Small Business Matters – Episode #11
If you’re running a small business that caters to businesses and professionals, having an active presence on LinkedIn is a must. But posting the right content that resonates can be a bit of a science. To help us do LinkedIn better, we invited LinkedIn engagement expert Judi Fox to join us today.
Judi is listed as a top ten LinkedIn coach for 2021 in Yahoo finance and a featured speaker at Social Media Marketing World. With over 18 years of experience in business development and sales. Judi Fox developed the LinkedIn Business Accelerator method to reach 1 million views in 90 days. Watch our interview, or follow our podcast.
What follows is a lightly edited transcription of our interview.
Gary Stockton: – Well hello, and welcome to another episode of Small Business Matters. I’m your host, Gary Stockton, and I’m so excited about this week’s guest and topic. You know, I post on LinkedIn often, but not all of my posts do that well. If you’re running a small business that caters to businesses and professionals, having an active presence on LinkedIn is a must.
But posting the right content that resonates can be a bit of a science. You have to be a clever fox to figure out this small business matter. So to help us do LinkedIn better, we’ve invited Judi Fox to join us today. Now, Judi is listed as a top ten LinkedIn coach for 2021 in Yahoo finance and a featured speaker at Social Media Marketing World. With over 18 years of experience in business development and sales. Judi Fox developed the LinkedIn Business Accelerator method to reach 1 million views in 90 days. Judi, welcome to Small Business Matters.
Judi Fox: Oh, I loved that introduction, and I like that you have to be. What did you say? Smart. Like a fox or a clever like a fox? You have to be.
Gary Stockton: – Yes, to master this small business matter. So let’s talk for a moment about the danger of indecision and when it comes to LinkedIn. You know, I’m a busy small business owner. I know LinkedIn can do my business good, but I don’t know what to post. Do you have any advice for people stuck in indecision?
Judi Fox: Yes, I would say the easiest way to start posting. I’m going to give you two strategies to go from indecision to getting it done and getting it posted. Number one is if you have any content that you’ve created in this world, if you’ve ever been on a podcast, if you’ve ever posted on Facebook, have you ever post on Instagram or Twitter on YouTube?
If you’ve put any content out into the world, repurpose it for LinkedIn, find a way to pull out a business story or something about that podcast or post that you think is interesting. And then the other way to get started on LinkedIn is to comment. I tell people all the time, commenting on the platform on LinkedIn is more visible than any other social media site. So commenting and then you can turn that comment into your own post, your own original post on LinkedIn.
Gary Stockton: Oh, so if you comment on a piece of content, that can then live as its own piece of content?
Judi Fox: You would have to do a few steps, but I would what I would do is literally copy and paste what you wrote as the comment and then turn it into a post. Does that make sense? So it doesn’t naturally live as a post. You have to actually take a few more steps to turn it into a post.
Gary Stockton: Yeah. And so repurposing things that you’re creating and thinking of ways to get more life out of that content. So if it’s a podcast interview that you’ve done or like we’re doing here and maybe some of this content could be sliced and diced and posted out onto LinkedIn, maybe in smaller chunks. Is that what I’m hearing you say?
Judi Fox: Yes. You don’t need to post the entire podcast or YouTube video. What LinkedIn is, it’s a place to consume micro-moments of knowledge that could either be a round-up of something. So, for example, what we’re recording right now could be summarized as a post as the top five things we covered in this interview and then list out the things we covered.
Or we would take one micro piece of advice and then expand that. So those are the two ways I think of repurposing content on LinkedIn.
Gary Stockton: That’s awesome. So you’re on LinkedIn a lot. What are some common mistakes you see small businesses make on their LinkedIn posts?
Judi Fox: I would say first, without jumping right to post, that small businesses are missing out on a thriving company page. That is what we call. So we have personal profiles on LinkedIn and the company page on LinkedIn. And I think small businesses are missing out on being active on the company, page number one, because company pages are getting a lot of updates, and they just announced and rolled out a lead gen form.
Judi Fox: So I know I didn’t answer your question about posting on a company page or posting. Still, I can’t miss out on announcing a new LinkedIn platform update, which is giving people a lead gen form button on the company page.
Gary Stockton: Oh, tell me more.
Judi Fox: Yeah, exactly. So when you go to company pages that have turned this on, it shows up as a button with a, again, I don’t have any control over their emoji usage, but they have an emoji-looking icon like a light bulb button. So you can click the words get started. Free Demo, Contact Sales, and it gives you a button right on the landing page of your company page before you ever get to any of your posts; before you even get to anything else, it gives you a converting button.
