This is Part Two of the 10-Day LinkedIn Challenge! If you’re looking for Part One, just click here. For those of you that have already completed the first 5 days of the challenge, it’s time to continue…
Let’s jump straight in!
Day 6: The Sticky Beak
So far, I’ve shared two ways to help you boost your connections by inviting other people to connect with you. Let’s turn this on its head, by applying a strategy designed to accelerate ‘inbound’ connection requests. (Yes. Did you catch that word ‘inbound’?)
This is a strategy designed to attract inbound connection requests from people who represent your ideal customer or client. Let’s create a situation where others are inviting you to connect with them. In this scenario, you are not chasing, you become the Prize! The Sticky Beak has proven to be one of my most reliable strategies for over five years. And it’s proven equally powerful for my students and clients too, go here if you’d like to see!
So, what is this ‘Sticky Beak’ strategy and how does it work?
Imagine a tool designed to hijack your LinkedIn account that visits the profiles of people you want it to visit. At the end of any given day, you can switch on this tool and leave it running on autopilot. And, while you are spending time with your family and friends, it will systematically, one by one, visit hundreds of accounts, in a way designed to avoid LinkedIn’s detection that reflects the natural browsing habits of a real human.
Sounds sinister, doesn’t it? Why would you let a piece of technology hijack your account and start visiting profiles with its dead, invisible eyes, like a machine from the Terminator franchise? Can you guess? Well, imagine what’s likely to happen the next day and in days to come. As members of your target audience (the people whose profiles you have been visiting) begin to login to their LinkedIn accounts, they will notice that a small number of people have been checking out their profiles.
Indeed, LinkedIn features a teaser message on the side of your LinkedIn homepage featuring the words, “Who’s viewed your profile in the last 30 days.” And what happens next? A whole bunch will ask themselves, “Who is this person checking out my profile?” And, of course, should curiosity get the better of them, they will check out your profile, in return! This is why it’s so important that YOUR profile be all about THEM. Because, if your profile is designed to reflect the HEADACHES, OBSTACLES, ASPIRATIONS and DESIRES of your target audience, they will be the ones sending you the connection request and not the other way around.
Then, you get busy. The Sticky Beak is a ‘reactive’ strategy. It does not involve the aggressive pursuit of prospects. You set up the environment and then help others engage with you. While it’s a ‘hack’ and while this strategy is frowned upon by LinkedIn (indeed, it even breaches LinkedIn’s terms of service), it seems to have found ways to survive LinkedIn’s efforts to put a stop to it.
Over the past five years (or more), LinkedIn has systematically attempted to shut down all the various service providers and SaaS companies that make this strategy possible. And, in most cases, LinkedIn has been successful. But rarely have I seen users of these tools be penalized, at least more than suffering a temporary lock out.
Rookie Mistake: What is your plan to get your new connections OFF social media? Do you have one? Most people don’t. They spend far too much time ‘engaging’ without selling. Or too much time ‘selling’ without spending any time engaging. Engagement is important. Having connections is essential. But neither will amount to anything if you don’t have a way to compel your new connections to visit your website, join your email mailing list or book you for a chat.
After someone accepts your connection request, most people get too aggressive too quickly. Don’t do that. Instead, reply with a gift, or maybe the opportunity to complete a Diagnostic. Immediately after accepting a Connection Request, that’s your cue to send a template message specifically designed to help get your new connection OFF social media. This is a strategy that we teach in our training programs. But it will not work unless you have a hook; an offer of high-perceived value to your target audience.
Action- Get Sticky Beaking
When applying the Sticky Beak, you are not proactively sending out requests (a lesson for later) but, instead, you are creating a trigger that will prompt members of your ideal target audience to check you out and invite you to connect with them if they like what they see.
How to Sticky Beak:
- In order to evade LinkedIn’s detection, most Sticky Beaky tools can be a bit tricky to set up. I’m not going to sugar coat this. The hardest part of this entire 10 day challenge is likely to be this step. So, your first action is to grit your teeth and resolutely say out loud, “I can do this!” Then, set aside 15 minutes and get busy! Because, here’s the good news. When it’s done, it’s done! When it’s set up, you can wipe your brow, pat yourself on the shoulder and relax with the thought that you don’t have to worry about doing that ever again.
