Hi, I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run. And today I want to share with you my top five social social media marketing strategies for infrastructure, software and fintech companies. First up, start with the who and the why. It's super important to know exactly who you are on social media to engage and interact with and why you're there, who is your primary audience and why should they pay attention to you? For the kinds of B to B tech companies that I advise, we always start by researching and building out buyer personas for their most important stakeholders. Before you start posting or interacting on social media, make sure that you thoroughly understand your ideal clients, their goals, plans, their challenges, their favorite watering halls where they hang out online offline what they're up worried about at 02:00 in the morning.
What if they get right? We'll get them a huge promotion. What if they get wrong? We'll get them the opposite of a promotion. Nobody wants that. So it's super critical that you analyze the mindset of your buyers and their motivations and their behaviors before you jump onto social. Second, make sure that you create content that is worth sharing on social media. Seems simple, but a lot of people overlook this basic step. Never approach your social media in a vacuum or an Echo Chamber. Know who your core buyer personas are, what they care about, and find a way to add value to their lives. Get up to speed on the modern buyers journey as well. It's super critical make sure that you understand the differences between what you care about and what your buyer personas care about during the awareness, consideration and decision stages of the buyer's journey. All too often, newbie social media marketers and salespeople think that most of their audience is super interested in hearing about how wonderful they are, which can be helpful somewhat at the decision stage.
But for complete strangers that have never heard of you or your company or your brand before, it's just not going to resonate. Remember, everyone starts in the awareness stage. They have a goal they're trying to achieve a problem they're trying to solve. The better the job you do of meeting them where they are, the easier it is for you to start building a connection with them and getting them to notice you in the first place. Remember, your goal should be to begin the relationship in the awareness stage and be available to your audience throughout the entire buyer's journey. So step number two is make sure that you create content that's worth sharing on social.
Third, make sure that you're thinking about building a brand on social media channels. If you work with small business owners that are not professional marketers, you'll almost certainly need to educate and build trust about what it means to build a brand on social media. What is this actually all about? All too often, small business owners think that building a brand is just about their logo, their fonts, the Hex color chart that they use, and their brand guide. As a result, they tend to entrust social media strategy decisions to the wrong kind of expert in a small company. If you're an owner, a founder or CEO, you will almost certainly be the one who should still take lead on the strategy, even if you're not the one doing the actual implementation. Make sure your company doesn't suffer from what I call premature abdication.
It's okay to delegate, but do not abdicate, and instead, make sure that your clients or your internal clients understand that your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room, your prospects and your clients the content. As a result, the content that you share on social needs to be about them super critical that you answer to the what's in it for me that's going on in the mind of your prospects. All of the interactions that you make can make an enormous difference. But you first have to be tuned into how your brand is perceived and have that empathy. Also, make sure that you're patient. It takes time. Do not try to propose marriage on the first date the reason that that subject is broached in comedy movies. But unless you're in the comedy business, think about building trust and building up that bank account before you start asking for things in return. Four Focus on channels that matter Most to your buyer Personas You can't be everywhere unless you truly have bottomless resources, you really need to narrow down your publishing and interactions to the channels where your ideal clients who are your buyer personas most hang out.
Linkedin is usually super important for infrastructure software and fintech companies. Youtube can be a close second. You can do Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest if it matters to your buyer personas, but make sure that you take the time to do your buyer persona research to validate that that actually is the case. If you're super resource constrained, it's usually a safer choice to build a beachhead in the channels that matter most to your core buyer personas. That will get you the impact of the fastest. And your fifth strategy on the top five list of social media marketing strategies for infrastructure software in fintech is use paid social to expand your reach and get hyper specific on your targeting.
What does that mean? Well, LinkedIn organic, done well can do great things for building up the reach of your personal profile. However, if your company can only sell to a certain geographic area like certain States, certain regions, certain countries, or certain industries, LinkedIn a lot of times is going to attract attention way beyond what's in your ideal client profile or what needs to be where you want to be getting leads.
Linkedin ads, on the other hand, can be a lot more specific and should be in your playbook. If you need to be a lot more specific about your demographics. Along the same lines, if you've identified a few hundred target accounts ideal companies that you'd love to have as your clients and you think they're a perfect fit for your product, for your service, for getting your company to product market fit, account based marketing or ABM should definitely be in your playbook. And LinkedIn ads is a very time effective and very cost effective, hyper specific way to make that happen. To get your content offers your educational content that builds trust in front of the exact stakeholders that matter most to your company. So in this short video, we've looked at five social media marketing strategies that you can apply to grow your infrastructure. Software fintech Company How do you use social media? Let me know in the comments below and if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
And if you're looking for more oneonone assistance. I'm Joshua Feinberg from Samron. I'm very easy to find on LinkedIn and I look forward to hearing your great success stories with social media. You'll end up with a ton of unqualified visitors and leads from the wrong geographic locations, from people at the wrong companies, and likely have wasted quite a bit of budget reaching your competitors. B to B Social Media Strategy How to get Started With hundreds of millions of professionals active on the leading social media platforms including LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, your company may be missing the boat and tons of great prospects if you don't have the right kind of presence in social media. But where do you even start? In this short video, you'll be introduced to basic B to B social media strategies that you can start on today. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and before we get into that, can I ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available? What's my background in B to B social media? I am a digital media strategist and revenue growth consultant for Small Business CEOs.
Since 2008, I've been building and optimizing social media campaigns for tech startups and scale ups, and I'm 31 times certified by HubSpot Academy, including in social media marketing, inbound marketing, content marketing, digital advertising, email marketing, and sales enablement. I'm a former Microsoft Corporation content provider for and an advisor to the Small Business Server, SBS product teams and Small Business Channel partner teams in Redmond, Washington. I've led marketing for a venture back B to B SaaS company that's applying artificial intelligence in the accounting and enterprise finance space. How do you keep up with the increasing cost of social media as a B to B company? A little while back, a reporter asked me to share my advice on what to do about the ever escalating cost of keeping up with social media for your business.
Here is my take. Here's my insight and advice. First, create and maintain detailed buyer personas for your most important stakeholders that your company needs to attract and engage with. A buyer persona is a semifictional representation of an ideal client based on actual research and select educated speculation. Your buyer persona research will help you prioritize just about everything with your social media investments. For example, which channels to focus on, which groups and hashtags are most important, which geographic locations, company sizes and job functions, even what topics to cover in your content as well as preferred formats. Paid B to B social media may actually be less expensive than organic social media investments very counterintuitive. Here's a real contrarian tip when it comes to your BDB social media strategy and related investments. Paid social media may actually be a much better investment for your company than organic social media. How could that possibly be? Let's say you're the CEO of a B to B SAS company that sells to hospitals in the US. Your most important stakeholders tend to be on finance and It teams.
You depend 100% on your organic social media posts reaching the right audience. But if you're just depending on organic social, it could take you years to get there. Meanwhile, you're creating hundreds if not thousands of unique creative video assets, image assets and text assets for an audience where 90 plus percent or more could never, ever monetize it to paying customers. They're just from companies that are way too big, way too small from the wrong parts of the world. You'll end up with a ton of unqualified visitors and leads from the wrong geographic locations from people at the wrong companies, and likely have wasted quite a bit of budget reaching your competitors instead, when you think of LinkedIn ads, you have virtually no waste and a very high level of targeting efficiency. And your text ads and sponsored posts get directly in front of the right finance professionals and the right It professionals. At US based hospitals, you could even exclude competitors from name companies. Now, what's the biggest challenge that you're facing with your B to B social media strategy? Let me know in the comment section down there below.
And if you're looking for some one on one assistance with scaling your BTB social media and setting that up as a revenue growth engine for your business, I may be able to help. Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Send me a quick message about what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I wish you great success in using B to B social media to propel your company's growth. Eight and a half out of ten people on LinkedIn do not think that the content quality is excellent, so it's a big problem.
They're looking for this great content, yet they're not finding it there on LinkedIn. Btb social media marketing for mid market and enterprise technology. With so much information out there on how to effectively use BTB social media marketing to attract more mid market and enterprise tech clients, how do you even know where to start? Let's go back to the basics and identify the top channels, some tips on creating an effective strategy and calendar, tapping into overlooked opportunities, and how you can prepare for where B to B social media is headed next. But before we do that, can I ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this channel? Ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available.
So first up, let's talk about some of the top channels for attracting mid market and enterprise technology buyers. The BDB tech companies that I work with concentrate most of their social media efforts on LinkedIn in the form of organic content, paid ads and sales Navigator. Youtube is also a pretty big priority, which is really hybrid social and search, and Facebook and Twitter are usually a distant third and fourth priority for some more progressive companies looking to build a digital brand.
Podcasting in general like Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SoundCloud and Audible should be prioritized over Facebook and Twitter. When it comes down to creating an effective B to B social media strategy and calendar, what should you be thinking about? Well, all strategy needs to start with first, identifying who your most important buyer personas are. Second, research and create detailed buyer persona documents. Once you understand the goals, challenges, preferences, watering holes and targeting parameters for your primary and secondary buyer personas, most prioritization with social media strategy and content calendars becomes much more straightforward and most importantly, buyer centric. Without this check and balance, social media strategy and content are often driven by whims and egos of internal stakeholders like the hippo, the highest paid person in the organization, or the highest paid person's opinion. And that tends to fall flat. Sometimes really flat. There's just so much competing for people's attention. If you don't knock it out of the park on relevance, value, and playing the long game, your social media strategy is doomed before you even start. What can you do to tap into some overlooked opportunities? Well, a big one is LinkedIn organic, and the content, quality and quantity needed to power its growth is still very much underrated for the kinds of tech companies that I work with that sell to mid market and enterprise buyers.
Their internal Champions, by definition, are usually on the leading edge of digital transformation projects and generally all pretty active on LinkedIn. Most companies mistake is that they're trying to close the sale way too prematurely before they used content to educate and build trust with their target audience. Big thing to keep in mind is the Edelman LinkedIn B to B Thought Leadership Impact Study, which has been run for a number of years in a row, has found that 89% of buyers were influenced by thought leadership content.
Almost nine out of ten buyers are influenced by thought leadership content. In other words, it enhanced their perceptions of an organization. Yet despite the fact that almost nine out of ten buyers are influenced by thought leadership content, only 15% of decision makers rate overall content quality on LinkedIn is excellent. Eight and a half out of ten people on LinkedIn do not think that the content quality is excellent, so it's a big problem. They're looking for this great content, yet they're not finding it there on LinkedIn. In other words, nearly all be to be decision makers are creating excellent thought leadership content, yet 85% of the content is less than excellent. So what can you do to prepare for where BTB social media is headed next? To get the growth that you're looking for from social media, you'll need to build a digital brand so that your company is seen as the go to experts, thought leaders and trusted advisors in your space.
Scaling the unscalable will give companies like yours a competitive edge. The biggest barrier to all this is many times too often those controlling the budgets are living in the past, waiting for the resurgence of printed newspapers, printed phone books and AOL. The best B to B companies are blurring the line between B to B and B to C. Think about product led growth companies like Zoom, Slack, Dropbox, Asana and HubSpot for example, and they're also blurring the line between broadcast, streaming video and social video. Hulu is already working on a self serve ad platform that's going to allow advertisers to buy ads next to specific shows with the same self serve these as buying YouTube pre roll ads, LinkedIn video ads or Facebook video ads.
We're heading to a place where there's not going to be a distinction between marketing and digital marketing. It's all just marketing and there will be no distinction between social media and traditional outbound media will all just be media. Nearly every traditional media company is being forced to adapt a social component to survive and remain relevant. What have you found that's been most effective in your B to B social media marketing toolkit? Let me know down there in the comments and if you're looking for some one on one assistance with using social media much more effectively to sell to mid market enterprise technology buyers, I may be able to help.
Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Send me a quick note about what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I wish you great success in being able to use social media much more effectively to attract more of the right mid market and enterprise technology buyers. Five Ways to Attract Customers With B to B Social Media If your company is like most, you are always looking for creative ways to attract and retrain new customers. Use these five ways to tap into your BDB social media presence to attract more of the right customers to your business.
But before we do that, I can ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available. First up, start with the who and the why. Who is your primary audience and why should they pay attention to you? Before you start posting and interacting on social media, be sure that you thoroughly understand your ideal clients goals, plans, challenges and favorite watering holes where they like to learn new information, and also make sure that you analyze buyer motivations and their behaviors. Second, create content worth sharing on social media maybe sound like a given, but for many that are new, we shouldn't take anything for granted.
Know who your core buyer personas are and what they care about and get up to speed on the modern buyers journey. All too often, new social media marketers and new salespeople think that most of the audience is already at the decision stage. They're just about ready to buy when in reality, just about everyone starts in the awareness stage where they just have a goal or a challenge that they're just starting to do some research on. Your goal should be to begin the relationship and the awareness stage and be available with your audience throughout their entire buyer's journey. Third, build up your brand by educating the content that you share on social media and your interactions can make an enormous positive impact on how your brand is perceived. But be patient. Do not try to propose marriage in a loop on the first date. Four, focus on the channels that matter most to your buyer persona. Narrow down your publishing and interactions to channels where your ideal clients already hang out. Fifth, use paid social to get hyper specific on your targeting.
While most people tend to gravitate to free social media. In other words, just posting on social media social media ads can actually be a very cost effective, hyper specific way to get your content offers in front of the exact people that matter most. How have you successfully used social media to attract and retain more of your target B to B customers? Let me know in the comments section down there below and if you need some help figuring out your social strategy for attracting the best and brightest B to B customers into the top, middle and bottom of your sales funnel, I may be able to help. Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn, send me a quick note with Connect request and let me know what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together.
I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I wish you great success in using social media to attract and retain more of your target B to B customers. Social Media Planning 101 for B to B Technology Startups In a digitally transformed world, your ideal prospects are likely to meet your company on social media long before they meet one on one with someone from your sales team. For many companies, this massive change in behavior presents a lot of challenges. But for companies that are at the top of their game on social media planning, you'll be able to attract the right people in the right places at the right time and most importantly, in the right context. But where do you start? We're going to get into the details on what you should do with your social planning and your social strategy. But before we do that, can I ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available? So where do we start? We need to understand just how pervasive social media is.
Techtarget defines social media as a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, communitybased inputs, interaction, content sharing and collaboration. And the latest research from the Pew Foundation showed how Americans are using social media, 81% have at least used once, YouTube, 69% for Facebook, 40% have used Instagram, 30% have used either LinkedIn or Pinterest, 25% have used Snapchat, 21% have used TikTok, Twitter or WhatsApp, and 13% have used next door.
So given this context and how widespread social media is, at least among Americans, social media planning needs to be on the front burner for most B to B technology startups. Let's talk about the difference between social media strategy and social media planning. A social media strategy should be based on customer insight research, buyer personas, buyer's journey mapping and jobs to be done jobs theory.
A social media plan, on the other hand, is a lot more tactical, and it's based on what's learned from that customer insight research, especially the buyer personas and details, things like what your buyer persona looks like, your buyer's journey stages, awareness, consideration and decision. What topics, keywords or hashtags are going to be covered by this particular social media plan for this particular asset, what format they're going to be in, whether it's video, audio, image or text. What the length of the asset is for this social media planned asset, whether it's long form, short form or micro content, what channel it's for, the specs, as well as any internal or external subject matter experts that you're going to be tapping into to create this content asset for social media? How should you go about developing your social media strategy and plans? Again, social media strategy input is going to come from your customer insight research.
Social media planning input comes from your marketing strategist, either an internal person who wears the hat of a marketing strategist. If you don't have the luxury of having a dedicated marketing strategist or an external freelancer, an external agency who provides that marketing strategist on an ad hoc or per diem or per project basis. And you'll pair the strategies together with your internal subject matter expert or internal subject matter experts that are going to be chiming in and providing input for this particular content assets. Supporting Your Social Media Planning The strategy and plan should focus on setting and achieving smart goals. Smart goals are specific, measurable attainable, relevant and time bound. Your planning should be building your brand by primarily promoting your thought leadership content offers as well as other high value content offers that would be of interest to your most important buyer personas. The social media platforms that are prioritized by B to B tech startups vary the smaller the team and the smaller your resource and investment level, the more you need to be hyper focused about your process.
Here, for example, which of your buyer personas is your true primary buyer persona? Typically, your primary buyer persona has the most economic value. It's the most strategically important to the growth of your business and from a customer insight research perspective, especially the buyer persona research. What is the dominant social media platform for your primary buyer persona then? Within the platform? Which dimensions? Which part of the platform matter most in terms of hashtags, group memberships and other defining parameters, most tech startups will find their buyer personas on LinkedIn and on YouTube. But where on these platforms should you focus your efforts? There's over a billion people on YouTube and we're approaching a billion members on LinkedIn. If you were to add one or two adult social media platforms to your mix, which ones would they be? Let your buyer persona research give you a database to answer to where you should prioritize your efforts. When it comes to social media. When sending visitors from a social media post to a website URL, you should know what you are trying to accomplish, what your goal is and how you're going to measure success.
Now, a few cautionary notes when it comes to social media strategy versus planning for B to BTech startups, a lot of social media branding is becoming much harder to measure right now. We're living through an era where much of the venture capital flowing into startups is chasing easytomeasure vanity metrics that don't necessarily move the needle on actual demand generation that contributes to that leads to direct line of sight to revenue growth. The retirement of third party cookie tracking Apple is already there and Google is right behind them is going to force this issue and bring about way more prioritization of brand building. Starting on Social Media To be effective on social, your company culture really needs to support a desire for your company to be seen as the go to subject matter experts and thought leaders in your space. Without this, much of your social media planning and strategy will be driven by egos, internal politics and braggadocio bragathons often the highest paid person in the organization. The hippo will win these battles without necessarily having the data to support the direction that you're going in. How Does Your Company Plan Social Media? If you're part of a B to B focus tech start up, let me know in the comments section down there below.
