Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with VeraContent’s Kyler Canastra and Oliver S. Bauer, senior digital marketing manager and social selling program manager at Allianz Global Investors:

Kyler Canastra 0:00
Hi everyone, I’m Kyler from The Content Mix, and I’m really excited to be here with Oliver S. Bauer, senior digital marketing manager and social selling program manager for EMEA at Allianz Global Investors. As a global leader in active asset management, Allianz Global Investors, also known as Allianz GI, strives to solve and not sell while adding value that goes beyond pure economic gain. And Oliver is one of the driving forces behind supporting sales reps at Allianz and finding the right customers for the company. As his social selling Program Manager, he empowers Allianz GI sales team to efficiently grow and leverage their social networks to gain visibility, leveraging the power of content and social media along the way. With many, many years of experience in marketing within the asset management industry, it’s an absolute honor to have Oliver on our show today. So without much further ado, I would like to welcome Oliver, thank you so much for joining us on The Content Mix.

Oliver S. Bauer 0:58
Thanks for having me, Kyler. Thank you.

Kyler Canastra 1:01
Just to get started, could you tell our listeners a bit more about, I know I gave you an introduction, but there’s still more to learn about you. So can you tell our listeners a bit more about yourself, who you are, where you’re from?

Oliver S. Bauer 1:11
Sure, well as Kyler just said, I’m Oliver, I’m German. I’m coming from Frankfurt, the well-known financial hub in Germany. Actually, it’s not just a financial hub these days. It’s also a great place for startups and digital industry as well, nowadays. I’m in my early 50s. So to be precise, 52. And I’m part of the digital marketing unit at Allianz Global Investors. Allianz Global Investors is one of the asset management firms of Allianz Group, the big insurance company. With regards to content marketing, by the way, as you just mentioned, I did a lot of content creation during my career, in the last 25 years, but today, actually not so much. I don’t create so much content on my own. So my focus is more on helping to distribute and to share the great content we produce every day.

Kyler Canastra 2:10
Fantastic. So you kind of got involved in marketing, how did that come about? Through university or through general interest?

Oliver S. Bauer 2:18
Actually, I never went to university. So to be very honest, my mom worked for the bank, my dad worked for the bank as well. And I was the trustee of our class fund for many years. So it was pretty clear right from the start that I would go to a bank. And that was fun, then. So after, yeah, after my first internship with Deutsche Bank, I served there for four years as an investment advisor for various groups of clients, private clients, and small business or high net worth individuals. And during that time, as an investment advisor, I oftentimes recommended investment funds. And I have to say, I really fell in love at the time with this instrument. And I thought to myself, well, I guess there is a golden future for investment funds. It was in the mid ’90s. So ’94. So Gosh, I’m old. And then on a Friday afternoon, I saw a job advertisement on a printed news newspaper, really printed. And it was an asset management firm in Frankfurt, looking for a junior marketing manager. And the good thing was that they they didn’t look for, well, an experienced marketeer, but someone who well acts as an advisor. So who knows how it is to sell something, to sell funds. Well, I applied and well, a few months later, I started within asset management and marketing. So that’s the story.

Kyler Canastra 3:48
The rest is history.

Oliver S. Bauer 3:49
That’s exactly right.

Kyler Canastra 3:50
An opportunity came up and you chased it. And also, like you said, You didn’t go to university. I love that. I think university isn’t for everybody, right. So you always can still chase dreams and you know, accomplish things without that necessarily.

Oliver S. Bauer 4:03
I guess. Yeah, I guess today it’s much more harder without university. Yeah. And I realized after one or two years, that’s quite hard to learn marketing without any theoretical background. So I did some evening school courses. To polish my theory knowledge. But I’m also convinced that marketing comes from your heart, should come from your heart. If you don’t have marketing inside you, you will never be a good marketing, how many courses you will ever do. That’s my…

Kyler Canastra 4:34
Exactly, there’s so much you can learn in a classroom, but you actually have to go out and have passion and chase your dreams.

Oliver S. Bauer 4:40
Exactly right.

Kyler Canastra 4:40
It’s so important. Now a question that we ask a lot of our, you know, our guests on the show, is kind of to learn more about what their typical day of work is like. And this is a question that’s come up because of the pandemic and you know, everything’s been kind of flipped upside down. So what’s a typical day at Allianz Global Investors like and what are your areas of responsibility?

