Episode 136: Social Selling Levels the Playing Field
Social Sales Link’s Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods discuss how social selling levels the playing field in a way that allows any sales professional with a good, authentic message to go toe-to-toe with large companies that have deep pockets to spend on building brand awareness and exposure.
Listen as they talk about what it means to be a micro-influencer and what you can do to start attracting your targeted audience, such as having both a personal page and a company page on LinkedIn so you can show up in a meaningful way.
Discover what it means to be a resource instead of being seen as too salesy from the get-go, that it’s all about attracting, teaching, and engaging. Make sure to take note of all the excellent tips and strategies Brynne and Bob shared in this episode!
Bob Woods 00:00
Hello, fellow business pros, and welcome to Making Sales Social Live! Brought to you by Social Sales Link. I’m Bob Woods, and I’m joined by co-host and fellow LinkedIn type like myself, Brynne Tillman. Hey, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:16
Bob Woods 00:17
Brynne Tillman 00:17
LinkedIn type. What’s your type? My type is LinkedIn.
Bob Woods 00:21
We all have a type. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. We all have a type, and we just happen to share one.
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 00:246
Today, I’m going to start out with a bold but accurate statement. LinkedIn and organized social media reach have leveled the playing field for brands of all sizes. So once upon a time, only companies that had those big pockets with millions of dollars to spend on marketing and things like that were about the only ones that can build brand awareness and exposure to their products and services. So you know, like Procter & Gamble’s and huge companies like that, essentially but with the internet, and all of the wonderful things that have come with it, almost anyone with a good message, who brings value to the industry they serve can become a micro-influencer.
So now we’re going to expand that a little bit. Smaller brands can have a much broader reach organically by using LinkedIn, we’re going to talk about how to do this and when executed consistently, and that’s key consistently, these strategies will attract and engage a targeted audience. So we’re gonna get into those by talking about an area that both Brynne and I love to talk about and that is linked in profiles,
Brynne Tillman 01:58
Oh my gosh, so 100%, if you want to be a micro-influencer, if you want to start to attract your targeted audience, if you want to level the playing field so that you have a brand message that can equal any of your competitors out there, it’s got to start with a value-centric profile. This is absolutely essential. If you really want to really show up as a brand.
If you want to show up in a way that’s meaningful, you’ve got to have a wonderful personal profile. And I’m going to argue, you’re gonna have to have a great company page and LinkedIn page, I still want to say company page, you have a great company page as well.
Bob Woods 02:52
Yep! Because that’s one of the first things that people see at the top of the profile. The top of the fold, as we call it, here is the person’s link to the company page. So when people land on someone’s profile, because of that individual’s activity and LinkedIn, no matter what they’re doing, and we just talked about, that’s the main reason why you need to have strong profiles, because every activity you do on LinkedIn, you push people to your profile, but the company page or the page or whatever, the LinkedIn page, that has to be equally as strong, and it has to be built out in a very thoughtful way to support what your salespeople are, whoever it is you’re talking about, within your company are doing, because anyone who goes to their profiles have that link to the LinkedIn page of the company.
Brynne Tillman 03:45
Yeah, and you know, the other thing is, what you’ve got to do, there is to be a resource on both sides. We want to make sure that the impression that our visitors are getting of us is not that we’re salesy, and we also don’t want to look small, and one of the best things that we can do is share big content, be a resource, get them interested, get them to like lean in and say “wow, this is a different approach.”
When we can do that both on your personal profile and I’m gonna just keep saying, company page on LinkedIn. You know, you’re really building a reputation as a micro-influencer and will start to attract the right people. That’s definitely number one in becoming that micro-influencer, in leveling the playing field in attracting followers and engagers. You got to start by bringing them value, and that’s got to start with that profile.
Bob Woods 04:48
Yep and then the next thing we’re going to talk about in terms of strategies feeds directly into number one. How do you do that? You focus on attracting, teaching, and engaging your audience, not selling them and hitting them constantly with sales pitches, because you’ll be tuned out immediately by that, especially in any social platform, but especially on LinkedIn, you can’t be selling, you have to attract, you have to teach, and you have to engage.
Brynne Tillman 05:18
Yeah, and that’s a perfect kind of bridge from the profile, right? It we’re showing up as this resource, there are a few things I want to mention, if you want to build a following, you have to start by engaging, right, people are going to follow you because you’re hoping and praying in your posting, people are going to follow you because you’ve started to engage with them.
One of the things when you were starting to level the playing field, one of the reasons that LinkedIn allows us to level that playing field is that you can engage with pretty much anyone who’s engaging on LinkedIn the same way a big brand might, right?
So whether you’re curating, developing content, or sharing content in your newsfeed and in the inbox, you have to actually engage on their content too. It’s not a one-way street, we build a following because we’re engaging with them. So make sure, and we like to have like a three-to-one ratio, right, you’re engaging three times more than you’re posting.
