How even social media & social selling experts are getting LinkedIn wrong – Part 2

 In Content Marketing

In my last post, I started to show how even the most recognized social media and social selling authors, experts, and consultants are getting LinkedIn wrong. I started this provocative series not because I am looking to bash my competitors, but because I’m looking to start a real movement to help business, sales, and marketing leaders go beyond awareness and actually drive revenues.

To start this movement, we need to pinpoint the thoughts, actions, and ideas that need to be changed – many of them that start with the social media and social selling experts mentioned in part one of this series and below.

Judy Schramm Fails to Understand That Buyers Connect with Experts First – Not Companies

Here is the actual LinkedIn summary for Judy Schramm, CEO of ProResource Inc., that provides LinkedIn services for tech companies:

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When people google you, they find your LinkedIn profile. Are you using your profile strategically, to tell your story effectively, build trust, and create opportunities to engage?

If your online presence is empty or outdated, you’re missing an opportunity.

We work with CEOs, thought leaders and senior sales executives to create a powerful personal brand online – one that aligns with your business goals, and helps you accomplish more, faster.

You will be proud of the way you look on LinkedIn. You will be satisfied that you are getting your name and your ideas in front of the right people, and happy to see that your audience is continuously increasing.

Have us do the work for you with a LinkedIn profile makeover, blog copywriting, audience expansion, and LinkedIn marketing campaigns. Or take advantage of our LinkedIn training and coaching programs.

We specialize in working with executives over 40 who have not been active in social media before, and have just a few minutes each day they can spare.

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Where’s Judy’s story? Why should we see her as an expert and most importantly, why should I trust her with my profile, blog writing, or LinkedIn marketing campaigns? Because she says we’d be proud and satisfied? This profile may be customer-centric, but this social media firm CEO forgot that prospects connect with you and your story first.

Josh Turner Focuses on Leads without Lead Validation and Lead Qualification

Josh Turner, Founder of LinkedIn Selling and LinkedIn University, focuses on how many leads they are able to deliver on a weekly and monthly basis. For the President and CMO of a logistics company, Josh and his team were delivering 5 to 10 leads for sales calls per week.

However, those sales leads they were delivering sucked! 90% of the calls were with prospects who were not in the right stage of the buying process at this time, or they were with people who were not even a decision maker or influencer. The people who said “yes” to a call was just looking for free information, to network, and maybe refer the company.

There was no lead validation and qualification. What good were those leads if there were no relationships being created and leveraged to drive revenue opportunities?

Dave Kerpen Fails to Answer the Call for More Upfront Value

Dave Kerpen, best-selling author of Likeable Media,  says that offering content other than blog content without collecting email addresses is the biggest lead gen mistake sales and marketing leaders are making! But he’s wrong, because buyers want more up-front value.

According to LinkedIn’s Report, “The Social Bridge to the IT Committee,” B2B buyers seek insights and conversations with vendors on social media. In fact, two out of three are open to connecting with a new vendor, and three out of four are ready to have a conversation with a new vendor on social media. So IT buyers are willing to reveal themselves and engage with B2B sales and marketing leaders on LinkedIn.

But, the #1 reason that B2B buyers do not connect with a vendor on LinkedIn and in social media, in general, is because they don’t want to receive marketing materials. They want a relationship based on real, up-front value. They want you to work harder to earn their trust and interest before they give you an opt-in and a right to market to them further. Don’t get me wrong – gated content is still a must. Buyers are just calling for a change in how and when you use it. They are calling for more upfront value than just providing a blog post and making them jump through hoops for everything else.

Darren Kurilko Is Playing a Numbers Game

Before using our services, a client of mine was using Darren Kurilko’s LinkedIn Leads Ninja services. On my client’s behalf, Darren’s firm was making 25 to 50 connection requests per day, 7 days per week (2000+ invites sent per month).  They were sending out fill-in-the-blank thank you messages at a rate of 15-25 a day. Most of the messages went ignored, because “fill-in-the-blank” templated emails do not make the customer feel as if it’s personalized. Where is the relevance in that?  They had an auto-responder message written and installed on their CRM platform, which automatically dripped emails to new connections – where there was very little response.

