Episode 138: 10 Steps to B2C Success on LinkedIn
Social Sales Link’s Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods delve into a topic that they don’t talk about often but is something that is beneficial to a wide community of business development professionals — business to consumer (B2C) sales.
Listen to them discuss ten highly effective steps that can help individuals better establish a successful B2C sales campaign on LinkedIn.
10 Steps to B2C Success on LinkedIn
- Knowing how B2C works on LinkedIn
- Shifting your profile from a resume to a resource
- Identifying referral sources
- Asking your clients for intros into their other advisors
- Viewing clients’ connections for other people like them
- Searching clients’ connections for other people who are like them
- Engaging with local influencer content
- Connecting with everyone you meet
- Holding local events and inviting your connections by location
- Nurturing with content by adding value and education
Bob Woods 00:300
Hello, my fellow business peeps, 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 authority and virtuoso and yeah, I really worked the source.com this week for that one, Brynne Tillman.
Brynne Tillman 00:19
Hi, Bob Woods. How are you doing?
Bob Woods 00:23
I’m doing good. How about yourself?
Brynne Tillman 00:25
I’m great, now that I’m hanging out with you.
Bob Woods 00:28
Absolutely, absolutely! Let’s get this show on the road because we’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about.
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 00:52
So today, we’re going to discuss a topic we don’t talk about nearly enough, but it’s one that I love because it can be both so much fun and helpful to a wide community of business development professionals that we don’t normally talk to.
And that’s business-to-consumer or B2C sales. So while LinkedIn and social selling are tailor-made for business-to-business, or B2B sales, they can be used effectively for B2C as well. Like I said, we got a lot to talk about today.
So I’m gonna skip that normally long and stuffy intro and get right into it. Let’s talk really quick about how B2C works on LinkedIn because while LinkedIn and social selling can be used for it, it is a little different, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 01:56
Yeah! You know, we work with tons of financial advisors and bankers that are selling to consumers, families, individuals, not just commercials, and you know, a lot of them come to us and say, “Well, you know, everyone says LinkedIn is a B2B platform, but really we’re B2C, business to consumer. How does it work?” Well, there are a few things. LinkedIn has some great filters that allow us to make lists and find people with B2B filters, right, like the industry that they’re in, or the title that they hold inside of a company.
B2C, you can’t search, “I want people between the ages of 35 and 60, and I want, you know, brown hair and green eyes…” and whatever it is. Like all those things that you know, in the B2C world but what we can do is find other professionals that are selling to the same client. Like CPAs, you know, so they’re working with individuals and families, or so you need as a B2C person to look at LinkedIn not as this is my “lead list tool,” but this is my “networking tool.” This is how I come and engage with great referral partners.
One last thing before I throw it back to you, Bob. What I think is really critical is if you’re a B2C, in most cases, your geographic location matters, and that is a filter that you can use in B2C. So you may not be able to search by age, by gender but you can search by geographic location, and we’re gonna go through a whole bunch of ways to use LinkedIn or steps to use LinkedIn from a B2C world. So now I’ll throw it back to you, Bob.
Bob Woods 04:08
Yeah. So there’s one other big thing that I like to call LinkedIn when B2C is actually using it. And that’s actually B2B to C because you’re actually networking with other business professionals that’s where the B2B part comes in, but ultimately you’re looking for the more consumer market as opposed to the more business markets. So that’s where the two C’s come in. So B2B to C. That’s what you’re really looking for here.
Brynne Tillman 04:37
I love that. That’s awesome.
Bob Woods 04:41
Next, we’re going to talk about shifting your profile from a resume to a resource. That’s something that we talk a lot about. That’s numero dos, shifting your profile from a resume to a resource. That’s something we talk a lot about with B2B people, guess what? It’s the same thing with B2C.
Brynne Tillman 05:04
It is! You want to start, or should I go?
Bob Woods 05:08
You go ahead.
Brynne Tillman 05:09
Okay, so you’re 100% right Bob. It is the same thing. We need to create curiosity, to resonate with our visitor, to teach them something new, that gets them thinking differently about their current situation and creates a compelling moment.