Oliver S. Bauer 4:59
Well actually, to be honest, it’s not doing podcasts every day. So this is very rare, but excited to be here today. More seriously, I mean, if you work in asset management, it’s mandatory to be informed about financial markets. So one of the first things in the morning is to check what’s going on on the markets, but to be very honest, my first few goes to LinkedIn, I do this with my iPad from bed. So a wee after I wake up, I have my iPad and check what’s going on on LinkedIn, it’s a really bad habit. And actually, it’s also the last habit I do, or the last action I do in the evening, before going to sleep. I can’t recommend this to be honest, I’m a bit addicted to social selling, to the platforms or checking out what’s new in my newsfeed. They have new profile visitors, connection requests, and all this stuff. However, in the meantime, before morning, and evening, I’m also focusing on social selling, on our program. And this is includes a lot I mean, a big part is to do a lot of one-to-one talks with let’s say, internal clients, which are salespeople, to help them to survive on social and particularly on LinkedIn. But it’s also a lot of meetings with our channel marketing teams and content marketing teams. It’s fueling our content library, it’s discussion with compliance departments, GDPR officers to improve. It’s staying up to date, what’s going on. Social selling is continuously changing. So you have to be before the wave, so to say. So yeah, that’s more or less. And as I said, it’s not my only job, I’m part of digital marketing team. So I’m also part of some other project when it comes to web pages. More supporting our experts on this. So actually, my focus is on social selling and the program.

Kyler Canastra 7:00
That’s fantastic, it seems like your job is very dynamic. So you have a lot of, you know, opportunities to work with different people, work with different teams and collaborate, which is so important.

Oliver S. Bauer 7:08
Yeah, that’s true and this was a great experience for me. I have to say I was with German companies for most of my career. And in the past, when it comes to English, I was always nervous. And then I started this program. And I mean, my asset, my clients are across the EMEA region, from the Nordics to Spain, from Italy, to France and the UK, of course, Germany as well. So a lot of English talking, a lot of talks with different kinds of people, because there are different mentalities in the Nordics or in Spain, where you’re located. So that’s, that’s quite interesting.

Kyler Canastra 7:45
Yeah. For sure. Well, if I could speak German like you do English, I’d be doing podcasts in Germany all the time. You have nothing to worry about.

Oliver S. Bauer 7:51
Well maybe next year then.

Kyler Canastra 7:53
And one thing too I want to emphasize is that, definitely follow Oliver on LinkedIn, he does share a lot of great content, he’s very active as well. Could you just tell us a bit more? Because you showed me your Friday music posts? Can you just tell us briefly about that?

Oliver S. Bauer 8:06
Well, that’s actually more private stuff. So it’s not related so much to the company. It was initially a former colleague who shared some songs based on a YouTube video via a closed Whatsapp group and I asked him: Well, would you be happy to do this on LinkedIn? I guess it could be great content. And he said: Well, no, I want to stay with WhatsApp, but not so much on LinkedIn. And then I asked him: Well, can I do this? And he said: Well, happy to do to see this. And so I thought about a bit of this concept. And well actually since roughly two years now I share every Friday a song, I have to say ’80s stuff a lot.

Kyler Canastra 8:49
Which I love.

Oliver S. Bauer 8:51
Yeah. So songs which mean something to me, where I can tell some anecdotes from my life. But I try also to combine it with some things happening on the markets or also within our firm on society. So and in the meantime, I have some followers there. A good fan base. I mean, Friday afternoon at 5pm, it’s not the best time to publish something. But this content, I guess, was quite well, at that time, because people slowly coming into the weekend mode. And yeah, that’s my Friday night listener series.

Kyler Canastra 9:35
No, I do love it because it’s not well, I do love ’80s music. So that’s probably why I like it a lot. But also, I just, I think it shows really well, kind of how LinkedIn has evolved. I think I had a guest on recently who was talking about how LinkedIn has become a really great resource for people to connect. And it’s not just about business all the time. You know, you can share this content and reach people and I don’t know, kind of build a community which, when I first started on LinkedIn, when I graduated university, it was kind of just like, okay, you need this to network and connect, and that’s it. But I think over time, it’s really become a fantastic platform.

Oliver S. Bauer 10:05
That’s true, I mean five years ago or some years more, it was more a platform to put your CV on. The summary of all people starts with, I’m the best sales guy on Earth, please hire me. Something like this. This has completely completely changed. I mean that there is an agenda for LinkedIn, of course. But today, it’s a marketing and sales tool. It’s a publishing tool. And you can also have a lot of fun there. It’s not just business, a business can can include fun as well, I have to say, from my experience.