And if you need some help with your social media strategy and social media planning for your B two B tech start up, I may be able to help. Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Send me a quick note in the connection request about what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I look forward to hearing your great success story on how you are using social media as a strategic part of your growth engine for scaling your B to B tech store. The Six Social Media Mistakes That Start Up Founders Make According to TechCrunch, the average startup founder goes through three funding rounds before getting to Series A funding. So suffice it to say, founders of startups as a group have reasonably decent competency when it comes to successfully pitching investors. But you know what? Founders aren't usually all that good at using social media to strategically grow their business.
In this video, you're going to learn about six of the most common social media mistakes that startup founders make and more importantly, what you if you are a startup founder, what they can do to course correct with their own social strategy and ongoing growth plans. But before we get into the specifics, can I ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this channel? Ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available. So first up, first, big thing to make sure that you as a Start founder, focus on is to set smart goals. Smart goals are specific, measurable attainable relevant and time bound by setting smart goals. You'll know what you're trying to measure and what you're trying to accomplish with your social media investments. This is absolutely critical. Step number two, create buyer personas so you know who you are trying to attract and why somebody like that should pay attention to your social media posts. This is again, absolutely critical to being able to enter the conversation going in the minds of your most important stakeholders that you're trying to build a relationship with.
Otherwise, what ends up happening is you're just throwing random spaghetti at the wall and hoping they pay attention to it. And usually by definition, what ends up happening is you talk about yourself and how wonderful you are and how wonderful your products and services are way too much and not enough about the challenges and the goals and the problems and the questions that your ideal buyers have. Step number three is make sure that you narrow down which social media channels you'll focus on based on what you learn in your buyer persona research so you do not spread yourself too thin. Fourth, create helpful educational content that positions your startup that positions your small business as the go to experts in your space and thought leaders for your particular industry, for your particular business model and the ideal clients your ideal buyer personas that you want to be selling to. Number five, build some gated content content that goes behind landing pages that has lead nurturing sequences sometimes called drip sequences that help you accelerate more of your subscribers and leads into Marketing Qualified Leads MQLs and Sales Qualified Leads Sales Qualified Leads SQL or Sales Accepted Leads and Opportunities.
This is super critical if you're generating traffic to make sure that you're getting that traffic to converting landing pages and then have a good sequence of a good lead nurturing workflow that can take more of those early stage leads and continue to educate and build trust with them as you accelerate them along their buyer's journey. And number six, the biggest Mistake the biggest opportunity for correction among startup tech founders that are using social media is to invest very selectively in paid social media to accelerate your time to value driving hyper targeted paid social traffic to your gated content behind lead generation landing pages. Otherwise, what ends up happening is only a small percentage of your reach will see what you share on social media and there'll be some engagement that gets to your second degree connections. But what ends up happening from us tech startups is your ICP. Your ideal client profile usually is specific to a kind of role in a kind of company, in a certain geographic location. And when you just share organic on socially, you can't be that specific.
When you run paid ads that are hyper targeted to specific companies or specific industries in certain sizes, you get way more granular about who is seeing those social media posts. Entrepreneur Magazine found that startup founders can spend around 40% of their working hours on tasks that don't generate income, such as hiring, HR tasks and payroll. Ironically, your next and your best client may be waiting for you from your amazing content on social media. So make sure that you put at least some of that 60% of other time to good use consistently and attracting and engaging more of the right potential clients to your startup.
What is the biggest social media mistake that you see founders of startups making? Let me know in the comments down there below and if you need some help figuring out the social strategy for growing your tech startup, I may be able to help. Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Send me a quick note along with the Connect request about what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I wish you great success in being able to use social media as a strategic part of your growth engine for scaling your startup. If you haven't heard of ready, the big go to strategy that everyone's been talking about for the last couple of years is for a B to B technology company that really wants to be disruptive in the space.
Instead of thinking about building a marketing teams and build a media company within your own firm, are you in an executive role or marketing or sales leadership role in a B to B technology company? If so, podcasting should be on your radar screen as a core tactic, a core part of your playbook for raising your company's awareness, for generating leads, for building great relationships, positioning your company as the go to experts in your space, subject matter experts and thought leaders. There's a lot of great reasons to get podcasting going within your company and look at it as a strategic, long term investment.
One of the big mistakes, however, is when I see people approaching podcasts, they think of it as an audio only media. And in reality, for where we are in the world today. What I'd recommend is that you record all of your podcasts first in video, which in the times that we're at right now, more than likely means that you're recording remotely. It could be using something like Zoom, go to meeting Google meets FaceTime, Skype, whatever you're most comfortable with. But record and video. And because of that, you want to prep your guests that you're interviewing to let them know that you're going to be doing that, to have them give some thought to what's in their background, their lighting, their audio quality.
But record first in video. The advantage of recording first in video is it's really straightforward after you do your editing, to go from having video format to audio format. Basically, if your videos are like an MP four format, for example, it's very straightforward to be able to extract an MP three file for you to be able to share that same content on audio podcasting sites. So so far, we have created video content and we've created audio content.
So not only do we have content that can go on YouTube and that can be chopped up in smaller pieces and shared on other social media properties, we now have audio content that can make it onto the major podcasting sites like Apple Podcasts and Google, Podcasts and Spotify. In addition, the third big distribution opportunity for podcasts is transcribing that content and turning it into print content for your blog. So this way, not only do you have content that's living, for example, in YouTube, so people that like to watch videos can find it there, and you have the same content that's living in Apple Podcasts, for example. So people that like to listen to podcasts while they're out and about doing their workout, doing errands, whatever they do when they're driving around, whatever they do when they're listening to podcasts, you have a way to reach them there.
And then you also have content that's sitting on your own website that's based on that same episode of that same podcast, which can start out as a transcript, you can edit the transcript, you can write some analysis and it introduces the guests a little bit, and of course embed the video and audio files on your blog. So this way you have findability not only on a site like YouTube, you have Findability on a site like Apple Podcast, and you have Findability in search engines, search engine optimization type of reasons. And you're creating very high quality content on your blog on a regular basis that many times is going to have expert interviews. And of course, by embedding that video content in there, people stay much longer on that blog post than average, much longer on that page than average. And most of the other pages on your website, which sends a fantastic signal to search engines that you're nailing relevancy to get your session time way up and your bounce rate way, way down.
So you have video content from the same interview, you have audio content from the same interview, and you have text based content from that same interview. So there's a lot of different ways to repurpose that into smaller images, smaller videos, smaller text. But those three formats alone, the video, audio and text do wonders to fill up your content calendar for sharing great content in your email marketing program and your lead nurturing sequences. It covers very well what you're trying to do with organic search reach, with growing your search engine authorities so people when they're looking for help and information on these topics are attracted into your website. And it's also fantastic content for sharing those videos, those podcasts and those blogs in other social feeds. So again, with your podcast, you end up with great helpful educational content to sit on YouTube and video format to sit in audio format on a site like network like Apple Podcasts, as well as on your own websites, blog and with those three formats of content, this gives you plenty of great topics, content, helpful posts to be able to share through your email nurturing program, through a blog sequence, blog publishing, email newsletter.
So your email program is very well set. It also gives you great content to be able to use for your organic Search engine authority program. So you can grow your website authority and have more opportunities to be able to attract in organic search visitors from Google and Bing and Yahoo. And then also this podcast content sitting on YouTube and podcast sites as well as on your blog gives you great content to be able to share on your social media properties, regardless of whether it's your LinkedIn company page, you or your employees. Linkedin individual LinkedIn company profiles, The Twitter profile for your company individual employees personal Twitter profiles, your Facebook business page as well as individual Facebook profiles. Perhaps you also choose to share on other sites like Instagram, and you can take bits and pieces of the podcast and repurpose it to a lot of different social media sites.
But at the absolute minimum, it's great for having fresh content to share on a regular basis on LinkedIn, on Twitter and Facebook. So hopefully I've given you some good food for thought on why podcasting, especially interviewing other subject matter experts, is an incredibly powerful way to fill up the top of your sales funnel with prospects that see your company as the go to expert on the topics and interests and challenges and problems that are unique to that group of your target market that you're addressing your ideal client profile, your buyer personas. And by inserting yourself in the middle of that and using a variety of different formats, you have a lot of different ways to be able to repurpose and get even more value from that content asset on a long term basis. If you haven't heard of ready, the big go to strategy that everyone has been talking about for the last couple of years is for a B to B technology company that really wants to be disruptive in this space.
Instead of thinking about building a marketing team, build a media company within your own firm so you own all these properties instead of having to constantly go to the tolltakers and the gatekeepers. And it's not just that you're trying to bypass the arbitrage. In most cases, those same groups that want to be the toll takers are selling their services to a dozen or two dozen or three dozen of your competitors. So if you really want to be able to gain a competitive advantage and not be where they are and get found in other places where you are not only the go to expert, but the only one that's showing up, it definitely pays to think of these content assets as tremendous long term values to your business.
And there's obviously the short term values, intermediate value, and there's long term value. So hopefully I've given you some good thought on what you should be thinking about with your podcast strategy. If you have any questions about this, if you have any challenges that you're facing, if you want to get some insight, feel free to reach out. I'm Joshua Feinberg, and I wish you great success in using podcasting as a strategic competitive weapon to grow your business. So how do we compare podcasting versus YouTube for infrastructure, software or a fintech company? I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and I get this question from time to time, and here's how I think about it. Often founders and CEOs of companies come to me and ask me for advice on this about whether they should be podcasting or creating a YouTube channel.
And I've been weighing the pros and cons of comparing podcasting versus YouTube. And there's no reason that you actually have to choose one over the other. What do I mean by that? As long as you, as the subject matter expert, are comfortable on camera, on webcam, there's really no reason to have to choose between creating YouTube videos or audio podcasting. You can actually publish in both mediums. You'll almost certainly want to also include blogging in that mixed as well. So you have video, you have audio, and you have text.
So if there are people that like to watch you, you're there. If there's people that want to listen to you, you're there. If there's people that actually still read you're there too. So here's the workflow to think about. First, record your video blog, post your podcast on camera. It can be on your smartphone, your webcam, DSLR, camera, whatever you're comfortable with iPad. Then extract the audio file from the fully edited recording for my content. Usually that means taking the MP four file a video file and converting it into an MP three file for audio or something similar. Then distribute your video and audio content. You can share the video on YouTube, post the audio to a podcast hosting service like Lipstick or Transistor, then fourth, transcribe the content into a text file. If it's a machine generated transcript, plan on doing some more vigorous copy editing, or use a website like Rev.com for much higher levels of human accuracy with the transcription, and finally, repurpose the transcript into a blog post.
You can embed the video from YouTube and audio from the podcast versions, both on the blog post, and also consider syndicating the content beyond your own website blog to channels maybe like Medium or LinkedIn Pulse. So this is how I would think about the choice of should you be building a YouTube channel? Should you be building up a podcast audience? Why choose? Why not do both as long as you're comfortable on camera? I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Humor and let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below. And feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or you're looking for some help.
How to Start a Podcast for B to B SAS if you're thinking about starting a podcast for your B to B SAS startup or scale up you're onto one of the most effective and powerful ways to fuel your entire content marketing engine. So given that, what should you consider when it comes to how to start a podcast on a budget for your BDB SaaS company? First, get clear about your target audience and how you can deliver value for your most important buyer personas. Founders and entrepreneurs should think of podcasting as a way to educate and build trust at scale with strangers who don't yet know that your business exists. Before we jump into number two, however, can I ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this YouTube channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available.
Number two. Next, keep your podcasting budget low, and in order to do that, you need to get self aware about what skills you have versus what you don't have or don't want to have. If you already know how to do basic video editing and audio editing, you'll save quite a bit at the outset by doing your own editing. Third, get your brand and logo going. In terms of initial podcast set up, there are lots of ways to get your podcast logo professionally designed, and an intro outro voiceover bumper is professionally recorded relatively inexpensively, like under $100 each. If you're on a tight budget, there are alternatives you can design your own logo in Canva potentially for free using templates.
Or perhaps you can ask a friend or colleague or family member with a great speaking voice for a favor, or barter or swap to record 230 2nd voice announcements that you can use for your podcast intro and podcast outro message. Fourth, sign up for podcast hosting. Both Lipson and Transistor. Fm have great starter options for about $20 a month or less. I think Libson even has one considerably less expensive. They're both relatively inexpensive if you plan to record your first podcast if you return to capture the content on video using a webcam so you have a video and audio version for the podcast. Youtube video hosting is completely free, and fifth, this part optional. You can sign up for website hosting if you want to have a dedicated website for your B to B sass podcast, which is a nice to have early on, but it's not essential to have your own BT B sass podcast website out of the gate, as both Lipson and Transistor FM have included starter options to get you started with the basic website on their subdomain.
A good website, though, if you're looking to start one for your podcast like Podpage P-O-D-P-A-G-E. Has options of anywhere from $0 a month up to $20 a month, and you'll also likely want to buy your own domain name for your podcast, where you'd budget potentially $$10 to $30 a year from one of the popular domain name registrars. And number six, fill in any hardware gaps that you need to get started. For equipment, the only absolute must have is a good microphone. On Amazon, you can find plenty of top rated starter podcast microphones in the $$50 to $100 range. If you're recording video and audio, a basic Logitech webcam is usually more than adequate, budget somewhere between 50 and $200. If you don't already have a good HD capable external webcam and for video recording, you should probably invest in some basic lighting for your face. Again, see Amazon for plenty of highly rated ring lights for $50 or less.
Number seven. Add podcast recording and editing software if you need it. My current podcasting tech stack includes the following. First, I have interview appointments booked on HubSpot Sales Hub Meeting app, which syncs with My Zoom Calendar. The interviews are recorded on Zoom. The integration between Zoom Google Calendar and HubSpot Sales Hub Meeting app will definitely save you a lot of time. Number three, the interviews are edited in Camtasia for postproduction. For the clips from the interviews with Burndon captions are done in vid. Io fifth and it's hosted on Youtubetransister. Fm and the Pod Page website, which has its own domain. Are you looking to start a podcast for your B to B SaaS company? If so, what is holding you back? Let me know in the comments section down there below. And if you're looking for some help with your podcast strategy for your B to B SaaS company, I may be able to help. Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Send me a quick note about what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together.
I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I wish you great success in using your podcast as a growth engine for your B to B Saskat. Then you'll go ahead and copy edit that transcript and turn that copy edited transcript into a blog post. Following all of the normal blogging best practices that you'd usually utilize, like optimizing for the reader, optimizing for search, putting in heading one heading to getting your keyword rich file name, naming your image to have keywords in there as well, getting your alt text all the normal stuff, putting a good call to action up at the top. How can you write a blog post that triple dips? Now, you may be familiar with the expression to double dip, but what does it actually mean to triple dip? Is it possible that instead of getting a two for, you can get a three for three efforts, three results for the price of one effort? Well, how does all of this work? Well, when it comes to your blog post, if you're looking to get distribution in three different places with three kinds of formats, you definitely want to pay close attention to this video.
So the first way you're going to do this with applying the mindset of triple dipping to blogging is first. Start by selecting a topic that you know is going to resonate really well with one of your buyer personas, a semi fictional representation of one of your ideal buyers. So you know what their biggest goals are. The biggest challenges are. So once you've selected a topic that you know will resonate, then you want to identify a subject matter expert that you can interview about that topic. To get the most mileage out of that interview, try to interview that subject matter expert on webcam or on some kind of video format. Once you've interviewed that subject matter expert on webcam or video format, you want to take the recording of that interview and get it transcribed, either by using a manual transcription service like Rev.com or some kind of automated transcription service like Descriptor, Otter or something similar.
Then you'll go ahead and copy edit that transcript and turn that copy edited transcript into a blog post. Following all of the normal blogging best practices that you'd usually utilize, like optimizing for the reader, optimizing for search, putting in heading one heading to getting your keyword rich file name, naming your image to have keywords in there as well. Getting your Alt text all the normal stuff, putting a good call to action up at the top, a call to action up at the bottom. Basically what you want the reader to do next. After you have created the blog post and you want to post the recording to YouTube and then go back and embed the recording of that video into your blog, post the full interview into your blog post. This way you'll have a blog post that appeals to readers skimmers as well as those that would rather watch your blog post on video as opposed to reading it. The video in bed will almost always lower your bounce rate and improve the session time of your website. So overall this sends a really positive signal to search engines like Google.
And then the third way if you're looking to triple dip is then you can take the video recording and extract audio file from that like an MP three format of that. So then you can share that on podcast relating sites like Apple, Podcasts or Spotify. So overall, if you want to be able to triple dip from your content marketing efforts, from your blogging efforts, make sure that you conduct all of your subject matter interviews on video so you can transcribe and turn it into a blog post. You can embed the video that you post on YouTube into your blog post, and then you can take the video recording of that and turn it into an audio file so you can share that on podcasting sites. And remember also to always make sure to end with a related call to action so you can improve your user metrics as well for the next step conversion goal that you're looking to get out of that piece of blogging content.
