The 7 Deadly Sins Of Social Selling

Social selling in 2018 seems like it’s about as popular as the grim reaper was in the 1980’s. Remember that bowling alley advert?

There is no doubt ‘Social’ done poorly sucks big time, and let’s be clear, most do it wrong. Typically this happens if you don’t have a clear strategy, plan and a system which works.

I’m a card-carrying Social Selling devotee and proudly so. Done correctly, with discipline and, yes, supported by other prospecting methods, my pipeline is full, to the point of being able to choose whom I wish to work with. Luck or systems and processes?

How can I make it easier for YOU to NOT SUCK at social?

Start by avoiding these 7 Deadly Social Selling Sins at all costs.

SIN # 1

A profile which provides no valid reason to connect.

Your first impressions today are more likely to be online than face-to-face. With 75% of B2B buyers (IDC research 2014) researching their seller online as part of their decision-making process. First impressions are electronic. If you STILL suck online, why?

SIN # 2.

Connecting with everyone.(Or no-one)

Connecting with everyone WILL ruin your LinkedIn experience. It’s actually a worse situation to be in than having very few connections. Even the guy who started LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, agrees. I see many people connecting with others when it makes no logical sense to connect. You simply can’t be all things to everyone. Having 10,000 connections or more tells me you simply don’t understand how this Social selling thing works. #Cull Baby, Cull. Do you think Ol’ Dick Branson is going to ‘get back to you’ if you send him an inmail? – No chance.

SIN # 3

Not sending a personalised connection request.

You want me to accept a connection request? Why? It’s just not that hard.

And you’re certainly not going to stand out with a stock-standard request. And you need to stand out. What is it you really want? Do you want a conversation or just another connection? I don’t want another connection, in fact, most people don’t. However, I’m delighted to have another conversation. I’m clear on what I really want. Are you?

Sin # 4

DON’T PITCH ME. (Your reachout strategy sucks)

It is a sin to not have a clear, outlined, rehearsed, repeatable strategy, which is proven to drastically increase your chances of being connected or starting a genuine conversation on LinkedIn. With over 60 years of scientific research on persuasion (influence) available for you to use, what strategies are you using to INCREASE your chances of turning a good connection into a sales conversation?

Sin # 5

Not being Disciplined or Consistant.

Just because you post a bunch of stuff on Tuesday night, doesn’t mean your prospects and clients are on LinkedIn then too. You need to manage your feed, know your target markets’ read times and schedule your content accordingly. It’s not a 15min a week game. Toughen up, Princess!

Sin # 6

Connecting and ????

Most people spend more time connecting with NEW people (see SIN #’s 2 & 3) than actually trying to communicate with their existing, valuable connections. How can you leverage your existing network best?

SIN # 7

Counting Views, Likes and Comments.

This is the C-grade game on social. The A-grade players are measuring how many people respond, and how much real INTEREST you can drive from your activity (yeah, real sales LEADS, from social, scary I know). Don’t get INTERACTION and INTEREST confused. Interaction is the ‘fools gold’ of social.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

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SPAM by any other name is still SPAM. Marketing fails of 2017 & (I suspect) 2018

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 1.24.27 pm

 

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

There is a common email/ LinkedIn strategy going around which is harming hundreds of business as they fall into the trap to using lazy outreach strategies, applying a SHOTGUN type of approach in a poor attempt to win more business. In reality, all they are achieving is losing LOTS of customers – FAST.

As the year wound down I was surprised by how many EDMs (Electronic Direct Mail) I was receiving from people/ businesses I had not done any business with. I’m sure you were the same.

Those businesses were Real Estate agents from the Eastern Sydney suburbs, Marketing companies, Pet food businesses just to name a few, there were more. As I always do, the very first time I see an EDM which I have not signed up for I unsubscribe. In nearly every instance the perps (perpetrators) used Mail-chimp as their email management device (I mean mismanagement device).

You see, when you unsubscribe from a mail-chimp EDM it tells you, in the top left corner of the browser, what the name of the list was called by those who created it. And, it was nearly always <First name> ‘Bob’s LinkedIn list’. What I have now deduced was that some 1st connections of mine had downloaded their entire connections worth of emails, mine included, and then sent out a SPAM email to every one of their connections.

