Colin Sprake is the owner and lead trainer at Make Your Mark Training and Consulting, founded with a passion to assist entrepreneurs in realizing their full revenue and profit potential and doing it with heart. His business philosophy coupled with his results-driven business success system of live events, group accountability programs, and online trainings have created a vibrant, mutually supportive community of over 60,000 entrepreneurs across Canada and now the United States. Colin is a #1 best-selling author of four books, including Entrepreneur Success Recipe Book and is also the host of the top-rated podcast, MYM Your Business: The Brutal Truth.
Good Morning Onward Nation…I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation. Welcome to Episode 729, which will be solocast — with a twist. If you have been listening to the show for a while now, you know that from time-to-time I change up my solocast recipe and I share an episode where I was a guest of another business owner on his or her podcast.
And I do this from time-to-time because my goal is always to be helpful to you — provide some key insights, some strategies, some new perspectives, some helpful advice or recommendations. And as much as I love going deep into a particular topic during one of our traditional solocasts…sometimes the questions asked by another host are awesome and the overall conversation would also be helpful to you, Onward Nation.
And that is what I am going to share with you this morning. My good friend, Leanne Pressly, a two time guest here at Onward Nation, invited me back from an encore interview for her show called, The Business of Craft.
I was eager to share this with you because Leanne asked me some detailed questions about how to drive revenue and make money from podcasting. You may find the strategies along with the step-by-step recipes I shared with Leanne to be helpful.
Leanne and I also go down the path of mistakes business owners need to avoid if they decide to launch a podcast as part of their cornerstone content strategy.
We even cover specific equipment and the minimal amount of tech a business owner needs to master in order to have successful podcast out in front of their business. Because being successful with your own show, Onward Nation, is less about the microphone and much more about your content strategy, who you are looking to serve, how you serve them, how you will be helpful to your audience, and then ultimately, how your podcast will drive biz dev for your company.
Which is why Leanne and I worked our way through the top three monetization strategies that my Predictive ROI team help clients get into place — and how you can do the same for your business.
And last but not least…Leanne and I confront some of the biggest obstacles to success with FEAR being the most paralyzing. Onward Nation, FEAR is nothing more than the imposter syndrome trying to rear its ugly head — so don’t let it. Leanne and I give you some tips on how to break past this obstacle.
Okay…one last thing before we dive into the discussion with Leanne…our first YouTube video will air on Thursday, May 3rd — it is in our airing schedule — we have been collecting the final footage over the last couple of weeks while we have been in Austin, Seattle, and San Diego working on-site with some of our Predictive clients as well as a couple of speaking engagements.
I am very excited to share Episode 1 of our YouTube series with you on Thursday, May 3rd — stay tuned.
Okay…now let’s dive into the conversation with Leanne Pressly and me on her show, the Business of Craft.
Our special encore guest today is Scott Beebe and he is the founder and head coach of MyBusinessOnPurpose.com and the host of the “Business On Purpose” podcast. He liberates Small Business owners from the chaos of working IN their business and helps to get their lives back by articulating and implementing intentional Vision / Mission / Values, Systems, and Processes. Now...you may remember Scott and the wisdom he shared during Episode 521. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 521 to your list of vital priorities.
Chris Hallberg is a seasoned business consultant, turnaround expert, United States Army veteran, and the author of The Business Sergeant’s Field Manual. In 2014, he founded Traction Inc., a business advisory company, to focus full-time as one of 65 Certified Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) Implementers nationally. Chris is also ranked #9 on Inc.’s “Top 50 Leadership and Management Experts.”
Tricia Brouk works in the entertainment industry and applies her expertise as a director and writer for film, television, and theater to the art of Big Talks. She’s written two musicals, a play, a sitcom pilot, a feature film, and is the executive producer of TEDx Lincoln Square. She also hosts the podcast “The Big Talk” on iTunes and is currently writing a show called “Mothers and Daughters” based on interviews she's had with women from the ages of 12 to 90.
Rod Turner is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Manhattan Street Capital — the #1 Growth Capital marketplace for mid-stage companies and mature startups. Throughout his career, he founded multiple startups, three of which were sold to public companies. He played a key role in building Symantec where he lead their most strategic acquisition of Norton Antivirus, which has been called the best merger in the tech industry. Rod is also a consultant to CEOs of large companies and startups and is an expert in crowd funding in businesses.
Al Zdenek is the President, CEO and Founder of Traust Sollus Wealth Management — one of the premier wealth management companies in the United States. Al is certified public accountant and a personal financial specialist with over thirty years of experience providing wealth management services to senior executives, physicians, and business owners. Al has been selected to appear in lists of the nation’s top financial advisors and is often quoted in Forbes, New York Times, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business Radio, U.S., World News Report, and is an Amazon.com best-selling author.
Brad Deutser is founder and CEO of Deutser, an award-winning management consulting firm focused on helping organizations and their leaders achieve clarity to drive business performance, and the Deutser Clarity Institute, a think tank, idea accelerator, and innovative learning center. He is also the author of Leading Clarity: The Breakthrough Strategy to Unleash People, Profit and Performance.
Good Morning Onward Nation...I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and your host for Onward Nation. Welcome to Episode 722, which will be a solocast -- where it will be just you and me covering a topic.
Before we dive into what I would like to share with you this morning -- I would first like to say thank you and to give you an update.
I want to say thank you for you taking the time to be here -- you have a lot of demands on your time -- I know your schedule is compressed -- I know that the life of the business owner means you are pulled in many different directions -- so I greatly appreciate you choosing to be here this morning -- to share some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds that you have today, with me -- I take that very seriously so I wanted to be sure to let you know how much your time means to me.
Second...I owe you an update. In January, I shared that one of our 2018 vital priorities at Predictive ROI was for us to launch a YouTube series -- and our original plan was to have it launched by April -- right now. And it isn’t ready. And I am the reason why. We made some excellent progress -- and then I felt the onslaught of the imposter syndrome and the myriad of questions and a flood of presuppositions hit me -- and in full transparency, Onward Nation -- I let the imposter syndrome break my momentum -- and worse yet -- affect the schedule that I had promised you.
