How to Drive More Traffic from SlideShare

Eugene Cheng, with over 3,000,000 views on SlideShare, brings you everything you need to know to get your first SlideShare presentation done right now.

SlideShare is where it’s at for continued conversion and engagement with your audience. It might feel overwhelming with the design and content and so many other presentation decks out there. We’ve got you covered on how you can get your next SlideShare ready to go sooner than you think.

In this informative episode, Eugene Cheng of HighSpark shares the entire process from beginning to end of how to get a successful SlideShare published quickly.

You’ll learn how to gather the idea for your first deck, to the design and font choices, all the way to getting it read and shared by your target audience. If you don’t think SlideShare fits into your marketing strategy, you won’t want to miss this episode. Eugene Cheng makes it easy for you!

Tune in to learn …

  • How to come up with your SlideShare idea
  • The critical importance of your deck’s headline
  • Who to reach out to before you even begin
  • How to choose your font and color schemes
  • The importance of images
  • What goes into a great introduction
  • Why listicles work so well for SlideShare presentations
  • How easy it is to upload your SlideShare presentation in LinkedIn
  • Where you can embed your SlideShare presentation for even more reach

The Show Notes

How to Drive More Traffic from SlideShare

Voiceover: Rainmaker.FM is brought to you by Digital Commerce Institute. Do you want to build the business of your dreams without squandering time and money, stumbling around to find the right path, or making unnecessary mistakes?

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Voiceover: This is The Missing Link, with your host, the insufferable, but never boring, Sean Jackson.

Sean Jackson: Welcome to the Missing Link everyone. I’m your host, Sean Jackson, and I’m joined, as always, by the artistic Mica Gadhia. Mica, how are you?

Mica Gadhia: I’m excellent, and I am an artist. How are you, Sean?

Sean Jackson: I’m very good even though it is very early for this recording, by the way.

Mica Gadhia: It is?

Sean Jackson: And the reason is because Mica booked us a guest who’s all the way in Singapore.

Mica Gadhia: I’m so excited.

Sean Jackson: If I sound a little off today, it’s because I haven’t drunk my 10 cups of coffee yet, but I’m getting there. Yes, we said ‘artist’ because today’s episode is going to be about SlideShare.

Now, SlideShare has been around for a long time. It got acquired by LinkedIn. Now it’s part of the LinkedIn ecosystem. It has, in the past, been proven to be a huge driver of traffic for people who do slides right. They’ve made some changes recently, as well as the fact that there’s more competition out there. Mica, who’s the person in Singapore you got for us to talk about this?

Mica Gadhia: Oh, I’m so excited. His name is Eugene Cheng, and he’s this very young, energetic, hugely intelligent, and very, very talented presentation designer.

Sean Jackson: I love it — and the fact that he got three million views, that his first time on SlideShare he got to the very front page. I was like, “This guy’s got a story that we have to share with everyone.” I think you’re going to be blown away, like we are, with the advice and information that he has to share.

Sean Jackson: So, Mica, as everyone knows—as everyone knows—the content of the show is driven by our super-secret LinkedIn group. I keep on repeating it because there’s way, way too much information in there for you to ignore. While we’re at the break, I want you to do exactly what Mica’s about to tell you.

Mica Gadhia: All right, so here’s what you’re going to do during the break. You’re going to pull out your mobile device. You’re going to text 41411, enter the keyword ‘mylink,’ take out that space, mylink, and text us. You’ll get set up right away. If you’re outside of the continental United States, you’re going to send us a quick email at MissingLink@Rainmaker.FM.

Sean Jackson: It’s that simple, folks—41411, text message with the keyword ‘mylink,’ all one word, or MissingLink@Rainmaker.FM will get you into that super-secret group. When we come back from the break, we’re going to have Eugene Cheng, who is going to deep dive with us on the secrets of making powerful SlideShare presentations—as well as how to get them viewed. Stay tuned.

Voiceover: The Missing Link is brought to you by the Rainmaker Platform, the complete website solution for content marketers and online entrepreneurs. Find out more and take a free 14-day test drive at Rainmaker.FM/Platform.

