The Dumbest LinkedIn Mistake I See Over and Over Again

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dumbanddumber

dumbanddumber

When used properly, LinkedIn can be a very powerful tool for generating leads for your company.

Sadly, most people totally F**K this up.

What I’m about to show you has happened to me at least 100 times, and I have ignored the person who reached out to me every single time.

If you are doing what I’m about to show you, PLEASE STOP! People who use LinkedIn this way are ANNOYING the hell out of people and I don’t want you to be one of them.

Here’s the first offender:

linkedin1

Where in this email does it show that this person knows anything about me? Nowhere that I can see.

I do however, see the words “I” and “We” used too many times. And, to make matters even more offensive, this nitwit has attempted to use a scarcity tactic by saying that he can only take 5 calls a week. Seriously?

Here’s the second offender:

linkedin2

This one is slightly less awful than the prior one. I actually read the entire email, mostly because of the subject line; which made me think (until I read the email) that they were looking for my help.

At no point in this person’s email have they asked me anything about myself or what I might be most interested in. Instead, all she has done is include a link to a video that I am supposed to watch. Really? I don’t know who you are and you expect me to take time out of my day to watch your stupid video without knowing why or what’s in it for me.

Yeah…gonna get right on that just as soon as I finished cutting my grass with a pair of scissors.

Here’s the final offender (I’ve saved the best for last):

linkedin3

Clearly this person doesn’t know a bloody thing about me or my business.

Do I need help with cold calling? Holy crap! I’ve written about how cold calling is dead; I’m a content marketer and I don’t make cold calls.

If she’d taken a few minutes to read even the about page of my blog, that would have been painfully obvious.

After her pathetic attempt at an opening paragraph, the usual thing happens. It’s all about them. “We do this…” and “We can help you with that…” etc…

I don’t care what the hell you do! Why should I? Clearly, you don’t care enough about me to take 60 seconds to learn more about me before you pooped in my inbox.

Buzz off!!

Ok, rant over.

The Right Way to Connect with Others (Who Don’t Yet Know You)

Am I trying to say that you should never use LinkedIn to reach out to a stranger?

No. Definitely not.

What I am trying to say is that whenever you reach out to someone who doesn’t yet know you, if you make the first contact all about YOU, that will be the end of any chance you have of developing a relationship with that person.

The right way to connect with a stranger is to make it about THEM.

Wait. Go read that last sentence again.

It’s all about them….UNTIL, they become interested in YOU.

Only then can the conversation be about you and how you can help them.

Now that you get the concept, I want to show you an example of how to make it happen.

Cold Email Example

In this example, I’m going to assume that a stranger is reaching out to me because (ultimately) they want to sell me their stuff; which in this case, is software that will help me automate my content marketing efforts (pretty sneaky that I’m using content marketing software for my example, eh?).

——– start of email from Bob ——–

Subject: I loved your post about how content marketing changes everything!

Hey Trent,

I just finished reading your post title, “How Content Marketing Has Forever Changed How to Attract Clients and How You Can Take Advantage of This Shift” and I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it! In fact, I thought it was so good that I’ve shared it on every social network that I use.

Got any other posts like this one?

Cheers,
Bob

——– end of email from Bob ——–

What do you think is going to happen when I see Bob’s email?

Am I likely to ignore it? Uh…hell no.

Bob has stroked my ego…so naturally, I immediately like Bob!

Not only do I like Bob, but I’m going to reply to him…plus, the next time Bob emails me, I’m going to read it.

When I reply to Bob, I’m likely going to tell him thanks for sharing my stuff, supply him with links to a few other articles, and tell him to keep in touch.

The next move is Bob’s to make.

What Should Bob Do Next?

With just a single email, Bob has proven that he’s not a jerk, and he’s got in my good books.

What Bob hasn’t done is try to sell me anything.

So, if I was Bob, here’ s what I’d do next. When I get Trent’s reply, I’m going to reply to that reply like this….

——– start of email from Bob ——–

Subject: Re: I loved your post about how content marketing changes everything!

