01:53 – A year with LinkedIn
04:22 – Congratulations in order
06:43 – It starts with the profile
07:37 – A good headshot is worth it
10:43 – What your headline should say
12:38 – The most important thing
14:15 – Problem, agitate, solution
17:55 – Where it’s about you
18:22 – What most people miss
20:23 – Getting them to click
21:19 – The power of LinkedIn search
23:53 – Disappointments happen
26:15 – The importance of great content
28:02 – Kudos for engagement
29:53 – What’s possible on LinkedIn
31:42 – Quick summary
32:22 – Some closing tips
James: James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperfastBusiness.com. This is Episode 654. Today, we’re talking about LinkedIn. And for that, I’ve brought along someone who’s very passionate about LinkedIn. Julie Mason, welcome.
Julie: Hey, James, great to be here.
James: You have a website called LinkedSalesFormula.com. That’s very LinkedIn-themed.
Julie: Yes, yeah. And thanks for your tips. You notice that I’m not infringing upon LinkedIn branding. Yeah, I would say, in the 10 years that I’ve been teaching LinkedIn, that is the most comprehensive and supportive training I’ve ever created.
James: That’s fantastic. And you’ve been a part of my journey. I want to just start there, I think. You’re a member of SuperFastBusiness membership. And one day, I was posting in there that I’m not a huge fan of LinkedIn. And of course, you took huge offense to that, and corrected me. And you said that you’d be happy to help me out to get a better understanding of LinkedIn, something to that effect. And we arranged a little Skype call. And this is one of the privileges I have of running a membership with so many fantastic experts in their field. I’ve got advice on tap. And you hopped on Skype, and you sorted me out. You told me some things about LinkedIn that I needed to be aware of, and I set about to implement.
A year with LinkedIn
So maybe it’s worth talking about what’s happened in that last year, because I think it was about a year ago, for my own LinkedIn, and then you can fill in some of the gaps. Does that sound like a good plan?
Julie: I think that’s an excellent plan.
James: So back then, you told me to make sure that I make my bio better. That’s where people are going to look at, because it’s a personal platform. And then the name of the game, you said, is to have people looking at my bio. And back then I was getting about 134 people looking at my bio, and my profile. Back then also, I had about 1335 connections. So this is April 2018, that we had that. Now, one year later, I’m now getting almost 600 views to my bio, so that’s four times more. We have near on 5000 connections, so it’s more than three times more connections.
And I will say that I don’t mind LinkedIn now, it’s actually pretty good. It’s working well as part of our content syndication. It’s very easy to maintain, I’ve got a combination of my assistant and me operating it. I don’t know if you’re allowed to or not, but my team upload the videos. We put quite a lot of content, I think we do two videos a day. But I don’t have to do anything with that – my team logs in and posts it, and they put hashtags and sometimes a call to action in the comments. I think we found that it was better to put the link away from LinkedIn in the comments instead of in the original post.
Just as a side note, we fully caption the videos. We get lots of people viewing them. Some of those videos, I’ve had 1500 or 2000 views. So we get a lot of views in LinkedIn. I get people sharing them. And I do make sales from LinkedIn. And I’ve made some pivotal contacts. Someone from 10 years ago when I had a job was watching my videos over and over and then asked to have a coffee and we went and had a coffee. And then he ended up in our industry working with a client of mine. And that came about from LinkedIn, it couldn’t have happened any other way. And like, I explicitly said that. So it’s been a really interesting experience.
I do log in every day or two. And I check the comments on my videos and respond to them personally. And I also answer my messages which seem to be a little less junky than it used to be – they must have done something to clean it out a bit. And they have some really good AI happening. The proposed responses are very accurate. They’re often things that I would say, like a thumbs up or Will do, or Thanks, or No thanks, that sort of stuff. I’m enjoying the initiative with LinkedIn, it’s worked out well for me.
Congratulations in order
So what can you take from my experience there, based on what I’ve just said?