Well, Katherine Baessler, our director of content marketing and a member of my leadership team here at Predictive ROI, called me on it. During our off-site leadership session last week...she asked me why I had fallen behind. She forced me to recognize what was going on -- and it wasn’t comfortable. And she would not let me off the hook until we had a plan in place that I committed to.
So...our first YouTube video will air on Thursday, May 3rd -- it is in our airing schedule -- we are collecting the final footage over the next couple of weeks while my team and I are in Austin, Seattle, and San Diego working on-site with some of our Predictive clients as well as a couple of speaking engagements.
All that is to say -- my team kicked me in rear when I needed it because that is what great teammates do, and as a result, I shoved the imposter syndrome to the curb and got my act together. So...I am very excited to share Episode 1 of our YouTube series with you on Thursday, May 3rd -- stay tuned.
Okay...so for today -- we are going to talk about quitting because the temptation to quit is something we all face -- when the stress is high -- when the problems pile up -- when the fear seems insurmountable -- the temptations to quit a project, quit the business, or the myriad of other temptations can seem more and more attractive. Our momentum breaks, we start to lose our focus, and then pretty soon, we have drifted out to see and are far from the goal back on the shore.
And again in full transparency...had it not been for Katherine on my team stepping in and snapping me back to reality -- we may not have checked the YouTube series off our list of 2018 vital priorities. But -- when Katherine stepped in -- I got mad -- not at her -- but at myself -- because I have never, ever, ever, quit on anything in my life. And I don’t plan to start now.
Quitting in life, quitting in business, quitting on family -- quitting in all its shapes and sizes. It breaks my heart when I see it happen. People who possess an abundance of God-given talent -- as we all do -- but then don’t apply it.
It’s tragic. So I wanted to share some insights about quitting that I have learned over the last 25 years of my career as a business owner -- owning five companies -- but as the lessons I re-learned again last week -- despite all of the experience someone has, the resolve, the commitment, and the track record -- the temptation to quit can still rise up.
So it needs to be counteracted and pushed aside, Onward Nation.
My hope for you is that today’s discussion will help you to push aside any temptations to quit that you may be feeling, too.
So I’m going to start us off by introducing you to one of the most influential mentors in my life...he is someone you have likely never read about, never heard of, never quoted...in fact...one the surface...most people might think he led a rather ordinary life because his name was never up in lights.
He never graced the cover of SUCCESS Magazine...he was never the author of a bestselling book. And he never made the list of top influencers...but...that did not limit his influence or the impact he created in the lives of many.
Because the exterior trappings of success are not the true testimony of the quality of someone’s life. The relationships, the love, the personal impact is the really good stuff, Onward Nation.
I have met many successful people by the world’s standards...they had everything...they had fame, they had fortune, they possessed every material thing you could imagine, and yet, they were miserable.
Their spouse was miserable because he or she never got to see them.
Their kids were miserable because the deep emotional connection that should have been there was missing -- a terrible hole was there instead. A hole that can only be filled by a steady stream of love and caring.
But, the person I am referring to taught me the true definition of success, as well as the power of persistence, the power of tenacity, the power of grit...the power in moving slowly, consistently, and pursuing something over the long haul.
Because when we do these things...great things happen...and all of that was made possible because of his quiet, relentless attitude toward never, ever quitting.
He never quit.
His name was Peter Maronitis.
Peter was born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1902. His family was Greek but they lived in Istanbul. And this was a time when it was not awesome to be a Greek male living, working, or trying to raise a family in Turkey.
There was ethnic cleansing -- a Greek genocide -- such an awful term -- and so it was common that an Greek adult male wouldn’t make it back to his home at night because he had been whacked behind a shed somewhere or rounded up to fight for the Turkish army against whoever they were fighting at the time.
That was the harsh reality of the day -- that Peter’s father had to navigate each day when he left his home for work.
And one day, tragedy struck and Peter’s father didn’t come home. Peter was the ripe old age of 8 years old...his father didn’t come home...and now it looked as though Peter was the man of the house.
Peter ran out of the house...in pursuit...to find his Dad...he searched the city...he got onto a train...he continued his search...looking...desperately...he didn’t quit...it was Peter’s first taste of a the relentless pursuit for someone -- for something he loved.
But still...his father would never return.
So, Peter at 8 years old was indeed the man of the house.
He dropped out of the third grade in order to make enough money to support his mother and his younger brother and sister.
Eight years old, Onward Nation.
Peter did it...without complaining...without feeling self-pity...without feeling disadvantaged. He did his duty and he did it with excellence.
Every day...for 10 years.
And despite the end of his formal education at the 3rd grade...he never stopped learning. He studied and read whatever he could get his hands on...and in doing so...a dream was sparked in his mind.
His dream...Peter wanted to make his way to the United States and then own his own restaurant...to build a better life for himself and his family.
He promised his mother, sister, and brother that if he made it to America, he would save his money and come back to get them so they could all live together.
When Peter was 18 years old -- he received that opportunity!
Through some mutual friends...Peter’s dream was set into motion. But isn’t it interesting, Onward Nation...how through determined, unrelenting focus, hard work, and grit -- what we want most in this world finds its way into our circle?
And Peter’s focus had definitely been unrelenting.
So, Peter made it to the United States with no money and couldn’t speak the language. He followed the mass of Greeks who were headed to Canton, Ohio to work in the steel mills.
Peter worked in the mills for a couple of days and realized that was not going to be the path that would get him closer to his dream of owning his restaurant.
Instead, he pursued a job in a downtown Canton restaurant where he would cut vegetables and wash dishes on the night shift. As you might imagine, Onward Nation...it was back-breaking work...he bent over a sink and then a cutting board...all night, every night.
