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At the Round Table with Social Media Consultant, Vicky Oyomba

May 3, 2024

In this episode… 

LinkedIn is the primary social platform for expert witnesses to present their education, experience, and accomplishments. A complete profile is crucial, according to guest Ms. Vicky Oyomba, as LinkedIn’s algorithm is more likely to suggest posts and locate users with fully filled-in pages. From quality photographs to catchy, evocative taglines, attorneys are more likely to contact experts who put their best foot forward.  

Check out the entire episode for our discussion on LinkedIn’s privacy settings, SEO tips, and growing your network. 

In this episode…
Ms. Oyomba is the founder of VOE, a full-service marketing consultancy, specializing in social media strategy, thought leadership, and content creation. With over 15 years in advertising, she has helped propel a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 members to boutiques. Ms. Oyomba holds a master’s in advertising from Syracuse University. 

LinkedIn is the primary social platform for expert witnesses to present their education, experience, and accomplishments. A complete profile is crucial, according to Ms. Oyomba, as LinkedIn’s algorithm is more likely to suggest posts and locate users with fully filled-in pages. From quality photographs to catchy, evocative taglines, attorneys are more likely to contact experts who put their best foot forward.  

Check out the entire episode for our discussion on LinkedIn’s privacy settings, SEO tips, and growing your network. 

Note: Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

Host: Noah Bolmer: Round Table Group 

Guest: Vicky Oyomba: Founder of VOE 

Noah Bolmer: Welcome to Discussions at the Round Table. I’m your host, Noah Bolmer, and today’s guest is Vicky Oyomba. Miss Oyomba is the founder of VOE, a full-service marketing consultancy. With over 15 years in advertising, she has helped propel a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 members to boutiques. Miss Oyomba holds a master’s degree in advertising from Syracuse University. Thank you, Ms. Oyomba, for joining me here today. 

Vicky Oyomba: Of course. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here. 

Noah Bolmer: Absolutely. Let’s jump right into it. Social media can be a valuable tool, but also a potential minefield. What are the platforms that expert witnesses are using and what platforms should they be using? 

Vicky Oyomba: The main platform is LinkedIn. It is the world’s largest professional network, and it makes a lot of sense to use it. An emerging platform for expert witnesses that has been the topic of many conversations lately, is TikTok. There is a perception that TikTok is a place for young people to dance and tap into trends, but I think the platform has evolved into a place where you can learn, and it is becoming a search engine if you will. I think it’s a great place for experts to use. During the Johnny Depp trial and Britney Spears trials, many lawyers and expert witnesses talked about different elements of the cases and educated the app’s users about different elements to watch for. I thought it was insightful to see these people share their wisdom and knowledge on these social media platforms. 

Noah Bolmer: When people think about social media in general, they think about pictures of their cat, their family, and their private lives. Tell me about separating your professional life from your private life on social media platforms. 

Vicky Oyomba: I think it depends on the platform. We’re talking about expert witnesses specifically and I think we should focus on LinkedIn. I would argue that LinkedIn has gone from this place where you could only show your work self to this place where you can bring your whole self. I think for everybody on the platform, it’s about striking the right balance between how much do I want to share personally, how much do I feel comfortable sharing personally, and how do I tie in or align that with my personal self? I think it’s really a personal choice for everybody, but I do think there are limits to how personal you can get, I can argue. 

Noah Bolmer: Tell me about some of those limits. If you’re consulting and setting up an expert witness and they don’t use social media, what kinds of things they should be putting on LinkedIn, and what are the things that they should be avoiding? 

Vicky Oyomba: There are quite a few things that fall into this category. The number one I would argue is politics. That can be tricky for folks using LinkedIn to connect with potential clients or put their expertise out there. Clients have biases or personal opinions, so you really want to make sure you’re not falling into any one of those buckets because that could exclude you from potential opportunities. I would say that would be number one. And I think number two is watching what you say and how you say it. I think respect goes a very long way and leaving room for others to have opinions, even if you might not agree. I would say those are two very big ones. The last one is avoiding, misleading people or sharing misleading content. 

Noah Bolmer: What do you mean by misleading content? 

Vicky Oyomba: For example, we’ve all seen those like clickbait ads or clickbait content that don’t contain what they advertise. I think for experts, it’s about being clear and transparent about what it is they’re sharing. What their point of view might be. What they agree and might not agree with, and how they have contributed, if it’s something that they’ve written. These are important things for people to think about. 

