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PODCAST: Social Selling Masterclass with Tim Hughes
60% of the World’s population is now active on social media. It’s probably time we learnt how to sell to them there then.
In this latest episode of Through the Line, I’m joined by social selling expert Tim Hughes to explore the new world of sales. No doubt Tim is an expert in this space. Not only does he run an agency that trains and advises clients on how to sell better online, but he’s also written THE book on the subject. It’s called, you guessed it, Social Selling.
In the show, Tim shares bucketloads of advice for how sales (and marketing) professionals need to shift their methodology forward to get results. The days of cold calling and spamming are long gone, and Tim’s data from social selling shows a significant uplift in conversion rates. Did you know failure rates from cold calling are 98-99%, whereas with social selling, Tim’s data shows conversion rates of 33.6%. How? Listen to the show and you’ll gain some insight into how to sell in this social media age.
For the marketers listening, you may be horrified to learn that sharing low-value content actually extends the sales cycle. You need to help your sales team to be more authentic and use their personal brands to build trust and sell more.
This episode is 39 minutes and 34 seconds long. Surely, you can invest that sort of time to find the secret sauce to greater sales results.
I hope you enjoy the show:
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Other Episodes of Through the Line you might enjoy:
Prefer to Read? We’ve Got You. Here’s the Full Transcript
Andy (00:00:00) – Did you know that 60% of the world’s population is now active on social media and on average, we spend two hours and 26 minutes per day using social media platforms. It’s no wonder that as sales professionals and marketeers, that the paradigm has shifted in the way in which we engage our audiences. Welcome to through the line with me, Andy Barr. In this episode, I am joined by social selling expert Tim Hughes to have a look at how selling has changed as a result of this rapid uptake in social media and what it is as sales and marketing professionals we need to do to really take advantage of social media. This is not a conversation about purely communications. This is about sales. I hope that you enjoy the show. Tim, good morning.
Tim (00:00:58) – Good morning, Andy. Good to see you and talk to you. Yeah, How are.
Andy (00:01:01) – You doing today?
Tim (00:01:02) – I am excellent. I’ve just come off a I think we actually took four weeks off holiday, so. Or vacation, depending on which side of the Atlantic you are.
Tim (00:01:12) – And yes, it was it was great. And I’m glad to be back. Four weeks is.
Andy (00:01:17) – A nice break, isn’t it?
Tim (00:01:18) – It is a really, really time to actually unwind and and forget about things. This is my second week back. But the first week back, I think I was having problems spelling and having knowing how to write. And you just don’t do those things on vacation. Well, I’ll tell you what. Let’s let’s give you a bit.
Andy (00:01:38) – Of a test now to what you’ve remembered about your world of work. Now that you’re back, I want very briefly introduce you because I know you as Tim Hughes, the author of a fantastic book called Social Selling. But you’re also, I think, the founder of or a director of Ignite, which is a kind of digital transformation agency, sales agency, marketing agency, something in that space.
Tim (00:02:02) – Yes. So my background is I’ve been in sales for 25 years. I’ve worked in corporate, and my business partner, Adam Gray and I, we set up DLA Ignite to really capitalize on this understanding that the world has changed through social media.
Tim (00:02:17) – And what we do is that we transform our organizations to use social media strategically within the business. Today we’re talking about sales, but you can use social media in human resources and in humans. And the whole point of all of this is to strip out cost and make you more efficient.
Andy (00:02:35) – Yes. Yeah. Excellent. Okay. And you’re right, today is very much about sales. And it’s one of those topics that I mean, this is typically more of a marketing focused podcast. And what’s really interesting is I think that one of the subjects that comes up in conversation quite a lot is that misalignment between sales and marketing, certainly from a in a B2B context, obviously. So it’s great to have you on to talk about that and also to have a kind of pick out some of the highlights of your book, which is quite a detailed look at how do we as marketers or sales professionals use social media as a way to find, engage and close deals, I guess? Yes. So social media, I suppose I’ve been around long enough to remember a time before social media and I’m guessing you might have been as well.
