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Your LinkedIn Outreach Is Terrible (and what you can do about it)

Your LinkedIn outreach is terrible.

I don’t know exactly where people are getting “advice” for how to do outreach on social media...but what they’re being told is really bad.

Every day I receive dozens of LinkedIn connection requests that look the same, sound the same, and even smell the same (yep, they smell like you-know-what).

I’ve been in the online marketing industry a very long time--I had hair when I started--and was networking long before these platforms even existed.

“Hey, man. Saw you were in the same restaurant as I am, so I figured I’d sit my ass down at your group's table. How ‘bout it?”

This is the level of LinkedIn outreach message today.

Is that how you want to present yourself?

Is this the level of dialogue you wish to imply is available?

“Hey, man. We haven’t even met yet but why don’t we just get this crap over with and you buy my stuff / we get married / have a baby with me already?”

That’s what you sound like.

connection network linkedin join outreach

Photo by Darrel Und from Pexels

Clues To Effective LinkedIn Outreach

You may have noticed that I do like to provide solutions where I see problems. So here are some genuine recommendations you’ll find to be effective.

First, Niche Down.

Goodness! When someone sends me an out-of-the-blue connection request, and they aren’t even in my industry… can you guess what my automatic response will be?

Bye-bye.

And--get this--the reaction is even clearer, stronger and more deeply emotional (for that split-second of attention it gets) if you have dumped one of those inane copy-paste “I just thought we should” messages into the request.

It is better for you to have used NO message. If you’re coming from outside the person’s industry, it is better for you to not have said anything at all.

Let your profile do the talking instead.

That headline. It’s copywriting. A field I’ve been involved in for over a quarter-century and made a lot of money for both myself and my clients in. Your LinkedIn headline: that’s where you should be spending all of that careful crafting effort. It was true offline in traditional printed advertising and it remains true today in online platforms. Human nature has not changed.

Spamming outreach is not prospecting.

Churn-based activity is not effective work.

Can I be clearer?

Focus for Outreach Effectiveness

If you are sending “X” number of connection requests a day because somebody told you to--without any other attendant strategy--then you are wasting your time.

Pick a freakin’ niche first.

Let me tell you about my own experience. Some of you know that I work in the space industry. The moment I changed my profile and my headline to reflect that and only that, and started outreaching to space industry people, my results got much better.

They saw I was “one of them”. And after a few weeks the Network Effect really caught on: people wouldn’t even look at my profile before they hit “Accept”.

I am connected to generals, senior officials and other high level people because of this focus.

Beyond that, though, and where nearly all of you fall down is this: my intention is to develop some kind of relationship with every connection I make.

Are You a Superconnector?

It needn’t be a deep relationship. In fact, the Superconnector books (and I am a superconnector, my friends tell me) say that you probably shouldn’t focus on developing those. Just a favor, a kind word, an introduction here and there, once or twice a year: that’s enough for people to remember you.

But I do create deep relationships, and quickly. It’s how I got all my advisors for my firm in less than 12 months.

That is my intention. Not to simply have you as a hanger-on, a never-noticed network blip...but to actually know you a little.

Can you say the same?

In my experience, probably not. You’ve probably adopted that dumb old sales “maxim” about “some will, some won’t, so what, next!”. The lack of qualification screams from that line. It’s a business model for idiots.

Niche down. Pick a target. Get some discernment. Engage that Network Effect to start acting on your behalf.

When a new USAF general sees that they and I have 122 shared connections, what do you think their next move is? “Accept”. They don’t even read my profile. The mutual connections, the headline, and that’s it. Plus my intention behind the scenes.

Remember The Number One Rule of Marketing and Stand Out, will ya?

Second, adopt a more formal tone.

That’s the way business introductions used to be. Formal. Now I’m not saying “Do it this way because it was better in the olden time.” I’m saying so because it is in direct contrast to the sloppy, casual, “flop down next to you in your restaurant booth seat like I’m your neighbor” approach so disastrously common today.

Rule Number One in marketing is Stand Out.