Hey Trent,

Thanks for the links you sent me. I really enjoyed both posts….especially the part about…x, y, and z. Awesome stuff.

Now that I’ve spent some time on your blog, I can see that you are super passionate about marketing automation. I can also see that you pump out a LOT of content.

How the heck do you produce so much? Do you have a bunch of people helping you? Do you have some systems or automation that helps you to get so much done?

Cheers,
Bob

——– end of email from Bob ——–

See what Bob is doing? He’s not yet tried to sell me his software. Instead, he (smartly) is asking me questions about my business processes.

Why is he doing that? Well, the first reason is to build rapport with me. The second reason is because he’s probing for pain.

If Bob shows interest in me, I’m going to like him…and how do you treat people you like? Nicely!

Not only that, but when you like someone, you are going to be more honest with them.

Now that I like Bob and he’s showing interest in my business, he’s earning the right to direct the conversation where he wants/needs it to go if he’s to make a sale at some point.

When to Talk About Your Stuff

how-to-talk-about-yourselfSo, when should Bob start talking about how his products might help me?

Not before he’s figured out if I have a problem that his products can solve, that’s when!

Remember Bob’s last email to me? He asked me how I pump out so much content. He might also have asked me if I have clients that I product content for (sidebar: if you need that service, let me know), because if I did, I’d likely need his software even more. (second sidebar: if you produce content for your clients, check out my software).

In my next reply to Bob, I would have told him what he wanted to know. I would have told him that it does indeed take a lot of work to produce this volume of content. I would have told him that I also do it for clients.

Knowing this about me, Bob now has a qualified lead for his software, and in his next reply, he could very easily ask me if I’d like to learn more about how his software might be able to help me out.

Or…even better, if Bob had a case study or article about his software, he’d send me that content first with a little note like:

“Hey Trent, given what we’ve been talking about, I have an article or two that I think you’d like to read. Mind if I send them to you?”

Damn, Bob is smart!

Rather than just send me his links, he’s asked for my permission first! (this is why we call it “permission marketing”)

Obviously, when I reply to Bob, I’m going to say yes…and in doing so, I kind of owe it to Bob to actually ready what he sends me.

Let’s Recap What We’ve Learned

  1. Never send someone a cold email that, more or less, says “Buy my stuff!” Doing so is a dick move. Don’t be a dick.
  2. Always make your first contact all about the other person because doing so will be well received and they will like you for it.
  3. Be sure and share their work and tell them you did so. They will like you even more.
  4. Engage in an actual conversation that is about them first until it’s time for it to be about you.
  5. ONLY make the conversation about you if they need what you sell (and you’ve done enough digging to have a very good idea this is likely the case).
  6. Ask their permission to send them information about your stuff before you send it. That way they are much more likely to pay attention to what you’ve sent them.
  7. After you send them information about your stuff, it is totally acceptable to follow up with them to ask their opinion of what they saw. If they had a good opinion, ask them to take another step.

Voila…B2B selling that feels good.

Why everyone doesn’t do this is beyond me.

What To Do Next

If you sell B2B and are having trouble getting your foot in the door, check out my Best Buyer Formula. It is stuffed full of ideas that I have used for my entire career and I have sold tens of millions of dollars worth of products and services to small businesses – using the exact techniques in course.

If you want to really set yourself apart from your competition, you need to integrate content with your sales efforts. If you need help with content marketing, I’ve written a book about it.

If you’d like to grab both products (bless your heart), I’m going to give you a big “I love you” discount!

To get both products, and the 50% discount, you will need to use this order form. (Note: if you want to read the sales pages first, use the links above, but place your order via this link.)

PLEASE NOTE: You must use the following promo code: DMH3BBF.

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The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations with Nancy Duarte

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Did you watch Steve Job’s 2007 iPhone launch presentation? It was the stuff of legend.

Sadly, when it comes to creating presentations, most people totally suck. They mash together a deck of slides full of bullet points and proceed to bore their audience to tears.

This is not the winning approach and if this sounds even remotely close to what you have done in the past, this interview is not to be missed…unless of course, you don’t mind giving lousy presentations.

