There are three critical concepts to marketing: right message, right person, and right time. Most people remember the first and the last, but many people fail to market to the right person. No matter how great your message is, your strategy won’t be effective if you’re directing it at the wrong person.
In this episode, Stefan Lubinski joins Trent as a co-host to talk about B2B lead generation. They explore how to identify and target the right customers for your company. You’ll learn various tips to avoid common mistakes in marketing, the best ways to talk to new potential clients, and how to increase your response rate.
Tune in to this episode to learn more about B2B lead generation to have a more successful outbound prospecting.
Click here to read transcript
[02:20] Alright, please join me in welcoming my co-host, Stefan, to the show. On the show with me today is my good buddy, Stefan Lubinski, as my second ever co-host. I think we’re probably going to be doing a lot more of these because I’m really interested in testing out this new format of the show. And so folks, if you’re a regular listener, and you’re accustomed to my traditional interview, where I asked a lot of questions, and the guest gives a lot of answers, I would very much like to have your feedback on this particular format. That said, for those of you, Stefan, people in my audience may not know who you are. Let’s start with a little bit of an introduction to you and your experience in life and so forth.
- It’s a pretty good bet. Thank you, Trent. I would say for the last 15 years or so I have either worked for startups or agencies focused on social or media tech. So I was the founding Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the first ever social television network, which was YouTube TV. Mark Burnett was an investor. So that was kind of one of the high flying and then fast crashing startups that I’ve worked for, after $140 million in that particular project not to have to find it at lift.
Any rate, and then after that, I started consulting to startups and agencies. And then I had one of those midlife crisis type of events that we won’t go into. But ultimately, it was really one of those soul searching times to make a move for the next chapter. And I stopped really working with companies and agencies, for the most part. I still do have a little bit of work with really small, fast startup founders. But for the most part, I work with individuals. So I guess it’s a little bit more of coach-consulting now, for people that are solopreneurs, consultants, coaches, etc, one-man bands that are trying to figure out how to keep the pipeline full so they can do what they want to do.
[04:26] Alright, thank you for that. So folks, in case you’re wondering what Stefan and I are going to talk about today, it is lead generation. B2B lead generation. How do you get people to put time on your calendar so that you can talk to them about your stuff? So let’s break this down. Here’s the subtopics, as it were, of what we’re going to cover in today’s discussion: understanding your ICP or your ideal customer profile, we’re going to talk about why that’s incredibly important, how to do that, common mistakes and so forth. Then we’re going to talk about how from an, with respect to outbound particularly, how to build a really, really focused list of I call them suspects, the people who you think could be really good customers. Once you talk to them, then they become a prospect. Then after that, we’re going to talk about how to leverage personalization at scale, so that you can dramatically increase your conversion rate, because obviously, the higher the conversion rate, the better your results.
And we’re going to talk about some very interesting, and I’ll call them growth hacking techniques that I’ve used, to very quickly test your messaging, because messaging is going to be a really important part of any marketing. Obviously, if you say the wrong things, nobody pays attention. And we’re gonna talk about how to automate and scale up whatever it is that you’re doing. And then we’ll round out today’s discussion by talking about some of my favorite tools to help you make this easier, less labor, more delegation, and so forth.
- Is today’s podcast eight hours?
[06:13] Yeah, obviously, we may not have time to do all those things, and if we don’t cover them all in this, we’ll cover them in another episode. So that’s a very good point. Obviously, there’s only so deep we can go in each of those. But hopefully, by the time you’re done listening to this, you will have a much better idea of how to make your outbound prospecting more successful than it is today. Alright, so let’s talk about ideal customer profile. Some people will also refer to this as a buyer persona. Stefan, why do you got it? Why is this such a big deal? Why you got to have one of these things?
- So you know, when it comes to marketing, right, I like to say that you’re trying to get the right message in front of the right person at the right time. That’s kind of the three legs of the stool. So what we’re talking about in this component is the right person. Obviously, if you’ve crafted masterful messaging, and you’ve built out however it is, whether you’re using a funnel, or just a drip email campaign, or however it is you intend, whether it’s 360, omnicom, whatever. If you’re directing all of that to the wrong person, then obviously you’re not going to go anywhere, that stool is not going to stand up, right, all three legs have to be there.
[07:24] The biggest mistake that I see here, and I’ll, I used to own an agency and I interviewed when I ran my agency right here on this show, I interviewed a lot of other agency founders. And in my coaching program, I remember seeing the same problem. People are, they try to be everything to everyone because there’s a fear. They fear that if they say I am, for example, with Flowster, we’re about to tighten up our homepage, even more something to the effect of growth hacking playbooks for SaaS founders. So when a SaaS founder is there, he’s like, ‘Hey, man, this is for me’.
But here’s the thing, much like a marketing agency that does pay per click advertising, and does you know, SEO and does all the things that an agency does, you could do that for anybody. And you could probably get reasonably good results for anybody much like Flowster. Most anybody in any industry really could use Flowster, it’s process management software. So it’s not, it’s kind of industry agnostic. So you have this product or a service that appeals to a wide market. And that creates a real problem from a marketing perspective. Because what happens if you try to boil the ocean?
- Well, first of all, if you have enough money, then it’s not a problem, because you’re going to segment that marketing to all those audiences. So the fact that there’s no problem there, there’s no problem. It’s great. And frankly, I think as far as Flowster is concerned, you, you may be tightening that landing page up to speak to SaaS founders, because you are one, and that might be the highest and best use for where your product is today.
But you know, that I already recommend fluster to my clients who are solopreneurs, and consultants, and so on and so forth. So what I would say is, you got to pick your lane of whatever you’re considering either the most valuable highest, or rather lowest-hanging fruit, highest longtime lifetime customer value, maybe shortest acquisition time, there’s a lot of factors that go into deciding what that first audience is going to be. Unless your product really only is for one audience, right?
[09:36] Yeah, then it makes it a lot easier. For the folks that have a product or a service with wide appeal. Think of a metaphor like a bowling pin, or a stack of bowling pins. If you try and knock them all down, it’s pretty hard to get a strike on your first bowl. But if you just want to knock one pin down, it’s a whole lot easier. So I really, the first mistake that I see so many people making is they’re trying to knock all the pins down at once. So my advice for you is, you might want to say, Okay, I’m going to get on eventually, I’m going to get all 10 of the pins. But you need to get the first pin. First, you need to get traction with your first cohort first. So how do you do that?
