Welcome to episode #109 of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by https://gtex.org.uk/,
I am your host, Simone Vincenzi, The Experts Strategist, and this is the podcast for experts who want to become the ultimate authority in their niche while making an impact in the world.
Today I have the pleasure to Interview Allan Fine
The media calls Allan find the LinkedIn wizard.
Allan is a LinkedIn leads generation expert. He has been training individuals and corporations on the use LinkedIn for almost 7 years.
In this episode we talk about
- How to optimise your LinkedIn profile to get leads
- How to contact your potential clients on LinkedIn with you becoming an annoying spammer
- How to use LinkedIn advanced features to get more results.
Connect with Allan Fine
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– Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expertise Show. I’m here with the one and only LinkedIn expert, Allan Fine. How you doing, Allan?
– I’m doing very well today, how are you doing today?
– I am incredibly well, thank you very much. Despite the snow, despite the cold, despite the weather we are here, we are on, and we are live, right?
– Yes, well, it’s colder here. I’m in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and I betcha it’s way colder here than it is where you are in London.
-I’m sure it is. A lot of people, they love to complain about the cold, about the sun, about the weather. But we’re not here to talk about the weather. We are here, Allan, to talk about LinkedIn.
– I think the way I found you was through LinkedIn.
– Yes, it is, that’s how we connected, through my system.
– That’s how we connected, and I looked at your profile and it looked impressive.
– Thank you.
– And I saw that this is a person I must have on my show. So, then we connected and here you are. So, for the audience that doesn’t know you, for our listeners that don’t know you, can you tell us a bit more about yourself and how did you got involved in LinkedIn.
– Sure, no problem at all. I’ve owned a boutique marketing company for about 20 years. I’ve been helping companies and individuals with website design, SEO, Facebook, all the normal things that any kind of marketing company would do. About seven years ago, I decided to really get involved with LinkedIn. I’ve been on LinkedIn almost since day one. I think I got on the second year LinkedIn was open. And I quickly realised that LinkedIn was much different than other traditional websites, than other traditional social networking, as opposed to Facebook where here’s a funny video of my dog doing tricks in the park. LinkedIn is much more about business, right? And people are there and have an understanding that if they are there, they have a pre-acceptance to the fact that they’re going to be talking to people about business situations. And then about two years ago, I had heard myself, personally, about people being able to actually generate leads and business off LinkedIn and that quite intrigued me. Because, as you well know, for any marketer or any business at all, one of the main challenges all of us have are creating leads or a steady stream of leads for our funnel on a regular basis. So, I figured if I could find out what other people are doing, and then create my own system, that would solve one of the biggest challenges even I was having in my business as a marketing company, which was getting leads. So, I decided to really delve deep into LinkedIn. Figured out how people were doing business, and how they were generating leads on LinkedIn. And then about a year, a little over a year ago, I launched my website LinkedInLeads.ca and things have been just phenomenally taking off, better than I possibly could have done or thought of beforehand. And with my travels across USA and Canada primarily on training companies, individuals on LinkedIn, I can now also coach them on how to actually get business from LinkedIn, as well, which is huge.
– That’s brilliant. What was your business before you started on LinkedIn. So, you mentioned you were running a digital marketing company.
– A digital marketing company, website design SEO, Google AdWords, Facebook ads, social media stuff, all the same things that people are doing on a regular basis. And a lot of times companies and individuals are running that treadmill, trying to get social media to work for them, trying to get Google AdWords or SEO to work for them. And I found that it was really exhausting having to chase that Google fix to keep your rankings on top of Google all the time, and posting content all the time. And it was very, very time consuming and expensive. I was probably spending two to four thousand dollars on a regular basis every single month, like a lot of companies do on the Facebook ads, on the AdWords, on creating back links and doing SEO. And then once I figured out how to do my LinkedIn thing, all that changed for me. I don’t do anything else anymore, at all. No more Facebook ads for my company, no more Google AdWords, no more worrying about SEO. I don’t even know where my website ranks anymore, and frankly I don’t care. I really don’t care at all.
– As long as you have orders in.
