Episode 53: Five Tactics to Engage Your Connections on LinkedIn
The Social Sales Link team shares five unique tactics you can use to engage your LinkedIn connections to earn that all-important right to start a conversation.
Tune in and start effectively engaging with your most-valuable audience on LinkedIn!
Bill McCormick 00:00
Hello, everybody, welcome back to Making Sales Social Live! Where today, we’re gonna talk about five, count them 1,2,3,4,5. Five tactics to engage your LinkedIn connections on LinkedIn.
Bob Woods 00:16
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 Bill McCormick, Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods every week. Making Sales Social Live!
Bill McCormick 00:33
And so, the first one right off the gate we’re going to talk about is sharing their industry content with them. So Brynne you want to break this down a little bit? Sharing their own industry content with them.
Brynne Tillman 00:48
Yeah, you know, a lot of times we want to share what we want to share. And often it’s either premature or not of interest to our buyers and until we really have a conversation and understand them. When we share our stuff without knowing much, sometimes we can turn them off and they can even feel like that we’re pitching them even though we’re trying to help, right? So when we go out and curate content around their particular industry that has nothing to do with us, necessarily, but I reach out and say, “Hey, Bob, as a marketing genius, I thought you get some value from a podcast I listened to on the 10 things that marketing geniuses need to know, here are some of my takeaways. If you’re interested, let me know I can send a link” That has nothing to do with me. That has to do– or you know, “I thought of you because of A, B, and C. I’d love to send over that link. If you’re interested, let me know.” It’s very tailored, it’s very custom to them but it’s around their industry and what they do. Not around us, and what we do.
Bob Woods 01:53
So we have to take just a little minor step back and just point out that this is the stuff that you share to them in messages. So this is for individuals in messages. Although, you can still do posts on these as well, just tailored to a specific audience. This is about individuals within certain industries and that’s where Brynne made her…
Brynne Tillman 02:17
Absolutely! That’s a very good clarification. This is really a one on one – Often it’s a one on one thing unless you sell to a lot of people in that industry. Right? So if you’re like “I sell to all CPAs” And then you find content CPAs then that’s great, you can share that.
Bill McCormick 02:33
Yeah, and if you were to do that, you could actually become almost like a magnet to CPAs. If you’re able to do that and share that content and get engagement around it that’s not a bad tactic to use and a strategy to use. But let me just back it up. To what Brynne was saying is, notice she didn’t just send the link. She just didn’t send a piece of content, “Hey, Bob, as a marketer, I thought you’d love this piece of content” Boom! We used to do that and we didn’t think there was anything wrong with it because hey, we’re providing value. We’re giving you something that you could have value in and we had another trainer that kind of challenge that saying That’s… (Brynne: Andy! Yep, let’s give him credit) It was Andy. And he says, “You’re selling people” and we’re like, “No, we’re not” Andy Shaw. He was right! And we…
Bob Woods 03:23
We tested it, and he was right!
Brynne Tillman 03:25
We automatically sent 100 messages out with the link and we got 19 that clicked and we thought, “Hey, that’s really good” And then, we sent out 100 messages with permission to send the link, 69 said, “Sure, send it” and 58 of them clicked, so the data speaks.
Bill McCormick 03:43
Yeah, it does and our friend Kellen, Live here says, “I love that you use it as a hook to a conversation…to start a conversation, not just send the link” I like to think of it as a “net” rather than a “hook” but you know, it’s the same idea. That we’re using that to start a conversation and that’s really what we’re talking about here. These tactics that we’re discussing, are to engage connections and to start a conversation that could lead to a sales conversation but we’re not there yet. Right? So one of the things we have to do is we have to earn the right to have a conversation.
Bob Woods 04:21
But as we go through all of these, you’re going to notice a theme. This is about the things that they want to talk about, that they’re interested in. And if you’re going to use the hook analogy, that’s the hook right there. It’s about what they want to talk about and what they’re interested in
Brynne Tillman 04:39
And salespeople make a mistake, often sharing way too much about what we want to share. To Bob’s point, we need to start sharing content they want to consume so that’s exactly spot on.