So I hope you found this super helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out and I look forward to hearing about your great success and being able to triple dip from your blog posts. Blogging Strategy for Infrastructure, Software and Fintech Companies In the short video, I'm going to share with you some blogging strategies that you can use and put to work right away. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run. The basic question is why would an infrastructure, software or fintech company want to blog in the first place? And what kind of blogging strategy will help your company attract more of the right people in the right places at the right time, and most of all in the right context. A couple of things to keep in mind. First and foremost, blogging fuels your entire content marketing strategy and your entire marketing engine around content, your search engine optimization, your SEO, your social media, and your email marketing. Also, bear in mind that blogs can be easily repurposed into downloadable content for lead generation, they can be repurposed into videos, and they can even be repurposed into webinars.
But most of all, blogs help you educate and build trust, positioning your company and your team as the go to experts and thought leaders in your space. And this makes a dramatic difference for accelerating the sales cycle of a typical B to B technology companies such as those in infrastructure, software, and fintech. Is your company currently using blogging as part of your strategic growth engine? Let me know in the comments below, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I'm Joshua Feinberg from spome. Should You Be Embedding Videos into Your Blog Posts? I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and I've been embedding blog posts into videos for over a decade and I wanted to share with you some tips, best practices and rationale for why videos should go hand in hand with your blog post. There are basic best practices that go along with this that will help your search engine optimization, that will help your findability on organic search in two big time ways. For starters, by embedding video into your blog posts, you will appeal to people that prefer to watch your content and listen to your content as opposed to read your content.
And we know as the world goes on, the world becomes more video centric where so many of us are watching so many hours of content every day on streaming video. We know there's a lot of people that just plain prefer to watch and learn that way as opposed to reading. But you'll also have the content there for people that do prefer to read or prefer to skim or want to read while they're actually watching your video. Second, this helps a lot with search engine optimization because it improves the average session time on that particular page. For example, you write a 500 word blog post or 1000 word blog post, and maybe the average person is there three or four minutes. If you're really doing well, it's usually probably considerably less.
However, by embedding a related video that can even be the same content that's in the blog post, all of a sudden you'll get people that are willing to stay on the page considerably longer because you're giving them an easier way to consume that content. Now, the cool part is not only does the reader not only does the visitor have a more rich experience where they feel like they're actually getting to know you in video because they say that a picture is worth a thousand words and a video is worth a thousand pictures with all that. So you're bonding on a much more emotional level. Well, that sends a really positive signal to the search engines as well. Like Google, for example, knows how long somebody spends on a page.
So they can tell whether somebody visited your website and left after a second or two because they were repulsed by your content or felt like you were doing a bait and switch or something like that. But they also know when somebody lands on your page and they stay for seven and a half minutes. And Google loves to see that the visitor that they deliver to your site through a search engine results page got so much value from that content, they stuck around for seven and a half minutes. So that sends a really positive signal. Second, it also decreases the bounce rate. The bounce rate is how Google measures the percentage of people who visit your website and immediately leave.
It's like you walk into a store and you're like, what the you leave immediately what Google knows about that in the same way that the manager of a shopping mall might know about that. And Google doesn't like to see a high bounce rate, and they don't like to see low average session time. So to the extent that you can get rid of your bounce rate and improve the number of minutes that somebody stays on your particular page, that's generally, other things being equal, going to help how you were regarded and how the search engines ranked pages and your likelihood of your content getting and staying on page one of the search engine results page.
So you'll get more organic search for visitors. These two factors send a really positive signal, and they also help with user experience. The longer your visitor stays on the page, the more they're likely to notice that, wow, this is really helpful. This is really good. I've been looking for something just like this for hours, for weeks. I can't believe I finally found it. Who the heck is this guy? Who the heck is this Gal? What else do they have to say? Oh, cool. There's an ebook that goes into this in more detail. Oh, cool. They're having a webinar about this next Wednesday. Yeah, absolutely.
I'm going to sign up for that. And then you have successfully converted anonymous visitor into a known contact to a known lead so you can build a relationship with them over time, you can continue to educate and build trust with them and earn their business down the road also. So it's very powerful for being able to get more attention on your calls to action to promote your content. Offers that you have that take basically the visitor and turn them into a known lead. So when it comes to embedding videos on your blog post, I hope you've seen by now that it should be a no brainer.
You should be combining these two different learning formats. These two different learning modalities are you currently embedding videos on your blog posts. What kinds of videos are you embedding on your blog post and how is that working out? Let me know by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below. And if you're looking for some one on one assistance with your content strategy around videos or blogging, feel free to look me up on LinkedIn and send me a message. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I look forward to hearing your success stories about combining videos with blogging video marketing tools that you can be using to educate and build trust.
I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I often get asked to share some of the resources and tools that we use in various facets of building out customer growth funnels. So when it comes to video since 2008, my go to tool, it's a long time, right? Camtasia for Windows I'm certainly not a professional video editor, but Camtasia has been the primary app that I've used to record videos pretty much since the beginning. I use it to record my screen, webcam, external microphone and system audio. Much more recently, I've also started to use Descript. I'm currently evaluating the script to add to my video marketing toolkit. I especially like its ability to transcribe videos and edit the video directly from the transcript. It also has this cool AI called Artificial Intelligence feature that identifies and allows me to delete all the embarrassing filler words that all too often mere mortals like me tend to use. Like, well, like kind of their AI can actually, when it transcribes those pick up that those are filler words and in one simple box it can identify them and not only delete it from the transcript, but it can delete it simultaneously from your audio and video track.
Pretty cool stuff. Another big set of tools that I've used for a very long time going back all the way to 2008 is go to webinar and go to meeting. I've used go to webinar to host webinars and small meetings that many times are getting recorded and edited and repurposed into video content. I have webinars that I've recorded five, six, seven years later that are still getting watched sitting behind landing pages.
I often talk about the value of having some evergreen content and your content strategy. And case in point, when you have a 1 hour webinar that you've turned into a video that people still find value from months and years later, you're doing great things. Hubspot video can also be a big part of that for hosting those recordings of your webinars. You can also use it to host podcast, interviews, and on demand. Webinars. Another tool that I use in my video marketing toolkit and I've used for a long time going all the way back to 2013 is Wistia. I've used it with its HubSpot integration for premium hosting. Generally webinar recordings that are gated behind landing pages. Another really super cool feature that you can find both in the HubSpot video app as well as in Wisti with HubSpot integration is you can see how much of a particular video that a person has watched on a contact record within HubSpot.
So for example, if you are a marketer that generates a lot of leads that you pass to your sales team, your sales team can look in the contact timeline and HubSpot and be like, okay, cool, this person converted on a landing page to watch a webinar recording, but I can look and see like, does this person watch three minutes of the 1 hour webinar recording? Or did they watch all 59 minutes of the 1 hour webinar recording? Super cool, useful contextual stuff to help your reps be able to prioritize that.
Another video marketing tool that I've started using more recently is v. Io. I'm currently evaluating this as a tool that we can use to reformat standard HD videos in 1920 X 1080 and Resize them into Square videos for LinkedIn. Vid also does a really good job of generating captions and can burn the captions right into the video, which is super important for attracting people who watch videos with sound off, which is a lot of people when they're on their mobile device. Another big video marketing tool that I've used pretty much all the way since the beginning, going all the way back to 2010. I think it was shortly after Google acquired YouTube. Is YouTube again as the second most important, second most popular search engine and the second most popular social media site? Youtube's reach is really unparalleled. It's certainly gotten more competitive over time, but it's organic. Reach is just massive. And one final video marketing tool that's in my toolkit that I've used is Zoom meetings since 2019. A little more recently, just as with GoToWebinar and GoToMeeting, I use Zoom for hosting small meetings that get recorded and repurposed into podcast episodes.
Those are the video marketing tools that I use to educate and build trust. Let me know in the comments below what video marketing tools that you use or if you have any questions. And if you want to connect on a one on one basis, feel free to send me a note to connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP home Run. Four Video Marketing Tips and Strategies for Infrastructure, Software and Fintech Companies Video marketing has become an enormous part of content strategy for all companies that have a considered sales process and need to educate and build trust. So these are four areas that I want you to be thinking about when you're looking to build out your video marketing playbook. First and foremost, let's start with the basics. Invest in an external Microphone Regardless of whether your source material is coming from a smartphone, a tablet, a webcam, or a DSLR camera, nearly all videos can be improved by using an external microphone rather than the microphone that's built into your device, and microphones don't necessarily have to be a big investment as well, depending on the context.
Depending on the kind of advice that you use, a microphone that starts to move the needle can be less than $50. You certainly can spend hundreds of dollars on a microphone, but the first thing to be aware of is almost always by virtue of having an external microphone, you'll start to dramatically dramatically improve the quality of your video marketing. Second is, pay attention to lighting. If you're outdoors, just like photography, avoid aiming your camera into the sun. If you're indoors, make sure that you have an ambient light or Sunshine that's over your shoulder rather than facing a window full of Sunshine. Whenever possible, print off your overhead lights and replace them with some form of external lighting.
For a basic one person video set up, an inexpensive ring light can be less than like $30. You can find those on Amazon to improve your appearance dramatically. And if you have more than $100 to spend on video lighting, you can start to begin to enhance your lighting with two or more umbrella lights or box lights or something similar. Third, strategy that you can use to improve on your video marketing strategy is to test everything before your actual shoot. Before you begin to record several minutes or an hour or two of footage on any kind of new setup or environment. Take 30 seconds, 60 seconds, 90 seconds, and playback to make sure that your sound, lighting and positioning are where you really want them to be. And fourth, make sure that you use a tripod. While your webcam likely won't need it, most of the other devices like filming a video on your smartphone or tablet or DSLR, can literally be a shaky experience without a tripod. With dozens of great tripod options for starting for as little as like $25, there's really no need to torture your viewers and undermine your video quality when stable video is well within most budgets.
So in this short video, you've been introduced to four simple video marketing strategies that you can use to improve the quality of your video content. I'm Joshua Feinberg. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave them below. And if you're looking for some one on one assistance, feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn. Is your video marketing strategy helping or hurting your company's growth? I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I get asked for advice from startup and scale up CEOs small business CEOs all the time for advice on what they should do with their video content strategy. So first up, know who you are creating those videos for.
If you don't yet have buyer personas created for your most important segments of prospects and customers, make sure that you do the research to create buyer personas. A buyer persona is a semi fictional representation of one of your ideal clients based on some educated speculation and actual research. And the actual research is super important. So you can get consensus around not only their demographics, but their behaviors, their motivations, their challenges, their goals, what they look for in a company like yours, common objections that they raise and where they hang out online, where they hang out offline. Once you have consensus on that, it's way more effective to come up with a video marketing strategy that adds value to their lives.
Second, figure out what value you want to impart on these segments, on these buyer personas, on these kinds of people that you're creating the video content for in the first place. Again, by investing in the persona research, you'll not only uncover who they are, their demographics, but you'll better understand what's going on in their mind, how you can enter the conversation in their mind and essentially earn a seat on the side of the table with them as a subject matter expert, as a trusted advisor, as a teacher that's providing helpful educational content to help them work towards achieving their goals and solving their big problem, solving their big challenges that your company presumably focuses on. Next, make sure that you start with more specific, less popular topics at the long tail, and this can be counterintuitive. So pay close attention, especially if you're new to video marketing. Seo beginners people that are new to search engine optimization frequently jump into a keyword research tool, and there's a temptation to go after the really big topics, the really big targets with thousands or tens of thousands of searches every single month.
And that would be a mistake for beginners for two reasons. First, it's wildly unrealistic for SEO beginners to have enough authority, enough domain authority, enough credibility authority within YouTube and other kinds of sites to successfully rank on a two word keyword phrase right out of the gate that has high volumes of monthly searches. That will happen over time, but it's like trying to run the marathon when you can't walk a mile around the block, yet you got to be able to walk before you can run, right? I'm going to crawl before you can walk, though. These are all incremental steps. Second, those broad two word keyword phrases often leave a lot of room for interpretation about what the person's intent is when they're running that search phrase. So instead, people that are new to creating video marketing content video content that are new to search engine optimization should initially pursue long tail keyword phrases, usually that are three, four, five or more words long.
They'll have a lower monthly search volume. Typically, a few hundred searches a month is a good target to go after. But they'll also have a lot more clarity about the intent of that search. And they'll typically be if you do your homework the right way, much less competition to get found on page one of that search results page.
And then finally, if you're new to video marketing strategy and making sure that it isn't hurting your growth. Make sure that you diversify your video distribution plans. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. It's not just about your YouTube channel. If your company is in B to B or B to B technology, definitely repurpose those videos and post them on your LinkedIn profile and on your LinkedIn company page.
Also consider writing blog posts about your videos where you can embed the videos into those blog posts and then share those blog posts among your following that you have on your email distribution your social media distribution. This way, you'll give yourself multiple chances for being found by the right people and for dramatically improving the findability of that content beyond just YouTube.
Don't get me wrong, YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world, owned by Google and Alphabet, and it's also the second most popular social media site in many contexts. So there is a massive amount of traffic there, but there's also a massive amount of competition. So think about what you can do to also piggyback on your blog's organic search by writing blog posts about those videos where you embed the blog post the video into the blog post. This will also allow you to tap into your existing social media reach when you promote your recent blog posts and your email reach.
When you include those blog posts and email content like your email newsletters and your email lead nurturing sequences, you may even want to create templates that your sales team can use to put those blog posts in front of prospects where that kind of content could help advance a sales conversation. So those are my thoughts on how you can make sure that your video marketing strategy is actually helping your growth and not hindering it. I'm Joshua Feinberg from spome Run and I would love to learn more about what you're doing and your video marketing strategy. Just let me know in the comment section below, and if you're looking for some one on one assistance, feel free to look me up. Send me a note on LinkedIn, connect with me and we can talk about how we can work together on a one on one basis to help advance your video content strategy.
Thanks so much for stopping by and I wish you great success in using video as a strategic part of your growth engine. Video Content Marketing for Mid Market and Enterprise Technology When it's used strategically, video content marketing helps companies attract the right midmarket and enterprise technology buyers and other key stakeholders in these accounts from the right places at the right time, and most of all in the right context so that their team members, their team as a whole, the company and their brand are seen as the go to subject matter experts among their most important It stakeholders. Although many skeptics and cynics might downplay its importance, video content marketing gives companies big leverage with these kinds of content assets and that videos educate and build trust at scale 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They never need a day off, they never get into scuffles with anyone from the office, never get sick, and they're always around at scale. When a company is planning to use its video marketing as a strategic part of its growth engine, the content really should be planned and created intentionally.
What do I mean by intentionally? Each one of your videos should support a specific buyer persona, a specific stage in the buyer's journey, whether it's awareness, consideration or decision, as well as a specific conversion goal, generally known as a call to action or a CTA. How are you currently using content in your video marketing? Let me know in the comments section down below. And while you're looking down below in your YouTube video, make sure that you take a moment to subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available.
Oh, one more thing. If you're looking for any assistance on a one on one basis with improving how you use video content marketing, feel free to look me up on LinkedIn and send me a quick note about what you're looking for help with, then we may be able to work together. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I wish you and your team and company and brand great success in using video.
Content marketing is a really important part of your company's growth engine. Video Ideas for Boosting Content Marketing Nearly 2 billion people around the world watch videos on YouTube. With that in mind, perhaps your company has decided to get more serious, maybe way more serious about investing in ideas for video based content marketing. Video is still an excellent option to boost content marketing results. In many cases, video should actually be the default option for starting your content marketing. The goal of most content marketing initiatives is to educate and build trust with your target buyer personas. What better way to build trust than by using video? By the way, while we're on the subject of video, can I ask you to please take a moment to subscribe to this YouTube channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available.
The goal overall with your video content marketing is so that your prospects and your customers begin to feel like they already know your company and know your team. This is predicated by the and predicted by the mirror exposure effect, M-E-R-E Mir exposure effect, also known as the familiarity principle, which is the psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. At least, that's how the mirror exposure effect is defined by Wikipedia. For most basic thought leadership content, I recommend that most people start with a video shoot, which nowadays can be done remotely when needed.
For example, like even hosting a webinar or going live or a video podcast interview can be creating video for your content marketing, and video is a fantastic format for repurposing. For example, a 60 minutes webinar recording can be repurposed into five or more short video excerpts to promote the full recording. The webinar recording video can also easily be turned into a podcast episode in audio format, and the transcript from that video can be turned into long form content like an ebook or downloadable report. It can be split up into multiple short form content assets, like a series of blog posts that are promoting the long form content asset, as well as micro content that is shared over a series of social media posts. Those are some of the reasons why it's super important for you to take into account video format for boosting your content marketing. What have you found most effective for using video in your content? Let me know in the comments section down there below, and if you're looking for some one on one assistance with your content marketing strategy, I may be able to help. Feel free to reach out.
You can look me up on LinkedIn and send me a quick note about what kind of help you're looking for, and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I look forward to hearing your great success stories around using video to boost your content marketing. Is B to B video different than BTC video? Is business to business video different than business to consumer video? Yes. For B to B video, content absolutely, positively should be optimized for both YouTube and LinkedIn.
On YouTube, consider 1920 X 1080 resolution and on LinkedIn 1920 by 1920 like a square video with a burned in transcript. For BTC, Facebook video and Instagram, video are usually a must for most buyer personas. One in doubt always prioritize the platforms where your most important buyer personas hang out. How do you know what your buyer personas are? You figure out who they are and then you go out and do the research on that. Actual research. A buyer persona is a semi fictional representation of one of your ideal stakeholders based on actual research and some selected a speculation. In the course of doing the research and documenting that you should discover which content channels which video channels are most important to them? It's also super important that you share video in native format whenever possible.