– Yeah, there’s 550 million people plus worldwide on LinkedIn. It’s like the biggest networking event in the world, and it’s happening 24/7. And so, when people talk to me about they’re going to networking events, and they’re doing this stuff over here, I kind of have to laugh a little bit inside because LinkedIn for me has been such a boom and godsend on my side that I wanna share the information, I want to share the wealth. So many companies, especially in Alberta, we had that recession with oil and gas tanking. The price of oil tanked and beforehand that was the main driver of the Alberta and some of the Canadian economy beforehand. And people are saying, oh, my goodness, there’s a recession on still. Well, you know, not for me. The recession is not on, and I think that is more of a mindset for a lot of people that the recession is on. It’s just a matter of what can you do with out-of-the-box thinking. What can you do differently than 99.99% of what most businesses are doing, and for me it’s been LinkedIn.
– Now, with this interaction, I’m eager. I’m eager to dive into your mind and extract some LinkedIn nuggets that we can give to our audience.
– As I said, I wanted to, you know, in the chat that we had before the show, I wanted to look at more advanced ways to use LinkedIn. Something that is not just, oh, you need to have a good profile. Of course I need to have a good profile, otherwise, even if you have a bad website, you’re not gonna get customers. You need to have a profile picture that sees your face–
– Well, I think that’s basic. Of course, someone needs to see your face if you want–
– Well, you’d be amazed that how many people, even though the content information is out there, how many people just haven’t gotten to it. I’m working with a brand new client, who is a multi-millionaire. I’m starting a new programme with him. We just started working on things last week. And his LinkedIn, he hadn’t been on LinkedIn for over a year with his profile. And his profile picture was good, but he had no background banner. And if you look at him on LinkedIn, his name is Don Carson, D-O-N C-A-R-S-O-N. He had no background banner. His contact information wasn’t available on the right-hand side. And so, even though people keep beating people over the head with this information as far as nice profile picture, make sure you’re smiling, look friendly, make sure you have a background banner, make sure the content information is on there properly. Make sure your information is updated. I mean, how many LinkedIn profiles have you gone on and you clinked on the website, and the website doesn’t work even anymore.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Yeah, and it just screams to me I’m not professional, I haven’t updated things in a long time, I don’t care. And people will judge people on those situations and make that snap decision in two seconds. So, you’d better have all your ducks in a row. You better have recommendations. You better have all your skills and all your information updated. You better have your phone number on your profile so I can call you. For yourself personally, I can’t remember, was your phone number on our profile? I don’t know if it was or not.
– I don’t think so, I don’t think–
– Did I put it?
– Yeah, your profile is on there but your website is not on your profile. Or your YouTube page is not on your profile. Just looking at your profile right now. So, for you, people want to know who you are, and they want to know what you can do for them. And it’s very important. You have these little things, like if your main business for yourself is your YouTube channel, then why is there not a link to that on your LinkedIn profile? Those kind of things, right? So, all your i’s dotted, all your t’s crossed. I know people have gone over that beforehand on other shows with you, but people are still not doing it. And so, that’s the first thing.
– So, what I’m hearing you saying is make sure that on your profile, as well, put the links where people can find you, where you want them to see you.
– So, actually it’s something that I’m going to do as soon as I finish this interview, because I want people to listen to our show, I’m going to put the podcast link on there.
– Yeah, exactly.
– A link on the podcast there.
– All those different things on, sorry, my Outlook on here keeps on bringing messages on. But yeah, I mean, all those different things. So, if you want to do lead generation especially on LinkedIn, the first thing people are gonna do, and they’re gonna check out three things. So, this is the first thing. Get out your paper and pen, people, write these things down. Make sure your LinkedIn profile, once again, is updated. Make sure that your company on LinkedIn is updated and that when you go to your experiences, you have a colour picture beside your experience that shows your company page and goes to your company page, and it’s not a grey picture. Just looking at yours to see if yours, just a second here. Yeah, so your first experience, it says Forbes contributor. That picture beside it is grey. So, once again, the next thing you wanna do for yourself is you want to go, you have your GTEX below it, but the Forbes contributor is got a grey picture beside it. So, make sure that everything is done on your LinkedIn and make sure that all your ducks are in a row. So, if you go up to, I’m not sure if you can see my screen right now.