Well, the first thing is it comes down to making sure that you understand, you deeply understand, what that particular cohort, what their biggest needs, wants, and desires are, what their alternatives are, what their fears are. And there’s one really real, I mean, you can run surveys and you can do things and that will give you some insights. But by far, the very best way to learn that is to talk to as many of these folks as possible, and that’s where outbound can play an absolutely critical role, because it gives you the opportunity to have those one on one discussions. And when you have those discussions, I strongly encourage that you be very analytical about it, in that, that you record each and every discussion that you have, that you then transcribe all of those recordings, so that you can search through the aggregate transcriptions that you have to look for patterns of keywords.
So let me give an example of this. In the beginning of 2020, I decided I would launch a coaching program to complement one of my product offerings, which was a collection of standard operating procedures for Amazon resellers. And so I did exactly what I have just described. And the phrase that came up to be the most popular phrase was ‘get more leads’. So after I’ve talked to enough people and analyzed all these transcripts, I knew that the language that they used to describe their number one problem was three words, ‘get more leads’. So when I developed the landing page, for the signup of my coaching program, what three words do you think I put on that page? ‘Get more leads’. And people signed up in droves in the first six weeks, we sold $60,000 worth of the coaching program. So I guess takeaway, and I’m looking at time already to make sure that we try and keep ourselves on schedule.
- I mean, listen, to be candid, you can do a whole episode on ICP, and that could be valuable. One of the things that I think actually would be useful for people listening, this is one of the things that we’re going to keep touching on. I think the reason that, you know, I’m a big fan of Flowster in playbooks is because instead of learning something, you’re doing something. So instead of when you’re done at a playbook, you haven’t learned about whatever the process is, you’ve completed the process.
So for people listening to what you’ve just said, You gave a strategy that was, if you really want to understand who your ideal partner is, you should speak to them, your market, and you should learn from them. And then you should transcribe it. And you should look for these trends and these phrases. So my question to you is, for people listening, Is they’re saying to themselves, how do I do that? Meaning, what is the email, say, I’m reaching out to whom? My potential customer, and I’m going to say, ‘Hey, I would love to chat with you. I don’t want to sell anything to you’. This is purely an investigate. So talk to me a little bit about what words you use to convince people that don’t know these people, and why they’re going to give them time to give them this important feedback?
[13:33] So that’s something I guess we’ll we’ll do this a little bit out of order, because that was our test messaging section. But we can talk about that now just fine. So you need to figure out how to get the attention of people that don’t know who you are, so that you can have a conversation with them. And there’s, there’s a lot of different ways to do this. But I’m going to talk about two that I have personally used with high levels of success. So let’s talk about the manual way first, because everybody can do this very easily. You don’t got to sign up for any tools, nothing. So if I identify somebody, like the other day, I’m producing a series of blog posts that I want feedback from influencers in my space. I want them to ideally come and leave a comment on my post, or Tweet the post out or what have you do, to help amplify and gain social proof.
These people, so Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp. never talked to him, never had them on my show. Didn’t know me from Adam. He was one of the people who I got in touch with, and here’s now rather than just send him a cold email, ‘Hey, man, can you do me this favor,’ because that’s gonna go nowhere. What I did was I made him look good first. So I commented on some of his tweets. I retweeted some of his tweets. I mentioned I shared some of his material on LinkedIn. I went to a blog post, I left a long and flattering comment. And I did this over a period of a couple of days. Now it’s only a few minutes per interaction. So with this, we’re not talking hours and hours and hours of time. So by the time my email with my little ask, gets to him, he already knows who I am. He’s seen my name somewhere. And I use the same profile picture of me and that stupid Christmas suit with the goofy hat on on all my social media profiles.
Now, why do I choose that picture? Because it sticks in people’s minds. How many guys are wearing a Christmas suit on their social media profile? Right. So by the time that my email got to him, he replied, and I basically was like, ‘Hey, man, I’m coming up with this great post, I think you’d, given what you write about and what you talk about, I think he would really enjoy it. Is there any chance that you would like to have a look?’ And he replied, he’s like, ‘Yeah, absolutely send me a link’. So that by sharing other people’s stuff, go ahead.
- Take a beat for a second there. Because I will tell you that for people listening, I want you to write down, that’s the first most important tip mentioned on this podcast so far. And I used to call this strategy blowing digital sunshine. And it is how you avoid cold calls and turn them into lukewarm calls or lukewarm outreach. So from cold, reach out, from cold to lukewarm. And so I just want to re-encapsulate for people that this is a moment where you stop what you’re doing. And you either write something down or you use Braintoss like I do.
And remember that if you want to greatly, drastically increase your response rates from each target people that you would like to connect with in any capacity, whether it’s to ask them questions or comments on your blog post, or whatever it may be. This process of what I call blowing digital sunshine, which, where you are liking and commenting and not asking anything. You’re just saying, ‘Hey, what a great job this post is. And I like that everybody goes into their notifications, everybody, and they will see your name in LinkedIn, they’ll see your name on Twitter, they’re gonna see your name on Instagram. And then when an email comes in with your name, they may not say to themselves, I know that person. But there’s some part of their brain that recognizes the name and greatly increases the chance that they will open. read and reply.
[17:16] Absolutely. So if you identify 10, 20, 30 people in your niche that you wouldn’t, that would it be very important for you to understand the words that they use to describe their problem, there is a manual way that you can do it. Now, if you are a fan of, if you don’t like doing things manually, and you’re a fan of trying a more automated approach, here’s another method for you. So you can use, there’s a variety of LinkedIn automation tools in the market, the one that I happen to quite like is expandi.io. And I like it because it’s cloud based. And it’s not a Chrome extension, which means that it runs whether your browser is open or not whether your computer’s on or not. And you can throttle the pace at which it mimics human behavior. Because in case you aren’t aware, LinkedIn Terms of Service strictly forbids that you use any form of automation tool at all. If you get caught, if the algorithm catches you, they will restrict your LinkedIn account, which is to say you’ll be locked out of your account for a period of time. So, and you can even do this manually, too, if you wanted to. You could have a VPN, if you don’t want to do you have a VA do this on your behalf, so you don’t even have to go sign up for that software to do this.
