When it comes to social media sites LinkedIn is undeniably where all the money is at. With the average family income of LinkedIn users estimated at $109,000, 4 times that of Facebook users, there is surely money to be made on the platform . This week, James is joined by Los Silva, Digital Branding strategist and co-author of Local Marketing for Busy People, who reveals his LinkedIn traffic hacks, including a very powerful LinkedIn Groups strategy.
- Tips on how to get started on LinkedIn.
- Why patience is a must when working with LinkedIn.
- The essential elements of a LinkedIn Profile.
- Getting your Profile headline right.
- Why testing your profile regularly works.
- The connection strategy.
- Tips about LinkedIn Groups.
- What’s the best scenario to create your own group?
- How do you invite people to join your group?
- Why these alternatives to LinkedIn ads may be the better choice.
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Welcome back to Traffic Jam, the show where you access world class traffic experts every single week and learn how to build and grow a profitable audience for your website. I’m James Reynolds and this is Episode#6.
In this week’s show, all focus is on LinkedIn, and I’m speaking with Los Silva about leveraging LinkedIn groups for strategic prospecting, community building online on LinkedIn, and setting up your LinkedIn profile to get more LinkedIn search traffic and maximize your conversions.
Following my chat with Los, we have this week’s news in traffic where we have all the latest news in the past week in online traffic generation, plus there’s the one minute traffic tip and this week’s Traffic Jam track, so stick around until the end of the show for that.
But for now, let’s dive in straight in to this week’s interview with Los Silva.
James: Today I’m welcoming on the call, author of the book Local Marketing for Busy People, international speaker and considered one of the top LinkedIn Marketing and business trainers in the world, Los Silva. Welcome to the call Los.
Los: Hey, what’s going on, how are you?
James: I’m good, I’m good. How are things for you?
Los: Good, good, busy as always.
James: Ace, that’s great to hear. Let’s kick things off Los, let’s first of all give our listeners a little bit of a background on who you are and what you get up to as a LinkedIn Marketing and business trainer and any other activities you might have going on right now.
Los: Yes, so basically I have been doing online marketing and things like that for about ten years. I started testing things on Facebook, and when everyone became a Facebook guru I just moved on to LinkedIn. I started really realizing the power of LinkedIn on a B2B level and just really focused all my attention on it for a significant while and we helped business to business corporate heads redevelop good relationships on LinkedIn, strategic one on one messaging, also building communities, which is a little bit different than just doing groups, and just doing LinkedIn stuff forever and kind of moved on to a lot of other things, I’m a partner in various other companies and softwares including Digital Marketing companies, we do digital publishing, it’s called knowledge.ly and a lot of other cool things really – the online world has been good.
James: Fantastic! Let’s drive straight in this topic of LinkedIn and let’s start off with a bit of an overview of what it’s all about. What would you say, to a novice starting out, are the key pillars of becoming successful on LinkedIn that we should probably cover in today’s interview?
Los: Yeah, so the key things are really understanding who you want to target demographic wise and who your niche is and who you’re trying to send your messages to. Also something that most won’t probably say, but patience. It’s not immediate – you’re not going to make a hundred million dollars in the next five minutes, push button style. You are going to develop great business relationships and you are going to be able to capitalize those in to long term relationships and authority and niche as well. Those are the main things. A lot of people focus on your bio, but it’s not as important as really putting the time in to LinkedIn. Yeah, you have to have a strategic message and it’s important to have the keywords, but it’s not 99% of it. A lot of people think, oh yeah, if I just fix this then I’ll have flood leads that come in everyday and I’ll don’t know what to do with – but that’s not the case. It’s really an overall structure in developing the whole higher system with LinkedIn from the bio, to the messages, to the groups you joined to, possibly if you are looking to build up your own community as well.
James: Excellent good! Well, I’d like to start off by talking about getting the basics right and perhaps we could start by talking about the profile section, because I’m sure we need to get that right before we start engaging people and pushing people towards our LinkedIn page. What are some of the essential elements to setting up a profile on LinkedIn that’s going to convert people looking in that profile or to perhaps interested parties who later want to do business with you?