Bill McCormick 04:50
Alright, so let’s look –Let’s use the “hook analogy.” Let’s go with this “fishing analogy.” You know, I like cheeseburgers. If I put a cheeseburger on the hook and put it out there for fish that don’t like cheeseburgers, it’s not going to do anything. Nobody’s going to– It’s got to be something that they want. It’s got to be the squishy, liquidy worm. (Brynne: Unless they’re piranha) Yeah, unless they’re a piranha. I don’t want to, I don’t want to fuzz. So let’s… So, Bob going with that theory of thinking about what they want to consume. The next one is to share content about their client’s industry. So yeah, take it one step further, Why don’t you break that out a little bit.
Bob Woods 05:33
Yeah, sure. So this has to do, you know, if I’m selling or if I want to have Brynne as a client, and she does coaching but she does coaching for salespeople. I’m going to send her content about salespeople and what’s going on in the sales environment. I just want to make that absolutely clear. So you have probably got people in your pipeline or whatever you want to call it who have specific clients that they are looking for. Why not give them insight about what these clients are looking for because you’re actually going to help them, guess what? With their business as well. And in the process, you’re going to become even more of that magnet, more of that thought leader, when you share that type of content. Plus, it shows the person who you’re trying to start the conversation with, that you really are concerned about them, and that you want them to succeed as well. And you’re going a little bit out of what would consider to be your normal box to do it. But in the end, if it starts the conversation, and if it helps them, it’s a win-win.
Bill McCormick 06:39
Yeah, and what’s great about this is none of this happens in a vacuum. It’s not just for “Okay, I’m in my LinkedIn box, and I’m going to message people to start a conversation. So I’m going to do this one thing and so when I share that content, then that’s over and I’m done.” Because you should be reading the content, consuming the content. You’re learning also so when you’re on a follow-up call, you can talk about that topic. And to Bob’s point when you’re talking about something that Brynne’s clients are concerned about. Now, when Bob has a conversation with Brynne, he’s more engaged about what Brynne’s clients care about. And you know, and this isn’t a false tactic. This isn’t false, In-authentic. This is not inauthentic that “I’m just going to care about this because I want to get to Brynne.” It’s actually learning so that you know more about what it is that you’re doing. So I encourage you to really not only look at within the industry of your clients but also look at the industries that they service because of doing that you can really, really hone in on some messaging and also on some topics for conversations.
Brynne Tillman 07:57
Yeah, we have a live question here from a LinkedIn user, I have to see who that is in LinkedIn. “When offering content about your clients industries, do you find more detailed technical style content do better? or worse than general industry content?” So I just want to share, if you are talking about their industry, they probably know way more about their industry than you do. So, something like a benchmark report or things like… that’s happening in real-time. Maybe there are events around like an industry conference might be better than trying to teach them about their own industry. But around their clients, right, when we’re sharing content around their clients, they might want to learn new things. So maybe Bob shares something with me that says the way that sales leadership is transforming in the new remote environment and I sell to sales leadership. So I’m– I know a lot about LinkedIn and, and LinkedIn coaching and training, which is my industry but I may be really open to a little general ongoing in my client’s industry. So, I think if we try the– If we send something that’s elementary around their own industry, it’s not gonna land the same way as –That general piece isn’t gonna land the same way.
Bill McCormick 09:23
So the next one, this could take the whole rest of the time. Invite them to engage on a poll. So I’m gonna go first with this and just say, you may have just rolled your eyes when we said that because there are certain people within LinkedIn that say, “Oh, polls are old” or “Everyone’s doing polls,” “Polls are saturated” But that’s the reason they’re so effective. So right now LinkedIn is sharing your polls, four and a half times more than they are sharing any other content on LinkedIn. So it’s going to get in front of a lot more eyes, a lot more people than it would normally. So take advantage of that. Don’t ask the question of what’s your favorite ice cream? Chocolate or vanilla? Who cares? Unless you sell ice cream that shouldn’t matter. Why did engaging on a poll is a great way to reengage your people? So Brynne, break this one down. I know you love polls, and you’re really good at it.
