Social Media Lead Nurturing Methods for Newbies

In this day and age of email, inmail and messaging as part of marketing outreach and social media lead nurturing methods on platforms like LinkedIn, we’re offered unique access to prospects. What you say in a quick intro message to a new connection or prospective connection can make or break your strategy and kill the best of intentions.

As a Marketing Agency CEO, I counsel clients on strategy. A valuable component of any marketing strategy is person to person messaging. It is necessary to me, that when someone asks to connect with me, they take a second to tell me why they want to connect. I want to connect with people who are peers, prospects, marketing influencers, clients, friends, etc. People I actually have a reason to connect with. Someone of value. I do receive requests with messaging and appreciate them, but there are messages that lack in originality and authenticity, leaving me saying to myself, “Do you really know me? This message clearly tells me you don’t.”

The A,B,C’s of Harmful “Casual Connecting”

What is your hook? Why would I connect with you? I am going to add you to my very valuable professional network, what’s in it for me? These are some of the requests I’ve received lately. My return critiques are in brackets.

Killer Example 1

Suzette, Can we connect? I see we’re both involved in the same industry, just in different capacities. How’s 2017 going? [Me to myself: What industry? What capacity? I don’t know you so the question about how my year is going is way too general and way too casual.]

Killer Example 2

Suzette, thank you for accepting my invitation. I understand that you are bored with messages from different outsourcing companies and from offers of various services. I don’t want to waste your time, I would like to introduce my company, which helps businesses around the world. Would you have 5 minutes this or next week for a short call with me? [Wow, sentence #1 leaves me thinking – “Yeah you’re right, how are you different?” and “What is the name of your company and how do you help businesses around the world like mine?” No call is ever 5 minutes. I’m not going to respond to this]

Have a good day.

Killer Example 3 (This is from a Social Media Educator / Marketing Consultant)

Hello Suzette, I appreciate you taking the time to connect 🙂 I haven’t been too active on LinkedIn lately, but I’ve decided to spend a bit more time on here networking. What about you? Do you do a lot of networking on here? [Sentence #2 tells me you’re not working your business as a social media professional, and know nothing about proper networking. If you look at my profile and drill down on my activity you’ll see my number of connections and activity level. At that moment, I unconnected with this person]

Killer Example 4

Thanks for connecting with me, I had a few questions about your company. By the way, I love your profile [What does this mean?] and I’m reaching out hoping that we can bring value to one another’s business efforts. Would love to speak to you at some point. My number is (XXX) XXX-XXXX. One last thing, please text me before you call to ensure I don’t think your a telemarketer, thanks and I look forward to your response. [I really think this person needs some coaching. I am the CEO of a company and he sent me this request asking me to text him so he knows I’m not a bill collector. I would NEVER text my phone number to this guy. This is actually offensive to me and would be to anyone at the CEO level. Know who you are talking to. Make sure your message is grammatically correct. This is a Killer LinkedIn Message. I unconnected.]

Killer Example 5

Any message that ends with:

“Just let me know if you have any questions.”

Primal Scream

Which one of those awesome lead nurturing methods would you respond to? I’m a busy executive. I’m past doing “cups of coffee” with virtual strangers to see if we have some commonality. What is “in it for me” with your value statement? Do these statements look to me like you give a sh*t about really knowing me and my company? It’s not a vanity thing, it’s a productivity thing for me. It’s a value thing. Don’t ask ME to do YOUR job by divulging information to you that you can easily find out by 1. Looking at my profile 2. Looking at my company website.

OMG – Primal Scream!

As marketing email and social media becomes more efficient and intelligent with AI (Artificial Intelligence), the future looks brighter for gathering targeted information on the Plethora of Professionals called LinkedIn, but until then, I am tasked with diving into a connection and their potential and finding a value statement that will incite the recipient to having an actual interest in what my relationship with them can bring to the table.

“Wish So and So Happy Birthday!”

I had a relationship with a company that had over 10,000 LinkedIn connections who would connect with someone and then say, “Let me know how I can help you with your XXXXX needs.” (XXXX being their service offering). They were also serial “Happy Birthday” wishers. I counseled them. I advised that none of this activity would ever be fruitful. Every few months, I would hear from this person that “my phone is not ringing, it used to ring.” Why do you think that is Mr. Company? My advice was to do real prospecting by finding real ways that a company had problems you could solve for them with your business service. Less is more in this respect. His indiscriminate, platonic “how can we help you” messaging and “happy birthday” messages were simply garbage to his connections. Once again, you’re asking your prospects to qualify themselves to you, so you can swoop in and do a deal.

How Can You Fix This?

How can you create real relationships with prospects so that you’re a prospective problem solver, not a task master? Identify THEIR pain.

Make your messaging and lead nurturing methods personal. Do your homework. Pay for a LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription and spend time doing research on that person, their company, their company’s problems, what their company is looking to do in the future and how your company could fit into that. Collect this data in your Navigator and use it to laser target your messaging.

Be A Problem Solver

Dive into a vertical. Find an industry with a common problem that your company can solve that your competition is missing the boat on. Write a guide or white paper about solving that problem for that industry. Offer up that free guide or white paper to new connections in that industry. Become an SME on solving that problem for this industry. Your lead nurturing methods will take on a refreshing difference to prospects.

Own Your Connections

Widen your reach and ask prospects to connect with you outside of the LinkedIn platform. There are right ways to do this so that you can migrate this information to your CRM database or email database. DON’T just take liberties and add this person to your email database without an opt-in permission from that person. When you offer someone a copy of your white paper or guide, you can also ask if that person would like to stay connected and receive more valuable information that is helpful to their industry. At this time, they would “opt-in” to your email communications. This is also a legal requirement of commercial email communications. [The CAN-SPAM Act establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations. Federal Trade Commission Website]

A Magical CTA

If you want your user to take a specific action, you need to make it very clear what that action is. Make the action request compelling. Determine where that person is in the sales cycle or their “journey” as marketers call it today and speak to their pain with your solution. It’s part of lead nurturing and the nurturing process is NEVER a demand from you. It’s also not instant gratification for you. [Definition of Lead Nurturing: help or encourage the development of… “Sell Something” is nowhere at this time.]

Conclusion

Have patience, spend quality time and create lead nurturing methods of value to your prospects and give them a clear, concise call to action. The response results will be nothing short of amazing.

Bottom to Top – The New Sales Funnel Model for Consultants and Business Services – Download the PDF

Attached is an example of a sales funnel which has a bottom to top dynamic flow. On the left is your company value propositions to prospects who don’t know you. On the right are prospect and client responses and expectations. This model is a helpful tool for consultants and business services but also helps anyone understand the process flow of lead nurturing which should be planned and predictive.

  1. The “Attraction” process is trust building with prospects.
  2. The “Conversion” process turns prospects into leads.
  3. The “CRM” process keeps clients engaged.
  4. The “Appreciation” process turns clients into advocates.

Download the PDF Bottom Up Messaging Model here.