Kyler Canastra 10:36
For sure. And this is a great transition into the main topic of our podcast today. So whenever we have an expert in any kind of area or field, we always ask them if they could do a deep dive with us. Now, as we said before, Oliver is an expert in social selling. So we’re going to talk a bit more about that and kind of what is it? So what is social selling? Could you explain to our listeners, kind of, it’s a hard question right to answer. But what is it and why is it so important?

Oliver S. Bauer 10:59
It’s indeed, it sounds like an easy question, but it’s not. So maybe let me start with what it is not. Because there are a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to social selling. Maybe the term “selling” is not the best. But it’s not social media marketing. That’s a completely different, different thing. But people oftentime mix up and also they ask, for example, for KPIs, which comes from social media marketing. And they asked me: Okay, what are your social selling KPIs? Can we use the same and it’s fair to say it’s completely nonsense. I found a definition and I want to read it, literally, which I really like. It’s a definition, it’s called: “Social selling is a strategy that uses social media as a way to leverage your network, build and strengthen trusted relationships, and build influence as a way to create a solid personal brand, and ultimately increase sales.” So in short, I would say social selling is sales. But it’s not a hard sale, it’s not: “Hi, I have a great product, please buy.” Some people still try this. But they will fail. Of course. It’s more the traditional way of sales, as it was maybe 50 years ago, when salespeople really listened to their clients, really understand their needs, not pushing the product, which they have to sell, but really think about what is the best solution for them? This is where it all starts. So yeah, in fact, it’s about relationship management. And this is more or less the heart of it, I would say. And I guess, if you ask why it’s important, I mean, in the meantime, when it comes to the buying process, based on the utilization, you can find so many information about the product or service online. So the information advantage sales people had in the past, they are gone to a certain extent. And I mean, just think about Amazon. I mean, there is no sales person between you and the product. There are the recommendations of other buyers, of course, which is an important topic. But there is no human being. I mean, it depends on the business. Of course, when you talk to, for example, institutional clients, with cross border things and texts and all these things, then it’s more of a consultant role instead of selling. But digitalization, of course, is a catalyst for the topic of social selling, and I’m pretty sure if you’re not able to master social media as a sales rep, you are a dying species, I’m pretty sure.

Kyler Canastra 13:57
Yeah, it’s so important. It’s like a more human approach to sales. You know, you have more human, you’re looking at relationships, building relationships with potential clients. So it’s definitely more not-your-traditional hard sale, going in hard. And…

Oliver S. Bauer 14:13
Well, I mean, at the end of the day, I mean, the platform is based on zeros and ones, right? It’s a digital platform, like our screen right now. Right? But at the end of the day, at the end, it’s a human being.

Kyler Canastra 14:28

Oliver S. Bauer 14:29
There’s a person you talk to, and there are emotions and all this stuff. So actually, social selling mirrors the traditional sales approach into the digital world, you have to learn to do it a bit differently, but some general things still apply. So for example, you can do people a favor in real life, you can do people a favor on LinkedIn. You can share great content in real life. You can do this on LinkedIn and all these things. And this iswhat it’s all about.

Kyler Canastra 14:57
That’s so important. And I think it’s very easy now to forget that people actually exist on the other side of your screen. So it’s really important that we remember that and emphasize that.

Oliver S. Bauer 15:06
Especially when you’re in your home office. I mean, my last day in the office was the fourth of March 2020. So since roughly one year now I’ve I’m in the home office, never seen a colleague in real life. So that’s true. And I guess that was also a challenge for the sales people. No longer meetings were possible. So they have to do this all online and it’s just that. Never forget that it’s a human being at the other end of the screen.

Kyler Canastra 15:35
And do you all plan on going back to the office? Or is it fully remote now?

Oliver S. Bauer 15:40
Well, it depends a bit. I mean, we still have limited capacity at Allianz Global Investor. The numbers in Germany looks quite good so far. But let’s see how it will be after the summer break when all the people come back from holiday, if we have a fourth wave. So maybe… actually, the plan is to be back in the office after the summer break, more often.

Kyler Canastra 16:04
That’s good. Fingers crossed for that. Now, we talked in the beginning about how you got into marketing. But now we kind of want to know how did you specialize in social selling? And what kind of drove you to become passionate about it?

