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Episode: 526 |
Alex Boyd:
Alex Boyd on Organic LinkedIn Growth for B2B:
Episode
526

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Alex Boyd

Alex Boyd on Organic LinkedIn Growth for B2B

Show Notes

Will Bachman welcomes Alex Boyd, the founder of Revenue Zen, a B2B organic growth marketing firm. Alex talks about organic growth marketing and how it is simply sharing knowledge about a product or service through platforms like websites, forums, and social media without relying on paid advertising. Alex’s strategy works because clients are drawn to the content and reach out to him. He is now helping other B2B companies achieve success through organic growth marketing.

 

Developing Content for B2B Markets

Alex Boyd works with B2B clients who typically have an average order value of at least 20k to 50k or more. He helps them to find their voice, clarify their thought process, produce content, get it out there, and watch that turn into leads and pipeline. His clients are usually software companies, consultancies, and other service providers who sell digitally and have a higher than average ticket size. By writing LinkedIn content that is well targeted and speaks to their audience and producing blog posts that are targeted to niche, lower volume keywords, his clients can see a huge ROI with just a few leads.

Alex talks about how they help software companies create content. He explains how they have a structured interview with the founders of the companies to understand their needs and goals, and draw out their expertise. Then, they create content that focuses on the specialty of the company as well as how technology can be used as part of the process. He emphasizes that the founders may not be social media writers, but they can provide valuable insights on how to implement the solution. Alex offers a sanitized case study of a software client. Most of his clients receive targeted, well-written content that they can post themselves. 

Alex’s business helps clients craft effective social media content that can help them generate leads. He advocates for a structured interview process to draw out the client’s expertise, and then they can coach them or produce content that the client can edit. Alex shares a few interview questions that help draw out valuable information on the company that helps build engaging content that yields results. He identifies the type of content that works. 

 

Tips on Creating Engaging Content 

He suggests starting with an origin story, as it helps the client’s network to understand why they started the business. He also suggests asking about the client’s favorite interview questions to draw out the information. Alex believes that making up content for social media does not work, and that it is important to draw out the expertise and knowledge of the client to create effective content. He emphasizes the need to be short and insightful in content marketing. 

Alex explains how to manage reaction and engagement to social and content posts, and how to transition from commenting on someone’s posts to having meaningful conversation. He offers tips on backlinks, messaging and responding, and how to prep the groundwork for posts.  Alex said that the majority of the 135 engagements he has brought in from his LinkedIn posts and comments have been inbound. He suggests that the best way to have a conversation with someone is to have a natural conversation that doesn’t have a direct lead into one’s service but is still relevant. Will asks for tips on how to move from commenting on someone’s posts to having a live conversation. Alex suggests providing a targeted note expressing interest in talking and engaging in meaningful conversations that don’t lead to a sales pitch. He adds that the best conversations are those that don’t lead to a sales pitch but are still relevant.

When engaging potential customers on social media, it is important to be mindful of how you approach them. Instead of leading directly into a sales conversation, it is best to demonstrate your expertise by asking questions that show your credibility. To do this effectively, ask questions related to the topic that you know about, and make sure they include your expertise. For example, if your expertise is in SEO, you could ask questions about backlink distribution and content production. Pretend you are giving a micro-consulting engagement and think about the value you can provide. This will help you create questions that demonstrate your expertise without feeling like a sales pitch.

 

How to Gain and Engage with Clients on LinkedIn

Alex explains how to choose questions that demonstrate your knowledge, and how to comment on a LinkedIn post. In addition to using a Sales Navigator account in order to highlight posts from those people, he suggests using a bookmarking system or a spreadsheet to track the posts, and how focusing on a smaller group of potential leads is the best way to comment on relevant posts.

Alex also suggests engaging with other people in the same space, such as influencers, consultants and software companies, as this can be more effective than engaging directly with the prospects. To find these people, Alex suggests creating pre-made influencer lists, which can be done by looking at which creators and consultants get the most engagement from decision makers. Finally, Alex recommends having offline conversations with others who also sell to the same market.

Alex talks about the software he created, Aware, to help with posting content on social media which orchestrates all LinkedIn activity on one platform to organize the process and save time. The typical person using Aware are usually growing on LinkedIn but want to spend less time managing LinkedIn data.

 

Sales Leadership on Social Media

Alex shares tips on how to drive engagement and points to Dan Morris as an example, whose posts do not get a lot of engagement but are targeted to a specific niche and resonates with them. He suggests creating content that is targeted to the right audience and that asks questions or request for reposts to encourage engagement.

He talks about sales leadership and how to best use social media to increase engagement and reach more people. One of the tips is to make sure the first couple of lines of a post are as powerful as possible, and to take the best line from the end of the post and put it at the beginning. He also shares how to respond when a post does gain a lot of attention to take advantage of the momentum. He suggests that virality often does not lead to much net new pipeline and it can even be distracting. If clients do have a post go viral, Alex suggests that they not try to respond to everyone, but instead look for the signal in the noise and prioritize business development. Alex also offers insight on the best and worst days and times to post on LinkedIn.