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by one of the leading presentation experts of our time, Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, a 110-employee firm that creates presentations for some of the world’s leading brands.

When you listen to this episode, you are going to hear Nancy share with me:

  • her most significant insights on how to create effective presentations that sell
  • how to incorporate a story into your presentation (and why you will fail if you don’t)
  • the #1 mistake that most people make when creating and delivering a presentation
  • an analysis of Steve Job’s 2007 iPhone launch presentation and why it worked so well
  • how to lay the groundwork for your next presentation
  • how to brainstorm and organize your ideas
  • how to ensure that you deliver a presentation that your audience will never forget
  • why having a STAR moment is so important

And so much more…Great content marketing is made so much better by great content delivery. Learn from an expert how to make your delivery stellar.

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Nancy Duarte

nancy-duarte-2Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, LA Times and on CNN. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., is the global leader behind some of the most influential visual messages in business and culture and has created more than a quarter of a million presentations. As a persuasion specialist, she cracked the code for effectively incorporating story patterns into business communications. Resonate, her second book, spent nearly a year on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list.

Duarte, Inc. is the largest design firm in Silicon Valley, the 5th largest woman-owned employer, and made the 2012 Silicon Valley’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies list. Nancy has won several prestigious awards for communications and entrepreneurship and was recently honored in Watermark’s “Women Who Have Made Their Mark 2011” ceremony. She has been a speaker at a number of Fortune 500 companies and counts many more among her firm’s clientele. She also speaks at business schools and teaches classes at Stanford University several times a year.

Nancy has 20 years of experience working with global companies and thought leaders, and she has influenced how the world perceives some of the most important brands and entities, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, TED, Twitter, and the World Bank. She is the author of two award-winning books. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences identifies the hidden story structures inherent in great communication, and it spent more than 300 days on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations teaches readers to think visually and has been translated into eight languages. Her third book, released in the fall of 2012, is titled HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, which gives readers the tools and confidence they need to master public speaking.

Nancy has three grown children who walk in their destiny and a husband who has loved her for over 30 years. She has two grand-dogs, Bear and Necessity, and a grand-frog named Hubert.

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How to Become a (Very Prosperous) Strategic Storyteller with Bill Baker

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BillBaker

Do you run a service business whose brand is brought to life through interaction with people?

Would you like to be able to communicate your company’s story via content marketing in a way that significantly enhances the experience of both your customers and your employees and differentiates you in a competitive marketplace – ultimately leading to a more prosperous business with happier employees?

If you’ve answered yes, then this interview is one that you need to hear – because if you skip this one, you just might miss out on one heck of a golden nugget at the 3/4 mark!

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Bill Baker, founder of BB&Co – a strategic storytelling consulting firm. What is strategic storytelling, you ask?

Strategic Storytelling offers an inclusive, bottom-up approach to branding, taking into account a wide array of perspectives (executives, employees, customers, stakeholders, relevant thought leaders) and vantage points (past, present, future). It builds narrative around your brand, clarifying what distinguishes it, what drives it ideologically, how it comes to life experientially and the roles it plays in people’s lives. Ultimately, it reaches further than a tagline or mission statement could ever do on its own, making real something that is often intangible for people, helping them fully grasp the essence of your brand and how it comes to life at every level.

When you listen to the conversation that I have with Bill, you are going to learn:

  • why storytelling has become so incredibly popular
  • how strategic storytelling differs from regular storytelling, and how knowing the difference can significantly impact your results
  • the process (called Storyfinding) that Bill uses to help his client to uncover their unique story
  • how he used strategic storytelling to help his client positively impact their brand
  • how leaders can use storytelling to strengthen the effectiveness of their communications
  • how I plan to use what I learned in this interview to improve an upcoming talk that I’m giving

Admittedly, strategic storytelling is somewhat of a murky topic that will be a bit “touchy feely” for some. Those that know me well already know that with every interview that I record, I have the goal is delivering a concrete and actionable “golden nugget”, and, after a bit of a slow start (my fault), this interview really delivers, so make sure you carve out the time to listen to it during your next commute.