Julie: Well, first of all, congratulations. You know, I love hearing that. I’ve got a big smile on my face because it brings such joy to my soul when I hear people take action on simple things. This isn’t necessarily rocket science, it’s just really simple activities that anyone can do that can make a massive impact in their business, in building brand awareness and generating leads. It is very simple stuff, as you have found yourself.
“What you focus on is what you will see.”
And I was having a chuckle earlier because you’ve said that, I don’t know what’s happened, but there’s not as much spam. And I recall we had this conversation and I said, remember saying to you that what you focus on is what you will see. So if you think that LinkedIn is spammy, that is what you will see. But if you think LinkedIn is a place of opportunity, that is what you will see, and that is what’s happening for you now. Because you’ve changed your view on LinkedIn, you’re now seeing different things coming up, which is really important to understand. It’s the underlying mindset, really, for all business, right? You teach across the board in business, but I still believe, firmly believe that businesses 80% mindset, 20% skills.
So you’ve got the right mindset, first of all, and you’ve updated your profile. Really, that profile, I like to call it activating your silent salesperson. Because when you get your messaging right on your profile, it can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Then it just comes down to content marketing and following up with the people who you’re attracting into your circle of influence from that. So yeah, congratulations, James. That’s so awesome to hear.
James: Well, thank you. We like to implement from great minds. Even personally, I’ve had a lot of help from people with personal fitness and health right through to the business tactics. And as I said, they generally come from my own community, which is, I’m kind of spoiled. The other thing I was thinking about the other day is what a privilege it is to have a podcast like this, where I’m constantly interviewing people about best practice. So I’m keen to hear what you’ve got to say about generating leads and sales. Someone listening to this podcast maybe isn’t into LinkedIn, or maybe they’re sort of into it, but not getting the results they want. Where’s the low hanging fruit?
It starts with the profile
Julie: Well, let’s start them at the beginning. Because again, the first place to get really right is that profile. So I want to just go through a couple of tips for them to immediately implement, like you have, that will help get them underway on this journey. And the first thing is to really review and overhaul your profile. Most people tend to treat their profile as a little bit of a resume. And it’s not serving them. And to some degree, LinkedIn perpetrate a bit of the issues with not being able to generate leads, because in the bio section, or what they call it, it’s commonly called the summary of your profile, LinkedIn say, tell us your story when you set your profile up. And so you tend to write it all about you. But I really want people to flip that thinking around a little bit. And I want to give them the formula to write a powerful summary that will really attract their ideal clients.
A good headshot is worth it
So let’s just step through it. First of all, a headshot. It’s so critically important that they have a really good head-and-shoulders closeup of their profile photo, because that builds trust. And everything that I do on LinkedIn is all about building trusted relationships. Because when there’s trust, you can monetize that relationship. Without trust, you’ve got no chance. So LinkedIn tell us that a good profile photo will generate 21 times more views of your profile, and nine times more invitations to connect. So make sure you’re looking directly at the camera, you’re smiling, that you’re really conveying a trust by looking directly down the camera. And for some people, that’s really challenging because they’re not comfortable in front of the camera. But it’s worth it, people. I tell you, seriously worth it.
I can give you an example, I had a guy come to me after an event. He said, “Julia, I’ve been made redundant. You know, I would really like to see what I’m doing wrong on LinkedIn. I’ve applied for a ton of jobs.” And I said, “Okay, sure.” So we looked at his LinkedIn profile in the process. I said, “Tell me what you do.” And he said, he’s a forensic accountant and auditor. Well, first off, that’s what we call a sphincter-tightening type of position.
James: Nice expression.
Jules: Exactly, your bum cheeks tighten when you hear that, right? Because no one wants to have that role necessarily in their job. It’s not a position that brings fun and frivolity to mind, it’s something that brings nervousness and stress and scarcity, and all of that sort of stuff comes up.