Essentially, what you’re looking for is what connect message gets me the greatest response rate. For example, I’ve had campaigns where my connection rate in other words, the percentage of the people that I extend a connection request to where my connection recorded rate was 10%. Not very good. I’ve also had campaigns where my connection rate was 60%. Much, much, much better. So the takeaway from that is, the words that you’re using in your connect rate are going to inform you as to what it is that these people want to hear. Now, in my case, I do want to disclose, it was a relevancy thing. I knew that the higher connection rate was achieved, because I knew that these people had commented on a very popular post on LinkedIn, or they had attended a particular LinkedIn event. And again, super easy to manually do this, have a VA do this. Because then I was able to say, hey, Stefan, I noticed that you also commented on the so and so post. Clearly we have grown the love of growth in common, we should totally connect.
And it was really easy to get six out of ten people, six and a half out of 10 people said yes, and then you know, then same thing like we were doing, just talking about. After they accept your connection request, if you want, you can, you know, write them a personalized message, or you can share some of their stuff, or you can blow some digital sunshine or whatever the phrase was that you used, so that you can get a conversation with these people. And then all at once, once you get their attention, all you’re really saying is, hey, look, I respect you and what you’re doing, you’re very clearly an authority in the space or your expertise, you’re an expert in the space, or you have a lot of experience in the space, I’m looking for some advice and some feedback on something that I’m working on, I would love it if you know, you could have a look at a post that I’ve written.
Or maybe we could schedule, I could buy you a virtual coffee, and I could ask you some questions or whatever it is that you would like to do once you have gotten their attention and build some rapport, the likelihood that they’re going to say yes, goes up exponentially. And then you can get that valuable data that you need to really dial in on your ICP.
- And by the way, so again, just to kind of recap for those taking notes here. And I hope you’re because the whole purpose of listening to this podcast is to move your business and your life forward. So you know, the message here is, figure out a way whether it’s your assistant or yourself, is turning something cold into lukewarm. Reach out to these people that are experts and influencers in your space, get the feedback, because here’s where we’re, here’s where we’re headed. And this was about the landing page, get that feedback, transcribe it, look for the words they are using circle that part three times, search for the words that they are using, because that is why Trent put those words on the landing page, when the market at large that he’s talking to that these audience members represent as the ideal customer profile are giving him the words that they’re using the challenges that they’re having, when they go to that landing page, and he’s using their own words back at them.
And they get there and say, Oh, this guy speaks my language. He knows what my problem is, do my challenges are so, that was the entire process encapsulated for at least one of the strategies for figuring out your ICP is. Another one, by the way. It’s talking to your existing customers. Because a lot of times we have customers who have bought from us, and we don’t necessarily know why, or what engage them or why they’re our customer. And so that is easy, low hanging fruit is reaching out to people that you’re doing business with, and seeing if you can suss out some of those trends that Trent was mentioning.
[22:30] So, Stefan, before we move on to building a focus list, is there anything else that you’d like to add to this?
- No, just how this is the fundamentals. In fact, I’ll tell you sometimes I find that the CEOs and founders and solopreneurs, whatever it is you are, they’re focused sometimes on advanced or nuanced, or they’re looking for really complex challenges to solve for their business. When in reality, go back and look at the fundamentals. A lot of us do not go back and look at our fundamentals. And the fundamentals of these three schools are right message at the right time to the right person. Today, we’re talking about the right person component in developing your ICP, your avatar, your ideal customer profile. So if you don’t have that right, then the other two legs of the stool don’t matter. So you really do want to make sure, am I speaking to the right audience, is this in fact, my ideal customer? Why are they my ideal customer? What data is backing up that they are your ideal customer? Don’t let it just be your opinion. Let data tell you and conversations tell you who that is. And then you can move on to the other two legs of the stool.
[23:35] Let me close off with a quick metaphor that really underscores this point. What profession in the world closes the deal. 100% of the time, waiters, servers, they come to your table, and they say, what would you like to have tonight? And you’d say, I’d like to have the steak. Oh, so it’s the chicken for you then? And that’s what a lot of marketers do. They don’t listen. If you, if they say I want the steak, give them the steak. Don’t try and sell them the chicken. All right. So now let’s talk about how to build a focused list. So this is going to be a little bit more tactical. Stefan, I’ll give you the opportunity to kick this off, if you would like and if you don’t have a specific tactic you want to share, kick it back to me, and I’ll share some stuff.
- No, I mean, I think frankly, what I’m more interested in is some of the tools that you use at scale. I think a lot of times list building and focus list building for the clients that I’m working with, are not necessarily as much at scale, whether we’re talking about lead magnets when we’re talking about an ad funnel, a Facebook funnel, but ideally my clients are do Am I speaking to the right audience? If I am speaking to that right audience, how am I getting to opt in so that I can continue the conversation with them so that I can start to build that know and trust continuum, but what I’m interested in is how you are finding the ability to do that at scale.
[25:05] So much like our earlier topic, we could probably do an entire episode on this. But let me just share with you some of the things that I have done personally and had success with personally. So there are a number there’s, there’s, I guess there’s two ways. I mean, there’s many ways, but there’s two ways that come to mind to build a list. Number one is you go to a database of some kind, and I’ll give some specifics on that in a moment. And you input filters to say, give me a list of all the people that match these filters. So let’s dive into that one. And then the second way is some scraping techniques. So don’t let me forget to come back to the scraping techniques, because the relevancy factor is really important, and you can be much more relevant with scraping.
- We start with database that everybody might be the most familiar with, which is something that they’re going on every day, which is LinkedIn. It’s that link, right. LinkedIn navigator?
[26:00] Absolutely. So you’ve got your basic plan on LinkedIn, which has very limited search criteria, then you’ve got LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which has much more comprehensive search criteria. You can always, there’s another tool that I’m kind of a fan of called Apollo, apollo.io. It’s a database of 220 million or so people, probably some, I don’t even know how many people are on LinkedIn. But Apollo is predominantly the US. And the search, there are search filters available on Apollo, that, at least for the business that I’m in, that were really relevant, but weren’t available on LinkedIn Sales Navigator, for example. If I wanted a list of companies that had recently closed rounds of funding a series A or a series B, or what have you, to the best of my knowledge, you cannot get that information on LinkedIn. And there are probably a number of other sources that you can get that but I know in Apollo, that was one of the search filters that you could do.