Alex states that it is more important to post quality content than to post frequently. He suggests that people should choose a quality threshold above which their content must be and be consistent. He also advises against pushing out half-assed content in the name of frequency. He suggests that if people are able to spend 3-4 hours a week planning and creating good content, they will do better. He also offers recommendations on formatting content whether text, video, or images.  He also offers one last piece of advice on sharing content for best results. 

 

Show Notes:

 

01:30 Unlocking the Potential of Thought Leadership for B2B Clients 

06:36 Uncovering the Power of Interviews for Content Marketing Success

13:03 Connecting with Social Media Engagers 

14:54 Transitioning from social media to Live Conversation 

18:22 Commenting Tips for LinkedIn

25:16 Proactive Ways to Engage with Clients and Followers 

25:48 The Benefits of Using Aware for LinkedIn Success

31:23 Tips for Generating Engagement on LinkedIn

35:32 Maximizing Engagement and Business Development Through Social Media Posting

 

Links:

Website: https://revenuezen.com

Website: https://useaware.co

 

CONTACT INFO:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexcboyd/

Get in touch with Alex: https://www.gated.com/@alexboyd

 

 

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SPEAKERS

Alex Boyd, Will Bachman

 

Will Bachman  00:01

Hello and welcome to Unleashed. Unleashed is powered by Umbrex. You can visit us at umbrex.com/unleashed to find the transcript for this show in every show. I’m your host will Bachman. And I’m excited to be here today with Alex Boyd, who is the founder of revenue Zen. It’s an organic growth marketing for b2b firm. Alex, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for having me. Well, so maybe first start off by telling us a little bit about what types of clients your firm typically serves and maybe expand a bit on what organic growth marketing means.

 

Alex Boyd  00:38

Yes. So when I started this company, I started doing organic growth marketing without calling it that. So what I would do is I would go in forums, I would my website, I would write blog articles, my LinkedIn profile, I would write posts, and people would contact us saying, I’ve been reading you for quite some time. Can we talk about working with you. And I realized that what this was, is organic growth marketing, because I wasn’t using paid advertising to do it. I wasn’t running ads. I wasn’t paying for sponsorships. I was just putting into the universe, the knowledge that I had. And people were saying, this really resonates with us, can we work with you and hire you? And so that’s what we do now, as a service to help other b2b companies do the same thing. We help them find their voice, clarify their thought process, produce content, get it out there, and watch that turn into leads and pipeline for them. Okay, cool. And

 

Will Bachman  01:30

what sort of clients do you typically serve?

 

Alex Boyd  01:33

Well, b2b clients are our focus. So if your E commerce or media or something with a much smaller average order value, then there’s not going to be too much you can do by posting thought leadership on LinkedIn, for example, that’s not going to have a return on investment for you. So our clients typically have a deal size of at least 20, if not 50, to 100k or more, some of our clients sell seven figure engagements. And that really means that you can get a huge ROI from just a few really good leads. So if you have, let’s just say, three people per month contact you, and one or two per month buy from you based on writing LinkedIn content for your profile that’s really well targeted, speaks to that audience, and you’re building your network consistently. And maybe you have one or two blog posts that’s bringing you another one or two leads a month, that are very targeted to these niche, lower volume keywords that nevertheless really describe exactly what you do, then your ROI can be huge. So we do work with software companies, we work with consultancies, we work with other service providers. But our clients are defined by that higher than average, ticket size, average engagement size. And they ideally sell digitally. So they don’t only have to work locally. But that’s really awesome as well, that’s that’s we do the same things for our clients that we do for ourselves, and we fit that bill as well. So we would be a good client for ourselves.

 

Will Bachman  03:00

All right, fantastic. Let’s take a software company. And I don’t know if you keep all your clients confidential, or if you want to give a real example or sanitize it. But talk to me a bit about the you know, how you help them? Do that service that you talked about finding their voice creating content? Is this something where you kind of help coach them and train them? And then they go off? And do the right content on their own? Or are they outsourcing that content writing to you and your team? And you’re feeding it to them? Or it maybe you can give me an example? And also what’s what sort of content would a software company be writing to generate an audience.

 

Alex Boyd  03:41

It’s actually relatively similar between a software company and a service provider. I’ll take one example recently. One of our software companies is partnering heavily with one of our other clients, a services company both in the FPN a space. And the content that we’re producing for their, their LinkedIn profiles are relatively similar. The services company focuses a bit more on the nuts and bolts of how to get it done. The software company focuses a bit more on structuring the tech as part of the process. But in either case, the process is similar. We have very smart experienced founders who can do right, but they’re not primarily social media writers. So what we do is we first have a structured interview with them. When they’re busy, we don’t have to do it on a zoom, we can just give them on a slack channel, for example, a request for an audio note about a certain topic, we can say, hey, when it comes to how to implement your solution, you’ve mentioned that’s really valuable in the past. How do you do that and why? And so the hook for one of the posts we just wrote for them was financial consultants charge $10,000 or more for this. We do it for a fraction of that as part of our onboarding For our software clients, here’s how it goes. And it’s hooks like that you wouldn’t normally write, but they’re really appealing to read if you are a buyer of FPN a software, because you’re gonna think, oh, man, am I spending too much on consulting for this? Okay, well, should it be just a software and a consultant, and then you read more on the post. So the interview process is really where it has to shine. When we write for our clients, we can coach them, if they want, really want to write and they’re disciplined at it, we can just coach them that that works, too. But in many cases, I noticed that they want the coaching. And they want that structured interview. And they want us to produce a draft of content for them that they can then edit. So our client gets essentially between 80 to 95%, targeted, accurate, well written content that they can just kind of come in, add their own flavor, edit, and then we schedule and post. And they can essentially exchange some money for social media growth that brings in clients. Some of the people who’ve gone through our training, and our coaching, they’ll write to us and say, I’m three for three with posts, like one lead, at least per post of the first three that have gone out, or that we’ll get to in the first post. So really, whenever you’re, you’re writing for somebody that has knowledge and expertise, whether it’s software or services. It’s that interview process of drawing out the person’s expertise, that makes it sing, there’s no substitute for it. We can’t make stuff up and have it be good content marketing doesn’t work, it has to be the process of drawing that out.