– I can see your screen.
– But I’ll do a quick screen share with you also.
– Please do a screen share. So, guys if you are listening to the show, make sure that you click on the wwebsite where there’s going to be the link. So, there is going to be in the show notes a link to the blog post that we wrote about this show. And that’s where you can see everything. Okay, let’s go.
– Let me just go through my LinkedIn profile, and as I go through them, I’ll show you things they should do, right.
– Please, please, I’m loving this session. I’m loving this session already, Allan.
– So, does your banner look professional? Does your banner and your profile tell people not only what you do, but especially what can you do for them? And we’ve all heard of the acronym WIIFM, W-I-I-F-M, what’s in it for me. That’s what people wanna know. They want to know what is in it for them. And then make sure your profile is also written so that people know if they hire you, what can you do for me. My banner says here, “Let me show you “how to get a never ending stream of leads on LinkedIn “with a phenomenal programme that has a money back guarantee.” You know in two seconds exactly what I do. There’s no doubt in your mind.
– Next thing is my contact information, all my website information, my phone number, my email address, my SKYPE address, my Twitter address. All these different things, once again, done professionally, done properly. Content, you can put so much content on LinkedIn. Lately, I’m on LinkedIn on a regular basis now. I’m gonna start doing videos myself very, very soon. A lot of people are doing videos on LinkedIn, great idea.
– Yeah, it’s working really well. LinkedIn is pushing videos like crazy at the moment.
– Exactly. Articles, how many articles do you have on LinkedIn? On a regular basis, I’m posting articles on LinkedIn. I’m posting information on LinkedIn. People, and this is not only important because I feel that you should give back to the community by posting free information, but also articles and posts on LinkedIn show you as the absolute expert and authority in your niche. So, it’s very, very important. I have 117 articles myself, and tonnes of posts. The next article that I will be writing on LinkedIn which is gonna be: What format does your article or post need to be to get the most engagement? So, I’ve recently looked on LinkedIn and tried to figure out who or what kind of articles or posts on LinkedIn really get tonnes of engagement. They get tonnes of comments, they get tonnes of views, tonnes of likes. So, that will be my next article–
– Can you please send me, when you write this article, can you please send me the link that we’ll put in the show notes on the podcast, as well.
– Sure, once I write the article. So, once again, it’s on my profile, connect with me and you can see my information. So, the next thing on the profile is, once you have those things done, then you can go down to all my experiences I have here. Your feature skills and endorsements. Make sure you have your top three at the very, very top here. I just changed this here myself for LinkedIn lead generation. So, make sure that you have the top three here. Recommendations are very, very important. How many recommendations do you have? Recommendations are testimonials. People look at your recommendations and they go, well, who is he, who’s recommending him, what are they saying about him. Very, very important that you have tonnes of recommendations because the same way people go on Google Reviews, recommendations are very, very important. And then your accomplishments, courses, interests, all these different things are on LinkedIn, all designed, all working together synergistically to make sure that when people click on your information that they go to pages and information that makes you, once again, look like the absolute authority in your business.
– What I’m loving about your pod is that everything looks neat.
– Everything feels, is on brand.
– Yeah, on brand.
– I think that’s where you’re doing something great there and people can really take inspiration from it. So, this is a part of the LinkedIn profile. So, that’s when someone is checking you out. You are an expert in lead generation, and a lot of pod lead generation is, of course, number one, get your stuff together. Because once you reach out to someone, they’re gonna check you out and judge you from there.
– Then how, let’s talk about reaching out to people. What is it from your way, let’s say, you are working with a niche and you know who your client is, what’s the best way to reach out to them? And the reason why I’m asking this question, Allan, is because I’m receiving pitches on LinkedIn every single day. And a lot of them, they are not relevant. They are annoying. I don’t even respond because it’s like who the heck are you. So, what’s the best way that you found to get clients? Of course, when you’re reaching out to people, you’re going to receive a lot of noise. You’re going to reach people that don’t care at all about what you do. But what can you do to maximise this interest?