But he did it...with a happy and grateful heart because he was in the pursuit of his total happiness, Onward Nation. He was working in pursuit of his dream and he would not quit!
During those years working in the restaurant, Peter learned English. And then providence set in. One of the cooks on the day shift befriended Peter and gave him his old knife set so that Peter could refine his food preparation skills.
That knife set end up being Peter’s ticket to getting off of the night shift and onto the day shift as an apprentice where he could make more money.
Within a short period of time...Peter was on the day shift and saving all his money.
After just 6 years later, Onward Nation, without knowing English, without any money, without a formal education, without a network of influential contacts, and while gritting it out doing work that many people today would refuse to do -- Peter had saved enough money to open his own restaurant and bring his family from Istanbul to live with him in Canton.
The restaurant was called the Ideal, which ended up being the first in a total of three restaurants Peter would go on to own.
He delivered on his promise to himself and to his family.
Not by getting funding from so angel investor. Not through a Kickstarter campaign. Not through loans from family members. Not through an economic development grant. No!
He was successful because he refused to quit when his body and mind tried to convince him to do just that.
He refused to quit.
But...as you may have already guessed...there’s more to this story.
Peter opened his restaurant called “The Ideal” in downtown Canton at a time when Canton was often considered “Little Chicago” because of how organized crime running rampant.
In fact, if you read Napoleon Hill’s brilliant book, “Outwitting the Devil”, he shares a story about his visit to Canton in July 1926 to meet with local publisher Don Mellet. And how Mellet was gunned down by mobsters while Napoleon was in town for the meeting.
And the mobsters who killed Mellet also threatened Hill and forced him out of Canton. Yep, that was Canton, Ohio at the time...the same time Peter was courageously running his brand new restaurant downtown...right in the thick of all the action.
Insane, Onward Nation.
But even the threat of organized crime didn’t persuade Peter to quit. He pushed forward.
And just when he thought he was making progress...the United States and the world entered the Great Depression in 1929 -- just a few short years after opening his restaurant.
Here is a photo of Peter standing behind the lunch counter of “The Ideal” during the Great Depression. You will see the humble beginnings of a very humble man. And if you were to have asked Peter about his business plan during the Depression, he would have said, “If you take care of your customers, they will take care of you. Because everyone’s got to eat.”
A simple business plan that Peter executed flawlessly every day.
In my opinion, Peter was also the creator of the original value meal...he sold homemade soup and sandwich for a nickel. During the Depression, he gave away more soup than he ever sold.
And yet, the story of Peter doesn’t end there.
Peter married the woman of his dreams in Julia Katsaris -- and together -- they ran the restaurant and raised four wonderful kids along the way.
In their kids, they instilled their lessons of Family Comes First...you take care of your customers...and all of the other business lessons they had learned through 42 years in the restaurant business.
And when Peter and Julia retired...they shifted their attention toward their 10 grandchildren and instilling all of these powerful lessons into them so they could be well equipped to move ONWARD and become leaders in business, within their communities, and to become great parents.
Peter and Julia wanted their grandchildren to understand their family’s history...the risks they took to get here...to stay here...and what it takes to create a meaningful life that revolved around service...around grit, tenacity, and never ever quitting...no matter the odds.
And in the end...how important it is to be kind and compassionate...because those are the true keys to success.
Some years later -- after Peter’s retirement -- his adult son Bill Maronitis, who also became the owner to two successful restaurants, asked his father, “Pop, why did you give away so much soup during the Depression?”
And Peter looked at Bill, and with compassion and kindness in his eyes, said to him, “I gave away the soup because I know Jesus is coming back some day -- I don’t know what Jesus will be wearing -- or what Jesus will look like when he comes -- so I’m going to be kind to everyone.”
When Bill Maronitis shared that story with me -- he had tears in his eyes because that lesson from his father was that impactful and had helped shaped who Bill had becomes as a person and how he served his customers as a business owner.
Look, Onward Nation...there will be times that will weaken the best of us. But the truly great, those like Peter, they are the ones who got back up...dusted themselves off and got back to their work without feeling sorry for themselves. There was no victim mentality in his spirit -- only a commitment to what he believed was right and why he was put here on this Earth.
Don’t let yourself fall into the seductive trap of self-pity -- yes, it can be comforting for a season during a period of loss -- of grief -- and we need to take the time to honor the loss -- but if we are not careful -- the thoughts of self-pity, or telling ourselves that we cannot move past an obstacle, or that we are somehow not worthy to conquer that next challenge -- or saying to ourselves over and over again that we can’t do something -- those thoughts of low quality, of pessimism, will destroy your pursuit of happiness.
Your thoughts of fear will cause you to slow down -- ever so slightly -- each day -- and you will begin to move at the pace of the herd.
And that is not the pace and tempo you need to run at, Onward Nation.
Little by little -- if you are not vigilant -- you will slowly quit, each day.
But don’t ever quit, Onward Nation. Ever.
Happiness is only achieved by the relentless pursuit of what you love most in this world -- something or someone -- you love more than anything else -- that your love is so intense you cannot breathe without it.
For Peter -- his happiness was driven by creating a better life for himself, his family, and taking the steps and necessary risks to make that happen.
And he did it.
He didn’t wait for someone to make it happen for him. He was generous, he gave, he took care of the people around him -- and they took care of his during his times of need, too.
But, and maybe you’re asking yourself… “How does Stephen know all of this to be true about Peter?”
Well, Onward Nation...Peter Maronitis was my grandfather.
And Bill Maronitis, Peter’s son from the soup story...is my uncle...and my godfather.
My Uncle Bill is also one of my first mentors, one of my first employers -- I started washing dishes in his restaurant when I was 11 years old -- and he has always been a strong and dependable father figure in my life -- and still is to this day.
I have the honor of being one of the 10 grandchildren who had the privilege of learning these lessons of success directly from Peter. And the four amazing kids Peter and Julia raised...are my Aunt Joy, my Uncle Bill, my mother, and my Aunt Elaine.
