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“How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, with Kent Lewis and Candice Georgiadis

LinkedIn has been, by far, the most powerful social platform for growing business. In 2017, I started reaching out to more than 900 of my 17,000 contacts, who were all my target audience as VP of Marketing. Since then, I’ve closed half a dozen strategic accounts via this outreach strategy on LinkedIn. As part of […]

LinkedIn has been, by far, the most powerful social platform for growing business. In 2017, I started reaching out to more than 900 of my 17,000 contacts, who were all my target audience as VP of Marketing. Since then, I’ve closed half a dozen strategic accounts via this outreach strategy on LinkedIn.

As part of my series of interviews about “How to Use LinkedIn To Dramatically Improve Your Business”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kent Lewis, President of Anvil Media. As President & Founder of Anvil Media, Lewis oversees strategic direction of the company, with a focus on sales and marketing. He speaks internationally, writes for industry publications like SmartBrief and has been an adjunct professor at Portland State University since 2000. Since transitioning his career into digital marketing in 1996, he’s founded or co-founded four agencies and 2 organizations. He’s been named a Top 40 Under 40, Marketer of the Year by AMA Oregon and a Top 100 Digital Marketing Influencer by BuzzSumo in 2019. Outside of work, Lewis enjoys consulting with startups and spending time with family.


Thank you so much for doing this with us, Kent! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I fell into a career in digital marketing when the public relations firm I was working for spun out a sister web development agency in 1995 and they asked me to transition to that firm as head of marketing in 1996.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The highlight of my career must be lunch with Seth Godin in Manhattan more than a decade ago. 15 years ago, I set a goal to meet Seth in-person after reading his book. I reached out regarding a speaking opportunity in Portland 13 years ago and two years later, I was having lunch with him at a vegan café. He’s as amazing in-person as he is in writing and as a keynote speaker.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

In 1995, I sent an email to a very influential technology reporter as a PR coordinator. The email came through scrambled, as he had a different encoding format than my email (back then, that was a thing). He assumed I’d done it on purpose and threatened to have me fired for it. My bosses laughed it off, knowing it was a technology issue and his audacity raised eyebrows to say the least. I appreciated their support as a junior employee.

Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?

LinkedIn has been, by far, the most powerful social platform for growing business. In 2017, I started reaching out to more than 900 of my 17,000 contacts, who were all my target audience as VP of Marketing. Since then, I’ve closed half a dozen strategic accounts via this outreach strategy on LinkedIn.

Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage LinkedIn to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.

The first strategy I used was connecting with existing clients, so they would see my daily activity updates and syndicated articles. I found it was a good way to create a consistent touchpoint outside of our monthly newsletter and increased engagement significantly.

The second strategy was reconnecting with former clients (more than 2 years old) to schedule a catch-up call. One of my first engagements was a client from 10 years’ prior.

My third strategy was to reach out to qualified prospects. I found the best traction when reconnecting with former partners, industry peers and others with a timely need. I closed 2 strategic clients the first year, one of whom was a former key contact at a partner agency and another an industry peer I’d known for over a decade. Since then, I’ve closed more deals with similar relationships.

The fourth strategy has been to maintain steady post cadence, sharing status updates roughly hourly from 8 am to 5 pm daily.

The final strategy I’ve employed is to create original content (LinkedIn Pulse articles) roughly monthly. It’s a great way to share my POV on topics outside of other syndicated media outlets to which I also contribute. Those posts also generate more exposure as they are native to the LinkedIn platform.

Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I’m a huge supporter of early literacy. Future prison capacity is based on 3rd grade reading levels. The more working professionals sit down with struggling student readers between grades K-2, the greater positive impact we can have on future success and economic growth. I’ve been a volunteer reader for SMART Reading in Oregon for 20 years: www.smartreading.org.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

I have a man crush on Ryan Reynolds, as he’s a brilliant actor and is exceedingly funny. He’s also a prudent entrepreneur and invested in a local spirit brand, Aviation Gin. I’m a huge fan of a Pacific NW original.

Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!

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