- Once you’ve made the commitment to do this, you will need to embrace two technology tools: 1) Chrome; and, 2) Our Preferred SaaS Tool. LinkedIn has a history of frequently shutting down LinkedIn automation tools. As such, our current, preferred tool for automating visits may have changed by the time you read this. That’s why we haven’t named a specific tool but instead provided this link. And what’s Chrome? It’s a browser. If you are not already using Chrome as your preferred browser, just go to your favourite search engine and type, ‘Download Chrome’. And what’s a browser? It’s the button you press to get the Internet (EG. Safari, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome).
- Give it a whirl! Open a new tab in Chrome, open your LinkedIn account, switch on our current, preferred SaaS tool for automating profile visits, then leave it to run on autopilot while you do more fun and interesting things. Too easy! In order to thoroughly take advantage of this strategy, it helps to have a hook or incentive designed to help get your new connection OFF social media and into the ‘real’ world.
Day 7: Your Profile, Part Two
It’s your profile. But, if you hope to attract inbound connection requests AND collect leads AND book more meetings with prospects AND elevate your authority as a leader in your industry, it needs to be about THEM. But that’s easier said than done, right?
That’s why, we have this CLARITY BOOSTER [Click here to get the PDF].
It’s a simple one-page document that asks you to complete two simple sentences:
- “I thought I was in the business of [what you do].”
- “But all my clients really want is [outcome].”
When you are able to reframe ALL your messaging to focus NOT on what you DO but on the OUTCOMES you deliver, I guarantee that signing clients will become far easier.
Rookie Mistake: Stop talking about what you ‘do’. If you currently struggle to articulate the value you offer, complete the CLARITY BOOSTER. You might even uncover what it is that your clients want to buy, because they do NOT want your time or expertise or even the benefits of your experience, except to the extent that they deliver an OUTCOME. Clients don’t care about this stuff, at least not until it comes time to make a decision at the ‘pointy end’ of the deal, when they are looking for reasons to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. The rest of the time, they don’t want to know what you ‘do’. They want to know what you can do for them.
Action- Profile Upgrade
After completing the clarity booster exercise, follow this formula:
Complete the sentence: “I thought I was in the business of [WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU DO]. But what I actually do is help [TARGET AUDIENCE] get [POSITIVE OUTCOME].” Then, you transform these words into a highly targeted LinkedIn profile description, like this:
First Name Last Name, INDUSTRY/PROFESSION/SUPER POWER Do you need help getting [FIRST PUMPING MOMENT]? Email me: [YOUR EMAIL]
Day 8: The Welcome Mat
Let’s take even further steps to make it easier for potential clients to connect with you.
This is a no-brainer exercise and perhaps the easiest so far. Time yourself and see how quickly you can get this one done. Let’s lay out the Welcome Mat! When someone wants to connect with you on LinkedIn (or when you want to connect with someone else), there are a handful of ‘hoops’ through which LinkedIn demands that you leap. LinkedIn will ask:
- Did you go to school or college or university together?
- Have you ever worked together, as employer or employee or client? For most people with a desire to connect with you, this won’t be likely. In that case, LinkedIn asks two last questions.
- Are you a member of any of the same LinkedIn Groups?
- Do you have their email address?
Rookie Mistake: Have you been putting up barriers that prevent other people from being able to even attempt to connect with you? Have you been making it harder for opportunities to come your way?
Most LinkedIn users are so concerned about the ‘threat’ of possibly connecting with a LinkedIn spammer, lunatic or time-waster that they unintentionally turn their back on all the opportunities and positive experiences that come from being a bit more open. Are you letting FEAR guide your actions? As my mother likes to say, “Fear is an acronym.” It stands for FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.
