Two months ago, I had never heard of Dina Calakovic, but today I eagerly await her next post on LinkedIn when I log on each morning. We have never met, indeed only exhanged a couple of LinkedIn requests and some emails for this interview, but in the few weeks since I came across her on LinkedIn, I have read most of her posts, started implementing some of her suggestions 17 days ago, and completely changed my business model.
I have yet to implement 95% of Dina’s advice (there is SO much, and it is SO good), but after just 17 days and 5% of her ideas implemented, I have grown my LinkedIn following organically by 25% (more than 1,200 new followers) and attracted 10 business enquiries, one of which has already paid.
LinkedIn has become my new social media home, a combination of useful business tool, incredible free university, and positive mindset. And people like Dina are doing amazing work paying it forward to help others, while developing their own businesses along the way.
It is time to meet this young lady…
Dina Calakovic describes herself as a professional copywriter who also runs a marketing consultancy.
She is a health freak, loves boxing & dancing, gangsta rap, and is very passionate about her business. She claims to suck at numbers, and discovered her purpose with writing.
1. Full disclosure, a few months ago I and many on LinkedIn had never heard from you, but now you are absolutely my favourite person to follow on LinkedIn for your amazing advice, and I am now one of almost 30,000 fans. Tell us first where did you come from and how did you get here?
Wow, thanks for your kind words – it means a lot.
I started posting in October 2020. Back then I had only 700 followers.
At first, my purpose was to attract high-ticket clients as a freelance copywriter.
I wanted to build Authority in my industry, and make potential clients chase me, not vice versa.
It was quite a challenge because I was a newbie, competing against senior copywriters who have 10+ years of experience, huge portfolios of work, and have worked with big brands.
But I knew exactly what I needed to do to get there.
So here are the exact 10 steps I took, opposite to most copywriters:
1. I’ve never worked for an agency. You’ll hardly earn big $$$ working for somebody else.
2. I’ve studied copywriting for 10hrs/day a year before I started writing for clients. Instead of starting with little knowledge & charging small fees, I wanted to start big.
3. 12 months before I’d started studying copywriting, I’ve learnt everything I possibly could about LinkedIn. And created the Authority Building Strategy.
4. Once I was armed with copywriting & LinkedIn knowledge, I started sharing copywriting advice in my posts.
5. I made sure to use the “SHOW, DON’T TELL” principle. That’s how you prove your skill, regardless of the number of projects you have in your portfolio.
6. Instead of posting often, I was posting 2x/week. Each of those posts took me 2-3 hrs to create. I was focusing heavily on Quality.
7. Besides posting, I made sure to write a killer LinkedIn Profile. I knew prospects will be looking at my profile before deciding to buy.
8. I was writing pro bono for my friends who already had businesses. They were amazed with the quality of my work, and the word got out.
9. I was investing a lot of time into networking, helping people & building my LinkedIn tribe.
10. I had the “you need me, I don’t need you” attitude on sales calls, even though my wallet couldn’t back it up. It worked.I landed my first client after 4 weeks of posting on LinkedIn, and the rest is history.
2. You started a business with a partner over a year ago, and you only met in person for the first time this week. Tell us how that worked.
We met back in March 2021 on LinkedIn. Stevan’s posts caught my eye, and we started talking.
He blew me away. Not only did he have extensive marketing knowledge, but he was also an amazing human being.
At the time he was working in a startup that was going nowhere, his wife was pregnant with their second child, and he was making no money.
Meanwhile I was teetering on the edge of burnout, working 24/7, and desperately needed help.
After he decided to quit his startup, I asked him to help me out with some projects.
He accepted, and our first mutual copywriting gig was a major success. It was a LinkedIn Profile for a Senior Executive looking for a job.
Long story short, the Profile we wrote attracted Recruiters from Microsoft, Amazon, and Zalando.
Soon we had more work to do. So one project quickly became 3, 5, 7.
After that, starting a company together was a no-brainer. 🙂
We finally met in person last week, and had an amazing time!
3. You write brilliantly and consistently with free copywriting tips on LinkedIn, strongly advocating for the power of LinkedIn as a place to write original content. Why are you so passionate about LinkedIn, and why do you think LinkedIn is different?
