Lead Gen

Are You Building Relational Wealth?

Relational wealth to grow your business

A friend recently forwarded an Andy Stanley podcast featuring special guest Glen Jackson, a brand strategy thought leader. Although Glen is technically a competitor, we serve different regions of the country. And excellence should always be shared whenever possible. Glen definitely shared excellence.

Andy covered quite a lot with Glen in this podcast. But what stood out for me was the concept of building relational wealth. In today's post, we'll expand on Glen's perspective on relational wealth, plus we'll walk through an action plan for building your own relational wealth. 

Why relational wealth? Pretty simple...you want to grow your brand in a healthy way. Relational wealth is the most valuable asset you can develop to support healthy growth. By definition it is an abundance of valuable, authentic relationships. It is not marketing. It is not selling. And it is not networking. It is not measured in related revenue. It is not measured in the quantity of your LinkedIn connections. It is best measured by how consistently active you are, daily, in the three steps in building relational wealth...

  1. Research
  2. Connect
  3. Invest

Research

Be thoughtful about who you want to connect with and why. Take the time to understand, through their lens, why developing a relationship on some level would be valuable for them. Your value in the potential relationship should already be obvious. Set a reasonable goal for developing new relationships...monthly total with a daily investment of 30 minutes specifically for this type of activity.

Connect

Connecting occurs through events, referral introductions, and yes LinkedIn. The key to connecting is relating to people of interest around "commons". Commons are interests, people, groups and the like. They must be authentic. It's unwise to try to connect with someone just because you targeted them as a prospect. In fact, most of your relational wealth does not represent prospects, rather access to them.

Invest

Investing is sharing value. Sharing information or access to something of value like an event is about giving. It occurs consistently over time. You can't force it and it's not about you or your brand. Whatever your investment, do the research so that whatever you share will be genuinely useful to them. It's great if it somehow related to your interests and work focus. But it can't be forced.

Building relational wealth is critical in preserving and growing the health of your brand. Be deliberate. Be committed. Invest daily. For more on using LinkedIn to help in building relational wealth, check out this post

 

LinkedIn...access to who you didn't know you already know

LinkedIn...access to who you didn't know you already know

LinkedIn is the fastest growing social network on the planet. 2 new members join every second with nearly 300M registered members across the globe. 50 percent of all users are decision makers. Marketing and sales professionals must leverage LinkedIn to have right conversations with right people. Your target audience is likely active on it. So should you be.

Here are Best Practices for leveraging LinkedIn.

1) Plan. Before you jump in with both feet, determine your objectives. Ask yourself, specifically, why do I want to use LinkedIn? What do I want to accomplish by using it? Example objectives: 1) Generate 3 new business opportunities in the next 90 days using LinkedIn. 2) Direct connect with 30 target prospects within 3 months. 3) Direct connect with 30 colleagues, partners, and/or people of interest in which you have things in common. 4) Post content in your feed daily M-F. 5) Endorse 5 connections every week. If you're not sure what objectives to create, Ask a LinkedIn-savvy colleague or a LinkedIn paid professional. It’s important that your objectives are properly focused and realistic. 

2) Research. Use the advanced search features to research and save your searches. Then back-link any relationships you have even if they are 2nd or 3rd degree. To get the most out of this work, you’ll need to pony up the $53/month LinkedIn upgrade.

3) Warm Introductions. Use your research and network to generate warm introductions through LinkedIn. Take your time and do this right. Be prepared to offer something of REAL value in return and upfront. It needs to be a win/win exchange. Once you have access to the target, don’t show up and throw up on them with a big pitch. Be friendly, direct about the WHY you’re connecting, and offer her access to your network if she needs anything.

4) Build. Treat LinkedIn like a window to your relationships. If you value your relationships, then you’ll use the platform to cultivate and grow them on a daily basis. And don’t link with just anyone. Be selective but proactive. Try to link with multiple new meaningful people every week in pursuit of your planned objectives. You’d be surprised how many people you actually know.

5) Be an all-star. LinkedIn rates your profile for you on the right hand side. If your profile is not ranked as an all-star, get to work on getting there. The platform provides many built-in suggestions, but to summarize the key work…completing all sections, linking with more than 500 people, request recommendations from people you’ve worked with in the past. And offer them in return as well.