Andy (00:03:22) – Yeah, it has changed the world significantly, hasn’t it, in terms of not just, of course, the way we sell, but the way we communicate, the way we live our lives. But in the context of our conversation, it has changed how we sell. It’s shifted the paradigm. What are the main differences between how we sell now and how we sell, let’s say ten, 15 years ago?
Tim (00:03:44) – I think that, you know, social media has changed the world. You know, we switched on the TV and and there will be something on the so-and-so’s tweeted this or so-and-so’s tweeted that. And therefore, we recognize the the fact that now 60% of the world’s population are active on social media, active being the average person now spends two hours, 26 minutes a day on social media. So it’s not it’s not this thing that’s for techies or um, and in terms of what’s changed, I think that there’s now this, this recognition that when we get up in the morning that we we switch on social media, That’s where we go.
Tim (00:04:24) – And the data shows there’s some great data produced by a guy called Simon Kemp. And if your listeners don’t follow him on LinkedIn or they should do, it’s completely free.
Andy (00:04:35) – I don’t think I do, to be honest. Tim So yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s the Kemp.
Tim (00:04:38) – Simon Kemp Yeah. So Simon produces this. Of course there’s he has people that pay for them, but he actually produces it. It’s not gated and it’s completely free. And so all the facts around 60% are from that data. And that came out in July. And I think there’s a there’s a number of changes that have taken place, which. That we now see. Social media is the place that we go to. The data also shows that people under 34 use social media to search more than they do Google. And what happens is that as every quarter goes by, we we see that the figures of people turning to social media for search rather than Google basically increases. And I think that’s because, you know, if I if I type into Google, give me the name of the best CRM system in the world, I don’t get the answer I want.
Tim (00:05:33) – Because what happens is that all the CRM vendors buy the search. Yes. So I don’t I do if I go and say, what’s the capital of Nigeria, I get that. But I don’t if I put in something quite business related. And that’s why when we turn to social media, we know that we’re going to get something. We’re going to get a more nuanced answer about what we want.
Andy (00:05:53) – So I think that’s only going to continue because if I look at my children who are aged ten and almost 13, you know, their first port of call for a search is either YouTube, TikTok or Alexa. So, you know, they’re the world. That’s the future world of work. So, you know, ten years time when they come into the workplace, hopefully sooner then then it’s going to change again.
Tim (00:06:18) – It is. And I and I think that, you know, what we’re seeing is that the Generation Z people coming through are now coming into the workplace and we will see significant changes and they’re going to have changes not just it’s not just about, you know, the debate that we’re doing on we have a podcast called Sales TV where we talk about sales issues and the debate.
Tim (00:06:39) – One of the debates that we’re having is the fact that those individuals don’t live the same values that maybe Generation X do. So then they don’t want to be in an environment where it’s it’s, you know, I work in in sales environment, which is what are you going to sell this month? What are you going to sell this quarter? Why haven’t you sold it? Why did you lose that deal that they just say, look, I’m not interested in any of these questions of yours, I’m going fishing. And and we were actually debating that this week. And, you know, there’s Generation X people going, well, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t recruit any of those people. And you go, well, you you’re going to have a smaller and smaller and smaller talent pool that you are going to recruit from because you’re just going to recruit from old people that don’t understand social media. Yes.
Andy (00:07:26) – Yeah, it’s a mindset shift.
Tim (00:07:28) – Definitely massive mindset shift.
Andy (00:07:31) – So do you think then that social selling obviously it’s it’s the now and it’s the future, do you think that that the majority of the sales professionals have understood adopted this or is it what we kind of as they’re still an army of sales professionals that are you know a bit more old school.
