Episode 121: Joe Apfelbaum – The Riches Are in the Niches, Not in the Pitches
Ajax Union CEO Joe Apfelbaum joins The LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman for an interesting discussion on social selling.
Listen as Joe shares why he believes the secret to living is giving and explains why so many people are afraid to share their best ideas. Let his story about how he managed to break free from that scarcity mindset inspire you into sharing your best nuggets of sales wisdom. Learn about various LinkedIn strategies he uses to transform his connections into clients as well as tips on how to turn a no into a referral.
Joe also tells Brynne why he thinks making sales social is all about being real and making sales a personal experience. Tune in as Joe imparts to listeners his insights on focusing within and knowing yourself first so you can get people to like you and trust you, which is a key factor in establishing business relationships with them.
Go to JoeLinkedIn.com to reach out and connect with Joe on LinkedIn or joeapfelbaum.com for more information on what Joe does. You may also visit ajaxunion.com to learn more about his company. Follow him on Twitter and send him a tweet!
Making sales social for me is about making it real, making it personal. A lot of the times people are very mechanical when it comes to digital marketing, when it comes to social media. They treat digital marketing or digital social connections different than they would treat it in real life because in real life, people are acting human. Nobody walks to somebody, a prospect at a bar and says, “Hey, would you like my web design right now?” and you just met them. Nobody does that in real person.
Bob Woods 0:29
Welcome to the Making Sales Social podcast, featuring the top voices in sales, marketing, and business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, as we each bring you the best tips and strategies our guests are teaching their clients, so you can leverage them for your own virtual and social selling. Enjoy the show.
Brynne Tillman 0:54
Welcome to Making Sales Social. I am so excited today to bring you one of my friends and colleagues in the world. One of my favorite LinkedIn experts and just human beings, generally, Joe Apfelbaum, welcome to Making Sales Social.
Joe Apfelbaum 1:12
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here. This is going to be an exciting episode.
Brynne Tillman 1:16
I believe it is. And in some ways, I’m doing this selfishly, because every time I talk to you, I learn something new. So although I’m thrilled to be bringing these insights to our podcast listeners, I’m also thrilled to learn for myself. Before we get started, we ask all of our guests one question, what does making sales social mean to you?
Joe Apfelbaum 1:38
I think that making sales social for me is about making it real, making it personal. A lot of the times people are very mechanical when it comes to digital marketing, when it comes to social media. They treat digital marketing or digital social connections different than they would treat it in real life because in real life, people are acting human. Nobody walks to somebody, a prospect at a bar and says, “Hey, would you like my web design right now?” and you just met them. Nobody does that in real person. I mean, once in a while you have a life insurance guy shove his car down your throat but otherwise, people are pretty much normal when it comes to real life. But some reason when it comes to going online, people forget to be normal human beings and they become robotic. They become mechanical. They become transactional. And for that, that’s anti-social, that’s the opposite of actually building relationships, it’s the opposite of making it real, and that’s why a lot of people get turned off. Now, because of me and because of you, a lot of people are learning to make it social again. And that’s really what it’s all about. For me, it’s about making it real.
Brynne Tillman 2:44
I love that. And you know, we often say the connect and pitch is a bait and switch. And I love that you said we would never walk up to someone and pitch our stuff. They’d roll their eyes, laugh at us, and walk away. They’re just deleting us on LinkedIn. So, I love it. So, you know, everywhere I turn in the LinkedIn world, you are offering these incredible nuggets of brilliance. These little — I hate to use the word hacks (unintelligible) but it’s like you walk around giving away the easy button for a lot of people in a lot of ways and I find it to be you are the ultimate giver. I feel like you’re out there just wanting to help people and improve their lives. Talk to me about your philosophy, because you give away more than people charge for.
Joe Apfelbaum 3:42
I believe that the secret to living is giving. And a lot of people are afraid of sharing their best ideas. I used to be one of those people, I used to have a scarcity mindset where I was afraid if somebody knew my idea, they would take the idea and they would run with it and I would be left missing out. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. When I share my best ideas with people, not only are they inspired by those ideas, but they end up wanting to hire me or refer me because they’re like, “This person has great ideas.” Instead of being a person that’s hiding his ideas because he’s afraid, then I’m not really giving value to the world. And I’m hoping that somebody would pay me but there’s no way for them to know to pay me if they don’t even know what my best nuggets are. They don’t even know what the tips are. And sure, some people might take those ideas and run with it and not pay me but they’re more likely to refer business to me. And I would rather have 100 people that are constantly referring business to me than 100 people that take my course because I would rather get two referrals turned into business than one client.