Downloading all your connections email addresses is something very easy to do (Here’s how). But why would you then ruin your network and your personal brand by spamming everyone? For example, I don’t live in the east of Sydney so why should I care if the local Double Bay real estate agent wished me a Merry Christmas and was closed from the 25th of Dec to the 8th of Jan? – quite predictably, I don’t. Most importantly that particular business owner could’ve made an educated guess that I didn’t care, yet they still sent me that message, along with the other 2,200 of their 1st connections. I’m genuinely perplexed why anyone would think this is a good marketing strategy in 2017/ 2018.

Importantly, this is NOT illegal to do IF (and it’s a big IF) the email address is publicly available (from your LinkedIn profile) and that it is reasonable to assume that the goods or services being SPAMMED your way, is relevant to your line of work. (So, Mr Real Estate agent in Double Bay, Mr Pet Store and Mr Marketing, how do you draw a parallel between me being a sales improvement coach/ trainer and property in East Sydney?/ Pet Food/ Marketing tools)? – It’s a pretty thin line you’re walking. This is a Facebook B2C being poorly applied on LinkedIn.

Earlier this year I asked my connection base if this was OK to do (strip email addresses and send EDMs) I gained over 45,000 views, nearly a hundred comments including some great interaction from the AMA (Australian Marketing Association). See a screenshot before it went super crazy below.

In short, my belief and what my network is telling me is that this strategy is ACTIVELY turning potential customers away. It’s a Business DECREASE Strategy.

What should/ could they do instead.

1 – Start a conversation when you initially connect with someone, this is the most effective and efficient time to start a conversation. Use tags (Hashtags) or other identifiers to organise your prospects into small groups.

Not everyone will respond and that’s OK, but it’s 100% more authentic and 100% more effective than SPAMMING people, many who are not in your target audience. The biggest mistake sellers make is trying to sell things to people who don’t want or can’t buy your products or services. This is a great example of that here on social/ #LinkedIn

2 – Build your network carefully (You now know why I rarely accept Real Estate Connections). Have a quick look at the flavour of their posts and see if that’s the sort of thing you’d like in your feed every day. If not, it’s OK to decline. (ignore). If you mess up your network, you mess up your feed. Mess up your feed and it’s hard to find and create the nuggets of conversations with real prospects you need to make LinkedIn work for you. You’ll then give up and become a social selling naysayer.

If you’d like to get off the SPAM roundabout and on to the credible out-reach bandwagon. Check out our courses to help you do that here. www.salesleader.online/courses

It’s not as hard as you think and does bring great results. One of our recent students had a shotgun strategy and was sending LinkedIn messages to his 10,000 strong (weak) network monthly without any cut through. By using a more targeted reach out strategy we were able to drive meetings and phone calls from his LinkedIn activity. It’s not hard, you just need to know how to do it and then execute.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

This article was originally posted on Mark’s LinkedIn

 

How to personalise connection requests directly from your phone. 3 steps to follow.

As we know, best practise is to include a personalised note when sending a connection request on LinkedIn. It positions you more credibly with the receiver, can highlight why you should connect and supports that your request it’s not a piece of spam.

One of the most popular LinkedIn information requests I get is “How do I customise connection requests from my mobile phone”?

 

If you’re like me, you often spend all day using ‘just your phone’ as your primary communication device. When I’m out and about meeting people, I like to connect with them straight away, so how do you do that in a professional manner, when you only have your phone handy?

Well, wonder no more.

1 –  You open the person’s LinkedIn profile on your phone via the LinkedIn app, next to the search window are 3 small dots.

2 – This opens up a menu of five options, one of which is ‘personalise invite’.

3 – Then, just as you would with any other connection request, simply type in the reason for your connection. I’d suggest leveraging a Dr Cialdini’s Ethical Persuasion strategies (details here) as a potential reason to connect, to drastically increase your chance of a quality connection.

NB: If I meet you for the first time in a business environment, I’m pretty comfortable simply standing next to you and sending each other a non-edited connection request in the same manner as if we were swapping business cards. Assuming that we are going to accept each other’s connection immediately.

