Social selling success breaks down into 3 buckets:
Basically, you need a plan, sales and technology skills, the right technology to support your goals, consistent execution and a commitment to measure and track your results. Going straight to tactics can be a waste of time, costly and frustrating. With buyers starting the journey without sales people initially, you need a way to create a sense of authority and influence, and anyone who sells anything certainly needs to be visible and easily found.
A cornerstone of your social selling strategy is having great content to share. And your first tip today, is that the content should not always be yours and it most definitely cannot be a sales pitch!
If you work for a company that is sizable enough to have marketers creating content for you to share…awesome. A word of caution though…the content being served up cannot be perceived by your prospects as your own personal love fest. In other words, provide value in the case studies, white papers, video’s, blog posts or recorded webinars. If all you do is talk about what you sell and how great you are, you just missed the entire point of what social selling is all about.
If you have no content to work with here are 15 ways to serve some up:
- Write a blog and/or comment on other top blogs in your industry.
- Conduct podcast interviews with industry leaders.
- Curate the content from key influencers (not competitors) or websites you like – Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Top Sales World…whoever is important to you in your field… via RSS feeds and using a dashboard tool like Hootsuite.
- Follow influencers in your field on Twitter and on LinkedIn. Share their posts.
- Reach out to other influencers and ask about guest blogging on their site. If they do podcast or video interviews, ask to be considered for an interview.
- Share content from the people you respect and follow on LinkedIn. Use the new mention feature to give them a shout-out.
- Conduct a webinar. Deliver your own content or set it up panel style and moderate. Record the session for post follow up and use in sharing content later.
- Create a kick-butt presentation and post via Slideshare and then share it with you minions and encourage them to share with theirs.
- Curate a newspaper using Paper.li. Add 25 of the top people you like and include their blog posts, tweets, etc. It will post automatically through your Twitter account, and you can also share it with others via email or LinkedIn.
- Speak at an event – could be as a featured speaker or a panelist and have it videotaped. Share the video on your LinkedIn profile.
- Create a video of your tip of the week. Get really good at it and do it daily.
- Host a live tweet chat, capture key points from the discussion and turn that into blog posts, interviews or presentations.
- Get to know editors at various online sites who publish blog posts or magazines. Offer to guest write an article.
- Host and record a Google hangout session focused on an educational topic that your prospects would be interested in.
- Conduct a survey and share the results with prospects and others in your network. For example, I co-authored our Social Media and Sales Quota report with Jim Keenan.
If you have content to work with that’s cool. Mix in any corporate content that has been created for you and also integrate a few of the suggestions that I’ve shared with you.
Don’t forget that sharing only your content is boring and will appear self-serving. Make the content you share a nice mix of yours and that of others who offer fresh insights and perspectives.
Once you create content, you have to get really good at sharing it. That takes an organized approach and scheduling, which I will talk about next week. Until then, happy selling!
By the way…keep up with and nurture your business relationships…
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