So, if I can find people that are centers of influence like you, that will refer business to me, I would rather take that every single day, than you join my course and become a client of mine because a referral partner for me is much more valuable than a client. Of course, my goal is to turn my clients into referral partners. Let me give you an example, One statistic that I always teach my students is that 91% of customers say they would give a referral if asked, if asked, but only 11% of salespeople actually give referral, actually ask for a referral.
I always tell people, the happiest time that somebody will be in your business is when you’re having a positive interaction with them. Before they even buy from you, you’re having a positive interaction, they’re excited about the possibility of doing business with you, that’s the time to ask for a referral. I recently did a Sales Navigator campaign on LinkedIn, I reached out to 100 VPs of sales and I told them, “Hey, I’m doing this boot camp, I’m going to, it’s coming up. I would love to invite you at the end of the summer for you or someone on your team if you’re interested.” And out of the 100, I got about 20 responses. I got a very high response rate.
Brynne Tillman 5:47
That’s high. Yeah.
Joe Apfelbaum 5:48
Very high because I also do a lot of content and people know who I am, so it wasn’t like I was targeting strangers using Sales Navigator, I was actually targeting my own connections. A lot of people don’t know this but when you’re targeting your own connections with Sales Navigator, they actually get a separate DM. On your end, it comes up because it’s a separate inbox, Sales Navigator and LinkedIn organic but on their end, it all comes in the same inbox, but it comes out as a separate message for them. A separate message with no subject line or anything, it’s a separate message. So, even if they were having a conversation with you, they don’t see all the past history and everything, they see a separate message. And I’ve been troubleshooting this, to try to figure out how it shows up for the prospect differently because I can send it through the regular DM but the regular DM is slower. The regular DM doesn’t give me emails back. So for me, my philosophy is literally giving to other people, but then, asking for what I need as well.
So, one of the things that I was asking those people, a lot of people said, “No, I’m not interested.” And the next thing I did was, “Oh my gosh, thank you so much for letting me know that you’re not interested and that you don’t need it. Who do you know, either in your company or in your network, that could use this boot camp? Because my goal is to be a giver and to add more value.” And every single one of them had a suggestion for me. Some of them told me which organizations to target. Some of them told me “Hey, you know what, now that you’ve been thinking about it, there are a couple of people in my organization that might need it.” A lot of people just take no for an answer. And I’m not saying don’t take no for an answer, What I’m doing is telling you, ask for those referrals from people that know you, like you, and trust you that you’re engaging with, because it’s likely that they’ll want to give it to you.
Brynne Tillman 7:24
So I love that! And you know, typically in sales, I was always very good at asking for referrals. But for a very long time, I was bad at getting them because I’d ask for the referral and they go, “Boy, I can’t think of anyone right now but if someone should ask, I’d be happy to refer you.” And then, when I found LinkedIn, that’s where I really totally fell in love with it. Because I can search their connections and say, “Hey Joe,” I, you know, once you come back and say, “I can’t think of anyone,” you can say, “Well, I noticed you’re connected to quite a few people, can I run these names by you?” and proactively leverage LinkedIn and their connections to ultimately get to those referrals. But…
Joe Apfelbaum 8:01
Yeah, a big mistake that a lot of people make is say, “Hey, can you refer some business?” To me, that’s not the right way to ask for it. Of course, the next level is, you know, making a list of the people that are mutually connected and ask them if they could, you know, as you say, permission to name-drop, or just asking them how well do they know them. You know, simple questions that makes it really easy for them to answer it.
But the way that you ask for a referral is not, “Hey, would you send me a referral of somebody else that might be interested?” If you knew it, that for them is not the same as asking “Who do you know, that can get, that can use my boot camp right now?” That specific question gets into their subconscious and they start thinking to themselves, who they can refer. It’s a slight language change for people and a lot of people don’t really think about that. But, if you ask the “Who do you know…?” You’re going to get more specific answers because the more specific the ask, the more specific the answer you’re going to get.