If you’d like more high-quality tips and tricks on how to be a guru on LinkedIn please reach out for a chat.

 

This article was originally published on LinkedIn’s pulse.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales training, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

Are you losing deals first thing Monday morning?

In our recent research paper by SalesITV’s John Dougan,  “Bet Your Sales Meeting is failing” on sales meeting effectiveness, we uncovered a bunch of alarming detail, including;

25% of surveyed Sales Managers believe their Sales Meetings have NO impact on either SALES RESULTS or CUSTOMER CONVERSATIONS.

We now know they do have an impact, but not in the way they think.

One of the terrible things about running poorly executed sales meetings is that we don’t fully consider the knock-on-effect they have on our customers.

If we’re running sales meetings that lack value, direction and inspiration for our team, we can be sure that this is reflected in the meetings they’re running with their prospects and customers.

If our sales meetings aren’t helping our team to have better conversations with our potential customers, we are actually reducing the likelihood of our sellers being the winning vendor. Isn’t a sales meeting supposed to HELP salespeople win deals, not kill deals first thing Monday morning?

How about this; If our customers were invited inside our sales meetings would they be disappointed in the quality of the conversation or would they be pleased to be the focus?

Our sales meetings should be where we set the standard for how customer meetings should be run – punctual, prepared and purposeful.

Use this time to get your team focused, empower them with skills and keep motivation running high so they’re raring to go when we wrap up the meeting. If we promote this standard each week, we will find that it cascades through their daily activity, including meetings with customers.

What should we do?

  •  Role-model the type of behaviour that we would like to see in customer meetings in our sales meetings. (Lead by example).
  • Share best practice within the selling team. Who is having great conversations and how?
  • Focus on sharpening skills, beliefs and behaviours in our meetings.

Here’s to losing fewer deals first thing Monday.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales training, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

How to get meetings using LinkedIn (in just 5mins or less).

Would you like  8 – 10 New Business conversations every week?

Without doing any hard prospecting activity? Here’s how.

Watch this 5min video for a full explanation on HOW TO do that.

 

Why I think this strategy works.

1 – You choose who you’d like an introduction to. Most people simply ask ‘who can you refer me to’? The person you ask, whilst meaning well, tries to think of someone SAFE to refer you to. Or someone they think you’d like to talk to.

By bringing a list of 5 or 6 names of people you’d like to chat to, you’re much likely to get high-quality business introductions from it.

 

2 – All you need is the OK to call, or Inmail, or email the person using the reference name as a door opener. (Gary, I was having coffee this afternoon with Sam Smith and he suggested I give you a call. Do you have a moment?) – that’s all you need permission to do.

If you ask them to tie you together when they get back to the office, they run a very high chance of either forgetting or just doing a terrible job. This introduction is much more important to you than it is to them. Don’t leave it for them to do it – take control of the situation yourself. Make it easy for them to give you those warm introductions.

 

Some of the best strategies are actually the simplest.

Do yourself a favour and give this a try for every meeting you have planned for a week and see if you don’t generate more sales meetings and sales conversations as a result.

If you’d like more details on how I help businesses to drive real sales results by using how to strategies, just like this one. Please zoom across to my contact page or shoot me a direct email via mark@salesitv.com

 

 

Why I’m only accepting 2 out of 5 connection requests & why you probably should too.

Recently I found that there has been a change in the way many are approaching ‘LinkedIn’. Have you noticed it? It’s like a disease. Mindless, endless connection requests of no value.

A swarm of people, all seemingly trying to RUSH to increase the size of their network in order to reach eye-popping levels, with what appears to be no real regard for quality, reaching out for a mindless connection.

My guess is they might be thinking that having 10,000 connections is important, or more likely, will make them seem important to others. They might believe that at that level of connections, business will be pouring in through their Inbox. (It won’t) I believe they are gathering connections in the same way my teenage niece has thousands of ‘friends’ on facebook but yet she couldn’t tell you if she was standing next to 20 of them at the bus stop. Friends who are not really friends. Connections who are not really connected, or even interested. Think, how much are those connections really worth to you? Zero.