Noah Bolmer: When a potential client is considering a person who is on LinkedIn, do they research that same person on other social networks to look for things like that? In other words, if they have an antiseptic LinkedIn profile, are they also going to check them out on Facebook for instance, TikTok, and Instagram to see what they’re really like? Is that something they should be worried about?  

Vicky Oyomba: I think that It’s important for experts especially to be cautious about what they’re posting for this reason, it’s not that everybody’s doing it, it’s that you don’t know who is going to be doing that. Make sure you have your i’s dotted and your t’s crossed in this area because everybody is on social media now. It’s become part of the vetting process to look at how folks are presenting themselves on social media and if there are any issues with how that aligns with a company’s values.  

Noah Bolmer: Once you’ve been on social media for a long time and say you are starting to use LinkedIn looking for a new job, does it behoove the expert to go back through their older posts on other social channels and either make them private or delete some things that might be controversial. In other words, do you need to go back and clean up older posts from 10-15 years ago or longer? 

Vicky Oyomba: Absolutely. It’s actually something I recommend everybody does at least once- at least once a year, regardless of whether they’re an expert on social media. It’s important to go back and understand what is aligning with the personal and professional brand I want to portray and what no longer fits with that. Making sure you’re able to edit those things out. Everybody evolves. We all know this. It is an important exercise, I think especially for experts who are looking to strengthen their presence on social media, on LinkedIn. It only makes sense to show up and put your best foot forward, and I think that’s definitely part of it. 

Noah Bolmer: We’ve talked about some of the things you should not be doing, let’s talk about the things that you should be doing. How active do you need to be? Do you need to be posting something every single day? What do you recommend that expert witnesses do and how often should they be engaging? 

Vicky Oyomba: I think the first thing everybody should do when they’re on LinkedIn is look at their profile and understand “is it complete?” Have you filled out all the different pieces? A complete profile is important because it increases your discoverability. Typically, on LinkedIn, your profile will rank higher in search results and even in Google search results, if it’s fully complete. It is also great for people who are looking for more opportunities because members with complete profiles will often get forty times more opportunities. I think it’s important to make sure that you filled out all the different buckets on your profile. Then I would say the next piece is content.  

When you think about your profile, you should make that first impression really count. You wouldn’t show up to an interview half-dressed. You should apply that concept to your LinkedIn profile. Then, your content is like when you’ve got the job, and now you really have to perform. Activity is extremely important. On LinkedIn, for example, how active you are helping the algorithm understand whether it should be showing your profile content to people. The more active you are, whether you’re liking content, commenting on content, sharing content, the more likely LinkedIn is to show your profile to other people and content to other people. It makes you more visible on the platform. 

Noah Bolmer: Let’s talk about the profile more specifically. What are the things that people neglect to do? What are the most important aspects of your profile on LinkedIn? 

Vicky Oyomba: I would argue that it is the headline, your summary, and your work experience. Those are also the most difficult pieces to fill out because they do take a little bit of thought and you do have to be intentional about what you want to say. I would argue that they are the most impactful pieces on your profile, and it also helps with SEO. When people are searching for specific things, what you write in these sections pops up in those search results. I would argue those are three things that people don’t love to do, and they tend to put off but are important. Then, I would say the second piece is your profile photos and your headline photos. I think for profile photos, I’ve seen all manners of profile photos, and I do think that there is room to capture something that is in focus so that people can see who you are. Background photos also help your profile stand out a little more. 

Noah Bolmer: When you’re talking about the background photos, do you mean the kind of banner at the top? 

Vicky Oyomba: Exactly. That cover photo is right behind your profile picture. 

Noah Bolmer: What are some of the strategies that you recommend in writing your summary and your tagline? Some people have a difficult time talking about themselves in that way. 

Vicky Oyomba: I would argue yes, it can be- it could be a little bit difficult. I will say one of the most important things, especially for your headline is making sure that you are presenting an elevator pitch of who you are–making something short, sweet, and memorable so that people understand exactly what you do or exactly what you offer. This is especially important because it’s one of the first things people see on your profile. It shows up next to your name and your LinkedIn search results. This is very important because it’s a quick connection for people who don’t know you to understand what you do and what you can offer them. 

Noah Bolmer: How about the summary section, where you talk about yourself more in-depth? It reads a little like a prose resume, a lot of the time. 