Brynne Tillman 8:52
That’s a very good insight. I love that. So, talk to me about how you landed in — you are a digital marketing genius, how did you land on LinkedIn?
Joe Apfelbaum 9:03
Well, the first thing that I used to do was build websites for people. I don’t know if you know this, there’s a famous saying, “You build it, they will come.” I said, “You know what, let me build it. Let me see if people would come.” But I built it, nobody came. Literally nobody came. And then websites, nobody was there. It’s like, what the heck is going on? So, my customer started saying, “Hey, I love the website, you built me but then again, no traffic. What are you going to do?” I said, “All right, Well let me do, let me search on what to do.” And I searched and I found that search engine optimization was a popular technique to get traffic to someone’s website. So I started getting traffic to people’s websites and we’ve serviced over 1,100 companies getting traffic to their website. We did a really good job. People were loving it. They were number one for their primary keywords. It was incredible. It was a great journey but a lot of customers were still going out of business because they were getting the wrong clients. They were getting people coming to their website but they were getting the wrong clients. So we said, “You know what, if you’re getting the wrong clients it’s because your strategy is off. We’re just doing tactics for you, You’re just paying for tactics. We got to learn strategy.”
So I became an expert at digital marketing strategy and we started doing strategic marketing campaigns and building marketing funnels to nurture the right leads from the top of the funnel to the bottom line. And so we started building out funnels. Part of building out a funnel is figuring out how to be strategic and LinkedIn is one of the most strategic platforms specifically for B2B companies. Our focus at Ajax Union, we have a digital marketing agency that focuses on building strategic marketing campaigns for B2B companies. And one of the things that we do as part of what we do is account-based marketing. And so I realized that LinkedIn is very different than Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, even Snapchat, it’s very different. Why? Because when I look at somebody on Instagram, I see a handle. When I look at somebody on Facebook, I see a first and last name and I see a bunch of friends. When I look at them on TikTok, I just see a screen name but on LinkedIn, I see a first name, last name, company name, where they work, how long they work there, what their position was before, where they worked before, how long they worked there, when they went to school, when they graduated. I see every recommendation, I see all their activity, what they liked and commented on, and I see all our mutual connections. I mean, if there’s not a better platform to be able to leverage that information when you’re being strategic in your marketing and your networking and even in your prospecting, then you’re missing out.
And so I became obsessed with it because I also was doing a lot of offline marketing and offline networking and building relationships offline. And one of the ways that I learned to stay top of mind with people was using LinkedIn because I found that there are hundreds of millions of people that are on LinkedIn and it’s been growing every single year. 10 years ago when I was teaching LinkedIn, we were only 65 million members. And I would tell people, have a profile and connect with your coworkers. You know, that’s what I would tell people to do, connect with your clients, people that know you. But now it’s not just about that. Now, it’s about having a content marketing strategy. Now, it’s about having a DM strategy. Now, it’s about really understanding your target market and going deep and staying top of mind and networking and building relationships with the LinkedIn newsletter, with LinkedIn Live with LinkedIn group messaging. There’s so many different ways to leverage LinkedIn to stay top of mind with your network and so, especially post-pandemic, when people are much more comfortable doing virtual networking, like we’re doing right now and building these relationship, LinkedIn is the place to be and if you’re not leveraging it, you need to hire someone competent to educate you how to do social selling, how to do networking on LinkedIn, because the best thing that you can do in your life is hire an expert to support you. Because if you try to figure it out yourself, you’re going to be stuck.
Brynne Tillman 12:32
Yeah. And you know, the interesting thing is, when you do it wrong on LinkedIn, it’s way more dangerous than when you do wrong in cold calling, or even on other sites, because they know everything you can learn about them, they’re learning about you. And…
Joe Apfelbaum 12:47
Yeah when you cold call someone, they don’t even know who you are. You’re like, “Hi, is this Mike?” And he’s like, “Yeah, it’s Mike.” “Hi Mike, we have chairs that we’d like to offer your business, would you guys like some chairs?” And the guy is like, “Who the hell are you? Why are you selling me stuff? Goodbye.” Bam! But when you send somebody an InMail or you send somebody a DM, or you send a connection request and you’re like, “Hi Mike from XYZ company, I have amazing web design for you and your website looks like crap.” And then the person is like, “Who the heck is this person?” “I’m just going to x, delete, block, never call me again.” And worst, they’re gonna get a bad taste in your company. I think it was Warren Buffett that said, “It takes a decade or three decades to build a reputation but it only takes 10 minutes to destroy it.”