And Canton, Ohio -- well -- that is my beloved hometown, Onward Nation.
Peter was a great man who gave everything for what he believed in. He took great risks coming to a foreign country seeking to create a better future for his family -- to create legacy for all of us grandkids.
So the photo of Peter in his restaurant that I mentioned earlier -- it hangs on the wall in my office next to my desk -- and my Uncle Bill has the same photo framed on the wall in his restaurant.
It is a visual reminder of our family’s legacy -- where we came from. Our entrepreneurial DNA -- our roots.
There has been many a long night when I am working in my office late -- when I would much rather quit and go to bed...and then I look up from my work...and see Pop looking at me from the photo on my wall...and I think to myself...he did all that he did for me so I could live this kind of life...so I could have the opportunity to spend time with you Onward Nation, so I could do all that I do and enjoy today.
He did that for me.
He worked so hard and took so many risks.
So what in the world is my excuse? That I can’t send out that last email...write one more invitation to a rockin’ awesome guest...create the strategy for one more client...that I can’t get that YouTube series launched?
His legacy helps keep me laser-focused on my most vital priorities -- and right now -- that is Thursday, May 3rd for Episode 1 on YouTube.
And my hope is that Peter’s story has done the same for you, Onward Nation.
So don’t ever quit. Never ever give up.
You were meant for greatness. You are a child of the most high God. You are instilled with an abundance of talent and gifts. Please don’t let something so small as fear -- or your circumstances -- limit all you were meant to be.
As my mentor and great friend Don Yaeger says, “Greatness is available to all of us IF you are willing to do the common things uncommonly well.”
So be uncommon, Onward Nation -- and never ever quit.
So with that said...
I want to again say thank you for taking the time to be here with me today. It is an honor to have you here.
And please continue to let me know what you think of Onward Nation...good or bad...I always want your feedback. My direct email address is firstname.lastname@example.org -- and yes -- that is my actual Inbox. No fancy filters or filing system and I read and reply to every single email.
So please let me know how you think we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.
We will be back tomorrow with an incredible interview. Don’t miss it.
Until then, onward with gusto!
Carolyn Cole is Show Host of the global Boomtank Business Show podcast, for sharp female entrepreneurs and cool guys who support them. For nearly two decades, she was a Fortune 100 and Fortune 200 senior corporate trial attorney. Now she makes the case on behalf of others' business and career dreams - happiness too. She offers global business consulting and coaching for executives, teams, entrepreneurs and business owners. She is an organization development consultant, business strategist, entrepreneur, Livestreamer, speaker and certified professional coach.
Our special encore guest today is J.D. Graffam. He is a user experience expert and business leader. He founded his first business, Simple Focus, a digital experience company, in 2009. Today, his holding company, Graffam Companies, manages three digital agencies and six product businesses, all of which are bootstrapped and profitable. In his industry, he co-founded “CSS Off”, the world’s first philanthropic CSS contest, speaks nationally about creative leadership, user experience, and business, and is the author of the book “CSS for Print Designers.” Now...you may remember J.D. and the wisdom he shared during Episode 354. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all he shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 354 to your list of vital priorities.
Laura Roeder is the CEO and founder of MeetEdgar, a social media automation tool designed to prevent status updates from going to waste. She has given talks at conferences like BlogHer and South by Southwest, and has spoken about the value of independent entrepreneurship at The White House. Laura’s also appeared in Forbes, Fast Company, Mashable, CNET, and other major publications.
Susan Baier founded her company, Audience Audit, in 2009 in order to help organizations understand their best audiences based on attitudes and needs rather than just demographics or purchase behavior. With 30-years of experience as a marketing strategist, she develops custom segmentation research for marketers and agencies around the world, supporting their efforts to create marketing initiatives that are more relevant, more efficient, and more impactful.
Michael Dunn is the Global Brand Strategist and Chief Creative for D U N N — an independent marketing consultancy specializing in inspired thinking, creativity and content-driven brand development. Over the past 15 years, he has worked in a variety of senior-level executive and creative positions throughout the world in advertising, marketing, merchandising and public relations, gaining experience and racking up successes on both the agency and client sides of the business. Michael is currently working on the book “Brains, Beauty and Belief: How Brands Work and Why You Should Care.”
Our special encore guest today is Christine Kloser. She is an international speaker on the topics of transformational authorship and transformational leadership and is the author of thirteen books, including the best-selling and award-winning books, Conscious Entrepreneurs, Pebbles In The Pond, Get Your Book Done, and this is the 10th anniversary of The Freedom Formula and she is releasing an updated version. She has trained 70,000 writers in more than 125 countries, teaches her signature Get Your Book Done program online, and facilitates transformational writing retreats throughout the year. Now...you may remember Christine and the wisdom she shared during Episode 432. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 432 to your list of vital priorities.
Good Morning Onward Nation – I’m Stephen Woessner and welcome to Episode 715 – this week’s solocast.
I am excited about you and I will cover today because it addresses a gaping hole that exists inside most businesses.
And that hole is the lack of qualified leads flowing into a the sales pipeline -- or -- potentially the lack of a sales pipeline altogether.
Here’s the most recent data…of the 28 million small business owners in this country – over 43 percent of them cite “growing revenue” as being their top challenge in their company.
That is over 12 million business owners in this country, Onward Nation.
And yes, the challenge to grow revenue can be complex – there can be a myriad of factors or obstacles in the way.
But, in my over 20+ years of experience in owning five different companies – and having interviewed over 700 of today’s top business owners – I will say that the inability to generate leads – or to generate high quality leads that consistently flow into a well-defined sales pipeline represents the most significant challenge to building a scaling a business.
So that is going to be where we spend our time together today.
We will focus on how to effectively use LinkedIn to fill your sales pipeline like a pro. Today’s lesson will provide you with the tools, resources, and the step-by-step you and your team can take and apply right away to begin building momentum with your lead gen.
