Generating Demand For Your Products And Services With Nemanja Zivkovic

Stephen: All right now, man. Yeah, man. Hey, I’m glad you’re on the podcast today. 

Nemanje: Hey there. Thanks for having me. 

Stephen: Yeah, I think there might be a little bit of an audio delay, so we’ll have to work through that a little bit, but we’ll see how that goes. Can you hear me all right now? 

Nemanje: Yeah. Yeah. I didn’t hear you for a second.

Stephen: Yeah, I guess that’s what countries do to internet connections. So yeah. So the way I like to start this is usually with a five minute meditation, where we’re just completely silent for the first five. 

Nemanje: That’s fine. 

Stephen: No, honestly, I appreciate you being on. I think LinkedIn is a pretty cool place.

I’ve been, really everybody that’s been on the podcast so far has, I think I’ve met through LinkedIn and you’re the first person that’s been out of the country, which I think is awesome. Because the world is changing so fast. And I appreciate you being on, being on the podcast.

Yeah. I get that a lot. I’ve recently been a guest on a few podcasts based in the US and I was everywhere. If not the first one from Europe. Certainly the first one. 

Yeah, I think I saw one of your posts and it said, I think it was saying all the different countries that you’re working in right now.

Are you working in the US? 

Nemanje: Yeah, US, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, UK. And that’s it. I worked a lot with Canada and Australia before, but not at the moment. 

Stephen: No. That’s cool. Yeah. I think there’s this, it seems like there’s so much opportunity for people to, to expand their reach.

So that’s awesome. So one of the first things that I may have, the first thing that I noticed about you is just like you were putting out really cool content. And that’s why I reached out to you. I was like, Hey, your stuff’s really cool. It’s interesting. A lot of people it seems like a lot of their stuff is regurgitated.

And, and people don’t often take a stance and you were always taking a stance. And, and I appreciate that. So that’s why I reached out to you. But then after that I saw specifically the video you did, it was based, it was, you were talking about the difference between B2B and services.

Yeah. Like how, like friends between them and how services are all based on trust. And, that stood out to me as well, because that’s something that I think about a lot. Like I specifically work with service based businesses. But on LinkedIn, there’s a lot of stuff for B2B and service businesses or B2B too.

But a lot of the time it’s like a product, it’s something that someone can just buy. So that really stood out to me and I thought that would be an interesting thing to talk about a little bit, is helping. Helping some service businesses. And we could even use my company as an example if you want it.

But like, how do you think differently about work? Marketing yourself as, ‘cause you’re a service based business, right? You’re a professional service provider. So how do you think differently between marketing yourself and marketing like a product company and what are the overlaps and what, and what is different?

Nemanje: The overlap is definitely us, the humans behind the product or behind the service, because I really think somebody is going to buy your product. Not only because it helps them solve the problem. It’s what series also does. But also because, because of your story, because the story behind the product story behind the series, how did you come up with that?

Why did you come up with that? What’s happening behind the scenes? How are you developing that? Do you have a team that’s that, reflected trust or, what’s your experience with is your product or service helping others? Those are some things that stand out for both things, but when it comes to the product, having a product market fit is a must.

And if you don’t have that, you can hang from the ceiling and nothing would happen. 

Stephen: Sorry. Are you usually working with companies that have product market fit already? 

Nemanje: in most cases, yes. But some of them are, some of them are developing new products while we are working with them.

And, basically they are using what we know and the experience we have for working with our companies just to help them, basically get guests to the markets as fast as possible. Like I work with more than 60 companies, even before I started funky marketing. Like when you’re working in the agencies and in two startups, that’s what you come up with.

You work with a lot of different businesses and industries and you learn a lot from different sites and it shapes you, innovative. What’s working, what doesn’t work when something is fluff and when something is a real product. What I do often is when we start working with somebody or they approach us, before we start working with them, I pretend that I’m a customer.

So I go out, I feel out the forums. I see. How long does it take for them to send me the confirmation email? If the forum is really valuable to me, why am I getting all the data, as I’m going to the website to see what’s the navigation, if I can. Three steps to get to the CTA or no, or those kinds of things, And then when I talk with them, I see there’s a correlation between what I saw and what I’m hearing from them. And then I know if there’s a right fit, they know what they’re thinking, what they’re talking about. Do they know about their mistakes, those kinds of things. And this is where,  If there’s a fit in, I can see the same thing that I experienced before I talked with them.

I know that we can work together and I can see that they are aware of some things that might be missing. Yeah. 

Stephen: That’s cool. Yeah. You brought up a good point. Like in consulting you made a bunch of good points, but one thing that kind of stood out to me just cause I’ve been in consulting for so long, it’s like, it’s pretty cool that you get so much different experience.

It’s you’re running your own business, but you get to see so much stuff that’s going on in other businesses. And, I don’t know, just, you learn so much that I think a lot of people don’t get that experience when they work for a job, or a single company. 