– Yeah, yeah. So, the first thing is we’ve all received these kind of invitations. Don’t try to sell somebody on LinkedIn either from your invitation or, we’ve all had this situation happen, and I’m sure you have also, someone sends you an invitation and the very second that you say yes to it, they are saying to you, buy my services. And you’re going WTF, I don’t even know who you are. Why are you sending me this information about buying your services, I don’t even know who you are. So, it’s very, very important that we change the conversation and turn things around so that people know you care about them, and it’s all about them, not all about you. And the old saying that people will never care how much you know until they know how much you care.
– Very, very true nowadays. Make sure that you engage with people in the way that you want to be engaged with yourself, and that you want to have people talk to you. And then the next thing, the third pillar on your LinkedIn strategy is make sure your website is updated. Make sure the information on your website, your LinkedIn company page, and your profile all say the same thing. So that if you are promoting one kind of service, or one kind of product, if your website says one thing, your company pages says something else, and your LinkedIn profile says something else. Everything is talking together. Everything is doing the same thing all at the same time.
– Perfect. This is an example of how you have your website. What I want to know is, talking about again, reaching out. So, when you are reaching out to people, what’s the best way to approach and to start a conversation?
– Just send them a simple message to people. And when you send a connection request to somebody, make sure that you always, and I do mean always, put a customised message in there, as well. Don’t send just a connection request. If you look in your received connection requests, you’ll see that 99.9% of the people have no message at all. And, therefore, the stats are that people who send messages with connection requests are 50% to 60% more likely to have that person accept their connection request than if no message at all.
– And what makes a great message request? Because is it just saying, hey, I would love to be your friend on LinkedIn?
– Exactly, right?
– Something to the sense that, hi, I saw your profile on LinkedIn. I’m doing this over here, I see you’re doing this over there. I think we can do something together, or, you know, I think I can help you out with something. Once again, don’t make it about you getting them as a connection. Try to give them some value. When I send out my connection requests, for instance, I try to tell people, listen, I have almost 14,000 connections on LinkedIn, can I leverage them for you? Do you need me to introduce you to somebody? So, the question in your mind and in the client’s mind, or the person that you’re trying to get as a connection, is why should I connect with you? Once again, what’s in it for me? And if you can offer them something, a way of helping them, I also tell people I can answer their questions for free about LinkedIn on a regular basis, or in my article saying if you have a question or something you need to know on LinkedIn, I would be very, very happy to answer your information free of charge. And try to give back. The more you give back, the more you get.
– Absolutely. I love the way you are introducing yourself, incredibly powerful. Because if I’m there on LinkedIn, I’m not going to ignore this connection. It’s like this guy has 14,000, so it immediately positions you as someone that is highly connected.
– So there is this image of authority there. And then it’s wow, so he’s offering to open up their network? It’s like wow, thank you very much. Then once they respond, because at the end of the day the ultimate aim is to gauge is this person going to buy further down the line. So you might send them some free content. You might send them some free advice. Do you have a structure that you see in terms of connecting with people on LinkedIn, that is to say, this is what is going to give you a highest return. Because I think that that’s a topic that a lot of people are struggling with. I’m not a LinkedIn expert myself. I use LinkedIn, get clients off of LinkedIn, very far from being a LinkedIn expert. And I have a lot of clients asking me something, and I’m like, this is what I do but I don’t know if it’s good, I don’t know this stuff. Tell me a bit more about that kind of sequence, or where do you ask them, at what point do you ask them for the business, or shall we have a call without breaking that relationship?
