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Welcome to the bean ninjas podcast where you get an all access pass to see what happens behind the closed doors of a fast growing global bookkeeping and financial reporting business.

Hey everyone, and welcome back to another episode of The being ages podcast. And today we’re joined by Brynne Tillman to talk all things social selling. Welcome, Brynne Thanks for having me today. I’m really excited. Let’s start with what is social selling. And how did you get into this? Well, social selling really, it’s very different than social media social media marketing. We look at social selling as the process of leveraging online platforms and tool to track teach and engage targeted buyers.

with the goal of starting more sales conversation, and so often that’s very different than social media and social media marketing. And so I think, you know, social selling stands out as more of a sales activity versus marketing activity, although there is quite a bit of overlap. So I mean, that’s how you see social selling. And I got started, I was a sales trainer and I was a producer for years. And I started teaching LinkedIn and really fell in love with it and decided really, I wanted to niche in it about 10 years ago, and then launched my own company about five and a half years. Right. And so is most of the social selling that you do or that you train others to do on the LinkedIn platform. Is that like, that’s your ish. Our niche absolutely is leveraging LinkedIn. We certainly use a lot of other tools, but LinkedIn is the pub of what we teach.

There are lots of other tools that you can use Facebook and Instagram and YouTube, all of them can be used for social selling. But the way that we teach it is really about leveraging more market to identify who knows your targeted buyer, and helping and leveraging those relationships to get warm introductions. And so LinkedIn really is the only platform that allows you to do that. So if you were working with a business owner, and they were just getting started with social selling, what guidance would you give to them? How do you get started something like this? That’s a great question. And the initial reaction most people have is they get on LinkedIn, they set up a profile, they start to connect with people and then they end up in what we call random acts of social. You know, they get on occasionally maybe a few times a week they’re accepting connection request. Maybe they go to a networking meeting and come back with a bunch of business cards and reach out to him.

connect with people, but then they don’t do anything with it. And so we’ve actually developed the eight stages for really rolling out a social selling program. So that whether it’s an individual who’s leveraging LinkedIn for social selling or a sales team, they’re really prepared. And they’re purposeful in using the tool. So the first stage is establishing their goals and ultimately, their KPIs or key performance indicators. Just like any sales activity, if you don’t identify your goals and what you want to get out of it, you’re setting yourself up for failure, right? So it’s really important. What do I want to get out of this? You know, I want to look at my long term goals and my short term goals and then there’s also activity goals and results goals. So my result goal for LinkedIn, maybe I want to be on five prospecting calls or sales calls sales conversations a week. That’s a results goal. The activity goals are what do I need?

to do to get that result goal, and so you need to really establish both. Next one is buyer mapping. It’s literally going through your favorite clients, the ones that you want to duplicate that you want more of looking at all of the stakeholders inside that organization and mapping them out to LinkedIn filters so that we are able to find more people like the clients that we want more of. Once we do that, we select the tool stack. So you mentioned it was LinkedIn, my primary tool, and it certainly is my primary platform. But we highly encourage many other tools including calendar or scheduling apps, we use calland Lee calm, there’s a ton of them out there. We recommend everybody have Grammarly. It’s a freemium product. For curating content, we recommend feebly and some kind of

scheduler like Hootsuite or buffer. clincher is another one. There’s a whole bunch out there. And then they go up into really great employee advocacy tools. Everything from gaggle amp, and everyone’s social and LinkedIn has their own called elevate. So you pick your tools, what are the right ones for you specifically, or your team? And you want to develop a content strategy. That’s curation, and origination. What are we going to do? Are we going to do video? Are we going to do blog posts? What does that look like? I won’t go into that deeply. But it’s really important that you nurture your connections. And content is the way that you do that. Then we build out a playbook. So what am I going to do? What’s my daily cadence? What’s my messaging strategy, all that fun stuff. We create a value centric profile, so that when your buyer gets to your profile, your resource for them instead of them getting there and reading your resume up

provide insights and value right away, asking people questions about that. I think I’ve seen some other people’s profiles who I think are doing I value centric. And I’d say my profile probably isn’t doing that. And I’m saying most people’s profiles I read, it’s more like a resume. So maybe if we use me as an example, accountant running a bookkeeping business, if you were coaching me, how would you help me to turn what really was basically your resume into something that’s value centric? That’s a great question. So the first question we start with, it’s a three parter. Who do you help? How do you help them? And why would they care? Right, so who do you help? So you will play the game? Who do you help? We help on businesses with their bookkeeping and financial reporting. So that’s fine. Who you help. Is it small businesses, online businesses chatter between 100,000 and $2 million. Okay, so it’s sort of that