If you must send a connection message, make it formal. Have a good reason why you’re connecting: not this “I just figured” or “If you’re open to” nonsense.

I’m open to any space industry colleague wanting to connect through LinkedIn outreach. I don’t even look any further than the headline. I know that's helping my network effect power.

I am NOT open to you, Skippy, with your “I help overtired executives recover their life and times with energetic healing” me-me-me nonsense that I’ve received one hundred and fifteen nearly identical requests about over the past 30 days.

Qualification.

Third, why not use the affiliate model?

We use it in the online marketing world all the time. Have a well-known industry professional in the niche you want to be in introduce you to their existing list of contacts.

Yes, it’s going to be work. But you’re already doing at least half of that work now--and your way, alone, is ineffective.

And there’s going to have to be something in it for the industry pro. Hopefully you have one as a friend already. You can get creative, can’t you?

I do this, and it has made an amazing difference.

The language is formal. My kingpin contact recommends me in a three-person message. Like a tennis match, I hit the ball back over the net with my own formalized response. Perhaps the third party, who is in the same industry and at the same level as us, remember, has said something in response during this time. Then I can send the connection request, again with some super formal language reminding them of why I’m connecting and on whose behest, in case a few days or a week has gone by since the original exchange. Sometimes the new contact sends me the connection request themselves.

Do you see how different and how much more effective this kind of process is than your sad, lonely, disconnected-to-anything outreach?

Free Course for Effective LinkedIn Outreach (and it's not even mine!)

I’m not going to spill all my secrets--those are for paying clients--but I will leave you with a final gift. It’s a big one. Remember me in your will. This is a free course from a friend of a contact who got ahold of me for a consultation. He mentioned this site and I took a look around. Then I watched this course. I hope you understand I’ve seen a lot of things and so when I say this free course is better than many paid ones I’ve seen, that’ll matter to you. Go check it out. It’s A to Z, how to prospect effectively on LinkedIn.

Hell, you don’t even need me. What you do need is a change of mind.

>> FINALLY ready for effective, proven positioning, mindset, outreach and sales methods? Then you're ready for SALES ON FIRE <<

4

Where to Market [Business Newbie Guide Part 4]

Where to MarketWhere to market? So you've made a critical marketing piece: now where do you put it?

Just like a website without traffic, a report without readers or a video without viewers is a billboard in the desert.

You need multiple places to put your marketing piece, or link people to where it is.

You cannot expect people to arrive out of the blue at your website, and then also be a perfect fit for your product or service! So do not rely upon your webpage with a download link or autoresponder sign up form to do all the work for you. They won't.

I want you to understand that marketing is a job. Part of your job is marketing. Another part is fulfillment. If you think about 100% of your available time as a scale with a slider on it, you can move that slider around and divide the time up depending on what you do.

For example, if you do affiliate marketing you will concentrate almost entirely on marketing and very little on fulfillment. The delivery of the product is already done for you.

But if you are a freelancer, you will see more of a 50/50 split. Perhaps even 70% marketing and 30% fulfillment. So...where to market?

Where to Market: Online Locations

So where else can you find your audience and get your content in front of them? Some possibilities include:

  • Kindle
  • Forums
  • LinkedIn groups
  • LinkedIn InMail
  • Facebook groups
  • Radio & Podcast Interviews
  • Quora and other expert platforms
  • Prospecting Calls
  • Cold Emails.

Let's look at each of these.

Kindle

Kindle is obviously a great potential source of buyers.

However, it is not a panacea. Putting up a Kindle book or report does not guarantee anything. It's a smart idea and one of the best things you can do from a marketing standpoint. Just having a Kindle book gives you marketing power—even if nobody reads the thing!

But do not expect that you will put up your Kindle product and a zillion hungry buyers will pounce on it. Many factors combine to determine your result. I recommend you get a professional Kindle marketing program to show you all the ins and outs. A well-supported KDP giveaway period can bring you great results, for example.