Vicky Oyomba: I do think folks should try to cut that piece down to one paragraph, maybe two. It’s important for people to think about a couple of different things. The first is who your target audience is. For example, if you’re an expert witness who wants to ensure doing expert witnessing full-time and you’re hunting for new opportunities, you want to speak to lawyers, so target your summary to lawyers. The first thing is to speak to the target audience that you want to reach. Making that first sentence count. People don’t read, so include one key takeaway you want them to know if they didn’t read anything else in that first sentence. Then the last one would include a story or an anecdote that is memorable so that when they’ve read your profile, they have one or two things to take away. It’s like a key story of how you were able to transform something or change and had an impact on the case, I think that’s important. 

Noah Bolmer: You mentioned SEO a moment ago. For those people who aren’t super hip to the Internet, let’s talk about search engine optimization. What that means and some of the strategies that people can use in their social media profiles to enhance SEO. 

Vicky Oyomba: SEO is “search engine optimization”. Many social media profiles pop up in Google searches, and it’s similar to how social media platforms like LinkedIn provide search results to their users. It’s keywords that indicate to people- specific categories you might fall into. For example, if I’m on LinkedIn and I’m searching for best practices on body language because I’m an expert witness, and that’s important to how I show in the courtroom, people whose profiles are specifically talking about body language and the different elements of that will pop up along with body language experts or things of that nature. It’s important in terms of how people search on the Internet and the way expert witnesses can include this in their profiles or in their content. It is understanding what keywords speak to topics that they want to talk about or what keywords align with what they want to be known for. 

Noah Bolmer: How do you implement or include some of those keywords without seeming phony, like you’re just trying to inject words at random and sounding like a ChatGPT or something like that? 

Vicky Oyomba: On your profile or especially in your summary, you can have a specialty section at the end, and you can use that to add some keywords that tie back to your expertise. Also, when you are writing your headline if you can get a couple of keywords in there, that’s really key. Then, in your work experience, you have so many opportunities to include those, whether you’re doing bullet points or paragraphs for each role that you’ve held, I think that’s another great opportunity to try to work some of those in. 

Noah Bolmer: When you mentioned earlier about engaging, writing, and posting, are those searchable on LinkedIn? In other words, if I like something or I follow a person, is that information available to other people, and the follow-up to that is, should you be careful about the things that you like and follow, even if it’s not something that you’re directly saying? 

Vicky Oyomba: Yes, to both these questions. The first concern around liking content. For example, if I was on LinkedIn and I just posted about body language and specifically I was talking about the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard case to bring it back to an earlier example- I posted this post and one of my connections, let’s say her name is Jennifer, has liked my post about this body language insight that I have. In Jennifer’s network, a lot of her connections might see that Jennifer liked this post, and so LinkedIn does use the content that you engage with to show other people to whom they think it might be relevant to. It is important to be intentional about what content you are interacting and engaging with on LinkedIn because LinkedIn will show your post to other people, whether it’s a comment or a like. 

Noah Bolmer: I want to ask you about a couple of extreme ends of the scale. One is somebody without lots of experience. Maybe they’re fresh out of school or they haven’t been doing a lot of things for a long time. They’re young. How do they go about making their LinkedIn profile seem complete enough that they can be an expert without seeming too sparse? If you just don’t have a million degrees and certifications, maybe you’re just getting into it. How can you pad it in a way that still conveys what it is that you do as an expert witness? 

Vicky Oyomba: One of the best things to do is the featured content bucket. Here, you can highlight many projects you’ve worked on, articles you’ve authored, and white papers you have done. It might not necessarily relate back to job experience quite yet, but a lot of those pieces are relevant to the field want to get into. I think that’s a great place to highlight some of the content they might not necessarily have for work experience, but they could show as relevant. That’s a great place. Another area I think could work well is the accomplishments piece. I know when folks are studying, or they’ve had some internship experience or even very little work experience, they have been able to accomplish certain things. I would argue that would be a great place to put those items. One last piece, and the most helpful way for people who haven’t had as much work experience, is just one or two lines highlighting the impact you’ve had in an experience is the best way to go about it. Less about responsibilities included, and more about “led a campaign that resulted in ‘x’ percent.” I think talking about your experience in tangible ways that show growth and success is helpful and could be bulleted so you can keep it short and sweet. 

Noah Bolmer: The other end of the spectrum is something that I run into a lot when I’m bringing on a new guest for Discussions at the Round Table is when they have so much information, have done so many things, published so many books, articles, and papers, and have 10 degrees and 40 certifications. How do you pair that down to make it digestible for somebody who might want to engage you? 

