon Pistulka  45:49

You bet. You bet. Well, everyone out there, we’re going to be signing off here. I said LinkedIn, LinkedIn, Nick says he’s got to go and we got to go as well. So from the exit, we’re live with AJ Wilcox at B to lenght. Check him out on where and where do they get ahold of you? where’s the best place to get ahold of you? I fill



out the form on any page of bt Yeah, to me, or on LinkedIn. Just make sure you customize the message and say, I heard john Damon’s show, then I’ll make sure I accept.


Damon Pistulka  46:21

All right. All right. Thanks a lot, AJ. Thanks everyone else. We’re out for major your way live. The final show of 2020 but we’re back in 2021. We’re already booked through February. We got lots of fun planned. See you later.


AJ Wilcox  46:37

Happy Holidays.

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