Before we dig into the tactical step-by-step…I want to first make ensure that we level set around mindset.
Here’s what I mean.
Generating leads is not hard work. In fact…it is straightforward and very little tech…especially when you have the right recipe to follow.
But…just because the work is simple does not mean it is easy.
In fact, I can almost guarantee that you will be frustrated at the beginning, you may even pound your fist on your desk and wonder why the results are not better, and you may get upset at your sales team for their lack of productivity.
I am sharing this with you so that when it does happen – instead of getting frustrated and thinking that success will always elude you – I want to you to say to yourself, “Ah, Stephen said that I would think this right.” And then push forward.
Because pushing forward, whether we are talking about generating leads, or pursuing your life’s passion, is what it takes to be successful. As Vince Lombardi once famously said, “The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”
But, if you remain focused on continuous improvement – refining your recipe — you will be successful.
This is a long haul – it requires data collection – testing – adjusting – testing again – scaling – making mistakes – testing again.
So let’s dig into the recipe and all of the ingredients.
First…some quick words as to why I love LinkedIn as much as I do, and why in my opinion, it should be the cornerstone of your lead gen strategy.
There are approximately 500 million LinkedIn members — yes, 500 million. Hugely valuable community.
Next…want to guess the average number of LinkedIn connections for a CEO?
Because if 933 is the average — some are higher — some are lower — but you tend not to get 933 connections by accident — you work at it — so if someone has 933 connections — it is likely intentional.
Meaning, LinkedIn is a platform that he or she values — and a place where they spend time — that that is great news for you.
And yes, you should be reaching out to the CEO — the top decision maker at your prospect client — but that can be a topic for a completely different solocast.
Okay, next…some additional insight into why you should care about LinkedIn…27 percent of all members are between the ages of 30 and 49…and another 24 percent are 50 to 64 years old…and 13 percent are over the age of 65.
So to say that another way…over 64 percent of LinkedIn members are over the age of 30…and 38 percent of total members earn $75,000 or more per year.
Bottom line…there are 433 million people on LinkedIn…64 percent of them are over the age of 30…and 38 percent earn more than $75,000 per year…with the average CEO having 933 connections on the platform.
All of that speaks well to your opportunity of finding and connecting with the prospects who can accelerate you biz dev, Onward Nation.
So let’s press forward by reviewing the seven ingredients within our recipe.
Our recipe for how to effectively use LinkedIn to fill your sales pipeline consists of seven core ingredients, and they are:
Ingredient #1: Improve your LinkedIn profile by adding video / audio clips, value proposition, etc. to the Summary.
Again — we will get tactical here in just a minute — and I will give you tangible visual examples within today’s Show Notes for each ingredient.
Ingredient #2: Import your existing email list in LinkedIn and send connection requests.
Ingredient #3: Export your LinkedIn connection list and import into your client’s email list.
Ingredient #4: Personalized thank you message sent to each new connection
Ingredient #5: Build your prospect list using LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search tool.
Ingredient #6: Send InMail messages to your top prospects — and be sure to speak the language of your “client avatar.”
Ingredient #7: Create and send consistent nurturing email campaigns with exclusive content just for your LNKD connections so they feel valued to be part of your growing community.
Okay, now that the high-level view of the forest is complete — let’s dive in and go tree-by-tree so you can see all of the tactical ingredients of this recipe.
Ingredient #1 is all about getting ensuring that your LinkedIn profile is not just good — but that it is excellent. Why does this matter?
Because when you send InMail messages as part of Ingredient #6…the very first place your recipients — your prospective clients will go to learn more about you — is your LinkedIn profile.
And if it is sparsely populated with value propositions, your connections count is low, you haven’t taken the time to include a quality profile picture, you have zero recommendations, etc. — then it looks like you don’t care — and they won’t respond to you. Maybe your InMail was just spam — you are ignored — and they move on.
Or, if you have taken the time to include audio and video clips, Slide Shares of recent presentations you delivered, links to articles you have written recently, blog posts, recommendations from current clients — it not only takes advantage of all the profile building tools that LinkedIn provides you — but — you also visually demonstrate your thought leaderships and expertise to your prospective clients — and that is a very good thing.
Now when they receive your InMail message as part of Ingredient #6 — they move from skeptical questions like “Why did she send me this?” to “Oh, interesting…they would like to talk with me? Awesome.”
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your personal landing page and it needs to be excellent — just like everything else in your business.
If you would like a tangible example — check out what my team has built for me on LinkedIn…look me up…send me a connection request…and you will see illustrations of each step I just shared with you.
Let’s move on to Ingredient #2 — import your existing email list into LinkedIn and send connection requests.
To make sure we are on the same page here — I am talking about taking your email list — the list you communicate with often — consisting of customers, prospects, maybe even vendors — people with whom you have a relationship — and then uploading that list into your LinkedIn account and inviting them to connect with you on LinkedIn.
First…when you increase your number of LinkedIn connections — your network and credibility grows. Instead of having several hundred connections — you move to several thousand. And the next time a prospective client checks out your LinkedIn profile — they may see the number — and be impressed.
Second…your number of 1st-degree connections in LinkedIn impacts the number of prospects you will be able to see during Ingredient #5 of this process — when you use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search. To cement this into place — let’s quickly review what LinkedIn defines as 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd-degree connections.
A 1st-degree connection on LinkedIn is — let’s say you are listening to this solocast — you like what you hear — and decide to send me a connection request on LinkedIn — and by the way — you should totally do that — anyway — when I receive the request — I personally accept it.
And so you and I become 1st-degree connections.
Now, here’s what’s interesting. My nearly 24,000 1st degree connections instantly become your 2nd-degree connections. And all of my 2nd-degree connections become your 3rd-degree connections.
Again, why is that important?