 

Will Bachman  06:36

What are some of your favorite interview questions to help draw out that information?

 

Alex Boyd  06:41

The origin story is the best one. So how did why did you start this company is probably the first one that usually forms the first good post. So most consultants and software companies haven’t founders, I should say, haven’t posted much on LinkedIn. So the first post that we often write for them is an origin story. It’s a here’s why I did this, that usually just crushes it, because the person’s network hasn’t heard that story, or they’ve heard it and kind of hear in their way. They’ve heard fractions of it. But now they’re seeing it, you know, thunder, from the mountaintops on LinkedIn, all at once. And for the from the audience’s perspective, it’s really easy for them to engage with it. Because if somebody that, you know, or an acquaintance comes out and says, here’s why I’m doing what I’m doing, here’s what the impact is, it’s so easy for everyone to cheer you on. And that’s why we like to write that one first also gives us much more background. The person themselves gives us context to why they built everything we built. And most of the really good interview questions are actually clarifying questions. So something like well, how does your software work is a very basic kind of high level question. At the end of the day, explain how it works. And then then we’ll we’ll dig in and say, you know, something like that last one, right. Like you mentioned, clients are getting a ton of value from the implementation process. Can you quantify that? What’s the impact of that? And it’s almost like, the value is really in the second, secondary and tertiary questions, it’s in the follow up questions. It’s the first answer, yield some surface level information. And then in the follow up questions, you can get the really good stuff. Because I mean, the average consultants or software founders first response is usually pretty superficial. But once you get deeper into it, then the good stuff comes out. And then our job is to say, Okay, what’s the follow up question need to ask to really pull this out? And then how do I take that and create poetry, not prose. And that is because a lot of people’s attention spans are short if you don’t lead with value right away. So we need to cut, cut, cut and make sure not that the content is not just insightful, but that it’s short and concise enough that it can’t really be tightened up much more without losing value. So if we can really pack value in every line, that’s how we’re going to hold people’s attention span on social media. That’s how we’re gonna get buyers of our clients, reading their content and just being hooked the whole time. So you can’t really waste space with content marketing. If you have fluffy loose people’s that’s why we like to ask the superficial question first. Dig in on what sounds interesting. Ask that tertiary follow up question. Take that insight, shorten it, tighten it, cut it up. And that’s where the good content comes from.

 

Will Bachman  09:41

What do you advise your clients to do once it’s posted? And people start liking and commenting on it, hopefully. Now, obviously, sort of it goes without saying that you should reply to every comment and reply promptly that we know that but what do you suggest do doing with like all the likes, and all the people that commented? Should they, for example, you know, send connection or like look through all of those likes. And maybe if someone has a potential leads in the connection request, follow up with them. Thanks for liking the posts, like, what do you how do you manage the the reactions in the engagement?

 

Alex Boyd  10:21

It depends on the quantity. So the first thing that should happen is before the post even goes out, doing more engagement will help. So if you are commenting on other people’s posts regularly, particularly right before your post goes out, your post is a much better shot of doing well. It’s actually the same thing with b2b SEO, if you are getting backlinks, and linking to high quality domains and receiving backlinks from high quality domains, your your articles are likely to rank better. It’s a similar principle on LinkedIn, with outbound commenting, and engagement. And another thing people should keep in mind is that those they’ve recently connected with and those they’ve exchanged direct messages with are more likely to see their content as well. So there’s a few things you can do to prep the groundwork for successful posts. The most common thing that people do is skip that and then wonder why they’re brilliant content isn’t isn’t doing anything. It’s algorithmic, they, they have not obeyed the karma system that is LinkedIn algorithm. And they are essentially deemed selfish in a way. They’re just here to post and ghost. So perhaps the groundwork by engaging with others. And then when you post high value content, yes, respond to all the comments, except obviously the inane ones, if you get a lot of engagement, you probably get some, you know, ridiculous comments that are totally off the wall and meaningless. People often say, Do I have to respond to every DM every content? Comment? What about this one? And I’ll say, No, it’s not it’s not hard and fast, you can obviously skip do what makes sense. Then when people engage with your post, so what else can you do, I don’t actually recommend sending a connection request and thanking someone for connecting. You’re a high value, you know, founder or consultant or someone with a lot of knowledge, you need to thank somebody for connecting with you on social media, it should be as much of a value exchange for them as it is for you. So a couple of things you can do, can I put them and include no note at all, just a blank connection request. Because remember, if you connect with people who engage with your posts, they’re more likely to see more content from you in the future. So that’s a benefit to you already. If there’s something about their profile, that is a good conversation starter. For example, you did some great work with a someone they that they engage with, or that their co workers with, you can mention that. If there’s something you genuinely enjoy about their profile or their background, you can mention that too. So treat it like a conference or a coffee shop, where you wouldn’t go up to someone and say thanks for shaking my hand. That would be very weird.