So with all those ‘useless’ connections are you truly ‘well connected’ or are you just overloaded & crowded?

If the quality of your connections are JUNK, what’s the QUALITY of your network? – JUNK.

Your network is your Net Worth. What’s your NET WORTH?

Rubbish in – Rubbish out.

A FOOL with a TOOL is still a TOOL.

Interesting how I can use an old CRM saying and it seems relevant talking about LinkedIn, don’t you think? (LinkedIn has certainly changed a lot in the last year).

Let’s say you do get to 50,000 connections. How would you credibly engage with them all? You can’t. NEWS FLASH. It’s not the shares, likes or views that matter in this game, it’s the quality of the engagement.

Social is social, that means interactions, it’s not a database, it’s not a calling list, it’s not a ‘number’ of connections, it’s not a CRM. If you can’t provide some insights or some value to those who want to connect with you or that they provide to you, then why are you connecting?

Having lots & lots of connections will not automatically make you a LinkedIn superstar. I would argue that having the wrong connections will actively ruin your LinkedIn experience and at the same time make it significantly harder for you to use LinkedIn for what it is designed – a networking tool which should be helping you to drive great conversations and then, eventually opportunities.

Of course, there are exceptions, enter, people like Tony J Hughes. He uses LinkedIn very well to publish, he wants as many people as possible reading his material, which I personally love BTW, He has a strategy which works for him. But it’s not a strategy which will work for most of you, it will work for 5% of people, maybe. (Have you seen how well he writes)?

I’d suggest, don’t connect with everyone you see and don’t connect with everyone just because they send you a connection request, that’s dumb.

Currently, I’m only accepting around 40% of the connection requests I get. The other 60% are simply not a good fit for my network and (here’s the rub) they are actually much better off without me in their network. I will drive them, their network and their feed crazy with my sales orientated conversations and posts. (just like this one).

I’ve spent a significant amount of time DELIBERATELY crafting and designing a network which is high value to me, high value to my network as well as my business strategy. So if you’re not going to add value to the network, to me or I to you. I’m probably not going to accept.

The average person who needs to use or ‘leverage’ their LinkedIn account to help them to grow their business or perhaps find more business opportunities is using the platform incorrectly if they are connecting without thought and without a clear, defined strategy.

I’ve written about this previously and I’m sure I’ll need to repeat myself again. You need to deliberately design your professional network in the same way as you deliberately look for a workplace who has a culture you think will help you to be successful. Your social feed has its own culture.

Why? If you fill your network with ‘randoms’ it will be INCREDIBLY harder to shape your online conversations in order to be of any benefit to that broader audience. There are plenty of subject matter experts out there, so how can you ‘talk’ (post, share and comment) to a broad audience about everything? You can’t. In fact, you might find you’re not getting any traction at all with a broad, large, but weak network. Posting articles, posts, blogs, pictures etc are all designed to drive engagement if you’re connected to 10,000 people and only 500 people are interested in your business proposition, or what you’re posting about. I’d argue you really only have 500 connections and 9,500 people who’s feed you are destroying with ‘rubbish’ which is not relevant to them. Do you want to be that person who is posting crap which nobody wants to read?

Believe me, I’ve been there and done it. I’ve made the mistakes. I’ve been at parties on the weekend where people I know from a more traditional social context have connected with me on LinkedIn, prior to me figuring all this out, and they typically say something like – “Man, you’re all over LinkedIn with your sales stuff. Every time I go there my feed is smashed with all your activity and sales talk”. This is not a good conversation to be having in a truly social context. In this instance I am not building a future customer, I’m just annoying someone who happens to work with my wife. I’m wasting both of our times.

So have a think about you connection strategy (Do you have one)? and make the necessary changes to make sure your LinkedIn network has the best chance to give you what you need from a truly business networking sense.

Failing to do so up front, will potentially mean trying to ‘undo’ 10,000 poorly crafted connections, that’s not going to happen easily. You will need to either

A: Abandon the platform altogether,

B: Forget about using LinkedIn as a BDM tool.

C: Delete your account and start again from the beginning.

That’s why I’m selecting ‘IGNORE’ – it’s the polite thing to do.