Los: Well, the first thing is we want to have an all-star profile. And what I mean with all-star is LinkedIn will actually tell you, it has this little circle and it keeps filling up as you keep filling up your profile and when you are at the top, you’re at the all-star level. So you want to make sure that everything is congruent – you have the proper message in their in your bio, from the headline to the previous and current work positions, your education, all the way to your background and businesses that you have done or are doing seals an expertise section and is also something that you can have figured out. And focusing on adding maybe a little bit of your personality, so adding slide shares or adding YouTube connecting back to your blog, really having the entire brand of you essentially, visible on your LinkedIn profile.
James: Got it, cool. What about getting your name and summary section right? I see a lot of people on LinkedIn who actually kind of change the way their name is position and add in you know, a sort of description alongside their name on what they do. In my example, it might be like, James Reynolds SEO Consultant. Is that advisable or not?
Los: It is not something I would advise, I definitely think you should have something about your services on the headline, but that’s not the way I would word it. Because essentially, you are competing with people, if I am going to do a search on LinkedIn, because LinkedIn is essentially a search engine, and I am looking for people and I am looking for SEO consultants, a hundred and fifty of them- way more than that, but you know, I’m going to see a huge list of people that all say they are SEO consultants so I don’t know who to go to, I’m just looking at the top three or four and kind of browsing through to get an idea but if yours says, we get you to the top and we keep you there! Inquire for more details. That’s what I want, I want to be at the top and I want to stay there. I mean, what do you do? Maybe then I talk to you and you give me a free report and you show me how you’re not a fly by night company and we start that relationship. It all started really because your headline was something that grabbed my attention rather than just something bland and generic.
James: Fantastic! Are you willing to share an example Los, like what would be a good headline, perhaps using me as an example, and I might just go and swipe this on my LinkedIn profile by the way so if you come up with a good one, I’ve got rights to steal it from you. What would be something that would catch attention and be very effective?
Los: So off the top, something with Click Jam, which is PPC, I will basically say something like “Saving you Money While Growing Your Brand in PPC”. I will have to think about it a little but something that says saving your money while at the same time just boosting the conversions so that – “Saving Your Money, Boosting Your Conversions, Ask Me How” or maybe you were featured somewhere, let’s say you were featured Tech Rancher, any publication, it does not matter if it’s a local publication – you can say, saving you money while building your brand as featured in xyz publication. Ask me how. You are forcing people to say, okay, I will ask you how, because we also like to be lead so if you position it that way, it is more likely to get someone to inquire on your services and say, hey, so what exactly do you do? Because it’s a little bit blind and it’s a little bit attention grabbing. So you want that. You want someone to go, oh who’s this guy? Cause they’ll be searching for someone like you so its good that you create something that creates that conversation internally for them.
James: Got it man! Sorry I put you on the spot there. But what we’re really saying here is open a loop, create some intrigue and just move away from the ordinary resume style in your profile listing. That’s really the crooks of what we’re talking about is stand out, be different and create some intrigue to those viewing your profile.
Los: Yeah, and when you’re developing your profile. It is important, because as I said, it is a search engine so you should have strategic keywords placed in your background and in your past and previous position, but don’t go crazy spammy. A lot of people that are actually in the SEO, if you looked in to people that say SEO consulting in LinkedIn and you actually look at their previous positions they don’t even have a niche in, they just say SEO a hundred and fifty thousand times. And that alone, I would not want to work with you if that’s what you have cause you’re a spammer so if you are getting me good SEO, it’s probably the shady kind, and I don’t want that- you know what I mean. So be strategic, speak of things that you’ve done and it’s not that difficult to rank on LinkedIn to be honest with you because people are doing it wrong. So just fill up you current position and previous positions and have some stuff on your expertise and in your summary as well and you’ll be fine. I think that when you get recommendations and people add keywords in there as well, it actually boosts your ranking. Also, If you are very well connected, If you have x amount of connections, it also boosts your ranking as well.
James: Got it! And I’m sure this new sort of feature that has come onboard quite recently, endorsements has perhaps got to influence where you rank within the LinkedIn search engine. If, again, someone was to endorse me or people would endorse me many times over for the skill SEO, I’m sure that it will have some weight as to where I’ll appear in a search for the phrase SEO consultant. That would make sense anyway.
Los: Yeah, I totally agree with you, so being strategic, from your whole perspective of the profile from skills and expertise to the background, previous and past positions, to the summary, even the headline, that whole thing strategically placed keywords and really building more about yourself – not a bland I do PPC management and this is some companies I’ve worked for- you know, kind of just putting a little bit of who you are in there really works with people as they read that.