Tim (00:07:50) – When Adam and I started the company back in 2016, we thought we had 18 months before people work this out and and everybody basically adopted it. And here we are seven years later and we’re still talking to people, organizations who think that spam, whether that’s through email, through cold calls or whatever, is the way forward. And, you know, they don’t seem to recognise the fact that the results from those activities are getting less and less and less. You know, HubSpot, who sell email marketing systems, say the email marketing has a 98% failure rate. We see most people doing cold calling has got a 99% failure rate, you know, but going and presenting these at a board level, that should be career limiting. We had a guy, one of our one of our team left one of our resellers and went to another company doesn’t do social selling and at he’s just done his three months just been there three months and sat down with his manager said I’ve been here three months. What do you think? He said Well you’ve achieved more in three months than what any of our salespeople have ever achieved in the whole time of this company, because he’s been using our social selling methodology to get through to people.
Tim (00:09:09) – And one of the other salespeople said, I heard you had a really good review. Can you send me your sales cadences? And and this guy and our person said, sales cadences. What do you mean we don’t? I don’t use sales cadences. I have a methodology that I follow which enables me to get conversations, conversations at scale and conversations at high level. You know, this this, these sales cadences of spam per a person on a Monday with an email spam, a person with a cold call on a Wednesday spam a person on on social on a Friday, you know, these things are not generating anything even though it’s deemed as being best practice old fashioned.
Andy (00:09:50) – Well, let’s let’s look at that methodology then. Let’s look at the, I guess, the key steps of setting up for success in social selling. How do you what do you need? To do to get to a point where you can adopt your methodology.
Tim (00:10:03) – Well, what we teach people three things. The first thing is that you need to look good on social media.
Tim (00:10:11) – So this isn’t this isn’t about you being Kim Kardashian and and showing off. This is about if you think about LinkedIn, there’s 950 million people on there. So therefore, your LinkedIn profile is a showcase to 950 million people. It’s a shop window and they’re walking past your LinkedIn profile every day. And what you want them to go is That’s interesting. I think Tim Hughes could help me. I’m actually going to contact him and see if that sounds exactly what we need rather than, Hey, I’m an amazing salesperson and this is my product and this is my services, which of course what we do is we just run away from.
Andy (00:10:50) – Yes, Yeah.
Tim (00:10:51) – So the second thing is that you need a wide and varied network. So think of it as a digital territory. You’re probably old enough to know, remember business cards. But in effect, what we’re doing is that we’re connecting to the people. And it may be we have to be connected to the people in our accounts. So as a sales leader, if you’re doing any quarterly business reviews with people, you need to be asking people, How many people are you connected to within that account? And what you’ll probably find is that the salesperson will probably say 1 or 2.
Speaker 3 (00:11:21) – I’m that.
Andy (00:11:22) – Guy. Yeah, absolutely. By the way, I still like a business card, Tim. I still do like the feel of a business card.
Tim (00:11:27) – I actually still I actually still like business cards as well. There’s something about having. But the thing is, is that I immediately I will either connect to the person on LinkedIn because then then ultimately the business card stays up to date completely.
Andy (00:11:39) – Yeah.
Tim (00:11:40) – So this it’s important to have a wide and varied network. Now search works differently on on LinkedIn as on Google. It works based on your on your network. So if people so if you’re selling accounting systems which is what I did and someone says I need an accounting system or searching for people that have got that, you need to be in that network. So and let’s not forget that if you’re not connected to the people, you’re invisible to them. The third thing that you need is content. This is not I’m not talking about brochures and brochure where I’m talking about content that people want to read.
Tim (00:12:20) – Because if it’s brochures and brochure where I go to your website for that. Yes. And we know what our brochure says. It says, buy my product because we’re great. And you know, my background is selling accounting systems and every single accounting system vendor goes to the market and says exactly the same thing and says their product is exactly the same. So the only differential that an accounting vendor has is the salesperson. Because we know that all of them will negotiate on price. If you go to them and say you’re £30 more expensive. They say, okay, well, I’ll give you £30 off. Right. Okay. So the only the only thing that you have is your is is the is the sales person and the sales person position on social media. Because what we will do is that we’ll go and look them up. If it’s if it says if their LinkedIn profile says I hit President’s club for the last five years, once I get my teeth into a customer, either I die or they will die.
