In Bloobirds’ webinar a few months back, Veronica Milla welcomed Daniel Disney, author of the Amazon Best-Selling Book “The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message” and Founder and Owner of The Daily Sales. He answered questions from the audience about how to maximize social selling and personal branding to generate new leads and sales.
Daniel Disney | Author of the Amazon Best-Selling Book “The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message” and Founder and Owner of The Daily Sales
Veronica Milla |Head of Demand Generation at Opticks
Below, is the full transcript from Bloobirds’ webinar with Daniel Disney. Keep reading or check out the full video here.
V: Hello, everybody! Thank you for joining us in our webinar with Daniel Disney. Thank you, Daniel, for joining us today.
Daniel: Thank you for having me. I’m really excited.
V: For those of you who don’t know, and you should, Daniel is a LinkedIn and Social Selling expert and is the author of Amazon best-selling book “The Million-Pound LinkedIn Message”. Daniel is also the founder and owner of The Daily Sales, LinkedIn’s most popular community for salespeople with over half a million followers. It’s an absolute pleasure to have you, and we’ve prepared a couple of questions for you. So, let’s begin!
Daniel: I’m honored to be here on this webinar with you today. I’m excited to dig into great, valuable content.
V: So, whoever knows The Daily Sales sees daily content several times a day, all valuable, with sales humor and memes, and a lot of tagging and sharing. It’s content that lightens your heart, which is great within a work environment that tends to face high pressure and can be a bit dry. So, I wanted to ask where you got the idea to found The Daily Sales.
Daniel: I have worked in sales my entire working career, and sales are tough. It is a stressful job. You are up against a lot of rejection, challenges, and pressure. When I started using LinkedIn about 7-8 years ago, the lot of the content was in a professional tone. And I started to see a lot of memes and humorous content on Facebook, and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny to create some humorous content about sales?” I built the first meme and shared it on LinkedIn, and it was very well-received. I think it got nearly a 1000 likes, which several years ago was hu–
Daniel: [chuckles] I sort of realized that there was this hunger, not just for humorous content, but for educational and motivational content. But, at the time, it was scattered everywhere. And I thought, “ Wouldn’t it be nice for salespeople to have a single page, a single community space that they could follow and that everyday good content is shared on a regular basis?” I know what it’s like: you’re making calls, you’re out on visits, you’re pitching, you’re closing. Sometimes, that little motivational quote or that funny meme is just the little spark of light you need to get you through some of the tough times or give you some ideas of how you might overcome some of the challenges.
Daniel: I literally came up with the concept, sitting on the sofa one evening. I for a logo design app on my phone, literally designed the logo that you now see, and set up the page, and then started sharing content. Fast forward 4 years later: here we are now with 560,000 followers and growing by 10,000 every single month. This is everything that I’m passionate about….it’s been an exciting journey.
V: That’s amazing! So, our next question has to do exactly with LinkedIn, which is your specialty, alongside social selling. I wanted to start with a broad question related to your predictions about LinkedIn trends for 2020, as well as ask you for a couple of tips–without giving everything away–about must-dos and don’ts on LinkedIn.
Daniel: We’ll start with the trends piece in terms of what’s working right now, and it changes very very regularly. Right now, I would say that most people could do is create content… and the best performing content at the moment is the long-story post. Not blogs or short ones, but those nice, long mini-stories that have clear spacing between all the sentences and takes the reader on a journey.
As far as content goes on LinkedIn, this form drives the most engagement. It will help drive personal brand worth for you, including connections, followers, comments. Essentially, when it’s done right, it brings about leads as well. It’s the first trend that I recommend that people look at now would be that form of content. And the best people are doing it at least 3-5 times a week, so ideally once a day, Monday thru Friday. But, 3 times is a good minimum number.
The best performing content at the moment is the long-story postDaniel Disney
V: It’s the dedication then, right?
Daniel: Yea, but it doesn’t take time. I teach something called Social Selling in 15 Minutes a Day, and creating a post like that should only take 5 minutes. Once you’ve got an idea or are inspired to write, they don’t take much time to write. It’s only when you try to force to create something, you’ll spend more time. But 1300 characters are not a lot of text and it should not be a massive time restraint for salespeople.
V: Okay. And what would you say are the absolute must-dos of this year? Let’s say maybe you’re shy or perhaps a perfectionist, and these stories or posts are not for you. Let’s imagine you’re a very busy CEO that maybe likes to keep some things private… what would you tell them?
Daniel: So, being completely honest, I’m a very introverted person, which many people may not believe because I’m certainly on camera and stage. And when I teach, I am full of energy. But put me in a room with lots of people, and I will tend to keep to myself. So when I started using LinkedIn, I was shy…I was scared. I didn’t know what to write. Didn’t really want to share my stories. So I could fully relate to that.
Daniel: My biggest tip would be one of two things: first of all, consume. Listen, read. Just consume content regularly. Start to spend 5-10 minutes once or twice a day. Just go through your feed. Read some articles and posts. Watch some videos. Consume. Listen to what people are saying and how they are saying it. That will help A) get you used to how people are creating content and B) give you ideas about what you might want to say. And that’s one of the ways that I come up with ideas.