Brynne Tillman 10:20
So we need to balance the question, first off to be something that leads to our solution. So we can start conversations that matter. But it’s also compelling for our audience to want – To not only vote on but see how other people are answering that question. Now, a lot of times, we will start a poll from a third party content, whether we saw a post from HubSpot marketing or a statistic from corporate visions or Gartner. And we’ll take that as the inspiration for our poll, because immediately that takes down all the “This is a poll for salespeople” Like we’re, you know, we were inspired by this article and we’re curious, we wanted to benchmark our own network to see if in fact, it aligns with what Gartner is seeing, right? So all of a sudden, this becomes really a survey poll, that people are now not just interested in voting, but seeing how they’re benchmarking whether how are other people voting, and this is what I believe, LinkedIn does brilliantly whether it was intentional or not, is you can’t see how other people voted until you vote. And so, I think it’s brilliant. I’m gonna give them credit and say they did it on purpose.
Bill McCormick 11:46
Yeah, well, so you can see the percentages of votes but only the author of the poll can see how each person voted.
Brynne Tillman 11:54
Yeah, correct! Right. Yeah, you can’t see the percentages until you vote. (Bill: Until you vote, correct.) And so I think that has its role but you’re right. Your vote is only seen by the person who published the poll, that’s a very good point. The other thing is just, you know, we want to use this poll that engaged our connections. Sure, it’s going into the newsfeed of some of them but we highly recommend taking inventory, who are the 80, 100, 150 people in your network that you want to reengage and send the poll with a little personalized message. I don’t know 30,40… You know, every couple of days, you can have a two-week poll, and you can hit them all. In, you know, in 10 days. If it’s a two-week poll you got to still give it a few days for them to vote once they get the message. So you have like 10 days in a two-week poll to get that in front of–In the inbox, direct messages to your network asking them for their one-click vote. And I will typically say, “Bob (Let’s keep up with the theme) As a genius in marketing. I would love your one-click vote on a poll we just put out on topic.” Once this poll closes, you’ll receive the results and notifications, by the way, LinkedIn does that automatically so that we don’t do anything, they just get that. And I’m also happy to share the insights we glean from this little study. So now we’ve left it open to reaching out. “As promised Bob, you know, let’s hop on a call and I’ll share. Some of the insights that we gleaned from this were absolutely outstanding and we were shocked at how misaligned it was with the original study or whatever it is or how aligned it was. And I’m happy to share how you benchmarked against your peers.” Ohh, yeah. So to do something like that– So it’s not just, “Hey, they voted on the poll.” But what do you do with that afterward?
Bill McCormick 13:50
Right! And that’s how I always say you need to reverse engineer your poll. What is it that you want from the end of it, and then…
Bob Woods 13:57
I was just going to reiterate that point. And that, you know, with a plan, you should start with the end results. So all these people who are putting out all these ridiculous polls, and quite frankly, giving polls a bad name are bad, but those polls are the ones that stand out in people’s minds. Whereas if you put out a really good and really well thought out poll, it’s going to stand out on its own because it’s really good. And it’s really well thought out. So I don’t think that people should be afraid of polls. Just because we have these bad people putting out polls. Yours are automatically gonna stand out if there’s a really good plan behind it. And obviously, if it’s something that’s of interest to your audience, as well.
Brynne Tillman 14:37
And you get it into the inbox.
Bill McCormick 14:41
Inbox, right. And don’t, so don’t be, don’t create social graffiti with your polls. Make it a work of – That people, when they see it, that they’ll want to engage on it. And so the next one actually kind of goes hand in hand and let me just as we end polls, just say, make sure you’re engaging with the people who are commenting on your poll. Because you’re going to see a lot of views. Polls, like I said, four and a half times more views you’re going to get. We had a client earlier today at coaching had almost 10,000 views of his poll. ( Brynne: Yeah it did great! ) It did fantastic. And there was like 15 comments but he did – It was all between people. He didn’t comment at all, that will help it go further and it’ll also help you to engage those people. Remember, that’s what we’re all, we’re really talking about is engaging your network. And so, one of the things you can do from a poll is our next thing, which is “Ask them for a quote for a post.” You know, you have an ideal client or a prospect that comments on a post, it puts a comment in there, and you get them on the phone to share insight about that poll. Now you can ask for a quote. People love to be quoted, they like to be made to feel important, when you get them on the phone to talk about that quote, or on zoom to talk about that, quote, it then opens up further opportunities to have a conversation. So that’s a huge one.