Tim (00:13:19) – So you won’t go and talk to them? Absolutely. You’re looking for is someone that’s going to say, I’ve been in I’ve been selling accounting systems for it doesn’t matter. I think these are the five things are the key drivers in the verticals that I work. And you go, Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah. And actually seeing content content where most importantly the person has written it and content where you go. I think this person actually understands my business and understands the business issues and that’s not the same of putting out Gartner Magic Squares. It says that we’re the top right hand corner because ultimately that’s just brochure where.
Andy (00:13:59) – Yeah, it’s the difference between adding value and sharing your sales promotion, isn’t it? You know?
Tim (00:14:04) – Yeah, yeah. And I don’t like the term value because value is a, is a term which is, which is relative. But you know what, You know, what we’re looking for is we’re looking for insight. You know, tell me something I don’t know. Now, we all have been to LinkedIn and scrolled through it and gone.
Tim (00:14:23) – Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring. That’s interesting. Yes. Now, all the marketers that I talk to say, yeah, we’re the. That’s interesting. But we know that the billions have been spent on pieces of software to basically take brochures and push them out on social media and what the, what the data shows is that so, so if you share a brochure on social media, you extent you’ve extended the sales cycle by 21%. Is that.
Andy (00:14:53) – Right? Okay. That’s really interesting data, isn’t it?
Tim (00:14:56) – So so, yeah. So you know, now one of the things that we’re able to do or all we do is, is, is social. We’re not interested in, we’re not a, um, a full service marketing agency. We just want to be. Yeah. The master of, of, of a particular thing. So we’re able to spend time doing research. And this research that we’re able to do means that we’re able to investigate the use of social and, and compare it to other mechanisms.
Tim (00:15:26) – And so yeah.
Andy (00:15:28) – So what like we’ve just said, there is essentially average or less than than average poor content actually elongates the sales cycle.
Tim (00:15:37) – Yeah. And think about it, it’s, it’s of course that’s the case because what happens is that people people don’t like salespeople. There’s some Gartner. Was it? Was it Gartner came out? Was it 70? 80% of people don’t like talking to salespeople because we know the way that the conversation is going to go, they’re going to try and, you know, give us 20 minutes and I’ll show you a demo of my product. No, I’m not interested.
Andy (00:16:00) – Yes. Yeah.
Tim (00:16:01) – And so as soon as someone actually starts sharing boring corporate brochure content, you’re just going to go, well, that’s just a I don’t want to talk to that person.
Andy (00:16:12) – Not interested. But let’s go back to your three steps then. So, you know, setting up for, for looking the part on social media. I think the term we most often hear these days is personal brand in that respect, isn’t it? Is looking the part.
Andy (00:16:26) – That’s something that I think everybody can master with a little bit of guidance, you know.
Tim (00:16:32) – So so that that’s just just to there’s a there’s a book that came out quite recently and he called the jolt effect which is jolt effect. Yeah. By Matthew Dixon. Matthew Dixon was one of the authors of the Challenger sale. And basically what happened was that they’ve been able to use data to look at why deals don’t happen. And actually what happened, what what he realized is, is that the traditional playbook of why deals don’t happen actually doesn’t work because the deals don’t happen because people are scared.
Andy (00:17:08) – People are scared.
Tim (00:17:10) – People are scared to make a decision. Right. Because because, because let’s let’s let’s not forget that if we’re going to spend a lot of money, if we spend that money and it doesn’t work, I probably get fired. Well, if we don’t spend the money, I probably keep my job.
Andy (00:17:26) – Yeah, that always reminds me of the old nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, you know, safety and security and buying from a.
Tim (00:17:34) – Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, so, so but but one of the conclusions that he comes to is that you actually need the salespeople need to have a personal brand. They, you know, if you think about it as a salesperson, I’m a new business salesperson. I have to build trust in seconds. Yes. And and I’m and I need to do that on social media. And so does your sales force. In fact, the whole of your organization needs to do it because actually, it’s not just the modern buyer who’s online. It’s the modern job hunter is online and the modern investors online, etcetera, etcetera. So so but in terms of your sales force, your sales force need to be generating trust within seconds. And they won’t do that by having a LinkedIn profile, which is a CV. That means they’re looking for a job or something that says, I’m an amazing salesperson because we’re not interested in talking to those. Yeah, so having a personal brand is critical. I can talk to you about other.