Daniel: I’ll pick up a book and read a couple of chapters or watch a video on YouTube, or I’ll listen to a podcast. Listen and consume regularly. The other thing you can do is practice. Practice makes perfect. When I looked back at my first article 5 years ago, it was horrendous. But it was the start, and after each blog post, I got better and more confident and found my own voice. Practice. Learn, and over time, you’ll get better at it.
V: All right. So, this flows into the personal branding of your work. A lot of people are trying to become this new type of professional influencer. There is a lot of videos and selfies, of people uploading a post of them going to the office. But at the same time, there’s a lot of mixed buzz with that. Some people do it correctly–although you would know better– and others, well… you look at it and you wonder. So, what’s the trick to doing that activity right?
Daniel: Personal branding is a huge thing. The kind of message that I stress to salespeople is that we know people buy from people, and relationships are a big part of sales. And your personal brand is one of the best opportunities to show your prospects and customers that you’re a human being, and not just another person trying to sell them something. So, the potential in personal branding is huge: from building relationships to generating opportunities.
Daniel: But, you’re right that there are those who do it correctly and those who do not. That is, LinkedIn is LinkedIn, and it is not like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. It is its own social network, and it’s about understanding the right tone for LinkedIn. For me, it is a professional social network. There has to be professional relevance, but it is a social media network. So it can be about you or about things you’re doing… but it is not limited to things being done in an office. You want people to get to know you and understand your world.
Daniel: Here’s an example: I get the common question of whether I should share family pictures. There will be a mixed response, always: some will say that it’s for Facebook and others will argue that it’s great. But for me, it’s about tying both the personal and the professional together.
So, if you got a personal picture to share but it has a professional message, that can work well. I’ll give you a quick example: I shared a picture of my son and a drawing he had done last year. The story behind it was that I told him that I liked it and asked him for the drawing for my working space. And he said that I would have to pay for it, though. And I applauded his entrepreneurship to it….
The potential in personal branding is huge: from building relationships to generating opportunities.Daniel Disney
V: [laughs] Clearly your son!
Daniel: I very proudly bought it and then about an hour later, I went to go see him in his bedroom and there were 10 more drawings done. And I said, “Wow! You’re doing a lot!” and he said, “Can you phone Nan, Grandad, Auntie, Uncle…” He wanted to start selling them to everyone in the family. It was a chance for me to show my network of customers prospects audience that I’m a dad… not just a salesperson. I’m a human being, but the story was very relevant.
V: Thank you so much for sharing that. That’s really beautiful…. Really unique. I wanted to ask you if you have any specific tips around personal branding for B2B SaaS sales.
Daniel: I will give you two of the biggest, best tips that I can ever give anyone when it comes to personal branding. Consistency and value. That is it in a nutshell. You need to be sharing and engaging content on a consistent basis. Ideally, Monday through Friday, at least once a day. I will give you a quick example in this scenario: I saw a sales trainer last year. Zero personal brands. Zero networks.
No one knew them. All they did was share a long-form LinkedIn post, Monday through Friday at 8 AM… that’s all they did. That in itself allowed them to grow a world-known personal brand and an audience of 20,000 followers and growing. A lot of business came from that one singular, consistent activity of posting every day.
Daniel: Obviously, the other tip that is attached to that is value. Those posts were value-giving….most of them were tips, knowledge, experiences, insight. All of it was valuable to their customers, prospects, and audience. Consistent content that is valuable to your audience is going to have a huge impact on just growing a personal brand and just leveraging LinkedIn better. If you look at your feed now, most people aren’t doing those two things. They’re not consistent… they might post once a week or once every two weeks. And when they do post, it’s not valuable. Usually, they repost or promote the latest offers and products. So you can kind of see how a lot of people are doing it wrong, which is why the potential there is massive. But it’s simple: consistency and value.
The two best tips that I can ever give anyone when it comes to personal branding – consistency and value.Daniel Disney
V: Wow! So we have established that personal branding is not only for celebrities. Do you have any best practices that you would recommend for maybe the mid-level manager or even an SDR? The reason I ask is that when you are maybe halfway, inter-level, you have this question of how much value can I actually provide. Like, who am I to say this? I would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Daniel: That’s a really good question. My tip for them to play that card… play the new starter or entry-level role, and use your curiosity and lack of knowledge to leverage social networks. I see people come in who don’t have knowledge or experience but they ask… and they talk to their network and ask for their network’s help. So don’t be scared or feel like it’s an anchor holding you back. You don’t need to come onto LinkedIn and start telling people what to do or positioning yourself as an expert if you’re not one.
Daniel: People attach themselves to human beings. And if you enjoy the role, play that. Talk about what you’re learning. Go out and listen to a podcast or read a book, and write about it. If you’re not sure about something, ask about it. There is so much you can do. It will bring a personal element to it and help people attach themselves to you and build trust.
They will see a layer of vulnerability, which is great. You are not just a cheesy salesperson who thinks they know everything. You are bringing yourself to their level if not a bit lower. People love to help and feel needed. There’s so much potential to leverage. Be comfortable, and use LinkedIn in a way that can help you and other people at the same time.