And I said, Okay, cool. And he’s standing in front of me and he’s this really lovely gentleman. And I took one look at his profile, and I looked at his profile photo, and seriously, James, it look like he woke up and ate a bowl of lemons for breakfast. He looked like a Grinch. And I went, “Oh, my God, you’ve got to change your profile photo. You’re scary with your title, now you’re totally freaking people out.”
James: How do you deliver that news without offending someone?
Jules: Oh, just like that, you know, with a big smile and a lot of fun. I’m not out to offend people, but I am going to tell the truth, you know, without necessarily being mean or nasty about it. I just simply said, “Oh, my God, you’re already scaring people with this role that you do. But that photo is freaking them out. And you look to me like this really lovely gentleman. You’re not looking like this in front of me. Are you frightened of photos?” And he said, “Yeah, I really don’t like it.” “That’s it, I can tell that. But if you can overcome that fear, and do a relaxed photo, that will serve you really well.”
And the good news, he rang me back about four weeks later and said he got a job. And part of that was because now, people were looking at his profile and and responding to him. But they were just too frightened of who this person was. I mean, you don’t want to work with somebody who looks like a Grinch. So you know, things like that do really make a difference in how people will approach you on LinkedIn. So just making sure of your profile pic, it seems really simple, but I keep saying this, and it makes a massive difference to people as well.
What your headline should say
And the second thing is, underneath your profile photos, your name and your headline. The headline is your little 120 characters where you can tell people how you help them. And many people make the mistake of doing what I call a status update, they put in “The director of XYZ” company, and no one cares. They don’t care about that. And they have no idea what the company actually does, by just the name. Some company names are very obscure, so to say the least. So, put your value proposition in there. Tell people how you help them and what outcome they could expect. And I think that’s a great space to let people know that first little touch point. Because your headline, your name and your photo, follow you all around LinkedIn, when you post a comment, when you post something up on the newsfeed, when you invite somebody to connect, when you’re involved in one of the LinkedIn groups. It goes with you everywhere. And the headline from your profile, actually, is on your Google search results. So if you search your name on Google, your LinkedIn profile is usually quite highly ranking in that search results. And Google will pull your headline as that two-line description of your profile. Does it make sense?
“Tell people how you help them and what outcome they could expect.”
James: It does. And I see that the number there, you know, how many people found me in searches? I imagine that’s driving some of that.
Julie: Yeah, yeah. So this is your first impression. And when people search for the name, and Google tell us that 92% of Google users will search a company before doing business with them, and if they’re searching your name, let’s say they’ve got your business card, and they’re searching your name, and they come across your LinkedIn profile, and it’s not really showcasing the value that you truly offer, that could be the end of the journey for you. You know, so making sure all your online assets, including LinkedIn, are working to your favor is important.
The most important thing
So your headline, really important. But the most important thing is the summary, in my opinion. The summary is where you get to tell people a little bit about understanding you get where they are at the moment with a problem that they might have. This is for your ideal prospect. This is not for everybody. We don’t want to write such a broad profile that it doesn’t attract your ideal clients. You want to be quite specific with who you are after here. So doing your client avatar work, really knowing who it is that you’re targeting so you can write your profile, and that it speaks specifically to them.
So I want to give them the formula for writing their profile summary, step by step. You’ve got 2000 characters to do this. And if I usually say to people, hey, you’ve got 2000 characters to write your summary, everyone goes into writer’s block. But with a simple step-by-step formula, breaking down that paragraph by paragraph, people can do this really easily. And what they will see, like you have, James, is that they will see the number of people who have viewed their profile once they’ve changed this will rise significantly over time. Because now their messaging is attracting, they’ve optimized their profile for keywords that LinkedIn will go, “Ah, yes, you know, James is great for entrepreneurialism,” for example. Or for growing online marketing businesses. Whatever that might be, whatever the keywords that you’re after, they will start to optimize your profile and LinkedIn will then actively show you up for those search results. Pretty cool, actually.
James: Yeah, that is. It’s like taking advantage of that matching algorithm that they’re trying to pair a relevant result to a search.