So for example, if you were on I’ll use Flowster as an example. You know, when a company gets funded, when they close a seed round, they’re going to be hiring like crazy, which means they probably don’t have much in the way of process. So for us to engage them in a conversation in and around that time, would be, not the worst thing in the world. Some people a lot, I think a lot of people actually do a similar strategy on LinkedIn, where they’re looking for a list where there’s been a change in the CMO, or there’s been a change in some role in the organization. And then obviously, that gives you very good timing for your outreach. So between those two tools, if you’re just wanting to build a list by doing a filtering process, that can be very effective.
But what I found to be significantly more effective is scraping because of the thing that I talked about earlier called relevance. So by scraping, you can use Expandi or PhantomBuster allow you to scrape and there’s probably lots of other tools, I just don’t know them off the top of my head. So scraping is a list of ‘Hey, give me a list of everybody that’s in this Facebook group, or give me a list of everybody that attended or registered to attend this LinkedIn event or give me a list of everyone that liked or commented on Gary V’s recent post,’ because it had all these views and all these comments.
The reason that I’m such a fan of that is relevancy in my messaging, I’m able to say, hey, Stefan, I noticed that you and I both registered for this workshop on you know, whatever. So very clearly, you and I are both interested in whatever. Why don’t we connect some time and let’s share some ideas or collaborate or what have you. So for my purposes, that’s definitely my preference, is to go with the scraping technique. And as I mentioned, the tools will expand he allows you to scrape from LinkedIn events, LinkedIn groups, popular LinkedIn posts, can’t remember off the top of my head if they allow you to scrape the members of a Facebook group, but I know that PhantomBuster does do that, allow you to pull all the members that have a Facebook group.
And there’s other methods—
- Does Expandio just do scraping or does it also do outreach automation?
[29:33] Outreach automation, So you can basically have an autoLinkedIn tool.
- Auto LinkedIn tool.
[29:37] It is absolutely absolutely as a matter of fact, one of our playbooks the LinkedIn prospecting on autopilot playbook and you can get, you can sign up to get early access. If you go to flowster.app/lpap LinkedIn prospecting automation playbook. That whole playbook is actually built around expanding and one other tool that allows you to do highly personalized messaging personalized images at scale.
Okay, so what a great segue to our third topic of leveraging personalized.
- Before I let you not promote as well as you could, what playbooks are and how Flowster is I’ll just ask you the question. So somebody’s listening, they’re like, Wait, hold on, you’re saying, I like this idea of leveraging LinkedIn to either get more information and be able to dial in my ideal customer profile, or start prospecting and having conversations or invite them to a podcast, whatever it may be, you have a playbook. For those of you who are maybe not knowing what that is a detailed list of exactly what to do. It’s not a course, it’s not videos on demand. It is literally a checklist of exactly what you need to do, what tools to use, what buttons to push, exactly what to do to step by step by step. And so how does somebody get access to it? I mean, beyond going to this page, how does it work with Flowster?
[31:03] So Flowster is kind of like Netflix, you know, with Netflix, you get your monthly fee. And then you can watch all the movies and all the TV shows and as many times as you want, and off you go. Flowster’s pretty much the same model, we internally, we like to call ourselves the Netflix of standard operating systems. So you come to Flowster, And you can either start by picking, like we have landing pages for our specific playbooks. So you can say, well, you know, I want this LinkedIn prospecting on autopilot playbook. And so it will guide you through the process of signing up for Flowster, to get that playbook and you pay your Flowster monthly fee, and you get that playbook. But guess what, you also get access to all the other playbooks just because you entered via the landing page for the LinkedIn playbook doesn’t mean that you only get the LinkedIn playbook. It’s just the way that we caught your attention. You can also go to the homepage or—
- —with that playbook, you could start getting success with that. And then you could basically go and take a look at the rest of the library of playbooks that you have which is growing every month, and they can start executing on those and there’s no additional charge.
[32:08] Correct. We have hundreds of templates in our template library. And all the difference by the way between the playbook and a template is a template is one checklist. A playbook is just a bunch of related checklists packaged together. So as soon as you sign up for Flowster, you have the ability to go into the template library or the playbook library and say like, hey, what other stuff do they have here, because I have other problems that I want to solve in my business. You know, I need to deal with abandoned shark shopping cart recovery, or I need to run ad campaigns or I need to work with virtual assistants or I mean, there’s no end of problems that we all have in our business.
And like you said, we have an increasing library of these templates, we’re continually adding new ones. And as I continued to focus on growing my SaaS, as you might imagine, I have lots of problems and marketing challenges to solve. And every time I do that, I develop more playbooks. And every playbook that I build for me to grow my company, I also publish in the template library so some but some other SaaS founder can come along and go Hey, man, that was working really great for Trent. Wouldn’t it be awesome if I had a copy of that? Well, you can have a copy of that all you need to do is just come and sign up for Flowster.
- Yeah, I’ll tell you what Trent, I know for a fact that business model is so unique. And that’s why I wanted to kind of take a beat and make sure people understood because there’s nothing like it out there. There’s lots of software that you can use for project management and workflow management and task management, all of that stuff. But that’s not what this is about. This is a home of playbooks templates, checklists, so that you can just get it done.
And the great thing is you don’t necessarily have to do it yourself. You can have somebody on your team do it, you can have an assistant do it. You have a virtual assistant do it. And I know you haven’t launched this yet. But I’ll just throw the teaser out there that for those of you that are intimidated about finding a VA and working with a VA and having them work on checklists, I know that Flowster is soon going to be offering a concierge service for that, which means that they can do that for you and get your VA trained up and off and running for you. So anyway.
[34:12] True. Thank you for teeing me up for that. I want to kind of put a bow on that by saying just this one thing. There are, you know, people are very familiar with online learning. And there’s been millions, if not billions of dollars worth of courses that are sold on how to do X.
