How I found Diego
6 min read

How I found Diego

Yo! Welcome to the next episode of The Content Strategy Reeder where 7,033 creators get better at content strategy and creation in 5 minutes or less.

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As a B2B marketing leader, I always have an eye out for phenomenal talent that I can add to my team.

Sometimes it’s a full time role, others it’s for freelancers when I don’t have open headcount.

Everyone knows (or at least says), “You need A+ talent to produce A+ work.” Or whatever platitude you choose.

But when it comes to marketing freelancers especially writers — that talent bar gets dropped faster than a limbo bar on a cruise ship.

Marketing leaders typically look for “good, affordable writers.” I know this because I get asked all the time if I know any that fit that description.

I understand that budget is always top of mind — especially today.  

But content is your product. And to win and keep attention, you have to invest in the best ideas, writers, and producers. Only the best will do.

I mean, imagine you’re a chef planning to cook a beautiful three course meal. Would you start with getting the cheapest ingredients that are just “good enough”? Nope.

You can’t produce industry-leading content that positions you as the go-to expert with “good enough.”

That’s tougher than a two dollar steak.

Which is why my talent bar for hiring freelancers is simple: they have to be good enough to bring on full time.

And that brings us to Diego Pineda.

I’m going to share how I found and hired Diego as a freelancer before I ever spoke to him.

During this story you’ll discover “credibility signals” you can use if…

  • You’re a marketer and want to uncover the new way of sourcing top talent for your team, so you can produce content that your audience loves (and competitors envy)
  • You’re a freelancer looking to scale up your client base, but unsure how without sending dozens of cold emails every week
  • You want to start a side hustle freelancing, but don’t know how to good snag clients

Ready? Let’s ride.

From unknown to known

I first discovered Diego on the Lochhead on Marketing podcast.

Lochhead doesn’t usually have guests on his show, so I knew immediately that if he made an exception then the speaker must be solid.

(Note: I didn’t even listen to the episode right away. Just being on the show was enough to catch my attention.)

But as much as I trust Lochhead’s judgment, I decided to check Diego out for myself.

So I jumped over to Linkedin to see what Diego is all about.

I was surprisingly impressed.

From known to interested

I often talk about your LinkedIn profile as your most valuable digital asset because thousands more people will see your LinkedIn profile than your actual face.

What does your profile “say”?

Diego’s profile exudes credibility.

He’s got a book on thought leadership. Books are a beast to write and something I aspire to do. Respect.

His headline aligns with his book's topic.

His CTA link is also about helping people become a thought leader.

Clear, consistent, concise. I’m not easily impressed, but he’s won me over — almost.

The last thing I checked was his work history.

Has he walked the walk or is he just talking the talk?

I’m not saying he has to have a ton of experience or worked at a well-known company, but I know it’s easier than ever to steal ideas from the internet and repackage them as your own.

And depth of experience is one of the credibility signals I look for.

He’s even been in the sales tech space for a bit, which is my corner of the tech bubble:

I click “connect” then click “become a thought leader” to see where it takes me…

From interested to trusted

I was expecting to get dropped into an Amazon page to buy his book.

But I got something better — his own website:

I scroll and see just enough social proof to check off another credibility signal.

There’s Lochhead again. Oh, and Justin Welsh. Well done.

OK, I’m intrigued. I buy his book.

While reading it, I also started following him on Linkedin. Through his content I learn he also has a newsletter which I subscribed to.

At this point I’m all up in his content sphere.

I read about 50 pages of his book then my brain flipped the official “yup he’s legit” switch.

This is a rare and often unconscious distinction we make when becoming familiar with someone. We move from familiarity to trusted.

I found myself excited to get his content and learn something every time.

From trusted to hired

Through his book and newsletter he showed he can write thought leadership about thought leadership (sooo meta, dude).  As someone who writes content about content, I know this isn’t easy.

While reading his work, I'm also spinning up a big thought leadership push at Clari. The window of opportunity opens, and I hit him up in response to his recent newsletter:

After some back and forth on ideas and cost, I intro’d him to my procurement team.

A week later we’re on a call meeting, greeting, and planning his first project.

He got a new client, and I got the chance to work with great talent.

Win-win.

How to go from unknown to hired

Bottom line: credibility converts.

As a marketer, look out for credibility signals across various channels and find talented folks who can add firepower to your content engine. Keep a list and reach out when the timing’s right. Think of it as your personal “talent pond.”

If you’re a creator or freelancer, look at the multiple credibility signals that Diego used to get me to know, like, and trust him — how many do you have today? Which can you start to build?

If you consistently and intentionally create niche knowledge content,  you’ll attract the right people and pull them towards you instead of hunting them down.

That’s how you go from unknown to hired.

Holler at you next Saturday,
Devin


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(Even more) digital resources for creating memorable content

  1. Catch up on previous newsletter episodes here (scroll down to ‘Here’s what you missed’)
  2. Follow me on Linkedin and Twitter for edu-taining content on sales and marketing tactics, plus updates on my content journey.
  3. Check out my video course Content Strategy for LinkedIn if you want to elevate your LinkedIn personal brand. Be sure to use discount code “CSR” for 22% off