Episode 108: Use LinkedIn Events to Attract Prospects
Our hosts Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods are back to discuss LinkedIn Events and how they work. Find out why you should be using this special feature to fill the top of your sales funnel with qualified prospects who are excited to talk to you.
Let Brynne and Bob walk you through the steps of creating your own event and discover ways you can market it on LinkedIn.
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings, everyone, and welcome to Making Sales Social Live! I’m Bob Woods from Social Sales Link and with me today, as always, is Brynne Tillman, your LinkedIn Whisperer. How are you doing today, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 00:12
I’m great, Bob. How are you?
Bob Woods 00:15
I am doing well, which considering the past couple of weeks, is actually a really good thing today. So in that vein, and because I sound and feel really good, I want to talk about something that a lot of people — I don’t know if they don’t use it, because they don’t like it or if they’re not aware of it but I think that a lot of salespeople should be using this.
Introduction 00: 40
Welcome to Making Sales Social LIVE! As we share LinkedIn and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods, every week. Making Sales Social Live!
Bob Woods 00:55
So as part of your sales prospecting activity and your efforts to fill the top of the funnel, just like all of us out there, do you use things like meetings, online workshops, webinars, or other forms of group get togethers, either live or virtual, or, you know, a mix of both? First of all, if you don’t, you probably should. Second, LinkedIn gives you a great way to promote events so that you can attract prospects to these sessions. And it’s called drumroll, please, I don’t even know if you can hear that, Linkedin Events.
Today, we’re going to be discussing how they work and why you should be using this feature to fill that top of the funnel with prospects who are qualified and excited to talk to you because you are the subject matter expert in your field and they should want to talk to you about that. So first of all, let’s talk just a little bit about mechanics of the things. So how do you actually create an event in LinkedIn?
Brynne Tillman 01:56
Yeah, you know, creating the event, there’s some preparation that you want to do, of course, and it’s very simple to do. When you’re on your homepage, you’re just going to click, there’s a, scroll down to the left hand side, and you will see Events and then there’s a little plus sign and voila, an event form will open up. And we want to make sure, number one, that you’ve got a good visual, like a thumbnail or cover image. And that typically is a 16:9 ratio. So it’s different than all the other images that we use. We recommend hopping into either Canva or even using a PowerPoint slide is a good way to do that.
You get to choose if you’re the organizer as you the person or as the page. And later on, we’ll talk about the benefits of the page versus the person the quarter then. Yeah, yeah, company page. Yeah. But you know, what, they’re not even called company page (crosstalk).
Bob Woods 02:54
I know. I know, but, you know, I always feel the need to say that because a lot of people aren’t clued in, you know, because it’s so strange, that it’s, you know, that when people talk about pages, it’s actually a company’s page and it’s just LinkedIn weirdness. But anyhow…
Brynne Tillman 03:13
Yeah, totally, totally agree with you on that one. So you can create an event, whether, you can choose yourself or a page that you manage, there are differences in the event. So we’re going to just talk about choosing you as the human being, and then you’re going to decide, is this an online even or is this a physical event? Because you can, actually, or initially, you couldn’t, when events rolled out, there wasn’t even an online option, which was a little frustrating for people.
So physical events, you can actually, you know, put a link to a registration page in Eventbrite page or wherever that might be. But you can have actually external events and online events now, every time we do a LinkedIn Live, an event is automatically created. And you can actually watch the live and you’re probably — for those folks that are here live right now, are probably either watching it on the event or it live streams in my banner on LinkedIn but you’re gonna make that choice in creating the event. If you’re doing a LinkedIn Live, you do need a third party. You can’t create a live here. You’re going to name it, your timezone, you know, the date and time and all that fun stuff, your description, and you can add speakers.
Now, once you’ve added all speakers, that you can go back and edit the speakers as well. But it now goes in as an event, an event is created and it’s now in your newsfeed for people to see. But there are ways to market it, right? So what are some ways, Bob, that you recommend people market their event?