Already in this challenge I have talked about how most LinkedIn users irrationally put up barriers. This is your chance to do the ‘opposite’ of most people. That’s why, I say, “Lay out the Welcome Mat!” Make it easier for others to send you their connection requests. And that begins with the addition of your email address in your profile.
Action- Just Say Yes
This exercise, ‘Laying out the Welcome Mat’, is simply about making it easier for other people to connect with you. And there are some easy and immediate ways to do that.
- Add your email address to your LinkedIn profile in TWO places. In the Headline (that’s the short block of text just below your name) and the Summary (that’s the long block of text where most people summarize their achievements). You might worry that unscrupulous spammers might scrape the page and add you to their lists. And guess what? That indeed might happen. But, most email management tools from Gmail to Outlook, are so effective at sorting our emails for us that this is becoming less and less of a problem. The worst-case scenario is that someone might add you to their list without your permission. And, when you receive their first email, you will unsubscribe. Crisis averted! Don’t turn your back on opportunities based on fear. (False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.)
- Join 10 groups on LinkedIn where members of your future customers and clients are most likely to be hanging out. This will not only make it easier for future, highly-targeted and desirable clients to send you connection requests, but it will also more firmly entrench you in your industry. But, remember, you’re not joining these groups to start pushing your services. You are joining to make it easier for others to connect AND to demonstrate your value.
LinkedIn Groups are a highly under-rated vehicle for finding and starting conversations with prospects. When a member of your target audience engages with you in a LinkedIn group, they are there to do business. LinkedIn allows you to join more groups than 10, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. How will you find suitable groups? Simply use the search bar and tap out some keywords. ‘Groups’ will paper as a search option. Then, join 10 groups!
You may need to update your LinkedIn ‘Settings & Privacy’. My preference is to be as visible as possible. So far, this approach hasn’t caused me or my clients any problems (as far as I’m aware)
Day 9: Get Paid to Pitch
So far, you have set yourself up to start receiving invitations to connect. You are engaging. You have re-evaluated your positioning. You have begun to position you as the Prize!
However, these are simply the foundations. That’s why this lesson is so important. It’s the precursor to ongoing and outstanding success on LinkedIn, and it begins with an evaluation of how you conduct sales and marketing, how you take the important next step, and… Get your connections OFF social media and INTO your business.
How do you propose to do that? Have you ever been on the wrong side of an awkward attempt to win your business on LinkedIn? Have you ever received an unsolicited request to ‘catch up’? Or book a call for a ‘Free Consultation or No-Obligation Quote’? It’s not nice, is it?
As you know, I live in a big city with a big population. For that reason, I’m frequently asked by strangers whether I’d like to ‘catch up for coffee’. And what really bugs me is that, more often than not, no particular focus or reason is given for the meeting. “It would be great to meet in the real world and explore opportunities” What does that mean?! I don’t have time for that! What’s the purpose?! I’m immediately left thinking, “This person doesn’t value my time or their own!”
If you want to earn the attention of prospects and secure their time in the form of a phone call or meeting, you better make sure that your offer is framed as something that not only has a clear purpose but is likely to offer and then actually deliver extreme value.
So, how do you transform a vague offer to connect ‘in the real world’ into something with clear purpose and likely to actually deliver extreme value? This is the first step toward a strategy we call, HOW TO GET PAID TO PITCH. Yes, productize your meeting. That’s what happened when Troy Eadie decided to ‘re-frame’ his pitch:
“I was on the phone talking with a potential client about the strategy sessions we offer to prospects, normally for free. As I went through your formula, breaking it down into outcomes, things and feelings, like you teach, and suddenly I realised that, if I offer this meeting for free, I’m going to sound like an idiot. So, when he asked how much the session would cost, I plucked a number from the sky, $1,600 for the strategy session, and offered that. He immediately said ‘yes’ and that’s how we now do business. We now get paid to pitch. And the quality of clients has vastly improved too.”