Problem, agitate, solution
Julie: Correct. Yeah. So the profile summary, let’s go through it step by step for the formula. So, first paragraph is the identify paragraph. It’s identify the problem that you help your ideal prospects with. What is the biggest issue that they have, that you help them with? And so, flesh that out. Try not to make these paragraphs like an essay in and of themselves. Short, sweet paragraphs, to the point, work really well. But first paragraph is the identify, identify the problem that you help solve for your ideal prospects.
The second paragraph is what I call the aggravate paragraph – we have to light a fire under them. You know, as you and I, James, know in Australia, we’re quite an apathetic nation, generally speaking. We need to have a bit of a fire put under us to take action. So the aggravate paragraph is really, what is it costing them to have the problem, to be stuck there. So what is it costing them financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually, even, to have this problem that they’ve got.
And I’ll give an example of this. So you know, of how I would write this. So if I’m in lead generation, which I am, I help people generate leads, the aggravate paragraph might read something like, “Without leads, sales start to dry up; finances become tighter and tighter; tough decisions have to be made; you’ll start working longer hours to keep everything afloat, but that takes its toll on your health and your family life.” And do you see, I’ve touched on all the different costs in that paragraph?
Julie: So, it’s just really highlighting to them what it’s costing them to have that problem.
We can’t leave them in hell, so we now need to move forward on paragraph three with, what’s the overarching solution to the problem, then? And we talk about, not the methodology of how we fix it, but more the overarching solution. And this is a great place to put in some industry statistics if you have them, or even some, you know, more closer-to-home statistics with the clients that you’ve worked with. And talk about how having, for example, going back to your SEO days, James, for example, you could do the overarching solution for SEO could be that having a really clear audit down on your SEO and understanding the common gaps that most people make, is a great starting point. But having a clear strategy that you can work towards will make things so much easier and will help you with your rankings. Now that’s very off-the-cuff, I’m doing this very on the fly, but you get where I’m going. Right?
James: I do. I mean, it’s the classic copywriting formula: problem, agitate, solution. It’s like a related cousin to SPIN Selling – situation, problem, implications. solutions.
Julie: Exactly. And I have to confess, this is not my formula at all. This is, as you said, an age-old marketing formula for the past hundred years.
James: It’s way better than a company director at wah wah wah, how impressive am I? I see those ones like, you know, Celebrate with such and such, they’ve been at the company for five years. I’m like, I don’t really understand why we’d care so much about that.
Julie: Yeah, yeah, it’s very much a status-type profile, which is all about them, and it doesn’t add value to who your prospects are. So there’s no reason for the prospects to engage with you on LinkedIn. They’re not encouraged to, it’s really about you kind of doing the whole, you know, bouncing on your chest going, Hey, look at me, aren’t I great? And that doesn’t attract people.
“It’s more about how you can serve a customer than about you.”
James: It’s like what I tell people about their about page, it’s more about how they can serve a customer than about them. So much.
Julie: Exactly. Exactly.
So the fourth paragraph is the proof of that solution. You know, following on with formula, it’s just saying, Okay, well, what’s the proof that this solution works?
Where it’s about you
And the fifth paragraph is the credibility paragraph. It’s the only paragraph where you’re really talking about yourself. Why should they trust you over anybody else in your industry? Why should they trust you to deliver this? And it could be that you have years of experience, it could be how many clients you’ve helped, it could be your passion for this. Whatever it is, however you decide to write it, that’s the one paragraph that’s really about you in this.
What most people miss
And then the last paragraph in your profile is the call to action. This is something that most people miss when they’re doing their profile. And it’s the most important, because if somebody has read through that formula that we’ve just given them, they’re going to be wanting to go, “Okay, I understand that Joe gets who I am. How do I contact him? What’s the best step?” So make sure that you’re very specific with your call to action. For example, if you offer a free consultation, then simply say something along the lines of, “To book a free 30-minute session with me to see if and how I can help you resolve this issue in your business, call me on 041-XXXXXX,” for example, whatever your phone number is. Be really specific. Or, if you want them to go to your website and fill in a form to get their details, and you will call them back, then be really specific with what web page they need to go to.