Here’s my big pet peeve with the whole course model, in that if you, if I buy your course on how to do X, and you deliver your course in the traditional delivery method of videos, maybe with some static documents, like some PDFs or a slide deck or whatever, you’ve actually placed a huge burden on me. And there’s a couple of burdens. Number one is retention. How do I remember at all? The only choice that I have is to rewatch the videos over and over and over again, and then make my own notes. I don’t like doing that. Implementation. Another burden. Again, if you haven’t given me a process, if you’ve just given me a video, how do I turn the video into a process if I can’t remember every step of the video. Again, you’re forcing me to invest additional time to hit play, pause, play, pause, play pause, as I’m making my notes on what I need to do in your 10, 20, 30 minute video. That’s number two.
And then the third one is delegation. Every founder on planet earth knows that the only way to grow your organization is to build a team and to delegate work to them. And again, if I’m acquiring knowledge, that’s difficult to retain and difficult to implement. It’s also really difficult to delegate. Because I don’t have a checklist or a process you didn’t give me one. So then the only thing that I can do is say to my subordinate, hey, go watch the video and have the same two problems that I just had of retention and implementation. The reason that we created Flowster is because I loath that stuff so much for my own learning that I thought, “No, I’m just going to build a tool to solve this problem.”
The beauty of Flowster is all three of those problems go away. You don’t have to worry about retention, because you’ve got a checklist and it says do this, do this, do this with highly detailed instructions. For every single step. Implementation becomes very easy, you could just literally start following the checklist. That’s it. It’s the doing platform, as you said earlier, and then of course, delegation, five, decide that, you know, hey, I’ve got this new process that I got from Flowster’s template library, but I didn’t want to do it. No problem, you don’t have to do it first yourself, just simply add one of your people on your team to the fullest or app and click the little button that says, assign this, this task to so and so and make it due in three days, and you’re done.
- I think that’s pretty powerful. I don’t know if that seems like a good place to possibly I think, frankly, we might end up we talked about ICP, all the way through, into then kind of building a list. maybe you’ve got a little bit more that you want to talk about on that list building. But I feel like that’s a good place for people to be, and go check out this. What’s the landing page again, for the LinkedIn?
[37:21] So for the link, we have two outbound playbooks. One of them is the LinkedIn playbook, which you can, if you just go to the homepage and click on the navbar, you’ll find them but if you want the URL of the specific pages, it’s flowster.app/lpap, LinkedIn prospecting autopilot playbook. And the—
- And I’m sure you’ll put the link in wherever this is posted, wherever this content is, there will be a link for you to go and find this.
[37:48] And the other playbook is what we call our full outbound marketing playbook. And that’s flowster.app/omp, for outbound marketing playbook. And the difference just in case people are curious. The LinkedIn playbook is ‘Hey, I’m only going to send messages on LinkedIn’. The outbound marketing playbook is a multi-channel outreach system, because not everybody actually pays that close of attention, used to be this guy to their LinkedIn notifications, because they get so many of them. And so you have a higher probability of getting someone’s attention if you’re coming, if your message is coming from two or more channels. And so the outbound marketing playbook gives you all of the details that you need to build this engine that’s going to do all this stuff automatically, across multiple channels, as well as how to add fuel to the engine, which is, there’s two types of fuel: there’s your message. And then there’s your target audience, because obviously, there’s no point in having an engine without those things in it. And then there’s system maintenance checks, and performance reviews, and so forth.
So we have processes for literally every part of that, so that and the thing that we’re going to be launching soon as some people might be thinking, that sounds really great, and I’d love to build that myself. And then some other people might be thinking, ‘hey, that sounds really great, and no, I don’t ever want to build that myself’. We are exploring the viability of building, doing a done-for-you service. So if you’re listening to me right now, and you’re thinking, ‘yeah, I’m that guy. I’m the one that would love to have it built for me so I can get all of the benefits without doing any of the work’, you should definitely get in touch. You can reach me directly, email@example.com, and we can start a conversation about that.
- And the last thing I’ll say here, and this wasn’t meant to be a big, so this is my fault. I’m all about like deliver value, deliver value, deliver value. I don’t sell in fact, the book that I was supposed to write is called Stop Selling. The reason I’m doing this and Trent’s not I’m pulling it out of him to say is because I literally don’t think people know this is out there. They don’t know it’s an option. It’s why I’m running around talking to people about it, because it literally solves anxiety and overwhelm, at least in my world. I don’t know, maybe in your world, it’s a little bit different, and maybe they’re not as stressed out, because it’s a company and there’s other people involved.
But when you’re a one-man band, or a really small operation, this stuff is anxiety and overwhelming, trying to figure out what, what platforms to use, how, with what messaging at what frequency, and there’s so many questions going. So I want to make this point: I have hired consultants to come into organizations that I was running to build out this cut. Not necessarily this full automation, but literally just building out email sequences and customer segmentation. They were $20,000 and up implementations with consultants. So you could pay $20,000 to have somebody come in your organization and say, ‘This is how you build it. And this is the technology and I’ll build it out for you and set it up. Or you can get a membership to the Netflix of templates and playbooks and standard operating procedures Flowster and, and have it all right there for somebody yourself, or or outsource it affordably to get it done. Much, much less than $20,000 that I share.
[41:15] Indeed, by the way, I would be remiss, and I’ll include this in the show notes as well. I did write a comprehensive guide to outbound marketing. It’s about 6,500-word blog posts, so absolutely free, don’t gotta sign up for anything. And it goes into incredible detail into the whole process that we engineered with our outbound marketing playbook. So if you’re really like, ‘Hey, I just like doing stuff myself. And I don’t want any Flowster or anything like that,’ no problem, just come and read the blog post. And you can put on your engineer engine builder hat, and you can use whatever tools you would like to essentially replicate this multi-channel process that I described in the blog post.
So I want to circle back before we finish up, because there’s a few things that we, and I know we’ve used more time than I thought we would use to even get this far. But testing your messaging, I want to talk about the importance of that. Because I mean, it is everything, especially when you’re first getting started, and you haven’t figured out how to really get people’s attention. So yes, you’re going to need to go through the process of developing your ICP. And I would encourage that you do it manually by talking to your customers and doing the things that we talked about earlier. But if you are not willing to invest the time to do that, the single best way that I have found to test messaging is to do batches of 100 emails or connection requests at a time. Test message A to 100 people, and typically like doing LinkedIn connections is a great way because you can easily do 100. You can do 51 day and 50 the next day. So you’re basically getting experiments completed every two days.