Oliver S. Bauer 16:16
Well, that’s quite a funny story, I have to say it was in January 2015, when when Boss Boss Yan at that time, he asked me: Oliver, would you be happy to run a pilot on social selling? And I have to say, my eyes widened and I asked: Social what? What are you talking about? What is it? And why me? Because I mean, I realized that there has to be something with social media. And I said, I’m not a digital native. So why do you ask me? There are younger people there, why I’m the one? And today I have to say at that time very wise words. Because he said, and he touches what we just discussed. He said: Well, it’s not so much about technology in first instance. It’s about people, it’s about processes, it’s about our business. You’re an extroverted guy, you’re able to encourage people, to enlight them in a positive way. And this is the reason why you’re the perfect person. And the bit of tech stuff, which you’re not aware of, well you can learn this, it’s not such a big deal. Well, I was a bit nervous at the beginning, I have to say, I was not sure if I can master this. But well, today, I’m running my program for some years now. And well, why I became passionate about it? It was a similar story to the one with the funds from the ’90s when I fell in love with investment funds. So they give me the freedom to really dive into the topic, to do some research on LinkedIn, what it’s really about. And I started to create the first educational slides for all people, how to create a perfect profile and all this stuff. And then I realized, well, social selling could be a game changer for sales and marketing in 2015, I have to say, so ahead of the curve. And yeah, and then the pilot was quite successful. So we decided to transform the pilot into a sustainable program. Yeah, and I really love this approach, I have to say.

Kyler Canastra 18:22
That’s fantastic. And it proves you that like your soft skills are really important, even though you can’t, you know, you have a great personality or have good relationship-building skills, and then you learn the technology along the way. So it’s kind of, it’s so important.

Oliver S. Bauer 18:35
For a program manager. For the social seller itself, it depends because there are different approaches there. So not each and every social seller do the same stuff. There are some people publishing a lot. But there are also people publishing never stuff, but they do just research, and then try to reach out the old-school way to people. So there are different approaches… You can also be a great social seller when you have a more introverted personality, but as a program manager, to motivate the people all the time, to train them as part of the job, then you have to be a bit extroverted. Yeah,

Kyler Canastra 19:14
yeah. Been motivating for sure. Now, this is The Content Mix. So of course, we’re interested in content marketing, and I wanted to know, where does that fit into social selling? So like, why are content creators and content marketing important in social selling? Where do they fit into the bigger picture?

Oliver S. Bauer 19:29
Yeah, I would say, I mean, it’s not a core of social selling. Because the core is about relationships. But on the other hand, you’re right, we’re not talking about Tinder here, right. We’re talking about LinkedIn and business relationships. And I mean, a relationship means that you add value to this relationship. What does this mean, add value? I said, you can do people a favor. You can say “Happy Birthday.” You can send them a virtual Christmas card. But this is not really improving a good relationship. So you have to add value. And then content comes into play. So you have to create. You have to create or share, create content, which really is important for your readers, for your audience. And therefore, as a company having a social selling program, you need great content creators. To be very honest, in our industry, I mean sales people are great in storytelling. But well there are some, but most of them are not able to create content, like economists, or like fund managers, or product specialists. Of course not, because they are salespeople, right. So therefore, it has to be a good mix and a good cooperation between the content creators, and the people who share with the audience.

Kyler Canastra 20:52
It goes hand in hand, essentially, that relationship.

Oliver S. Bauer 20:54
Of course. And let me add at that point of view a few… oftentimes, people when they talk about sharing content, they think about creating own posts. The reality is that it’s much, much better to comment on other people’s posts,

Kyler Canastra 21:12
It is.

Oliver S. Bauer 21:12
So much is already said on LinkedIn, I said 90% is already there. And if you comment in a positive way, and I mean, not saying “Great read, thank you for sharing.” I mean really give content to this person.

Kyler Canastra 21:19
Adding value.

Oliver S. Bauer 21:29
Adding value, exactly. This is also content marketing, of course. So my recommendation is for every post you want to publish, you should at least comment four times on other people’s stuff. And when it comes to old content, I guess it’s also super important to understand, it’s not a good idea just to share corporate content.

Kyler Canastra 21:53

Oliver S. Bauer 21:53
Because if you do this, you transform into, let’s say, another boring corporate channel. And people want to connect with people and not so much with brands when it comes to social media. That’s why we call it social. So a good formula could be to share 25% corporate content, 25% business content in a wider area, and 50% content which comes from your heart created by you, for example, “Friday night listeners” or something something similar. So it should be a good mix.

Kyler Canastra 22:29
Adding that to my checklist.