And those people then click on that button, and they give you their email so they can be on your email list, and you can start to grow your email list that way.
Gary Stockton: Wow. So is there a cadence to posting? I mean, our sales team posts very actively on LinkedIn. If you’re a small business owner, you’re trying to run the business, too, right? But is there a recommended cadence for how often you should post?
Judi Fox: Yeah. So I love to split up into buckets because I notice a lot of people will say, you know, I’ve watched Gary Vaynerchuk, and some people have come to me and told me, wow, Gary says to post three times a day. And I said, that comes from his experience on LinkedIn, which is a very hot audience with well over 5 million followers.
I don’t recommend that schedule if you do not have 5 million followers and a hot audience. What I do recommend is posting maybe Max once every day or every other day that here is why. The audience is still not warmed up if you are posting and getting less than ten likes and comments. They may not trust what you’re writing to serve them or give them value.
Judi Fox: They may be scrolling past it because you haven’t come up with visually interesting hooks, content, or a visual element that catches their eye. So you have to build up trust. And the way to build that trust up is max once or every other day, like not hitting them with tons of content because instead of posting at that high level, you want to be commenting more.
Gary Stockton: Excellent. You talked a little bit about post prompts on your website. What are post prompts?
Judi Fox: So LinkedIn was built for reading. If we think about YouTube, it was built for video. I go on YouTube, and I expect to watch a video. I’m not expecting to read somebody’s post beneath their YouTube video. So the opposite is true for LinkedIn. LinkedIn was built for reading. It has a newspaper news outlet type of energy. So if you want to get on LinkedIn and do it in what I consider an easy way, that’s why I have these 20 LinkedIn post prompts.
So Buzz Sumo summarized the top viral post prompts a couple of years ago. They had hundreds, and I took the top 20. Number one, I’ve used them myself, but also I have seen my own posts go to half a million and a million views from using these 20 LinkedIn post prompts. So now I probably have intrigued you to use.
Gary Stockton: Okay, tell me, we’ve got to dig into that.
Judi Fox: Yeah. So the very first one I used was five ways to, and then I put dot, dot, dot, you can post anything underneath the five ways to five ways to get more sales for your small business. Five Ways to close your next real estate deal. Five Ways to think about all the knowledge you have. Can you come up with five ways to insert your expertise?
And so that is what I did. And that post went to half a million people. I said five ways your profile banner image can sell for you. So it’s a powerful post, and it’s a forum.
Gary Stockton:It’s a framework.
Judi Fox: Yes. It is a framework. The platform soaks up that knowledge for a couple of reasons. First, because the platform is a reading-first platform, we want to know what we’re giving our like to in that first line. That’s why so many people have a really good strategy for creating that first-line hook statement.
Gary Stockton: Can you do that in combination with polls? So you have that question and then underneath, you will have a poll.
Judi Fox: Yes. I tell people all the time, clear over clever. So LinkedIn is a space where people think about, “oh, I need to get on LinkedIn and be professional.” I explain to people that professionalism really boils down to clear leadership language. We want to know what did you mean; what are we giving our like to if I’m going to vote and put my response on a poll question, I want to know what am I saying Yes or No to, or what am I voting on? And if there’s any confusion, I will probably not vote. So, yes, a very clear question. The what is language or why do you think something or vote below very clear language will definitely get you a lot of poll responses.
Gary Stockton: Very good. So can you talk a little bit about the different levels of call to action that you outline in your accelerator program?
Judi Fox: Yes, I think the calls to action on your content, and throughout your journey on LinkedIn, you have calls to action that can generate more awareness. We now know you exist. Anyone listening right now that’s meeting you or me for the first time, they’re experiencing what it’s like from the sense of awareness. They now might Google your name. They might Google my name. So awareness has to exist because how can people hire you if they don’t know you exist, right?
Gary Stockton: Mm hmm. Yes.
Judi Fox: The next one is to evaluate. That’s where, for example, we talked about a call to action at the end of this recording; we would potentially have what’s called that evaluation energy, check out or go visit or follow on these channels. That’s why at the end of podcast episodes, that’s why people have that on YouTube. They’ll say, go, subscribe or go to my next video that is coming up because it’s going to be X, Y, Z.