Brynne Tillman 13:25
Yeah, I love that line. It’s brilliant, because people are destroying it every single day. And it’s sad, it’s sad. So talk about some of your best practices for networking and then we’ll talk about content.
Joe Apfelbaum 13:38
In terms of networking, I believe that it’s very important for you to get to know yourself first. A lot of people go out there networking, but they don’t really know who they are and so they kind of get stuck when people ask them about their passions, about their values, about things that are outside of work. And networking is not just about work, although the word “work” is inside networking because it does take a lot of work to network and a lot of people just want to get results but they’re not willing to do the work.
For me, It’s really about getting to know other people and building relationships because people will do business with other people that they know, they like, and most importantly, they trust. And in order for them to trust you, they have to see how they’re like you. And so figuring out okay, how am I like Brynne, what is Brynne like? Does she have kids? Do I have kids? Are we both in New York City? Do we both like burgers, like, what are we both into so that we can know how we’re like each other, so we can build rapport, build relationships and so you really have to get to know yourself.
I remember 15 years ago, when I looked at a Facebook profile, I was like, I don’t have any interests. If you don’t have interests, then you’re not interesting. And if you’re not interesting, people are not going to be interested in you. And so you got to figure out what your interests. Now I say, I’m a rapper, I’m a roller blader, I’m a stand-up comedian. I love having fun with my five children. There’s so much that I can talk about now. And people are like, “Wow, this person is such a great personality. So interesting.” I wasn’t always like that. I wasn’t always interesting because I was all focused on how do I make money? How do I build my business. Let’s not waste time, let’s just make money. And so you have to kind of take a step back from that, because it’s not just about quantity, it’s also about quality. It’s also about going deep. You need to have a certain amount of quantity as well for it to even work but it’s about going deeper. So me and you are part of a mastermind networking group, a virtual one where people do like joint venture partnerships and you take a look at the list. I don’t know most of the people, but the 20 or 30, or 40 people, the 20% of people — there’s the 80-20 rule — the 20% of people that I do know, I know pretty well. I’ve had long conversations with them. We’ve done joint venture partnerships together, we build deep relationships, I know what’s going on in their life. And so you don’t have to get to know everybody. So with networking, number one is you got to get to know yourself and number two is use the 80-20 rule. 80% of the people are just not going to resonate with you, but if you find the 20%, if you have 1,000 people in your world that you can possibly connect to, build a relationship with 200 over the course of the next three years. And people are like, “Three years? Three years? I only got three months, I gotta figure out how to make it!” Most people are trying to fake it instead of trying to make it. So what you got to do is you got to put it in the oven, and you got to bake it and it takes time. It just takes time.
Brynne Tillman 16:11
You’re so clever. I love that. You’re so much fun. And you know what all of those little things are so memorable when you do that. I hate the phrase “fake it till you make it” because we need to show up authentically. I’m okay if I have something new that I’m not sure that it’s really good yet and letting people know, “Hey, I’m trying this out. Love to hear your thoughts.” because we haven’t baked it completely yet, right. But I think the authenticity is more important than the faking. If you can be confident in yourself and your relationships, it’s okay if you’re not 100% confident in every other part as long as you’re authentic about it.