Well, back to my connections…my nearly 24,000 1st connections extrapolates out to a total network of over 20 million people when considering 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd-degree connections.
That means…I can search through a huge number of people during Ingredient #5 in finding our ideal prospects we might want to reach out to.
So, Onward Nation, building your number of 1st-degree connections is essential to your success on LinkedIn — and uploading your email list and sending out connection requests is a quick and easy way to boost your connection count — and the size of your network — with a couple mouse clicks.
Here’s how you complete the step. Click your “My Network” on the left side of the menu and then you should see an option on the right side of the screen to import your contacts.
Then click “Add Contacts” and you will see a screen with options to connect LinkedIn with your email service
Definitely do that — as well as the option to upload your email list and send out a massive number of connection requests all at one a couple of clicks.
In the testing that we have done here at Predictive ROI over the years -- is that about 30% of your recipients will accept your mass connection request within the first 72-hours. So this is an efficient way for you to boost your number of 1st degree connections -- nearly immediately.
Moving on to Ingredient #3: You should export your LinkedIn connection list and import into client’s email list.
This might seem a bit backwards after you just uploaded your email list into LinkedIn — why am I now recommending that you reverse the process and export the list back out and import it into your email list?
A couple of reasons:
First…LinkedIn is the only social media platform that gives you the ability to export the contact and profile details of your connections — and that is just plain awesome!
Second…the email address someone used when getting onto your email address may be different than the email address they use within a professional community like LinkedIn — so you should have both inside your email list.
This gives you the ability to cross-pollinate — ensure your high-quality email content that you will be sending (ahem — only high-quality content here, Onward Nation) — will be able to reach them via LinkedIn posts — as well as via email.
And third…there may be some hundreds of people who connect with you via LinkedIn — and not know how to signup for your email list.
No problem…if you are importing and exporting on a consistent basis…you will solve that problem to ensure you are fully covered.
Okay, onto Ingredient #4. Do you feel the momentum starting to build, Onward Nation?
You just beefed up your profile so it is ready to be checked out by the highly targeted prospects who will soon be coming your way. And then you expanded the size of your network so you have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions of people you can sort through to find the right prospects.
Rock solid awesome!
With ingredient #4…I recommend that you send a personalized thank you message to each new connection — and — that the message includes something of value — and — it is a personal message. Not one of those automated messages that feels like a heavy-handed sales pitch as soon as you connected with someone.
Ugh — those are awful and I tend to remove someone as a connection as soon as I receive one because I feel as though I got duped into a sales pitch.
Yack. We will not be doing that with Ingredient #4.
No...instead I recommend you send something personal — a warm hello and thank you — some personalized context so he or she knew that the message was just for them and then a link to the video.
Now, here is a little scaling secret, Onward Nation — you — you personally — do not need to be the one who sends each of these messages.
You can and should delegate this to a member of your team — maybe even an unpaid intern on your team — and my team at Predictive ROI has been blessed to have worked with 24 rock star interns who were assigned this project as well as other front line — forward facing activities.
And if you’re thinking “unpaid interns — he is out of his mind — there’s no way we could recruit unpaid interns in this market.” Let me just say…we have worked with interns who were students at Duke University, Ohio State, Purdue University, University of Northern Iowa…and many other schools around the country — all unpaid.
If you want our recruiting recipe — go take a listen to Episode 137 — because I share all of the step-by-step of how we do it in full transparency.
Okay, back to lead gen and Ingredient #5: How to build your prospect list using LinkedIn’s advanced search tools.
With these tools, you will be able to search through your entire network of connections using several powerful filters, such as:
And then you can take it deeper and make your searches more refined by including your prospect’s years of experience, their function within their particular company, seniority level, what they are interested in, company size, and so forth.
And if you are looking to upgrade to a premium membership -- I am a big fan of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator because of the additional granularity in data that can be pulled as well as how leads can be categorized and some of the reporting actions or reminders you can put into place. Sales Navigator is not a CRM but it is definitely getting closer to that.
Okay, by taking the time to get specific about your prospect — you leverage LinkedIn’s database — to deliver back to you a list of prospects who match your criteria and you eliminate the time wasting of sending direct mail to a purchased list and hoping for a better result outcome than the last campaign.
So let’s say that in your first attempt — LinkedIn returns a list of 100 people. You can then click on the profiles of each person (see — Ingredient #1 is really important) and from their profile — you can better determine if he or she is a good fit for your lead gen efforts.
If yes, add the person and their details to an Excel or Google Sheet so you can keep a running list of who you have reached out to.
I get it -- this is tedious work — I completely understand — but — it is also where the rubber meets the road in the success of your business and it will fill your sales pipeline.
Okay, so if you have worked you way through all of the ingredients, you will have built a solid profile — you expanded your LinkedIn network by leveraging your email list — and being smart — to also reverse the process and cross-pollinate your connections back into your email list…and now…you have mastered LinkedIn’s search tools with the resulting outcome being — a highly targeted prospect list — perhaps the most targeted list you and your sales team have ever had.
Ingredient #6 is next.
Crafting your InMail message and sending it to each of the people on the list you just created. There are seven sub-ingredients, if you will, that make up the InMail message…and they are:
Please use it.
My team at Predictive ROI has sent thousands and thousands and thousands of InMail messages on behalf of our client’s lead gen efforts — as well as for our biz dev — and the template we included in today’s Show Notes is the resulting outcome of all that testing and hard work.
You will dramatically shorten your learning curve by using the template.
One last point about the InMail and the template you will see in the Show Notes — there is a reference to “speaking to your client avatar.” And yes, we have a recipe for that, too.
If you go to Episode 208, I explain in full detail how to identify your client avatar — how to speak directly to him or her — and how to deliver value in the process.
Having and mastering this knowledge is a must in writing effective InMails.
And now we have arrived at our final ingredient…Ingredient #7…creating and sending consistent lead nurturing content to LinkedIn connections.