Oliver S. Bauer 22:31
But as I said, it all depends. And this is maybe one of the most golden rules, it all depends on your audience and the expectation of the audience. You do it not for yourself. I mean, you do it for your audience, for your clients, to people you’re connected to. So you really should think about in what kind of content they are interested in. Because otherwise you produce content and content and content and nobody’s interested. Makes no sense, right? And it’s just time consuming again.

Kyler Canastra 22:59
Now, when I was preparing this interview, and usually when it’s a good topic, you know, a deep dive, I usually try to do some research and kind of see, make sure I’m aware of what’s going on as well. But a lot, a metric that kept coming up was something called the social selling index or SSI. So I kind of wanted to ask you why is this important, and relevant? And what are the key components which would impact a score in this index?

Oliver S. Bauer 23:21
Yeah. Well, the answer is I still remember a Christmas party and I talked to some people and said: Do you know what your SSI is? And there was quite a discussion afterwards, because so much thought about the SSI. So what is this about? The social selling index is available for everyone. Nowadays, you can access it via And then you can see it, it goes up to 100. It’s based on four pillars. Each of them counts up to 25. It’s about how you have set up your profile, how professional your profile is designed, so to say, do we have a profile picture on it, a background picture? Do we have a summary? And it’s about your network, how this is composed. So how many people you have, what kind of hierarchies. We have a lot of managing directors, for example, or just your peers in all honesty. The most important thing is I would say how active you are on the platform. And this is a bit of I wouldn’t say a problem. But the higher, the longer you stay on LinkedIn, the more active you are, the higher the SSI is, the higher the SSI, the more the algorithm will reward you with reach, which again, increases your SSI. So I’m not 100% convinced on that concept. It’s a bit, you can use it for gamification, of course, because sales, sales reps they love always competition. Yes. We can always talk. So what about your SSI? And it gives, of course, some ideas when you look at the four pillars, which is the area where you have the most room to improve, if you have a poor profile, for example, or not such a perfect network, this gives some indication. But similar to what I’ve just said, to be a good social seller, you don’t need a high SSI. That’s, I guess that’s important to know. I said I, one colleague of mine, he was in a certain client group responsible for and he never was active, he was, actually he was invisible. He has a profile, but just 200 people on his network. He just wanted to be connected with people he met in real life. And he said, the more exclusive it is, the better it is. So his SSI was, I don’t know, maybe 30 or so maybe 35. But with the help of Sales Navigator, maybe we touch this later, tab of Sales Navigator, he did a lot of research and find the right people and as I said, then he reached out to them via classic email or met or whatever?

Kyler Canastra 26:17
Right. So yeah, it really depends on how you approach it. And I think we get kind of obsessed with metrics a lot of the time. And I think, like what you’re saying before about what the content and the percentage of what content should be corporate, I think those things are really helpful, rather than kind of obsessing right over an index and the kind of a number that we can’t control. Now, so a fun fact for our listeners is that I met Oliver at a networking event. So not only do I host this Content Mix podcast, but we also have quarterly networking events online, cause we kind of shifted to, because originally, as some of the listeners I’m sure know, The Content Mix was an in-person networking event really based in Madrid. But with the pandemic, we’ve kind of expanded and now we’re kind of having online events. And hopefully when things get back to normal, we’ll kind of take it maybe to other countries. So we have goals with it. But as of now, our virtual networking event is what brought Oliver and I together, which is great. So I kind of wanted to ask you about how the pandemic in your opinion, and the shift to online networking and relationship building has made social selling more important than ever before? Like, what do you think about that?

Oliver S. Bauer 27:23
Well, honestly, there couldn’t be two opinions about this. I mean, the pandemic acts as a catalyst for all this stuff. But I have some problems to use this argument to be honest, because the pandemic brought so much pain to people, so many dead people across the globe. So I really don’t like to say, well, based on the pandemic, we have seen a great increase in social selling. It’s reality, but I don’t want to talk about this. I have to say. I guess we have to demystify a bit social selling. It’s something which is, should be part of the sales process today. And you have to weave in, within your traditional sales approach. And it’s more triggered by digitalization and artificial intelligence, as I said before. So let’s face it, I mean, if you have a product which you can reasonably exchange, so the question is, do we really need sales person for this? If the product is not super complicated? That’s really the question. So if you’re able to be a good social seller, I guess that could be your lifesaver, because then you can add value. And therefore, independently from pandemic and real life, you have to combine the old world and new world and totally convinced.

Kyler Canastra 28:47
I agree with that,

Oliver S. Bauer 28:48
As long as humans do business with humans. I mean, maybe at some point of time, we have bots on both sides. Maybe. Yeah, I guess there are some tendencies to be honest. But yeah.