Now I know that’s a lot, and we want our profile, and we’ll get to content, same concept, but the goal is when they show up at this profile of yours, that they go, “Oh! She works with people like me,” “Oh! He serves people like me.”
So if we include who you help, how you help them, the results you bring, and what you do, starting in your headline. Immediately, when someone gets to your profile, they understand.
The other thing I want to throw in is everyone on LinkedIn that’s in business is also a consumer. So while you can’t filter and search for them, with the right engagement and then visiting your profile, you can hit them from the consumer mindset versus the B2B.
Bob Woods 06:28
Absolutely! And getting back to that kind of, it’s almost targeting to a certain extent. So we have a big client, where we redo a lot of their profiles, and this is a financial services type of company, and there’s other things too, but mainly financial services is who we work with. And sometimes they come to me, it’s like, “I help you know, anyone and everyone.” and that’s fine, and then we work with it.
Other times, it’s like, “Well, I help pre-retirees or people who are just about ready to retire to full retirement.” you can actually address all of that throughout your profile, starting with your headline, so that people, again, just like Brynne said, will feel like that you are someone who could potentially help them. And you can do it in a targeted way too. And I just mentioned financial professionals as one, but you can do that with any type of business, you know, really nailed down who it is that you could help throughout your profile.
Brynne Tillman 07:33
I love that you mentioned that sometimes they come to you and say, “We can help everyone.” It’s like the Mary Kay person that says, you know, “I can sell to anyone with skin.” So, you know, I want you to think clearly, you know, what Bob said if you’re saying, “I can sell to anyone,” then no one believes you sell to them.
So if you can narrow that down, sometimes I’ve seen you write headlines for this client, that is helping individuals and families do XY and Z, at least they go, “Oh, I’m an individual, or I’m part of a family” like at least you’re bringing in a market. So I love that.
Bob Woods 08:18
Yeah, exactly! And then also profiles work in other ways, too, and one of the points that I’m going to be talking about a little farther down, this is where profile is going to help too. So stay tuned for that. How’s that for a tease?
The next one is identifying (Brynne: What number? Three?) Yeah, we’re on number three now. Number three, I can count, believe me. Identifying referral sources.
Brynne Tillman 08:45
So this is huge, right? So if we are a financial advisor that is working with individuals and families, who else are they working with that could become really good referral partners? So if you go to your client and say, who’s your CPA do you like her? “Yeah, she’s awesome.” “Fabulous! Would you be open to either giving me their information and me reaching out or making an introduction?”
And you can start to know who else they work with, right? They’re probably tax attorneys or estate planners, or state attorneys, right? So identify the other professionals that your client is working with, get either introductions or connections with them, and then build rapport and they become great referral partners.
Here’s the thing, they will 100% take your call when you say, “Hey, we’re both working with the same client,” because they never want it to come back to them. That they didn’t take your call or that, you know because it will get back to that client. So they’re going to take your call simply because of that relationship. So that’s really important.
Number two, they’re more apt to refer you, and you can be more comfortable referring them because they came vetted and you came vetted, right, you already have a shared client. Now, once you build a relationship, and don’t do this, on the first call, you’ll blow it. But once you build rapport and a relationship with them, invite them to go through your connections and build the list of people that you might want to meet. You can do the same, review the list and potentially make some introductions for one another.
You don’t have to limit this to LinkedIn. You can have a conversation about what clients do you have that don’t like their financial plan, or what you know, you can have, it does not have to be limited to LinkedIn, but when you start on LinkedIn, it makes everything that much easier.
Bob Woods 11:03
So much easier, so much easier. Absolutely! So number four, we’ve kind of gone through a little bit already but asking your clients for intros into their other people. So you know, again, (Brynne: I maxed that out!) That’s okay because we could just push it really quick. And actually, I’m going to use another really quick example here.
So real estate agents, you go in, and you know, with a real estate agent, their clients may be using a CPA, they may be using a financial advisor, they may be using, you know, lawn people, and fix it people and, you know, construction, general contractors, all those other people that real estate, realtors and people like that would love to talk to so you know, that’s just a way to kind of expand your thinking into, you know, “who do my clients interact with who I may be able to get referrals from and establish a true referral relationship with them.”