Sean Jackson: All right, we’re back from the break, everyone. Mica, introduce our very special guest all the way from Singapore.

Mica Gadhia: I know. I’m so excited. I’ve been looking at all of his stuff. Eugene Cheng is with us from HighSpark, and he makes amazing presentations on SlideShare and has reached over three million views.

Sean Jackson: Hey, Eugene, thank you for being on the show.

Eugene Cheng: Hey. I’m glad to be here. Thanks for the very humbling introduction.

Sean Jackson: Of course, of course. Well, for all of our listeners, this is Eugene’s first time on a podcast interview, so we’re going to take it easy with him for a little bit. All right, Eugene, let’s go ahead. For some background, first off, what really struck me is that you are very young. At least compared to Mica and I, you are very young. You got into this at a early age.

Give our audience just a little bit of background on how you got involved with it, how old you were, what you’re kind of doing now with it in a very short way.

How Eugene Got Started on SlideShare

Eugene Cheng: I started on SlideShare when I was 19. I wanted to repurpose one of my school presentations, and I kind of went overboard. I took a month to make the SlideShare, which was the presentation Jedi Deck. The decks I do, it was How to be a Presentation Jedi, and I worked on it for a month. I got on the front page.

After that, I just went on it full on, and months later, I started an agency, which at the time was called SlideComet, which is now called HighSpark, where we help corporate leaders tell their stories better through, well, obviously, telling better stories and along with preparing presentations as well.

Sean Jackson: Got you. You were 19. You took this Jedi mind trick, basically, and you get on the front page of, get a ton of views. That is just amazing as your first experience, so you figured, “Hey, I got this down. I can make a living doing it.”

Eugene Cheng: Yeah. I think that’s exactly how it went. From that very first deck that I put up and when I got all that views from the front-page feature, I suddenly got a lot of emails. For a 19 year old that’s still in school, it’s kind of overwhelming. I got contacted by people all the way from the UK, and people started asking me, “Do you do freelance?” and all that kind of stuff.

Sooner than not, I got a request. I got a phone call actually from this guy from a large Japanese ad agency, and he said, “Hi, is this Eugene?” I’m like, “Yeah.” He said, “Can you come in tomorrow?” I said, “Who are you? How’d you get my number?” and all that. So, that’s how it was from SlideShare, and many, many, many of those came after that. To date, SlideShare still drives me and my company leads. It’s fantastic. It really is.

Mica Gadhia: That is so awesome.

Sean Jackson: It really is. By the way, getting that much traffic for your first time at any age, okay, forget 19. If you’re 49 like I am, holy cow. It also shows that the worldwide reach of the SlideShare universe and the fact that presentations matter.

I want to start deep diving into this with you. I really want to understand the mechanics of creating a very powerful SlideShare presentation from the very beginning. Obviously, you trained a lot of people. You do a lot of it.

Let’s start off, say that I want to use SlideShare similar to the way that you’re using it as a lead generator for my particular business — because we’re marketers after all, and that’s what we want to do. Start us with the very, very basics. What should we be concentrating on first when we’re thinking about using SlideShare to draw more traffic to our business?

How to Come Up with Your SlideShare Idea

Eugene Cheng: We need to understand where SlideShare’s role is in your marketing funnel or in your marketing ecosystem in first place. Many see it as more of a, “Oh, you know, I can put my stuff up there” — they don’t think about where it’s going to lead, which is the very core of where everything is going to fall into place. You have to decide on what the SlideShare is going to lead into, what your goals are, what your objectives are. It could either be engagement, or it could be conversion.

In this case, let’s say if you want to shoot for conversion, which means maybe you want to collect someone’s details, you want to make a sale, or something like that. Most of the time, SlideShare is a medium. It’s more of a content-marketing-related medium where you’re putting content up.

You want to get authority and expert status, as opposed to making a sale from the get go. But I’ve seen people sell books on it, although I don’t always recommend it unless you had the chance to build a following from the beginning. What I recommend is, decide on what you want.

Let’s say, in this case, you want to get some opt-ins for your mailing list or something like that. The simplest thing that you could do — let’s say you’ve made your SlideShares, and you’ve been doing it for awhile — is to include a call to action at the end, which goes without saying. The content should be very related, one, to what you do, the kind of industry you’re in, and the expert topic that you want to be an expert on, as well as related to the lead magnet you have at the back.