Nemanje: Yeah, I think there’s the benefit of working in agencies.

Stephen: Yeah, for sure, and yet, but the other thing I was curious about too is, one thing that I’ve found that was pretty interesting is, so there’s product-market fit and knowing that your product is serving a need and that people have an interest in it. But I also have found that marketing in itself is a strategy to help you find product market fit.

Maybe it’s an earlier stage, but in the end you gotta get out there. You have to like, you have to pitch something. You have to explain the value of it. You have to have conversations. You have to have people say yes or no. And if they say, no, you have to take that feedback. And that feedback goes back into the marketing and it’s like the biggest mistake that I’ve made.

Cause I don’t know if you know this, but I, the beginning of my career was all in technology. I was a technology professional. I’ve built technology software, all that stuff, and I, so I have a bunch of startups stories. And as engineers, we always just wanted to build it. But, now that I got into marketing and I’m actually helping people with marketing, I went about it a different way and I was always pitching an idea.

And then based off of the response, then I would take that and actually build the product. And I thought that was a pretty fascinating process to just build the product based off of what people actually tell you. 

Nemanje: Yeah, it really is. I relate to a lot of what you were saying because my eldest client and, one that has been with us from the start is Belgrade, they’re working a lot with startups.

They have like a pretty accelerated program. So I’m seeing a lot of companies, a lot of, let’s say it guys, mostly developers who are coming up with a product thinking it’s good because it solves their problem. And then they’re, they keep it to themselves and they feel they build it. And they found out that nobody wants that.

And that’s one of the most common like mistakes that’s over there. And we are based in Serbia and in this room, for all of them to try things out on a little market. And then when they have the proof they have a product market fit, they can go to the markets of scale, to the US to, I dunno, Europe, Canada, Australia. And not many of them are doing it the right way, because they’re so closed in their heads.

They like, we know what we’re doing. We know the products we are developing and they don’t. Actually seek feedback. Not, it’s not the case, they don’t accept it, but they don’t seek it. And a majority of them don’t know what it is to develop the business. They don’t know the practices of business development.

Right now here in this market, this is one of the biggest things that’s missing. And that’s business development. Like technology knowledge is extremely high. I would say like maybe one of the highest in the world, but when it comes to business development, not that many people have that knowledge.

And that’s why we are stuck out here. And one of the, one of the other things is that there are not that many opportunities for investments. That’s also one of, one of the reasons, but yeah. 

Stephen: Yeah. And it’s interesting too, because especially in the tech world, like if, when you’re designing a service, it’s actually pretty flexible.

Like you just change your marketing and you have a new product, which is cool. That’s why I think, I think that’s why there’s a big boom in a lot of the, the courses and stuff. If building the course is a big effort, but just designing a service is really just words and you’re crafting it and pitching it.

But with technology, it’s a slippery slope because, and I think what happens to people is, they come up with an idea, they start to build it and now they’re pretty much, they have an infrastructure they’ve developed something and they have investment in it emotionally and mentally. And now to even accept feedback is to say maybe that all that time is wasted.

So I think. Especially in technology, you have to be really careful not to go down. Like maybe even try to pitch, get people to buy it, even, maybe even before you build anything or, something along those lines, at least get some buy in, some feedback before you build, because once you start to build, you really start to lock yourself in because with technology, once you build it’s really hard to start changing it.

Nemanje: Yeah. one of the, one of the best things that, that I have done and that I recommend for everybody who is launching something new, in most cases, it’s a product. Get it to as many people as possible, as early as possible. And just be there to accept the feedback, to curate the feedback.

If it’s good feedback that can be implemented then do it right away. If you are responsive and you are like, doing those changes, in the real time, as people are responding to you, then firstly you will get the people who are, who are following you, just because you create a trust.

They suggested that there is a change that you need to implement. You’re doing it. There’s an instant trust. And imagine like in the first two days having like 20 people doing that, just … 

Stephen: Yeah, that would be awesome. Actually having 20 people would be, that’d be amazing. 

Nemanje: Yeah. I think today it’s possible with product hunt and all the strategies for, to go to market.

I think it’s possible to get you in even more, but, even before that. I don’t know. This is just one thing that comes to my mind when you start launching it. But there’s a whole bunch of things that you can do even before that, even before you create a product. 

I’m a huge fan, I’m a fan of what drift is doing and how they do things because they firstly created a community of product people and they found out that the product people are frustrated because nobody has no idea what the, what are they doing. They cannot explain it to anybody. So they created the community out of them and let them talk about their problems and issues.

And they saw, okay, there’s something here. So they started, they came up with a conversational marketing after that, when they came with removing the forums and everything else. And they come up with a new category, when they already had a community. 

Stephen: That’s cool. 

Nemanje: A lot of good things.

Stephen: Yeah. And maybe this will be a good segue to ask you a couple of questions. Just like using me as a subject, but my story kind of started that way too. Basically after I sold my tech firm, I wanted to start a new business. And so I started studying marketing and sales myself, and I got, I was like super excited about it.