Bob Woods 06:18
At least. And that’s a great metric to because so many times you see companies and you see individuals as well, who are getting these potentials for engaging, but for whatever reason, whether it’s purposeful or not, they just don’t engage at all, believe me, that’s not only a turn off to the person who sent the original engagement, but especially in the feed, if you are not engaging with people who engage with you, other people are going to see that too, and they’re going to think, “What is this company doing? I mean, why aren’t they answering this person? Or why isn’t this individual answering this person who had a really good point about something that the company or the person posted about in the first place” you know, what I’m saying, and if it’s, a comment to a share made by the person or the company.
So you can’t get that walled-off reputation, either, because that will just torpedo anything that you want to do with attracting and teaching and engaging? Because if you’re not engaging in that stuff, why is anybody gonna think that you’re going to, you know, yeah, be like that or whatever.
Brynne Tillman 07:25
You used to always say, we sit, and I copy you, don’t ghost and post or “Don’t post and ghost,” I said it backwards, don’t post and ghost, right. And so that’s what you’re talking about now and I think that that’s brilliant, right? It’s so vital that if people are going to engage on our stuff that we’re engaging back, there’s also just engaging on their stuff, right. So they’re both critically important. And, you know, we follow Richard van der Blom who does lots and lots of studies on the LinkedIn algorithm, and he let us know the last time that he did a study to get new ones coming out soon. But the last time he did a big study, he identified that if you’re engaging with other people, they’re likely going to see your content. So we have control over who’s going to see our content by taking action and engaging on their content.
Bob Woods 08:17
That’s another huge point, and that’s another going back to our original premise, oh my god, that you don’t need to have these millions of dollars that these companies use to spend, you can just do this, it just takes a little bit of your time, it doesn’t take a lot of time either, but just by engaging with someone and doing everything that Brynne just said, you can start expanding your reach even more and your company, if they engage with the company, you spend their reach even more as well, just by taking those couple of minutes, you don’t need to spend any money on that.
Brynne Tillman 08:53
So before we go to number three, I just want to say that the easiest way to do that is to ring their bell. So go out to the profiles of people that you want to engage with. If you’re a 1st-degree connection, the bell is right there on the top right, below your banner, ring the bell. If they are not a 1st-degree connection, follow them first, and the bell will pop up and ring their bell, and then you’ll be alerted when they share contents you’d have to go hunting all the time.
Bob Woods 09:24
So the third one is something that we’ve been talking about a lot lately, but it also plugs in here as well: find influencers in your industry or sector or whatever you serve, who are attracting your audience and then engage with them. This one is really big because they’ve got the audience that you want. Why not? I don’t want to say take advantage because when you do engage, you know you should be adding thought leadership, you should be adding value, and everything else too. So it’s not like you’re taking advantage of it because you’re adding to the conversation, but that’s important because they’ve got the audience already. You should be there with your voice so that they can be attracted back to your profile, your company’s LinkedIn page, and all that type of stuff.
Brynne Tillman 10:14
And your content! Yeah, absolutely. So this is such a wonderful tip-up, Bob. Really take a look at who in your industry is counted on LinkedIn is getting tons of reactions and comments in a similar, not direct competitor, but you know, someone who’s attracting similar type people.
You could go to huge influencers like Brené Brown, you could go to smaller influencers, but who’s attracting your target market? For me, one of the one’s Daniel Pink attracts a lot of sales leaders, Tony Robbins attracts a lot of business owners, right? Find those influencers, engage with them as the author, but the magic is in the comments, picture, that author is the keynote, all these people in the comments are the ones that are attending the keynote, you are one of those. So you’re talking to them in line when you’re taking your ticket, and you’re talking to them when you’re at the concession stand.
And then when you’re sitting next to them in the theater, waiting for that keynote. We’re having all these conversations. And if that keynote is attracting your prospects, those prospects, you do content, wow, will be attracted to your content, as well. It’s a really great way to find mass folks that will engage on your content. (Bob: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.)
It looks like Joe had a quick… “Engaging is within posts and podcasts, as I know, that helps in adding information of value and commenting more touches more recognition.” So yeah, I mean, posting covers a whole gamut of things, and I love podcasts, and I love posting content that will attract people.
Bob Woods 12:09
So actually, before we get to point number four, I just want to point out and this is especially for podcast listeners because if you’re watching us live right now, you can actually see this already. But we do have an ebook about this very thing called social selling levels, the playing field. So to get that to download it, just go to socialsaleslink.com/level as in level up, level out, whatever you want to say socialsaleslink.com/level an entire eBook is there. You don’t have to register or anything like that for it, you can just download it directly from there. So that almost felt like a commercial, but it wasn’t really a commercial.
Brynne Tillman 12:55
Yeah, there’s nothing to sell. It’s all free.
Bob Woods 12:57
Yeah, it’s all free and everything that’s in there where we’re talking about right now. So it’s also like a guide to what we’re talking about.
Brynne Tillman 13:06
How do you become a micro-influencer? How do you level the playing field with you and your competition, no matter how small you are, how big they are, with social selling, as Bob is talking about, right, now, we can level that playing field.
Bob Woods 13:22
So we’re gonna get to point number four. So take inventory of your existing connections and engage. So this one we normally talk about when it comes to networking and things like that, and getting referrals and things like that when you’re taking inventory. This time, it’s a little different, because you’re going to ask them directly one to one, to vote on a poll or comment on a post or something like that, as well.