– Of course, no problem, yeah. Once again, very, very important, their first communication after the initial connection request should never be would you be interested in buying my services? Never, never, never. The initial communication would be something like, you know, thank you for accepting my connection request. I think my connections are very important to me, and our relationship should be mutually beneficial. I’m doing this, I was on your profile, but I’d like to learn more about you. Can you tell me what you’re up to nowadays. The same way as if you were at a live networking meeting. Would you shake someone’s hand and go, hi, Dave, would you want to buy my services? No, you say, hi, Dave, how ya doing, tell me more about yourself. Are you married? Do you have kids? What are you up to nowadays? What’s going on about the weather over here? Did you have trouble getting here? I mean, all those different questions. And some people have said to me, you know what, that’s too wishy-washy, I don’t care about that stuff. Well, once again, people will never care how much you know until they know how much you care. If people can sense that you don’t give a shit about them, that you’re only in it for yourself, they will never be your clients. And so, for me I really have a passion for helping people out. I’ve always been a coach of some kind in my whole life. Either a life coach, or a business coach, or a marketing coach, or a LinkedIn coach. So, my whole thing is, and I’ll be very, very happy to help somebody for free, you know, off the bat as far as answering questions. For me, it’s all about the money. The money comes, and the money is important, of course, but it comes. If you have from your heart, and you know this yourself, if you have from your heart that you want to help people out and that you are there for people, the money is secondary. It will come, it’ll be there. It’s a just a matter of what can you do to make this world better, what can you do to help somebody out? And that’s how I live my life every single day. And if I get a client out of the deal, that’s fantastic. With my LinkedIn system, I do probably anywhere between five to 15 lead sales calls every single week. And I often have to turn things down, or have my team book me further ahead, because I don’t want to be overbooked or be burned out. So, very, very important that you are there to help people out first. Get to know people. LinkedIn and social media marketing has done a 180 over the last couple of years. I think it’s done a complete turnaround in some way, 360, whatever it’s called, where it’s no longer about finding someone and sending them to a sales page to buy something from you. It’s now all about relationship building.
– How to help people out.
– I love it, I absolutely love this message. And what I’m hearing you saying, Allan, is that treat the LinkedIn conversation as a real conversation.
– As you would do in a real physical, live event. In a real physical meeting, in a real physical environment where you find out about them, they find out about you. Then you see if there are some synergies. If they are not, great, that’s fine. If there are some synergies, great, awesome. Then engage with your content, then engage with their content. I also think that it’s really important for people to move away from the mentality of I need this sale now. Because that’s where I think people mess up social media. My biggest revenue stream is actually Facebook. Facebook gives me about 70, well, 80% of our revenue streams, because that’s the platform where I have the larger following, where I’m the most engaged. Now, moving to LinkedIn is generating leads, as well. But it’s all about the long game.
– It’s all about being there, showing up every day with relevant content, with relevant value, where they know about you, you know about them. They’re sure you care. Then when you have something going on, hey, I’ve this going on, are you interested. Yes, great, totally.
– Yes, exactly.
– No, okay, that’s fine, have a great day.
– Yeah, yeah.
– One more question before we wrap up, and that’s more about the advanced pay features of LinkedIn
– Sure, of course.
– Because you have free features that are great, that are awesome, I mean, if you think about that. How easy is it to get leads just by knowing how to use LinkedIn for free, it’s awesome.
– Yeah, exactly.
– But then you might want to step up the game, and maybe you want to get leads, and you get for sales navigator. Can you spend a bit of time just briefly explaining what sales navigator is and what’s the best way, the most effective way to use it.
– Yeah, sure. So, LinkedIn has a variety of premium accounts. The two kinds of accounts I recommend my clients to get is either the career account or the sales navigator account. And the reason you want to have any premium membership at all is three or four different things. Number one, you won’t hit the commercial use limit as quickly, and in some cases not at all because of the account you have. Number two, when you go to who’s viewed my profile, on a premium account of any kind at all, you can see everybody. Also, with a premium account, generally speaking when you’re sending out a connection request, you won’t need their email address. And then going to sales navigator, the reason you want to use sales navigator is because it has advanced filtering, being able to go to, it has more cities, more locations in the filtering. As well as, also, if it’s very important to you as part of your lead generation strategy, and I have several clients on navigator for this reason, and you need to know the company size or company revenue, sales navigator will show you that information.
– Fantastic, and then–
– Oh, and one second, one very, very important thing I learned recently, super important.
– Go for it.