Julie: Yeah. So that’s the summary. Your experience section will briefly just touch on this, your current experience. Don’t write, again, like that is your resume and put your duties in there with a bullet point list of all the things that you do. Again, no one really cares. Use your current experience to talk more about the products and services that you offer. And again, you could follow a little bit of that summary formula, but now you’re talking more in-depth about the product and services that you offer.
Let’s say you’ve got more than one current business or more than one current product or service that you want to really highlight, you can have multiple current experiences where you break it up into the different things that you offer in there. And flesh it out. Again, you’ve got, you know, about 1800 characters to write your description, in your experience. Really flesh that out, let people know how you help them. So it just takes people through a journey on your profile, really, about how you serve them.
Getting them to click
James: So this is kind of setting up the LinkedIn real estate, the prime real estate to serve your transition to move someone from LinkedIn to you. They’ve identified they’re within that problem set that could be helped, that if they don’t do something, something bad will happen. And you’ve linked them to where they can go and get help. So imagine that’s like the setup. Now you need to go into the LinkedIn machine and drive people to that profile to get them to click on it. How do we do that?
“Be really strategic on who you want to connect with.”
Julie: Well, there’s a couple of ways. First of all, start building your network actively. And by that, don’t be random about it. Be really strategic on who you want to connect with. And don’t be afraid to go out and search for them. LinkedIn has an incredibly powerful search function on there that you can get very granular on. I love blowing people’s minds with how easy it is to drill down and find your ideal client.
The power of LinkedIn search
So play around with LinkedIn search. I personally love the Sales Navigator search on LinkedIn, because it is much more advanced and it can narrow it down to even the annual turnover of company, how long has a person been in a specific position or it can narrow down to postcode, so you can get within a 10-kilometer radius of your postcode, for example. So it can be very granular in Sales Navigator in the advanced search. But even basic search is brilliant.
Let me give an example for everybody listening. I had a guy come to me who’s a bookkeeper. And I said to him, “Who’s your ideal client?” He said, “Everyone.” I said, Ugh. Biggest mistake, right, that you can do, you’re not going to be able to find it. So when talking with him, I found out that his experience was that he had owned three McDonald’s franchises. So he really had an affinity with people in the food and beverage industry who were in a franchise position. So I said, Okay, let’s just search on that for a moment. He lived in Brisbane, so we just typed in the keyword “franchisee”. We filtered it down to the location of Brisbane, and then we filtered it down to industry of food and beverage. So, not franchisee for Optus or franchisee for Aussie home loans or whatever it might be, but narrowed it down to food and beverage. And literally in doing that filtration, there were 86 results in Brisbane of people who were franchisees in the food and beverage industry. Now that’s his low-hanging fruit, he’s got a lot of commonality with those people that he can have conversations with and really understand their business. So he’s going to be able to connect with them much easier. Does that make sense?
James: It does. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel instead of trying to shoot in the ocean.
Julie: Exactly. So, using LinkedIn search, be strategic. And when you’re connecting, there are some best practices. When connecting on LinkedIn, always send a personal message when you’re reaching out to connect with somebody. And at that point in time, you just have to answer the message that’s going in their head of, “Who are you and what do you want?” And it’s not about you pitching at this point – in fact, that is really spamming on LinkedIn. So all you need to do is simply say, “Hey, I saw your profile come up on LinkedIn. I noticed that we had a lot in common. As you know, I used to be a franchisee of McDonald’s. I look forward to connecting and getting to know you further.” That’s it. That’s all you have to do, is just have some commonality of why you’re reaching out. And that will relieve people. Most people are still quite nervous about accepting connections on LinkedIn.