Bob Woods 04:55
The simplest way to do it is when you create the event, you can actually just market it in your own feed. You know, it’s probably the easiest and the best way to do it so that it starts gaining traction and, hopefully, people will go, “Oh, not only do I think this is important, or I think this is interesting, you know, maybe I’ll clue on a couple of other people who I know into it as well.” So that’s probably the easiest and the best way is to further utilize LinkedIn and just the reach of the network to really bolster those numbers there.
Brynne Tillman 05:37
The other thing that you could do is you can invite up to a thousand people a week. And by the way, your attendees can invite people as well. So, one of the best ways, if you want to create an event a couple of weeks out, and you could invite up to 2,000 people, but you can get your attendees to invite folks as well.
The other thing is, and we tested this two weeks ago, three weeks ago, maybe. And we sent it to our email list, and we had hundreds and hundreds of people say they’re going to attend. Now we just got a question that’s going to go right into kind of the next piece of advice. So Judith asks, “How to tackle the problem that people you invite don’t read the event? They say they’re going to attend but do not register on the actual registration page?” So there could be some manual labor around that. There is, if it’s an online event, it’s pretty simple that they can add it right to their calendar and you know, they may not need to register.
So I’m going to actually add what we we going to be talking about at the end, I’m going to just fit in here for a moment, which is you, if you create the page, you create the event as a company page as a LinkedIn page, you can actually have the option of a registration link that you can then export all of your registrants. So that is an option.
The other piece is to reach out to them, you can both — you and all the attendees — can see everyone and message everyone, by the way, even if they’re a second-degree connection, but as the event creator, you can go in and message them, “Thanks for your interest. Here’s the link to register.” And I know it’s a two-step process and it can be frustrating, but that’s kind of what we’ve got right now.
Bob Woods 07:44
And then, that actually builds credibility for you because if other people are recommending you, then, you know, it’s like, “Oh, well, if Brynne thinks this is something good that I should go to, maybe I should actually go to it.” So yeah, that’s great there.
Brynne Tillman 07:59
Now there’s another thing here, you have the message, which is created when you add an event is not shown very well to your audience. Although I don’t want it too long, you can actually add a registration link in your cover picture in your image. So you might use that image in a way that it might say, “Click that you’re attending and visit X to register.” and just put that right (crosstalk). And then I would either do, I would do either a bitly link or just a short link that helps people get there.
So that would be one of the ways, so, marketing the event — that would be one of the ways to do it, to (unintelligible) but marketing in the event, we can invite up to a thousand people. We can ask some of the attendees to invite some of their people. Now if we get depending on how much work you want to put into this, if we get a connection that is an influencer of sorts that’s a first-degree, we can actually go look at their connections and say, “Hey, Jane, thanks so much for clicking Attend. You’re connected to nine people that I would love to come to this event. Would you be open to inviting them? If so, I can send you their names and the steps.” And then you can get your attendees to invite targeted people that you’re looking to attend to some of those events.
Bob Woods 09:28
So now we delve into this a little bit but leveraging other people’s events is the next thing that people may not necessarily think of but it’s another great way to, you know, kind of spins back into marketing your event by leveraging other people’s events.
Brynne Tillman 09:44
Yeah, well, this is a totally different animal that I’m really excited about because we have the opportunity, number one to find events. So, we can go into that LinkedIn Search. On LinkedIn, hit Enter, the five or six in, Events is one of the filters, and then it’s going to give you a whole bunch of events and then you can put in keywords. So I want to see events on marketing, I want to see events on leadership. Now what I want you to do is I want you to find events, not that you’re interested in necessarily, but that your buyer would be attending, right.
So if you sell to the CIO, CTOs, right? What are the events that they’d be interested in? Maybe cybersecurity events, right? So think about, now once you click attend, you can now message all of the other attendees. Now, this is not an opportunity to spam but this is an opportunity. It’s like there’s a keynote event happening and we’re in the audience and all of these other people are hanging around ready to go sit down in the theater to this event, and we make small talk first.
Now I know, people are like, “Well, I don’t have time for small talk, I’m prospecting.” These are people, people. Like these are human beings, right? We need to connect and build rapport and be a resource and be a value to ultimately get them to want to have a conversation with us right? So here we are, we’re in this event with all these attendees, how do we start a conversation with them?