You can also do it with cold email, a whole nother topic, got to be careful about domain protection and got to have a burner domain and so forth. And all of that’s covered in the playbook. But that’s the rabbit hole, I just don’t want to go down right now. So make sure that you’re continually running experiments to test, does this message work better than this message? And one of the biggest mistakes that I see people making and I’ll use the Amazon reseller space for this. I get asked so we have this, we have this playbook that we’ve sold millions of dollars worth. It’s called WEBS. Thousands of people use it. And I get asked all the time, how come we don’t include email templates in the playbook?
And I said because there’s no one template that serves every cohort. So in the world of, and you can use the metaphor I’m about to use in your world to describe basically anything, but in the world of brands, they’re not all the same. Some make dog food, some make garden tools and some make electronics and some make nutritional supplements and blah, blah, blah. But they’re all brands. Well, they’re all using very different words to describe their problems. So if you’re looking for the one template that’s going to get all of their attention, that, it doesn’t exist.
- So I would say though that would, could, be helpful to people is understanding that there is in fact a structural formula. So it’s, the words themselves obviously have to be specific to what you learned about your ideal customer profile. They need to be the language of your customer and by the way just to throw another couple of places for you wildly taking notes. Quora is a good place to learn about your customer. Reddit is a goldmine to learn about your customer in terms of understanding the language they are using the questions they are asking Asking the challenges they are facing. So, yeah, I just wanted to—
[45:06] And Facebook groups are also a great place for that. But so, when it comes, let’s talk about the structure of a message. Because probably like many people listening to this, I get a lot of unsolicited cold email. So many times, I get, ‘Hi, my name is I work for, and we help companies blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah’. If I make it four seconds into one of those emails before hitting delete, that in itself is a miracle. That’s not the way to do it.
The way to do it, so earlier, I talked about scraping. So you can have really high levels of relevancy, so that your subject line and your first sentence are all about, you’re the recipient, not, they’re not about you. Because in the beginning, I don’t care about you, I don’t care about you, if I’m the recipient, I don’t care about you, until I know you care a little bit about me. And if you’re sending me this super template, an email that has no personalization in it at all, I know you don’t care about me, because you didn’t invest any time at all, to learn anything about me. And if you did, then that would have been reflected in the email. So one of the tools—
- By the way, goes for LinkedIn request for connection. So I don’t know about you, but I delete the, if you didn’t put a note in there, and if you also don’t explain why it is you thought we should be connected, I click ‘Delete’, because to me, all you’re really saying is, ‘Hey, I’m either I’m using some automation, or I didn’t put any thought into it, looks like you’re somebody I’d like to sell something to. So we should connect.’ And so I hit ‘Delete’, because I’m looking for you to please tell me how you being in my network adds value to my life into my business.
[46:59] Because in this day and age, if you accept a connection request, you can guarantee 100% of the time you’re entering into an automated follow-up sequence. So don’t be accepting those connection requests unless you really want to enter into a follow-up sequence. So testing your messaging, do it in batches of 100. Be very, very diligent about it. Track your data very, very closely, and make sure that your messaging is as relevant as possible to the cohort, the group of people that you’re sending it to. There’s probably a lot more we could talk about.
- A couple other things about AB split testing, which is the official marketers term for testing your messaging is AB split testing. And one of the things that you should keep in mind is you can only change one variable at a time. So for example, folks, you do not want to change the subject line, and then also change a component of the body because you now no longer know which variable was affecting the ad split test. So anytime that you’re going to put up two pieces of content against each other, whether that’s a Facebook ad, whether that is a Google ad, doesn’t matter what you’re running, an email connection request, you’re you’re basically saying, I have two versions or flavors at one time, you can have 20 different versions, but you two at a time get tested.
And you want to make sure that you’re changing only one variable, whether that’s the body, whether that’s the relevancy that you’re including in there, or whether that’s the subject matter. And then again, for those of you taking notes, the key you want to write down here is relevance is critical to your subject line, relevance is critical to your open, to the open of the communication. So you have to show that you did the work, you have to show that you understand who they are to whatever extent and then you may proceed. I mean, they may be interested in allowing you.
[48:49] And the framework that I would give you to follow. And this is so easy to Google, which is why we don’t have to cover it in detail in this talk is AIDA, A-I-D-A. Attention Interest Decision Action, I believe is what that stands for. Google it, it’ll give you the framework for how to construct your message to assuming that you have relevancy to give yourself the highest probability of success. And then again, keep, when you’re split testing, I would encourage that it let’s say you have your four-sentence email, because it shouldn’t be a 14-sentence email.
After I’ve tested my subject line, the next thing I’m probably going to be testing is my first sentence. And then when I feel like I’m getting good with that, then I’m going to, if I can’t improve it any more by testing those two. Then I’m going to test split test the second sentence. And then I’m going to split test the third sentence. And I’m going to do it to 100 people each. So you need to be very, very methodical about your message testing and even that still does not guarantee you that that message is going to work forever. So testing isn’t you should expect to do it on an ongoing basis. because things are always changing. Change is the only constant. Alright, how are we doing?
- And then again, just as a reminder, for those of you thinking, like, how do I get that relevance again? You don’t, you don’t have to use a piece of software, you can find relevance by spending time in groups by seeing who has made comments on a particular post that you think, again, go to an influencer post, because we’re looking for volume, we’re looking for quantity, right? So an influencer post, whether it’s a Gary V, whether it’s a Seth Godin, or whoever in your industry obviously, is, and then when you see that there’s a lot of action on that post, you can literally yourself, make a comment, like first, like their comment, comment on their comment, like, oh, totally, that’s it, that was just oh, what I was gonna say, whatever. Whatever you want to say not on every single person’s obviously, but make those and then start sending out those requests.