And I was using that to build like a, like a, like a fractional CTO kind of thing. But I would go out to lunch with all these service providers and I would always be talking about marketing and sales and how interesting it was compared to how a lot of the older school providers thought about it, because they’re so focused on referrals, networking.

Not that that stuff’s bad, but it’s like it has its limits. and so I would get them super excited and then the lunch would end and we’d both go our ways. And so then I started thinking, man, I really love this stuff. I love it. It’s really cool. I wasn’t really having that much fun on the tech side, just for a lot of different reasons we don’t need to go into, but…

But then I was like, okay, I’m going to get these guys into a mastermind and we’re going to talk about this stuff. So I started pitching to all these people like, Hey, let’s do a mastermind. We meet once a month and I’ll charge you this amount. And, I got six people into it, but then after I got them in, I started realizing, Oh man, they, like, just getting them excited every month isn’t going to actually provide that much value. 

So then I started getting feedback from him. A lot of them there were like, Hey, I know the ideas around this stuff. I hear people talk about it, but what I’m missing is like the tactical execution, how do you actually do this stuff?

And so then I was like, Oh, okay. So, like this, if I just run this the way I thought, it’s going to be a disaster. So then I started like really mapping out the things I was doing and started putting them into course form. And then, and then delivering that information to them and seeing them go through it.

And then, and then watching that happen and see where they got stuck and was it helping them? Was it not? And then also bringing them together as a community to talk about stuff. And that was just really interesting, an interesting process. It was really stressful, it still is stressful.

But it’s pretty interesting and fun. So let me ask you this. For someone like me, if I were to come to you and I was like, Hey, I saw you on LinkedIn. I see your content. Like what would be some of your initial questions to me if I was like, Hey, I want to work with you on this.

Like how could you help me scale this? And maybe you’ve seen a little bit of my content, like you have, like, how would you. What would be some of the questions you asked me and like, where am I going wrong? What am I doing? 

Nemanje: What I always do, I get into the community, into your group and really see what’s going on.

What are some of the things, try to experience it myself. Cool. And then when I could feel the value, I can go and, and not have a way of which we can share the value with, with the audience, find the audience, or if I can see that we can do something better, then I can suggest some of the things that we can maybe change or do differently or something like that.

From what I’ve seen, a lot of things are very simple, but we tend to complicate them. I don’t know. Why do we do that? Especially in B to B, we tend to complicate so many things with no reasons. 

Stephen: I have an idea because I go through that myself. Like I’m the King of over-complicating my life. Like I, I, my, to do list is way too complicated.

Everything. I’m actually working on simplifying that, but I think it’s our ego. I think we butt up against our own ego and we have a hard time getting outside of ourselves. For example, one of the big insights I had at a group meeting yesterday and, I’m trying to teach people how to, to better at their marketing.

And, so sometimes I feel a lot of stress, like when somebody has an issue, they run up against something and, like they’re looking to me for an answer and, sometimes I always come up with one, but it’s sometimes, it’s hard to do on the spot. And, but was it, what was interesting in the group, that I knew this intellectually, but like the group started helping this person and I was like, Oh yeah, that was awesome.

That was cool. and they gave him great ideas and I realized I was like, part of the value here is just the group. And the people that are in the group. And I thought that was a pretty interesting insight that I, that my own brain knew intellectually, but I wasn’t aware. 

Nemanje: Yeah, I can see, like with the most majority of those kinds of groups, I see the people who are in the group as the main value or the main resource for everyone.

Now when everything is becoming bigger and is growing, there are a lot of people who, I don’t know, sharing beings, giving their own perspectives, but having them in one place. Them people that know what they’re doing, they’re successful in their industry, their niche in their job.

And they, them sharing, all of them, sharing their problems and other people also giving them solutions, or maybe some of them had the same experience. I think that’s the future of where things are going. 

Stephen: Yeah, no, I totally agree. And that’s what I think is cool. I was like, yeah.

Especially with this group I’m building, it’s there’s all these, most of the people in there have established businesses, so they have a ton of experience and a lot of it is around networking and referrals and how to do that kind of organic growth. And so one of the things that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately, and I’d love your take on this too, is like, and then there’s all these new opportunities, right?

There’s LinkedIn, there’s Facebook groups. I want to talk to you about Facebook groups, but I know you’re doing that too. But there’s all these other opportunities. And, and what I was, what I’m thinking is okay, probably the best strategy, especially for some of these guys that have local businesses, they are expanding, some of them are more local than others, but it’s like, how do you combine both?

How do you, like, how do you engage all of your existing network, your networking clubs, all your referrals, your clients, and then how do you start to then rope in new people? From the outside, in Facebook groups on LinkedIn, how do you bring them all together? And then record something with everybody you’re providing value.