Some people also see SlideShare as more of a simple solution where you can just put stuff up there, and it just works. You just get leads, and you just get business. It used to be that way for awhile, especially when I started many years back, but now it’s evolved into something else.

Not to say that it’s not as good — rather, they’ve sort of diluted the views simply because the front-page traffic used to get hundreds and thousands of views if you got on the front page. Now it’s more of like 3,000 onwards. They are putting the onus on the user to do the promotion on their own.

Sean Jackson: Okay. Let me go ahead and back up on for that second. You’re making the logical overall case. I want to start back at the very, very beginning. First off, it’s 8:00 in the morning my time. It’s 10 pm your time, buddy. I’m slow this morning, so work with me on this.

Let’s go ahead and run through the very beginning steps. I agree with what you’re saying. Think about the strategy up front, and absolutely get that where does this place in your marketing mix — really put some thought before you just throw up on the page.

Let’s go ahead and start first. Talk to me about the initial steps after I’ve come up with the strategy. Am I working on a story? Am I thinking about visuals? Am I using PowerPoint? Am I using Keynote? Again, I’m really old, Eugene, so you’ve got to work with me in a very slow fashion. So work with me on the beginning.

Why You Want to Start with a Story and an Outline

Eugene Cheng: Okay. You’re right — you start off with a story. You start with an outline. If you don’t have any idea what to put up. you can reuse something that you already have, or you can do what we did. We re-purpose content from somebody else, but obviously with permission.

One of our more famous SlideShare’s, which is the really bad PowerPoint one, it’s based off Seth Godin’s ebook, which we asked beforehand whether we can repurpose, and that’s been a great hit. Simply because 1) the content is good because it’s from someone like Seth Godin, 2) it’s been re-purposed into a visual format where it just becomes a new piece of content that people are very keen to consume, and the third thing is that it’s relevant to what we are selling, which is presentation services.

If you can come up with something that 1) has the potential to bring influencers into the mix, 2) is going to be very relevant to your brand and what you’re selling, and of course, 3) can get you up and running fast, then you’ve got a good formula. Coming up with the story is the very first step. Second thing is obviously to think about the design, which I think some people might struggle with, so I have more focus tips on that later if we cover that.

Sean Jackson: No, bring them now.

How to Choose Your Font and Color Schemes — and the Importance of Images

Eugene Cheng: Well, for design, the process that I do is slightly different from what other people do. I get on PowerPoint/Keynote, but I’m more familiar with Keynote. Both mediums are kind of the same. If you’re not really a designer type of person, I recommend you use a platform like Canva, which really simplifies the whole process of creating color schemes, choosing the right typography, et cetera.

I will start with the design, focusing on picking one color. One color that ties in with your brand or the content that you’re putting out, so just one color, and one neutral color — which can be white or black. It’s as simple as that. Then you got your color scheme.

You pick one typeface or font, depending on what you call it. One typeface or font that has a family, which means that is has different weights. I’ll give you an example, like Helvetica Neue Bold or Light, or Arial and Arial Bold, but I don’t recommend using Arial. There are a lot of free sites that give you a lot of free fonts, and it’s been said many, many, many times.

My personal recommendation for people who are getting started on a SlideShare is not to focus on making it really pretty. It’s more focusing on getting it up fast and getting it up with a certain quality within a short period of time. The easiest way is to just do colors that contrast with each other, big fonts that have a family, and even images-wise, every slide should have one visual to represent what you’re saying.

Sean Jackson: Got you. And that’s important right there. One visual to represent what you’re saying. I do think that, again, you’re telling a story. The visuals are there to enhance the story, which is the message that you have on the slide, et cetera. So many times people just run up five bullet points, one right after another, thinking, “Hey, I need more room to communicate.” So that was very important.

Let’s keep going on this. I started with my strategy. I’ve got my story down, maybe re-purposing some other content. I love the fact that you used Seth Godin. That was brilliant. You come in, you’re really trying to figure out how to craft that story up, maybe using Canva, getting a good font family, getting your two colors, a primary neutral and a primary color to work with your brand, with the concept, etcetera. I’ve got my Keynote open, or I’ve got my PowerPoint open. I’m putting these things together.