So we’re now actually bringing this over into the world of engagement and the world of pushing out your message even more because when you do this, you’re now on their radar, it’s really meaningful to them, because they should care about the topic that you’re talking about in the poll or in the post, because you’re trying to attract them and hopefully you’ve got the message behind that that is value-based, that is value driven. And they’re likely to see and engage on your future content as well because of what Brynne just mentioned before.
Brynne Tillman 14:23
So I love this one, Bob, really, I think this is huge. So taking inventory, exporting your connection, or doing a good search on who you’re already connected to, that you want to re-engage and it shouldn’t be salesy, right, like create a poll and ask them to vote, ask them for their opinion, interview them on a LinkedIn live. I mean, there’s so many things that you can do to start a conversation that with some of these folks, and that will create content and when you do that, let’s stick with LinkedIn live if we want to talk about leveling the playing fields, you can interview just by asking some very high-level influencers.
Literally, I’d love to interview you for our podcast, we’d love to interview on LinkedIn live. I mean, I have really both, but we’ve really attracted some top-level influencers. So when we do that, we start to get a similar credibility. When you interview enough of these people, I remember someone saying, “I can’t believe you got Bob Berg on a masterclass.” And this was even before I was in his mastermind, I’m like, “I just asked.” like, so many of these folks are thrilled to get the exposure into your little network and that gives you so much credibility in the big world.
Bob Woods 15:47
Yeah, it’s amazing how many of those people are actually approachable. I mean, for those of you who don’t know, my deep background was actually in broadcast journalism and, and just journalism in general, I got interviews with all kinds of people that you wouldn’t necessarily think are approachable, and I was in the press. So it’s like, you know, there’s like a little added incentive there back then because nowadays, podcasts are kind of like press, I mean, interviews are kinda like press, especially because these people are going to be touching people in your audience that they may not otherwise do. So I mean, my overall point is to ask. There will be value for them to be interviewed by you to speak with you because they are getting to other audiences that they may not necessarily reach.
Brynne Tillman 16:39
And it’s fun. Like, especially people of influence, love to do podcasts and conversations. I mean, I rarely turn anything down, because I have so much fun doing it. So you know, most folks, if you ask the right way, with the right intention, are gonna want to do it, which I sort of realized when I kind of bridged into number five, but I think we can expand the number five.
Bob Woods 17:14
Yeah, absolutely. So number five, leveraging some tools that LinkedIn already offers you. LinkedIn lives, like what we’re doing right now, LinkedIn, audio rooms, and LinkedIn newsletters, these are three tools that, as long as you’re in Creator mode, you have access to that you can use to consistently bring value, which is just a part of what we were talking about in terms of interviews and things like that, your audience is going to show up if you consistently bring value. And there’s that consistent word again, too, you have to consistently bring value otherwise, the audience is going to lose interest, so consistent, and value and tools.
Brynne Tillman 17:58
So I love that! One of the things that I love. And there are some times where we’ve had 50,60, we’ve had over 101, LinkedIn live for a couple of reasons. One of them is we promoted it a little bit, but the other is that when people actually say they’re going to attend the event, so if you promote it enough, then they get a reminder when you go live, and a lot of people in your network will get a notification when you go live.
Newsletters, the first time you launch a newsletter, every single person in your network is alerted about that newsletter, so they’re likely to subscribe, be careful before you do that. I mean, so much of these things gives you reach. Now I’m gonna share one other tip that’s not in here that I just thought about that’s an important one. And when we are talking about getting reach, right, we’re talking about how are we building a following? How are we becoming a micro-influencer inside of our network? There’s so much about identifying your ideal market, and making sure you really learn what it is that they want to consume before we go out and do all of these fabulous things. We want to make sure we’ve got the right message that’s going to engage the right people. So and then go back to your profile with the right message and to everything that we just talked about because if you don’t know who you’re talking to, and what matters to them, we can confuse the marketplace.
Bob Woods 19:36
Absolutely. So again, we have an ebook that specifically dovetails out of all this stuff. It’s called social selling levels, the playing field, it’s at socialsaleslink.com/level. Again, that socialsaleslink.com/level And so go ahead and pick that up. And again, you don’t have to register anything for it.
Thanks again for joining us in Making Sales Social Live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this sucker every week. So keep an eye out for our live sessions. If you are listening to us on our podcast, go ahead and hit that subscribe or follow button so you can access all of our previous shows and be alerted when new ones drop.
So gonna toss another URL at you really quick if you’d like more info on our podcast that’s at socialsaleslink.com/podcast That one’s easy, though I’m not going to repeat it. We do two shows weekly, this one and our Making Sales Social interview series, interviews, interviews, and where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business, and many, many more areas.
So this was a great one, Brynne and we got the ebook too. I mean, this is like a double shot of what we would like to think is very valuable content. So when you’re out and about, be sure to make your sales social.
Brynne Tillman 21:01
Bye Bob. Bye, everyone.
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