Small mid company, right? So helping company and you can say the dollar amount if you want helping companies up to $2 million

with their bookkeeping and payroll or whatever that might look like. So what so why do they care? So helping them with their bookkeeping, so that they maximize their tax deductions? And tell me what is the so what is two? There’s two reasons and the first one is tax deduction, minimizing tax and being taxed compliant. And then the other reason is to make data driven business decisions. And then okay.

So that’s phenomenal. Right? So that’s the so that right, so helping small businesses, you know, play with is helping small online businesses with their bookkeeping so that they maximize or minimize tax or maximize tax deductions, and leverage their data to make better decisions or better

business decisions. So now when I get here, it’s not just you’re an accountant or your bookkeeper, you’re really going to help me in a way that’s much more relevant. Right? Like, it goes from, who cares. She’s a accountant or bookkeeper to? Well, that’s interesting. I did pay a lot of taxes or I don’t know if I’m maximizing my tax deduction or, you know, I’m using QuickBooks and I have no idea how to use my data, right? Like now you’re like stirring up your relevant to them and get them interested to keep reading. If they’re not interested. You’ve qualified them out. And that’s okay to now when we go into summary, which is next, the biggest mistake I see. So summary is amazing real estate on LinkedIn. But most people start with my mission, my passion, my years in business, you have earned the right for anyone to care about that yet. It’s really important

that you haven’t been there, right? Yeah, I’ve not heard anyone put it that way.

But I love them. So let’s earn the right let’s provide some great insights that can really help them move closer to your solution. But be careful that you’re not leading with your solution. Because when you’re leading with your solution, it’s a pitch. When you lead to your solution, you’re providing value and insights that get them really interested in having a conversation with you, because you are presenting yourself with credibility as a thought leader, not as a salesperson. So what did those insights or what can those insights look like? For you, I would actually start with the challenge. Most small businesses that are either doing their own books or they’re outsourcing, a typical bookkeeper will find that often they’re not getting the expense deductions that they could be. They’re not necessarily compliant with tax laws.

And they’re not getting usable data that helps them make better decisions, right. So now we want the buyers that were interested in are gonna say, Yeah, that’s true. I mean, they’re just literally entering things into QuickBooks and then sending it to my CPA. So, if that’s the case, so they go, Okay, that’s true. Here are some insights that can help you determine whether or not you are compliant. And then I don’t know what they are and we’re working together, we go down, but you give them so you’re giving them insights. You’re not saying work with me so I can get you compliant. You’re giving them some insights on what to look forward to recognize are they at risk for not being compliant? are they paying too much and donating too much money in taxes?

When we start adding that now they’re going, Oh my God, this might really be affecting me and even if they’ve got

Great bookkeeper, we’ve at least stirred up some thoughts in their head that they could be at risk for some of that stuff. But we also are providing insights, then just a little paragraph, like two lines about how you help and a call to action. So if you’re concerned that you’re overpaying and taxes, that you’re out of compliance and your risk for fines, or you’re not pulling insights from your data that help you to scale your business or grow your business or use that data effectively, I invite you to have a conversation whether or not we decided to work together, I’ll provide some insights that can help you at least understand where you’re at risk or give you peace of mind that everything is set up fine. And now you are really a resource. Instead of this being your resume now when we get into experience on your profile. Now we get into your 32nd commercial, they have to know what you do.