Walk me through the general structure of the storytelling in PowerPoint. Again, I want leads, buddy, okay. I want some leads in this thing. I want you to start walking me through that structure. I’ve got everything opened up, and I’ve got a good image resource. Walk me through from that first slide and how I’m arching, maybe, my story in that PowerPoint presentation.

What Goes into a Great Introduction and Why Listicles Work So Well for SlideShare Presentations

Eugene Cheng: Okay. There are many different types of content. There’s no real hard-and-fast rule in how you structure it, but I’ll give you a formula that has been proven to work so far for us. I always start with, one, is deciding what you want to let them take away. That’s the first thing, and depending on the content that you have, it’s always good to start the introduction. I’ll give you an example again.

We helped this company before, I think it was called Rocketshp. What they did was, they wanted to compile growth hacks — so 10 different growth hacks that were going to help people skyrocket their business results. In the end, the way that we structured it was pretty, I would say, logical and easy to follow. Listicles are the best and the easiest types of SlideShare’s to create simply because it’s a no-brainer how you put it together.

The distinction here is that you want to have an introduction at the front to tell them why you’re creating this piece of content and why it’s important to the specific person that is looking at your content. You want to qualify your audience before they get into the meat of your content. That’s the first thing.

Second thing is to really give them things that are novel. Ever since I started posting stuff about presentations, there have been so many people posting this about similar stuff, and now it’s becoming so saturated with content that it all looks the same.

From the get go, you really have to create something that is a different angle from what is already there. The simplest way to do that is to search the term that you are going to be posting about, and whatever you see there, don’t do the same things. Different angle, tell a different story, and see how you can communicate that in a different way.

After that, try to keep it in a very logical fashion. In a one, two, three format, or just break up your points into bigger categories. You have to remember, you’re not going to be able to walk your audience through there with your voice. There’s no one speaking. Your slides have to stand on its own.

Sean Jackson: Got you, and that makes a ton of sense, by the way, and I love the idea of listicles to start with. First off, they respond usually very well to the audience, and people will engage with them. It’s just an old trick that everybody knows about, but it’s a good way to get started.

The other thing, too, by the way, yes, you had a huge amount of success on your first one, but most of us humans, I should say, will not have that. I will always encourage people to just get started. Get in there. You’re going to suck at it, so take the time to do it now. Follow Eugene’s advice about structuring, and then you will refine it over time. Quite frankly, your instructions are just point-blank simple to follow, which is good because then you will start to refine and engage in the craft more as you publish more.

Let’s go through — you’ve given us the set up. I’ve got my presentation. I’ve got my listicles, a logical structure. I’ve got a strong call to action, which Mica and I covered before on a different episode. That’s what marketing is about, folks, is calls to action.

Now I’ve got this presentation together. Now I’m ready to go into SlideShare, so walk us through that. I got my presentation deck. I’m happy. I’m comfortable. What’s the things to know when you’re going in and creating up your SlideShare account. Again, it’s part of LinkedIn, so if you get your LinkedIn, then it’s part of it. Walk us through that mechanic of getting it online.

How Easy It Is to Upload Your SlideShare Presentation in LinkedIn

Eugene Cheng: Okay. When you upload your SlideShare, there’s going to be options for you to fill in a couple of fields. First field is obviously the title. The title of the SlideShare is the most important thing in all those fields that you can fill out, simply because it has to be SEO optimized if you want to get traffic to it.

More than 50 percent of SlideShare’s traffic is from direct search — either to the site or either through Google search. A lot of our presentations have been SEO optimized. Not only has it gotten a lot of traffic from direct search, it’s also directed a lot of that traffic to our sites. Now our site is SEO ranked for a couple of keywords as well.

You have to make sure that you do a bit of research. You put a lot of effort into creating a SlideShare, but the second part of it now is about promotion more than anything. When you upload your deck, the title that you select should be a keyword that you might want to rank for.