For example, uploading the MP four file rather than just sharing the link to a YouTube hosted URL. Those are some of the key things to think about when you're looking at the differences between B to B video as opposed to B to C video. Chances are the content already needed to change, but it was so painful and expensive that the video sits under what I'd call Museum glass. Three Video Marketing Tips for Technology Startups Chances are, you watch a fair amount of online video because of this.
Maybe you even consider yourself a video marketing aficionado. But consuming and critiquing video marketing campaigns is quite different from creating video content that solves meaningful business problems. With that in mind, consider these three video marketing tips that are especially relevant for technology startups. But before we get into that, can I ask you to please take a moment and subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell so you can be notified when new content just like this becomes available? First big tip to keep in mind with your video is that perfectionism isn't a measurable goal. The goal really should be to ship fast before the pandemic.
Many of the small business clients that I work with would insist on hiring professional videographers for everything. Aside from driving up cost to a level for producing video regularly where it would become cost prohibitive. The lead time and the timelines would often drag a single video out for several weeks or months, and by the time the video was uploaded, their needs had already changed. Chances are, the content already needed to change, but it was so painful and expensive that the videos sits under what I'd call Museum Glass.
It's like sitting behind a case and not going to be touched for years because it was so painful and expensive and the company just stops creating video content, which is a shame. In today's environment, most smartphones, tablets, and external webcams should be really good starting points. Budget a modest amount at the outset for a better microphone and some external lighting, and you're pretty much good to go. But the name of the game with video content in most cases, for most of the videos that you produce not all of them, but most is to ship fast and let your audience and your metrics judge the success.
Second, keep your strategy front and center. Just like any content marketing asset, the plan for every video should be tied to a specific buyer persona. A specific stage of the buyer's journey is an awareness, consideration or decision stage content and having a call to action a CTA conversion goal attached to the video. In other words, what do you want the viewer to do after watching the video? Third, make sure that you budget time and money for promotion following launch.
Also, often people put all of their effort, time and budget into planning, shooting, and the post production of the video. However, if the tree falls and no one actually hears a fall, did it really fall? If you create a great video but none of the right people actually view the video, did you really make content marketing progress? Instead, always think about how you're going to promote the video initially and on an ongoing basis. For example, is it going to be embedded on website pages, blog posts? Is it going to be promoted in email marketing and social media posts, perhaps even in paid social and paid search ads? Again, this should all be dictated by your buyer persona. What you learned from doing the buyer persona research on the best channels to reach them that align with their particular preferences. In this short video, we've introduced you to three marketing tips that are especially relevant for technology startups.
What have you found to be most important of a video marketing for your startup? Let me know in the comments section down there below. And if you need some help with the video marketing strategy for your tech startup, I may be able to help. Feel free to reach out. Send me a quick note on LinkedIn about what kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SD Home Run and I look forward to hearing your great success stories on how you're using video marketing to grow your technology startup. Video Planning DIY Do It Yourself as Compared to a Professional Videographer okay, so you're doing some serious video planning and your bosses likely broached the subject of DIY do it yourself video as opposed to hiring a professional videographer. How do you decide for home page explainer videos that have very high visibility. Definitely engage with an experienced videographer for most other videos that will primarily support product marketing, thought, leadership and customer success initiatives. You really should have some in house DIY capacity for planning, shooting and post production.
Without this kind of in house talent, you probably are not going to create enough video content assets to move the needle. And you more than likely will not learn fast enough about what's working as opposed to what's not for DIY, your budget should really no longer be a limiting factor. A smartphone, tablet or external webcam, plus maybe an external microphone and some external lighting is just about everything that you need to get started. Finding the right professional videographer can be tricky. Who to hire really depends on how you plan to engage the videographer or the video vendor as opposed to what you plan to do yourself. For example, are you depending on the videographer? Are you depending on the video vendor to work with you on content strategy? Or are you already showing up with your buyer personas, buyer's journey, maps, calls to action, and a basic script ready to go? Maybe you're just hiring a videographer for some raw footage, for example, to film a keynote speech that you're making at a conference. Or do you want post production as well? Some videographers and video vendors will even offer content marketing related services, including custom thumbnail design, video SEO, video search engine optimization, and YouTube ads.
Campaign set up and Management however, most in house content marketers likely will consider promotion core enough to manage that in house. These are some of the things to be thinking about with your video planning. If you're on the fence between what you should do yourself in house versus what you should look to hire externally with a professional videographer. If you want to make sure that you keep up with content and get notified when new content just like this becomes available, make sure to subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell. And if you're looking for some help with your video strategy on how to figure out how that snaps into the rest of your content marketing initiatives, I may be able to help. Feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Send me a quick note about the kind of help you're looking for and we may be able to work together. I am Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run and I look forward to hearing your success stories on how you are using video to grow your revenue growth engine. Four Video Best Practices for Infrastructure Software and Fintech Startups To boost your odds of success when using video marketing for infrastructure software, fintech consider these four simple but extremely important best practices.
First, teach More and sell less. Position your video more as thought leadership assets rather than TV commercials or infomercials nobody wants to be sold to. People do, however, want to learn. Second, create video content for a specific buyer persona. Buyer's Journey Stage and Call to Action Every single video that you create, you should be able to answer those basic questions. Who's the buyer persona that this is for? Where are they in their buyer's journey? And what is the call to action that I want them to take at the end of the video? Third, build a multi channel promotional plan for evergreen content.
Just publishing and posting is not enough. You really need to have a well thought out plan that is based on your buyer persona research of where you're going to and how you're going to promote it. And fourth, make sure that you monitor your engagement metrics and ultimate downstream conversions so you can repeat more of what's working and do less of what's not. Those are four video best practices for Infrastructure Software and Fintech startups. What have you found most helpful for your video marketing? Let me know in the comments down there below and make sure that you also take a moment to subscribe to this channel and ring the Bell so you can get notified when new content just like this becomes available. I wish you great success in using video to grow your infrastructure software or fintech company for your LinkedIn strategy is LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
This is a premium software add on beyond just free LinkedIn, and the beauty with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is it allows you to prospect much more aggressively than what you can with the free product. You can build up lists of contacts of specific accounts in a much more complex search criteria. You can save people. You have a certain amount of messages that you can do. So when it comes to LinkedIn, there are three distinct aspects of the platform that are especially important to sales, executive, marketing leaders and CEOs, founders and owners of B, two B technology companies.
First off, there is the content that you choose to publish and promote in your own feed. This is helpful educational content, tips. It could be text, it could be photos, it could be videos. But it's all about delivering value to those that are connected to you. So the degree to which this is going to work well is largely going to be a function of how well built out your first degree connections are.
As a secondary piece of that, when your content is good enough that you're able to inspire those to hit the like button and add a comment and share, those are all positive votes of approval from LinkedIn standpoint. And that's what convinces LinkedIn's algorithm to share your content with people beyond your first degree connections. So facet number one is content that you decide to share on your own LinkedIn profile.
Facet number two are LinkedIn ads. That's a second huge piece of the puzzle. Linkedin ads is what allows you to get your content in front of a much wider audience than those that can see your content organically. And there's a couple of basic units, advertising units that are relevant for small companies that are starting out and want to be able to publish and promote their thought leadership content. There's tax ads and text ads look a lot like Google Ads. They have a title, they have a description, and they have a clickable link, and they work great for conversion. They tend to have a lower click through rates. However, they only work on desktop. So to the extent that people are looking at your LinkedIn profile or seeing your LinkedIn feed and they're on their smartphone or they're on their tablet, they just simply will not see the text ads only show up on desktop, for better or worse.
The better part is when people are on a desktop, they're going to tend to have a lot more tolerance for filling out a form that asks for more information, which your sales team is going to love. The flip side is people that are on phones, which is probably two out of anywhere from 50 60 70% of people that are going to be viewing your content on their phones just simply won't see a text ad. Then there's sponsored posts. These sponsored posts are often also referred to as native ads because they show up natively within the feed. The most simple kind of sponsored post is a single image ad. So you basically have text.
You have a single image that looks like roughly the size of a slide, 1200 X 627 pixels. It looks like something similar to what you'd see in a PowerPoint or Google Slides image. And it's usually used to promote a piece of content, like a white paper and ebook download, sometimes a webinar. And again, a huge advantage to Ads is that you're able to get your message out to a much wider audience way beyond those that are just your first degree connections.
So far, we have content that you can share on your own feed. And we have the LinkedIn Ads program. The third big facet, the third big pillar that I want you to be thinking about for your LinkedIn strategy is LinkedIn Sales Navigator. This is a premium software add on beyond just free LinkedIn. And the beauty with LinkedIn Sales Navigator is it allows you to prospect much more aggressively than what you can with the free product. You can build up lists of contacts of specific accounts in a much more complex search criteria.
You can save people, you have certain amount of messages that you can do. And if you're really looking to mine LinkedIn's B to B professional database of what's approaching now 700 million people worldwide, like 200 million people in the US. This is an enormous asset to be able to get access to, to be able to prospect way more aggressively than you can on LinkedIn free products. So if you're serious about growing your B to B technology company, think about content that you can promote in your own feed and potentially on your company page as well. Think about the LinkedIn Ads program that you can use to get your content by text ads and sponsored posts, primarily in front of much wider audiences than you can with your own first degree connections.
And then third, think about the LinkedIn Sales Navigator program, the LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool that can allow you and your sales team to kick their prospecting into overdrive. I'm Joshua Feinberg, and I wish you great success in using LinkedIn to grow your business. Let me know how I can help if you want to be able to have high leverage during the sales process. Have really deep, meaningful relationships with your prospects and customers that allow your company to have a respectable profit margin.
To be able to close sales on your own terms without compromise. It's critical that you get the basics rights. Linkedin Lead Generation Are you trying to build your brand or destroy it? I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run. In this video, we're going to talk about the importance of getting LinkedIn lead generation best practices done right. Are you trying to use LinkedIn Lead Generation to fill the top of your sales funnel for your B to B technology company? If so, there's a dirty little secret that I need to let you in on because you have two fundamental choices.
First, you could generate leads from LinkedIn in a way that builds up your brand, positions you and your team as thought leaders, and tease up your sales team to have impactful gamechanging conversations, doctor patient style consultative sessions with highly qualified prospects. So that's option number one. Option number two is you could hire a marginally trained, inexpensive offshore virtual assistant to relentlessly spam the heck out of your first degree connections and essentially beg for 15 minutes meetings, literally destroying your brand one spam message at a time.
So which makes more sense for you now, to be clear, when we're talking about your brand, we're talking about way more than just your logos, your colors, your fonts, your brand guide, your brand is what people say about you and your team when you're not in the room and in a digitally transformed world. Your reputation, what you stand for, what you want to be known for is super important in a world where 60% to 80% of buyers journeys now happen before qualified prospects are open to having a conversation with someone from your sales team, you no longer can afford to sit this one out on the sidelines.
It's critical for your company to have a seat at the table get found early on by the right prospects in the right places at the right time, and most of all in the right context, so that you're seen as the go to experts and thought leaders about anything and everything having to do with your niche, with your ideal buyers and their goals, their plans and their challenges not what you want to sell them, but what they care about. What's keeping them up at 02:00 in the morning? What if they get right is going to get them a huge promotion? What if they mess up is going to get them booted out? So make sure that you're obsessively focused on giving value to your prospects and clients.
And the way to do this all comes down to creating and distributing helpful educational content where you answer the questions that your ideal clients are asking all day long on Google, LinkedIn, YouTube, Siri, Alexa and others anywhere from days, weeks, even months before they're ready to engage with you and your sales team. And when you do this right, you are in a seat at the table on their side of the table.
You're seen as the de facto guru, advisor, subject matter expert, teacher on anything and everything having to do with their goals, plans and challenges. And if you miss the chance your prospects early on, that's a bigger problem. Because now someone else is the one who's coaching them, who is giving them the advice, who's teaching them about what they should be thinking about when it comes to your category.
And they're certainly going to be steered towards different options because someone else is stacking the decks in their company's favor. Now, there's still a chance for your company to still get added to the shortlist, even if you're asleep at the wheel for the first seven innings of the game, the first three quarters of the football game or basketball game before that purchase happens.
However, when you just show up at the end, there's an inherent problem. Because if you haven't been the one that's done the educating and building up the trust. The only card you typically have left to play is competing on price, which is that race to the bottom that nobody Besides Jeff Bezos is really good at winning ads. So if you want to put yourself in a place where the only thing you have left to do is to sell it cheaper, go ahead, spam the heck out of your LinkedIn connections. But if you want to be able to have high leverage during the sales process, have really deep, meaningful relationships with your prospects and customers. That allows your company to have a respectable profit margin to be able to close sales on your own terms without compromise.
It's critical that you get the basics right. So if you're serious about doing LinkedIn lead generation, think about whether you're trying to build your brand or destroy it. If you want to improve how prospects perceive your brand, make sure that you keep the six critical prerequisites in mind. First, you have a documented buyer personas. Do you have buyer personas and ideal client profiles documented for your most important kinds of stakeholders for your most important kind of company that you want to sell to? Second, do you have the buyer's journey mapped out so you know the steps that someone goes through in between when they're a complete stranger to the point where they are closed? One deal.
Is this done for your ideal buyer personas? You have premium content assets that educate and build trust with your most important buyer personas at each of the stages of the buyer's journey. So if you have two core buyer personas and there are three stages of the buyer's journey, you're only getting started when you check off the box and say, yes, I have six content offers ready to go that educate and build trust. In addition, do you have lead generation landing pages set up with forms that allow you to convert anonymous visitors into known leads where you can educate and build trust with them? We can build a relationship with them over time. So when they are ready, you are not only on the shortlist, but if you really nail this, you are the shortlist and there's no other competitive options that they're considering. Do you have email lead nurturing in place? Perhaps with some marketing automation workflows that allows you to take leads that look like they're a reasonably good fit but aren't quite yet ready to talk with you and your company and it warms them up and gets them tied up for a productive sales conversation.
And finally, have you invested in the right kind of sales accelerator? Sales cycle accelerators such as having a documented sales development process, perhaps case studies and webinar program that does the same thing that takes leads that well, they look pretty good. I wish they'd pay more attention to us and gives them a reason for them to pay more attention to you because you're adding so much value to the buyer's journey that they are navigating, and you're zeroing in on being super helpful about their goals, their plans and their challenges. If you're serious about using LinkedIn Lead Generation as a strategic growth engine for your business, make sure that you take time to think about. Do you want to build up your brand or are you inadvertently destroying it by trying to play the short game instead of the long game? If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or reach out.
I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and I look forward to hearing your great success stories in using LinkedIn Lead Generation to Grow your Business for LinkedIn Best Practices for Infrastructure, Software and Fintech Companies as the world's most popular social network for professionals, especially B to B focus professionals, LinkedIn now has more than 700 million members worldwide, with over 170,000,000 members in the United States. And in an era where top social media properties battle to earn trust among their most important stakeholders, LinkedIn consistently ranks as the most trusted social networking property, significantly outpacing Facebook and perceived trust and safety. In recent months, the amount of content shared and live video streamed on LinkedIn have grown pretty substantially.
Given all of this, what are the key LinkedIn best practices that a company and infrastructure software fintech should be thinking about? If they're looking to use LinkedIn to grow their leads, sales opportunities, customers and revenue. First, focus on who your ideal customers are and what they care about. It's not about your company. It's about what your most important prospects and clients care about. What are their goals? What are they working on? What are their challenges? Where do they hang out online in the post pandemic world? Where do they hang out offline? What do they look for? What do they secretly desire? What if they get right? We'll get them a huge job promotion.
What if they mess up? We'll really cause big problems in the future of their career. What are they up to? 200 and in the morning worried about? Once you have the consensus on this, once you know who your ideal buyers are, once you know those buyer personas, your customer insight will give you superpowers to excel on LinkedIn. Second, share helpful content that educates and builds trust over time. Be prepared to play the long game. You can't just post once in a blue moon on LinkedIn and hope to build up a following. You should, on a regular basis, be sharing helpful tips and best practices and advice and resources that are especially relevant to your most important stakeholders your primary and secondary buyer personas. Third, use a mix of awareness building content that offers helpful tips, how tos and best practices, as well as lead generation content that leads to landing pages. For example, for ebooks, special reports, downloadable checklists, webinars and other kinds of events that you're hosting.
This can be especially helpful for lead generation as well as sales cycle acceleration. And the fourth best practice that infrastructure, software and fintech companies should consider on LinkedIn is to generate leads. You'll want to send visitors to a landing page with a form on your website. Just to be clear, a landing page is a specialized website page whose entire purpose is to convert an anonymous visitor into a known lead. Sometimes people do use landing pages for sales cycle acceleration, and those would be considered reconversion, meaning somebody's converted for a second time on your website.
And actually, it's a pretty good sign if you have visitors that are repeatedly converting on your content offers, because each time they're kind of raising their hand and saying, oh, this looks pretty interesting. This looks pretty cool. Yeah, I'll tell you who I am for what's on the other side of that landing page. So these are all great ways for you to use LinkedIn much more strategically to grow your company.
