The Missing Link for Leads: Social selling—that actually sells
Social selling takes age-old truths about human nature and designs them for the emerging business internet—cleaned up, people-based, and largely happening on LinkedIn.
You’ve got a great business. Your clients and customers love it. But you’ve hit a ceiling. Growth is elusive. You’ve tried what you know about social selling, digital marketing—and digital agencies—but you get junk leads.
Empty clicks—or crickets. You’re doing it wrong.
People made you great and sold your business. People are missing from your digital marketing attempts—either inhouse or through an agency.
‘Social selling’ brings people back into focus. It leapfrogs the potholes and dead ends set up by digital agencies—the ‘clicktraps’, we call them.
It takes age-old truths about human nature and designs them for the emerging business internet—cleaned up, people-based, and largely happening on LinkedIn.
Why social selling? People buy from people.
You grew this far with hard-earned word of mouth, from hard-earned customers. From people.
It is your people who made you what you are. And with so many people online with social media, it makes sense to reach them there.
But how you do it matters. And digital agencies are doing it wrong.
They ignore what grew your business to this point—word of mouth, from people. It’s the holy grail of business growth—and it’s built on three big things.
Relationship. Reputation. Reach.
Taking these online demands more than clicks and keywords. It demands aligning your sales and marketing—that’s relationship. It demands finding your brand voice—that’s reputation. And only then mobilising your people—that’s reach.
And the best way to mobilise your people?
Definitely online—but only where people go to get trusted information from real industry thought leaders. Spoiler alert—it’s not Facebook or Instagram! It’s a platform designed for business decision-makers – LinkedIn.
It’s at the heart of the new science of social selling and it’s helping businesses walk back two decades of bad digital marketing. Before we get into it, let’s look at what went wrong.
Avoiding ‘clicktrap’—how agencies fail.
Understanding bad experiences with the wrong agencies means you’ll know how to get it right.
(Also see The ‘A’ in Team: When Marketing Agencies Get it Right)
Any new technology brings a wave of ‘geeksperts’—technically skilled but with very limited experience. In online selling, they focused on Search Engine Optimisation—we all know it as SEO, and in some ways—and for some businesses—it made sense.
In Google’s early days, the algorithm was easily gamed. For local businesses selling to consumers, first place in Google meant gold. For fast moving consumer goods—again business to consumer—first place in Google means selling widgets.
So the geeksperts started digital agencies and ditched the personal storytelling that makes word of mouth so strong. Instead they focused on ‘lead generation’—meaning clicks.
Click, click. Easily reportable, job done. But if you’re a business to business (B2B) player, engaging digital agencies was a job half done.
Beware the ‘clicktrap’. Worse than a waste, the focus on clicks can be dangerous. All the lead generation in the world won’t help growth if your sales team is stuck with unaligned prospects.
As a B2B player, your service is ‘low-volume, high-value’. You’re not an impulse buy or a ‘closest to me’ decision. You’re an investment – a different league. And so are your customers.
They’re smart—they believe value when they see it. And where do they see it?
That’s right—your people.
Valuable voices—let your people speak.
Personal branding is old news—and has earnt its bad name. Cheesy headshots, TED talks as self-promotion, individual consultants posturing as thought leaders to generate leads. People with minimal experience becoming ‘overnight coaches’.
That wave of personal branding grew out of pyramid-style seminars. Books like ‘Key Person of Influence’ led to a by-the-numbers approach—of people self-branding as their main business strategy, and like everything online—personal branding has evolved.
Savvy B2B consumers can see through the hype and find more connection with genuine content from genuine people. Personal branding is less shouting from the rooftops and more collaborating on the field.
For organisations, that means developing brand voice and messaging that team members can mobilise on their own profiles—especially on LinkedIn. Working with creative agencies is crucial here—because great brand voice is subtle and holds all the big ideas that matter to your business.
You hired your people for their expertise—now help them talk about it.
Simply put, social selling means your people speaking as powerfully online as they can in person—and that means getting the words right. That’s why Hunt & Hawk uses senior brand copywriters to help your people be authentic, inspiring and expert.
Using strong copy with great brand messaging on organic posts is foundational to social selling. It’s where you find out which ideas hit a nerve with your audiences—which ideas get traction, only then, do you put a budget behind promotion and advertising—so social selling ultimately saves your spend.
Social selling: The missing link—why LinkedIn rules.
Instagram is for selling followers your lifestyle. TikTok for the minutiae of our lives. On Twitter and Facebook, the battles rage as people get extreme about their non-expert opinions.
On LinkedIn—people get to work. And at work, content is king. LinkedIn has 774M active users—but only 4.9% actively post weekly. That means 95.1 % of users are spectators.
LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to reach business-facing decision-makers—and offers the best chance to influence their decisions right where they choose to research them.
If your people produce valuable content—with strong voice and brand message—you’re out of the clicktraps and into growth. You’re out of ‘lead generation’ and into ‘demand generation’.
You’re getting leads while you sleep, and it’s only getting better.
The pandemic changed us all—and it’s accelerated the trend of in-person sales fading away. B2B sales reps have around 5% of a customer’s time during the entire buying journey.
In business, more decisions are being made digitally—and according to McKinsey 70% to 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer it that way.
Reputation has met convenience–and gone online. That’s why LinkedIn is the missing link for your growth.
Get the link—get the growth.
The internet is changing. A lot of dodgy marketing is on the way out. Browsers remove 3rd party cookies. Software embraces GDPR restrictions. Algorithms prioritise authentic content.
Bad news for clicks. Good news for your people. Real people telling real stories on LinkedIn is at the heart of growth marketing—and at the heart of social selling. It’s the perfect time to leverage it for growth.
We’ll help you discover your voice—and rediscover your growth curve with LinkedIn.
Watch this webinar on demand on social selling—and learn how to leverage LinkedIn with our unique Missing Link service.