When you export your LinkedIn connection data — and then import into your CRM like InfusionSoft, etc. be sure to add the emails to a special list tagged as “LinkedIn Connections” or something else that lets you know these email addresses are super special.
This list represents your MVPs and your goal should be to create content just for them — exclusive — and then share it with them — letting them know it was created just for them — and that your connection means something to you — your connection is important — that you value their opinions — that you want to hear from them and how you can do better — and that you share your insights and expertise along the way in such a context that you are providing value that can be incorporated into their business straight away.
So that when you do reach out to them to explore the potential of a business relationship — you are not reaching out to a stranger with a cold call — you are reaching out to someone who already knows you, already likes you, and may already trust you because you offered tremendous value first — and that is an awesome way to begin a business relationship.
Before we close out for today…I’d like to leave you with a couple of important thoughts.
Now that you have learned the recipe – and have seen the typical result outcomes – there are two questions you and your team need to answer.
First…how will we take immediate action based on what you learned here today?
How will you apply it right away to fill your pipeline?
And that leads to the ultimate question.
Are you committed…or are you just interested in having a steady stream of well-prepared prospects flowing into your sales pipeline?
Being committed means knowing exactly how much new business you are seeking, from what sources, and having a strategy in place to fill the pipeline to get it.
Let me share a quick story about Coach Nick Saban from the University of Alabama – who, in my opinion, represents the epitome of being committed.
Alabama is consistently one of the top-ranked teams in college football each year. They were the 2015 National Champions and won the title again at the close of the 2017 season.
Coach Saban’s reputation is one of precise detail and process.
And once he uncovers a “recipe” for success…he uses it over and over again.
But he also freely shares his secrets without fear that his competitors will be able to duplicate his results.
How is this possible?
Case in point…my good friend, mentor, and three-time guest on Onward Nation, Don Yaeger, interviewed Coach Saban as they considered writing a book together.
During one of Don’s visits with Coach, he asked if there was a secret formula or recipe that gave Saban an edge to recruiting the best talent out of high school year-after-year.
Coach told Don that his recipe is simple. He committed himself to watching every single play that any of their 85 scholarship athletes every played while in high school.
Every play…so he could evaluate talent, effort, and other qualities.
Let’s just think about the magnitude of that for a minute.
Alabama has 85 scholarship athletes…who likely played at least 2-years of high school football…at 10 games per year in high school…and many high school players play both offense and defense during a game, so let’s call it 100 plays per game.
All totaled, Coach Saban watches film on 170,000 plays to make his recruiting decisions.
It is an overwhelming number, right?
How could anyone do that? But Coach Saban does.
And the resulting outcome is that Alabama is consistently the best on the field each year.
So Don asked him, “Coach…aren’t you worried that if we put your secret recipe into this book that people will steal it from you?”
And Saban looked at Don and said, “Nope…not worried at all. Because no one is going to be willing to put in the same amount of effort that I am willing to commit to our success.”
So my hope is that you don’t leave this solocast thinking – yeah, I knew LinkedIn could do that. My challenge to you is…but is your business doing it?
And as Tony Robbins says…“A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.”
So I hope you will decide to put this sales pipeline-building recipe into action and then please drop me a line and let me know about your success.
So with that said, Onward Nation…
I want to say again, thank you for taking the time to be here with me today.
It is an honor to have you here — thank you for tuning in — your time is sacred and I am delighted you chose this episode to be what you listen to, study, and take with you on your morning run, or maybe Onward Nation has become part of your daily commute, or in some other way has become part of your morning routine.
However our daily podcast fits into your daily routine — I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing some of your invaluable 86,400 seconds you have in your day with me and the strategies we learn and share each day from today’s top business owners.
I look forward to being back with you again tomorrow as we spend time learning from another one of today’s top business owners.
But until then -- onward with gusto!\
Our special encore guest today is Jill Schiefelbein. Jill helps business owners increase sales, enhance product experience, and retain customers. Her first business, Impromptu Guru, helps people improve their presentation and public speaking skills. She created a YouTube series that was syndicated by Entrepreneur Network and brings in thousands of new viewers each week. She’s a video partner and a contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine. Her latest book is entitled, “Dynamic Communication: 27 Strategies to Grow, Lead, and Manage Your Business.” Now...you may remember Jill and the wisdom she shared during Episode 453. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all she shared during our first interview...I highly encourage you to add Episode 453 to your list of vital priorities.
Jane Mosbacher Morris is the Founder and CEO of TO THE MARKET, a socially-inspired business connecting ethical producers around the world with consumers and businesses seeking to make a social impact. TO THE MARKET works with large corporations such as Macy's, Levi's, Capital One, UBS, Experian, General Mills, and many more. Her written work has been published on platforms ranging from the National Defense University to Refinery29.com. She is the author of the forthcoming book, “Buy the Change You Want to See: Harnessing Your Purchasing Power for Good”.
Our special encore guest today is Melinda Emerson. Melinda is the founder and president of the Quintessence Group, an award-winning marketing consulting firm with notable clients including FedEx, Verizon, Xerox, and American Express. She is also the host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners. Melinda’s small business advice is widely read reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week online and she was named the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes Magazine. And the author of the new book, “Fix Your Business”.
Our special encore guest today is Mark Faust. He is an expert on growth strategy, sales, and performance improvement. For the last 27 years, Mark has run Echelon Management, a growth consulting firm. He is an advisor on company boards and he has conducted hundreds of sessions for dozens of the worlds largest companies including John Deere, Apple, Bayer, IBM, P&G, and over four dozen third-generation family owned companies and many start ups.
Good Morning – I’m Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI and host of Onward Nation. And welcome to Episode 710 – this week’s solocast.
Well, this is a solocast with a twist.
If you have been listening to Onward Nation for a while now – you know that sometimes I take an interview where I was a guest on someone else’s show – and we essentially re-air it during my solocast.
I do this from time-to-time for several reasons.