I've been active on LinkedIn since all the way back in 2008. I have over 290 followers, and since 2014, I've been using LinkedIn organically as well as LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Ads to attract more of the right people in the right places at the right time, and most of all in the right context. How are you using LinkedIn and your infrastructure software fintech business? Let me know in the comments below. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SB Home Run, and if you have any comments or questions, feel free to reach out the six LinkedIn mistakes that make you look bad and what you can do to prevent that from happening.
I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and I started using LinkedIn all the way back in 2008. I have tens of thousands of followers. I've been using the LinkedIn Campaign Manager, LinkedIn Ads platform, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator for the better part of a decade now. And there's a number of things that I have observed with how people use LinkedIn on a paid basis, on a Sales Navigator basis, and most of all with content and with the messaging platform.
And I want to share some tips that hopefully will help you avoid making some of these big mistakes. First and foremost, I see a lot of people spamming LinkedIn posts with self serving comments and sales pitches with no attempt whatsoever to add value to that post. If you want to improve how you are perceived by the most important stakeholders in your industry and your ecosystem, it's super critical that you figure out a way to add value to the content and the conversations that are going on with LinkedIn. If someone told you that you should go out and basically stuff a flyer under the windshield of every post that's on LinkedIn that aligns with your ideal client profile, your target buyer personas without any thought whatsoever into reading what's in that post and adding value to that conversation or adding insight or even a contrarian opinion, then shame on you.
You are making one of the biggest LinkedIn mistakes that's screwing up your reputation and making you look bad. Make sure that if you are commenting on other people's posts that you are taking the time to read that post and be able to add something to that conversation as opposed to jerking it all up. Second biggest mistake that I see people making on LinkedIn is spamming LinkedIn inboxes spamming LinkedIn messages and in mails with sales pitches with no attempt whatsoever to understand who that person is and what that person may actually care about.
This is another one of those it feels like it's stuffing a flyer under their door, under the windshield of their car, and hoping that if you do that enough time that it actually works. The problem is, people are completely numb to that because it's so overdone where you connect with someone on LinkedIn and 30 seconds later you're hard selling them on why they should book a meeting with you. Why the heck would I want to book a meeting with you? I just met you. I don't know you. And then on top of that a lot of times, okay, now people have gotten a little more clever with these automated spam systems where 24 hours later I get a message that is clearly spamming me back because they didn't look at my profile and they're talking to me as if I'm a completely different person than I really am. If they just took 30 seconds and looked at who I am and what I care about and what kind of content I share that they would have completely up their game and not messed up and burned their bridges.
I actually had this happen to me a couple of days ago where someone must have been doing keyword based connection building. I'm like, okay, cool, this person does mergers and acquisitions with similar kinds of companies that I work with. Yes, I do work with some people from time to time that are in the 8th or 9th ending of their career and some of them as they're looking to retire completely exit. Yeah, maybe we'll do something together. Maybe I'll have them on my podcast or something like that. Sure enough, 24 hours later goes by and he sends me the canned message as if I'm one of their customers, took no time whatsoever to look at my profile and customize it. That person burned their bridge forever. One of the six biggest LinkedIn mistakes that make you look bad. Third biggest LinkedIn mistake that makes you look bad is being over aggressive in your sales pitch, in the connection request message.
And I say to that, aren't you going to buy me a drink first? Isn't there going to be a little wining and dining and Romancing and all of that stuff? And the reality sending someone a LinkedIn connection request and sure, it is a good idea to customize that connection request. But when you're putting the pitch directly in the connection request, it feels like one of those Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy movies where they get a lot of good laughs because he elopes on the first date. The reality is, most people don't want to wee loop on the first date. They know it's a terrible idea. They've had way too many people that are spamming them with the same connection request and it just doesn't work.
The reality is, even if that is the right kind of person, no one wants to feel like they immediately accepted your connection request and it was an immediate invitation to hard sell them on why they should sign up for your conference on why they should book a meeting with one of your sales development reps to audition for the privilege of speaking with a real sales rep. No, the reality is, most people before they feel comfortable going to that first step of engaging with you once you get to know you. And the best way for someone to get to know you is build that connection and let them see the kinds of content, the kind of value that you share in your feed over a period of at least a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, and then you'll have a better in claim as to one if they're interacting with your content.
And second, there's a greater likelihood that when you do reach out to them and be like, oh yeah, I know that guy Joshua. He shares all these cool tips on marketing and sales development and sales enablement and customer success and scaling tech startups and AI startups and all those other things. So it's really important for you to dig the well before you're thirsty and putting your pitch directly in your connection request makes you look like you're jerking the place all up. Fourth, make sure that you don't make the mistake of pitching me on meeting with you virtually immediately after I accept the LinkedIn connection request again, as mentioned. And the third biggest mistake where you're putting your hard sell pitch in the connection request message. Just because I accept your connection request doesn't mean I want to drop everything and immediately book time on your calendar for 15 minutes to talk about how I can become a paying customer of yours. It doesn't work like that.
Maybe back 510 twelve years ago, when LinkedIn was still a novelty, it did. But in the digital first world that we live in right now, the digitally transformed world that we live in, where people are doing tons of research on their own before they're open to a sales conversation, they're typically going to be 60 70 80% of the way through their research and decision making process before they are open to having a conversation like that. So how do you make sure that you have an active role in that first 60 70% to 80% it's through content, helpful educational content that talks about their goals, their challenges, their problems, how you can potentially give them advice and impress upon them that you are all about providing value and putting deposits into the bank account before you try to withdraw from the bank account.
Linkedin Mistake Number five that is super important to make sure that you avoid is repeatedly viewing my LinkedIn profile or constantly liking my LinkedIn posts in a desperate attempt to get on or stay on my radar screen or Nag me into submission of taking your meeting. The reality is, a lot of people look on LinkedIn to see who viewed their profile, which is probably the reason that you think you're actually getting somewhere by either manually viewing a prospect's profile or using bot software to manually to make it look like you've manually viewed that profile. But the reality is that's stalker stuff.
And if you keep doing it over and over and over again, it has the exact opposite effect of what you're thinking that it's going to actually do. And in the same way, if you're liking content with expressly thinking that liking that content is going to get you a meeting with that prospect, you're not adding value. You're jerking the place all up. So again, that is the fifth biggest LinkedIn mistake that you want to make sure that you don't make. And finally, the 6th biggest LinkedIn mistake that makes you look bad is posting content about how wonderful you are, how wonderful your company is, nonstop ragathon. That can be a good 10% or 20% to put the high five kind of stuff out there. Hey, we just got a great new hire, we just moved into a great new office, we won a great new award.
But if the reality is that's the only thing you ever do is talk about yourself, that's like the person that you meet at a networking event or a party who just talks and talks and talks and never asks you a question and never let you get a word in. Edwise, what kind of experience and impression do you make when all you do is talk about yourself and how wonderful you are without giving a crap about finding out about the other person that you're talking to and how you can add value to their lives? So the 6th biggest thing to make sure that you don't fall into the trap of is just talking about yourself, your company, what you care about, and not what they care about.
So those are the six biggest LinkedIn mistakes that make you look bad. Is there a 7th there's another big LinkedIn mistake that you see people making? Let me know in the comments below. And if you're looking for some one on one assistance with your LinkedIn content strategy, feel free to look me up on LinkedIn. Try to personalize the message and let me know that you watched this video and that you're actually looking for some help. I'm Joshua Feinberg from SP Home Run, and I look forward to hearing your success stories about how you're using LinkedIn and your content strategy as a growth engine for your business.
Okay. Good afternoon. I'm Joshua Feinberg, and I want to welcome you to the LinkedIn Social Selling workshop for colocation providers, hosting web hosting providers, cloud providers, and manage service Providers. For this workshop, we're going to be focusing on goals and specifically revenue growth goals. I see a show of hands on. Just curious where you're all coming from, how many of you are colocation providers, where colocation is one of your primary business models, how many of you would consider yourself primarily a web hosting business, how many of you would consider yourself a CSP, a cloud service provider, and how many of you would consider yourself a managed service provider in MSP? So we're actually pretty evenly balanced.
Is there any group that I missed? Is there anyone here that doesn't fall into one of those four areas? What area? Okay, cool. And I think I got a good indication when people are coming in. Are most of you from the US or how many of you are from outside of the international from outside the US? Wow. And how many of you are from Southern California where you can just drive here? And how many of you are from somewhere else within the US? One thing that I'm usually pretty curious about also is when it comes to LinkedIn social selling and marketing and sales and biz Dev and channel and product. Generally, the smaller the company, the more hats people tend to wear. So how many of you are from companies that have one to ten employees? Small companies. How many of you are from companies that have anywhere from eleven to 50 employees? 51 to 200? 200 to 500? 500 plus.
So it seems like the largest concentration is ten to 50. And how many of you are in an executive role? Like a COO kind of role? How many of you are in sales or business development or channel, product or engineering marketing? There's going to be a test. It's kind of like the Live GoToWebinar polling questions. Right. And is there any broad group of responsibility that I left out in another group that doesn't fall into either executive sales, business channel marketing, product or engineering management? Okay. So we consider that kind of the CEO leadership role, which is going to vary depending on the company size. This session is being recorded. However, the videographer is going to be focusing largely on if you don't want to be in the video, you more than likely won't be. He's largely just following me. Some of the questions we'll probably end up editing out at some point.
But if you really feel uncomfortable by being in here, if you're in witness protection or something like that, just hosting, I wanted to make sure that we let you know that the session is being recorded. So I'm Joshua Feinberg. I'm the vice President and cofounder of SP Home Run. We help CEOs identify revenue growth opportunities that their sales and marketing teams are currently missing. We're based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
We work with clients all over the US. Hosting Con and data center worlds have a very strict no pitch policy. There will be no pitching done whatsoever. I'm not Clayton Kershaw. I definitely do not pitch well. So you won't be seeing any of that. Please make sure that at the conclusion of today's session that you take a few moments and rate this session in the hosting Con Data Center World mobile app. If for some reason you're unable to give the session the highest possible rating, please come and see me afterwards so we can get any of your questions and concerns aired out. So when it comes to LinkedIn, social selling, it's not just about doing social media for the sake of doing social media or being on LinkedIn for the sake of being on LinkedIn.
We're doing this for a very specific reason. So we're going to start with some goals in mind. One of the more important goals is that we think about how our investments, our time and financial investments, and what we're doing in terms of creating assets and positioning our company, how this is going to lead to the kind of outcomes that are important to our company, how it's going to attract certain kinds of influencers, how it's going to attract certain kinds of decision makers, how they're going to land on our websites and be like, wow, this is really good. I've been searching for something just like this for days, for hours or weeks. I can't believe I finally found who are these companies? What do they do? Again, we're looking for a deep, deep emotional reaction where people start to see a tremendous value in what you're talking about and see you as a teacher, as a subject matter expert. All of this needs to be supporting your sales funnel and positioning your company as subject matter experts and thought leaders.
We're also going to talk about how to build meaningful connections and most importantly, how to connect the dots between what you're doing and how this feeds your sales funnel. So we're going to start out by talking about how to build the right foundation. Quick public service announcement. How many of you are connected with me on LinkedIn? I share a lot of tips and tutorials and best practices on how to do social selling for Colo, hosting, cloud and managed services. So if you are on LinkedIn, please connect with me. One of the big things that we tend to hear a lot of that starts these conversations is a lot of people come to us and they feel like they're just not getting found early enough. And by the time a potential client calls them up, sends them an email, they meet them at a conference, they feel like many times it's too late. And when it's too late, what that largely means is somebody else was their guru, somebody else was their subject matter expert, somebody else was their trusted advisor and taught them how to view their problem, taught them how to navigate the different options that are available.
And this is just the nature of how things have changed. We have a much more empowered buyer today than we did as recently as five or ten years ago. People are doing crazy amounts of research on search engines and social media before they get to you. It's a big challenge for a lot of companies, but it's a big opportunity if you're the one that can get found and be seen as that subject matter expert or trusted adviser. How many of you right now feel that your company has to compete on price in order to win deals? How many of you feel that you could double or triple or quadruple your price and you'd still keep selling the same amount of deals? One of the big frustrations that we tend to hear is that people never are getting in early enough for them to really explain their value proposition.
And what tends to happen is it's not a rational conversation at that point you feel like you're talking to a wall. They're just not listening because they've fallen in love with another option already. And the only thing that's going to change their mind is if the price is lower. Another big thing we tend to hear is that a lot of colocation providers, cloud providers, managed service providers, hosting providers they tend to do really well when they get a warm introduction from an existing client, but they tend to have a really difficult time getting a foot in the door with strangers who have never heard of their company before.
Is this something that resonates with any of you? Do you have a really easy time when it's a warm referral but you struggle to get found by strangers? We're going to talk about how you can do better with that and stack the decks in your favor as well. And what a lot of this comes down to is a piece of seminal research that Google put out a couple of years ago called the Zero Moment of Truth. Zmot, how many of you have heard of Zero Moment of Truth? How many of you have changed the way that you research and make purchase decisions in the last couple of years? For example, how did you decide what hotel to stay at for this conference? Hosting. It was on the Hosting.com website, so they did a short list for you. How did you decide what restaurant that you'd go to last night for dinner? What's that you weren't here yet? Think about the last time you've made a major purchase decision, whether it was a car, whether it was a TV, whether it was a PC, whether it was deciding a new doctor to go to a piece of furniture.
In most cases, we're looking at our options very differently than we were as recently as five or ten years ago. For most of us, it starts with a search. Sometimes it starts with asking a question on social media and this has become so pervasive. This started on the business to consumer side, but most things that start on the business to consumer side eventually affect companies on the business to business side because of the behaviors that people have.
Whether it's itunes, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, Alexa. Eventually all filters down into how people behave at work. So what Google found is that your brand is no longer what you say your brand is. Your brand is collectively what people say about you on search engines and on social media. And this has been such a big change and people do so much more research on their own now before they get to you that in many cases as much as 70% or more of their decision is already made before you get a chance to get a word in edgewise. And this is a big, big change from as recently as five or ten years ago. What's kind of the root cause of this frustration? What do you think causes people to do well with social selling and what do you think are some of the big problems? What are some examples of social selling done badly? Has anyone ever had social selling done poorly to them or received a communication from somebody on LinkedIn that just didn't seem to hit the Mark? Yes, the card making function, yeah.
What makes it horrible? Just a representation of your products when they're on. So that's creating a less than that. So it's got to be attractive and helpful. Anyone else beside Martin have any experiences where social selling has been done poorly to them? Where they've been a victim of social selling malpractice where you've said, Gee, why are they doing this? Does this make any sense? So a lot of the root cause of frustration is that most people that are embarking on LinkedIn or social selling aren't really thinking about the impression that they want to be creating.
There isn't necessarily always a strategy and it's just kind of being done on an ad hoc basis. And a lot of cases too many of these problems start in the C suite where the company believes that what got them to where they are today is going to be the same strategy that's going to get them to where they want to be in the next five or ten years. For example, do you know anyone that goes to print phone books to learn about options for colocation services? So anyone that would go to the yellow pages to find a good cloud service provider? Is there anyone that would look for a good managed service provider? The funny thing is with managed service providers.
If you look at kind of their family tree and where they came from with VARs and network integrators, if you talk to somebody that was a VAR integrator in the 90s, they all were taking third mortgages on their houses to pay for big ads in the phone book, right? Anyone that's still doing that today? Another big thing that used to be very influential in how people evaluated information is they looked in printed books. How many of you have children that still use printed encyclopedias to do homework? It's changed. This is how the buyer's journey looked in 2007. Back then, people made the decisions based on cold calls. They received postal direct mail. They got email from people that they didn't want to be getting email from. They rented lists, and they were sending cold emails and print advertising.
And back then, sales was largely a gatekeeper. Sales controlled access to information was very lopsided. Sales could decide when they wanted to engage and when they didn't want to engage. And buyers kind of had to put up with that. And because of that, your potential clients engage with your sales team really early on, 10% or 20% of the way through that buyer's journey. When the iPhone came out in 2007, no one really said, wow, this is going to change everything.
But in reality, it did. How many of you here were early users of an iPhone? Anyone here camp out overnight as if they were trying to get Super Bowl tickets or World Series tickets or tickets to a game where they spent two or three days online waiting for the original iPhone? We all kind of looked at our friends and family who were doing that as if they were kind of nuts at the time. But what they didn't realize is there is going to be a whole confluence of related factors that would happen over the next eight or ten years between mobile bandwidth improving, Android becoming a lot more popular, apps becoming a lot more popular, and generally people's thirst for and putting up with getting interrupted changed very, very radically.
We have entire business models that exist because people got tired of being interrupted. People are paying $10 or more a month for streaming services, multiple streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Prime Stars, a whole bunch of things because they don't want to watch commercials anymore. They're paying for satellite radio because they don't want to get interrupted anymore. How many people watch TV anymore that have a DVR and actually watch the commercials? These things have fallen off the charts and there's entire business models that are being disrupted because of that. As a result, now people are doing so much research that they're as much as 50, 60, 70% of the way more through that buyer's journey when they talk to your sales team. And because of that, it's critical to get found early on. Personalisation is a lot more important. Where are we headed in the next couple of years, we think this is going to become only even more pronounced. Your influencers, your decision makers that you're trying to attract as customers for colocation, cloud services, managed services, web hosting.