Kyler Canastra 29:02
Yeah, I can’t agree more. A pandemic brought a lot of pain to a lot of people. But at the same time, you know, I am grateful for like, being able to connect with so many people, but it has also taught me to be more active on LinkedIn, to like kind of let go of that. Not that I had a fear, but I think kind of just put myself out there more. And I’m hoping that you know, one day we can, cause I love to travel and I love to meet new people, new cultures. I think that’s why I left the United States to come live in Europe. So I think I hope we can go back to that one day soon, because it’s great online, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same for sure. Now, what’s one piece of advice? Because you’ve been given great pieces of advice so far, but kind of a main piece of advice that you would give to other marketing managers or social selling program managers who are out there trying to get you know, their feet on the ground or understand fully what they need to do?

Oliver S. Bauer 29:49
Sure. I mean, it depends where you stand. If you already have a program or not. But let’s start with the people who are thinking about to enter into such a program. Especially when you’re in such a regulated industry as we are in asset management, then the good-old Nike approach “Just do it” is maybe not the best idea, I have to say. Because it really can bring you into trouble. So the first thing, when you think about this topic, you really should check your internal policies and guidelines. Is there already a legal framework composed by someone? By legal compliance or HR or someone else? Because it’s tricky. And I just said, I mean, as a joke, I said there are three highly regulated industries in the world. One is military. The second one is pharma and healthcare, and then comes asset management. So just to give you an example, our people are not allowed to talk about our products on social media, which is for a salesperson in the beginning a bit odd, because that’s in the nature, or in the DNA of a sales rep to talk about the product. On the other hand, it’s good that it is so because that’s not the core of social selling to say: “Hi, I have the best product, please buy me.” So therefore, it’s good. What is important, find your allies within the company. Look for support from the top management. You need a supporter, especially in hierarchy-oriented companies, then it’s super crucial that you have someone from the board who supports the whole the whole project. And include all the relevant parties right from the start. For example, the legal and compliance department. So don’t see them as enemies. Try to integrate them into such a project. And afterwards, well find your find your heroes within the program who can act as catalysts and ambassadors.

Kyler Canastra 31:53
Yeah, that’s really great advice. And I also like when I was doing research, as I had mentioned before, social listening tools came up a lot. What is the social listening tool? And do they help sales team go one step further? What’s your opinion on that?

Oliver S. Bauer 32:07
Well, actually, personally, I’m not so familiar with the social listening tools. It’s more for, for social media marketing, and communication, when it comes to check what’s going on with your brand on social media, what are the topics, of course. So we don’t have a social listening tool for social selling. But if you want to, the Sales Navigator in a way, is a kind of social listening tool, because there you can do a lot of research, you can save some stuff and you receive notifications from the tool, which are important for you, if you want. So this is a social listening tool as well, yes. But not, not just talk, walk or this stuff, we don’t have in place for for selling.

Kyler Canastra 32:53
And from what I can gather. So Sales Navigator is a part of LinkedIn. It seems like you’re really big fan of LinkedIn. So, is that your favorite social media tool to use for social selling and kind of what works best for Allianz Global Investors with your b2b approach?

Oliver S. Bauer 33:07
Well, as I said, as I’m from the financial industry, let me state up front, I don’t receive any kickback or any provision from LinkedIn just to say this but to be on a Sales Navigator is a must-have tool today. I mean, if you if you have just a handful of existing clients, if you’re not looking for new clients, if you have the chance to see your handful of clients daily or regularly, then of course, well then no need. But for all others, I would say it’s a must-have tool to find the right decision-makers within the buying center of your clients. It gets inspiration, because there is a big AI machine in the background. I mean, some people say it’s not worth the price, because it’s not super cheap. It’s roughly 1000 euro per license per year.

Kyler Canastra 34:01

Oliver S. Bauer 34:01
So this sounds expensive. But now compare it with the average travel expenses of a standard sales rep from a year. So it’s nothing.

Kyler Canastra 34:12
Yeah, exactly.

Oliver S. Bauer 34:13
We have never thought about contract of a mobile phone. I mean, it’s at the end of the day, it’s a coffee a day, and it’s similar to a gym, to a membership of a gym. If you don’t go to if you don’t, don’t go there and you just pay the money then it’s expensive. If you go there three times a week, super cheap. So it’s similar with Sales Navigator. The second tool we have in use for the program is CSA systems, which is a content library where people can select content, adjust it and then share it relatively easily. And at the same time, it’s also a compliance monitoring tool, which is super important to avoid any issues for the brand or any issues for the single employee as well by the way.