James: Excellent, cool, and what about some of these more ninja strategies? You mentioned earlier embedding YouTube videos, and embedding slide shares. How do you go about doing that?
Los: There’s a section in LinkedIn which is basically the more section and you can go out there and you can add different things to your LinkedIn. You can go out there and add polls; you can add your blog, YouTube, Slide share. It’s just at the top of LinkedIn at the top, right next to the search bar so just going in there and there’s a lot of other sections, there are a lot of other sections so just go in there and look at what else you can add to help your LinkedIn kind of grow it. Actually, I am looking at LinkedIn now and I could not find it, which is weird, because LinkedIn has been changing a lot of stuff, I’m wondering if they’re actually changing this about them as well.
James: Yeah they move fast right? They seem to be updating a lot of stuff quite recently.
Los: Yeah, they took events off and they took LinkedIn answers off. And I don’t know why they did that because LinkedIn answers was very good. Now everybody who used to use that will just go to Quora, but I guess they know what they’re doing.
James: Got it, okay, let’s just have a little summary at where we’re at: We said to complete the profile info, we mentioned some form of benefit driven title and summary to stand you out, we talked about strategic placements of keywords to make sure that your profile is relevant for search. Is there anything that we’ve missed in getting that perfect profile set up?
Los: That is it. Just finish every single detail and add all your information. LinkedIn will continue to tell you, hey you’re missing a little section would you like to fix this section? I noticed here that you did not put a notification, something that I always test, I’m always testing different things and one of the things that I always test is on my previous and past positions. I always test, basically add a different location, or I will try different locations because on a keyword a lot of times people could search Orlando SEO, so I am more likely to be the first person to pop up than just a guy who has SEO. So I’m always changing things like that as well and I’m always changing my keywords. LinkedIn is actually cool with giving you a lot of data and you can see who’s searching for what kind of keywords, who’s viewed your profile and what kind of keywords have been ranking. If you go at the bottom of your profile page you can see the top keyword searches and demographics, so always switch that out and you can see what can be working better. Some words are not working great and you need to be consistently testing to see if better words are working for you.
James: Got it. One question I wanted to ask before we kind of move on to a different topic, is there any strategy around connections? What’s your strategy around who you accept and who you invite to be a connection? You kind of being like an all-in guy and just accept whoever requests to be a connection or are you more selective? Is there any strategy around that?
Los: I’m an all-in guy and the reason is that I’m in an identity business with people. If I already know you, it’s either I’m already doing business with you or there is not something in common that I would do with you. So I need to get new people in the door. Essentially, you can look at it as you are getting a lot of inbound leads. And something that you can do differently in LinkedIn as well, you can see as you add people, you can view who among them has viewed your profile. So you can go to that section in profile like I said, and see what they do, what their position is. And if it’s a match to what you can offer, I approach them and then I say, hey I noticed you’ve viewed my profile, how can I help you? Is there anything? I have looked at your website and I saw XYZ. – start conversations. You might not even get him as a client, but they might know someone who does. The thing about LinkedIn is that everyone is out there to run a business. No one is looking to see who ate what as a sandwich, pictures of a cousin; the average person makes about $150,000 on LinkedIn, so they’re there to do business -to broaden their networks and do business. So it’s pretty cool when you start developing relationships, you can basically get to a phone call to see if you guys have something, it’s like that, rather unlike Facebook, it’s way a lot more than just fun. Everybody there is thinking about it secondary, like hey let’s do business, but with LinkedIn it’s the primary purpose. You’re there to see messages, to see what else is out there, to read business news and to talk to people about business.
James: Yeah I guess people are already on that business mindset so they’re ready for that sort of kind of thought pattern, somewhere unlike Twitter or Facebook where it’s a socially orientated platform you have to kind of change their mindset and to talk about business rather than what they’ve just eaten for lunch or dinner before you can move on forward. Good! This is good stuff Los and I’d like to explore the conversation that we’ve just started about prospecting and how we would identify good people to engage and how we would engage them using LinkedIn search. What are your strategies around that?