Tim (00:18:31) – So think having a personal brand as a as a CEO startup will get you more funding. There’s research that shows that as well.
Andy (00:18:40) – I’m totally bought into the value of a personal brand and we did a podcast a few episodes ago with a guy called Rajan Mystery, who specializes in working with the founders of startups to build a personal brand that helps them on that journey. So totally. I totally value that. The challenge, of course, is convincing everyone within an organization that they need to spend the time to build and curate their personal brand.
Tim (00:19:01) – But but it should, you know, I mean, in what we teach through our methodology should only take you a day to do.
Andy (00:19:08) – Yes. Yeah.
Tim (00:19:09) – So, so when you say it takes time, surely you have a day to spend working on your personal brand that’s going to increase the company’s turnover by 30%.
Andy (00:19:20) – You are preaching to the converted here too.
Tim (00:19:22) – Why would you not do that?
Andy (00:19:24) – I’m with you. And you know, this.
Tim (00:19:26) – Is you have a mental health day.
Tim (00:19:28) – You say we have a personal brand day. It’s going to be next Friday. You’re going to spend you’re not going to do any meetings. You’re just going to focus on that. And after that, on Monday, we’re going to go back onto our growth trajectory and we’re going to get another 30% increase in revenue.
Andy (00:19:40) – I love that personal brand. That’s something I’m going to bounce around with a few people.
Tim (00:19:44) – That’s cool. I’m going to make a note of that myself.
Andy (00:19:47) – That’s going to be in your third edition of the book. Yeah, I think so. Tell me about The Wide Network, because obviously having a broad reach is important, but I don’t know about you, but I get so many connection, random connection requests, and I know we keep going back to LinkedIn because I think it is probably the most important B2B channel, isn’t it a social media channel? But on LinkedIn I and everyone gets an awful lot of spam connections. What’s the value in that? Is it just to broaden that reach?
Tim (00:20:18) – I think that so I think that what you’ll find is that most most organizations are fixated on interruption marketing, which has been around, you know, for 30, 40 years, which is I, I pitch up well, I interrupt you and then I pitch my products, which is what email marketing, cold calling advertising is, is all about.
Tim (00:20:42) – And it’s and social media isn’t about that. Social media is social media. And and people forget and people don’t seem to realize that people don’t want to be pitched to or spammed. So first and foremost, I think it’s important to say that when someone comes to you on social media and pitches to you or connects and pitches, that is not social selling.
Andy (00:21:08) – No.
Tim (00:21:08) – Okay. It’s spam. So I have a definition of social selling, which is using your presence and behavior on social media to build influence, make connections, grow relationships and trust which lead to conversation and commercial interaction. What we’re doing when we’re connecting to people, it’s about generating a conversation. Yes. And and so what as as what we need to be doing if if we’re in sales, we need to be doing proactive outreach. So we need to be connecting to people in the accounts that we want to influence.
Andy (00:21:45) – Yes.
Tim (00:21:46) – Now, if we take a client of ours, they’ve got 100,000 employees. How many people should I be connected to in BMW? More than one.
Tim (00:21:56) – Probably more than ten. I don’t I’m it’s an open question. Is it? I spoke to a friend of mine in sales and he said, oh, 10%. I said, well, that’s 10,000 people. But but we need to be we need to be connected to be and so linked in call it multithreading, which is about making sure that you’re connected and having more than just one person, you know? So when I was selling accounting systems, the, um, you need to be, you needed to know people in finance, you needed to know people in it, you needed to know people in architecture, you need to be connected to, you know, So, so there was ten, 20, 30, 40, maybe 50 people that you need to be connected to. There’s a supply chain software company that we’re working with that says there’s a hundred stakeholders for every sale.