 

Will Bachman  13:03

Yeah, but it’s different. If someone liked your post and their secondary connection, you know, they liked your post and you look at their profile. Would you think it’s reasonable to send them a connection request? Say, Hey, you know, you you gave a thumbs up to my post on my origin story. Thanks for giving that, you know, some that like to it. Yes. Happy to connect with you. Right.

 

Alex Boyd  13:27

That’s good. Yeah. So depends on what the post was. So origin story, I would say sorry, my post today, thanks so much for your support. If it was if the post that they engaged with was a tactical how to post, I might say saw you might post today. Thanks for the support on that. Looks like you know, Acme is, you know, blah, blah, blah, whatever, whatever they’re doing as it relates to what you wrote about, but not in the sales way. But you can, you can strike up a conversation based on what they engaged with. So the thing to do always depends on what you posted out, and then what they reacted with, if they commented, I would respond to them publicly a few times, before taking the conversation private. If they nearly liked, then I would say something maybe irrelevant, if there is something but the key here is don’t force it. So if you’re thinking to yourself, I should follow up with this person. And you really cannot think of anything interesting to say based on what they engage with their background, and I would just skip it in wait for a better opportunity. You’re better off following up when there’s a good reason than trying to force it. So if you feel that that that itch of this doesn’t feel right, listen to that and just skip it and move on and spend that time creating new content. And I see people fall into that trap often have the obligation to follow up. Don’t feel obligated. It should make sense.

 

Will Bachman  14:54

Yeah. What about let’s say that there’s someone has been posting for a while Now and someone you know, someone has commented on their posts once or twice? What are your tips to your clients on how to then transition that to a conversation? And then hopefully to a live conversation? So how do you suggest people move that along? You’ve already talked about a little bit, but I’d love to hear more tips around like, really what to say in terms of commenting to the person sending them private message and in connection requests, like, you know, kind of how do you transition that from just they comment on your posts to now you’re on the on a zoom together?

 

Alex Boyd  15:33

Yeah, that’s a really good, good point. I will say that a lot of so of the 135 or so closed one, engagements that we have brought in from my LinkedIn posts and comments, the majority of those have actually been inbound. So they’ve been, somebody will write in and say, I’ve been following you for a while I would love to talk. Sometimes, it’s a targeted note that I send, but it’s almost always an inbound. If you’re looking to set up a conversation with somebody, I think the thing is that that works. The best are natural conversations that don’t have a direct lead into your service, but are still relevant. So it shouldn’t be off the wall like you can, if somebody you know, comments on your post about how you had a great ski weekend, that’s not really going to lead to a substantive business conversation. But if somebody’s engaged with your post, and you follow up with them privately and asked question that is very clearly a question designed to qualify them for your service, that’s kind of a turn off. So you know, for example, if you’re in if you’re in my industry, it could ask them a post about, about their SEO. So if I look at their website and say, Hey, I engaged my posts a couple times on b2b SEO the last few weeks looks like org, you know, XYZ is doing great at content production. That’s, that’s awesome. Have you been managing that is the writers internal, I saw, you know, so on so forth on your blog post, I could just sort of ask about what I see them doing. If the person is at a larger company, I could comment on the role as it pertains to the company’s recent public filing of their priorities and goals. So I do like to keep it in that realm of its to do with the thing I know about, but it isn’t just one step removed from a sales conversation. So one way to think about this, too, is pretend you’re in a little micro consulting engagement. What would you ask? What value would you offer? And in particular, your question has to have embedded in it, your expertise, ask questions that buy them by the asking, reveal your expertise. So if I ask, how’s your SEO going, doesn’t reveal your expertise. If I ask How have you been managing the backlink distribution to your various pieces of content? That question reveals my expertise about SEO? So you know, choose questions that, that show your credibility, and you it will go a long way? That’s a really good guide, I think.

 

Will Bachman  18:22

Okay. What’s your tips on you mentioned commenting. So let’s talk about that a little bit. One thing that I’ve been thinking about recently is not your normal, plain old vanilla LinkedIn feed is just can be somewhat random, like even if you even it just, and then if you comment on someone’s post, and you see even more of that person stuff, right? Where it’s, that might not be like, let’s say, I mean, you have like 10,000 connections or something, maybe there’s 100 potential leads that you’d really like to focus on, but maybe they don’t post too often. So you’re almost never seen their stuff. And then you hear guidance, oh, you know, just engage with people’s content. But if you just rely on your feed, you’re never going to see the stuff that you really shouldn’t be commenting on. Yeah, what are your tips? Now, one idea that you could use this, if you have a Sales Navigator account, you can actually put those people in and then Sales Navigator will tell you like, okay, you know, of these 100 people so and so posted today, highlight it for you. But are there other tips that you have other than getting a Sales Navigator account that would allow you to focus in on the people without having to check 100 different profiles every day to see if all those people posted that day?