Judi Fox: You want to continue the conversation, the same thing on LinkedIn. You want to have something that says, follow my profile. Ring the bell on my profile because you’ll see my next post. That’s the goal for leads and conversations you want to move people to. Then what is the next conversation? Where’s the next place we’re hanging out?
And then the final one is that kind of converge or purchase language where you might say something like, I have just opened up or I’m launching a book, I’ve just opened up seats in my next coaching cohort, and you want to give people language around what are your offerings? Maybe you are offering new templates in your Canva store.
I mean, the sky’s the limit to tell us what is possible to purchase because, especially if you have people aware of you, if you have people who have already evaluated you and they keep coming back for more, that means you have an audience. So that’s why people can then convert and talk about their products.
Gary Stockton: Wow. I like how you’ve categorized that. You know, it’s so clear and simplifies these things. You don’t have a dozen or so different channels that you could go down with Call to Actions. You’ve got to keep it to a set group of things. I like that.
Judi Fox: Yeah. And I was going to say the easiest way. So if I was going to say grab a call like a lot of people on LinkedIn and a lot of sales professionals and small businesses, their customer journey starts with a discovery call. I don’t know about you, but I see that as one of the highest responses that clients tell me.
They want to book potential discovery calls. They want people coming to them and booking those calls. So your call to action on LinkedIn specifically can drive traffic to your profile to be able to click and make that call happen. So if you build your LinkedIn profile to make it clear how to book that discovery call, all your posts have to say is alert them to a PS:
Here’s how to book a discovery call. So if you’ve been following me for a while and you’re ready to find out what it takes to do X, Y, and Z in your business, please go book a discovery call the link is on my profile, so you don’t have to bombard them with links in your posts constantly.
Gary Stockton: Very simple.
Judi Fox: Yeah. Yeah.
Gary Stockton: So we would all like to we’d all like to have people engaging with our content. So should I be focusing on posting more content or engaging in the comments on other posts?
Judi Fox: I think if I had to give formula, my background is in chemical engineering, so I naturally like formulas. If I had a, if I make one post, I tell people one post, ten comments. So if you were saying to yourself, “You know what, I have barely commented on LinkedIn”, go out and make ten comments and then make your post.
So if you’re able to keep up that schedule, that’s a really basic formula. The most simple one I can think of because I make way more than ten comments per post. But at a minimum, you should be willing to go out and make ten comments before you post.
Gary Stockton: Yeah, that’s a good guideline. So let’s talk about connecting. And you talked about this in your Social Media Marketing World talk. I don’t want to come off as spammy when reaching out on LinkedIn. Is there a right way to do this? And you’ve got some very clever tricks with that you do with text expander. Can you touch on that too?
Judi Fox: Yeah. Clever. Like a fox. So I would say, first of all, we have the inbound messages, and then we also have the outbound messages that we want to make. Which one are which one do you want to go over first? I have a different strategy.
Gary Stockton: Yeah, I’d say outbound.
Judi Fox: Yeah. Okay. So anyone listening right now that you want to do outbound messages to potentially your clients or your audience, you would come from a place of, first of all, I don’t know how cold these outbound messages are? Because I don’t usually recommend very cold ones. And if you do a cold outbound message, you’ll want to keep it at that awareness level and try not to ask them a hard question, something that feels like, wow, that doesn’t feel normal or appropriate.
For example, the more you show interest outbound to them, you don’t require anything back from them, and it actually serves you better in that cold messaging space.
Gary Stockton: Feels more genuine, right?
Judi Fox: Yeah. I’ll give you an example. Sometimes, it’s easier to provide examples of what not to do and then convert them to what to do. So I got a message on LinkedIn today and paused because I haven’t been good at not getting messages like this, but I think this person ended up saying, you know, they were trying to say things, but it was too generic, and they didn’t show any interest in me.
There was no acknowledgment of who I am or what I do, nothing. But they ended up asking me a question saying, are you working on any new, exciting projects lately? I’d love to hear about them. So it’s acting like they’re showing interest in me, but they’re not. I don’t feel very interested in I feel like they want to ask me that question because they just want me to reply so they can start getting into my direct messages.
Judi Fox: Now, what they should have written is something that says, Hey, I am interested in checking out more of your content. I’m going to go out and see what you’re up to. And by the way, I am excited to follow your hashtag #FoxRocks. If they actually took a micro moment to give me attention and didn’t expect anything back, I might have actually replied and said, Oh my gosh, wow, thank you for following my hashtag and let me know where your hashtag is.