Right. So but It all belongs in your experience. Summary does not have to mimic your experience. Right? That’s a really good example. That’s a great explanation. And I’ve got some work to do on my profile. Thank you. Oh, good. Hopefully that’s helpful. It is very helpful. So I’ve, whoever you’re working with me, we’ve nailed the profile. What next? Well, so at that point, we train on LinkedIn and social selling, that’s step seven, and eight is measure and coach, they said, we trade training, whether you buy online training, or you have a one on one training set, whatever that looks like, there’s a ton of different choices out there, trading could be watching just a webinar series, but whatever that is, it’s learning the platform and how to leverage it. But it’s also the strategies behind it. Make sure that and we can talk about some of the strategies, but social selling is not only posting content, and liking and commenting although that will make

nurture a lot of your connections. That’s a long game. prospecting we want, you know, we want to schedule more sales conversations quickly. And so there’s some really great strategies on how to leverage our warm network in order to schedule more of those targeted conversations.

explore that a little more. Again, if we use my own profile as an example, I do a lot of content and liking and commenting and engaging. But I don’t really take anything to the next step in terms of scheduling calls. So I think the content engagement is working well, but thing the next piece is not actually a social selling tool for me at the moment. It’s more building of a network. Yeah. And you are, you know, you are definitely building a reputation. And the nice thing is if you can nurture those connections over time, when your solution becomes a priority in their business, you will get the call. But it is a long game. So prosperity

Acting is generally thought of as a short game, and prospecting can be anything from cold calling to knocking on doors and all those traditional prospecting. And although we truly believe because I mean, our mission is to help people start more conversations by leveraging the power of LinkedIn, that’s who we are as a company. It is not just about social, it is about phone calls. So social selling is about scheduling conversations. And I say phone calls, except all our phone calls tend to be on zoom today. So we moved phone calls to conversations. Because I mean, every one of my I’m not on the phone that much anymore. It’s all zoom, which is great. It’s a great way you feel like you’re in the same room with people and when you get to see them and engage with them. There’s such a much bigger connection than just a call. And the goal is to schedule these calls. Right. So how do we do this? There’s a few different

ways, but the first thing we would do is the buyer mapping is like identifying who you want to talk to. So once we’ve done that, you’re able to search LinkedIn, even on the free and target your prospects, your potential clients. But there is a filter that will first say which we would say first degree connections. So maybe we decide first degree connections, but in the location where you want them, but in your we call it a search string or Boolean search, which might be CEO or CFO or CEO or whoever you’re looking to meet. So you put that in and then you search with your first degree filter is going to show you everyone you’re connected to that you’re ignoring that you should reengage. Now, how do you reengage This is where content will come in. So you find a great piece of content and maybe you know, so you’re in Australia, and I know nothing about Australian taxes, but maybe create a blog post that says you know, five, Australia

tax deductions that most small business owners Miss. And to now you’ve got this great piece of content. Now you’d reach out to all of those business owners or the CEOs or the CFO, with this piece of content. You know, Tracy, we’ve been connected on LinkedIn for some time, I noticed your CFO to small business. And I thought this blog post might give you some insights on potential tax deductions. A lot of folks may or miss. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now, as a CFO, she might know all those things. She might say, Oh, good. I’m getting all I’m doing all of that, right. Well, that’s great. You still provided value, you gave her kind of a reassurance that what she’s doing is right, that’s a great way to reengage your first degrees. Now you do that same search and instead of clicking the first degree filter, you choose the second degree filter. This is where there’s a magic in LinkedIn that no other tool in the world offers us and allows us to search our connections, connections and find

Find out who do we already know that’s connected to our targeted buyer? Once we see that, we’re able to leverage those relationships by asking for introductions. That’s one way to do that. And it’s really powerful. The other way is to actually search someone’s connections. So if I have a client that loves me, and or you have a client that loves you, and like, Man, you saved us so much money this year, and we’re using all these data insights to help us better manage our inventory or whatever that looks like for them. And you know, you see, you know, I thank you so much. I love working with you. I’m so glad I was able to make an impact. I hope you don’t mind. But I noticed you’re connected to 18 people on LinkedIn I’m trying to get in front of and I run these names by you. You have a conversation with your client about these 18 people. And after that, it turns to four or five that you can either ask them to make an introduction or