TO BE CLEAR: – If you’re in any aspect of sales from within APAC send me a PERSONALISED connection request and I’ll connect. If you’re in IT from Canada, I’m probably not interested – sorry.

A personalised connection request trumps all. Tell me why you’d like to connect and chance are I will. As will your perfect future customer. You might even start a conversation.

It’s all about the engagement.

If you found this to be useful please share amongst your connections, like or comment. It’s how the social media thingy works. If we are all only passive viewers, eventually the content will stop. I know I’d hate that.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

Why your LinkedIn activity isn’t working for you. (Now with templates)

Are you working overtime on LinkedIn? Posting, Sharing, Liking, Commenting and not getting anywhere? No one answering your Inmails? Emails left unopened. Here is the answer to increasing your engagement results by 30%

For those who follow me regularly, you will already know I am an advocate of the use of the Ethical Persuasion strategies, as outlined by Dr Robert (Bob) Cialdini in his book, Influence – The Psychology Of Persuasion.

 

I have successfully used Bob’s 6 principles of persuasion in everyday conversations, LinkedIn Inmails, emails, telephone calls and more to drastically increase the chances I can get someone to agree with my point of view or with my request. For example: With my request for a meeting. Let me show you HOW I do that.

The 6 Principles of Persuasion are:

1 – Reciprocity

2 – Consistency

3 – Social Proof

4 – Liking

5 – Authority

6- Scarcity

 

Let’s take a look at how these persuasion strategies work here on LinkedIn so that you’re successful in drastically increasing the levels of engagement you’re able to achieve. I believe engagement is the key metric on social to measure, not connections, not views, engagement.

Here I break down these 6 principles with examples of how you might be able to leverage these principles within your everyday LinkedIn activity.

 

Reciprocity:

I will feel more obligated to reply to your message, accept your connection request, refer you to a colleague, or even take a meeting with you if you have first shared valuable information with me. This could take place by sending me something via Inmail or just tagging or mentioning me in a post that I will find of particular interest. (Gavin, I noticed you recently shared an article of mine on social selling. So, it just made sense I also send you this checklist infographic I’ve created. Hope you find it helpful. Rgds Mark)

Consistency:

If I have previously liked your articles, posts and comments and generally supported your LinkedIn activity, I would be more open to meeting with you or accepting another request, such as a connection or referral request. Especially if I am reminded about those previous activities. (Hi Gavin, really appreciate all the support for my sales training articles recently. I was hoping to connect with Bob in your office so I can share them with Bob as well, would you mind facilitating a connection to Bob? Rgds Mark)

 

 

Liking:

Regularly seeing your profile in my feed makes me feel closer to you than I actually may be and therefore more likely to accept requests from you. I also feel closer to those connected to both you and I, than those who are not connected to either you or I.

If we are in the same LinkedIn groups and you highlight that we share this, I’m more likely to accept your message requests. (Gavin, as we are both in the ‘Sales Leaders for World Peace’ group here on LinkedIn, made sense to reach out for a connection. Hope you agree. Rgds Mark)

Should you provide a complimentary comment on one of my posts or articles, especially if it is a public comment, then I’m more likely to accept requests from you.

Authority:

By carefully crafting your profile and with the ongoing support from others (comments, shares and likes) you have higher levels of perceived authority to me. Meaning I’m more likely to respond positively to your requests.  Especially if those requests are congruent with your areas of authority.

Scarcity:

I want to be accepted into your network and be part of your ‘select’ group of connections. Also, as not everyone communicates with me through LinkedIn, those who are on LinkedIn and communicate with me may also be considered ‘scarce’.

Alternatively, an Inmail can be positioned as scarce as the communication takes place outside of the public forum. (Gavin, just wanted to send you this directly rather than into your feed. I noticed you posted XXX so this article on YYY made sense to send you as I think it might help with your ZZZ. Rgds Mark)

Social Proof:

If you have a large number of connections who are just like me, or lots of supporting comments and likes from people who are just like me then, to me, you are perceived as more believable and desirable to have in my network. If people, just like me, are publicly approving of your comments, posts and shares, I’m more likely to as well and be more likely to accept requests from you. (Gavin, this particular article has really received some great responses from Sales Directors who are also in financial services, so it just made sense that I send this to you, as I thought you might find it valuable as well. Rgds Mark)

So there you have it an overview to the use of Ethical Persuasion on LinkedIn. As Bob says, use with caution and only for good. These strategies are designed to make our brains look for the safest, easiest decision based on what decisions we’ve made previously. Ethical persuasion, used well, makes your request seem like the best option to take.