You’re growing your community in both ways. You’re also recording it. You’re having real conversations, you’re giving things. And then how do you distribute all that content out to everybody? How do you put it into an email list that’s effective? And instead of trying to think one or the other.

Really trying to do both and come up with a really cool strategy that combines everything. 

Nemanje: Yeah. I try to do that and I realized that I need to focus on LinkedIn only on one channel. And that’s where we are right now, focused on. I don’t remember when I posted a few days ago, just a photo with a client on Facebook, nothing else on our Facebook page and in the group.

I also didn’t post for, I dunno, for at least two weeks, I think, because like from the group, I don’t get a few people who are coming to our, live B to B weekly, Q and A, and we are like recording the podcast. Even if I don’t post in the group, they are here because they are on the email list for the podcast.

And they are getting notification from the Google calendar and showing up, weekly and, based on this Facebook group for a while now, maybe even nine years. And, it’s been growing slowly, but, there are lots of people over there from Serbia. It’s maybe 70 to 30% when it comes to Serbia and the rest from Serbia, inactive, very talking English.

No, Y I, the decision just to switch it in English, because I don’t know, all of them are not following me and my team on LinkedIn. Basically the same kind of content. And I thought there’s no need to duplicate it. And when it comes to the email list, there was one thing that I did back in the beginning of March or end of March when the whole Coronavirus as well, isolation starts, I’m using get four for email. And, they gave me the opportunity to use the version with the webinars. So I organized six or seven webinars in two weeks with all kinds of different people. Some of them were my clients, so we got the content for ourselves and for them, some of them were like the pupils from the industry.

I wanted to interview with Andy. I received, I don’t know, around 450 subscribers just based on that. And, 

Stephen: And the question, how did you promote that? Where did you promote the webinars? 

Nemanje: No, it was so easy. I just shared it three times. One on my personal Facebook one, yeah, Facebook group and I’m on LinkedIn. And there was some of some marketing portals from here that they took. Let’s say the news and shared it, but basically, that’s all. I haven’t done it before. I’ve been riding the wave of everybody going into webinars and trying to get educated because it was something that was new, people were not born with way winners as they are three months after that. So I used that fav immediate really gave volume in the webinars. Again, not try to sell them anything after that, I’m just sending them like, Once a week, maybe, I don’t know, a longer version of my LinkedIn posts or  I’m informing them.

We have the new podcasts with the interesting topics that they should listen to. Those kinds of things, nothing much as still struggling to get there. Now that I have a team, we are coming up with the strategy for that part too. I’m actually just getting them back to the websites. They can consume the content more and when they are ready, did you discuss it and convert no metrics?

If it’s like a partnership, if they’re recommending us to somebody or, or they’re coming up as a client, so all kinds of, different things are going on. One was marketing. So I liked email as a channel. And like I’m the guy without pictures, just bland text and just Okay. I’m writing emails in a way, okay, it’s six in the morning and just got up and I’m writing you an email. I dealt to you today. This is the way they are their own writing just as I’m talking, that’s how I’m writing. And basically that’s it. Also other ways there are growing email lists is that I’ve been organizing offline events.

Here. It was pretty all the time and I was creating a small community of people who are interested in marketing in business and, just taking them in some spaces, which are not boring as most of the business spaces are. So it’s like a coworking cultural building when they’re like UJS musicians, everything.

So they’re mixing up with that. And that’s how I come up with a nice community and I’m bringing a guest. Every week. So that’s also one part of it. So I’m trying to go online and offline now, like with this Corona it’s changed a bit. I also had a goal to utilize all of that with the huge offline event.

Like unconfidence where we are gathering people from marketing and creative people just to have one on one intimate conversations. a few thought leaders to share their experience. And so people can get to know each other. 

Stephen: No. Yeah. That’s great. When I first started, I was saying like, I thought you were saying it’s challenging to do, but it sounds like what you’re saying though, is that you really are trying to do that.

You’re combining. I know that the coronavirus throws a wrench in all of that stuff, but you’re bringing it all together. Like the people that, the people in your community, and then also trying to bring in a new group of people online and really to just educate them on new things, create awareness.

And then, at some point, and then also deliver that information again on email. And then at some point they can end up working with you if they feel like you’re the right fit. Yeah. 

Nemanje: I mean on LinkedIn, I’m seeing daily people who are becoming the new connections or their followers to me, like it’s easy to spot up and somebody new is engaging with your content, right?

Because they are new. And I’m seeing a lot of when people are connecting with me, they’re liking three or four posts in a row commenting. That’s what, I’m not like my content is targeting the right people and I’m connecting with the right people. And also like we don’t have a CTA. Anywhere. It’s in the featured section, but I don’t invite people to go and subscribe or do anything else that we have people coming to the website.

We direct traffic. That means that we are creating the brand. And I can see in Google search console, they’re using my name to get to the website. They are searching for my name and coming to the website that way. And I can see like the email list growing, like every two or three days, somebody new.

