Episode 140: The Ultimate Inbound and Outbound Tool
Our beloved hosts Brynne Tillman and Bob Woods delve into using LinkedIn both as an inbound and outbound tool. Join them as they discuss both ends of the equation, which you can then use to take your sales campaign to the next level.
Among the things they recommend for the marketing or inbound part is to endlessly curate and share content. Learn about the things you need to think about before going out there and searching for content you can curate and then share.
Bob also shares the importance of listening during those discovery calls for clues on what your prospects would likely want to know about. They also point out the advantages of engaging on influencer content to make yourself more visible to your target audience. They also tackle several strategies for the outbound aspect of the social selling equation and among them are three easy-to-follow workflows that can help get those conversations with your prospects.
Bob Woods 00:00
Welcome to all of our fellow business professionals out there 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 of person Brynne Tillman. Hi Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:17
Type of person.
Bob Woods 00:19
I couldn’t think of anything that was like…
Brynne Tillman 00:22
I’m a LinkedIn-type of person. Hello, hello. Another fabulous LinkedIn type of person Bob Woods. How are you today?
Bob Woods 00:29
I am doing great today.
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!
Brynne Tillman 00:51
What are we talking about?
Bob Woods 00:52
We are talking about social selling and outbound and inbound. So when many people think of using LinkedIn for sales, they see it as an outbound tool, but in social selling, LinkedIn becomes both an outbound and an inbound tool.
Social selling is actually a hybrid of digital sales and marketing, with marketing mainly being the inbound rather part of the equation, and sales, which is primarily the outbound part for social selling to truly succeed, though you need both parts.
So today, we’re going to take a look at both ends of the equation, starting with the marketing slash inbound part. We’re going to start that off with curating and sharing content which is going to be a little bit different from the second point that we’re going to talk about, but right now, we’re just talking about curating and sharing essentially, other people’s content, Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 01:51
I love this, and I love curating content. We have to think about before we go out and curate content, what is it that our buyers care about? That’s the first thing, right? What’s going to attract, teach and engage them? And sharing content that our buyers care about is critical because most of the time, we’re sharing content that we care about.
So a couple of quick things, use hashtags that your buyers are following to look at topics that they’re engaging on. Look at their activity, what content are they looking at? Are they engaging? What influencers do they follow? and curate content from them.
Those influencers, you could go down to the bottom of any of your connections’ profiles, and if they are following influencers, then we know, essentially, the kinds of content that they’ll probably be interested in content by those influencers, and then engaging on those influencers’ content, sharing it back with our two cents will help us become a micro-influencer in that world.
Bob Woods 03:01
Yeah! And then probably the other big thing that I like to talk about is just listening to your prospects when you’re on those prospecting calls with them, or when you’re on Discovery, or whatever you want to call it, you know, anything, that seems to be a common thread that comes up among several people, you should kind of go, “Ahh, maybe that’s something that I could share content about” because if these people are asking questions, I wouldn’t doubt it that a lot of other people who are looking at me and my company to potentially buy from, they probably have those questions, too.
So you know, always be listening, always be thinking, “okay, what can I take away from this conversation or from these conversations that I could potentially turn into content?” So that’s our second one, which is creating content? Well, that could also be for curating and sharing content, too. If you come across an article that you want to share that was recently discussed. You could absolutely do that with other people’s content as well. So it actually falls into both categories, I think at least (Brynne: Good bridge to number two.) Good bridge number two, exactly. Yes. Creating your own content.
Brynne Tillman 04:09
Yeah, I’m gonna jump into what you said and I’m gonna simplify it by saying “capture your own genius” right? Listen to the questions that your prospects and your clients are asking you and use your answers as content, big, big areas of opportunity.
Other original pieces of content LinkedIn video, LinkedIn live like we’re doing right now, e-books, polls. Lots of content that you can create that’s not just a blog, but creating that content around the topics that your buyers want to consume.
We talk a lot about don’t lead with your solution, lead to your solution. When you lead with your solution, it’s coming across as a pitch. When you lead to your solution, you’re providing value and insights and the more you give away, the more they want to do business with you.