Permission to drop their name. And if they give you permission to drop their name, now we reach out and say, David, I was just talking to Merrill the other day and your name came up. And she thought it made sense for me to reach out and introduce myself. I’d love to hop on a call and loop you in and what we chatted about. And that’s with permission, right? Those are the ways I know, I kind of went on and on. But those are the ways to truly prospect on LinkedIn in a very productive manner. And there are lots of people that just go out and do some cold calling on LinkedIn. And although you know, it’s a numbers game, and just like cold calling on the phone, people have some success. I tend to stick to the warm market. Yeah. And do you have any tips from going from the stage of providing value with say a piece of content to then getting on a call? Yes, I know I probably have to berries around that. As an accountant. We don’t do a lot of active selling. It’s more that people come in

That’s where the conversations that. So I know we’ve got quite a lot of accountants in our audience who might have the same roadblocks around prospecting, or what to do to actually set up that call. Yeah. So you know, if you’re getting introduced to someone, it’s really easy. Once that introduction happens, somebody in our network told us, we should talk to you. So I’m expecting that you’ll take that call, right. So David Merrill thought I should reach out and introduce myself would love to connect and hop on a call and I can loop you in on the conversation. Now we connect. David, thanks so much for connecting Merrill had such great things to say about you. I’m looking forward to chatting. This is where the tool for the count, lead calm comes in. To make scheduling easier, here’s a link to my calendar. Please pick a time that works best for you. I’m really looking forward to our conversation. And you’ll get like a third to 50% of those because it came in through a warm market. So it’s really powerful.

The other side of this. So if you’re reaching out to your re engaging those first degrees that you’ve ignored, here’s a piece of content I thought of you. If you’re concerned that you’re not getting the most out of your data insights or whatever, I don’t know your business as well as they should. Or you’re concerned that you might be overpaying in taxes. I’m always happy to jump on a call. Some people will go as far as saying, I’ve noticed the last few clients I’ve brought on over the last few years if this is accurate, of course, but the last few years they had been overpaying and taxes. And I just feel like it’s my responsibility to reach out to my network, share some insights and make sure it’s not happening to them as well. Once you read through this article, if anything is jumping out at you, I’d love to jump on a call. If you’re interested. Here’s a link to my calendar. I’m always happy to chat. They’re not going to be a 50% like they’ll be a five to 10% or you know, it just depends on your

networking, a lot of times its timing, but when you’re nurturing them with content, you know, and you’re not pressuring them to have a call. It’s like, Hey, if you’re open, you can even make it a PS. So it feels a little less threat like, you know, it’s, but what happens is, you send this and they ask their bookkeeper about something they read, and the bookkeeper doesn’t know anything about it. And so now, when they go to file their taxes, they’re a little bit concerned, and now they might reach out to you. So it’s about having you know, that three to five to seven, sometimes 12 touches over time, I nurtured one VP of sales for about three years with just content and I didn’t even give my calendar link. But I said, if you have any questions, I’m always happy to chat. I would get thanks for the content, great article, but it never really turned to anything. And then about four months ago, social selling LinkedIn social selling became a real topic and I

Closed a really big deal, because that was the timing. And the interesting thing is I don’t believe me, she told me, they didn’t shop anyone else. They were like, We need this. This woman Brynne Tillman has been sending really valuable stuff over the years. Let’s talk with her. And you know, I always ask, Is there anyone else that you’re talking to? And they said, No. So that’s some of what dripping and social selling do. And that’s why I said there’s a short game in a long game. And the content and the nurturing is, you know, it’s about waiting for timing. So warm introductions, will turn into conversations much fast. So you want to do both. Yeah. And I wanted to turn to content now. And you mentioned earlier, you had some insights into how to do that. And it seems like there’s a lot of different options around the type of content you could write frequency video. So what are your thoughts on coming up with I suppose a content strategy filling in? Well, so every company is going to be different, but I