Vicky Oyomba: I love that. And also, imagine having that problem. Usually, it’s the other way around. That’s a great problem to have. One thing I think would work well is creating some kind of document that encapsulates all of these experiences. Again, that featured content document can be a good spot. Let’s say you have 40 accreditations and 10 awards. Those can be two featured content pieces and a packaged PDF that’s branded and talks about all of these things. Two places that people can go and consume that content and totality if needed. I do think another great piece is to just whittle it down to the expertise you think is relevant at the time. I think it’s important to edit. If you wanted to be known for the top five skill sets or top five accreditations, what would you put down and use that as a guiding point. 

Noah Bolmer: Let’s shift gears for a minute and talk about style, appearance, and demeanor- not necessarily the content, but the way in which you present it. You mentioned earlier that it is upon each individual to decide whether or not they want to mingle their personal lives into their professional lives on social media networks. How important is it that they maintain at least a bit of a businesslike more formal demeanor? Or can you just be your casual self even when you’re posting about something that is within the realm of your expertise?  

Vicky Oyomba: I will say it might depend on the industry. I’m from the ad industry. We’re very casual over here. But I do know for certain there are industries where being more professional is the norm and tends to be required. It depends on the industry, but I always recommend that people are 50% professional, and the other 50% can be casual. I say this because everybody has a work self, if you will and then who they are behind closed doors can be a little more casual, a little more friendly, or what have you. I do recommend that folks try to be professional and then sprinkle in their personality as they go along. I think that’s the best strategy because you never know if you’re meeting somebody who is a bit more conservative. It’s best to err on the side of caution.  

Noah Bolmer: How important is having a colorful multimedia profile? Do you need to have a combination of text, pictures, video, slide shows, and other multimedia elements? Can you just have text? Does it make a big difference either way? 

Vicky Oyomba: I think it’s the substance of the content. At the end of the day, that substance is what’s going to be driving LinkedIn’s algorithm to promote your profile or promote your content. Substance is the most important. I will say that it is important to think about different content formats. For example, if somebody is more comfortable with text or they can communicate what they want to communicate with text most effectively, then they should stick to that. I don’t think there’s any harm in exploring other content formats. LinkedIn, like a lot of the other social media networks, is prioritizing visuals and video, so I think it’s important to understand how you can present the information that you want to present in those popular content formats. I think it’s very important. I don’t think you need to shift your entire strategy if you’re finding that text-heavy content is working for you. I always preach to people that social media is not a one-size-fits-all, so your audience might prefer text. Continue with the text and then explore other formats to understand how your audiences are consuming that content and whether it’s resonating with them. 

Noah Bolmer: Is it important to have a big network? If you don’t use social media a lot and you don’t have a million friends on social media, how do you go about growing your network and is it important that you have a large network? 

Vicky Oyomba: I think it’s important to have a quality network, so quality over quantity. Then the other piece I would stress is that it depends on your goals. For example, if I am a sales executive and my goal is to really connect with a ton of people because I want to shout from the rooftops all the amazing things about my business, a large network makes a lot of sense. If I’m somebody who doesn’t need a large network where I’m trying to build my credibility and my authority in certain areas. I think the types of people you connect with are more important and building slowly over time would work best. That’s what I would recommend. In terms of building your network, I think it’s important to be intentional with how you are building your network. I think that it’s easy to connect with every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there. I think it’s harder to take a step back and understand who my target audience is. Who makes the most sense for me to connect with? Should they be Fortune 500 companies? Should they be Fortune 100 companies? I would try to target boutique shops and then understand from there how you can connect more with those people. LinkedIn is fantastic for this. Their LinkedIn sales navigator search functionality is top tier. You can get detailed with those search criteria, and so it helps you find and make the right connections. 

Noah Bolmer: Speaking of connections, I get a lot of this “person wants to connect to you” and then the message field is something like, “I’d like to join your network.” How important is it for somebody to customize these when you talked about being intentional? Is it important to customize those connection messages?  

Vicky Oyomba: Absolutely. I think it’s important to take some time to understand exactly who you want to connect with and any potential connection pieces they might have. You can look at their profile and see, “Oh, we went to the same college” or “Oh, we know some of the same people. I’ve worked with a few of them.” So, I think it’s important to personalize your note. It makes it more likely that your connection request will be accepted, and also, I think people do like to receive more personalized messages. It’s a win-win across the board. 

Noah Bolmer: Let’s talk about privacy settings. How can expert witnesses leverage privacy, functionality, and LinkedIn to better keep the things they want private and the things they want public? 