 

Alex Boyd  19:36

That’s a good question. There’s a couple of ways I approach this. So one is better or worse versions of what you just said, which is just some sort of tracker. People might bookmark the profiles of people they want to follow. They might have a spreadsheet to check. They might buy Sales Navigator. I actually built a software that does This really efficiently, it’s actually just for that exact purpose. It’s called aware. And you build lists custom lists of people that you want to follow. And we have created curated dynamic feeds that allow you to only engage with those people. So my target accounts list allows me to go there and engage with just the posts, if any of my target account prospects, I also have a partner engagement list in that as well. And that can include the link to that tool, if you want after the show. But that’s one way is just track it, maybe use our children to use Sales Navigator, maybe use bookmarks, spreadsheets, somehow just track. And the second method is, I think a little bit more. Well, you can use a tool for this too, but it’s almost more effective, which is you don’t actually have to engage with the prospects close themselves, but engage with other people that also sell to that market. So if you sell to CFOs, you, you may have some success commenting on CFOs posts, but you’ll probably have more success, commenting on the posts by people who also have the audience that is CFOs. So other influencers, other consultants, other software companies, and having that conversation in public. So think of it a bit less like think of your target market as the people sitting in the audience. And you want to be onstage either speaking or on the panel, or asking questions of the panel, you don’t really want to be going through the audience as much. So you actually get more inbound, lead gen, by engaging with other people in your space, or their agency that other consultants, other providers that work with your market, than you will by trying to engage with just your prospects posts. And the reason for this is the average person, you know, business decision maker at an enterprise, doing their job is not going to post that that interesting of stuff. Usually, they’ll post pretty bland things because they’re not trying to do what you’re doing, they’re not usually trying to build their brand. So it’s it can be good to engage with others that are trying to build their brand in a similar space. And by providing insight, and showing your credibility in those circles. You’re then seen by the decision makers who kind of lurk and then contact you privately. So So to answer your question is yes. See what what good content your prospects are creating. But don’t expect too much. Instead, create your own content, and then network and participate in content with others that sell into the same space, that’s going to usually give you a more exciting, more effective outcome.

 

Will Bachman  22:51

Oh, I love that idea. So Okay, the next question would be then how do you find those people? Who are who your audience is your target clients are likely following?

 

Alex Boyd  23:06

That is a good question. So I’ve done some work in this. And when we built aware, we built some pre made influencer lists, because we actually have a lot of data on which creators, consultants, influencers get the most engagement by decision makers. So we said, we’re going to create a list for you know, venture capital, renewable energy, sales, marketing HR, of the people that have the most engagement by director and up titles, because we didn’t want people who get lots of engagement with non decision makers, that’s not as valid. So we have some lists. There, there really is no substitute for kind of finding a thread and pulling on it. So when you are going in networking space, have offline calls and conversations with others that also sell to your market. And then follow them on LinkedIn. So you engage with them. Ask them, is there anyone that I should be following on LinkedIn? Is there anyone you think I should talk to you in the space? So it really is that offline networking that does a lot of this. pre med lists, Lincoln’s algorithm will kind of do a good job of showing you kind of like Spotify will do a pretty good job of taking your music tastes, getting other stuff. But supplement that that automated discovery of new people to follow with your own offline, just human to human. Who should I know, you know, like, ask that question, who should I know? Who should I follow? Who is producing great content here? The other thing too, is when you produce great content, the others who do too, will find you. So I’ve been found a lot by others in the space that just, they’re all super high up. They’ve been doing it for a while. And then finally, I just kept producing content on my own and they engage with me and then they noticed me and then it was we build a relationship based on that. So Long. So a rely on tools be asked Who do I know? Or who should I know? And then see, produce your own content and you’ll attract those people. So you have a few ways of doing it, that are proactive, in addition to just letting LinkedIn decide who you should see.

 

Will Bachman  25:16

Yeah, so I guess what, you know, one of the things that just building on what you said would be the people that you really want to target those clients, you could look at their profiles, maybe they’re not posting a lot. But perhaps they’re liking posts, or commenting on posts. And those are ones that you should check out to see who are they commenting or liking? Because those are the people that they’re following? Yeah. Tell us a little bit about your tool. Like, let’s be a little promotional here, shameless self promotion, tell us about aware and how it works and what it costs and so forth.