6) Post. LinkedIn is full of great content. You likely already receive great content from other sources via email, Twitter, etc. Every source begins or ends with a link to post via multiple sources…almost always LinkedIn is one of them. If you like something you read, post it to LinkedIn. It’s worth the 60 seconds investment of time. Do it daily and you’ll see an increase in profile views and connection requests. More importantly, you’ll be creating opportunities to connect with your target prospects.

7) Group. Be selective and become a Top Contributor. Focus on 2-3 groups where your prospects are likely to hang out. So many people treat groups like trade shows and the 6th grade dance. All the boys on one side and all the girls on the other...meaning they spend time with peers instead of prospects. It’s crazy but it still happens today in business…even in the virtual world! Don’t do it. Mingle with your prospects on their turf. Post great content like your blog or someone else’s that you like. Read and comment on other posts. Use it for discussion. It’s not for hard selling. You’ll become a thought leader and make more meaningful connections.

If LinkedIn is something you think you could improve on with professional management, let us know. We can help with our LinkedIn management services. Jut give us a call @ 214.810.6207 or email us @ info@illumeture.com.

 

Email...7 things you need to know

EMAIL MARKETING...7 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Email is still the king in B2B marketing dominating social media, mail, and all other forms of marketing combined. Although LinkedIn is making inroads on the king, a recent study by McKinsey concluded that email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Twitter and Facebook. 

So what about email? How can your organization best leverage it? Some of the Best Practices are similar to what you’ll find in the Blog BP. Still, there are important distinctions. Here are the Best Practices for leveraging email.

1) Have a good list. Make sure your list data has 90% + integrity and that its focused. Don't try to boil the ocean by including everyone. Know the right role or roles and focus your list build on them so the message will be more relevant, thereby increasing your probability for engagement with the right people.

2) Plan. Plan the campaign theme, the send schedule, the content, the follow up. Even though the plan will change because of current events, changes in the organization, or a myriad of other variables, having the framework will make your work more fruitful in the long run. Just be consistent in execution.

3) Have a creative headline. The headline is critical...it's the doorway to your message. Believe it or not, most email headlines are poorly written. You have 2-3 seconds to grab a busy person's attention. Make it count. Being creative doesn't mean sensationalize. It needs to simply compel the reader to open the message and keep reading. And it needs to be relevant to the content within the message. Make it authentic and appropriately clever. Often a simple "Touching base" is effective. Another best practice...keep it short. Use five words or less. Two is optimal. Another example  headline "Anything missing?" If you want a great resource for testing keywords, check out http://subject-line-checker.adestra.com/. Invest time in your headline. If you’re not good at writing headlines, pay a professional. Yes it’s that important.

4) Write content with hooks. Be compelling and inviting with your content. And it’s about them not your features and benefits. Within the theme you’ve selected, it's about what they can do with your offering. It's about what they will experience and gain. And storytelling is powerful, but at this point only a compelling peek into the story will work. Too much too fast and there is no hook. You only have about 5-7 seconds to hook the reader beyond the headline. And you want to keep them hooked. A compelling email has 4 hooks…headline, salutation, KPI or benefit highlight within the core message, and the CTA (Call To Action). The CTA must be something they need to do to get the result they want. Write it as if you were them reading it in their environment.

5) Listen to the macro data. But balance that with what you know to be working for you. TrackMaven recently released results from their latest study centered on rising above the “noise” of email. Highlights (with notes based on our experience in parentheses) include: send in the mornings and evenings on weekends (generally true), keep the subject line word count under 20 (best practice is 2 with a max <5), use a question mark in the subject line (very effective), keep your word count under 300 (target 50 with max <100 for best results), don’t use images (good for blogging, and social posting, not good for email as images flag spam), use links to share more information (good, link to content you own is optimal). Most people are doing much of the opposite and not because audiences prefer it.

6) String it all together. Since you are working multiple channels to reach the right people, ensure the campaign theme compliments the other channel work you are doing in messaging and timing. Social selling via LinkedIn, conferences, phone calls...whatever you are working, make sure you are thoughtful and deliberate in how you attempt to connect. You don't want your efforts to feel canned. Be as authentic as possible within each channel you work while avoiding becoming inefficient.

7) Measure your results. And adjust. If you can’t track manually, get a tool like campaign monitor or mail chimp. Salesforce.com App Exchange has some bolt-on options as well. The primary KPI is conversation rate...how many conversations did you generate. Other KPIs for email are: open rate, click rate, direct response rate, opt-out rate, and spam rate.

If email is something you think you could improve on with professional management, let us know. We can help with our email management services. Jut give us a call or email us @ info@illumeture.com.