These principles, that Troy applied to reframe his free strategy session, are the same strategies we use to increase the perceived value of a conversation, a sales call with you. While the setup of the Sticky Beak tool was probably the most technically challenging aspect of this 10 day challenge, the framing of your offer to connect in the real world is likely to be the most mentally taxing. It’s time to UNLEARN some things and re-invent the strategies you use to book meetings with future customers and clients.
Rookie Mistake: The first question in the mind of any prospect who engages with you and your brand (on LinkedIn, on your website or the ‘real’ world), is inevitably going to be, “What’s in this for me? What am I likely to get from this interaction?” So, once again, stop bleating on about what you do and start clearly articulating what you can do for them.
Give the conversation purpose by offering to deliver an outcome actually during the meeting or on the call. Make that outcome the focus and reason for the conversation. Answer that unspoken question by clearly stating “Here’s what you get…” Not only will you secure more meetings, and not only will those meetings go better, this mindset is the first step toward SELLING your sales conversations.
Action- Get Paid to Pitch
It’s time to give your sales conversations some purpose and transform an otherwise tedious process into a product you can sell. These three steps will get you started.
- NAME IT: Give your sales conversation a name. By giving it a name, you take the first step toward transforming your vague offer into a thing. Plus, you take the first step toward answering that unspoken question, “What’s in this for me? What will I get from this?” Call it an Audit. Or an Assessment. Or a Planning Session. Or a Strategy Call. Just don’t call it a ‘Discovery’ call or ‘Free No-Obligation Quote.’
- PRICE IT: While you might never charge money for this conversation, when you attach a price to the call or meeting, your attitude toward the call or meeting will suddenly change. You will feel obliged to make sure that the call or meeting delivers value that’s requisite or above the price in your head. And that usually begins with the delivery of an outcome. What outcome do you propose to deliver? What is the purpose of the meeting or call? This will again help you name the conversation, and transform it into a thing. A vague offer to ‘catch up’ becomes an Audit and an Audit with purpose becomes… well… What do you do? In my industry, we might offer a Funnel Audit. Or a Website Assessment. Or a Marketing Planning Session. Or a Sales Strategy Call. (Things with outcomes.)
- CHUNK IT: Break down the deliverables into parts. For example, a Marketing Planning Session might include the promise to deliver three easy lead generation tactics, two confidence boosters and a future Proofing Strategy. (More things with outcomes.)
Think about it this way… McDonalds doesn’t just sell a popular hamburger. It’s called a Big Mac. (That’s its Name.) And, with every Big Mac, you will get ‘Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun’. Now, if McDonalds can do that with a mediocre fast-food snack, imagine what you should be able to achieve when you break down your expertise and transform your meeting into something of extreme value?
The effort you put in now will make the difference between success and social exile when you take the next step (the focus of DAY TEN) and begin to invite targeted prospects to connect with you in the real world. It’s time to get your connections OFF social media and onto the phone or into your office. Let’s book some meetings with hot prospects!
Day 10: Get Them off Social
During our flagship training programs, such as THE RECIPE and THE POINTY END, we teach a sales and marketing methodology that we call ‘Intelligent Outbound’.
The purpose of Intelligent Outbound is to create situations where either:
1. Leads are coming to you and they are already ready and willing to buy.
We call these ‘Incoming VIPs’ (aka Incoming Very Interested Prospects). You’ll know these people when you see them because they are already ready to buy, even if you have never spoken or even swapped an email. Indeed, often the only barrier for the ‘Incoming VIP’ will be the price or your rates. If they can afford you, they will hire you or buy from you.
2. Or, when you reach out, they know who you are and are happy you reached out.
Most of the time, we only ever engage in proactive ‘outbound’ marketing when we feel confident that we’ll receive a positive reaction. We’ve put in the ground work first! Intelligent Outbound is the opposite of cold calling or pestering strangers.
You will have already perhaps caught glimpses of what it’s like to fully embrace and apply Intelligent Outbound when you experimented with my Sticky Beak strategy. However, this is a 10 day challenge. And Intelligent Outbound takes a bit of time.