Joe Apfelbaum 16:51
But there is a massive distinction that I want to make. It’s okay to fake it ‘til you make it for yourself. I’ll say it again, It’s okay to fake it ‘til you make it for yourself. So, I don’t want anyone to show up saying, “Well, I’m weak. I’m an idiot. I’m not (crosstalk), I’m not worth it.” because we all have those beliefs in our head. We all have something called impostor syndrome. It’s real. It’s real that people don’t feel like they’re enough even if they’re a hundred-million-dollar CEO, they don’t feel like they’re enough. But if you tell yourself a lie long enough, we eventually believe it. The thing is, the lie that we’ve been telling ourselves is that we’re not enough that we don’t have intrinsic value, that we are not special. And the truth is you are unique, you are special, you have intrinsic value, you are amazing. So tell yourself that lie. If it feels like a lie to you, fake it ‘til you make it internally. On the outside, it’s okay to be so vulnerable. It’s okay to ask for help but don’t share your insecurities with people that you don’t trust yet, because that will erode the way that they look at you. A lot of people show up on LinkedIn and they try to get clicks and they try to get seen as a person who is weak. I’m like, I’m depressed. I’m this, I’m that just to kind of get likes. I don’t think that works with real business. I don’t think that that’s (crosstalk) your private therapeutic section. If you have performance anxiety, if you have issues like that, share that with your inner circle, share that with your therapist, but online, show up strong, show up powerful, show up like an expert.
You might not believe that you’re an expert, but I’m telling you, you are. You know more about your industry and your business than you’re willing to give yourself credit to because the more you know, the more you know you don’t know. I don’t consider myself a LinkedIn expert internally because I know there are people that know so much more than me. But externally, I look at the LinkedIn navigator coach, they say, “Joe, you’re an expert.” “You’re an expert.” “You’re amazing, you know this call, do you know the difference in leads and accounts and you know how to network and prospect and you know how to market.” And I know all these technologies to attach to Sales Navigator and LinkedIn organic and I know a lot but the more I know, the more I know I’m an idiot, the more I know I don’t know. But I don’t share that with people because people need me to show up as a leader. And if you don’t show up as a leader, it’s a big problem.
Brynne Tillman 19:01
Yeah. And that’s the confidence side. I totally agree. Like being confident in who you are and also being authentic but, and vulnerable is different than weak, I think. So, but I love that. I think that’s great. And you’re right and it’s funny, I still don’t love the word “fake” it but I think it’s “Live it ‘til you make it.” Like, live the life that you want to have and you’ll create that.
Joe Apfelbaum 19:26
It’s like the difference between doing and being. You can do, do, do but you have to be who you want to become. So if you want to be wealthy, be wealthy, behave wealthy, take wealthy actions. Do things, don’t be cheap, invest in yourself. If you, if you’re not investing in yourself because you don’t have money, well then you’re not going to make money. You got to become more than you are because that’s how you grow.
Brynne Tillman 19:50
100%. And it’s interesting when I come from, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got to prospect more because my pipeline is low.” I sell way less than if, I come from you know, “I’m just going to help a lot of people and some people will hire me.” But I’m detached, really, it’s about detaching from what the prospect is worth to you and attaching to what you are worth to the prospect.
Joe Apfelbaum 20:12
Otherwise you have desperation breath. Nobody wants to smell your desperation breath. Instead, what they want is they want to see that you’re alive, that you’re thriving. They want to see that you can help them. So put on those shoes, like really find your niche. I think the niches are not in the pitches. The niches, the riches are in the niches, not in the pitches. That’s what I tell people, the riches are not, they’re not in the pitches. It’s not about pitching people, it’s about serving them, it’s about connecting with them. It’s about building that real relationship. You need to have a niche in order for you to be able to do that. You need to know who you’re talking to. It’s much easier for me to get B2C clients because there’s many more B2C companies out there. But I’m not talking to B2C, I’m talking specifically to B2B. I’m specifically talking to people that need account-based marketing, that needs sales enablement, that needs strategic marketing funnels and drip campaigns. But people are like, “Well, then you’re missing out on tons of opportunities for people that are like, Amazon sellers.” I’m like, “Fine, so I’m going to miss out on that opportunity but I know the riches are in the niches.” So the more you niche down, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to find the people that will resonate with your message and the more value that you’ll be able to add with your insights and what you share in your communication. I recently saw an influencer online, she was bragging about how she made millions of dollars in her business, and you only need inbound. I completely disagree with that. I don’t think it’s only about waiting for inbound because you waited, you feel like, “I’ll build it and they will come.” No, you need a combination of inbound and you need a combination of outbound. You need all the things work but they work together. You got to work the things together. You got to work your personal brand, you got to work your corporate brand, you got to do advertising, you got to do prospecting. It all works together. You got to do networking, you got to do marketing. And when you do it all together, the right recipe makes the cake beautiful.