Brynne Tillman 16:04
Yeah, and you don’t even have to do that from a poll. You can just reach out to someone and say, “Hey, you know, I’m gathering, you know, insights under 240 characters from top marketing geniuses, right, Bob, I’d love your quote.” Right? And you can do that and you can go and create a Canva quote with a little picture of Bob, and we publish these brilliant quotes, you could put your logo on it as well, and if you have a hashtag use that. But now, you are starting to elevate your prospects by highlighting their genius, and really can make a big difference. We had a question, “Is Sales Navigator better for social selling?” And the answer is, it depends on what you want to do with it. So Sales Navigator, to me is the most powerful sales tool available to us today. If you are actually prospecting, if you’re out there just you want to be a thought leader and you want to engage people. That’s not what Sales Navigator is built for. Sales Navigator is built for really defining down your ICP, your ideal customer.
Bill McCormick 17:14
Ideal Client Profile.
Brynne Tillman 17:18
I totally blocked that. It’s great to identify your ideal client profile, down to how many years they’ve been in business or they’ve been working, how active they are on LinkedIn like there’s brilliant filters in Sales Navigator. So if you are a prospector, and your job is to book appointments, Sales Navigator is worth it. And we’ll have– I think we’ve done some Sales Navigator. We probably should do more Sales Navigator live, so we’ll plan on doing that soon.
Bill McCormick 17:46
Yeah, yes, we definitely. Alright, so the last one, Bob, bring us home. Interview them on a zoom call or LinkedIn live.
Bob Woods 17:54
Yes. So this basically takes that ask them for a quote for a post and puts a face to it, puts motion to it, puts real interest into it. So what you could do is, you know, either after one of these insights calls or maybe for the insight call, obviously, you would let them know that you want to do this. And if they agree to it, you can hit record, and they now have to acknowledge that you’re recording everything. So you can’t sneak by anything by anyone anymore. At that point, you know, talk to him like a normal human being, maybe have some questions set up. And then, depending on what you get, you can trim and clip of a specific thing from that for sure thing, or do an entire interview directly on Zoom, and then just upload it to LinkedIn via LinkedIn native video and that’s important because that will get more views than if you put it on say, like YouTube and then use the YouTube video. But in that way, you’re not only giving your client or your prospect, some exposure there, which they’re going to appreciate. One thing that is going to happen is that because you’re the one doing the interview, and hopefully, you’re doing it in a value-added type of way, which you should. You are also promoting yourself as an expert because the questions that you’re getting because hopefully you’re answering follow up questions to what your interviewee is saying, and, you know, all ships rise in a good tide at that point and quality content that other people can learn from and that’s…
Brynne Tillman 19:36
Right, because your other prospects will now, want to know what their colleagues in the industry are doing. I also really like the idea everyone has access to LinkedIn live right now. So if they turn on creator mode within their dashboard, they have access now you still need a third-party app to do, to run it. So we use Restream but there’s StreamYard and Vimeo and lots of other that you can choose from but it is available to everyone. You do not have to apply for it any longer, which is really great. We have – Actually he’s been doing this for a while, a client -Steve Farber. He represents Legal Shield and interviews people that are recruiters because his message is, you know, better benefits attract and retain better candidates better talent. So he actually because that’s the message. He’s out there interviewing top recruiters that are finding hard to find talent in this crazy world where it’s hard to find talent. And so he is using LinkedIn live, to interview these folks who are talking about the topics that their clients that his, that they care about. They don’t necessarily care about Legal Shield yet, right? What do they care about? They care about attracting and retaining. So that’s the content he’s creating. But he’s doing it through interviewing people and by the way, are also very good referral partners for him. So I just wanted to give him a shout-out for that.
Bill McCormick 21:16
Yeah. So if you notice, in the five tactics, none of them were talking about you, talk about your offering, and to pitch to people. It’s all about other people. And that’s what networking should be all about. So the five tactics to engage your LinkedIn connections on LinkedIn, share industry content with them, share content about their client’s industries, invite them to engage on a poll, ask them for a quote for a post. And then the last one we just talked about. Interview them on a zoom call or a LinkedIn live. So great session today. Thanks so much. For those of you who were in the chat live. If you’re watching this on replay, do a hashtag of replay and you can put questions in there and we can answer them. But thanks once again for watching another episode and viewing and listening to another episode of Making Sales Social Live! And we’ll see you next time. Bye. Bye, everyone.
Bob Woods 22:15
Hit subscribe now and click the notification bell to get the latest videos from Social Sales Link. Give this video a like and comment down below. Register for free resources at LinkedInlibrary.com