B2B Marketing Sales Podcast 3

For this third edition of our B2B Marketing Sales Podcast, I am pleased to welcome Bruce Johnston-whose job is to help companies understand why LinkedIn just doesn’t seem to work the way marketers believe it should, in a complex B2B sales context. So how to “Make More Effective and Efficient Use of LinkedIn for B2B”?

We all face those moments where we have no bloody idea why LinkedIn is not working as we expected it to. Well, this is where Bruce and I became acquainted.

Three weeks ago I was trying to understand why my LinkedIn Pulse articles were suffering from poor views, when I was pretty confident that my audience- of technophiles and marketeers- would certainly have interest in the topic. So I turned to my best friend Google and landed on an article from Bruce Johnston on this specific topic, entitled “Down The Rabbit Hole That Is LinkedIn Notifications For Publishing”. I found, in this article, an answer to my question. Though not delighted by what I learnt from reading the article, I was certainly pleased to now understand what was going on, behind the scenes of my LinkedIn publishings.

I decided to contact Bruce on his vision of how those in sales should “Make More Effective and Efficient Use of LinkedIn for B2B”. After an information-rich and friendly discussion, we decided to record this B2B Marketing Sales Podcast #3 together!

[Podcast also available on iTunes. Subscribe now!]

If you would like to find out more about Bruce Johnston’s’ expertise on how to make effective and efficient use of LinkedIn for B2B, I invite you to visit the website Practical Social Media Marketing (Practical SMM).

[CHAPTERS] B2B Marketing Sales Podcast #3

Thank you for joining today. Actually, LinkedIn helped us to meet indirectly as I found your profile while I was reading an article about why all my followers don’t get a notification every time I post a LinkedIn Pulse article. I got pretty precise information in your article, so I checked your profile and realized that you were an experienced LinkedIn expert, so I contacted you to have you on this podcast (just for a little bit of background, ed.). How are you today Bruce?

What I like in all the articles I read from you is that you are just in the middle of highly strategic skills and very operational aspects of LinkedIn. You are really helping people to apprehend how they can get the most out of their LinkedIn posts and all the rest. What is your view about LinkedIn these days and how do you help people to use it more efficiently?

A part of your answer puts the following question on the table: how do you find a balance between being aggressive vs. passive on LinkedIn? I remember that five years ago it was very common “aggressive” promotional InMails. How should people be adapting as B2B sales to this evolution of the use of LinkedIn InMails?

Last time we discussed you mentioned that social sellers may be a little bit delusional about the way their targets are using LinkedIn. Some people are using LinkedIn every day, while others are only using LinkedIn once a month, so your chances to target them and to reach them with your posts are limited, and those people represent a big part of the LinkedIn user community right?

The question I get the most often is “how should I start?”. When I have fifty year old sales who are really willing to be part of the game, to set up a proper LinkedIn profile and to start prospecting in there, they don’t know where to start. Could you please give them you advices about this in particular?

The second question I get; and you mention that in your previous answer; is about the LinkedIn groups, and how the average quality of a LinkedIn group is unfortunately pretty bad, a lot of advertisement, clickbait and so on. LinkedIn groups are one of the most powerful feature of LinkedIn, but they are mostly badly used. What do you think the future of LinkedIn groups in the next five years?

Another great feature of LinkedIn is Pulse (LinkedIn Publishing). Last time we were discussing about this notifications thing, as I was very surprised to realize that when I post a new Pulse article that I am proud about, LinkedIn has its own algorithm which decides if this or that follower will actually get a notification. I was a bit disappointed about this, I am not sure to understand what is the point of LinkedIn when doing this. I am not even sure that many social sellers are aware of this, but could you please tell us a little bit more, and tell us whether you believe this is a good or a bad thing for the LinkedIn ecosystem.

I also wanted to mention an article you have published recently entitled “The LinkedIn Paradox: The Hunters And The Hunted”. You are defending in this article a particular concept, would you explain it to us?

What I like the most in this article in the concept of LinkedIn “predator”. As a marketeer I receive on average one InMail per day. When I receive an InMail, if this is not a message from someone I know, I can be at least 95% sure that it is about a software and/or service provider trying to sell me something. And this is where I think that LinkedIn positioning will need to pivot smartly in the next years, if we don’t want this thought to be more and more common in people’s mind. What most LinkedIn users have in mind know: if they receive an InMail, there are two possible scenarios; “it is someone I know” or “someone is trying to sell me something”. And I believe this is really negative for the sake of this great social network that LinkedIn is. What do you think about that Bruce?

At the end of the day it is all about how to seduce someone. If you want to seduce a woman, and start with “Look, I have a really nice car and a fancy apartment, would you follow me home and join me for a drink”, the nice lady might just run away… It is again about the level of aggressiveness we were mentioning earlier. If you feel “hunted”, you will totally answer “no” even before considering the offer in question. You view about the importance of not sharing your sales pitch in the first InMail, it sounds very logical to me, but not to everyone apparently. I definitely join you on the fact that education is the key on this very particular aspect.

Bruce, can you tell us a bit more about your professional activity, how you help people to “Make More Effective and Efficient Use of LinkedIn for B2B” and where we can find out more about you?

That sounds perfect! Bruce, thank you again for your time, we made it in less that 30 minutes as promised. It was great to have you on today, and I guess we speak soon!

Written by Aurélien Gohier