Yeah. Subscribing. And that’s fantastic because we are not really creating new content on a website. We focused on LinkedIn because we are seeing that delivering results. It’s great that people are giving us trust just because we are giving the value right here on the channel. 

Stephen: Yeah.

Yeah. And when you say no call to action, you mean no call to action on most of your posts? 

Nemanje: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know where I started doing that because in the beginning I did invite people to check the link in the comments or go check our website, something like that. But, I’m not doing it anymore because I don’t see the need other than also, I also don’t use the hashtags.

I don’t know why, but I didn’t, I don’t see the difference right now. Maybe it’s, I don’t know. There’s an engagement happening and everything, maybe I don’t need them, but I don’t know. 

Stephen: I’m with you on that too. I used to go as well, like on every one of my videos, that’d be like, Tell me what you think about this and tell me what you think about that.

And then after a while, just because I was learning how to do it myself and that’s what everyone else was doing. And then after a while, I was if I just start to feel like, why am I telling everybody exactly what to do? Plus some people, some people, at some point, some somebody, told me they were like, sometimes when somebody has a call to action and it’s different from what I’m thinking, I don’t comment because of it.

They said something, they asked for this and I had something else to say, so I didn’t comment. And then I also noticed some other prominent people on LinkedIn weren’t doing it either. And I think it was just one moment, I was just like, I’m not gonna do that anymore. Cause I just don’t feel good about it.

And then it was funny too, because I made a post just last week and I was like stop using call to actions unless, and sometimes it makes sense, like you’re doing a poll or like you’re literally looking for something specific. And the most ironic thing is like that post got a lot of engagement and there was no call to action on it.

And a lot of people were like, you have to have a call to action. You have to. And it was one of my posts that had the most engagement and it was about not having a call to action. And there was all this action. I just, I thought that was ironic, that happened. 

Nemanje: The same.

What I’m seeing, like the posts that are getting the most engagement are the posts that are inside the posts, something personal in the story, or maybe it’s something that the people are relating to. 

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah, totally. 

Nemanje: That reminds me of no. We saw, Oh, 

Stephen: go ahead. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

It was just the internet. It was just the internet thing. Finish your thought. Sorry. No. 

Nemanje: We use the template now. But it’s interesting to see how your post is competing with some of the posts that you are doing also for the clients, now it’s, 

Stephen: ah, that’s interesting.

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. One thing that I have found that’s interesting about them posting on LinkedIn is that there are two parts to it. There’s the value in the content itself. And there’s like how engaging it is. But it also still has to get attention too. And so those first couple of lines are real important.

I think I probably, it’s not as important as like, when you become more well known and people just know you and they see your face and they just stop to read everything you have. But I have found it  interesting. I was like, if I make a post and I spend a little bit more time thinking about those first couple lines and I make them easy to see and make it clearer as to what people are going to get by reading it. It dramatically changes how much, how many views, comments and likes that, that I get. And, because sometimes I’ll see someone’s post and I’ll read it and I’ll be like, there’s a really cool story or really something, but it was just like this real dense piece of text. And I see all, the stuff, that the valuable stuff was really at the bottom.

And sometimes I’ll reach out to that person and say, Hey, if you just tweak this and repost it and see what happens. And, it’s just interesting how all this stuff in marketing kind of plays together. 

Nemanje: Yeah. to be honest, a lot of 80% of my posts in the last two months were the posts that I had on LinkedIn posted six to 13 months ago, the same post. And they were getting like six to eight likes, maybe some comments occasionally, but right now, It’s all of them are really blowing up. And it’s proved me a theory that I have, and it’s not about content, content is important, it needs to be really quality and give value, but if you’re not connected with the right people, who really engage with your content, it doesn’t matter if it’s good content or bad. The difference that made a difference for me is when I realized that a lot of people are inactive. I don’t need to go after the people who are like CEOs decision makers, who are like people.

I should go, go to it. They are my target audience, my target customers, but I’m going after people who are reacting, engaging on the posts of people who are some of them decision makers, some of them, my target groups, but also the people who are like me going after those people. 

Posting sort of the same things that I am in a way, I’m trying to get those people to come from their posts, to my posts.

And so it’s like connection requests and, but also commenting on those people’s posts. 

Stephen: Exactly. to be honest, that’s how probably me and you got ultimately connected, cause we were, we’re not doing the same thing, but we, we have similarities and that’s ultimately, I think how we started interacting. But it, I think those are the things that we can be that can make it confusing though, for people. even for me, those are things you have to negotiate. And, and then, but then at the same time, like you have to pay attention. Because at the same time I will look at all that stuff and I will see people that I do want to work with commenting and engaging on it too.

So I think that’s the kind of stuff that stumps people, because, and then, that another thing that I think is interesting, that I think gets in people’s way is that, and I have to be careful about this too, is you’re also, you also want to make sure that you’re you don’t, how am I trying to say this?