Darren’s firm congratulated at least 25 of my client’s connections per day with messages like: “First Name…Congrats on XYZ! Hope you are well….Take a peek at my profile and let’s see how we can work together. Have a great day.” All this did was get my clients name in front of the connections – so it was just brand awareness, as it brought zero results. The same thing happened with endorsing 25 connections per day. You see how this became a numbers game – hoping that if the LinkedIn services company reached enough people, something would stick. There was no strategy. No use of content. Just templated messages being sent to the masses.

Jeff Molander, John Nemo, and Brynne Tillman Coach a Templated Approach That Lacks Relevance

Jeff Molander, a digital sales prospecting trainer and coach, teaches clients to use templates like:

Hi, Sam.

How are you adding new capability to your ______________ [insert area of business your product addresses] at any time soon or in future? I work with organizations like _______ [prospect’s business] to make sure ________ [goal]. Would you like to quickly explore, via email, if a larger conversation makes sense? Please let me know what you decide.

So, instead of taking an account based marketing approach and focusing on issues that are relevant to targeted organizations at that time, sales professionals using this message are hoping that if they send it out to enough people, it will be relevant to someone and stick.

Not only is John Nemo, author of the best selling book LinkedIn Riches, coaches clients to focus on brand awareness with “personal” status updates that are not 100% business, but this means he’s also coaching clients to be irrelevant.  For example, here’s a template he talks about in a number of his platform posts:

“Hi [NAME] – so excited to connect!

I noticed you live in [location] – [add a comment/question about the weather there, or what that location is known for, or something about current events in that place, etc.]

Also, I noticed you are in [type of job/industry they work in].

Curious what your biggest needs/challenges are right now professionally. If you have a minute, tell me more about what you’re up to so I can better understand how I can hopefully send some business your way at some point! ????

Very quickly about me: I help [my target audience] achieve [their goal] by providing [my product or service].

Excited to learn more about who you are, what you’re up to professionally and how I can help you out moving forward.

When I see messages like the one I above, I think, yes you took some time to look at my profile, as you mention my location and what I do. But you are just restating the obvious. You didn’t really take the time to see how you are relevant to me. You want me to do your homework for you, so you can see how you are relevant and communicate your business value.

Now, Brynne Tillman (Chief Learning Officer at PeopleLinx, CEO of Social Selling Link, and Co-Founder of Business Development University and Social Selling GPS) tells clients:

With each new connection, determine if they are someone you’d like to speak with and tweak the LinkedIn message slightly: NAME, it is nice to be connected on LinkedIn. Typically I like to have a brief call with my new connections so we can explore ways we might be able to work together now or in the future. Here is a link to my calendar: xxxxxxxx. Please pick a time that is most convenient for you. I am looking forward to our call.”

When I see this message, I ask, why would I want a brief call to explore ways we can work together when:

  1. I haven’t seen your value yet
  2. You haven’t shown me that you took the time to get to know me
  3. You haven’t demonstrated your relevance.

Why should I take time out of my day to possibly see how we can work together? Brynne’s templated messages do not answer that question. I don’t want to have a phone call just to have a phone call.

Social Media Firm Owners Are Focused on the Wrong Metrics

Inside my recent LinkedIn marketing survey, I asked sales and marketing leaders, as well as some well-recognized, trusted social media marketing experts and firm owners: what metrics are most important to you? What are you paying attention to?

Even social media and digital marketing firm CEOs like Bernie Borges chose clicks, profile, and platform post views, website traffic, and superficial metrics like shares, comments and likes. They chose these metrics over:

  • Next step actions beyond the click, like, and comment
  • Marketing qualified and sales qualified leads
  • Revenue

How can you create a path to LinkedIn revenue and ROI if most of your focus is on how much you expanded your network, how many people you’re reaching with your content and sales messages, and what your click-through rate is on sponsored updates? You need to think beyond the top of the funnel – and focus on how you’re going to use LinkedIn to move prospects through the complete buying process.

Inside a recent GetLinkedInHelp.com webinar, I shared how to put the LinkedIn marketing and social selling pieces together and consistently generate demand, leads and revenue. Click here to sign up for my webinar.

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