– I didn’t know this, but the sales navigator inbox or mailbox and the normal LinkedIn messaging inbox are not connected.
– I know!
– And it blows me away because you can have conversations with somebody on your sales navigator inbox, and then you go into your regular inbox and the conversation is not there at all. And you’re thinking to yourself, well, what the hell, are they not receiving my messages. And then you might message them several more times on the two different situations, but don’t do that because LinkedIn, and I’m not sure if it’s LinkedIn or Microsoft, let’s face it, it’s Microsoft, the guys in bars, Windows Vista, my god, you know, the horrible, horrible operating system. We’ll roll it out, we won’t test it at all. But yeah, I mean, LinkedIn, I was talking to somebody, they’re thinking about blending the two mailboxes. I don’t know why they haven’t already. It seems ridiculous to me that you have–
– A special mailbox, and the conversations you have on one are not on the other.
– I think that the reason why they did it originally, because I know that if you start with the sales navigator and you stop, and you stop paying the membership, all your data are cancelled.
– That’s how they keep you on sales navigator. So, probably that’s a feature to get people to stay and keep paying.
– Yeah, but it seems ridiculous to me because–
– I think it’s ridiculous because I actually signed up for sales navigator two days ago, and I tested it out, I said I want to test it out. And I’m already loving it. I’m absolutely already loving it, so I’m gonna stay. But then I sent a message to an existing potential client that I had already conversation with. And I wanted to use sales navigator and move the conversation there. Then, I was like, why are they not showing, and then realised there are two different inboxes.
– Yeah, ridiculous.
– Bill, please sort this out.
– Yeah, Bill, talk to the guys in Ireland and tell them to connect the two, please, we would appreciate it very much. It’s a very important feature to have.
– Fantastic. I absolutely love this interview.
– Sure, and before I go here, I’ll tell you about my programme for a second.
– Yeah, that’s what I wanted exactly to ask you. What I wanted to ask you was what kind of programmes do you have, and where can people find you?
– The website address, and you can put it into the video yourself afterwards, is LinkedInLeads.ca and here’s the website once again. I’m going to show it to you on the screen sharing interface on SKYPE over here. So, linkedinleads.ca and I have two kinds of programmes. Once is a teach a man to fish, it’s called Foundations. I train you, I coach you on how to do everything on LinkedIn and give you some information on your messaging, all the different things I do with you are here in the Foundations programme, from number one to number nine. And then, the second one, because people came to me afterwards and said you know what, I’m so busy I don’t have time to do anything at all. Can you do everything for me and simply book my telephone calls for me for my sales meetings? I said okay, I will book your telephone calls, and I will do all the communication for you. I’ll do your profile for you. I will do absolutely everything for you. All you have to do is communicate with me on a regular basis about who’s talking to you, and then show up for your telephone calls, and close the deal, that’s it.
– That sound like two amazing programmes. So, we are going to have the links of your website and your programmes down in the show notes and on our bog post. Guys, make sure that you connect with Allan. Allan, before you leave, any last word of wisdom?
– Yeah. Just be true, be yourself, don’t BS people, don’t try to screw people over. Give, the more you give, the more you’ll get, simple as that. If you give people and come from your heart, people will come back to you, as well.
– Fantastic. What a powerful way to finish this episode. Allan, thank you very much for being part of the show. Thank you for this interview. I’ve definitely learned a lot and I’ve got some homework to do. So, as soon as I finish this call right now I’m going to do my homework on LinkedIn.
– So, guys, make sure that you, right now, you guys do your homework because you’ve been listening. And as you just learned, without action nothing happens. So, make sure that you take the action now, do your homework. And if you haven’t subscribed to the show yet, make sure that you subscribe right now. Hit that subscribe button. And leave us a review, let us know what did you love the most about Allan’s interview. What was your biggest takeaway? And, of course, give us a five star review, c’mon, don’t be stingy.
– This was a five star rating interview, so don’t be stingy with that. Alright, guys, thank you very much. Allan, thank you again.
– My pleasure, thank you very much. Have a great day, okay.
– You, too, indeed, see you.
– Bye, bye.