They're going to be almost ready to buy completely on their own. And the sales professionals that are going to be left are not going to be perceived as sales professionals anymore. They're going to be perceived as consultants, experts, trusted advisors, subject matter experts. It's going to be very different. Any sales professionals that are hanging on by a thread is Glorified order takers or glorified explainers. All of that is going to largely be replaced by digital assets. And the biggest value of sales is going to be helping people decide what to buy, answering questions for things that can't be researched on their own. So the question is, is your leadership team in denial? Now, this isn't to say that everyone should be chasing after the obvious terms that are really overcompeted, that are too vague to really know what the intent is. But there's thousands of people a month searching for hosting. There's thousands of people a month searching for cloud services, colocation, managed services. Chances are when you start to dig into who it is that you're trying to attract and you really understand your buyer personas, you'll discover dozens or hundreds that are a lot more relevant to your business model and your value proposition and your differentiation that make a lot more sense.
But if your CEO, if your board fundamentally believes that your clients don't use the Internet to do this research, you're kind of sunk because in a lot of ways they're living in the past. If your CEO doesn't get that, there's hundreds of thousands of tweets being sent every single minute, if your CEO is in denial that political elections are being decided and this isn't just the recent one, this is going back four and eight years are being decided based on what's going on on social media. Revolutions are being started based on what's going on on social media. Thousands and thousands of LinkedIn profiles are being viewed every single minute.
Are these conversations that you have internally? How many of you feel that your leadership team is fundamentally in denial that this is happening? How many of you feel that your leadership team largely gets this but doesn't know what to do? So we're going to talk about some strategies that you can take back from today and the value of why getting found early matters. How many of you enjoy participating in RFPs? How many of you love to hear the word bid or like to be called a vendor or deal with procurement agents? The key thing with getting found early and why it matters so much is it's all about differentiating. It's removing the availability of substitutes. And when you do that, you're able to completely change the conversation because you're seen as a trusted advisor you're able to attract clients that get your value and that aren't just looking for the lowest price and you're able to protect your profit margin. So this drives scalable, predictable revenue growth. In order for any kind of social media to be successful, and especially when it comes to social selling, we can't look at social media in a vacuum.
In other words, a lot of times when people are relatively new to content marketing or inbound marketing or digital marketing, internet marketing, whatever you want to call it, they tend to focus on tactics in a vacuum, kind of on an ad hoc basis. They'll do a little bit of search engine optimization. They'll participate in social media, they'll put some thought into their branding and design. Maybe they're doing AdWords. The problem is there's a very loose relationship between those activities and revenue at the bottom of the funnel. So we can't just do social media without thinking about how this is going to impact lead generation. And lead generation requires a certain amount of thought because typically people are not going to fill out forms unless they see a lot of value in filling out the forms on your website.
So usually this involves coming up with information that is so ridiculously compelling that it's almost grabbing them by the shirt collar and saying, Why would you want to leave? This stuff is so relevant to what the problem that you're looking to solve. It's free, and essentially all we're asking you to do is your business card for what's on the other side of that landing page. Leads inherently are flawed, though. If you're just chasing after leads, most people are looking for those leads to turn into sales opportunities. But in order to take leads and turn them into sales opportunities, we have to understand that buyer's journey, and it's going to vary depending on your business model. How many of you have a sales process where somebody purchases something from your website on their very first visit? How many of you have a sales process that stretches out for a couple of weeks? How many of you have a sales process that stretches out for a couple of months, and how many of you have a sales process that stretches out for several months? In some cases more than a year? The key thing in order for us to gain leverage is we have to build a relationship with people over time.
One of the most important ways to build a relationship with people over time is to share valuable content that teaches them something that they are looking for help with, and it also gives them insight about something that they may not have even realized that they needed to know about in the first place. However, there are so many companies and so many publishers that are competing for the attention of the people that you want to attract. We can't just be kind of sort of relevant anymore. We need to be ridiculously relevant. And the way that we nail relevance is by stopping thinking that everyone is the same.
How many of you want to attract CFOs as clients? How many of you want to track CTOs or CIOs as clients? How many of you want CEOs as clients? How many of you want compliance officers, school district computer coordinators, doctors, lawyers? The key thing is there are a lot of different types of clients that could be a really good fit for your company. But each one of them has different things that are keeping them up at 02:00 in the morning. Somebody that is the computer coordinator for a large school district cares about very different things than somebody that's head of compliance for an insurance company.
And the head of compliance for insurance company cares about very different things than the CEO of a digital publishing company. And the more we can get in tune with what exactly is bothering that person what their goals are, what their plans are, what their challenges are. What if they get right? We'll get them a big promotion at work. What if they screw up? We'll get the opposite of a promotion at work. The more we can really get in sync with what's going on in their head, the more we can become relevant to that conversation. And that's what allows us to build a funnel that's really relevant. So social has to be able to attract the right kind of visitors. It has to be able to convert those visitors into leads. It has to be able to accelerate those leads into sales opportunities and ultimately close those sales opportunities into new clients. But we're not done when they just become new clients.
How many of you have business models that are dependent on recurring revenue? How many of you have business models that are dependent on repeat purchases? So a significant percentage of you recognize that that initial sale you're not done. That's just kind of the beginning. And the better job we can do with understanding what's motivating them to do business with your company in the first place, the better the job we can do to make sure that we're providing them with a great onboarding experience, with great educational content, with helping them to better utilize our service.
And that's what helps them to not only not have retention issues and stay for a long time, but that's what helps them spread your message to other people. So in order to make sure that we're all on the same page, there's something called Smart Goals. And the acronym stands for this. Specific measurable attainable Relevant, Time bounds. Specific measurable attainable Relevant, and Time Bound. And if you're looking to everyone says for the most part, is there anyone in this room that doesn't want to see revenue grow for your company? How many of you want to see your revenue growth? Big chunk. But we can't do that until we figure out what all the interim steps are going to be. And just saying that we want more revenue isn't enough. How much more? And when we come up with that goal, let's say we're trying to generate another 5 million of revenue and we know our average deal size is $50,000.
We can back into how many new customers we need. We can look at what our historical close rate, and we can figure out how many qualified leads and sales opportunities we need to get to that many new clients. And then we can work backwards with all of the metrics. But the key thing is everything with LinkedIn Social selling, everything with digital, everything with content, everything with Inbound starts with having a really clear idea of what those goals are, what they are relevant, relevant, relevant is a really, really big one, because it's really easy to get sidetracked chasing after vanity metrics.
We have an acronym that we call the Hippo Hippo Highest Paid Person's Opinion or Highest Paid Person in the organization. And the problem with the Hippo is they're absolutely, positively certain that their opinion is gospel and everyone should follow it just because the problem where it starts to break down is where the data doesn't support that where the Hippo believes that because their 14 year old teenager is really into WhatsApp or Snapchat.
That should be your new social media strategy for attracting enterprise CIOs. The problem is the enterprise CIOs aren't quite as into Snapchat on WhatsApp as their 14 year old. So you got to be really careful that the Hippo doesn't sync the ship because it can. So one of the most important things to nail LinkedIn Social selling is to make sure that we take the time to build and create buyer personas. Buyer personas are semi fictional representations of an ideal client based on research and educated speculation. If we get buyer personas correct, it becomes a lot easier to create content that's relevant for the people that we care most about. It becomes a lot easier to know where to promote that content because, let's face it, there's a big difference between writing and creating great content and getting the right eyeballs in front of it.
There's a tremendous amount of competition getting in that way. So we want to make sure that we create buyer personas so we know exactly what kinds of content we should be investing in, and we know exactly the distribution and promotional vehicles. We also want to create buyer personas because we want to make sure that our sales team is spending its time in the right places. How many of you have folks on your sales team that can get distracted and spend a lot of time on wild goose chases that end up not materializing? Buyer personas are one of the best insurance policies and one of the best tools and processes that you can invest your time in.
So not only is marketing focused on creating content and working with other stakeholders in the company to create content that's ridiculously relevant and knowing where to promote it. But it also helps to keep your sales team grounded and working with the right kinds of opportunities. For those of you that mention that you're in product or engineering, buyer personas can also be extremely important to make sure that you're developing products and services that people care enough about, that they're willing to invest their time and resources in everything going forward should be tied to buyer Personas One of the easiest ways to get ignored on LinkedIn is to start creating content and start talking and doing all this activity on LinkedIn without thinking about who this is for and why they should care.
How many of you look at your LinkedIn feed every day and you're wondering, what was this person thinking? Why are they sharing this? We see a lot of people sharing content on LinkedIn that says, we hired this new person. It's wonderful. Clap for us, and everyone internally claps for you and your board. Claps for you.
And that's really awesome. We see a lot of people on LinkedIn and announce that they just got passed an audit or they got a new certification. And largely everyone internally, all your employees, all your investors, all clap for you. Some of your customers clap for you. But strangers could care less if the goal with LinkedIn social selling is to put ourselves in a position where we're attracting strangers that have never heard of our company before. We can't just be talking about ourselves otherwise. It's like if you went to a networking event this evening, like the kind that Andy is putting together, that's Andy, by the way, from Penn in the back room. Everyone, if you go to a networking event and you're having a conversation with someone and you realize, oh, shoot, why is this person talking 90% of the time? Are they going to let me get a word in edgewise? The problem is, if you just talk about yourself nonstop and you don't talk about their problems, you end up putting out content that no one wants to read.
And if nobody's going to read it, they're not going to get to your landing page. They're not going to be able to convert to a lead. Ultimately, sales and marketing can really spend a lot of time spinning their wheels on activities that don't add much value if it's not grounded in buyer personas. How many of your companies right now have buyer personas that identify the two, three, or four or five most important people that you want to attract into your sales funnel? Pretty small percentage. And that's why even getting started on a small scale, you're not going to be an early mover at this point. This stuff has been around three, four or five years. But I can assure you that if you take the time to really think through who you're creating this content for, why they should pay attention to your company in the first place, how you're going to attract the right strangers.
It will make a world of difference for getting them to pay attention to you. The key thing is being remarkable. What do we mean by remarkable? That the stuff is so good that you just can't help remark about it. And in the social media world, that means hitting the like button. That means retweeting. That means sharing it. That means commenting on it. It's good enough that people stop and pay attention to it and remark about it. Wow, this is really helpful. What else do they have to say? I feel compelled. I have to share it because if I share it, I'm going to look really smart in front of my contacts on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter. You don't want to be the CEO or the sales exec. That is just sharing a whole bunch of meaningless stuff and basically goes on social media and says, Buy our stuff. It's on sale today.
Anybody ever get those kind of email messages? One of my pet peeves that we see on LinkedIn a lot is there's a feature in LinkedIn, and this has been around a while where you can export all of your connections to a CSV file. How many of you have ever done that? Where you've exported all your connections to a CSV file? There's also a school of thought that says that it's okay to take that CSV file and import it into your email service provider and marketing automation software and automatically subscribe people to your email newsletter. How many of you have ever ended up on somebody's email send list or newsletter list because they crossed that line? How does that make you feel? Annoyed? Annoyed? Any other reactions? It's a very quick way for somebody that's a little grumpier, that's had a bad day to hit the spam button.
It's a really easy way for somebody to go back to LinkedIn, look you up and disconnect and block you. In other words, it's committing, like relationship suicide. So participating in LinkedIn or social media channels without goals in mind, without buyer personas in mind, is really easy for you to be lumped in with bad actors with spammers. So the way we kind of look at the difference between social selling and social spamming is at the minimum, we need to be social and we need to be more human.
What are some behaviors that you've observed online that tend to be antisocial? And it doesn't seem like they're treating you like a human being. So he's sending the same message over and over again and he's not even responding to your overtures to have a conversation, so he's not listening, so he can't possibly be human. It's like antisocial. Anyone else really? Examples of antisocial selling? Okay, how many of you get up in the morning and say, Wouldn't it be cool if I got ten more cold calls today? How many of you feel like, Gee, I'm not getting enough spam. I need my inbox flooded with a whole bunch of nonsense I didn't ask for.
How many of you enjoy when somebody connects with you on LinkedIn and 90 seconds later they send you back a pitch without taking time to build a relationship. Tv radio commercials are all about interrupting. Youtube's entire advertising model is about how many of you have gotten really good at looking for the count on time or for skip ad block adblock? Yes, I think YouTube has some bigger problems going on right now with their advertising business model. Apparently there's a whole bunch of Fortune 500 advertisers that have pulled out as a result of their ads sitting next to some really undesirable content. But the net impact with all this interruption is perceived as harassment.
So the question is, what is the opposite of harassment? In our world? We consider that being helpful. How can we answer their questions? How can we solve their problems? What kinds of questions should you be answering on LinkedIn? What kinds of questions should be answering with your digital content? Well, a lot of that is going a lot of helping to narrow that down comes to developing your buyer personas, becoming seen as an educator. How do you figure out what questions to ask? Anyone have any ideas on where they would start with deciding what questions are worth answering on LinkedIn and other kinds of media? Yes, absolutely. Anyone else? Yes. Answers to questions or problems that I've come across that other people might need help. So in other words, if you're at a conference like this and people are asking you about it, then it's fair game that somebody chances are if somebody's asked you that face to face that there's ten more people or 100 or 1000 more people that are thinking the exact same thing and are going to go to Google for the answer.
So anything face to face? Yes. Search engine trends and reference to buyer personas? Absolutely. It's certainly a lot easier to stand under a flood of traffic that exists than create one from scratch, as long as it's grounded in buyer personas, because traffic just in and of itself is not going to do much if it doesn't lead to leads and sales opportunities in the clients we want. Any other questions? Any other ideas on how we can be relevant? Yes.
Awesome. Calling them, surveying them, taking kind of the consensus on what your sales team is being asked on a regular basis. Any question that you're asked face to face on the phone, email, live chat is fair. A game for saying, you know what, let's take that question, let's take that answer, and let's create a digital asset, because chances are there's somebody that just like that that's going to go ask Google or Bang, maybe even a few people over on Yahoo or Cortana or Alexa, Siri.
And they're going to ask that same question. It wouldn't be awesome if when they asked that question, they found our advice on how we tackle that, and they land on our site and they say, wow, that's really good. Who are these folks? What do they do? Oh, they have a free ebook that goes into this in more detail. Yeah, I got to get that. So the net impact is how we be more helpful. What can we do to position ourselves as industry experts, more as thought leaders? It largely comes down to strategy and recognizing that one of the most valuable currencies that we can possibly build up over time with our education is to build up trust. And it's really easy to violate that trust in the blink of an eye. If you do stupid stuff like taking your email address book, you're taking your LinkedIn address book and importing that into your email service provider. There's a lot of ways that we can violate that trust, but it takes a while to build that up over time.
That's why it's so critical that we're able to build relationships over time. Because when we look at before, there's a bunch of people that raise their hand when they have sales cycles that are weeks or months or even more than a year. We need a way to build that relationship over time. The challenging part with that is if we have a sales cycle that say nine months, we know that people change jobs. So wouldn't it be cool if there was a way that we could stay connected with them when they changed jobs? How many of you currently connect with your leads on LinkedIn? What value does that have when they change jobs? Absolutely. You acknowledge it, you get notified, and the relationship is portable. So there's a lot of benefits to why it's absolutely critical to grow your network on LinkedIn for a whole bunch of different purposes, because a job change can be a trigger event on both sides.
It could be an opportunity with their old company and their new company. And would you even know about that if you weren't connected with them on LinkedIn? A lot of times, if you're working with mid level influencers or people in smaller companies, they're not necessarily issuing news releases about these things. And you may not be following those news releases or have alerts on them. But if you're connected with them on LinkedIn, that stuff shows up right in your stream. One of the most important ways to build trust over time is your headshot. We're in a very visually oriented world. How many of you feel that your headshot on LinkedIn could use some work? There's a couple of general guidelines that I would suggest. One is if you acknowledge that LinkedIn is largely a professional network and you're looking to have people perceive that you have a high degree of professionalism is business attire is really kind of a non negotiable address, similar to how somebody would see you if they met you at an event like this.
Very different than Facebook. Your photo on LinkedIn should just be yourself. I get that you may be married to the love of your life for decades and you may have wonderful children. Save it for Facebook. When it comes to LinkedIn, it's just yourself. Every once in a while I'll come across somebody that's using their company logo as a LinkedIn picture, and I wonder, is this person hiding something or are they just kind of clueless? It's your picture. I think there's probably some terms of service somewhere along the line that that violates, too. How many of you ever come across somebody on LinkedIn that's wearing sunglasses? Is that inviting or does that say that Joe Cool is too cool for you and he doesn't have time for you? So unless you're visually impaired, lose the sunglasses neutral background and try to keep it current.
If the last time you updated your profile picture that's on your website was during the Clinton administration, someone's going to come in contact with you in an event like that and not know who the heck you are, they'll be like, is this the same person? So keep your picture current. I think, by the way, there's an opportunity on the Expo floor on Tuesday and Wednesday. Somebody's doing headshots, so I'll look around there, too. So it's a good way to get it updated.
It's on the back of there. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Linda. Another really important piece of real estate on LinkedIn is your headline. It's what people see first and that real estate gets smaller and smaller over time when we look at the number of people that are viewing you on a mobile device. So an interesting thing to keep track of is how you look and how your whole LinkedIn profile looks like within the confines of a little iPhone window or a little Android smartphone window. How many of you run LinkedIn on your mobile device? How many of you looked at how your profile looks, your name, your picture, and your headline on LinkedIn on your mobile device. By the way, this is another really good tip to use for email as well. If you're preparing an email to go out as part of a campaign or lead nurturing an email or email newsletter preview on your phone.