As above, it’s one of the foundational principles that guide our more comprehensive training courses, that are designed to attract leads, build engagement, then rapport, and to, ultimately, help you close clients faster, while doing less better, in ways that are sustainable.
For the last day of this 10 day challenge, the focus of our attention is on a strategy that is quick to get results, but brutal. It’s not sustainable over the longer term, but it works. It’s a powerful strategy intended to help you secure FOUR client meetings per week, almost entirely on autopilot, in the short to medium-term. (Not for the long-term.)
However, it relies on the strategies from DAY NINE, which will force you to reframe your offer in a way that will help you in the long-term and may even help reinvent your business.
So, this strategy is NOT an example of Intelligent Outbound. But it works, and extremely quickly, at least for a while. That’s why we call it ‘quick and brutal’. (And, in case you’re wondering, this word ‘brutal’ does not just mean ‘savage’. It refers to actions that are ‘blunt’ and ‘cold of heart’. That’s why we don’t recommend this strategy for use over the long-term. But, nonetheless, it’s still highly effective, quick to execute and likely to dazzle.)
Rookie Mistake: Imagine a room full of people. One hundred people in total. Imagine that each and every one of these 100 people fits the description of an ideal client. They represent the exact type of organization that your product or service was designed to serve or they are the exact type of person that you were put on this planet to help. And, once again, there are 100 of these highly targeted people in this hypothetical room surrounding you.
So, do you feel excited? How many do you think you could sign up as clients? They all need you. You can help them! They are all within your reach. Sounds like a great situation to be in, right?
In fact, that’s the reality that you are now creating for yourself (yes, right now) by using LinkedIn systematically. But here’s the inconvenient truth. Out of every 100 members of your target audience, only 3 (or 3 percent) will be actively looking for the solution you offer at this exact moment in time. They are called ACTIVE members of your target audience.
Another 7 of the 100 (or 7 percent) are likely to be open to the solution you offer. That means, if they are given a reason for working with you, they will, at least, consider your offer. These are called OPEN members of your target audience. They are not active.
What about the remaining 90 percent? Around 30% will be aware that your solution exists and that it could help them some day. But they are not ACTIVE or OPEN. They are just not ready. Around 30% will be unaware that a solution like yours is available. Yup. They are completely oblivious to the fact that a business like yours could even help them. In some industries that 30% is much larger, if it’s complex or new.
And what about the final 30 percent? These people are the NAYSAYERS. They will just say ‘NO’, no matter what. They think your business is too big (or too small). They think that you’re too young (or too old). You don’t fit their ‘idea’ of an authority. They don’t like the color of your logo. For whatever reason, they will prefer to work with a competitor. And that’s fine. Because if there’s a personality clash between the way you do business and the expectations of a client, that will always end in disaster.
We take particular care to avoid clients that are likely to clash with the way we do business (and I personally suggest that you do the same). Life is too short for managing bad client relationships. Not all clients are created equal and not all projects are worth your time. It is, indeed, a rookie mistake to treat all prospects like the ACTIVE three percent. However… That is EXACTLY what we are going to suggest that you do today. Be quick and brutal.
Action- Book a Meeting
For this exercise, we use another SaaS tool. And, once again, because most automation tools operate in violation of LinkedIn’s terms and conditions and are frequently shut down, to access our current preferred automation tool for getting more meetings and calls, click here.
The purpose of an automation tool is twofold:
1. Invite strangers to connect with you.
Unlike the Sticky Beak strategy, in this scenario, you are the person actively making the connection request. Therefore, it’s important that you update your profile first.
Naturally, you want any automation tool to ONLY target the types of people, with the types of jobs and/or from the types of organizations that you would like to reach. Therefore, if you have a clearly defined audience, you’re far more likely to find success using LinkedIn, and growing a business generally! (One person. One problem. One product.)
2. Engage using automated messages AFTER someone accepts your connection request.
Sending automated messages via any medium (from email to SMS) is challenging at the best of times. It’s simply too easy to mess it up. And clumsy automation is a sure-fire way to alienate potential prospects. That’s particularly the case with LinkedIn. That’s why, our automation process involves only three messages.