James: I am, because it can be just so disappointing sometimes. I got a rubbish one just a few days ago, and my heart sinks just that little bit when it happens. You know, like, this guy says, “Do you look for ways to make extra income? I’m looking for ambitious people to be part of my business team. Would you be interested?” I replied back, “No, thank you.” So he replies back, “Okay. Would you be interested in being a customer? Here’s my website, amway.com, forward slash (his name).” I’m like, Where’s that FO button? Because I want to push it. This guy is like, not only did I politely say no, he’s back at it, or his software’s back at it. This is what’s wrong with platforms like this, is that, I guess they still got some work to do. I would ban that domain name from the whole platform, if it were up to me. I’m not a huge fan – well, not even a tiny fan – of MLM. This is what gives them a bad name, is idiots like this who’s disregarding a specific answer to his question which expressed no interest.
Julie: Yeah, they really need to improve sales training for anybody in those industries. Unfortunately, it comes back down to they really don’t understand how to sell, you know? They’ve come from a job, they’re doing this on the side hustle, usually, and they’ve got no skills in how to do that.
James: The industry in particular attracts some of the least-skilled people, just because of the opportunity side of it. So it is frustrating when they sneak through. I can’t believe that company’s still around, just as a side note. I’ve been stalked by them for decades. They used to always ring up the dealership and ask for the best salesperson and get put through, and then pitch me on coming around to their house. And here we are in the modern-day equivalent.
Julie: Yeah, that’s not funny.
James: LinkedIn private message.
Julie: Yeah, exactly. So I think, you know, understanding how to treat people, and really, it comes back down to treat people the way you want to be treated as well, right? So you’re not there to spam people. In fact, in all the teaching that I do on LinkedIn, it’s not about selling on LinkedIn. It’s about building trust on LinkedIn, and about adding value so that your prospects ask for the next step, or take the next step without being pushed on to it, if that makes sense.
The importance of great content
So the second step, aside from connecting with your ideal prospects, you really do want to be as we’ve talked about, and what you’ve been doing over the past year, James, is putting out great-quality posts. You know, making sure that you’re posting great content regularly.
There’s a very big difference between the members on LinkedIn to the members on Facebook. Facebook people, they go on there, their intention, the psychology of somebody on Facebook is to be social, first and foremost. So they’re there to find out what’s happening with their friends and family. They’re there to self-express, they’re there to check in and show pictures of their lunch, for example. But the psychology of people on LinkedIn is to do business. They are there looking for industry insights, they’re there looking for somebody who can help them to do their business. It’s really an incredibly valuable platform when you understand the psychology of what people are doing on there. So when you keep that in mind, it really is about creating content that your ideal prospects are going to resonate with.
And as you said earlier, you know, putting up your videos, and you had a link in the text, originally, you’re absolutely spot-on. Putting links on the top part of your posts or doing a preview pane-type link on the news reel, the same with Facebook at the moment, isn’t terribly effective, because LinkedIn nor Facebook wants you to drive traffic off their platform.
James: So selfish of them.
Julie: It is so selfish, exactly. How dare they? Putting that link in that first comment is a really great tip, and that’s definitely something that I would encourage.
Kudos for engagement
LinkedIn’s algorithm has changed a little bit, they are honoring different engagement – there seems to be a gold, silver and bronze level for engagement with LinkedIn’s algorithm. The gold standard for engagement on LinkedIn is actually comments on your post. And when somebody comments on your post, it will immediately send the whole post, including your comment, out to your connections. So if I commented on your post, James, for example, it will then put that into my activity feed and into my newsfeed and share it out with my network. So comments are actually the gold standard. Likes are great…
James: And what about shares? Are they a golder standard?
Julie: No, actually. Interestingly enough, shares are still valued on LinkedIn, but if I shared your post instead of commented on it, what seems to happen is that because I’ve shared it, I get less engagement on that post on your behalf. So if I comment on it, however, you will tend to get more engagement from that than if I shared it, isn’t that interesting?
James: That is interesting. It’s little tips like this that would make you think it’s worth making videos that ask people to comment.
Julie: The goal, really, at the moment, is to engage conversation on your post.
