Alex Su (Ironclad): TikTok for B2B
Blake: Today's conversation is a follow up to my longer conversation with Alex Su, who's the head of community at Ironclad. In that conversation, we talked a lot about his TikTok channel, Legal Tech Bro, and how he developed a personal brand strategy that complements Ironclad's community focused go- to- market strategy. So if you haven't heard that yet, go check it out now. In today's episode, we dive much deeper into TikTok specifically and why you shouldn't overlook this huge new channel as a B2B marketer. Why should B2B folks care about a B2C app like TikTok?
Alex Su: Because the content you create from TikTok is so shareable. The reason why I think TikTok are so ubiquitous is because people are sharing them. If you look at other social platforms, they require you to download their app or log in. TikToks are so shareable. So TikTok as a platform, by giving up the need for people to log in, they actually become more effective and widespread because people are downloading them, they're texting them to each other, they're Slacking them to one another. So I think that's why they're so valuable. They work obviously for teenagers and consumer products, but in the B2B world, breaking through the executive audience is very hard, and if you can create something that's entertaining and easily shareable, it's much easier and efficient to get in front of them.
Blake: And for your own videos, where do your ideas come from and how do you decide what to record next?
Alex Su: I have a few different themes that I always hit upon. For example, the struggles of working at a big law firm, or the tension between sales and legal. My general rule of thumb is I need to have an overarching theme to the video. And then on the tactical side, I start thinking about building out a script. So on the themes, I think it's generally got to relate to the legal audience. It generally has to identify an unspoken truth that everyone knows, but no one talks about. So that could be how sales people always give you contracts to review at the last minute. Everyone knows that, but nobody really talks about it because nobody wants to make anyone look bad. So I lean into that. And then on the tactical side, it's usually a 15 second skit. And I do very short one. Sometimes I do longer one sometimes, but I think the 15 second skit is my most popular one. I try to find trending sounds and pair up the sound with the skit. And so if it doesn't always work with all the trending sounds, but if there's a trending sound that lends itself to building out a good script, then I jump on it. And then I start record... So I write down the dialogue, and so I'll have people talking back and forth, and there's always a punchline. The punchline is super important. So I almost write it backwards. I write the ending before the beginning, and I tweak it. Once I've written it out, I kind of film myself, and sometimes I'll dress up for it. Other times I won't. But I feel like some of my best performing videos were ones where I just kind of made in five seconds. Some of my worst performing videos are ones I spent an hour or two trying to make. So it's hard to predict these things, but I think the process is generally you want to hit on a theme that that's relatable to people, that hits on a pain point everyone knows that no one talks about. And then for building out the script, it's got to be a trending sound and it's got to have a good punchline.
Blake: And you're experimenting with a little bit of a series right now, The Harvard Kid. What's that all about?
Alex Su: Yeah. When I first started making videos, I would make one off videos that did well, and I try to hit a next level, a harder thing to do that could actually generate more views, which is create a series. Series are hard because you want to pick something that people don't get tired of. And most of the time when I make series, people get tired of them. They're like, " This is stupid." But The Harvard Kid series, which is basically a series about a young associate who graduated from Harvard, who's kind of arrogant and talks down to other people at the firm, that one's done well. And the skit, I think the reason why it does well is because there's a strong hierarchy and focus on status within the legal profession, especially at large law firms. And a lot of that comes from, " Oh, where did you go to school?" And so the joke in The Harvard Kid series is this Harvard kid tries to be humble, and he talks about going to school near Boston so he doesn't have to say the Harvard name, and people make fun of it, or they pretend to not know. And I don't know why, but people love it. I think it's because not only does it relate to a legal audience of people who are... Everyone's worked with that arrogant person from that top school who talks down to you, but I think even people outside of the legal profession deal with that. So that series I've kept up just because people keep coming back for more. And there's probably a lesson here about paying attention to what your audience wants and focusing on creating that as opposed to what you want. I sometimes get sick of making the same videos over and over again, but sometimes that's just what's effective.
Blake: Got to give the people what they want.
Alex Su: Yeah.
Today’s shorter episode is a follow up to my longer conversation with Alex Su, Head of Community at Ironclad. In that conversation, we talk about his TikTok channel @legaltechbro and how he developed a personal brand strategy that compliments Ironclad’s community-focused GTM strategy. So if you haven’t heard that yet, go check it out now. In today’s episode, we dive into TikTok more specifically and why you shouldn’t overlook this huge new channel.