B2B Breakdown Series – Episode IV
B2B outreach is often a strange hybrid of sales and networking. It’s an open secret that you’re reaching out to people to do business with them… but you’re also putting your best face forward. Indeed, your cold outreach might have your face attached, so it’s important to leverage that shared human connection.
In this episode of B2B Breakdown, we’re going to look at some outreach that was performed via LinkedIn automation tools.
Review of Initial Outreach
I received a connection request from John Doe. Rather than sending me the generic “I’m inviting you to connect” message, he customizes the request with a personal message.
Immediately, I can see from his title that he’s in my sphere. He identifies himself as “Founder @ Young Aspirers University | I Inspire Young Men (16-27) to Harness Their Inner Strength and Dominate in Both Business and Life | Host of Top 100 Inspiring Young Aspirers Podcast.” A founder, a podcast host, and apparently a business/life coach? I’m definitely interested, and he greets me as a “fellow young aspirer.” So he’s not only affirmed his brand name, but also complimented me.
From his message, I know that he has looked at my profile and sees what I’m all about. He has started with a warm, friendly, and relevant message, thus focusing on connection, not a sales pitch. In a way, though, he is pitching something: himself.
This is an excellent way to warm up a conversation. John comes off as a real person interested in getting to know me.
We exchange a couple of messages, and then he suggests that we book a 20-minute discovery call to see how we might help each other. Notice that he’s warmed me up, highlighted our common interests, then left the ball in my court to pursue.
This is really opening a door rather than shoving something in my face. He’s not demanding my time; he’s not even asking me to book. He’s simply suggesting a possible call — a 10,000-foot ask to get the conversation going. And because it’s pretty clear who John is and what he’s all about, I’m much more likely to give my time.
So, I’m very interested in booking a call. But before I do that, I want to check out his profile.
Review of LinkedIn Profile
The first thing I notice about John’s profile is what I saw in his message. The top portion is a well-optimized profile. He has a clear, compelling title that clearly speaks to his target audience.
John’s profile picture could be better; it’s a bit hard to see his face. And while I appreciate the good ethos he creates with a cover photo that shows him in his element, it’s also a bit hard to understand what’s going on. He’s speaking to a crowd (I assume it’s him), but what is the context?
The About me section is quite short. It’s a nice “Why” statement but doesn’t go into the details about how he does what he does. The Young Aspirers University is apparently his main pitch, so I begin to wonder why his About section doesn’t have more information. He should also add a CTA to encourage people to connect.
So, I scroll down to his Experience section hoping to learn more about Young Aspirers University. Much to my surprise, there is no description of it! Perhaps it’s the “Self-Employed Business Owner” listing, but there are no details to consider. No accomplishments, responsibilities, project highlights… nothing to give me something to chew on.
Here lies an important lesson: if you’re pitching some sort of offer for your own enterprise, make sure someone can find information about what you do easily. Ideally, you can demonstrate your work — or even your goals if things are just starting up. Based on his cover photo, I assume John has done some speaking engagements. Yet these aren’t mentioned in his experience. Don’t be afraid to share your achievements on your profile!
However, according to his Activity section, John is very active on LinkedIn and has lots of followers. It would be nice to see more of his colleagues leave recommendations. But I figure now that I’m connected with John, I’ll probably learn more about his endeavors in time.
Review of LinkedIn Company Page
My first impression of Forever Growing You is that it’s a bit confusing. First of all, it is clearly not Young Aspirers University, nor connected to it in anyway. The tagline, “A New World In Rising; Let’s Discover It” is a bit vague. It doesn’t speak to the target audience’s core needs and pain points. The banner image and logo are also quite generic.
It’s worth noting that your prospects can and will check out your company page. Make sure they find something that clearly follows your pitch.
The rest of the page is quite blank. There are no recent posts and the About section is vague. It does mention digital marketing, which doesn’t follow the pitch I received from John.
Review of Website
Like its LinkedIn company page, Forever Growing You’s website is unfortunately bland. It has a very out-of-the-box design — not much personality. That said, the value proposition is very clear: “We Will Bring Your Restaurant More Money Using Cutting Edge Digital Marketing Techniques.” That’s great, but definitely not connected to John’s outreach message.
So by this point, the buyer journey has definitely forked and I’ve been taken down an unexpected path. That original pitch about Young Aspirers makes less sense now as I followed the links from John’s messages.
If you’re currently doing cold outreach on LinkedIn, the takeaway here is to track your buyer journey. Think about where your profile leads, and make sure that prospects can follow the breadcrumbs to the right destination. You can even provide instructions, e.g. if your profile lists two enterprises but you’re only pitching one, go ahead and include the link you want people to visit. Trust me, they won’t mind.
Let’s review what we learned from this outreach. John did an amazing job starting the conversation. He was friendly and had a compelling pitch, and he left the door open for me to investigate his offering. The problem was, there was nothing to be found about it!
When you’re reaching out to prospects, be sure to give them something to bite into. Otherwise, you’ll create a rift between what you’re talking about and what they’re seeing.
In John’s case, the disconnect between his title, message, profile links, and job listings hampered my ability to truly understand what he was offering. Young Aspirers University was very intriguing to me, but I wasn’t able to follow my buyer journey. This, in turn, made me question why I should book a call with John. Always be sure that your outreach keeps your prospect in mind. As Donald Miller famously said, “When you confuse, you lose.”
We get it. There are a million ways to improve your outreach to be more effective with your prospects, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out the next move. If you find yourself in this situation, click here to hop on a call with us. We’ll be able to talk about the details of your business and give you some advice on where to take your content and more.
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