 

Alex Boyd  25:48

Yeah, I mean, aware is, it’s an inexpensive tool. It starts at $9 a month, and there’s a $14 month version as well. We built this because I essentially was growing on LinkedIn, and building my business from LinkedIn. And I just thought, well, this is good. This is working. But what if there was a way to just do some of the things I do by hand a lot. And I started to ask other people who were also having success on LinkedIn. I said, Well, how much time does this take you? And they were like, Oh, it takes me, you know, an hour a day, at least, I thought, well, that’s just silly. Like, we have all these spreadsheets, these bookmarks, these systems, and we’re clicking and scrolling and getting distracted by social media, what if there was just a more focused way to organize all of this. And I had a sales background before starting this company. And so I also thought, well, if I’m going to do stuff, it should be in CRM, and all the LinkedIn activity wasn’t getting into CRM, I mean, who was logging, I commented on this person’s post in HubSpot, nobody’s doing that. So we built aware with the notion that if you could simply orchestrate your LinkedIn activity in one platform, so building lists of who you should go after discovering new influencers, getting a sorted ranked ordered top leads list of fools engage with you have all your messages, your comments, your connection sync to CRM, it will just be a more organized process. And so people who use aware, tend to say that they can save, you know, 45 minutes a day, and they can compress an hour of LinkedIn, into 10 or 20 minutes. I mean, it’s just, it’s just much faster. It’s built for lightning speed, and more efficiency at doing the things that that lead to success. And we know because before built aware, I had millions of dollars in revenue, incoming from LinkedIn to prove it. And then we just said, What would just make that better, faster and stronger, and make it inexpensive. So that, you know, one one lead a month would be enough to pay for it. But our customers get way more than that. But typical person using your Where is starting to have success on LinkedIn, and wants to be more efficient with it. They’re not totally fresh. They haven’t. It’s not like they’ve never posted. They also don’t need to be big influencer. They’re usually growing on LinkedIn. And they want to do more, without just making their whole their whole day about this, because they have other things to do.

 

Will Bachman  28:17

I will say something I wanted to hear your reaction. So I’ll make an assertion that yes, it would be awesome to generate net new kind of cold inbound leads, net new people from LinkedIn. And that is probably one element. But a big element of posting on LinkedIn regularly or just would be staying top of mind. With the people who already know you, and just Rizzo when they’re need comes up, they think of you first and reach out to you. So it may be people that are not necessarily discovering you from your posts, but you’re like reminding them that you exist, and this is what you do.

 

Alex Boyd  28:57

Yes, that’s a huge part of it. So there is some coding on that you get. But a lot of it is like if you look at my recent LinkedIn source closed one. If you asked me well, did you know that person I might say, Well, yeah, we met at this thing two years ago, or Yeah, I mean, I think exchanging email with them once. It’s it doesn’t it’s always not that they’re, you know, completely cold, it’s, there is some connection, but I put out enough content over time that they were able to just from the comfort of their seat or their iPhone, build that relationship with me almost in kind of a one sided way of them soaking up all the insight that I’m putting out to the point where they feel enough comfort and trust of saying well I’m I basically know how this person thinks so I’m ready to set up a call with them. And they’d be much harder to do that cold so with cold it takes usually takes a lot longer. With some people it can be quick it can be they see one post, it strikes a chord with them and they have enough curiosity they reach out but one In the most common things is somebody that I sort of vaguely knew, or had some connections in common with even a former client or former prospect that said, that will say, I’ve been reading your stuff for months, I’ve decided to reach out. It’s usually months, sometimes it’s years, but it’s often months. And, and the same thing goes for we do this for our clients, too. And when revenue then does this for our clients, they’ll say, you know, here’s the leads from LinkedIn. And we’ll say, What did you notice people? And they’ll say, Yeah, kinda from a while back, I work with that guy, six years ago, at my last company, well, like, you know, but that guy wasn’t gonna buy from you unless you you posted this good content. And then he was reminded of you, and then told his friend about you, and then then had a project come up, that was a good fit for you. So yes, you’re absolutely right, it’s a lot of staying top of mind, there’s some cold, but it doesn’t really matter. Because what you’re doing is you’re creating this beacon, this aura. And then anyone who stumbles into it, if they identify with it, if they resonate with what you’re saying, they’re sort of pulled into the engagement orbit. And if they have a burning pain point, then they hire you for it, to solve it. So you want to pull as many good people in the door as possible. And then make it easy for the ones with a burning pain to reach out and know to contact you, whether they’re cold or warm, but usually some thing on the spectrum between cold and, and somewhat warm,

 

Will Bachman  31:23

it’s possible to write a really useful, you know, post on LinkedIn that people may enjoy reading, but gets very little engagement, right, if it’s written down a certain way. And you and I know that if you wanted to actually even go somewhat viral and have you know, number of people see it, you need to get those initial people who are seeing it the first 100 People that LinkedIn shows it to, they need to comment or like it or repost it, and then more people need to do that. So it’s only by getting engagement, that LinkedIn algorithm will decide to show it to more people. So what are some of the tips that you have for your clients on how to make content, like, likely to encourage that sort of engagement that that generates? Comments? You know, maybe it’s asking a question at the end, maybe it’s, you know, just literally asking for a repost, like, hey, this, if you think your your connections would find this valuable, you know, please hit repost or something just asking for it. What are some of the tips you have to, you know, either explicitly or implicitly try to drive that engagement?