The Critical Importance of Your Deck’s Headline

Eugene Cheng: Even if get a lot of views on in, fantastic, then you want to rank for the keyword that you get a lot of views on. Well, after that, there will be a couple of other fields about tags and descriptions and all that — which I feel could help with your SEO optimization, but it doesn’t help as much as the title.

Your title is so important. Once you key it in and you don’t change it for a while, it’s going to be stuck as your URL as well. You need to ensure that you pick it very carefully — plan it out before you even hit the upload window. If you do and then you get stuck with the URL that you don’t like and you don’t want to rank for, you can’t change it after unless you re-upload your presentation and delete this one.

Sean Jackson: That’s awesome. I had no idea. That is great. The title is most important. You think there may be some efficacy with the description and the tags related to keywords, but it’s the title, which makes sense to anyone who’s ever written that the title, the headline matter the most — because, I didn’t know this, it is the basis of your URL as well.

I get my presentation uploaded, following your advice for the title, focusing on that, descriptions, keywords, get it up into the upload feature. What else about the upload? I want to spend the rest of our discussion about getting views to it, so is there anything else about the upload process our audience should know?

Where You Can Embed Your SlideShare Presentation for Even More Reach

Eugene Cheng: There’s nothing much else to it. SlideShare has made it really easy to upload your SlideShare, but they haven’t made it as easy to promote your SlideShare nowadays. Because you usually get a lot of organic views, at least you used to, but nowadays, they are really putting the onus on you to handle the promotion.

Even earlier on, we’ve had a lot of friends who were some of the top SlideShare users on SlideShare, like Slides That Rock and Power Presentations, and even they have been giving feedback that it’s not been as effective as before. Simply, it’s because they’ve been using it on its own.

You have to remember that as a marketer or as a business owner, if you really want to get traction from the platform, you need to use it with your existing marketing touchpoints. What I mean by that is that you have to link to it from different places. The best way to get views on it is to embed it on different sites. Embed it on your own sites. Embed it on sites that you don’t own. The best way to do that is through guest posts or by mentioning influencers in your deck.

Who to Reach Out to Before You Even Begin

Eugene Cheng: I haven’t talked about this as much as I should, although I mention it about Seth Godin just now, you can target certain influencers. Get their feedback. Do an interview round of sorts, or you can re-purpose a piece of their content, and get them to promote it for you if you’re lucky and if you’re a nice person.

That way, you’ll be able to piggyback on their traffic and eventually get your own following from theirs. When you’re just starting out, it’s very difficult to get organic traffic yourself if you don’t have extra help elsewhere.

The first piece of content to put up is collect ideas and opinions from different influencers. I’ve done that before with one of our SlideShare decks, I can’t remember exactly what is was called. But the compilation was pretty simple to do. I just crafted an email, and I reached out to a couple of SlideShare users that I thought were doing a great job. I asked them a couple of questions, and in the end, their answers were the basis for the whole SlideShare deck.

It got on the front page, and it got a lot more views because all these influencers were promoting it to their following. That’s a good first piece of content to put up if you’re really trying to get into the game.

Sean Jackson: I love that.

Mica Gadhia: Wow, yep.

Sean Jackson: There’s going to be big things coming from you, buddy, because I’m telling you, I’m mesmerized totally with what you have. I want to go in a little bit more on the sharing side. You’re very, very smart in the advice that you’re giving out there, and I want to go into a little bit more detail on it.

First off, you do have that embed code out of SlideShare. Obviously, you’re going to make your slide deck public. There is a private setting with people who have the link only. You want to make it public. You want to get the embed code, which is HTML. Obviously, if you have a site, you’re going to want to put it on there. That’s going to help.

I would probably suggest putting a page together that has its own headline with some text descriptions, with some links in it, as well as the embed code. Then, of course, I would also put it into a Pulse post because, obviously, Pulse, being part of LinkedIn, is integrated very nicely with SlideShare. That’s another way of getting free syndication traffic — by publishing it on the Pulse network with that slide deck embedded into it. Again, your advice is dead on.

Finally, this just killed me. I was thinking this when you were talking — that yes, if you’re just starting out, go ahead and get influencers engaged with your content somehow. Some of the best way to do that is exactly what you said — which I love. I love that idea.