Brynne Tillman 22:00
I love that! I really do. And you know, it’s funny that you talk about “field of dreams,” because we always say it’s a myth because you build it, they will come. You have to invite them. And so, I love that you use that. That’s awesome. So talk about the kind of content that will attract the right people on LinkedIn. What kind of co…— because you are, first of all, not only is your content good, but the amount of engagement you get on all of your content is insane. So, if you’re willing to share any of your little secrets around, you know, how you’re getting that kind of engagement and what kind of content really works?
Joe Apfelbaum 22:40
So what I always tell people is I don’t want to go viral. So a lot of people, they’re like, “Oh, I want to get millions of visitors and millions of views.” Millions of views is not going to help your business. Especially if you’re in B2B and you have high ticket products and services. If you’re selling something for over $10,000, your average lifetime value of a customer is 50,000, 100,000, then going viral is not going to help you because you’re going to get a lot of clutter, and you have to qualify the clutter and it’s not going to work. So what you need to do is, instead, have the right 1,000 people see you a thousand times a year.
So for me, the first step is making sure I have the right followers, I have the right connections. And that’s totally up to you, you can have up to 30,000 on LinkedIn organically. Doing this strategically is the key. And some people say, “Joe but I can only add 100 a week,” that’s okay, add 100 a week. You want to get over the 100-mark? No problem, we have plenty of hacks for that. You can add all your contacts to Google, you can connect your Google and connect to 2,500 people at a time. There’s a lot of ways to do that but you have to first get the right people. That’s number one.
Number two is, once you have the right people, you got to figure out what the message is to those people that will resonate with them. So part of the strategy that I teach is, first, have a plan, understand who the people are, make sure that you connect with them. And then make sure that you have the right messaging to those people by understanding how to create messaging to begin with. So we teach people a framework, a step-by-step process on how to make sure that you know what people want to hear. What are their problems? What are their solutions? Like really getting into the psyche of your target market. And then once you have that, understanding how to tell a story. Features tell, stories sell. The best posts that I post are stories. You go look at my stories, I just did an hour presentation on how to tell a good story for my audience, for my students. We have 680 entrepreneurs, sales reps, coaches, consultants in our program, and we had an hour-long program on how to properly tell stories. There’s a two heroes journey, there’s a lot of different modalities on how to be able to tell stories, but the key is telling a story. And when you tell a story on LinkedIn, people kind of lean in. And so you’ll see all the best posts are about telling the story. You can tell your story, you can tell your clients’ story, you can tell your avatars, there’s like lots of different ways to be able to tell stories on LinkedIn. And then making sure that your profile really tells your story. So if you want people to engage with you, they have to look at you and want to trust you and a lot of people just write “entrepreneur” on their profile and they don’t write any other information. And so if you want your content to get out there, you have to have an interesting profile, you have to tell stories, and it has to match your target market.
And with that, just a couple of tips in terms of getting your content to have a little more engagement, start with a hook because that will get people to click the Show More button on LinkedIn technically and then they’ll spend more time — you want to get more time with your audience. And the more time people spend with your post, the more LinkedIn sees it as a valuable post. That’s why it used to be, you could only write up to 1,500 characters, now you can write up to 3,000 characters on your LinkedIn posts. And you’ll see that my best posts are really long posts, and they’ll be like, “What’s going on? Why are these posts so long?” People tell me like, “Why don’t you just have a short post?” I do have many short posts, sometimes they just ask a question. But I want people to, like, lean in and spend time with my posts. And then I see who invests time on the posts based on the comments because I spread out my calls to action throughout the posts. So different calls to action will resonate with different people. So as you’re going through the post, I say, in the middle of the post, I might say, “So what do you think of my photo?” and then I keep going down and at the bottom, I give them another call to action, and then another call to action, and different people in the comments will resonate with different parts of the post, and then I’m going to start getting more people.