Andy (00:22:49) – Goodness. Okay. So basically it’s about breaking down who’s in the decision making unit, isn’t it?
Tim (00:22:54) – So and if you think about, you know, the point when there’s a decision and they say, okay, we’ve we’ve selected a shortlist of two, who’s who are we going to pick? You need to be making sure that as a sales person, all the people are putting up the hand for you.
Tim (00:23:07) – So you need to have gone round and had and connected to those people and try to have a conversation with them, not in a by my product because we’re great or here’s my product and that because people will just block you. Yes. But in a conversational way. And what we do is that we teach people the ability to basically to connect to people and have conversations.
Andy (00:23:30) – Yeah. And the value of the conversation is building the relationships with each of those different stakeholders. Yes. So that when it gets to the shortlisting, they put their hand up to say yeah, we want Tim.
Tim (00:23:39) – Yeah. Oh yeah, I’ve spoken to Tim or I’ve seen Tim and I really like his content online. Yeah, they seem like a good company. Yeah.
Andy (00:23:47) – They seem like a good company. That’s exactly the kind of impression you can give across through a good personal brand and also, you know, solid content. Yeah.
Tim (00:23:55) – And that that may be the difference in terms of, of of winning a deal. Absolutely.
Tim (00:24:00) – So so we what we’ve done, we actually have a team of people that are doing cold outreach and we’re now getting a 9% return on that connection of that of of those connections, which is just way more than cold calling or email marketing. Well, if you go.
Andy (00:24:18) – Back to your stats from earlier on, where 99% of cold calling fails and 98% of emails, well, yes.
Tim (00:24:23) – So cold callers who get 1%, we’re getting 9%. But the interesting thing is that we’re getting a 33.6% conversion rate. So whenever you do any cold outreach and you have a meeting, the objective of the meeting is to get a next action. Yeah. And and what we’re doing is that we’re getting a 33%, 33.6% basically next action response. So that just blows out the water. And if anybody’s watching this and they want many more information on it all, if you look at any of my blogs that have come out over the last six, nine months, it will have all that in. And if you want to look at the data, you’re more than welcome to come and analyze it.
Andy (00:25:03) – Yeah, I’ll I’ll put a link to your site in the show. Thank you. So the third piece then is content and this is where you might typically see the overlap between sales and marketing. And marketing generally produces a lot of the content that the sales teams use, and nobody reads that nobody reads. And that’s the challenge, isn’t it? So how do we end up as a marketing community, make sure that we’re fuelling our colleagues in sales and working together in a way that the content we produce, supports their personal brand, enables them to start conversations, connect.
Tim (00:25:37) – And so I would challenge really that marketing should be creating content for salespeople marketing generally, what they do is that they create content, which is very, very bland because it’s about appealing to as many people as they can.
Andy (00:25:53) – Gosh, that’s really painful to hear you say that.
Tim (00:25:57) – Okay, But it’s true.
Andy (00:25:58) – Yeah.
Tim (00:25:59) – Yeah. And and because ultimately marketing has have have a foot in each two camps. One is to basically create a brand and the other is to generate leads in a way they’re basically diametrically opposed.
Tim (00:26:14) – And and so what happens is that you get branded content basically being given to salespeople and say, share that. Yes. And and as we know, actually sharing brochures extends the sales cycle. We also know that people research shows that people come to social media to be social. They don’t come to read brochures. So we also know that if you’re sharing brochures, you’re training the algorithm to ignore you. So you’re you’re in this you’re in this situation where you’re where whatever you do, it’s not working for you. And I think that most people will say, but, you know, if people look at the go back and look at the figures, they’re not generating business from doing that. What what people want and what the figures show is that they want authentic content. Okay? We teach people how to create content, authentic content. Everybody who goes on our course writes a 300 word blog and posts it. And what what we’re looking for is we’re looking for insight. As I said, we’re looking for something.