Okay, what are some of the other mediums out there? We talked about guest blogging, posting on your site, posting on Pulse, getting influencers involved. Obviously, if you have other social media accounts, you’re promoting it that way. Is there any other source of syndication that you could see to get additional traffic to it?

Email Marketing to Your List as a Source of Syndication — Focusing on What Works

Eugene Cheng: The most I can talk about is email marketing, which has really helped a lot because you re-market the users that are already interested in what you’re saying. That’s one of the easiest low-hanging fruit to grab. Other than that, a lot of methods will be out of reach because it will take too much time.

Rather, you want to focus on the things that 1) have been proven to work, and 2) will get you the most results with the least investment of your time — like I mentioned is piggybacking on someone else’s traffic or using the existing influence that you already have with an existing following.

I don’t want to tell them that there’s a golden way to promote your content that no one has been telling you about. It’s really a lot of hard work to get the following that you want. There’s no shortcut around it except doing the work for it, then sit and wait.

Sean Jackson: But here’s the thing, Eugene. You gave a great point. I want to go into this. I didn’t think about emailing your existing people with your SlideShare presentation — so see? There was actually a way. Let’s talk about that for a second. Is that simply just a link out there? Have you found that you can embed the actual presentation into an email, or is it a link out to it?

Eugene Cheng: You only can link out to it. You can’t embed your presentation in your email.

Sean Jackson: That’s right, okay. I just wanted to clarify that. That is also important. We sometimes forget that we do have an audience out there that we can communicate out via email, which is kind of the point of some of the sites that we’ve got is to capture email addresses. Again, a great, great point, and that really covered through what I was looking for.

Eugene Cheng: Oh, man, I’m sorry. I kind of missed it.

Sean Jackson: No, no, no. You’ve got it, man. This is your first time, and you’ve done awesome, all right, buddy?

Eugene Cheng: No, I’m so nervous. Can you tell?

Sean Jackson: Don’t be nervous. You’re doing great.

Mica Gadhia: No. I can’t tell.

Sean Jackson: I have to tell you again, Eugene, how much we truly, truly appreciate you being on the show and sharing these absolutely tips of wisdom. The fact that you’re in your young 20s but you’ve been doing this, you’re kind of an old pro at it, has been awesome. Again, the fact that you’ve doing it since you were 19, you’ve been figuring out the nuances, you’ve been contacted by companies worldwide, again, basically through the efforts that you’ve been sharing on the show, to me, is awesome, buddy. You’re doing great. I’m thrilled to death.

Eugene Cheng: Thank you.

Sean Jackson: Also, we’re going to end up with just a little plug for you because you are putting together a presentation, a learning course basically. You’re putting together a course now. It’s not yet available, but you are working on a course that you’re going to release out. When can our audience expect to see that course potentially?

Eugene Cheng: Actually very soon. We’re planning to release it in the middle of March. It probably will be about March 17th-ish.

Sean Jackson: Which is probably going to be right around the time period when this comes out, buddy, or a little bit afterwards. If you’re listening to this, Eugene will have his course out there. We’ll include it in the show notes — by all means, go take a look at it. Again, the information that he’s been sharing is just the tip of the iceberg, I have a feeling, in what they’re creating up in their course. Eugene, thank you for being on the show, buddy, really appreciate it.

Eugene Cheng: Thank you so much for having me, guys.

Mica Gadhia: Thank you.

Sean Jackson: Mica, I think that’s been another episode. I’m glad we got Eugene on, by the way, because I really wanted to deep dive into this. I just love, love the fact of how he started when he was young, how he had the initial success, and then, of course, it blew up from there. He really was able to find his own path through basically taking what he knew how to do and sharing it with others.

I think that’s been a fantastic episode once again, Mica. Good job getting Eugene scheduled.

Mica Gadhia: Truly excellent, and I will tell you, guys, check the show notes. I’m going to put in Magnetic Headlines ebook. I’m going to put Canva. I will put a link to his presentations that are amazing and definitely something to learn from real time. Check the show notes for all the resources.

Sean Jackson: Absolutely, and this has been another episode of The Missing Link. We’ll catch you next time.

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