You want to be careful that you’re not starting to own the cater to the people that are liking and commenting. Cause sometimes those aren’t the people that will purchase and your brain can get twisted mentally, like focusing on the wrong people. And that’s why I encourage people not to be in some of those engagement groups where people are sharing links, because when you do that, like it messes with your mind and you start thinking differently about how you should.

And, I think going back to when we were first talking, I think that’s why sometimes we get stuck in our own head because. There’s some of these challenges that you have to think through and, and you have to get outside your own head sometimes. And it’s hard. Yeah. 

Nemanje: It’s hard. You want your community to consider you as a leader, right?

So they can recommend you to the people that you want to go to. You don’t want them just to engage your posts. You want them to find that they enjoy you. To be recognized as somebody they go to learn and man, that border is crossed, then you know that they will recommend you to people.

We are right now getting more people scheduling calls from recommended by our colleagues. Or they kept seeing the posts that are calling shared where we are. And it’s really great. We’re doing like both sides, going after the target groups and going after those people to earn their trust because it’s something that are professional set too, right? Not only you. And if you can get them to realize that there’s a value in the things that you are writing about, there are results they will record for sure. If I’m seeing that you are doing good things, I would recommend you to somebody else. 

Stephen: Yeah. So one, one of the things I want, I would ask you about, is that you made another post about doing paid ads.

And I asked you, I said, as a service business, are you doing paid ads? And you said you were. Promoting, basically your content. And I wanted to get your thoughts on how somebody can think about that. Because a lot of the time it was service based businesses. It’s hard to run ads.

And when they do, it’s always to generate a lead. That’s what their mind is thinking. So like, how does somebody that’s running a service business win? Just tell me how you think about when they should start, what things need to be in place first? And how much should they spend? Give me just some ideas on how to think that through. 

Nemanje: Yeah. Look, I’m looking at these things from two perspectives, like LinkedIn is men. They go to get organic, so they get the personal brand, they get the company brand that people are coming to Google to, to actually get the first sale, they get, they had that advantage of a hundred days, but for marketing, for content to work, it takes like double that.

And we don’t have that time. Nobody’s giving us even a hundred days. So to be able to bridge that gap, we go to do advertising, but Facebook and Instagram are not the platforms when people are going to convert. In most of the, especially not in B2B, they are over there just to consume things.

So yeah, I mean that in mind we are creating for them to consume. And, so we are creating the content for distribution. What do I mean by that? I think, cause it feels like they are new. They are consumable in three minutes, just so like even the CEO can add is finding them. I don’t know, in the boss, when they have lunch break, they can just take up to three minutes just to take a look at it. Like it’s the, this is the situation. This is the problem, this some of the stats, and this is the solution. That’s it like as simple as that then, yeah. In the research, they’re really good with them.

And we don’t target like the decision makers. We go after people who are, who are going to use the service. In most cases who are going to work with us. So we go from I’m from the middle of, from the bottom in that case. And also there are like this, the millennials, but this the millennials, right now when we have this , it’s not possible.

But if there is a possibility, in most cases, like the millennials should be like me right into the, to the client. Telling me how the process went up. So, we had a problem. Then we tried to find the solution. How did we find the agency that helped us then? What were the results?

What was the processing? What is the next step? So we are trying to get people to here from there. Perspective them talking about results. And then we are following them. What’s happening first on the channel level. So are the right people liking, commenting, sharing. If that’s okay, then we are following on the website.

So how much time are people spending consuming the content? So we know how long is the video. We know how much days for the article to be read. Up to three minutes, right? And then if we see that people are spending that much time on the website, we know that it’s just a matter of time until they will go back to the company.

And the decision making  process will take time. And when it comes to the right person, that person will come and convert and we will just see a scheduled call. We want to know. How the process went up and what’s going on. So this is one thing that we can do when it comes to, let’s say speeding up the content marketing tool.

Stephen: I gotcha. And are you, do you do this for your own business as well?

Nemanje: Yeah, we did a few things. I attempt to experiment a lot. I don’t want to spend other people’s money if I don’t see something’s working. 

Stephen: Yeah, I’ve been wanting to, I’ve been wanting to try it myself. So I’ve been, I’ve been thinking about it.

Nemanje: Yeah, it is. It’s becoming harder and harder because

Stephen: Is that from a 

Nemanje: and it’s becoming, 

Stephen: Is that a legal thing that happened in Europe? Is that why that’s happening? 

Nemanje: No, I think we are like, how do you say the last thing on earth they think about when they experiment with some things, especially that important. So the groups didn’t come here to this space, but like some other things didn’t come also.

But we have been seen like when was the changes in the visibility in the Facebook feed? We were the first with them. Yeah, it’s a, but what’s interesting here is that, the cost of the ads is really low here. And people are really using like basically Balcarres or maybe these two to get some traction, to get some social proof on their ads and then just to change the audience and get it back to US.

Because people over there are not reacting if they don’t see other people reacting with the post. Or the other way is to use if you have a email list just to get the people who are really familiar with something, because if you don’t have people on the website and you get into called audience, sometimes it can be hard to convert right away.

