An interview with Dina Calakovic


July 27, 2022 – There’s a rising star in the world of writing and content creation on LinkedIn. Meet a young woman whose free advice is helping her a lot as she continues to grow – Dina Calakovic, based in Madeira, Croatia and Scarborough UK.

Two months ago, I had never heard of Dina Calakovic, but today I look forward to her next post on LinkedIn when I log on each morning. We have never met, indeed we only exchanged a few LinkedIn requests and a few emails for this interview, but in the few weeks that I met her on LinkedIn, I read most of her messages, I started implementing some of his suggestions 17 days ago, and completely changed my business model.

I haven’t implemented 95% of Dina’s advice yet (there are so many and it’s so good), but after only 17 days and 5% of her ideas implemented, I’ve increased by 25 % my follower count on LinkedIn (over 1,200 new followers) and attracted 10 business inquiries, one of which has already paid off.

LinkedIn has become my new social media home, a combination of useful business tool, amazing free college and positive mindset. And people like Dina do amazing work paying to help others, while building their own businesses along the way.

It’s 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 and dancing, gangsta rapping and is very passionate about her business. She claims to suck at numbers and has discovered her purpose with writing.

1. Full disclosure, a few months ago me and many on LinkedIn had never heard of you, but now you are absolutely my favorite person to follow on LinkedIn for your amazing advice, and I am now one of nearly 30,000 fans. First tell us where you come from and how did you get here?

Wow, thank you for your kind words – it means a lot.

I started posting in October 2020. At the time, I only had 700 subscribers.

At first, my goal was to attract high-budget clients as a freelance writer.

I wanted to build authority in my industry and have potential clients come after me, not the other way around.

It was quite a challenge because I was a beginner, 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 had to do to get there.

So here are the exact 10 steps I followed, unlike most copywriters:

1. I have never worked for an agency. You will hardly earn big $$$ working for someone else.

2. I studied writing for 10 hours a day a year before I started writing for clients. Instead of starting with little knowledge and charging small fees, I wanted to start big.

3. 12 months before I started studying copywriting, I learned everything I could on LinkedIn. And created the authority building strategy.

4. Once I was armed with writing and LinkedIn knowledge, I started sharing writing tips in my posts.

5. I made sure to use the “SHOW, DON’T TELL” principle. This is how you prove your competence, no matter how many projects you have in your portfolio.

6. Instead of posting often, I was posting twice a week. Each of these posts took me 2-3 hours to create. I focused heavily on quality.

7. In addition to posting, I made sure to write a killer LinkedIn profile. I knew prospects would review my profile before deciding to buy.

8. I was writing pro bono for my friends who already had businesses. They were amazed at the quality of my work and word got around.

9. I invested a lot of time in networking, helping people and 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 only met in person for the first time this week. Tell us how it worked.

We met in March 2021 on LinkedIn. Stevan’s messages caught my attention and we started talking.

He blew me away. Not only did he have extensive marketing knowledge, but he was also an incredible human being.

Back when he was working at a startup that was going nowhere, his wife was pregnant with their second child, and he wasn’t making any money.

During this time, I was on the verge of burnout, working 24/7, and desperately needed help.

After deciding to leave his startup, I asked him to help me on some projects.

He accepted, and our first mutual editorial gig was a great 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 business 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 LinkedIn writing tips, strongly advocating 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 and help you. Not to mention that you can learn a lot, especially if you carefully choose who to follow.

But keep in mind that you first need to know where your target audience is. It makes no sense to invest all of your efforts in LinkedIn if your target audience is on IG for example.

LinkedIn is a great platform for service providers, especially for expensive services, so if you’re one, LinkedIn is a place to be. 🙂

4. In your last post on 7 Reasons Why You Should Start Writing on LinkedIn, you state that “You won’t have to hunt for business opportunities. Never again.” Is it really true? Can you give concrete examples?

He is.

If you know how to build authority on LinkedIn and position yourself as the go-to person in your industry, you’ll never have to chase after people, clients, jobs, or projects again. All juicy opportunities will pursue you instead.

I’ve never sent a single outgoing message, I’ve never been a member of pods, I’ve never paid for LinkedIn ads or automation tools, and I’ve managed to grow a highly engaged audience by just a few months writing quality content.

In 9 months, I was already receiving 5 commercial requests per day.

The best part is that not only are you attracting inbound leads with your content, but you’re also attracting people who resonate well with you.

Like attracts like, and your content will attract people you actually enjoy working with. There is nothing more rewarding than that.

5. Your top 5 copywriting tips for beginners with a small marketing budget?

Small marketing budget? Start writing.

Buy a few eBooks from reputable sources (they’re still relatively cheap), educate yourself, and just get started.

– If you write 1 message per day,

– Every month you will post at least 20 posts.

– If each message earns you 100 eyeballs,

– It’s already 2,000 people who know your brand.

– In one year we are talking about 24K potential customers.

Use this potential.

Here’s how:

1. The first sentence should grab attention. (the hook)

2. Make it the reader. They are the hero, not you.

3. Delete 50% of the words. Cut to the chase as soon as possible.

4. Form is important. People rarely read large chunks of text.

5. Either share another perspective on the subject, practical advice, or motivate. Combo works like a charm.

6. You have to give it your all. If you think your advice isn’t helpful enough, rewrite.

7. Use data and figures as much as possible to back up your assertions.

A little more than five, but that’s okay.1658624916392.jpg

6. You recently wrote and published an excellent e-book, LinkedIn Hook Templates: Start Your Posts Like a Pro. Tell us a bit about it, and what kind of reaction did you get (full disclosure, this is the first ebook I’ve purchased in 15 years)?

Yes, the Hook book was our first product, and recently we released our second ebook “15 Steps to Writing a Killer LinkedIn Profile”.

What it is about?

Hook is the first sentence of your LinkedIn post, and its job is to stop scrolling and grab people’s attention – so they keep reading.

But the thing is, there are thousands of posts on people’s news feeds, and getting attention is no easy task.

Even if you write the most valuable message, chances are no one will read it if your catchphrase is weak.

That’s why we’ve created 67 copy-and-paste templates with examples you can use to start your posts and spark curiosity with ease.

We created the templates from my posts, which took 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’ve included the top picks from our top performing customer profiles. We’ve broken down each profile, showing you exactly what techniques were applied and where – so you can steal the best we’ve got and turn your profile into your 24/7 sales rep.

The reaction has been incredible. You can view the testimonials we’ve received on our product landing pages.

PS We already have a freebie ready to go out with our newsletter launching soon, and more products to come of course. 🙂

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7. And finally, what’s next for Dina Calakovic?

A newsletter where we plan to give even more value to our audience, show them what to do in the short term and how to think long term.

We will also be launching more digital products, which will help our audience attract and convert customers with writing.

Personally, lots of traveling with my buddy Simon, gym and good food. 🙂

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You can follow Dina Calakovic on LinkedIn.

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What is it like to live in Croatia? Expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting from the beginning – Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

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