give you one content strategy that can be leveraged by most people. I love a topic a month. So what are we going to talk about this month, and then we write one really great blog post around that. And then we create 560 second videos of, you know, tips from that blog post. And then maybe we go out to Fiverr. com, and for 30 bucks, I get a little infographic done with my blog post. And then maybe I’ll do a couple of quotes in a PowerPoint slide as an image. And I’ll share five of those. So now we have maybe 12 to 15 pieces of content that we share over a month around one topic. And then next month, we start again, when you only have to choose one top of the month, and you can get that much content from it. It’s much easier and it really does

help you to create a strong library. And it also helps for search engine optimization. If you’ve got a lot of stuff named, that you know those topics over time, Google loves that. And so would you have the blog published on your website? Or would you do that as a LinkedIn article, and then promote that file something like a post? Yeah. So you own your website. And I always believe that the content you own should be housed on your website. Typically, I put it on the website in about 72 hours, I then put it on LinkedIn with a link at the bottom that says original post here, you know, on the website, originally posted on the website, actually don’t even always do that. But I tried to. And the reason that I have it on my profile is because when people are kind of poking around on my profile, I want that content to be there. But I want the SEO to really be from my website. So I get there. First. I want to talk about

More about your business, too. So we mentioned that you’d been running the social selling business for around five years. Is that right? Yeah, I launched social sales link about five and a half years ago. And I’d love to hear more about what your business looks like and the kind of programs that you run. Yeah, well, we actually kind of had a three pronged offering, I guess. So we have the offering for the solo printer, entrepreneur, salesperson. So the individual that wants to get better, but isn’t getting it through their company, or they are their company. And we work with them almost in the same way. We’ve customize a playbook for them. We get their profile up and running. We put a content strategy together, and we train them really on their daily cadence and what they should be doing. There’s also a coaching element if they should choose where we would meet 30 minutes a week. I have coaches that are great at this

guide them. So they’ll say, Okay, well client Are you meeting with this week? Let’s look up their connections? What are we going to say? How are we going to position this right? And what networking partner are you go to coffee with, you know, maybe mind their connections? What are you going to say? How are you going it right like, so that’s ongoing coaching for those entrepreneurs or individual sales people, then we have the content development piece. And this is for companies or individuals that don’t have a marketing department, if they do have a marketing department that fits into the next bill. But if they don’t, we will do that monthly, one blog post, break it up into pieces, record video with them, and provide them with that content to leverage on LinkedIn on a monthly basis. And then the third piece is corporate training. So that’s where we go in and we really dive down into those eight steps. And we train the sales teams really how to leverage LinkedIn

Really master LinkedIn for social selling. And that’s where, you know, we pull into those eight steps. And then we either have group coaching for them or we train the trainers to keep them accountable. It sounds like you have a quite a broad ranges, they, they have an individual to the corporate side of things as well. And what’s next for you in your business? Ah, that’s a great question. So what’s next? Me we’re growing. We just in the last few months, brought on two new people. So I was really a solo printer entrepreneur. But now we’re really scaling up we’ve got some coaches that are really providing value. So I think that’s kind of the next thing. I’m also working on my next book. I have a book on LinkedIn social selling on Amazon right now and I’m working on my next book. So that’s kind of fun, and that’ll probably come up close to the end of the year and working on

Just a lot of client work that we love Brynne thank you so much for coming on the podcast, it’s been amazing that you shared some wonderful insights around social selling, and specifically LinkedIn. Oh, no, I’ve learned a ton listening to you. And I think our audience would as well. Was there anything else that you wanted to add related to ours quickly implement social selling? And then also, what is the best way for anyone to get in contact with you if they were interested in working with you? But even if they’re interested in just connecting with me? So that’s actually an interesting two part question. And an answer the second part first, which is I’m the only Brynne Tillman on LinkedIn to date. So if you find me and connect with me, and let me know that you heard this podcast, I’ll send you some additional resources, some templates, and some other kind of hacks and shortcuts and kind of fun things. A resource page that I’ll send you

With lots of great stuff that can help you move toward mastering LinkedIn for social zone. Wonderful. Well, thanks again for coming on. Oh my gosh, this was so much fun. Thanks for having me.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Want to learn more about how LinkedIn and Social Selling can build your business? Let’s Chat. Here is a LINK to my calendar, please pick a time that works best for you.

                                                                               – Brynne Tillman