 

Alex Boyd  32:37

Good question. So there’s two, two angles. One is, overall, all things considered more engagement is good. But many people who get a lot of business on LinkedIn, don’t have much engagement. But they have very much the right engagement from the right people. There’s plenty of examples of this. So one of one person I follow Dan Morris, who owns a outsourced sales, fractional sales, management consultancy, doesn’t get that much engagement on his posts. But the people who do see it are extremely, I resonate with it extremely well, because this content is just so targeted to that exact niche of you’re a CEO with a growing business, but You’re stalling out, you need to unlock growth. And here’s how to do it through better sales leadership. And then here’s how we did it for our clients. It’s so targeted, it’s not mass market appeal. He doesn’t ask for engagement. He doesn’t say like, and comment doesn’t say repost, he just puts it out there and people just are compelled to reach out. And that’s great. There are others. So you can go too far in the opposite direction you can go with, you know, like and subscribe for more. Follow me for more tips on missing that and you can almost come off as too attention focused rather than tufa. Well focused on the subject matter. I find myself in the middle. I usually don’t ask for engagement, because I think it’s sort of understood. We’re on a social media platform, the thing to do people realize is like in common if they want, I don’t really have to ask for that. I’m not super against doing it. But in that valuable real estate, I tend to reserve that for insight as much as I can. So with respect to getting people to view it, so you asked about hooks and getting the first people to comment. Yeah, absolutely. So I do make an effort to have the first couple lines of a post be as powerful as possible. One tip I have for doing this as write your whole post, and if you did it right, you’ll usually have the best line toward the end. Take that line and put it at the front of your post. Often you’ll have a really good punch line in the last quarter of your post and just move that up and you’ll make the hook of the post a lot better. If you do want at least 500 views in the first hour, that’s ideal. So, so yes, if you’re going to write about a topic, try to balance it. So it’s not so broad, that you’re getting only attention and not real marketing and insight, but probably also not so so niche that you’re really only appealing to 10 people. Somewhere in the middle is usually the right balance of engagement and actual business development, where you’re moving the needle in their minds to contact you.

 

Will Bachman  35:32

How do you coach clients to prepare in case their post does go viral and gets like a million plus views. Weird Things can happen in that case, they can get you can get hundreds or even a couple 1000 connection requests you can get, you know, people DMing you so fast that you literally they just the screen scrolls faster than you can keep up with it. You can get so many comments that you can’t even scroll down to see them all. What What should clients do in that scenario in that fortunate scenario, to take advantage of it?

 

Alex Boyd  36:10

It could be fortunate, it could also be unfortunate. So the of the times when we’ve had people go viral, this has happened more than once. It usually wasn’t the best day for Legion for them. So what virality often does is just boil the ocean. And it usually doesn’t lead to that much net new pipeline. Sometimes it does. But the best pipeline is usually not created from virality. The best pipeline is usually created from a few inquiries, not hundreds, the increases you’ll get are often going to be a big mix of, you know, oh my god, I love what you wrote, or just other people in your in your scenario, or been getting interview requests for some paper or media that has nothing to do with your audience. So it’s a lot of noise. And yes, if if you have to like aware, it’s easier to batch respond to comments to respond to a ton at once. Don’t feel the need to respond to everybody, you just won’t be able to respond to hundreds if not 1000s of people. If you have a VA or a PA already in place, that can be a great thing to do to have them respond to people on your behalf. So what some people will do is they’ll they’ll give their aware account to their assistant and now give them some guidance and the assistant will respond on their behalf. That’s one way of just kind of hacking through it all with a with a machete basically. But don’t get overwhelmed, it’s more than okay to just mark 50 messages as read if you don’t want to respond to them all. But when that noise comes, try to look for the signal. So your job is not to respond to everybody, your job is to look for if there’s anybody that’s really interesting that really should connect with. And that’s probably not going to be the loudest person, it’s probably gonna be one of the quieter ones who has a thoughtful request to, you know, bring you in for engagement or to buy from you. But isn’t as loud, they won’t, they won’t try to get your attention as much, because decision makers usually don’t do that. So again, prioritize the things you always prioritize, which are business development, consulting, you know, sales growth. And don’t worry so much about response coverage, that’s not as helpful and will usually be a big distraction. So I actually don’t coach people into trying to go viral. Because it’s usually not as effective of a mechanism for getting b2b deals. If your consumer focused, great, try to go viral. If you have a mobile app that costs $10 a year, you definitely need virality. But if you’re selling b2b, it’s not necessary. It can even be distracting. So I have a big caveat of mixed guidance about trying to go viral. And then what you do when you if you do

 

Will Bachman  39:04

classic questions, I’m sure you’ve heard these before. best times of day, best days of the week. And how often to post.

 