You see, the thing about engagement is, that most people don’t recognize this so they don’t even have a call to action on their posts, is that you got to give people something to engage upon. So, when you’re telling a story and you ask a question inside the story, someone has a visceral feeling to share their opinion. And so you got to tap into that visceral need that human beings have to share their two cents. So, in my content, you’ll go through my content and often I’ll just ask an open-ended question where people are compelled to answer that question and sometimes people leave these really long, interesting answers and then I engage with them as well. So, I respond to the comment and then I send them a DM after. And sometimes I’ll even call them, literally. I had somebody like my post recently, and I didn’t have a lot of likes. I had like eight likes on the post. I picked up the phone and I called up this woman, her name is Millie. She’s a coach. We’re having dinner tonight, because of that call. I’m not kidding. We’re having dinner tonight because of that call. And she’s going to have me speak in front of 150 people next month, literally, because I picked up the phone from a like, and I made that phone call. And I said “I’m just calling you for one reason, and one reason only Millie.” She’s like, “Joe, what’s up?” I said, “I want to thank you for liking my posts.” And that turned into a 30-minute conversation, which is turning into a two-hour dinner and a three-hour seminar that I’m doing in front of my qualified prospects of business development.
Think about that for a second. How many people are willing to pick up the goddamn phone and have a real conversation online? That goes back to the first question that you asked is, “How do you make it social?” Call people! “But oh, but I don’t want to bother people.” If they put their phone number on their profile, they want you to call them. Actually, people are begging to get a phone call from someone like me and someone like you listening to this right now because you’re an interesting person, no?
Brynne Tillman 27:57
I love this Joe, so much. I think it’s awesome. You know, one of the things we notice, even if people are good at engaging on comments, they rarely engage with the people that react to the post that like or comment or you know, or it’s amazing. You could have eight or ten likes and they go, “Oh, that’s interesting, these people liked it.” If they’re people you want to have a conversation with, it’s like they made eye contact with you across the room, right? They’re giving you permission to walk up and say hello.
Joe Apfelbaum 28:25
But not everybody has the time to do it right away and I want to give you permission. If your post happens to go viral, like my Father’s Day post went a little out there, I had close to 30,000 people that saw the post within several hours. And I was like, “Oh my god, this is too much.” So when you have hundreds and hundreds of likes, and you have over 100 comments, it can be really overwhelming to respond to every single person right away but that’s okay, because I can respond in a week from now to the person’s comment, and they will get an instant notification and an email with the actual comment. So if your emails are turned on, and by default 99% of people have their emails turned on, because they don’t have that much activity, especially if the average person has 440 connections, no one’s responding to their comments. No one’s doing like, you know, they leave a comment on Gary Vaynerchuk or Tony Robbins, they’re never getting a reply to that. And so they leave their email notifications on. So if I reply to this in two weeks from now, I’m going to go back to my posts and I’m going to reply, make sure I reply to everything but I don’t have to do it right away because I only spend 15-20 minutes a day on my stuff. I don’t have to spend my whole day. I got kids, I got webinars that I’m doing, I got podcasts like this that I’m doing, and so I can go back and reply to stuff from a month ago, from two months ago, from a week ago from and that still builds that relationship because social media is not something that needs to be done instantaneously. I’m not talking about LinkedIn Live, with LinkedIn Live, you got to respond right away to keep the engagement going and I have a whole strategy for how to use LinkedIn Live in a way where you can get 100 comments in 15 minutes and doing it strategically and getting people really, really riled up and engaged. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about specifically social media in general, it’s not something that’s instant, it’s something that happens over time. So if you take a look at my Facebook, if you take a look at my Instagram, if you take a look at my LinkedIn, these are relationships that I can build when I have the time and I’m willing to make the time to do it. But to Brynne’s point, you have to make the time to go back, you can’t be posting and ghosting, you got to actually respond.
Brynne Tillman 30:23
I love that. So one of the things we will say to someone that most people don’t know you can do this, but in your posts or any posts, you can actually click on the three dots and save that post. And you can go in to your saved posts. Because a lot of times, you know, you’re lost, you go into your activity, you have to scroll through 70 things to find it, you can actually save it. And the other thing you can do is you can bookmark it.
Joe Apfelbaum 30:52
I love that. Bookmarking was so and I love the way that you use bookmarking in general. What I do is I have my assistant go through and take every single post and put it into a spreadsheet for me because…
Brynne Tillman 31:03
Oh, I love that.