Bob Woods 05:06
Exactly. Exactly. So we were just talking about influencer content just a second ago, since you’re already looking at the influencers to see what they’re sharing, why not engage with their content as well while you’re there. So engaging with influencer content, we think, is very important as well because it’s a great way to add your very informed and thought leadership branding to pieces of content that a lot of other people are already seeing, especially the people who you are trying to get in. And as prospects, they’re already seeing it because they’re already reading the content from the influencers.
Brynne Tillman 05:45
Absolutely! And you know, we’re talking about outbound right now, there’s a lot of inbound you can do with that and we’ll touch on that a little bit but from an outbound perspective, make sure when you’re sharing that content, you’re mentioning the influencer. If they have a company name, you’re mentioning the company name, if they are shared in media, like maybe they shared a piece that Forbes published, mentioned Forbes, those of the times where it’s totally appropriate to mention the author, their company, and the publisher, the media outlet that will also help to attract their followers right? Potentially engage in it, their followers will now see this, and it can really help the inbound have the right types of people, and I’m a LinkedIn type of person. No, but it will, it will help you attract the right types of people. So that’s great. Yeah, what’s next?
Bob Woods 06:47
We are pivoting to the sales slash outbound part of the social selling equation. And we’re gonna approach this from a couple of three actually different yet interconnected types of ways because it’s all about outbound, obviously.
So the first one, I call it direct outreach, I’m not exactly sure what you would call this because it’s probably the most direct out of the three things that we’re going to be talking about here.
Brynne Tillman 07:14
Yeah, and so many people ask about this. So we’ve put together three quick workflows that we’re going to talk through to ultimately have an outbound cadence that converts to conversations.
So the first one is the most direct. And this is also often the least effective, but everyone wants to know what’s my fastest way to a direct connect. So what this really is, is warming up a cold call, essentially. So there is a new feature on LinkedIn, which is ringing the bell of someone’s profile.
So if they’re 1st-degree, the bell is there, you ring the bell, you will be notified when they share content. If they’re not 1st-degree, you have to follow them first and then ring the bell, then their content is going to come into your notifications. So if you’re ringing the bell level of your prospects, and you go into notifications, and you see there are five or six of these prospects that shared content today, we’re going to engage in each of their individual activities, then here’s the kicker, right? Find corresponding content to share with them.
“So Bob, I really enjoyed the video that you put out on LinkedIn Profile Tips. I recently saw this checklist from ABC, and I thought you might get some value from it, let me know if you’re interested. I’m happy to send it to you.” This becomes the outbound cadence, or there are a lot of things that you can do taking the topic that they shared, and finding additional content bonus on this, go to listennotes.com/ and you can start to find podcasts on those topics, but ask permission to send it.
Make sure you’re saying “Hey, I came across this based on the activity I see you’re sharing. I thought you might like it. Let me know if you’re interested. I’ll send you a link.” They say yes, you send the link. Ask for their feedback, their thoughts. You can even say is there other content that you follow? What other influencers do you follow?
So you’re gonna ask a question there and then ultimately, with enough back and forth, you can say, “Hey, Bob, I don’t know if LinkedIn and social selling is important to you, or a priority to you or something you’re exploring, but I have a checklist of X, Y and Z. I’m happy to share it with you.” And now you can share your content after that back and forth. So that’s workflow number one.
Bob Woods 09:44
Before we go to number two real quick, there’s just something that I like to quickly add. So with direct outreach, everybody thinks it’s cold, and while Brynne has done an excellent job in showing how this way is definitely not cold. One of the things that I like about the best is actually the first two steps: ringing the bell and engaging in an individual’s activity. So I refer to something called pinging on people’s radars.
So when you go through those first steps because to ring the bell, you’re not notified when people ring your bell, and people aren’t notified with the opposite, essentially, but to ring the bell, you have to get to their profile. So they will be notified when you view their profile. And then when you engage in the activity, then obviously, they are going to get notifications that you have engaged in their activity, too.
So each of those represents a radar ping so that by the time you do reach out to them, you should be in their minds as someone who has been interested in a meaningful way, especially because you’re engaging in their activity as well. So it’s really not cold at all by the time you get to that point.