Kyler Canastra 34:58
Right. So I think we’re gonna wrap up this part about social selling to move on to another part of the interview. But I just want to ask, before we do, do you have any resources that you’d recommend for our listeners to learn more about social selling, or any like other tips or tools?

Oliver S. Bauer 35:15
Well, there are a lot of books out there. And in the meantime, there are also a lot of coaches and consultants there, especially in the last 12 to 18 months, there is an inflation of social selling experts.

Kyler Canastra 35:31

Oliver S. Bauer 35:32
You have to be a bit careful here, and really check what their experience is. Have they worked for a big company or for a company similar to your company? For example, if you’re located in EMEA, it’s maybe not the best idea to go for a US-based one who has no idea what GDPR is, right? For example. The best source for learning about social selling is LinkedIn itself, the platform and of course, also the company, I mean, they do a lot of stuff on LinkedIn Learning. And they do a lot of stuff. So the platform when you, when you use the search functionality of LinkedIn, go for social selling, you will find a lot and then and then I mean, the best inspiration source is you. You have to start within the given legal framework you’re allowed to act in. And if you do so, then you will learn by yourself, that’s actually the best thing to learn. And I mean, you will not learn it within a week or so it’s not a theory concept, you have to do it. And you have to make your experience, what kind of content works, which not, how to behave, how to comment, what’s the best time. Is it maybe on a Sunday morning? Or it’s a Friday afternoon? Or it’s whatever. So, yeah, actually, learn by yourself if you want to. So.

Kyler Canastra 36:53
Exactly. It’s kind of like life, right? We have to learn as we go. We’re always learning something new every day. Now…

Oliver S. Bauer 36:59
And what what is good, let me add this. If you have a mentor or so. When we started, we had a great guy who served as an external consultant for Allianz Group. And in the meantime, Martin, by the way, greetings if you see this. It was really a big help at the beginning, because he was so familiar with social and digital stuff. And I said, I was completely new to it. Right. And nowadays, we are good friends. And that was great help. So thank you, Martin. So if you have the chance to find a mentor, that’s good advice as well.

Kyler Canastra 37:37
Now, on The Content Mix, I think it’s an absolute joy in mind to be able to connect with people from you know, every week, and I get to pick their brains about kind of their success and what tips and tricks they would have to kind of be more productive, or to just, things they do on a daily basis that would help them in their, you know, perform better at work or kind of finding that life and work balance. So I’m going to pick your brain now, Oliver. And I kind of want to know, are there any daily habits that you would say attribute to your success that you would like to share or?

Oliver S. Bauer 38:08
Well, maybe the best advice is don’t behave as I do. Because I’m a bit addicted to the platform and I have a lot of arguments with my partner at home. Because even on the sofa, at the evening, still on LinkedIn and checking what’s going on, what’s new. And that’s really a bad habit. I mean, social never sleeps, it’s 24/7 online, everything. And some people think they miss something when they are not online every day. And it’s so quite hard to step back for some period of time. I mean, for that reason, I have decided some years ago not to have a company mobile device, because I know exactly what will happen again. So therefore, treat yourself to digital detox. LinkedIn will be there next week, as well, and all the other social media outlets as well. So maybe this is the best advice I can give. Because, as I said, it’s not real life. In a way, yes. But I mean, you live in some bubbles, always in real life. And in social, much more and yeah, you have to think about this.

Kyler Canastra 39:21
Get out of your comfort zone a bit. Not just be stuck on the phone and the detoxi thing, I think it’s so important because our lives now are so consumed by technology. Now, another like kind of theme throughout this interview, and the idea of the mentor right or someone that you can look up to and learn from. So do you have any professional role model or a source of inspiration that kind of drives you to be the best every day?