Well, let’s look at who the speaker is. Let’s say the speaker is Bob Woods and we have 75 people that are going to be attending to see Bob Woods and I want to start a conversation with them but I don’t know any of them, but because we’re both in the event, we can message each other. They have to accept the message by the way, it looks a little bit different than a typical message but it will say because you’re both attending this event. So it’s like you walk up to someone in the lobby, we go into the main event, how I would start this conversation is I would say, “You know, I wanted to reach out and introduce myself, I noticed that we’re both attending this event that Bob Woods was putting on. I’m curious, did you hear him on the podcast a couple of weeks ago on [topic], it was awesome. Let me know if you’re interested. I’d be happy to share a link.”
Now we’re talking about the keynote, yeah. This stuff really works but there’s no easy button. Everyone is like, well, they’re hoping that this is 100% marketing play but this is a hybrid of marketing and sales. It’s not an inbound. (Bob: Set and forget.) It’s not a set and forget. It’s not an inbound opportunity. However, there’s huge opportunities in LinkedIn Events if we leverage them the right way and what I would ask is anyone that’s listening, whether you’re here live, or you’re listening on the podcast, if you create an event, invite me. I’d love to come. Particularly if it’s online or in the New York-Philadelphia area.
Bob Woods 13:00
Yeah. Yeah, if it’s in person that might be a little bit of a difficulty but yeah, definitely (crosstalk).
Brynne Tillman 13:07
Kentucky, Ohio… All for Bob. We cover Kentucky and Ohio.
Bob Woods 13:11
Yeah, Kentucky, Ohio, I can get to Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Illinois. So, we touched on this a little bit earlier but there is a difference between doing an event via your own personal page persona or whatever you want to say and a LinkedIn company page, which is called LinkedIn Pages, as we said before, but a company page. So, Brynne, why don’t you go ahead.
Brynne Tillman 13:39
There are those significant differences. Some of them are when you invite someone to the event, if I’m, well, if I’m the speaker, I can invite as me. The biggest difference is the brand and potentially, and the registration page. That’s the biggest difference. Now, couple of things, they don’t see the event details until they register. So if you decide to go in the route of I’m going to have the event as my page and I want the registration, you could lose people because they might click through and say “I don’t want to,” although it will auto-populate in, most cases, their contact information, a lot of people are like, “I don’t want to give you that information.”
The benefit is you can just download that. When we did the webinar event — this was, we did it before that registration was a feature and literally we had our team pull every name and URL for LinkedIn to give to Jack. It was a lot more work but now if you did it as a company page and you downloaded it, it would be a lot easier but either way we put in the work and it paid off in spades for sure.
“So which is better? To make an event on your personal page or the company page and why?” So that, it’s really a personal decision based on the pros and cons. What I would say if you guys go to socialsaleslink.com/events and scroll down to “Be Our Guest to Coaching” come in, come in to a guest coaching, ask your questions, we’ll ask you and we’ll determine what makes the most sense for you particularly but there are pros and cons to both. So I think we are just around our wrap-up time.
Bob Woods 15:30
Yeah, we are. So there is a recording, if you’re on LinkedIn right now, the URL that you’re on will eventually convert this into a recorded version. So just save this URL and it only takes a couple minutes. So it’s, you know, so just save this URL and you can get to the recorded version from there, as well as obviously listening to the podcast when this comes out in a couple of weeks.
Brynne Tillman 15:54
And also look at our podcasts or listen at socialsaleslink.com/podcast.
Bob Woods 16:02
So with that, stake them to town. So thanks again for joining us on Making Sales Social Live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter right now, because we go everywhere, we do this every week so keep an eye out for our live sessions. Now if you’re listening to us on our podcast,and you haven’t subscribed already, hit that Subscribe or Follow button so that you can see all of our previous shows.
If you want more info, as Brynne said before, socialsaleslink.com/podcast. We actually do two shows a week, this one and our Making Sales Social Interview series, where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business, and many many more different areas to help you with your sales.
So speaking of, when you’re out and about, be sure to make your sales… (Brynne: Social.) Exactly. Thank you, everyone. We appreciate all of the questions, all of the interests. It’s fantastic. We love them. Thanks everybody. Bye-bye.
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