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Listen Now

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Bill Baker

BillBakerBill Baker – the founder and principal of BB&Co – works with various companies and organizations all over the world to help them in their leadership development and training efforts. More specifically, Bill coaches managers and executives to help them understand how storytelling can enable them to be better communicators and, in the process, better leaders.

Whether a one-time event or an on-going part of a professional development program, Bill’s seminars and workshops can be custom-tailored to meet any organization’s needs. To find out more about storytelling could fit into your professional development programs, contact Bill directly at bill@billbakerandco.com.

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Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Start an Online Business an Interview with Bryan Allain

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bryanallain

Have you ever thought about how to start an online business, but find that you are held back for one reason or another?

Do you have a family to support and wonder how to make the transition with the least amount of risk?

Would you like to hear how a guy who worked as a chemical engineer for 14 years successfully made the switch?

In this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast, I’m joined by Bryan Allain, long time blogger, husband, father of two and founder of Killer Tribes.

In this interview, you are going to hear Bryan and I discuss:

  • the financial plan that he and his wife came up with to minimize the risk of the transition
  • how they built planks on their transition bridge before finally taking the leap
  • how’s he’s building a loyal following of bloggers who buy coaching and consulting from him
  • how he has sold over 4,000 copies of his first book on Amazon
  • how he launched a live conference in Nashville (not his home town) in his first year and actually turned a profit doing it
  • the breakdown of the cost to host his conference, as well as the revenue he generated
  • how he recruited speakers to come present, either for free, or for a fraction of their usual fee
  • how content marketing should play a role in your business
  • how to find ideas to write about
  • how to easily create thoughtful and informative posts that people will love to read
  • and so much more….

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

Watch The Interview Now

Download and Listen Later

Enjoyed this Interview? Here’s How To Leave us a Positive Review on iTunes!

If you enjoyed this episode, click here for more information on How to Leave Us a Positive Review on iTunes! Your review will help to spread the word and get more entrepreneurs like you interested in our podcast. Thanks in advance - we appreciate you!

About Bryan Allain

How to Start a Online Business with Bryan AllainBryan Allain is a 36-year old former Chemical Engineer who now makes a living helping other people find their fans, extend their reach and build their killer tribes.

He launched Killer Tribes in 2010 because he loves helping people find their voice, share about their passions, connect with others and grow their brand. There are so many folks out there with a valuable message to share who aren’t sure how to get that message to more people.

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BI 027: How to Turn Your Blog into a $250,000 Business with Marcus Sheridan

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Originally, the ‘pool guy’ behind River Pools and Spas, Marcus has become well known for both his success as a inbound marketer (his pool company is a lead generation machine) as well as the guy behind the popular blog, The Sales Lion. Here’s a short summary of his achievements:

  • Published 3 self-help books in 2001, 2003, and 2006
  • Started my swimming pool company, River Pools and Spas in 2001
  • Pool company grew to be one of the largest of its kind in the world (due to inbound marketing efforts and our incredibly popular swimming pool blog)
  • Because of huge success teaching other pool professionals how to embrace inbound marketing, has become a very successful HubSpot Partner, training inbound marketers  and companies everywhere how to find success.
  • With an incredibly entertaining and educational style, Sheridan has become a highly sought after speaker for many marketing and business conferences globally.

Listen to the Audio

Our Chat Today

  • why content marketing is such a big deal and how you are nuts if you don’t have a strategy in place
  • how to turn your blog into the wikiepedia of your niche
  • why understanding the content saturation index for your niche is so important
  • how he built relationships with the key players in his niche
  • how he transformed his blog into a money making machine that now earns over $250K a year
  • how a 20 minute speech changed everything (and how he got the opportunity to speak at this event)
  • what he did in his speech to blow the roof off
  • what kind of clients he’s attracting
  • what his sales cycle looks like
  • how much they pay him
  • how to build the speaking business into your business and the 3 different ways you can do it
  • and so much more….

Thanks for Listening!

To share your thoughts:

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  • Leave a review on iTunes. It's your best way to say thank you to our team.
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Welcome to the Bright Ideas Community of Entrenpreneurs