So relevancy is there to have just by spending a little bit of time on their profiles. And by the way, if you aren’t targeting somebody, go to their Twitter and read the last tweets. I really considered before you try to reach out to somebody, you should do a little bit of a digital dossier, because relevancy is out there for you to have on their Instagram account, on their Twitter, on their blog posts. All you got to do is reference a blog post they wrote on Medium that was six months ago, you open with that? I just found your blog post on Medium. Oh, my God, that thing was great. Totally helped me when I read this. That’s what you got to do, buddy.
[51:27] And the other thing, too, that I want to make sure that we don’t skip over. And Stephane is that people might be listening to thinking, Oh, that sounds like a lot of work. Guess what? This is work that a virtual assistant is ideally cut out for so long as you have a great process for them to follow. And the way you develop a great process, if you don’t have one is you do the work yourself for just long enough to figure out if I was writing instructions for my mom, what would I need to have in those instructions so that mom could do this 80% as effectively as me. Now—
- That means the Chardonnay in my left for my mom to be involved. So as long as step four hits Chardonnay, then you’re set to get received.
[52:13] So here’s the thing about worse, some people struggle with the idea of delegation, because there’s this battle between, it’s about control. Nobody’s going to be able to send a message on LinkedIn as good as me, and you might be 100% true and staying that but here’s the thing: if I can hire three VAs, who are each 75%, as good as you, the aggregate productivity, the output the those three VAs is at three bucks an hour each, so I’m spending $9 an hour, I’ll wax your ass. Just—
- And I would also argue though, I would argue a lot of people thinking right now just to be the voice of the audience that they’re like, first of all trend, I didn’t know you can get a VA for $3. That sounds terrible. So whatever number makes you feel good in your, in your, in your mind, certainly my assistant is more expensive than $3. But the other part is they’re thinking a three a five, a six a $9, an hour assistant is not going to be able to even write in my voice. Here’s the answer to that. I do all the writing. So I write whatever outreach I want, whatever sentences I want, they’re all there is copy and paste. So what the VA needs to know is in what use case, am I using this block of text, this sentence, this paragraph, I’ve written them all.
I know that that outreach is either I want to connect with you, or it’s a follow up or whatever, or it’s a Hey, I really like that post meaning I have all of my different use cases pre-written by me, it’s my voice. They’re copying and pasting them where appropriate. So you don’t have to think like, ‘Well, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna allow my VA to be my voice and my message’. You don’t have to. And you can still achieve the output. Because the other thing is this, I tell, I ask people when their prospecting game goes down. I don’t know about in your world, but in my world, what happens is people prospect, they get some business and they start doing business and they stop prospecting.
And then they wonder why all of a sudden, there’s no business and so they’re going in these troughs and waves, troughs and waves, troughs and waves, and it’s because they don’t have their prospecting automated and it’s not running in the background. So what’s really key is that if you should be spending an hour a day on LinkedIn, commenting, liking growing your network, just an hour a day, not every busy executive, not every busy realtor, loan officer, insurance agent, consultant or coach people that I work with, have the time it’s been an hour day or simply just don’t because it gets boring.
That is exactly the kind of high value yet low, it’s high value to the organization and to you but it’s kind of like a low task. I don’t know what the right word is, but it’s like stuff you don’t want to do. That’s exactly the kind of stuff that you should be having a VA doing. Again, if you’re overwhelmed at the thought, I don’t know where to find a VA, I don’t know how to hire a VA, I don’t know how to interview a VA. I don’t know how you get a VA working. I would love just the output. I would love just to have somebody helping me.
Again, the concierge service that fluster will be quietly rolling out if you’re one of these early folks on on some of these premium playbooks talk to Trent about how he can go and find you a VA, train a VA, and then help you understand how to manage a VA so that you can just get the benefit of the output.
[55:23] Hear, hear, brother. All right, so I think we’ve actually sprinkled our last two talking points for automated scale and some of my favorite tools. And I actually think we’ve pretty much covered that throughout the conversation that we’ve had so far. So Stefan, unless you think there’s anything else that you would like to add for today, because I’m also running out ,hard stop that I have, I think I’d like to wrap here. And thank you for making some time and thank the audience for making some time.
Now if you have questions, we want to get you answers. So there are, Flowster has a Facebook group, where you can post your questions you can get to it from, there’ll be icon somewhere on the Flowster page where again, everything will be in the show notes. If you are SaaS founder, we actually have a new Facebook group that we’re just now launching for Flowster users that are SaaS founders. Because I’m a Flowster user, and I’m a SaaS founder, and I really like hanging out with my peeps.
And as well, I would encourage also, if you’re a founder, you may want to consider following. I’ve got a founder’s series of blog posts. And these are basically posts that I’m writing about all of the things that I’m doing to grow Flowster. And there’ll be my successes, my failures by lessons learned. And all the time as I’m doing these things, I’m creating new workflows for myself, because I don’t do anything without a workflow. And all of the workflows that I create will also be made available to the readers of those blog posts. So I would encourage that you, and again I’ll put links to our recent posts in that series, so that you can go ahead and opt in and then you would get an email each time that we published a new one of those posts. So thank you, everyone.
- If you are, I was just gonna say, if you are a consultant, a coach a solopreneur. If you’re kind of that one man band, and you want to ask any questions about how I use cluster or how I use VAs to get where I’m going, then I will have Trent put my LinkedIn or my website or some means for you to find me out there and ask your questions. Because I would love to answer.
[57:43] Absolutely. So thank you all everyone. It’s been a pleasure to have you here. And take care. Stefan, thank you for making some time.
[57:53] Thank you so much for listening to get to the show notes. For today’s episode, go to brightideas.co/366. And if you enjoyed this episode, we’d love it if you would take a moment on your favorite podcast listening app to like rate and review the show and maybe even tell a friend about it. If you’re watching this on YouTube, please do smash that like button, smash the heck out of that like button.
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Our Bright Ideas
- Understand Your Ideal Customer Profile
- Apply Growth Hacking Techniques in Messaging
- Build a Focused List of “Suspects”
- Build a Great Process and Utilize Tools for Efficient Delegation
Understand Your Ideal Customer Profile
We emphasize the importance of having an ideal customer profile (ICP), also referred to as “buyer persona.”
A common mistake is that people try to reach out and accommodate their broad audience. What you want to do instead is focus on the first cohort of possible clients.
How do you do this?
- Decide on who your first audience should be (there are different factors to consider here. You can also consider reaching out to existing customers.)