Los: Well, if you are, let’s just say a consultant looking to do consulting for companies, my favorite way to do prospecting is using groups. Rather than creating my own group, which you totally can and I’ll get to that in a minute, but rather than doing that, it’s a little bit more time consuming and a longer strategy, I go out and I look for the best groups that are already out there. I do research and I look at the demographics and the data on these groups and basically from there and start prospecting. So say I’m a consultant. I’ll join groups, not so much about consulting, because I am one of them so it will be just the same group of people looking for the same opportunity for people who offer the same service, it doesn’t make sense. But so many people out there would go and do that; I would go out there and attack different markets. I would go in to a group of doctors. Why? Because there is no marketer there. So I would go in there and I would give them education on marketing strategies and different things to do with corporate recruiters, and marketers don’t really go in there. So I go in there and I dominate in there, because I show them different stuff that we can do with LinkedIn, show them different stuff we can do with Facebook and give them strategies to give their branding. So this niche that I sort of develop from looking outside the box. I also like to target different countries; I like to get in to speaking and do different things like that and the best way to do it is get it all paged for free, so I go out there, I go in to groups, you take groups that do real estate. Most marketers are going to be in there therefore if I go in there I have to educate them enough so that I can become the head position in that group, an influencer, so to speak, that everyone’s going to look for me and get guidance because they are in that group to look and see how they can improve their business. So it makes sense that I will educate them. Another quick way is to also leverage the group by creating a relationship with the group owner. I look at groups that have a significant amount of groups on them already so what I do I become an influencer of the group. Then, when I have already given value, I go out there and I approach the owner and say, hey, I’m an influencer in your group, I love what you guys are doing, I know it gets tiring to get a proper content. I’d love to see if I can give you guys a presentation, of course not to pitch anything, I’d like to teach you guys how to be the best real estate agent using LinkedIn or Facebook and if you guys love it then you guys can message me and if not, I’m happy to do it because this group has helped me significantly. Most people are not going to say no I hate great information right away and they’re going to love it and they’re going to say sure, but what you need to think is that if someone has a 35,000 person group, which is very common in LinkedIn, that’s an email list. That is potentially an auto responder. They can go out and they can send that, hey guys Los is going to do a great presentation on how to be a great XYZ and it’s going out to all 35,000 people so it’s a quick way to build a following and get new prospects coming in that are business minded, so that’s something I really love doing and there’s a plethora of groups so if you guys want to steal this strategy it will literally result in money for you.
James: Got it! Well, I am sure there are plenty of people listening to these who would go and steal that strategy Los, so let’s just review some of those criteria for groups: you mentioned A, looking up verticals and one that’s not your own so for a consultant, not to enter a consulting group, and you also mentioned the size of a group, you mentioned 30,000 – is this the ideal criterion or is it some sort of model filters that we should be using in selecting the groups to enter?
Los: I will give you exactly what I do, step by step. I go in, step 1, and I search for groups, one, I search for a local group, two, I search for an international group, and three, I search for a large group in a particular niche. So I focus on three groups at a time, because I don’t have time to go into 50 groups and go crazy. It wouldn’t be realistic. So I focus on these three groups and l look at the metrics on each group – LinkedIn gives you this for free. LinkedIn, if you go in to the groups and go in to the more section, then you can look at the activity in to the group, you can see if they have a lot of people or if they have a little bit of people, you can see the engagement, you can see all the activities in there, are they directors? Are they managers, entry levels, senior position, or vice presidents? I can see the demographics, I can see the growth of the group, I can see the activities and the active members that engage and if there’s none, I’m going to get out of there and I’m going to get a group that has a lot of people, and it’s growing and it’s active – that’s the goal so I’m going to join that group and I will put my time and effort in to that group because LinkedIn is going to say, hey this is a great group; it’s growing and it’s got a lot of engagement. So that’s the kind of groups I’d focus on and basically I’d go to work. I’d start giving value, create relationships, another thing here is that if I had a third party connection, I actually can’t message them. But if I’m in the same group as them, it’s like a hack, you can message them directly. So I start seeing people who are also active on the group and I start messaging them for inbound relationships. So it’s a simple strategy but the more you test LinkedIn, the better it’s going to be.
James: This is good stuff Los! So what sort of activity then are you posting in the group? You mentioned kind of value. In your case you would perhaps be posting about sort of marketing advice and things relating to internet marketing- is that what you’re doing?