Alex Boyd  39:14

Yes. There’s some average evidence that Mondays and Fridays are a little bit worse than the weekdays, it’s pretty mild. Some people depending on what you talk about, do better on weekdays and weekends. Again, that’s just an average a bit depends on what you talk about the time of day. I’ve seen again, it’s a mild effect. There’s some mild effects around nine ish am and lunchtime, and then the sort of 4pm range, local time, wherever most of your people are because I’m just rolling into work. I’m breaking off for lunch, I’m coming to the end my day are more likely to times when I’m gonna be scrolling social media than doing deep work. So I’ll usually try to post closer to 90 and then 1030. But how often to post I think is much more important than when. And the answer to that is as often as it can be good content. I posted once a week for years and did just fine on growing the business. I’m posting closer to twice a week these days. But I have not yet invested in a really dedicated content strategy for myself, that allows me to post more often than that, because it takes a while, it’s really effective to post every day if it’s all good content. But if it’s just okay, content, you’re going to water yourself down. So pick a good threshold above which your content quality has to be, and then be consistent. So if that’s twice a week, great. But if that’s only once a week, that’s better, I’d rather have you post once a week with really good stuff, then post four times a week. And it’s all kind of a mix of quality. And I don’t know what to expect from you. So teach your audience to expect a certain level of quality from your content. And whether that’s once a week, every two weeks, or five times a week, that’s the answer. It’s better to do that than to draw a line in the sand and say, Well, I gotta post this many times a week. So I’ve got to come up with something and then have it be really half assed, but don’t don’t have as content in the name of frequency, choose quality over that. Once you’ve chosen quality, if you can invest in spending three to four hours a week planning and creating good content daily, you will do better, much better. But it’s a big time investment. And if you’re busy making a million dollars a year as a consultant, you may not want to bother doing that depends on where you are in the business and how much time you have for yourself.

 

Will Bachman  41:52

What about the format? So there’s a lot of these posts that do pretty well, you see people that have these kind of the slides that you slide through these nice square slides, what are they? What are they creating those with? Typically? Are they doing that? And is there some tool that everybody knows about except me that they’re doing? Is this Canva? Or what are they using to create those nice, nice x square slides?

 

Alex Boyd  42:15

Yeah, I can was pretty often I mean, you can take any slide deck, export as a PDF and upload that and it’ll do it. Google Slides works fine to format wise, I mean, text really is the baseline. No matter what happens with technology, people will always want to read stuff, and will always be able to read faster than we watch. So that’s that’s sort of a first principle of how humans consume information is reading is really fast. So text is your baseline. couple notes about other formats video is good, not because it’s faster consume, but because you can get people more depth. If people see you on a podcast or on a video clip that you share, they can get more from you just higher fidelity than just text. So consider mixing in video for that reason. Images and carousels, like you pointed out, they can be catchy. You can include more information. Alright, so you’re literally less limited by the text character count of a post. If you include a carousel, and you could potentially organize the information better. So choose a carousel or a document or PDF post. We all have the same thing for now. If the information is best presented that way. So think to yourself, Is this better as a write up or as a an ordered list or the guide? Guides in order lists can either be curious as or textbooks but just think about like, what a deck be the best way to present this information, knowing that it takes longer than reading. So you’re not necessarily going to do better with multiple formats. Plenty of people have big followings. And they pretty much only post text. So that’s perfectly fine. I again, I would don’t psych yourself out with thinking oh man, everyone’s like producing this cool carousels like should I be doing that like maybe, but it’s not necessary. And those people aren’t necessarily making more money than you with much less engagement. And far fewer carousels. I out earn many, many, many of people who have much larger followings than I do from LinkedIn. And so again, don’t psych yourself out. But if the if you think yourself this would be great as a deck. Awesome. Create a PDF, attach it to your post. It’ll work great. Choose the format based on what you’re trying to say.

 

Will Bachman  44:46

Okay. What other tips do you have for folks on LinkedIn posting in particular, that we haven’t covered?

 

Alex Boyd  44:57

I said the main last one is don’t be afraid Ready to share the secret sauce. A lot of smart people don’t post because they’re afraid of giving away what they think they should be paid for. But in my experience, people will will have intriguing curiosity at social media length content. And it’ll allude to your expertise. But you’re not giving anything away by posting on LinkedIn. Yet people still think this often of I shouldn’t post that they have to hire me for that. They hire you for the in depth part for the execution of it for the customization for the tailoring of it, they don’t hire you for the overall idea and insight. So share ideas and insights at will share past examples of how you tailor your insight to other clients, and how those clients had success. So if you can keep these three things in mind and do great, demonstrate credibility with your content, highlight your past clients results, and what they did as a result of working with you. And then slow down your interactions. So when you’re posting, doing those first few things, people are engaging, slowing down the interactions of taking that to a sales call, that’s really the recipe for LinkedIn Success. Put yourself out there, don’t be afraid and people will hire you for the execution of tailored programs, even if they saw a high level idea in your content. So no one’s gonna steal your secret sauce. If they try, it’ll be a very watered down version, because it’ll be the LinkedIn version of it. I’ve been posting our quote unquote, secret sauce on LinkedIn for six years. And no one’s stolen yet, because we just execute on it better than anyone else. And people should have confidence in that too.

 

Will Bachman  46:43

Alex, amazing tips. Where can people find you online?

 

Alex Boyd  46:48

Well, I will put my LinkedIn profile URL in the show notes, because that’s probably the most unknown yet effective way to get me. The two companies that I mentioned or my agency revenues, N, which is revenues, n.com. And then our SaaS product aware, which is actually us aware.com. You can check those links in the show notes too. But LinkedIn is a great place to just start the conversation and see what’s a good fit. I have a number of ventures, I buy companies, help companies sell work with b2b companies. I have software available. Do some coaching here and there. So I would just say strike up a conversation. Send me a connection request with a note mentioned, you heard me on this podcast, and

 

Will Bachman  47:30

then we’ll go from there. Alex. Fantastic. Thank you so much for joining today’s a great discussion.

 

Alex Boyd  47:36

Awesome. Thanks for having me. Well,

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