Forums

Forums are useful because they are gathering places for people already interested in your topic. With your genuine enthusiasm, you can quickly make a name for yourself in a relevant forum by posting. A post is when you answer someone's question, or begin a discussion about the topic.

Each forum has its own rules. Some will be more tolerant of self-promotion than others. Look at other posts and see what the general mood is. If others aren't dropping their own videos in threads, for instance, you probably shouldn't, either.

Your signature, which is the area beneath every one of your posts, is the one place where self-promotion is almost universally allowed. Here is the proper place to put your link. Remember to write an action-inducing headline guiding interested readers to click through.

LinkedIn Groups

Similar to forums, LinkedIn groups are available to discuss specific topics. Most are strict about self-promotion, so your aim here is to find people who have questions you can answer. You could then take the next step with the following tool.

LinkedIn InMail

The following is my opinion, based on my experience. Over the past couple years, LinkedIn went from being relatively free of spam to being overrun with it. However...

...a prospect will look at a LI InMail message.

Compared to a regular email message, your InMail message has a much higher chance of reaching its target. The recipient may sigh and delete it, but they will read the opening part of it.

The good news here is that a quality message will be received with happy surprise. You are much more likely to get a response.

I only use InMail to communicate with highly targeted individual prospects. I do not use software to do so because the punishment for abusing the system is shut-down of your account.

Facebook Groups

Public and private Facebook groups exist and can help you connect with other enthusiasts of the topic. Keep in mind, like forums, there are almost assuredly other sellers in there. Try to be polite and not butt heads.

Facebook groups have the personality of their owner/moderators, adjusted by the collective mood of the active participants, and relative to the involvement level the creator/mods have. Some are open and loose, even with instructions to spam the members! Others are locked down and carefully moderated.

In my experience, the wide open ones are pretty worthless because everyone in there is trying to push their “opportunity”.

A tougher group, on the other hand, may require more tip-toe steps, but your connection and sense of value with the other members will end up being stronger.

Many groups are self-policing, with a few active members who are openly hostile to new arrivals. Be ready to “prove your worth”.

Radio & Podcast Interviews

Being interviewed is itself a very powerful marketing collateral piece. The fact that you are being asked for your opinion by someone else puts you on a pedestal. You do not need to prove your expertise—that will come out in your responses.

The only case I can see being interviewed as an unhelpful thing is if you really have zero expertise.

But since you picked a topic in Part 1, you ought to know more than the average person about it. Remember, you don't have to know everything about the subject: just at least a little more than your market does.

Quora and Other Expert Platforms

If you haven't checked out Quora yet, I recommend you do so. It and other expert platforms like Clarity and Maven give professionals the opportunity to connect with a questioning audience.

You are even allowed to promote yourself a little in these places. Read the rules to be sure of what behavior is acceptable and what is not.

Prospecting Calls

When you have a specific industry as a target market, it can be extremely effective and quick to have brief prospecting calls with actual decision makers.

This is a fast way of sorting for buyers and getting sales.

The purpose of your call is to connect with the decision maker and have them allow you to send them your marketing piece. That way, you'll get on their radar and differentiate yourself. Obviously this is the first step of marketing and the road to sales.

Cold Emails

You are walking near the spam line when you do this; however, if you do it competently and with the right intentions, you can get positive responses. As above, your object is to get the email addresses of key decision makers and send them your content.

Ask if they are interested in what they see. Give them the opportunity to gently say they aren't interested...and a next step to talk with you if they are interested.

Key Thoughts About Where to Market

No one ever got mad about receiving information they are interested in.

Make sure every prospect you have an interaction with has the chance to join your autoresponder series. This is an opportunity to continue to market to them.

Notice that your goal is to start conversations, not spam.

You are going after a few targeted people.

Get their attention with the pain points first.

You can show them how you do what you do differently...later.

Right now your objective is to get them to start the conversation with you: stick up their hand and say, “Yes! I have this problem that you fix!”

Read Part 5 right here

>> Do you want to have a conversation with Jason about your marketing? Book your call here <<