Los: Yeah, basically, I’m posting content that I may have, or content that is relevant from other sources, I’m posting questions and asking people what question they have so I can just sit there in the actual group and answer them so most of all my stuff is just giving people content and giving and giving them slowly by connecting people personally starting with a small conversation and seeing how I can help, usually taking that to a phone call. You can, most certainly, if you don’t like making phone calls, you can take to an email, and sort of continue the relationship there. But it’s easier for me to just build a relationship from a phone call because you can get a lot from a phone call than between emails.
James: And you also mentioned building your own community and strategy. When that might be appropriate? Give us an example on how that might look.
Los: It’s appropriate for a variety of people and companies so if you are a small enterprise and you guys have the personality, you guys have the time, then it’s great because you can put other people in charge of that and they can do it. If you are a solo entrepreneur, it’s something that’s going to be a little bit harder and it’s going to take some time, so I do not suggest you do that. I would suggest you just listen to the part where I basically told you to hack groups and connect with the owner to do webinars. That’s better for you. But if you are a small, medium business, you do a lot of B2B stuff, it’s great to essentially build a community – it’s initially the funnel for your social cycle because you’re cherry picking people that come in to your group, you’re giving them information that’s relative to your content, or your service or product, and then having someone manage your group, follow up with them, see if they have questions, see if they have issues, obviously building relationships in that community, and then basically building the initiation of your normal sales cycle or into whatever you have. Maybe it’s into webinars, maybe it’s straight in to phone calls, maybe its rapid fans who are engaged in 100% of the product and service that you are trying to deliver.
James: How do you invite people in to your own group? Is that only through your own connection or is there other ways to go about it?
Los: You can invite people to your own group through your own connections; you can invite people to join your group, basically through any way. You can just give them a link, hey join my group, you can connect people individually and say hey guys join my group, you can connect with people in other groups and say hey if you like this group then you might want to try this other one which is very similar a lot in engagements and relationships and like that so it’s unlimited ways to invite people. You don’t need to be connected to me unless I make the group private but if I’m looking to do business with new people I would never make the group private.
James: Alright, what about LinkedIn advertising? There are a few people I know that have started doing it with mixed results so what’s your experience with LinkedIn ads?
Los: I would not put my money in to it, I would rather put my money in to Facebook ads or Google, but you certainly can if you are a larger corporation is more about branding yourself and developing a certain kind of position in the marketplace because then that gives a significant number of people more on that kind of the B2B market, but if I want more immediate results, I just can’t get the money on LinkedIn. I can get my clicks so much cheaper even on Google for certain terms, so it’s just much better. You can create a much better Facebook sequence I think, in my opinion. I think majority of the people that are spending money on LinkedIn are bigger corporations and I really do think it’s for branding. If the break down the numbers, I don’t think the ROI is there, but you know, I most certainly can be wrong in certain cases.
James: Yeah, well I checked out the CPC’s and comparative they seem to be quite high, somewhere between $2- $5 per click, compare that to Facebook which is a tiny fraction of that amount and definitely delivers results. Perhaps it is better to stick your marketing dollar in Facebook.
Los: Yeah, exactly. And Facebook is doing so much more for you to market. You can do sponsored stories, you can do promoted posts, and you can do just Facebook ads, then you can target them with a custom audience, I mean you have so many more options and things like that so I’d much rather do Facebook ads.
James: Excellent! Well Los, we’ve gone on for almost – thirty minutes have flown by. What sort of final words can you leave for everyone who is listening in to this podcast?
Los: If I can pass on some words of wisdom, I would say be patient with LinkedIn and really focus with developing your network. A majority of people on there are truly in there to do business, you just need the right approach and really make it about them at first, because no one wants to be sold on the initial conversation, so just think that you don’t want to be sold on the first initial conversation that starts with you so don’t try to sell people, try to offer value and good relationships and that network will take you very, very far.
James: Excellent! Where can our listeners find out more about you?
Los: If you want to find out more about me, you can go to LosSilva.me.
James: There you go, that’s nice and easy. I’m sure we can all remember that nice short link, and I’ll make sure of course that it’s posted beneath this recording on TrafficJamCast.com so wherever you’re listening to it, head on over there and we’ll make sure the links are placed there for you to easily find Los and connect with him after. Los, thanks for today, you’ve shared some awesome stuff and I hope to catch up with you again soon.