What I absolutely LOVE about LinkedIn is that it’s a very supportive platform, full of positivity and encouragement. People will go the extra mile to support you and help you out. Not to mention you can learn a lot, especially if you carefully choose who to follow.
But keep in mind that you need to first find out where your target audience is. It makes no sense to invest all of your efforts into LinkedIn if your target audience is on IG for example.
LinkedIn is a great platform for service providers, especially for high-ticket services, so if you’re one – LinkedIn is a place to be. 🙂
4. In your latest post on 7 reasons why you should start writing on LinkedIn, you claim that “You won’t need to chase business opportunities. Ever again.” Is that really true? Can you give some real life examples?
If you know how to build Authority on LinkedIn, and position yourself as a “go-to” person in your industry, you will never ever need to chase people, clients, jobs, or projects again. All the juicy opportunities will be chasing you instead.
I’ve never sent a single outbound message, never been a member of pods, never paid for LinkedIn ads, or any automation tools, and managed to grow a highly engaged audience in just a couple of months by writing quality content.
Within 9 months, I was already receiving 5 business inquiries a day.
The best part is – not only do you attract inbound leads with your content, but you also attract people that resonate well with you.
Like attracts like, and your content will attract people you actually enjoy working with. There’s nothing more rewarding than that.
5. Your top 5 copywriting tips for people starting out in the space with a low marketing budget?
Low marketing budget? Start writing.
Buy a couple of e-books from reliable sources (they are always relatively cheap), educate yourself, and just start.
– If you write 1 post a day,
– Every month you’ll publish at least 20 posts.
– If each post lands you 100 eyeballs,
– That’s already 2,000 people being aware of your brand.
– In one year we’re talking about 24K potential clients.
Use that potential.
1. The first sentence needs to grab attention. (the Hook)
2. Make it about the reader. They are the Hero, not you.
3. Delete 50% of the words. Cut to the chase asap.
4. Form is important. People rarely read big chunks of text.
5. Either share another perspective on the subject, actionable advice, or motivate. Combo works like a charm.
6. You gotta give it your all. If you feel like your advice is not helpful enough, rewrite.
7. Use data & numbers as much as possible to back up your claims.
A bit more than five, but it’ll do.
6. You recently wrote and published an excellent e-book, LinkedIn Hook Templates: Start Your Posts Like a Pro. Tell us a little about it, and what kind of reaction you have had (full disclosure, it is the first ebook I have bought in 15 years)?
Yup, the Hook book was our first product, and recently we published our second ebook “15 Steps To Writing a Killer LinkedIn Profile”.
What is it all about?
Hook is the first sentence of your LinkedIn post, and its job is to stop the scroll, and grab people’s attention – so they keep on reading.
But the thing is – there are thousands of posts on people’s feed, and grabbing attention is far from an easy job.
Even if you write the most valuable post out there, chances are nobody’s gonna read it if your hook sentence is weak.
That’s why we made 67 copy-paste Templates with examples that you can use to start your posts, and spark curiosity with ease.
We made the Templates from my posts which got us from 0 to 1,500,000 Post Views and 5 Business Inquiries per day on LinkedIn in just 9 months.
Our second product is the 15-Step Framework behind the Top 0.1% of LinkedIn Profiles.We basically described in detail the exact 15 Steps we took to write dominant LinkedIn profiles that provoked instant responses from giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Zalando SE.Plus, we included top picks from our best performing clients’ profiles. We’ve broken down each profile, showing you exactly which techniques were applied where – so you can steal from the best we have, and turn your profile into your 24/7 Sales Rep.
The reaction was amazing. You can check out the testimonials we got on our products’ landing pages.
P.S. We already have one freebie ready to go out along with our Newsletter launch soon, and more products to come of course. 🙂
7. And finally, what’s next for Dina Calakovic?
A newsletter where we plan to give out even more value to our audience, show them what to do short-term, and how to think long-term.
We are also going to launch more digital products, which will help our audience to attract & convert clients with writing.
Personally, lots of travel with my boyfriend Simon, gym, and good food. 🙂
You can follow Dina Calakovic on LinkedIn.
What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning – Business and Dalmatia.