If it looks good on your phone, it'll generally look good on desktop, but not necessarily the other way around. If we think about a mobile first world, if we think about the need to be responsive, there's so much value in being able to see what something will look like on mobile. But make sure your headline concisely explains who you are, what you do, why somebody should care, and it needs to be done in a couple of words. There's plenty more room. And if you want to decide how to narrow that down, let your buyer personas be the tiebreaker. If we're going to be seen as a trusted advisor, as a subject matter expert, as a guru. We're, for all intents and purposes, going to be in the publishing business. How many of you currently think of your business model as being a publisher? How many of you read blogs and social media on a regular basis from other publishers? How many of you read War, for example? How many of you read Data Center knowledge? How many of you get content from Afghan? We're all on the publishing business.
So when you think about what to share on social media, it should be a combination of blog content that you've created, premium content that's sitting behind landing pages, and what most people would consider curated content. Curated content is basically other people's content that you think is helpful enough that you're going to share that with other people that are in your network. And by doing so, you add value to your connections.
You're being seen as a connector, as an advisor, as a guru. However, the problem is, if you only share other people's content for all intents and purposes, you might be nominated for a Nobel Prize and doing a lot of social good and kind of accidentally running a nonprofit. But it's not helping your company. So curated content is helpful, but it shouldn't be the only thing you're leaning on. You should have your own assets that lead to your own blog that lead to your own ebooks that lead to your own white papers, planning guides, webinars, and events that help to fuel all that. Publishing on a regular basis is really important. If somebody looks at your Twitter feed or LinkedIn or some kind of other social media channel and they see that you haven't published in six months or a year or more, they assume that you either don't care or you're not there anymore.
Along the same lines, when we look at somebody's website and we see a Copyright year at the footer of every single page and it's not the current year, what message is it sending about how well that company is doing it keeping up or not? And for an It business, kind of the minimum viable of showing that you care enough and that you give it to be able to keep up. Is keeping that Copyright data current. To give you a good analogy, if you've ever gone to a restaurant and gone to the restroom and you looked at, well, if the restroom is this gross, do I really want to eat here? I wonder what the kitchen looks like. It's the same kind of thing with your website.
If your Copyright is dated, if your Copyright data is stale or your social media is stale, it shows you're not keeping up. It's definitely not helping to build your trust. It's definitely not hoping to show that you keep up with things over time. It helps to make sure that you're not spamming your connections and followers and helps you to stay consistent. This is an interesting picture, and a lot of people don't think about this until it's too late. What this is about is take all of your budget, all your financial budget, all your time budget that you're going to put into content creation and make sure that you put an equal amount into content promotion or content distribution. Think about a friend or family member that opens up an amazing Italian restaurant, but it's the first time they've ever opened a restaurant and they thought they got a fantastic deal on the rental on a strip mall.
But the problem is, the strip mall is 30 miles off the nearest highway in a town with a population of 300, and there's nobody else in that strip mall. So what they need to do to compensate for the fact that they got a bargain on the rent is they need to spend a boatload of cash on promotion. Typically, the reason why people buy into franchises and get advisors and bounce off of opinions is to prevent them from doing the same kind of thing. It's really easy to get seduced into thinking that you've created this amazing piece of content and the promotion becomes an afterthought. It does no good to have ten essential things that every healthcare CIO needs to know about HIPAA compliance if nobody is reading that ebook. So we need to make sure that we balance between content creation and content promotion. If you're new to doing this and you don't have a lot of email reach and you don't have a lot of social reach, there are ways to partner with other companies, and there are certainly ways to go a lot faster with sponsored social, with paid search and things like that.
But make sure that promotion is not an afterthought. It's absolutely critical if you're looking to make your LinkedIn social selling effective. Another interesting thing that I want you to think about with being perceived as more trustworthy is how you go about accruing endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn. How many of you on LinkedIn actively try to grow the amount of recommendations that you receive? How many of you on LinkedIn currently have more than five recommendations? How many of you have more than ten? How many of you have more than 20? These are things that potential clients, potential employers, potential business partners are always looking at, and it's very different than endorsements. Endorsements are kind of what people started to roll their eyes at. I think I've been endorsed for brain surgery, lactation, all kinds of crazy things that have nothing to do with management consulting or content creation or strategy or anything that would be more closely aligned with that skill set.
Recommendations are really important. They're a lot more like testimonials or fan mail. So those are some things to help build the right foundation. Next up, I want to talk with you about how you can grow your reach and start to move the needle on some of the metrics. It's really important that when you connect with people that you're not just connecting with people for the sake of connecting with them, but it's really painfully obvious when they look at your profile why they'd want to connect with you. How many of you have 500 plus connections? Because LinkedIn I don't know why LinkedIn hasn't raised the bar on that over time, but that's kind of what they consider to be the minimum legitimate place to be with your LinkedIn connections.
And this is problematic for certain kinds of people on LinkedIn because years ago there was a thought process that you wouldn't connect with people on LinkedIn that you didn't want to endorse as part of your network. So you limited yourself to people that were former coworkers that you've met offline, that you can really vouch for. That's changed over time. And there still are some people that have a very hard line definition that they will absolutely, positively not connect with somebody unless they have that kind of relationship.
And those are the people that typically have 50 or 100 or 150 different connections. But over time, most people have loosened that definition to people that are similar to them, that have a lot of shared connections, that belong to similar groups, that are in similar kinds of businesses, that have similar kind of affinities. This presents a challenge sometimes, though, because there actually is an entire industry of people that create fake LinkedIn profiles strictly to get you to trick you into connecting with them. And then they harvest your email and they sell it to spammers.
But for the most part, as long as you're relatively good at being able to segment between somebody that legitimately looks like somebody that you'd meet at a conference or could be a potential client or potential business partner versus the bad dudes you generally are. Okay, but think about your LinkedIn as your LinkedIn connections as being a secondary CRM system, another way to manage those customer relationships. Some easy ways to build connections. How many of you connect with most of your clients on LinkedIn? How about your leads? How many of you have channel partners or are part of a channel partner program? It's another great place.
Whether you're recruiting channel partners or whether you have channel reps that you are partnering with, that's definitely another place you should be connecting with. What about your subscribers to your email newsletter? Do you actively try to connect with them so you have another channel? What about vendors who you sell to? What about people that are on your board or advisors? Another really low hanging fruit is you're going to meet hopefully over the next couple of days at Hosting Hunter Data Center World. You're going to meet some great folks and you're going to go back to your office in a couple of days with a stack of business cards.
Connect with all of them. And the sooner you connect with, the better. You don't have to wait till you get back to the office on Friday. You can connect with you along. I actually met someone in the hallway about an hour and a half 2 hours ago, and we didn't even exchange business cards. And five minutes later he sent me a LinkedIn connection request. It's a way to stay in touch with people over time, because you never know that you had this conversation that didn't seem relevant now, and all of a sudden, three weeks later, it's extremely relevant to what you do. And it's another way to be able to stay in touch. You can cross pollinate your Twitter followers. You can cross pollinate your Facebook friends if you belong to associations, BNI, Latif, Chambers of Commerce, AFCOM, connect with fellow members.
You have a built in affinity. Select people in your email address book and very carefully. Linkedin has this feature where they say people you may know and they want you to look at it and they want you to be selective. They don't want you to overdo it. Because if too many people say, I don't know you, LinkedIn doesn't like that either. So how many of you think that you can grow some of your LinkedIn connections by applying these? Feel free to take a picture of the slide if you think it will help you. The idea is this is an asset over time, and it's an asset that not only is valuable to you this month and this year, but next year, and not just on your current job. It may be relevant to a job two or three jobs from now. Think about when you're hiring a candidate to do sales for you. Not only are you picking up their resume experience, but when you hire them, you're getting access to their digital reach.
If they have a lot of friends on Facebook, if they have a lot of followers on Twitter, if they have a lot of connections on LinkedIn, that's a really valuable asset that they can bring fruit to bear with you. And it's a way for them to continue growing relationships over time. Not only helps your career, but helps their employer. It's important to make sure that you connect tactfully with context.
If you think that there's even a sliver of a chance where somebody receiving one of your connections will be like, who the heck is this dude? Then make sure you remind them that, hey, James, it was great that we met, and then we talked about this issue that you're worried about with encryption. I'd like to add you to my network. The challenge with that is the mobile clients on LinkedIn have from time to time made it difficult to do that, and sometimes they don't even prompt you to do it. So if you think that that's been a problem for you in the past, you may want to wait till you're back on your desktop to do these connections. But if you don't think it's immediately obvious how somebody would know you, make sure to prompt them. It's also really important to make it easy for people to contact you.
How many of you currently have your phone number and your email address on your LinkedIn profile? How many of you have resisted putting your email address and phone number on your LinkedIn profile? There's two different schools of thought. Generally, it's not very difficult to set it up, so only people that are connected to you have that information. The challenge is by locking that up and making it difficult for people to figure out a way to track you down. You're showing that you may not be easy to do business with. If you think about right next to the Staples Center, right? Remember that campaign years ago with Staples with the Easy button. If you want to be perceived as the Easy button, don't make people spend ten or 15 minutes doing a Google search to try to figure out a way to track you down, especially if you're in sales. I am mind boggled how every once in a while I'll come across somebody that's a sales director, a sales rep, or something like that, and they don't have this information there.
So unless they're paranoid, lazy, clueless, or the witness protection program or something like that, most people that want to make it easy to do business with their company, whether you're a CEO that wears the hat in sales sometimes, or whether you're a full time sales professional, make it easy for prospects and clients to contact you, or they just might contact somebody else, avoid being antisocial, too. There are ways that even when you're connected with someone, that you make it damn near impossible to be able to reach out to you if somebody has to have your email address before they can connect, or that you're really being easy to connect with. Another really Besides that, we talked about the importance of the headline and how because people are looking at your LinkedIn profile on their phone, you don't have a lot of room to play with.
Your LinkedIn summary, though, gives you a lot more room to play with and should answer a lot of basic questions like, who do you actually help? Who are the buyer personas that are a really, really good fit to interact and connect and build that relationship with? What kinds of results do you achieve for those buyer personas? Why should somebody want to connect with you and get to a conversation at some point? When is the best time for somebody to engage? Is there a certain place where they should be in the process of researching something, or is there a good time of the month? Is there a good time of the year? Where are you based and where are your clients based? Like, for example, we're based in West Palm Beach, Florida, and most of our clients are in the US.
That's helpful to know, because if somebody that's in Singapore wants our help, we're probably not going to be the best fit, so we make sure to explain that. Why do clients need your help? Everything starts with why. How many of you know Simon Sinek start with why leaders eat last? All that good stuff. Everything should start with the mission of why we're doing this in the first place. Why should somebody pay attention to you? How do you position yourself? And when you're trying to decide what to prioritize your most important buyer persona, your primary buyer persona should help to narrow down that focus. And even better, if you can use the same keywords that your buyer persona does, there's a pretty good chance that somebody just like that is going to be doing a search or recommended to connect with you at some point.
And also make sure to give advice on how people should contact you. If you have thought leadership. If you have blogs, if you have white papers, if you have ebooks, webinars videos, podcasts, take the best of take your greatest hits and put them right into your LinkedIn profile. These are things you should be proud of. These are things that educate, that build trust. And the crazy part is you may think that people will come to you and ask you to send these things along. But when it's 02:00 on a Sunday afternoon and someone comes across your profile when they can get access to this information immediately, you'd be shocked at how many times people will stop and take 10, 20, 30 minutes and read through this stuff completely on their own, just because it was there.
Make sure that you're sharing content that adds value. And remember that the CFO cares about very different things than the CIO or CTO. Who cares about different things than the CEO or the compliance officer or the K to twelve Superintendent of schools? Different Buyer Personas Care about Different Things It's really important to pick your battles. There's only so much resources that you can afford to invest in these kinds of initiatives. There's a lot of things competing for people's attention. So at the absolute minimum, there needs to be thought in your LinkedIn social selling and all the content you create for who this is for and why they should care.
We also need to make sure that we have different content for where they are in the Buyer's journey. The buyer's journey is an active research process that somebody goes through in between the time when they first learn about your company and when they sign on the dotted line and become a customer. And every business model has a different way of evaluating what the different deal stages are. But at a high level, there's kind of three buckets that you can group most people's buyers journey into. There's awareness where people are becoming aware that they have a goal or a problem that they want to solve. There's consideration kind of the middle of the funnel where people are starting to look at and compare the different options and there's the decision stage.
That's where they're ready to make a purchase decision and they're ready to look at product specific information. They're ready potentially to schedule a tour, a consultation, schedule, a demo, or something along those lines. The problem is most colocation providers and cloud service providers and hosting companies and MSPs, when they have lead generation content on their website, if they have any at all, it's all focused almost entirely on the decision stage. The problem with that is that's making a very flawed assumption that when strangers land on your website that they are ready to buy today, that's about as accurate as if I went to go look for a new car and the salesperson was convinced that I was going to buy today or didn't care about pissing me off. So I'm 61. I'm actually going to be looking for a car very soon, so I care about headroom. I care about legroom. First time out, I go, I sit in the car and a salesperson approaches me and they feel that because I signed in on the log and I said, my name is Joshua Feinberg, that he feels that he needs to call me Mr.
Feinberg 16 times in the next five minutes because his playbook says that that's going to build rapport and help to advance the sale if he does that. Mr. Feinberg, which car will you be buying or leasing? Dude, back off. First time here, a little bit tall. Just checking out headroom legroom. Maybe if things go right, I might go out for a test drive. Oh, so you're going to be purchasing or leasing today? I'm like, no, you don't get it. First time out, just kind of evaluating things. I'm in the awareness stage, not in the decision stage, and it goes on two or three times and eventually that person Burns their bridges. Conversely, a couple of weeks later, a couple of months later, I go back to the dealership and I'm ready to buy and I walk around and I'm like, Where is everybody? There's nobody here to help me.
I only have 2 hours to do this whole thing and I can't find anyone. That's not a great experience either. So we need to make sure that we personalize our approach to where they are on the journey. If we try to close them too quickly, we offend them and we drive them away. Probably not going to come back. However, if they're ready to purchase and we're nowhere to be found, that's not good either. So we need to contextualize our approach. And because you never really know when somebody lands on your website where they're going to be, we need to make sure that we have content that appeals to people regardless of whether they're early at the awareness stage, whether they're in the middle, they're comparing the different options at the consideration stage, or whether they're actually ready to book the demo, schedule the tour, book the free consult, whatever it is.
So we need to make sure that we're helping and we're adding value. I also want to talk with you about how you can get so far, everything that we've been talking about has been building your brand and building your connections and kind of taking your company along for the ride. There's some specific things that we want to do to help your company, and there's also some specific things that we want to do to extend this across different associations or groups you belong to. So at the top of the list for things that help your company is to make sure that your company has a LinkedIn company page. How many of you have a LinkedIn company page right now that's different from your personal profile? We come across this quite often.
It doesn't sound like this is a big problem with most of you that are here today, but we come across this quite often where people confuse the difference between a personal profile that's just for you versus a company profile that's for your entire company. And even if you're a one person company, you really need to separate between the two because you need to be investing in your own brand and investing in your company's brand at the same time. Linkedin also wants you to do that. They don't want you using a personal profile to talk about your company, and you certainly wouldn't use a company profile to talk about individually. So don't confuse the two companies. Build followers, people build connections. Showcase Pages are an interesting animal. Showcase Pages allow you to take your company page and create a sub page off of it that's specific to a buyer persona or a type of product, or a type of service, or a type of event you're having or a division of your company. However, this is a big however, right now the Showcase Pages are existing, but you can't create new ones.
Linkedin has been going through a lot of changes in the last couple of months as Microsoft grapples with how to best integrate LinkedIn into the rest of Microsoft. And one of the things that they're exploring is where Showcase Pages are going to be going in the future. So I would kind of keep this on your radar screen to check back on it in a couple of weeks and a couple of months to see if it's available. But as of right now, they've kind of closed the door on allowing you to create new Showcase Pages. We anticipate that Microsoft isn't done yet on infusing Microsoft into the rest of LinkedIn, but so far, this is one of the things that we've seen.
How many of you noticed some changes that Microsoft made earlier this year after the acquisition closed? How did those changes make you feel what didn't you like about it? So you counted on the fact that because it's Microsoft, the user interface and user friendliness would be a given, right? Next question was, do you see something coming to replace LinkedIn? Now that Microsoft, I don't think Microsoft is going to destroy it. I think they're going to monetize it better than LinkedIn is. I don't see anything replacing it anytime soon. I think the fact that they were able to take away some of the search features and take them from Free and put them in Navigator and premium shows just how much pricing power they have. The interesting thing when you look at the social media space is Twitter. It's mind boggling that Twitter is still functioning as an independent company. Linkedin couldn't support its executive stock options, so they needed Microsoft's deep pockets to kind of propel them to that next level.
Everyone thinks that Zuckerberg has it all figured out with Facebook and they're all trying to monetize the way Facebook does. But when it comes to the professional network, especially for It companies, it's hard to argue with the reach that LinkedIn has built up. And even LinkedIn has been the product of multiple acquisitions years before they acquired by Microsoft. How many of you use SlideShare? There was a time, four or five years ago when SlideShare was the repository for PowerPoints and was a completely separate company. Linkedin purchased them a couple of years ago, integrated within that. By the way, in case you're not familiar with SlideShare, it's one of the 200 most popular sites on the internet. So if you have a whole bunch of PowerPoint presentations that are sitting around on your hard drive collecting dust, there's a lot of value in just taking them and putting them up on SlideShare and leading somebody back to your website. Another interesting acquisition that LinkedIn had a couple of years ago was Linda.com, the tutorial site training site.