So the next one, we’re actually going to combine number five and number six together, because they’re a little different, but they’re essentially the same. So number five is viewing clients’ connections for other people like them and then searching clients’ connections for other people who are like them, essentially, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 12:25
Okay. So the first one is when you go to someone’s profile, you’ll see on the right-hand side, “other people like them” it’s called “people also viewed,” but this is mostly used by recruiters. So typically, they’re very similar types of people. So that’s the first one.
The second one, right, we talked already about searching our client’s connections for referral partners, but we can also if they happen to be a small business owner, who else are they connected to that are small business owners? Even if you’re not working with them from a business perspective. They hired you from a personal perspective, so more people like them will probably hire you, from a personal perspective or likely to.
Bob Woods 13:17
Likely to, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. So the next one, (Brynne: What number?) This one’s number seven, I’m going to primarily take this one because I’ve got a couple of hopefully nuggets here. Engaging with local influencer content. So local influencers can be a wide variety of people. It can be other people, you know, who are in those allied professions that you may want to network with. Sometimes it might be just media outlets or things like that, if they do something, a story on something that falls within your category you might be able to engage there.
So now the thing with local influencer content though is that they may not be posting on LinkedIn. In fact, that’s going to be a very, very widely individual market. So some markets, you know, just taking media outlets, for example, some do on LinkedIn and some may be on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Those are probably the three main areas where they may be. Don’t be afraid to engage there. So the key, though is, and this gets back to number two, shifting your profile from a resume to a resource, and this is where this also comes in here.
All of those other places have somewhere within the profiles that you do with them. So like on your Twitter profile or your Facebook profile, you can put a link in there to anywhere that you want. Put your LinkedIn profile link in there, so that when they do go check you out on those. They’re then taken to your LinkedIn profile which has been converted from a resume to a resource. So they’ll learn a lot more about you and know that you know that you are the person that they should be in front of.
The other nice thing is that, and this works almost all the time, is that they will then show up in your “who’s viewed your profile” as well when they do click through. It doesn’t work all the time, it depends on their settings but more often than not, they will show up, and you know, that that person has clicked through because they were interested in you, and you know, that they click through,
Brynne Tillman 15:36
I love that that’s a great tip. I’d also say, look at their company pages, because, you know, on their LinkedIn company page, they are likely a chamber of commerce, they’re sharing events, you’re sharing upcoming things, and I will start if they have events, you can actually see the people that say that’s attending and you can actually message them even if you’re not a 1st-degree connection.
So you can start a conversation with them. It’s kind of like comments in a post, right? So you can have a conversation with these folks that will be attending those events. You can start to connect with those local people. So local, if you sell locally, make sure your digital footprint is optimizing your local influencers.
Bob Woods 16:28
Absolutely, absolutely! And they may be on other places as well. So this is where you can take social selling actually, outside of LinkedIn, and then bring them back into LinkedIn.
Number eight, connecting with everyone you meet, and then nurturing them with content and when I was selling other things locally, I would do this all the time and it works. It works really, really well. Connect with everyone that you meet and LinkedIn actually makes it easier now through the mobile app, which Brynne, if you would… you actually talk about that a little bit more than I do so you can put that more concisely than I think that I do, because I tend to ramble about it.
Brynne Tillman 17:13
Well, yeah, hey, we’re in sales that’s what we do. So the LinkedIn app, when you are on the LinkedIn app, and you are on the homepage, there is a little QR code all the way to the right of the search bar. When you click that, there are two tabs; there is one with a QR code that will lead back to your profile, and then there’s a scan. When you click on Scan, if you haven’t yet, you give your phone permission to use its camera or LinkedIn permission to use the phone camera.
When someone scans your link, your LinkedIn profile will come up on mobile, when you scan their link, their LinkedIn profile will come up on mobile, here’s the key. Don’t just hit connect because when you hit connect, it goes without a message, and you’ll never remember how you met them in the year or six months.
So if you click on the “more” button or three dots, it’s different on different people’s profiles, but it’s typically the more button. There is a personalized message. When you click on that, have a copy and paste ready, like type something earlier in the evening that just says, “Great meeting you at the West Orange Chamber of Commerce Annual Event. I’m looking forward to continuing our conversation.” So now, when you connect, even if you don’t continue it now, in a year from now, you’ll remember how you met them.