Joe Apfelbaum 31:04
I have so many posts that I’ve done and I want to go back to something from a year ago. And you know, when you go back to your activity, and you start scrolling and you can’t get to it, I actually have her also label each post with the category that it’s in. So if I want to see all my videos, I can go into the spreadsheet and filter by videos.
Brynne Tillman 31:20
Joe Apfelbaum 31:21
I have all these and I teach my students how to do this as part of a content dashboard. It’s really important to have a dashboard of your stuff. And I go back, I see what has a lot of views, I filter by a certain level of views, I filter by a certain category. And then I also rate the posts on if it’s something that I would want to repost later on because I believe that it’s so important for you to repost content, and using social posting tools, you can one click of a button repost a post, with a unique image, with unique content, with a unique hashtag, with everything that you want in there, and you can schedule out into the future. So a lot of people are not using these technology in these ways. And that’s you know, that’s what I love about teaching people when you say the hacks, like the shortcuts, these are like little simple things that you can do that will save you so much time. So thank you for sharing your incredible hacks. You will have tons of hacks too.
Brynne Tillman 32:09
I do, I have a lot of fun things. And I absolutely love yours. I’m going to add to that, one more is create your own hashtag and put it on everything that you do so that you can in one click, you can see all your stuff in one stream.
Joe Apfelbaum 32:23
I have a special hashtag for my polls, for example.
What’s your hashtag for your polls?
It’s MojoPolls. M-O-J-O-P-O-L-L-S. I do one poll every single week. Sometimes I get frisky and I do two polls. But every single week, and today, while I was in the shower, I was thinking to myself, I have an idea for a poll. And when I have an idea for the poll and so every single week, once a week, I issue a poll, and polls get really, really high organic reach, because people get a dopamine hit when they actually vote. But a lot of people don’t do this, they don’t tell people to vote inside the post. So tell people to vote, break down all the different options, and explain to them in the post, which option they should choose. And then also tell them that if they want to get the response to it, they should like and leave a comment. So this way, when the poll finishes, they actually get a response. So not only will I get votes, I will also get likes, I will also get comments. And then I take the poll once it’s published, and I share it in the DM with people strategically. And the actual poll loads inside the DM and people can vote on the poll without leaving the DM. That is incredible. A lot of people don’t even know this, especially if you’re using group messaging the way that I’m using group messaging, where I create very strategic group messages with people that are engaged on LinkedIn, I have over a thousand connections that are engaged on LinkedIn. And I have different group messages with different people that I know that will engage with my poll. So using this strategically is very important.
Brynne Tillman 33:51
Yeah, the one thing that I love about polls with LinkedIn is that you do not get to see the breakdown of the votes until you vote. And I think that’s brilliant, because that gets people to want to vote.
Well, we are like way over time, which you know, I could keep going forever and ever and ever. But, Joe, you’re amazing. I so treasure you in my life, in my network, in my LinkedIn world. And personally, I think you’re just, you have some of the best energy of anyone I’ve ever known. And I appreciate you so much and sharing this with our listeners. Tell everyone how they can get a hold of you.
Joe Apfelbaum 34:25
The best way to get a hold of me is to go to JoeLinkedIn.com. That’s another tip I give people is buy a domain that goes straight to your LinkedIn, especially if you have a complicated last name like Apfelbaum. So if you go to JoeLinkedIn.com, you can hit the Follow button or you can hit the More button next to the Follow button. Click the Connect button and write a message, “Hey, I found you on Brynne Tillman’s podcast and I would love to connect with you.” and give me a reason. I always tell people give me a reason why you want to connect with me. Don’t just say you want to connect with me. Mention Brynne’s name. Definitely hit the connect button. I do have room for another 5,000 connections. So I’ll definitely make room for you. I do have a thousand people waiting to connect with me, but most of them are spamming me. So I’m not just going to accept people, I’m going to do what Brynne says, to actually message people before you hit the Accept button and have a relationship with them. So for me, what I want people to do is go to JoeLinkedIn.com and connect with me, check out my stuff, and I’d love to learn more about you and help you be able to take your business and your life to the next level.
Brynne Tillman 35:21
You’re amazing. Thanks so much, and everyone, thanks so much for joining us for another episode of Making Sales Social. Make sure you follow and like and rate this episode. Have a great day.
Bob Woods 35:35
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