Tim (00:27:21) – Tell me something I don’t know. Show me that you understand the subject matter. And, you know, a CEO of of ours rang up recently and said he said he said he said, I just posted something. It was the anniversary of his company. 11 years. I said, brilliant. He said, Yeah, I got some business off the back of it. I said, How come? He said, One of our clients rang up and said, Can you get one of our salespeople, one of your salespeople to ring me up because we need to do some more business? And he says, I can’t understand why people don’t put out authentic content. Yeah, yeah. Because every time you do, you’re in the face of your clients on the basis that you have a great profile, on the basis that you’ve connected to the people that you want to influence, which is your clients and your prospects and maybe some maybe some industry influences what you’re doing. So I put out a piece of content every single day.
Tim (00:28:15) – Every single day I’m able to wave at people, say, Hello, I do this social selling stuff. Yeah. Hello. Just getting stuff. Yeah. How often could I ring a client and say, can you buy do you want to buy social selling? I couldn’t ring them daily. I couldn’t ring them weekly before you would basically say, just go away.
Andy (00:28:34) – Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So that’s interesting. Saying authentic content is a term you’ve used a couple of times there. So in other words, Authentic has to be produced by the sales person themselves. So it’s not really a sales and marketing combined effort. Really what you’re saying is marketing should focus on building brand and sales should focus on being authentic and creating connections.
Tim (00:28:53) – Yeah, So, so Mark, the modern marketing, what they need to be doing is that they need to be feeding sales. Probably the ideas in terms of what to create content, right?
Andy (00:29:04) – Okay.
Tim (00:29:04) – So what marketing will have done is created a list of the probably gone to ChatGPT now and, and said, okay, give me the key words.
Tim (00:29:14) – So these are the key words that we want to be famous for. So don’t forget, every time somebody creates a blog, that’s another piece of keyword optimized text on the internet that you have. So if you’ve got a sales team of ten people and they’re all producing a blog a week, you can do the maths in terms of how much you’re increasing your keyword optimized text.
Andy (00:29:35) – Yeah, absolutely.
Tim (00:29:36) – But so what, what marketing need to be doing is going saying right, this week’s keyword is this. What what the sales leadership need to be doing is understanding rather than saying, I’m not having my sales team writing content. What they need to be understanding is that this is modern prospecting, this is digital prospecting. The time that you spend writing the content is actually prospecting time. Why? Because we we’ve got a great profile. We’re connected to all the people that we’re trying to influence and they’re going to go, Oh, Tim Hughes Yeah. Oh yeah. That’s really interesting. Oh, that’s really interesting.
Tim (00:30:16) – That’s really interesting. You know, we’ve got this problem. I’m going to contact them. You know, we’ve got clients that are having that have done all these things and they’ve got people prospects walking across LinkedIn to them and saying, Can you help me? I’ve read your article. I think it’s really interesting. Can you come and help me? And you know, we’ve got clients that are doing multi-million dollar deals because they’re actually doing all of those doing all of those things and joining all those dots. Yeah, and that’s modern digital marketing.
Andy (00:30:53) – Yes. Yeah, It’s really I really interesting because there’s so much in this that. Should improve the relationship between sales and marketing and the performance of sales as a result of them working together in an environment where quite often they haven’t successfully worked together too well. Yes. Could you tell me a bit about. I’m just looking at the club. I’ve got a lot of time, but what I really want to think about quickly is getting the balance between listening and posting on social media, because I think I think the algorithm skews this sometimes, is that you see so much content from the same pool of people and just think, God, don’t do anything other than just posting on social.
Andy (00:31:32) – But I know it’s the algorithm that actually changes that. How do we get beyond the algorithm to listen out to those for those really interesting opportunities?
Tim (00:31:42) – I think that as people mature and start using social media more, one of the things that we teach is that we get them to understand the need for this is about conversation and going out and joining conversations on social or starting conversations. And so that’s going out, finding other people’s content and making comments on it. Not saying this is a great post, but going on there and saying I read your post and doing that, especially of the people that you may be targeting and, and using the because, because as you start doing that, you’ll start seeing more of those posts basically in your feed. We also recommend that if you go to your find somebody who’s posting just boring content on LinkedIn, if you go to the top right hand corner, there’s three dots click on there. You can basically silence them so you don’t see them in in your feed anymore. So for all the marketers out there, I’m sorry, if you’re putting out brochures, we’re all blocking you.