- Understand their needs, desires, fears, and alternatives.
- Gain insights through surveys, but most importantly, talk to as many of these individuals as possible.
- Be analytical about the data you gather. Look for patterns in the aggregated transcriptions of your discussions.
Essentially, you want to reach out to your initial market without selling something. Instead, treat it as exploration or as an investigation. Organize and analyze your discussions, then narrow them down to keywords and trending phrases.
Apply Growth Hacking Techniques in Messaging
You now have a firm grasp of who you want your first audience to be. So, how can you attract their attention and successfully initiate a conversation?
Here are the two most effective ways to do this:
- Manual B2B Lead Generation
Rather than immediately sending someone a cold email, try engaging with them through other platforms. Stefan calls this “blowing digital sunshine.”
Leave a flattering comment on an expert or influencer’s posts, mention their material, or share their content. You’re not asking for something from them, but you’re establishing rapport by interacting and building them up.
This increases the chances of getting recognized, which improves the odds of getting a reply once you reach out.
- B2B Lead Generation Through Automation
If you’re not a fan of doing things manually, there are various automation tools available.
You want to use the right words to appeal to your audience; choose a connect message that gets you the highest response rate. Remember to personalize your messages; use the words and language of your clients.
“Once you have gotten their attention and built some rapport, the likelihood that they’re going to say yes goes up exponentially. And then you can get that valuable data that you need to really dial in on your ICP.”
Build a Focused List of “Suspects”
Once you have prospects, you want to opt in to continue your conversation and build a trust continuum. It helps to build a focused list of people you think would be great customers.
Among various techniques, Trent shares two of the most effective ways to build a focused list:
- Use a database and input filters.
Some of the most common databases include:
- Use scraping techniques.
This is more effective because you can be relevant in your messaging. With this technique, you could leverage personalization at scale. You can scrape from LinkedIn posts, groups, and events. There are various outreach automation tools available, including:
Remember, “you need to be very, very methodical about your message testing, and even that still does not guarantee you that that message is going to work forever. So testing, you should expect to do it on an ongoing basis.”
For a more detailed how-to on B2B lead generation and prospecting, sign up for early access on the LinkedIn Prospecting on Autopiloting Playbook on Flowster here. You’ll also have access to other playbooks and templates once you sign up on Flowster.
Build a Great Process and Utilize Tools for Efficient Delegation
These techniques listed above could be followed through by virtual assistants as long as you give them a great process to follow.
I share, “The way you develop a great process, if you don’t have [a virtual assistant], is you do the work yourself for just long enough to figure out: If I was writing instructions for my mom, what would I need to have in those instructions so that mom could do this 80% as effectively as me?”
If you don’t have virtual assistants but you want to learn the ropes on your own first, you can always maximize online tools. Flowster is a great place to start to learn B2B lead generation through automation.
What Did We Learn from This Episode?
- We learned the importance of understanding your ideal customer profile.
- Build a focused list of clients to continue conversations.
- Utilize test messaging.
- Personalize messages and leverage them at scale.
- Utilize and maximize other automation tools for less labor and better delegation.
[02:56] — Who is Stefan?
- For the past 15 years, Stefan has worked for startups or agencies focused on social and media technology.
- He was the founding Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the first-ever social television network — Youtube TV.
- Currently, he’s focused on more individual coaching for solopreneurs, one-man-bands, consultants, and coaches alike who are trying to keep the pipeline full so they can do what they want to do.
[06:36] — Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for B2B Lead Generation
- Directing your message to the right customer is a marketing fundamental.
- Unless you have enough money to segment your marketing to multiple, varied audiences, having a product or service with broad appeal may create a problem.
- Imagine having a stack of bowling pins. It’s challenging to knock them all down at once, but taking them down one at a time is more manageable.
- Similarly, in marketing, you want to focus on your first audience first.
[10:05] — Build Traction with Your First Cohort
- Understand and gain insight from your first audience.
- Outbound plays a critical role in allowing you the opportunity to have one on one discussions with possible clients.
- Look for patterns of keywords.
[13:41] — Improving Response Rates
- Turn cold calls into lukewarm outreach.
- Increase your chances of getting a response from experts and influencers by interacting with them through other platforms.
- Listen to the podcast to learn more about how you can use blowing digital sunshine to increase your response rate.
[17:37] — B2B Lead Generation Through Automation
- There’s a variety of LinkedIn automation tools in the market.
- Use the message that gets you the most significant response rate.
- Once you’ve built rapport and get a response, you can get the data you need to dial in on your ICP.
[22:30] — Fundamentals of Marketing
- Always be sure you have the fundamentals in marketing— the right message to the right person at the right time.
- Develop your ICP. Be grounded by data from conversations rather than relying on your opinions.
- Essentially, listen to your audience.
[24:23] — Building a Focused List of Clients
- Continue conversations with clients whom you think would be great customers.
- Make use of database filters or apply scraping techniques so you can apply relevant messaging to prospects.
[30:11] — B2B Prospecting
- Check out the Resources section for links where you can pick up the Flowster playbook on building ICP and B2B prospecting.
- Flowster is the “Netflix of standard operating systems.” Here you’ll find not only playbooks but also hundreds of templates.
[34:11] — The Advantages of Flowster
- Flowster allows you to learn through doing by providing playbooks.
- It addresses the problems regarding attention, retention, implementation, and delegation.
- The LinkedIn Prospecting on Autopiloting Playbook focuses on sending messages on LinkedIn. Meanwhile, the Outbound Marketing Playbook focuses on a multi-channel outreach system.
- These playbooks could especially be helpful for solopreneurs to alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with marketing and operating services/products.
[42:02] — Test Messaging
- There is no one template for emails because every market demographic will speak a different language.
- Use the language of your customer and prioritize personalization when reaching out.
- Relevance is critical when writing your subject line or connection request.
- AIDA: Attention-Interest-Decision-Action — use this framework when constructing your emails.
- Change up your messages to follow AIDA better.
[51:27] — Develop a Streamlined Process
- People struggle with the idea of delegation.
- You could pre-write your texts, then provide your virtual assistants with an excellent process for them to follow and still bring your voice to your platform.
- Flowster can help you out if you’re not too sure about hiring a virtual assistant yet.