Julie: Yeah, yeah. So if you can get people to, you know, share their thoughts on your videos, for example, or to share their experiences or comment back in some way, shape or form, that’s actually more effective than having people share your posts at this point. Because if I shared it, it tends to get less engagement in my feed. Which is sad, really. But it’s the way it goes.
What’s possible on LinkedIn
James: But I think LinkedIn, for me, has become a platform that’s worth putting some resource to. And the main action I’m going to take so far, firstly, I’ve just slightly edited my bio, is I’m going to encourage comments on some of my videos for LinkedIn.
Julie: Yeah, excellent, excellent. Look, we’ve got a lot, there’s five different types of content that you can post on LinkedIn, from group conversations to LinkedIn articles on your profile – and I’ll touch on that in a moment – to sharing native video on LinkedIn where you upload the raw video file to LinkedIn, or you do a, what they call a LinkedIn video on your phone. It’s not quite live streaming like Facebook is, yet, but I do believe they’re bringing that out in the near future. So that will be coming. They’re just a few years behind some of the features that we take for granted on Facebook. They’re just not quite up to that.
James: Well, I can see they’ve gotten onto the hashtags.
Julie: Hashtags are really key at the moment. So definitely adding three to, I probably wouldn’t go more than nine hashtags, I think it looks a little bit too kitschy at that point, but I would say a minimum of 3 hashtags per post is ideal. Make sure they’re keyword rich. But I love the fact on the homepage of LinkedIn, on the left hand side of your homepage, when you log into LinkedIn, on the laptop – not so much on your apps, per se, but on the laptop in particular, or your desktop version – on the left hand side, you will see it’s got the hashtags that you might have already followed. But it will also have Discover Communities. And if you click on that, it will bring up all the hashtags that are currently happening on LinkedIn. And you can see how many people are following different hashtags. It’s some great research just in that alone, where you can find out which hashtags are the best ones for you to use.
James: So just a summary: we’ve optimized our profile, we’re now getting found in searches, people are able to identify that we can solve their problem, they’re clicking through the link. And now we’ve started putting good content without links off the site in the post itself. Videos, one format that I’ve found helpful, I’m sure there’s text versions and other things you can do. And then it’s about mining out the very best, most relevant connections to build up our connections network. And things will start to happen for you as they have happened for me, I’m starting to make sales, quite a while back. It’s been one year now, and it’s a part of our routine. And now I’ve got that extra tip of encouraging comments.
Some closing tips
What would be your advice as we close out, for something else we could do to generate leads and sales?
Julie: On LinkedIn?
James: On LinkedIn.
Julie: Yeah, absolutely. So I would definitely, really think about your strategy on LinkedIn. There’s about six strategies that I teach my clients in Linked Sales Formula, how to generate leads and sales. From this, what I affectionately call the stalking strategy, which is…
James: It sounds so innocent.
Julie: Well, look, you know, stalking is where two people go for a walk, and only one person knows about it. And in real life, that’s totally creepy, people don’t do that. But on social media, it’s acceptable.
I encourage people to write a top 100 list of your ideal prospects, the people you really want to work with, to have as your clients. So you know, whether you do it in an Excel spreadsheet, or a Google Doc, I really don’t care. But start a list of who your top 100 people are that you want to have as clients, and be proactively connecting with them, and nurturing those relationships. Remember that you’re not on LinkedIn to sell, that you’re on there to build trust, add value, and take them into, whether it’s inviting them at some point to have a conversation with you. But that’s not an immediate. I always say to people that when you connect with somebody, at that very point of connection, it’s like opening an emotional bank balance. If you, immediately, after that connection has been opened, ask something of them, like the example you gave with your Amway guy, for a moment, then he goes into overdraw into his emotional bank balance with you. He has nothing there that he’s added to, value to you, that you he can draw down on.