Oliver S. Bauer 39:43
Well, actually, I have to say, let me use this: When I was a banker, my great hero was Alfred XXX, he was the speaker of Deutsche Bank board at that time, by the way he was murdered then in the late ’80s. And but he, one of my most famous quotes is from him. And he said, “most time is lost by not thinking things to an end.” And I have to say it looks a bit old fashioned in our agile world when people say, you have to start and do this and that. But my experience is, if you don’t, I mean, you don’t have to think 100%, but maybe 90 or so at least 80. If you don’t do so, you spent so much time and money and wasted it. So this was really a great guy. Still great articles from the old days. For social, I have to say, besides Martin, of course, there’s not one person. But there’s so really so many, so many great people in my valued network, which I’ve created over the last five years from across the globe. Really social selling experts, coaches, social sellers from other companies, or real estate people, our own people as well. But yeah, I would say it’s not that one person, it’s many. If I can add another source of inspiration in a different angle. If you’re happy to still have your parents or you have kids to say my father he’s 80, my daughter is 10. So different angles. But she started to consume influencer videos on YouTube. There are also influences for teens. I was not aware of this. Yeah, exactly. And it was so amazing to see. And we had great discussions about them, how dangerous it is to believe that everything is through what these people are saying. But this helps also to understand the more younger generation, which are more and more active on LinkedIn now, as well. It’s completely different to five years ago. So a lot of young people now are there. So yeah, also these people from your real life should act as a great inspiration. Yeah.

Kyler Canastra 42:05
I really love that answer. Because for me, like my family is very important. And they inspire me. Even though we work in totally different things and have had totally different life experiences. I think I always get the best advice for my parents or my sister. So I think that’s really important. And for my grandparents too. Now, we’ve talked a lot about LinkedIn. But do you have any other apps or tools or platforms that you’d like to use, or recommend?

Oliver S. Bauer 42:26
Well, actually not. I mean, as you said, I’m not a tech guy, maybe. And especially when it comes to social selling, it’s as we have just discussed, it’s a human thing. So oftentimes, also in content marketing, or marketing in general, people use these fancy new state-of-the-art apps and forget the content, and how to distribute it at the end of the day. And two years later, nobody talks about this app anymore beacuse it’s gone. So I still use PowerPoint, I still use Excel, I still use Word. So…

Kyler Canastra 43:04
Me too, gotta stick to the basics.

Oliver S. Bauer 43:07
There must be a reason why these three are still there. Right? And I still use use email. I mean, we have a lot of discussions also that teams is there now. We don’t need emails and so… not quite sure.

Kyler Canastra 43:24
Can’t forget the basics. MI use icrosoft Word all the time.

Oliver S. Bauer 43:29
I mean for private reasons I have some, of course, some apps on my mobile, but not for business.

Kyler Canastra 43:35
Now we’ve come to the end of our interview, unfortunately, I feel like we could have talked a lot more about all these topics. And I really want to thank you for all your insight. Now, do you have a final takeaway or parting advice you’d like to give to our audience?

Oliver S. Bauer 43:49
Well, actually, when it comes to LinkedIn, don’t forget, we live in a bubble. You live in a bubble, especially when you’re in social on digital. That’s not the real world. And my most loved example is cat videos. And also, I often ask people, do you think that cat videos should be on LinkedIn? And normally people say: “No, of course not. It’s more for Facebook or so.” But my answer is, well, if you work for a company producing food for cats, or you’re a doctor for animals, or you are in a marketing agency, and your job is to create a new spot for for cat food, then maybe a cat video can be a great source for inspiration. So not necessarily what you see on LinkedIn and you don’t like it, others may do. And this is something we have in mind, respect other people’s stuff. And there is also a tendency also on LinkedIn nowadays that people become a bit more offensive, more aggressive than it was in the past. It’s not such a good behavior. So be polite. Respect other people’s opinions. And when you start a discussion, do it in a good way, adding value, as I said, that’s maybe good advice.

Kyler Canastra 45:07
And yeah, act like a human online. Don’t just be you know, and push yourself right to leave your bubble and learn more and be more open minded. I think that’s really great.

Oliver S. Bauer 45:17
Yeah I mean, exactly and stay authentic. I mean stay true to your philosophy which you have developed for your social attends, and stay authentic, because this is why we are human and not bots.

Kyler Canastra 45:28
Exactly. We’re all unique. Now, we all know that we can follow you and connect with you on LinkedIn. Are you active on any other platforms?

Oliver S. Bauer 45:37
Well just, I’m not on TikTok. And I just have an Instagram account, but don’t use it. Actually, I’m a bit on Twitter, but not my real name, just in my in my football bubble for our local club, which are the Frankfurt club, Eagles. This is a lot of fun, of course, another source for arguments with my partner when I’m doing too much communication there with my friends there. But actually, the way to find me for business is on LinkedIn.

Kyler Canastra 46:08
LinkedIn. Well again, Oliver, thank you so much for taking the time to join us today on The Content Mix. And I want to thank our audience for tuning in today. So for more perspectives, as always on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out and keep tuning into the podcast for more interviews with content experts. We’ll see you next time. Thanks, Oliver.

Oliver S. Bauer 46:28
Thank you, bye

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