Many leaders we talk to, make an assumption that because they are influencers within their business, this somehow makes them influential in the outside world. They are not.
When I start talking about "influence" many of you will be thinking about "Love Island" or Kim Kardashian and I'm not. I'm actually talking about, how as a B2B company you will influence accounts and influence prospects and customers, so they buy from you.
How you turn influence into dollars
On the left hand side is NCR, Eric is not connected to anybody there so his chance of influencing anyboding and them buying of him is slim to zero. Where as, on the right hand side, Wood Group, Eric is connected to nearly 500 people, so the chances he will influence that account, that is sell something is high.
Think about your prospects and customers, how many of these people are you connected to? What about your industry influencers, how many of these are you connected to? What about people in your industry who would be willing to share your influence through their networks?
But Tim this will take me ages
We ran an experiment and it took Eric, just three days to make these connections to Wood group. This is what B2B influence is in the modern digital world.
So what do I need to do to get influence?
You need a buyer centric profile
The first thing you need is a "buyer-centric" Linkedin profile. Not a CV or a profile that tells us all about your company and your products, let's not forget that salespeople are "the enemy" to your buyers.
You need a profile that is about you, your why, your purpose, who you are. This is about people making an instant connection with your profile, not an instant revulsion.
Buyer-centric profiles are a must have in a business leader and sales person's "kit bag" today.
You need a network
This is about you building relationships (not connections) and let's not forget that for every connection you make, that's more and more influence. Every relationship is a reason to have a conversation and conversations, (not brochures or webinars) create sales. Which means there is a real $ reason to grow your network, it's prospecting in a digital world.
Once you have a profile of a person that people will want to know and be connected to, you need to connect to people. Please, please, please, don't sell and don't pitch, we all hate this and it will just get you blocked. The objective here is to create relationships and spread your influence, not to sell.
Of course, if you get into a conversation with somebody, you should see if you can take that to a Zoom or Teams call. Your objective at this point is not, to sell, but to have a conversation.
You need content
The final thing you need is to create content. Note I've said, you need to create content and not that marketing creates content.
Our research (this is based on data, not an opinion) is that people like content that gives them insight, content that is educational, content that is human. People don't like corporate content, some call it branded content. Why? because people buy people, they don't buy brands.
Who's doing this?
To quote a recent article
"Your honesty is what makes your personal brand real. Lean into your strengths, and learn to laugh at your weaknesses. While the tendency is to avoid acknowledging any shortcomings, you can accept that they have a part to play in your brand. Your audience will appreciate the model of openness and the ability to handle an uncomfortable topic in a professional way through self-awareness. When it comes to honesty and being authentic, Chris Jolly, The FreightCoach, says it best. “Personalize the message. Get away from your mass LinkedIn or Twitter DM blast style format, and commit to getting to know them as a person, and not a transaction.”
Case Study 1.
This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up, it only took him 10 minutes to create. We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically. You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away. Let's talk about this post.
Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 18,000 views and 165 likes?
But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post? How?
Let's stop and think about this for a second. This post took 10 minutes to create and it got 6 C-Level meetings, how come?
Because, all of Eric's post are strategic. He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.
He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example. But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business. Especially if you scaled this across your business.
How does Eric do this? He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage. Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out. If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time? Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?
Case Study 2
In this case study, Danielle Guzman, talks about how Mercer, empower their employees to talk on social. The ROI (return on investment)? Danielle explains how Mercer as a brand will develop the business a certain amount of business, because they are well known in certain markets. She also confirms in this video how empowering people on social and giving them personal brands gives Mercer 4 times more revenue than the brand.
“The best advice I can give about social selling is that it’s not about selling. It’s about creating meaningful and engaging content that will resonate with your audience. Approaching social selling with the intent of providing something of value will give much better results than simply pitching your company on social media,” said Nick Dangles, co-founder of Kinetic.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies in professional services, especially in the law sector. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
Fit in, or stand out? Serve existing markets, or serve those in untapped markets? As the online marketplace becomes increasingly saturated for entrepreneurs, and the amount of information available to us online leaves us feeling increasingly overwhelmed, we reach a point where we have no choice but to pull back and reassess what is important to us.