There are lots of other ways you can use these strategies on LinkedIn and I’d love to hear what you’ve been successful with, in the past OR simply, try these out and see if you can’t increase your engagement effectiveness.

The Science of Persuasion explained in a YouTube animation in just 11min.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/api/edit/embed?embed=%257B%2522type%2522%253A%2522video%2522%252C%2522title%2522%253A%257B%2522localized%2522%253A%257B%2522en_US%2522%253A%2522Science%2520Of%2520Persuasion%2522%257D%257D%252C%2522description%2522%253A%257B%2522localized%2522%253A%257B%2522en_US%2522%253A%2522http%253A%252F%252Fwww.influenceatwork.com%2520This%2520animated%2520video%2520describes%2520the%2520six%2520universal%2520Principles%2520of%2520Persuasion%2520that%2520have%2520been%2520scientifically%2520proven%2520to%2520make%2520you%2520most…%2522%257D%257D%252C%2522author%2522%253A%257B%2522name%2522%253A%2522influenceatwork%2522%257D%252C%2522provider%2522%253A%257B%2522name%2522%253A%2522YouTube%2522%252C%2522display%2522%253A%2522YouTube%2522%252C%2522url%2522%253A%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252F%2522%257D%252C%2522request%2522%253A%257B%2522originalUrl%2522%253A%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DcFdCzN7RYbw%2522%252C%2522finalUrl%2522%253A%2522https%253A%252F%252Fwww.youtube.com%252Fwatch%253Fv%253DcFdCzN7RYbw%2522%257D%252C%2522images%2522%253A%255B%257B%2522url%2522%253A%2522https%253A%252F%252Fi.ytimg.com%252Fvi%252FcFdCzN7RYbw%252Fhqdefault.jpg%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A480%252C%2522height%2522%253A360%257D%255D%252C%2522data%2522%253A%257B%2522com.linkedin.treasury.Video%2522%253A%257B%2522html%2522%253A%2522%253Ciframe%2520scrolling%253D%255C%2522no%255C%2522%2520allowfullscreen%2520src%253D%255C%2522%252F%252Fmedia.licdn.com%252Fembeds%252Fmedia.html%253Fsrc%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.youtube.com%25252Fembed%25252FcFdCzN7RYbw%25253Ffeature%25253Doembed%2526amp%253Burl%253Dhttps%25253A%25252F%25252Fwww.youtube.com%25252Fwatch%25253Fv%25253DcFdCzN7RYbw%2526amp%253Btype%253Dtext%25252Fhtml%2526amp%253Bschema%253Dyoutube%255C%2522%2520width%253D%255C%2522480%255C%2522%2520frameborder%253D%255C%25220%255C%2522%2520class%253D%255C%2522embedly-embed%255C%2522%2520height%253D%255C%2522270%255C%2522%253E%253C%252Fiframe%253E%2522%252C%2522width%2522%253A480%252C%2522height%2522%253A270%257D%257D%257D&signature=ATnk7yUjQ3xtOMRR7QTG1GAq14wr

If you found this to be useful please share amongst your connections, like or comment. It’s how the social media thingy works. If we are all only passive viewers, eventually the content will stop. I know I’d hate that.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

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Don’t Post THAT Here…

LinkedIn is described as the world’s largest professional network with over 500Millionpeople with a ‘profile’. It’s very much the professional’s social media.

A much smaller number of people are posting articles, sharing pictures, writing blogs and commentary which provides something for all of us to read, look at, laugh at and, most importantly, learn from. I’m grateful for these people being so actively involved in helping all of us learn. However, experience says most people have it wrong and, as a result, they aren’t getting anywhere near the engagement that they deserve.

