How to educate & entertain to drive engagement with Jason Vana

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Episode Summary

In this episode of Rep Your Brand, the host Nick Bennett talks with Jason Vana about branding yourself on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Jason explains how important it is to be yourself, test any advice you get, and learn everything about your target audience.

Jason is also known as #sassyjason, and his sharp tongue is what puts him in the spotlight. He thinks that you can’t keep telling people you’re a marketing guru if you don’t have the following: it is crucial to find your own voice and start creating content that will engage your target audience, regardless of the industry you’re in.

Jason stands firmly on the standpoint that it is better to have around 300 likes and 300 comments that are authentic than having thousands of generic likes through pods or similar groups.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

“90% of the content in the pod, I didn’t like. So, I was like ‘why am I doing this?'”

Jason Vana


SHFT Marketing

Episode Highlights

LinkedIn Pods vs. Authentic Platform Knowledge

“The pod, at the basic core, is a group of people who just decide and agree to engage on each other’s content to help it have more engagement and more boost in the algorithm. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you like their content or that you agree with it, but you engage on it, so you get that automatic boost right at the start.”

“I’ve been a content marketer for 18 years, so I know how content works. I know how to work a platform to generate leads. And I was like, ‘This is LinkedIn.’ It’s a B2B platform, which is what I do, and I’m not generating leads. There was a time where I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to take two to three weeks out of the pod and do this on my own.’ Outside the pod, when I did that, my engagement spiked. And I saw a massive amount of leads come in. And I was like, ‘What am I doing a pod?'”

Authentic Engagement is Very Valuable

“I had a post where it had 300 reactions and 300 comments. Now, obviously, that was also my comments in return, but I was like – that’s what I love when those numbers are so close together. Because I’m actually getting people not just scrolling through and hitting a like button, but I’m getting people to actually engage in, leave a comment and ask questions, and want to add to the conversation. And I was like, ‘I will take 300 reactions and 300 comments over 1000 reactions and 50 comments.’ I would rather have lower reactions and greater engagement than – Ooh, I feel good because I got a thousand people liked my post.”

Branding, Strategy, and Content – 3 Pillars of Success

“I picked three main things – branding, strategy, and content. I can do all marketing, but these are the three things that I do, and I do extremely well. These are the three things that I’m going to hound again and again and again. Pick your one thing, pick pillar content and three: make your content good. Follow copywriting standards. Don’t do three lines for your first intro sentence. Do a one-sentence intro because it’s like a title, and it grabs people’s attention, gets them to want to read.”

“If you really want your content to take off, you have to be engaging in other people’s content. If you’re seeing more, people remember you more. They remember you for a topic more, and they engage. They’re able to engage with you more, get to know you more. Now, all of a sudden, you have an audience.”

The Story Behind #sassyjason

“In all honesty and authenticity here, I didn’t actually create that hashtag. It was Samir Master. I had commented on his post, or I think I put up a post, and it was kind of what would now be considered a #sassyjason post. It was a little sassy, and he commented, ‘#sassyjason, this is awesome. You need to do this more.’ And I was like – I am stealing that hashtag, and I am running with this.”

“What most people don’t realize is that #sassyjason actually is me. Even when I do discovery calls with potential clients, I tell them, ‘If you bring me on, I am not the marketer who’s going to be like, okay, that’s your idea, that we’ll run with your idea.’ I’m going to be the one that says, ‘That idea sucks. You hired me for a reason to help you avoid those mistakes. That is a mistake. You don’t want to do that.’ I was sharing this with someone earlier this week, and they were like, ‘Good, we’re not hiring you to make us feel better about ourselves. We’re hiring you to help us make better marketers and make us more money.'”

“The #sassyjason posts usually end with, ‘Here’s how to do it better. Try it this way.’ And I’m going to capture you with the funny side and then give you the lesson that I normally would do in practical posts that you probably wouldn’t read or see. I’m going to give you that lesson and just a very quick cheeky way so that you actually read the post and get to that lesson.”