Vicky Oyomba: That is a great question because there are a couple of different areas that people might not necessarily think about. But I will say this, your privacy settings should depend on your goals. Again, going back to the sales executive example, if my goal is to connect with a lot of different types of people and gain visibility for my business and my offerings, it makes a lot of [sense] to set your LinkedIn profile to public so that it’s the most discoverable. It will pop up in search results and it will pop up in Google search results. This is the most beneficial for people looking to be more visible, but if you aren’t looking to be more visible, there are different things you can set your profile to. For example, make profile edits. If that is something that you don’t want announced to your audience, you can definitely toggle that off in the back end of your LinkedIn settings. You can also notify connections if you’re in the news. If you are looking to build that trust, credibility, and authority, that’s something that you obviously want toggled on, right? And when other people mention you, you obviously want that publicity if you’re looking. If you’re not, you can go in the back end and turn that off so members can’t mention you if you don’t want it. I think LinkedIn does offer some privacy settings that not a lot of people pay attention to, but it is there for folks who are interested in understanding how their privacy settings will affect their LinkedIn experience and how they show up on the platform. 

Noah Bolmer: Speaking of how you show up on the platform, let’s talk about location settings. Is it important that you reveal where you are? In my mind, this is a double-edged sword because I imagine that if I want to capture clients from the broadest area, I might be worried that they’re searching too narrowly, and if I put in my specific city, I might not show up as a result. Is that actually how it works?  

Vicky Oyomba: Well, I think today the geographical limitations have gone out the window, especially post-COVID, because there is an understanding that a lot of people can work remotely, and we’ve seen success with that. That’s less of an issue or concern now. However, I do think with location, again, it depends on the industry you’re in and the roles that you’re going for certain folks. I’ve seen them say they’re in the tri-state area. You can’t understand exactly where, but it’s broad enough to understand where they are. There are some ways to work around that, but it does depend on whether location is a requirement for specific opportunities. 

Noah Bolmer: Before we wrap up, do you have any last tips for expert witnesses who want to improve their social media profiles or their social media experience, particularly with LinkedIn? 

Vicky Oyomba: I would argue that being active on the platform is more important than having a complete profile. I think posting and sharing content is very, very important, and I typically like to give three or four key pieces of advice as people are looking to ramp up on LinkedIn specifically. The first one is picking two or three topics that align with what you want to be known for and then regularly creating content around those topics regularly. The idea is that you’re picking something that’s niche enough that will allow your expertise to shine, but broad enough you will never run out of content ideas. So, I would say that is the first one. The second one would be setting achievable goals for your LinkedIn engagement. This might sound silly, but after years of doing this and after years of working with both brands and clients privately, I’ve learned that about 90% of the hard work is about consistency. You have to plan and ask yourself, “How many posts will I share every week? How many posts will I like every week? How many posts will I comment on every week? And how many posts or articles can I write?” Then just stick to that, and if you’re consistent with that I think it can help. I will say I’ve read quite a few stories, but I remember one that stands out to me is this business coach. She decided to show up for 90 days consecutively on LinkedIn and create and share content related to her business. She mentioned that within 65 days, she had brought in $65,000 to her coaching practice because she was working with a lot of executive clients and founders. She had also signed up multiple private clients and had been able to enroll about 100 people into private courses and master classes. It goes to show you the power of being consistent on the platform. Then I would say the last two things to think about is content efficiency. If you are doing a video, can you turn it into an article? Can you turn it into two or three visual posts? The last one is always to check in on how your content is doing. On the back end of LinkedIn in the post and activity section, there is a place where you can see all your posts and how many likes you’re getting and impressions. I think it’s important for people to understand how their content resonates with other people. This can help them understand what’s working and then they can do more of that.  

Noah Bolmer: Wow, sage advice. Thank you, Miss Oyomba, for joining me today at the Round Table. 

Vicky Oyomba: Of course, it’s been a pleasure. 

Noah Bolmer: Thank you to our listeners for joining me for another Discussion at the Round Table. Cheers. 

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After a quarter century helping litigators find the right expert witnesses, Round Table Group’s network contains some of the world’s greatest experts. On the Discussions at the Round Table podcast, we talk to some of them about what’s new in their field of study and their experience as expert witnesses.

At the Round Table with Social Media Consultant, Vicky Oyomba

Vicky Oyomba, Founder, VOE

Ms. Vicky Oyomba is the founder of VOE, a full-service marketing consultancy, specializing in social media strategy, thought leadership, and content creation. With over 15 years in advertising, she has helped propel a variety of clients ranging from Fortune 500 members to boutiques. Ms. Oyomba holds a master's in advertising from Syracuse University.