V: That’s the main thing. There will probably be a lot of people in that situation. It’s so meaningful to find people who have the guts to talk about it… and it’s very refreshing.
Daniel: You will get so many people in the same position. You will get lots of people in leadership or senior positions who will want to help. They like helping… people like to help. When someone is asking for your knowledge or expertise, it feels good to help.
It’s also a powerful way to start a relationship, especially with potential customers. Instead of trying to sell them something, asking for their knowledge and experience is a great way to open doors and start to build relationships, in which you can learn from them and get to a point where you can offer product solutions to help them.
Be comfortable, and use LinkedIn in a way that can help you and other people at the same time.Daniel Disney
V: How do you measure success with social selling?
Daniel: A lot of people, unfortunately, use the LinkedIn SSI score as their measure of success. It’s free and from LinkedIn, but many only use that. While it is good, it only paints half the picture. For me, the true measurement of success on LinkedIn and social networks from a sale’s perspective: how many deals did you win that came from LinkedIn? How many pipeline opportunities that came from LinkedIn? How many new prospects or relationships did you establish? In reality, the core sales metrics.
But then, match that up with what the SSI score shows you: how good your personal brand is, how well are you leveraging the search functions on LinkedIn, how well are you building relationships with decision-makers and giving value in content. All of these are good measurements, but it has to be matched with the real sales measurements: pipeline sales, opportunities, conversations, etc.
V: Great. Now, once you’re a well-known influencer, how do you approach and engage your ideal customer? Is there any difference?
Daniel: Influencer is a funny word. There’s a love-hate relationship. One of the things that I saw recently is changing the word influencer to impact. You don’t have to have thousands of followers and be an influencer to deliver a result. You can have an audience of any size and deliver impact and value, and still achieve a similar response. The key is if you can build a personal brand, regardless of audience size, that’s powerful in starting conversations.
Daniel: When I prospected opportunities, the first conversations I would have is “My name is Dan… etc.” and usually spend the first 10-20 minutes trying to build credibility. With personal branding, that flips around. If you’re out there giving value and building relationships digitally, those first conversations often change, in which prospects come up to you and say “Loved that blog you shared!” Suddenly, they know who you are.
You’ve already established a level of credibility and trust. You get to fast track a few of those early steps. It doesn’t mean that you’re going to get that all the time, but it really helps speed up some of the opportunities. Indeed, having a personal brand can give you a competitive advantage.
V: How should a B2B SaaS company use LinkedIn to create a bigger brand or better content?
Daniel: My first tip would be to get everyone using LinkedIn, regardless of department. Make sure to raise everyone’s profile to a good customer-focused standard, with uniformity. Some of the companies that I have seen–all of them follow a similar template, with nice professional photos, and the right information.
Each different, relevant to the individual, but with a line of uniformity. Get as many people as possible to engage. You will have so much more noise and amplification of your company. The more people you get engaging, the bigger the impression of a business you create. I heard this expression that LinkedIn is the equalizer in business, allowing you to level the playing field. Size and experience of the company don’t matter as much; if anything, it’s how you’re maximizing the participation in the usage of LinkedIn.
80% of the content should offer value to the customer regardless if it’s about you, the business or product, or tips. 20% can be more directly relevant to your product or service.Daniel Disney
V: We’re in the last 5 minutes of our webinar and we have a few questions from those watching. What’s the right way to approach people on LinkedIn? A first cold message or a connection?
Daniel: You wouldn’t be able to message them directly without a connection. You could send Inmail but they don’t give the best first impression. So I recommend sending a personalized connect request that is not so sales-oriented and just personal. It can be as simple as “Hey Dan! It would be nice to connect! Best regards, etc”.
Ideally, try to give some value for the first 3 days, engaging with some of their content or sharing some of your own. Then, find the right way to getting the message to them. It could be a LinkedIn message. In fact, I did a post today about video messages and you can check out on LinkedIn. A decision-maker told me of an example, in which a salesperson got a meeting with him after sending a 38-sec video message, which differed from the other sales-y inbox messages.
V: Would you say there’s a perfect time of day to post or a time that performs the best on LinkedIn?
Daniel: Good question. There used to be when LinkedIn was a 9-5, Monday through Friday type of network. However, it’s now 7 days a week at any time. LinkedIn has become a 24/7 platform. There are minimal differences about when to post, although you could ideally post between 8-9 in the morning and 12-1 PM in the afternoon. I wouldn’t stress though. Post when you have the right message to post. Don’t focus so much on time, if rather, the content.
V: What percentage of business is there versus more personal social content?
Daniel: I use the 80/20 split in how I teach content. 80% of the content should offer value to the customer regardless if it’s about you, the business or product, or tips. 20% can be more direct relevance to your product or service.
V: Well, it is time to end. Thank you so much for accepting our invitation. We appreciate it! We hope that a lot of people can listen to this and learn from this unique insight.
Daniel: Thank you, everyone, for having me. It’s been a real pleasure.
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