Los: Happy to help man! Thanks for having me.
This week’s news in traffic, beware! Your Facebook ads targeted to an American audience may be reaching Nigeria and other places. Dr. Harlan Kilstein has revealed in a post in AllFacebook.com how is US targeted Facebook campaign was attracting a large number of people from Nigeria opting in to his email list. How did this happen? It’s been revealed that Airtel Nigeria has recently begun offering free Facebook connectivity to its subscribers without using the internet. Just by dialing *688# the Nigerian Facebook user has free and unlimited access to Facebook. Apparently, Facebook marketing does not detect Airtel’s Nigerian subscribers who click on ads and subscribe to things they are interested in. But since they are unable to pay for the products or services they have signed up for, it’s putting a drain on the advertisers account. This was the situation that happened for Dr. Harlan Kilstein. If you have ads targeting the US market also, then just beware because you too may have ads that are not reaching the people that you think they are.
In other news, LinkedIn introduces mentions. Linkedin has a new way for you to engage with your network through the ability to mention your connections and companies in conversations on LinkedIn. So how does it work? It’s pretty straightforward. Begin by typing the name of the connection or company in your status update box or in the comment field in the homepage. Then select someone from the list of your connections that appear on the dropdown, complete your status or comment, and post it. The person or company you mention will then receive a notification, alerting them that they have been mentioned.
So the function is essentially a replica of Facebook mention functionality so we should expect this to increase conversation on LinkedIn and should catch on pretty fast because people are familiar with it. It has rolled out from English speaking countries on April 4th and other countries should follow shortly.
I’ve had some really nice comments this past week and thank you to everyone who sent me emails, Facebook posts or visited the site and added comments. Here are just a few from the past seven days; first of all there was Nancy who checked out the Scott Stratten interview and she said, “James this was the first time I’ve listened to Traffic Jam, I have enjoyed it and will be back.” So thank you Nancy.
Barry Cumming says, “Phenomenal content from Traffic Jam. If you’re using Facebook in your Digital Marketing strategy, you have to listen to this and then implement.” He was checking out the Jen Sheahan interview from last week, which seems to be a popular episode, because it had also a really nice comment from Ernesto Verdugo who said, “James Reynolds never ceases to impress me, he has one of the best podcast I have heard about the latest of the latest, happening on Facebook. I would surely recommend it.” Thank you Ernesto, I always value your comments and I value everyone’s comments and if you have one, please head on over to TrafficJamCast.com, leave a comment there in the comment section, or leave us a review over at iTunes, I would appreciate that.
The One Minute Traffic Tip; wherever possible, we should of course be building an email list from our website, perhaps using a service like Aweber, or Office Autopilot because when you have a list of subscribers, each time you add a new blog post, or perhaps a new product or service to your website, You can inform your subscribers and instantly get traffic to your web pages. This of course is traffic 101. All simple stuff!
But how do you get the highest number of click through rate from your emails? Here are a few quick tips. First of all, keep your email body brief. The aim is not to place all the content in the email but just to evoke curiosity and to encourage the click through so keeping it short and sharp is best.
Include several hyperlinks to your target page and use a different call to action each time so you can trigger the click in a different manner. Those links should be in a larger text so they stand out from the rest of the email, perhaps H1 or H2 tags. H1 does work really well! The bigger the better I find.
Also include an image in the email which too, should be hyperlinked to your target page, and the best performing is an image of a video player with a play button so it actually likes you can play a video within the email, that gets a lot of curiosity and people clicking on it.
So there are a few quick tips. If you want to see exactly what template I use for my emails, and want to swipe it over for your own use, head on over to TrafficJamCast.com and subscribe to my email updates. I’ll send you an email each week when I announce a new episode using this exact format I describe here and of course get some free goodies too so well worth doing.
That rounds out Episode#6 of Traffic Jam I’ll be right back next week with another interview and all the very latest and greatest traffic tips and news. So if you’ve enjoyed this episode, please leave me an iTunes review and I’ll give you a shout out next week.
Playing us out this week is the MK Dub version of the 1992 classic house track, Can You Feel It.
THIS WEEKS NEWS IN TRAFFIC
ONE MINUTE TRAFFIC TIP
THE TRAFFIC JAM
Chez Damier – Can U Feel It
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