Brynne Tillman 10:56
That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. So number two,, what’s our second one?
Bob Woods 11:01
Brynne Tillman 11:03
My favorite polls, I love this. Polls are great. So you want to put out a poll. And when you think about a poll that you’re publishing, we want to do a couple things. We want it to be a question that your buyers would be happy to answer, but we also want it to be a question that your buyers want to know how other people are answering. LinkedIn does a very good job, you can see how people voted until you vote.
So if you’ve created enough curiosity with your buyer, and they want to know how other people are voting, they have to vote. And the last piece of that poll is it needs to be discovery-ish, it needs to be actionable, you want to ask a question that you can follow up with insights, right, so that it leads to your solution. After we have published that poll, we want to search our 1st-degree connections and then identify who it is that we’re connected to that we would like to engage, and we would like for them to vote on our poll, we are going to send them a quick little note that says, “Hey, Bob, as a LinkedIn professional, I’d love your one-click vote on a poll that I just published. Once it closes, I’m happy to reach out and share the insights we gleaned from you and your peers.”
So now we have a way in right. So once we’ve done that, we’re going to create a corresponding content or a little ebook on a report like you build the report that you can share with people and then you reach out to each of them and message them, “Bob, thanks so much for your vote on the poll. As promised, I’ve compiled the results and some insights we gleaned. I’d love to share this with you. Are you open to a quick 15-minute call? If so, please let me know your preferred way to schedule if it happens to be the calendar link. Here’s mine.”
Simple, and that poll is… you post the poll, there’s some inbound that’s going to happen actually, there’s crossover, there’s just some natural inbound, that’s going to happen, but we can use that poll for outbound too.
Bob Woods 13:13
Absolutely, absolutely, polls are great, polls are still good in the LinkedIn algorithm. They’re not quite what they used to be, but they’re still good ways and especially if you use them in the way that Brynne just described by having people contacting, you know, by reaching out directly to people, the algorithm doesn’t count quite as much, because hopefully, these people are actually answering and these are the people that you want to talk to as well.
Brynne Tillman 13:42
Very focused and our last one for the day.
Bob Woods 13:47
Referral base kind of marketing in terms of sales, actually, because you’re going to be using it for sales, in terms of getting those names of people who are in your network that you’re trying to reach.
Brynne Tillman 14:04
Yeah, I mean, this is about getting client and networking partner referrals by searching your clients connections or your networking referral partner connections, you can identify a list of 20, 30,40 people that you know that they’re connected to that you’d like to know. Get on a call, run the names by them, get their insights, maybe it comes down to eight people that they say, “This would be great for you” and then ask them permission to drop their name. “Is it okay, Bob, when I reached out that I mentioned that you’re my happy client that we had this conversation and you thought it made sense for me to reach out to them?”
and you say, “Oh, yeah, absolutely!” So now I connect and I’ll say “Gunnar, Bob Woods and I were chatting the other day. Your name came up in our conversation. I’ve been working with him for the last two years doing XY and Z and he thought I should reach out and introduce myself. Let’s connect.”
Once they connect, “Bob per Gunner’s recommendation. I’d love to jump on a quick call. Learn a little bit more about what you’re doing. I’ll share what Gunnar and I were chatting about and we’ll set a time to review. Let me know your preferred way of scheduling. If it happens to be via calendar link, here’s mine.” Very simple, very easy to do and my goodness, it has a huge impact.
Bob Woods 15:18
Absolutely. I mean, LinkedIn came into this world as a networking platform. Partially so for this whole referral thing. So I mean, it’s all fantastic in terms of all that, so yeah, very good. So we got the inbound, we got the outbound, we gave you three valid powerful workflows, all of which we have used ourselves and we know that they work, so now go forth and use LinkedIn and social selling in the inbound and outbound way.
Brynne Tillman 15:48
Thanks, Bob. As always, so much fun.
Bob Woods 15:52
So much fun. And thank you for joining us on Making Sales Social Live! If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this every week, so keep an eye out for those live sessions.
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