James: None that he can draw down on. I certainly can. I’ve used him to propel my Facebook profile, and re-engage. You know, I’ve had a lot of reactions and comments and shares from big hitters in the industry, actually. A couple of the top people thought it was hilarious. I’ve screenshotted it and anonymized him. So he gave me something. I’ll take from every experience, good or bad.
“Sometimes we can learn what to do by saying what offends us.”
James: I’ll use whatever happens. And we’re talking about it here on my podcast. It’s just a great example of what not to do. I think sometimes we can learn what to do by saying what offends us. Like, I mean, I don’t do any private message outreach in LinkedIn right now. And I’m sure I could, it’s definitely there to get, but it was probably true of my entire business. I am in a pull market situation where people are coming to me. I publish podcasts, and I publish videos. So that’s where we do our outreach by just producing more content that people could dream of. You know, we’ve done 300 videos in the last year.
Julie: That’s amazing.
James: And I’ve done 50 podcasts this year. Like, I’m just going for it.
Julie: Awesome, James, that’s fantastic. But let’s say for example, somebody listening here today’s not in that same situation as you. They’re not in a pull market type situation. Let’s say their lifetime value of a client, or year’s value of a client might be $100,000, you know, to their business. That’s certainly not going to necessarily have the same value, or the same strategy that just doing content would.
James: I know. You’re right.
Julie: You will need to have a very defined strategy for how you approach them on LinkedIn. And millions and millions of dollars of business gets done that way through LinkedIn, if you’re quite strategic about it.
Julie: And really know who your client is. So for those people, they definitely need to be looking at having a top 100 list, for example.
James: It makes sense to really zoom in. And we had some wonderful training on this at our SuperFastBusiness Live event a couple of years from John Logar. And I’ve had Will Wang on my Get Clients Series talking exactly about cold outreach. It’s definitely a thing. And I’ve had to bring in experts who do practice that for a living, to talk about it, because it’s not a part of my business model. But I think LinkedIn would be a very strong engine for cold outreach, if done properly.
Julie: Exactly. You and I are old-school sales people, right? Because I know that you’ve been in sales for a long time. So have I, I’ve done 25 years in it. And 15 years of my sales career is in door-to-door cold calling. So I’m eminently familiar with how to approach people in a cold-calling situation door-to-door. What I’ve taken is my experience over that 15 years across a multitude of industries that I’ve worked in, and put that into how I use LinkedIn, across with learning things like SPIN Selling techniques as, you know, you purport, Neil’s book as well, and various other learnings that I’ve had of these, including from you.
We’re constantly in the state of learning and how to improve that. But LinkedIn can be incredibly great for people who are targeting a very specific prospect or a very specific type of client. And having a good strategy can make a massive difference.
One last thing I’ll just say, and because this is something relevant to what you’ve brought up over the conversations, that you and your team do LinkedIn together, so a split thing. I will always say, yes, outsource content side of it, no problems at all, but never outsource the relationship. Your team won’t know the people who are coming in to connect with you, and your connection with them. Some, you won’t have any connection with at all. But there will be people that have known you, like you said earlier, from years and years ago, who have shown up after watching your stuff and then had a conversation with you through LinkedIn.
James: Exactly. That’s why I log in every day or two.
James: It really only takes a few minutes for me. It’s part of my rounds. And it’s part of my overall way of managing social media is, I don’t let it come to me, I go to it. So I actually just log on to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and just deal with whatever needs doing, and 20 minutes later, I’m done. I call it hit and run, social media hit and run. I don’t want to spend my whole day on it.
Julie: Yeah, absolutely. So yeah, that would be my final tip, I think, don’t outsource the relationship side. Make sure that you’re connecting authentically and strategically.
James: Thank you so much for sharing, Julie. And also, thanks for helping me tune up LinkedIn. You’ve been a part of that journey. You’ve taken me from LinkedIn non-believer to accepting that it’s a valuable part of my business acquisition funnel, and it’s working. So, there you go. Julie Mason, LinkedSalesFormula.com. I appreciate everything you’ve done for us.
Julie: A pleasure. Thanks for having me.
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