How to use this LinkedIn Automation tool:
1. Your invitation to connect: We recommend that you use LinkedIn’s default invitation, as suggested on DAY TWO. Future connections are more likely to visit your profile page before making a decision. And, if the connection request is sent to the right type of person, they are more likely to like what they see and accept your request. If they are not your target audience, they will not accept your connection request. And that’s not such a bad thing, is it! Here’s the default message we send: “Hi @firstname, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network.”
2. Your first response after someone accepts your connection request: We simply throw out a harmless one-line salutation, often featuring a typo. Most people who use automation don’t think or behave this way. They spend hours labouring over a polished template message. But an automated message that is too well crafted has the potential to alienate or spook the prospect. They might not know why your polished message feels ‘wrong’. They just do. Here’s the message we send: “Thanks for connecting, @firstname :)”
That’s it. It almost doesn’t make sense, right. But it’s harmless, and not a pitch.
3. Your invitation to book a meeting: This is where your ground work from DAY NINE comes into play. Remember my simple mantra; One Person. One Problem. One Product.
Here’s a message that we crafted for one of our clients:
“Hey @firstname, I was just checking out your profile and noticed you’ve been the CEO/MD at @ company for less than a year.
I typically work with new CEO’s & Managing Directors who want to drive change, smash their growth goals, make their mark… and do it very quickly.
A “growth hacker” by trade — and having worked with over 550 businesses in APAC over the last 7 years — I’d love to jump on a call and help nut out some of the more tricky bits of your Sales & Marketing strategy.
Feel free to message me on LinkedIn (or here: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re interested. We’ll just book a 45 min Zoom or Phone call and take it from there.
Worst case scenario… I might be able to help you avoid some of the less obvious mistakes made by new CEOs. (Everyone has an opinion on marketing, right? Staff. Investors. Your local barista! And not all of those opinions are created equal! Haha!) Hope we can chat. :)”
As you might have noticed, we start by NAMING the audience (EG. One Person). Indeed, this message names the audience twice, in the first paragraph and the second. We reference the challenge or solution we solve (EG. One Problem). This appears as part of the second paragraph and, also, we revisit the problem in the fourth paragraph. The meeting or call on offer is the product (EG. One Product). The third paragraph provides the ‘Call-to-action’ (and features a bit of Social Proof too).
How this all comes together…
For every 600 connection requests you send, 200 (or 30 percent) will accept your connection request. Of those 200, approximately 2-4 percent will be interested in meeting with you IF (and only ‘if’) you frame your meeting in a way that highlights its value.
Most SaaS tools designed to help with the automation of LinkedIn are able to send 100 connection requests a day. In other words, when applying this ‘quick and brutal’ strategy, you should be able to send at least 600 connection requests, boost your connections by at least 200 contacts and, with a bit of good planning, book 4 to 8 meetings in less than a week.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BOOK FOUR MEETINGS WITH ACTIVELY-INTERESTED POTENTIAL CLIENTS EVERY WEEK? YES? OF COURSE, YOU DO!
That’s why we dedicate the last day of our 10 DAY CHALLENGE to this strategy. Why does it work? Because approximately 3 percent of your target audience sits in the ACTIVE zone. And this strategy is designed to appeal to that small group. What about the remaining 97%? They will give you the silent treatment (while they try to figure out your value and motives). If they have visited your LinkedIn profile and if it speaks their language, they are likely to give you the benefit of the doubt, especially if they are at the OPEN or AWARE stage.
WOULD YOU LIKE PROVEN STRATEGIES TO FIND CLIENTS AND SIGN CLIENTS IN WAYS THAT ARE SUSTAINABLE AND CONSISTENT? HELLS YES!
That’s why we provide training programs designed to tackle ALL the fundamental building blocks of sales and marketing AND the tech tools devoted to saving you time. DO LESS BETTER.
If you’d like to download the LinkedIn 10 Day Challenge as a helpful PDF, click here!