Stephen: Cool. It’s the herd mentality, right? 

Nemanje: Yeah. exactly. 

Stephen: Cool, man. so tell me a little bit about, what you do for people and how people can get a hold of you?

Nemanje: Yeah, basically we are creating demand generation programs for B2B companies. Yes. Most of them a software base in the growth phase, in most cases from 20 to 50 employees.

And, companies that usually have a marketing team or a content team that already have something done. They have a great culture. It’s just taking them to the next step. In most cases, this is what is happening. They’re always accepting like startups to keep. To keep being in the dirt, to see what’s going on and to accept some other choices. And, we do that through different channels. In most cases, it’s LinkedIn because it’s bit to be, this is where I think we are one of the best when it comes to creating the demand for, not only for the services, but for the people from the company and actually showcase what’s behind the scenes.

I think that demand is actually just the picture of what’s going on behind the scenes in the company and help people are interacting with each other. If that’s good, you can see it over there. And, this is what we do at the very start. And then as companies are developing, we are going after brand, then we are going after performance.

So each step how the company is developing. I think I’m lucky that I’ve been running the agency. I’ve been the CMR in the startups. I’ve been working in performance marketing. So basically doing a lot of things from website personalization, email automation, marketing automation, and I can take people to the next step.

They don’t need to go to somebody else when they are ready. Like here’s the demand. And, are we converting it or not? Like recently we had this situation with a client and she said, okay, there is already a brand here in Serbia. We are creating the demand on LinkedIn. The posts are really blowing up because people know them just even post on Indian.

Yeah, and now they say, okay, we want to try out the market. Let’s just go with target everyone, and then we’re going to like to narrow it down. So now we are testing a lot of things like if people are looking for their services during the weekend, are they, which industries are the best ones though?

It’s FinTech industry. So it’s always a little bit tricky especially now in postcodes in time. and it’s interesting because this client specifically has a B2C company and a B2B product. So we are going from both sides and using both personal profiles and company profiles to mix it all up.

And it’s exciting, just playing the game and trying to find a way to get to the right goal using the shortest and the most, the most effective way. 

Stephen: That is interesting, man. It reminds me of another post he did, but it almost feels like the market is just becoming like PTP or ETE.

It’s like person to person or entrepreneur to entrepreneur. And like all of these others, I know that’s not completely true. And there’s a lot of complex cities and all the different types of businesses out there, but in a lot of ways, it seems like it’s just becoming PTP, which is cool in a way, because, in the end, like that’s what we are.

So it’s almost, if you’re willing to just be who you are and expose that, you just have like a golden opportunity. And that’s one of the reasons why I started like focusing on a lot of these service businesses. Cause it does seem like startups understand this concept a little better.

And a lot of service based companies are still a little bit stuck in terms of how they think about doing business. And they don’t even want to invest in some of this stuff because they don’t know how it’s going to go. It’s like too overwhelming. 

Nemanje: But that’s cool, man. Let me tell here, like my ex boss, who is somebody who knows performance marketing and everything else and has experience of 15 years working.

It’s one of the pioneers here with the online events and all kinds of things. He’s still posting okay, this is the photo of the strategy that we’ve created. If there are like 55 likes or if there is interest, I will post the video and explain it. And then nobody responds and you are just waiting five days and it comes over there.

Nobody asks for it, so that’s not how you do it. You need to create that demand, not just to ask for it .

Stephen: and 

Nemanje: Yeah. It’s those kinds of situations that are happening all the time. I wanted to tell you also another thing when I was like, it’s my first agency that I worked at and I was posting results and everything.

It was GM Amazon’s in charge of the biggest plants. So I was sharing everything. I challenged myself to get at least one new visitor on the website. And I learned a lot of things, when you have, when it’s not working, what can I do now to change those kinds of things? it’s something that you do when you are crazy.

And you’re like have this real need to learn a lot of things and like people were forming that. And I had no idea. So one day the new director of new businesses in green gear, extra Springer, it’s the big, the biggest media group, patient publishing group here in Europe. So she sent me a message.

Okay, so we had this girl who is leaving the company. She was doing the SEO and SEM, and we asked her, who do we go to replace you or an agency or whatever. They’re not working within Serbia, but maybe they will, if you, approach them. And I had no idea who the girl is.

I have never met her. She was just following what I was posting, what I was talking about. And that’s happened in 2018. That’s when I saw how things are going and how important it is to share results and just the journey. 

Stephen: Yeah. to be honest with you, I totally agree. And somebody else told me a story about how they made a hire.

They hired somebody because they saw a YouTube video. And the YouTube video wasn’t even about what they were hiring her for. It just happened to be like, just, it shows it showcased that she could do the job. And, what’s another interesting thing, on that point, that I’m working through right now is like, when I first started posting on LinkedIn, I got through it because I just made a commitment that I was going to do it, and I was going to figure it out one way or the other.