If you’re going to all the effort to post on LinkedIn, to write articles and be active, I say, at least make it worth your while.

As you should know by now, my strategy here on LinkedIn is to drive engagement through excellent social media activity. I want to have conversations with people, typically senior salespeople, about their businesses. Hopefully about their sales challenges. I’m not trying to have 100,000 connections or even write 1,000 articles, I could not keep up with the level activity that would create.

I see lots of people, here on LinkedIn, wasting their time by posting the wrong things. (Remember my goal is to drive engagement).

  • In short; People are posting too much content that I call ‘advertising’ or ‘self-business promotion’ and not enough shareable knowledge, tips, skills, thoughts or their views and as a result, instead of building their brand they are eroding it.

Specifically, the 6 regular mistakes I see made on LinkedIn in relation to content are:

  1. Marketing; STOP telling your sales teams what to post. Sellers should have control of their own accounts and post relevant material for their customers and prospects based on what they see in the marketplace and in their competitive landscape. This is called sharing insights. They are NOT just another distribution channel for the company newsletter or recent tax-accounting report. This is the equivalent of corporate SOCIAL MEDIA SPAMSTOP IT! Not every seller is capable of regular social activity, that’s fine. But I believe bad social activity IS worse than no social activity. And sellers, if you’re not able to have conversations deeper than what’s in the marketing brochure, either on social or in real life, then let me give you the news right here… The robots are coming and you’re going to be the first out the door.
  2. Posting a picture of a finished or partially finished project, building site, equipment on pallets, race cars etc without people in the image. Social media activity is all about people, not about products or services such as your last equipment sale or your last house listing. If you want to post that you’ve won a new project or sold a new house, that’s cool. But how about including the new owners of the house or the people who are going to get the ‘bone-crushing value’ from your recent sale. It’s social, not a product presentation or gloat-fest. Humanise posts.
  3. Not providing anything more than what we would find in a standard brochure or website. How about a 30sec look under the ‘hood’ shown with video taken from your phone with your commentary? Give us something that we don’t get to see in the catalogues or manufacturers websites. There has to be some extra value in order for me to click on the link or the picture. Provide us with a stronger insight, your insight, some additional value. As a professional, that’s your job.
  4. Humanise all your activities. People want to see people, we want to see what people are doing, again this is the social aspect of the term ‘social media’. I find these posts rate the best for me by far. A picture of people at a training event. People in hard hats at a site inspection. Remember it’s social, people are social.
  5. Just reposting the latest report from marketing or compliance or the latest RBA rate notice… Yawn! You need to provide some good quality commentary around why we should be looking at, reading or taking notice of the article or report. If you just re-post marketings activity it provides no extra value and neither do you. – Harsh, but true. Chris Bates (wealth advisor) is one of the best at this strategy. He comments on popular activity/ news and how it impacts on people’s wealth from his point of view. Well played Chris. (Connect with him here).
  6. Companies paying for advertising on LinkedIn. If I see your banking advertisement or executive recruitment ad or whatever. I’m skimming past it. I’m interested in what my connections are talking about. When was the last time you clicked on a promoted link and bought something?

So there are the 6 things I think you should avoid when posting content. I used to struggle with the term ‘social media’ when I thought of LinkedIn. I thought it was best described as a “professional media” and it IS predominantly professionally orientated, but the social aspect is really the key to driving engagement and I see lots of you are missing this opportunity in both your posts and articles. I once had a boss who was excellent at marketing and promotion he really understood that it was always about the people. Who was where and who were they with and what were they doing?

So next time you go to post something on LinkedIn ask yourself these questions to try to secure stronger engagement.

A: What am I showing my connections beyond what they already know? #video #commentary #yourpointofview

B: How can I humanise this post as much as possible. #tags #mentions #pictures #people

C: How much of my personality can I place in here? Am I building my personal brand? Or do I simply look like part of the marketing machine?

Then, once you’ve started to gather those likes, connections, shares and comments, that’s when the fun really starts. More on that another day.

If you found this to be useful please share amongst your connections, like or comment. It’s how the social media thingy works. If we are all only passive viewers, eventually the content will stop. I know I’d hate that.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Markvia Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

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