Bob Woods 18:51
Exactly. It’s so so so big to do. And like I said, LinkedIn makes it even easier now than it used to be when you had to get someone’s card, go back home, hope they remembered you. It’s so much easier to do now.
Brynne Tillman 19:06
There was a second piece to your question that I didn’t answer, which was to nurture them. Have a welcome message ready specifically for those folks. So now they connect with you. You go back, you know, you’re back at your desk on Monday morning and you’re like, “Oh, Jane connected with me. Fred accepted my connection requests.” What is your follow-up, your nurture message? Again, “Really great meeting you at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Event. Based on our conversation, I thought you might get some value from a podcast I listened to.”
This should not be original content, the first touch, go curate content around you. Maybe there was a speaker on a topic at that event. Go find other content from that speaker that you can share but personalize it, tailor it slightly more to the event so that it feels like you really, you know, you’re not pitching to them, you’re trying to bring them additional value and start the conversation that way.
Bob Woods 20:13
Exactly. Number nine, something else that I used to do and that LinkedIn has made so much easier now than back in the battle days when it was so much more manual is holding local events yourself and then inviting your connections by locations. So back when I lived in the DC area, I was part of the small group that started, it used to be called “First Tuesdays” where people would, and it was part of a national organization, I don’t even know if they still exist but you would have First Tuesday Events throughout the country in local markets.
So it was a national organization, but it was very localized, and it was a business local event, essentially. Sometimes you had speakers, sometimes it was just, you know, just mix and mingle, but this is where holding local events and inviting your connections by location because people probably aren’t going to drive, you know, huge distances can really help you build everything that we’re talking about and it’s very, very effective.
LinkedIn now makes it easier because they have LinkedIn events now, you can actually put events on to LinkedIn, you can refer people to that event and then they can register and you know, LinkedIn is so much better than it used to be when it comes to things like this and I would have went nuts if this stuff was available now, than, you know, back in 2009, 2010, when I was really doing this stuff.
Brynne Tillman 21:45
Let’s talk about the LinkedIn event portion because this is what’s phenomenal and by the way, I am wholeheartedly into these physical live events locally but you can actually hold a zoom local event where you are bringing in local people, right. But the event itself, on LinkedIn, the event product on LinkedIn is incredibly powerful.
The one tip I’ll get, I mean, we’ve done complete podcasts on events but the one tip I’ll give on this is you can invite up to 1000 people a month to an event of your 1st-degree connections, you can go into that event and filter all your connections by location.
So you can get one list in under five minutes. Up to two, you can invite up to 200 people at a time with one click, right. So five clicks and you can invite 1000 of your local people if you have that many that are 1st-degree connections to that event and that’s what I think is outstanding.
Bob Woods 22:54
It’s so so powerful what you can do now, compared to before, and it only helps you out. So our last one, number 10. We kind of buried the lead here a little bit, because this one is hugely important too. And this is nurturing with content by adding value and education. And this is where we get back to some of the things that we talked about all of the time with content sharing and you know, it’s the same basic thing, you’re just doing it as a B2C type rather than a B2B type.
Brynne Tillman 23:32
Yeah, and you want to make sure, interestingly, there’s two types of content, because there’s two types of people that you’re targeting on LinkedIn. So one of our financial professionals that we worked with, really went head-on with the referral partners. So she created a checklist for CPAs for tax attorneys of the “10 things CPAs should ask to identify if there are gaps in financial planning.” Although she works with the families and the individuals, the fact that she created content for those referral partners was huge. And she used that more than the B2C content. It was really a B2B piece of content, the B2B to C, which I love! It’s brilliant. So you can absolutely educate your consumer, but also recognize if a big piece of your outreach is to referral partners. Make sure you’re providing thought leadership for them as well.
Bob Woods 24:57
Absolutely, absolutely. So if you’re B2C, don’t be afraid of this stuff, you can do it. And we’ve given you the 10 steps for you to do it. So go out there and be successful because that’s what we ultimately want for everyone who is listening to us here on Making Sales Social Live. So thanks for joining us. If you are with us live here on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. We do this every week so keep an eye out for our live sessions.
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