Cause I knew from just so many important people, I knew that this, even if it wasn’t LinkedIn, this was how to do it, and so I started doing that and doing it and I kept going. I started figuring it out. And then, and then at a certain point, I was like, man, this is a lot of work, especially if you’re creating original stuff every day videos.

And so I had this idea of creating like a content machine and I know you’re doing one too, and I saw your post just like two weeks ago, you did a big thing. I saved that link and I have it actually, I haven’t gone through it, but I’m going to, but then I was like, I’m going to build this machine.

Cause instead of just getting crushed by trying to do this all the time, I’m going to build my machine and I mapped it all out. And then, I built a, I’m an engineer, so I used some software to help me do it. And then I was like, man, this is amazing because this is my content. So I posted something on LinkedIn yesterday and I was like, I’m building my machine and this is how it works.

And this is how it’s interesting. And this is what’s going to save me. And this is, and it got a lot of cool reaction. And, and now people know I’m building a machine, they know that my clients are going to get a machine and it’s just cool. Like as long as you’re innovating and as long as you see a problem that you’re having, and then you start to attack it and then solve it and then show people that it’s really a fascinating process.

Nemanje: And, yeah. Yeah. And when you think about it, it’s what we should do from the beginning, right? Basics. 

Stephen: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s counterintuitive, but. 

Nemanje: Yeah. One thing that you mentioned, I hire all of the people in funky marketing, just, even my director, he approached me and he said, man, I’ve been following you for three months.

I want to work with you like he’s eight years older than me. So a lot of experience, a lot of different things. Then Martin, the other guy, I reached out to came because we were going back and forth on LinkedIn and I found out what he knows about those kind of things. and right now where we are doing like the content on LinkedIn for the clients, we’re also doing it to get the best people to work with us.

Stephen: Yeah. And that’s, what’s interesting about it is that it ends with you. What I think is cool about it is that you basically have one strategy that involves your clients, your results, your new clients, or existing ones, your new ones. And it’s just one effort. And that if you can understand that concept, that you do, you end up coming up with one strategy, it takes time to think it through and to implement it.

I can attest to that. If you try to do it all at once, it’s pretty overwhelming. But if you’re very patient and you just start putting these things in place, it all works together. And that’s where you’re leveraging. Like you have a huge amount of leverage. And I think that’s pretty, the interesting part about it and the secret part of it.

But it’s not that secret, but, anyway, Hey man, it was, you have, did you have a finishing thought?

Nemanje: I saw you saw, you might want him to say something? 

Stephen: No, I was just wanting to say that patience for me is the most important thing here in what you’re saying. I’m learning that, but that’s been such a hard process for me, to be honest with you. I’m learning how to do that at this stage of my life, but it’s been a hard thing for me to learn and, but I’m learning it.

I joked about meditation in the beginning of the podcast, but I’m doing that now. And, that part of, part of it is pretty big. And, cause otherwise it’s impossible. I think. 

Nemanje: Yeah. I started marketing with a guy who dropped out in the second month just because he got the baby, the circumstances have changed.

He wanted to cash out immediately. And I didn’t want to do that. I drew the goals and I wanted to get there. Yeah, I didn’t have any money on the side. Nothing else. I just had the goal of where do I want to get? And I was patient about it because I seen it work. I know it will work. The only thing missing in the equation. The only thing that I was unfamiliar with is entrepreneurship, not the marketing part. So I knew that I’m gonna go learn these things. 

Stephen: That’s fascinating, man. And it’s funny for me. It’s the reverse. So I was doing tech for 30 years building software, and then when COVID hit, everything came to a head and, I was like, I didn’t want to do what I was doing.

I loved marketing and I just switched. I switched careers. But I had built a business before, so I knew how to build a business. I knew how I did it on thought leadership for the most part, like building blogs and spreading my expertise and innovating. And then, I’d been working with marketing, so it wasn’t like I was just brand new.

And I just flipped on a dime. And so I was the reverse of you where I had, way, I had a lot of entrepreneurial experience, but I didn’t have the hands on marketing experience. And then the family is all cooped up in the house. We got, I’ve got two kids. To be honest, every day is like a crazy experience.

Nemanje: I can imagine 

Stephen: I’m learning something new. I’m pitching it. I’m learning, I’m building a course. I got two kids, I got dogs next door barking in my podcast. And, so patience has been something that I’ve had to just really invest time in. And that’s hard when you are low on time.

So it’s counterintuitive that you have to spend time on just the mental part of it. And, so anyways, Hey man, it’s been awesome chatting with you. I’d love to have you back on here at some point. I knew that we would get along well and, it turns out that it’s true. And, I really appreciate you being on, and this has been a great experience.

I’ve been learning a lot from you, thanks, man. I appreciate it. 

Nemanje: Yeah. Thanks for giving me. 

Stephen: Cool. All right, I’ll see ya.

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