You see where they’re letting the world of me feel appreciated? And I will tell you, if people say that to me, I have a habit of turning around and saying, thank you for following the hashtag. Let me know what yours is, and I’ll follow it right back. But most people don’t do that, so I don’t have to follow too many hashtags. Just kidding. But do you see the difference?
Gary Stockton: Yes.
Judi Fox: And yeah, it’s exciting.
Gary Stockton: The cold emails or the cold messages that you get, you know, can you touch on your method for double checking if the person is genuinely interested? Because I thought that was very clever with text expander, you’ve got some automation that, well, not automation, but things that help you make good use of your time.
Judi Fox: Yes, I do. I use something called Text Blaze.. It’s an app. I have no association with them whatsoever. I just found them online. But there’s a lot of ways to create short phrases that you can type.
Judi Fox: So I’m going to read you the message, and I’m going to send it back in real-time to this person who asked me, are you working on any new, exciting projects lately? And by the way, it’s a pitch. This person doesn’t care if I’m working on any new exciting projects because I don’t know them at all.
So I’m not interested in having a one-on-one conversation. So I write back because I get to take my power and energy and my ownership of my inbox back instead of being triggered or feeling a certain way. I just say this. “Thanks for connecting, and the best way to get to know each other is in the comments, looking forward to seeing you here more on LinkedIn. Here is my newsletter to subscribe so you can see my next post, and I turn it around and tell them directions for how we can get to know each other.
Gary Stockton: I think that’s brilliant. It’s not snarky, it’s not rude. It’s professionally worded and it kind of lets them know where they stand. You know, you have to get a rapport going. It’s almost like, you know, the analogy of walking up to someone in a cocktail reception and saying, hey, you know, I’d like to sell my widgets to you, you know? “Hi, I’m I’m Gary from from Experian. And I want to sell you credit reports, you know?” Well, hello, you know, who are you? You know, how do we know each other? Getting rapport? I think it’s you know, it’s kind of missing, I wish people would put more forethought into the approach.
Judi Fox: Yeah. Here’s what I think has changed about the world even in the last 2 to 3 years. More people are content creators. Individual people are content creators. The company is a content creator. People are putting out more and more content than we’ve ever seen in this world. Therefore, if somebody is coming into your direct messages, trying to start the relationship privately without any reason, and they’ve never taken any time to check out your online content, that’s where you put your heart and soul into your business.
You’re probably announcing your new projects publicly. You probably want to talk publicly to the audience about all your new, exciting projects and goals for this year, especially if you’re posting publicly. Therefore, the private one on one warming up is not as powerful anymore. I would caution everyone to create a pattern of publicly adding touchpoints.
And I tell people all the time public conversations, and public comments convert to private conversations much faster and better. You can make more business results with that method.
Gary Stockton: So good. Judi. Thanks so much for sharing these insights with us. Any closing thoughts on LinkedIn? We’ve got to talk a little bit about LinkedIn audio, but I think we’ve run short on time. Unless you’ve got something that you could say on that?
Judi Fox: I just want to say that you want to turn on the new LinkedIn creator mode because all that we would say about LinkedIn audio, everything hinges on the future of LinkedIn. If you want to be a content creator, you want to turn on LinkedIn creator mode. It’s a toggle button on your private profile section. If you want all the steps.
I walk you through every single step in a YouTube video on my profile. So. It’s been really powerful to see people’s reactions to creator mode, and it’s changed their experience. You’ll get access to all the new features like LinkedIn audio, newsletters, LinkedIn Live, and any new feature that comes out in the next couple of years. They’re rolling it out using Creator Mode.
Gary Stockton: Creator Mode, excellent tip. So where can our listeners find out more information about you Judi?
Judi Fox: I would say the best way and the best thing to know is it’s spelled JUDI FOX. So Judi Fox and you can also type in #FoxRocks, and you’ll be able to find other people posting about the conversations we’ve had, which is really powerful or me.
Gary Stockton: Okay. And then your accelerator program, you’ve got what we mentioned in the discussion. If you go to judifox.com listeners, you can learn more about Judi’s excellent accelerator program, be a LinkedIn power user, and be a clever fox like Judi. It’s been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you so much for doing this.
Judi Fox: It’s been a pleasure talking to you, too. Thank you so much.