First...doing this is an excellent opportunity for you to hear me in the hot seat per se. Someone gets to fire questions my way – and in the process – I get to share perspectives, insights, opinions, or strategies that I might not normally think to share during an interview with one of our Onward Nation or one of my solocasts.
Second...by doing this I am able to introduce you to another host who I think has some chops – someone who has an interesting point-of-view – or someone who I enjoyed talking with.
Which is definitely the case with Stephanie Scheller. Stephanie and I met through an introduction from Dave Denniston – and Dave was my awesome guest on Episode 244 of Onward Nation.
Following Dave’s intro – Stephanie invited me to be a guest for her YouTube series. I said yes, for a couple reasons.
One – I knew it would be a lot of fun and I am always game to talk with someone about building and scaling a business.
Two – I knew it was going to be a video interview, and like I shared a couple months ago, being excellent on YouTube this year as a company is one of our vital priorities for 2018 – so the interview would be another asset that would help us do that.
What I enjoyed about my time with Stephanie is that she asked great questions about my story, how Predictive ROI landed on and decided to go deep in all things voice and video to help our clients win, and we even dug into trends behind podcasts...and whether or not it was getting harder and harder to stand out.
I shared my insights from the perspective of someone who has owned five companies – and – interviewed nearly 1,000 of today’s top business owners – and hopefully Stephanie’s audience found the strategies and recommendations helpful.
So for today’s solocast – I wanted to share the conversation I had with Stephanie...with you...because there may be a nugget or two in there that could be helpful in your business.
And lastly, the reason I wanted to share this interview today is because it is another tangible example of how one piece of content can be transformed into another piece of content pretty easily.
Here’s what I mean.
Stephanie and I connected on Zoom and recorded a video interview. She then posted the content to her YouTube channel and shared it with her community.
Then Dallas Hendrickson on my Predictive ROI team, grabbed the video file and stripped out the audio portion of the file, and now we are going to re-air the audio within the middle portion of this episode of Onward Nation.
All I am doing right now is giving you an introduction so you have context as to why – instead of just jumping into the interview with Stephanie and it potentially being confusing.
In addition, we will likely transform the interview with Stephanie into a blog post, social media posts, a LinkedIn article, and it will become a feature in our weekly email.
And you have similar opportunities with the cornerstone content you create – or could create – on a daily basis.
You don’t need to create everything from scratch – it doesn’t have to be perfect – but it does need to be helpful to your audience.
If you focus on being helpful, being generous with your expertise, and meeting your clients and prospects where they need you – then you will be successful in building your own nation of true fans and growing your business.
So ultimately, I wanted to share this interview with you as a tangible example – a recipe – that you could take and implement into your own biz dev strategy.
I hope you find what I shared with Stephanie to be helpful. Especially in the areas of voice and video – how they are growing – and why I believe so strongly that you, too, need to be there as part of your biz dev strategy.
There is so much happening right now with voice that it is becoming difficult to keep up with. All of a sudden, my Predictive ROI team is building Alexa Skills and Flash Briefings that are connected back into the podcast content for clients, and all of that is tied into a product or service rollout.
My mind starts racing with all the possibilities. Wow.
So if you want an overview of how voice is changing the game of biz dev, I encourage you to go back to last week’s solocast, Episode 705, where I break down some of the latest tech and trends.
And more importantly – how you can drive your business forward if you begin taking action around these opportunities.
So with that said...I want to say thank you, Onward Nation.
Thank you for taking time to be here – thank you for sharing your feedback, opinions, and insights with us for over 700 episodes.
You are rock solid awesome!
Please know – I appreciate your time and attention so very much – thank you for helping us get better each and every day.
And I am thrilled that we crossed another milestone with 700 episodes – and we are continuing pushing forward and doing an even better job in how we look to serve you the best going forward this year.
I wish you a wonderful rest of your week and look forward to having you back tomorrow for another great interview with one of today’s top business owners.
Until then...onward with gusto!
Anne Bahr Thompson is the Founder and Chief Strategist of Onesixtyfourth — a boutique consultancy that integrates cultural shifts and a social conscience into brand development. Anne was named a 2018 Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the pioneer of the Brand Citizenship movement and has more than 25-years of experience as a global brand strategist, including a former executive director of strategy and planning and head of consulting at Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy. Anne is also an accomplished researcher, speaker, and the author of the new book, “DO GOOD: Embracing Brand Citizenship to Fuel Both Purpose and Profit.”
Lee Caraher started Double Forte in 2002 as a new kind of communications firm designed to provide the best service in the business. Lee has managed multiple offices and hundreds of people of all ages and was named in the 40 under 40 by PRWEEK Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in medieval history — which she finds useful every day. You may also remember Lee and the wisdom she shared during episodes 180, 269, 523, 669, and 680 of Onward Nation. If you haven’t listened to, studied, and applied all that Lee shared during our earlier interviews...I highly encourage you to add her episodes to your list of vital priorities.
Rob Dube is President and Co-Founder of imageOne, the leading organization in Document Lifecycle Management, which is well-known as an exceptional company, receiving local and national recognition for its multi-award-winning culture, including being ranked as one of the Top 25 Small Businesses in America on the 2017 list of Forbes Small Giants and one of Inc. 5000’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. Rob is also the author of “donothing™: the most rewarding leadership challenge you will ever take” and organizer of the donothing™ leadership silent retreat.
Susan Berkley is one of the most listened to voices in America. She’s a top voice-over artist and telephone voice for Citibank and many others. An internationally known communications expert, Susan is the author of “Speak To Influence: How To Unlock The Hidden Power Of Your Voice” and her latest book, “The Persuasion Code.” She is president and founder of The Great Voice Company and provides training in persuasive speaking techniques for business and sales professionals worldwide, as well as training in voice-over technique. A former radio personality and frequent media guest, she has been featured in on ABC News, CNBC, To Tell The Truth, and in The NY Times, The LA Times, and Business Week.