It's not hard to see that that folds into some kind of Microsoft SMB plans or consumer plans or something like that to better train people on how to better utilize their tools. But yeah, showcase pages, unfortunately, are on hold. So what are some of the essentials that need to be on your LinkedIn company page? For starters, how you spell your LinkedIn your company name on your LinkedIn page makes a big difference in how findable you are. It's possible in a small company that you have multiple ways of spelling your company name. Sometimes maybe you're using an acronym, sometimes you're spelling it out, sometimes you're putting the LLC or the ink at the end or the Pvt or something like that. Sometimes you're not. It's really important that LinkedIn what you put into naming your LinkedIn company page is as consistent as you want it to be because that's going to drive a lot of searchability and findability your logo is really important.
All of your company employees should add your company as their employer. On LinkedIn, the header image should reinforce your branding. The Summary in the same way that you put a lot of thought into your personal summary somebody that is responsible for the overall brand of your company. If you're big enough that you have a true CMO, usually that person a Chief Marketing Officer will own that. In a smaller company usually be the head of Sales and Marketing or the CEO that actually owns that. But somebody needs to be responsible for creating a very coherent, consistent description or summary for your LinkedIn company page. And usually that needs to be really consistent with your About US page on your website should answer the who, what, when, where, why and hows. Just as you did with your personal summary, try to include some keywords that are especially relevant for your primary buyer persona. Your secondary buyer persona. By the way, I've used primary a few times on buyer persona. You may have three or four or five different kinds of ideal clients you want to sell to, but at the end of the day, you need to make a decision on which is the most important and which is the second most important, because we're all resource constrained.
And you also have place on a LinkedIn page, just as you do on your LinkedIn profile to link to certain URLs. When you can try to link to a URL that performs a lead generation function for you as early a stage as possible and as general as possible. Because your LinkedIn company page is going to get traffic from people that are very early, very late, very middle, there's a lot to be gained by trying to keep that offer as broad as possible.
Another interesting consideration if you're serious about social selling, is to think about the social icons that are on your website. How many of you currently have social media icons on the home page of your website? How many of you have given a lot of thought as to where those social media icons should lead to? One big tip right off the bat is to think about whether your goal is to attract visitors from social media and get them to your website, or whether you want to be a volunteer ambassador for Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and send your hard earned traffic back to them.
How many of you want to be a free volunteer ambassador for billion dollar social media companies? Once they come to us, we want to keep them on our site. So one of the most simple but most important things is those icons that send people to social media. Make sure they open a new tab, the Href Target new window, so we make sure that we don't completely lose them. But it's also equally important to make sure that your LinkedIn icon goes to where you intended to go to. In most cases, it should be a company page. Sometimes people link to a LinkedIn group that they started, and that can be okay if that group is really strategic for your company. We'll talk about that more in a few minutes. But we also see sometimes that people mistakenly have a LinkedIn icon that goes to a personal profile, which makes their company seem really small.
Like that the CEO is the entire company. Send them to the company page. Anyone here have a LinkedIn group that they own and manage? Any of you active participants in LinkedIn groups? The challenge with LinkedIn groups is there's typically a lot of membership in the larger ones, but there's also usually some bad actors. People that spam the heck out of the group ruin the group for everyone.
It's like doing the business in the pool and it pollutes the pool for everyone else. So we want to make sure that we don't get lumped in with people that are behaving really antisocially on LinkedIn groups. So kind of the first step, once you join and get approved to belong to a group, because now all groups by default require that you be accepted in is to kind of look around and see what people are talking about. Kind of the next step in easing your way into it is to answer other people's questions and perhaps ask your own questions. Over time, you'll gain the ability to share your content, perhaps even share some content that goes behind a landing page. But that should be like step three or four. You need to be able to build some equity up in that group to be seen as helpful, to be seen as an expert before you kind of earn the ability to just talk about yourself.
And there is a big difference with whether that content that you're sharing is ungated, meaning no landing page versus gated behind a landing page. So what are some questions that you can ask to drive conversations? It really depends on the group, and it depends on what they care about in their business models. When you develop buyer personas, One of the interesting byproducts of buyer personas done well is you should end up with consensus on Twitter profiles that they follow, hashtags that they care about, and LinkedIn groups they belong to. So let's say you have a Fortune 500 CEO that you care about and you've identified the groups that he or she belongs to. Well, it becomes a lot easier to know where to focus your efforts. But if, for example, you're participating in a group that's all about colocation providers, you could ask people, what do you look for in an ideal colocation provider? If you're in a group where people are evaluating different kinds of web hosting providers, you can say, like, what are some of the biggest mistakes? What are some of the biggest screw ups that web hosting companies make? If you're doing something cloud related, you could ask people, how do you see the difference? What do you see as the pros and cons of public cloud, private cloud and hybrid.
If you're participating in a group that either has a lot of managed service providers or frequented by small businesses that might need to hire a managed service provider, you could ask, what do you see as the future of MSPs? And again, feel free to take these down as some examples, but brainstorm with looking at actual data you have. Look at your CRM. Look at your email inbox. Look at the questions that you're asked on a regular basis. Those are all fair game to drive conversations on social media and to create content around. There are a lot of third party tools that make it possible to take a piece of your content and hit dozens of groups at the same time.
My advice? At the risk of oversimplifying it, just don't do it. There may be quite a few groups that you could share a piece of content with, but if you use the exact same message at the exact same time, cross posting, it just looks bad. You're so much better off if you take a couple of minutes per group and tailor what that snippet is specifically for that group. You're so much better off if you stagger it. So if there's ten different groups and most of your buyer personas belong to all ten of those groups, don't hit all of those groups the same day. Trickle it out every three days, every five days, every seven days, over a period of a couple of weeks or a couple of months, you hit all of those groups, which argues for something as basic as an Excel spreadsheet.
To keep track of these kinds of things, use the power responsibly so you don't harm your reputation or worse yet, get banned from groups or LinkedIn. Starting and managing a LinkedIn group of your own can be very rewarding. You can do a lot of ad hoc research on what people care about, asking questions all the time. You can get a pulse on your ideal clients their goals, their plans, their challenges, their pain. What's keeping them up at 02:00 in the morning? Obviously, you can build community over time. One of the cool parts by default, when somebody joins your LinkedIn group is most people will end up having a LinkedIn group listed on their LinkedIn profile, so they're essentially advertising for you. And one other little known feature that a lot of people don't realize is when somebody belongs to your group by default, you have the ability to send them a message to their email inbox once a week.
They can opt out of it. Most people don't if it's used responsibly. The downside is, starting a group is the easy part, building up reach of relevant people in that group and keeping it alive and vibrant. That's a labor of love, and it's a big, big job, so it can be a good fit for some of you, but it also takes a lot of resources away from other parts of your company. Next, I want to talk to you briefly about what you can do to use what you learn about your prospects on LinkedIn to help advance your sales cycle.
How many of you when you get a call, when you get a voicemail or an email from somebody that wants to do business with your company, take time to research that person's LinkedIn profile. There is so much that you can gain from taking a few minutes to read their LinkedIn profile to see where they've worked, who you might know in common, common groups that they belong to, and what's going on in their company. Because from their personal profile, you can certainly click through to their company. Their company page for their employer will give you their About US version of what their company is all about. You can look at the posts on their recent company page to see what's going on internally. Maybe there's an initiative, maybe there's a merger, maybe there's an auditor, something that is extremely relevant to your business model. So it's there for utilizing make sure that you use this as part of your research process. Yes, that person, especially if they have a premium membership, will know that you visited, but they know they're going to have a contact with you anyway.
And it actually shows that you care enough to do that research. This is very different than prospecting on LinkedIn. There's a lot of people that will connect with somebody on LinkedIn and immediately send back a very aggressive pitch in the LinkedIn messaging system. That's not helpful. That's more harassing. And it's kind of the equivalent of doing a cold call. And it's a really easy way to burn a lot of goodwill. So make sure that you're using this tool as a research tool as opposed to a spamming tool. If you have somebody that you're meeting with and you don't have all of the information, sometimes you have to narrow it down. You have to narrow it down by where they're located, narrow it down by their company, by their industry.
If from the form that was filled on your website that if you're not gathering enough information, like their IP address or something like that, they can narrow it down by city, you may want to ask a little bit more information on your landing page forms. We could talk for quite a while about what kinds of information to go and be captured on your landing page forms. But at the end of the day, the more valuable your offer is to them, the more you can afford to ask for. In other words, if you're giving away a 300 page ebook that somebody would have to buy for 30 or $50 on Amazon, you can ask a lot more than if you're giving away a one page planning checklist. If you're giving away a half hour consultation that has 100 or $200 or $300 to perceive value. Whatever it is, you can ask for more information than if someone's just downloading a one page template or something like that.
And the value, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Every buyer persona will evaluate your value proposition quite differently. Always make sure when you're connecting with people that you take the time to personalize the invite. We talked about this before so they know exactly why you want to connect with them. Definitely mentioned earlier, but worth repeating. Make sure you calibrate your LinkedIn BS detector if things just aren't adding up. It's not just a research tool, it's a due diligence tool for figuring out if things match up and things actually add up. Another thing I want to call your attention to that can be really helpful for taking early stage leads and advancing them to sales opportunities.
Is using LinkedIn to do nurturing most people when they think of nurturing, just think of an email nurturing sequence. However, the reality is, while LinkedIn doesn't support that per se, there's a certain amount of people that will download an ebook or sign up for your email newsletter or attend a webinar of yours, and over time you'll send them email. But they get a lot of email. In some cases, that email isn't making it through to their inbox ever since Google had the priority inbox a couple of years ago. Even for people that do legitimately want to hear from you, sometimes the messages are inadvertently out.
We go through this battle all the time with clients where they tell the entire story in the body of the email. You're so much better off having a much shorter email that links to your site page, but you could share the same piece of content with somebody in an email nurturing sequence and share it on your LinkedIn stream. And you can look at did they click on any of the messages that were sent to them by email? Or did they click on that exact same content when it was shared on LinkedIn? And many times you're catching people's attention in their LinkedIn stream a lot easier than you will in their email inbox just because it's less cluttered. So what that allows you to do is essentially nurture them by continuing to share content that adds value with them over time. This isn't on a one off basis, this is strictly sharing information that's in their stream.
The challenge is, LinkedIn is Facebook envy and in the same way that Facebook started with Promoted Posts years ago, where most people that are friends or follow your company page don't necessarily get the whole scoop anymore unless you boost that post. Linkedin is very rapidly moving to that model, but it still pays to share content over time to help nurture and educate and build trust. It also gives you valuable lead intelligence when that some person clicks through on your piece of content. Comes back to your website. It writes that to your contact timeline so you can tell what they care about, what captures their attention. It becomes a lot easier to personalize the sales process and helps to accelerate those leads through your buyer's journey. So coming down the home stretch here, I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about what LinkedIn now looks like.
Postmicrosoft. We don't know exactly what it's going to end up looking like. Post Microsoft. Is LinkedIn going to be fully integrated in the next version of Office? Is it going to be part of Dynamic CRM? Is it going to be part of Windows? We don't exactly know. But one of the big things that we've seen so far is it's very clear that because Microsoft is a publicly held company, one of the things they want to do is to try to monetize LinkedIn better. And if they can even get a small percentage of people to upgrade to Premium or Navigator and their mind, it's a win.
Maybe as a hedge, you want to look at the opportunity. As a publicly traded company, LinkedIn had Microsoft, they're going to look at different ways to monetize it. Should you have a Sales Navigator account? We get that question all the time. It's definitely Sales Navigator is not required for social selling, but if you spend more than a few hours a week on LinkedIn, you may find it to be a really good productivity tool.
Despite the cost at $1,000 a year, you kind of have to make a decision. If you got one or two new clients because of that information over the course of the year, would it be worthwhile? And you kind of have to evaluate it through the same lens of, well, if I did $1,000 in Sponsored Posts, if I did $1,000 in Google AdWords, if I did $1,000 event sponsorship, could this give me similar kinds of ROI? You can save leads. You can save accounts. If you sell to clients where there's a lot of different influencers involved and you use account based management, it can really be a lifesaver to find out who is in the company and different insinuities who's relatively new to the company, who's been there a while.
That can be very helpful. It also can be really helpful to get past Gatekeepers if you need to get to a C level executive and you find a lot of influencers are getting in the way on social media allows you to knock down some of those barriers. Assuming that the CEO is actually active on LinkedIn, there's a lot of advanced filters that can be especially helpful. Probably the biggest ones for most people that sell to small and mid sized companies is by company size. If you notice when I asked the question at the beginning, how many of you are for companies that are one to 1011 to 50, 51 to 200? I'm programmed to use those as the default brackets, because so much of what we do internally and what we do with our clients centers around LinkedIn.
But it's just a way to help evaluate in terms of who's a good likely fit, and that should match up well to what you discover in building your buyer personas. Seniority can be really helpful also, but we tend to find really helpful if you're looking to target decision makers, as there's five seniority in LinkedIn that seem to really matter. Cxo Owner Partner Director Vice President and Manager Function Title Postal Code Radius How many of you are selling in a certain geo radius, like from an MSP perspective or Colo perspective, where you're most appealing to people that are 25 50 miles away? This can be really helpful. For that you can search by common groups who's new to their position, who's been there a while.
So the question is, does it pay for you to invest in it? Really? It depends with how important LinkedIn social selling to you, and a lot of the speculation too will depend on how you view Microsoft's future directions with this tool. It's going to change. It's just a matter of how it changes. So one of the most important things with all of this is to cover your bases. So who knows what's going on in Major League Baseball tonight? There's some teams that are playing opening night, right? It's the beginning of the Major League Baseball. So if you look at Major League Baseball season. So if you look at right up the road, that direction, the Dodgers Stadium or that direction. So if the Dodgers had all 25 players available and they're playing the San Diego Padres tonight, and San Diego, for whatever reason only brought two of their 25 players, what's the outcome going to look like of the game going to be pretty ugly if one team has all 25 players and the other team only has two. In the same way that a professional sports team makes sure that it needs to make sure that they cover all the positions on the field, we need to also make sure that we don't bet everything on LinkedIn, that we don't bet everything on social media.
Because social media alone does not create revenue. Social media can be used to attract some strangers. It can be used to nurture some existing relationships. It can be used as a research tool. But social media alone can't take you from stranger to lead, from lead to opportunity, and from opportunity to client. There's a lot of other things that need to come into play. So you want to make sure that your strategy doesn't look like a dysfunctional baseball team.
So one of the most important things is that we think about how we're going to attract the right strangers and turn them into website visitors, how we convert those visitors into leads, how we close leads into clients, and how we delight those clients and customers so they become promoters and help to repeat the cycle. There's a couple of different ways to look at this.
This one goes from left to right, this one goes from top to bottom and it's a line more like a funnel. Again, the whole idea is that we need to go from strangers, which is usually where most people start out with on LinkedIn with social media. But we need to get those strangers to turn into visitors that fall in love with our content and start to fall in love with our company. How we get those visitors to become leads because they look at our content and be like, wow, this stuff is so good.
It's free. I got to see the good stuff and how we get those segment and nurture and advance those leads into opportunities and customers. And again, for anyone that uses as recurring revenue that's based on repeat sales, we have to have a way to be able to continue educating and continuing building trust with those new customers so they learn how to get most value out of our service. So retention is not an issue and they help to bring us more promoters to at the top of our funnel. So again, this is what we looked at before.
The key thing to keep in mind with all of this is LinkedIn is just one piece of the puzzle approach by itself. It's kind of like if you put together a Dr solution that focused strictly on power protection and had no other thought of and to disaster recovery aside from the power protection aspect of it. So we talked about the importance of starting out with the right foundation. We talked about the value of growing your reach and growing these relationships with the right people as being a really valuable asset to help you reach your revenue growth goals. We talked about the importance of getting this involved, not just at a personal level, but at company level. We talked about the importance of groups. We talked about how to use LinkedIn to personalize the sales process, how not only are there different people that we need our content to appeal to, it needs to appeal to where they are in the journey.
If we talk to people on their first visit as if we assume they're ready to buy that day, that's going to push them away. It's going to really annoy and be very off putting. The flip side is if they're ready to buy today and you're nowhere to be found, that's not good either. So we have to have a way to be relevant to where they are on the buyer's journey. We talked briefly about Sales Navigator. We talked about the importance of covering all of your bases. How many of you have installed the mobile app for hosting Con and Data Center World? Please make sure before you leave here today that you go on the app and rate the session. If there's any reason why you're having a hard time giving us the highest possible rating.
Please come talk to me afterwards so I can make sure that I get any remaining questions answered. If you're not connected with me on LinkedIn, this is a great way to keep up with best practices for improving your social selling. Over time, as we saw with Microsoft, things will continue to change. That's the only constant in our industry and we can see that with hosting in cloud and hosting cloud managers, providers and colocation. If you need more one on one help getting on board with social selling, feel free to take a picture of the slide and reach out to me with that. I'm so glad that you're able to attend this workshop today on LinkedIn social selling for colocation providers, hosting web hosting companies, cloud providers and managed service providers again, I'm Joshua Feinberg from Sapome and I hope you have a fantastic hosting Con this week. Yes, and we do have time for a couple of questions.