Andy (00:32:47) – We’re never going to see them anyway.
Tim (00:32:48) – It’s a hard life. And but yes, and going out and having those conversations and putting comments and stuff, because then what will happen is that the, the, the algorithm basically will pay you back with that.
Andy (00:33:01) – Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So commenting is as important as posting it. Yeah. Okay. That’s interesting. And those comments presumably shouldn’t be, as you say, great post, but a little bit more insightful response to the content that’s there.
Tim (00:33:13) – Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. Yes. And you know, if you can read the if you could read the blog, I think that would be great. You know, using a term within the blog. But LinkedIn is looking for comments. The algorithm looks for comments on on posts which are at least a sentence as in not great post full stop. But you know, read your post. Really like the bit about this. Thanks for posting or something like that. They see that as a comment.
Andy (00:33:38) – Got you. Okay. All right. So let’s let’s finish off then just with a quick look at the different platforms because we focus quite a bit on LinkedIn, understandably, because it is such an important channel in B2B, isn’t it? But what other avenues for social selling should people be thinking about?
Tim (00:33:55) – Well, we we recommend LinkedIn and we do a 30 minute training course on on what used to be called Twitter, which is now called X.
Andy (00:34:04) – I was going to say to you earlier, actually, Tim, you said something about tweeting. I thought, is it still tweeting? I don’t know. I don’t.
Tim (00:34:09) – Know. I don’t know what it is. It’s called now, is it? It’s not X, It’s not exciting. I don’t think that’s really. It doesn’t.
Andy (00:34:15) – Sound right.
Tim (00:34:16) – It doesn’t it doesn’t sound right. No. But I think we’re kind of still we’re still calling it tweeting. Yeah. I mean, all of the social media listening tools are still focused on on Twitter or X, as it’s called now.
Tim (00:34:29) – So if you’re looking to build a personal brand, you want to get into the speaking circuit. Twitter is a place you need to be if you’re selling into it. There’s a lot of people from on, on, from it on there. And so, you know, Twitter may be a bit of Instagram, but from a B2B perspective, that’s kind of all you need to focus on.
Andy (00:34:51) – Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Tim (00:34:53) – Yeah. So LinkedIn first. Yeah, Twitter, if you have time and Instagram if you have time. And the thing with Instagram is that you may find that there’s senior leaders are not on LinkedIn, well, they’re not logging into LinkedIn, but they are posting pictures of them walking the dogs in Bushy Park and stuff like that. So sometimes you need to be on Instagram purely because you know, you need to go where you’re where your customers are.
Andy (00:35:17) – Yeah, perfect. That makes sense. And it kind of aligns very nicely with my experiences in terms of what platforms are worthwhile investing time in.
Andy (00:35:26) – Tim, thank you very much for joining me on the show. It’s a short, sharp look at a really detailed subject area that you’ve written a lot about, and your social selling book is is detailed, packed, full of value. So I recommend it to anyone that wants to it wants to up their game in social selling. But if people want to take it a bit further and get in touch, Tim, what’s the best way for them to find you, track you down and and book you for some guidance?
Tim (00:35:52) – Thanks, Andy. It’s been Thanks for having me on. It’s been excellent. I really appreciate it and really appreciate you reading the book and really digging into it. Best place to find me is probably LinkedIn. I’m Timothy Hughes on on LinkedIn. If you do send me a connection request, can you say that you’ve seen me on this podcast? Because like you, I get loads of random people sending connection requests and Timothy underscore Hughes on Twitter and our our website is DLA Ignite and the book’s available on Amazon worldwide.
Andy (00:36:27) – All good bookshops. Yes amazing. Tim, thanks very much.
Tim (00:36:31) – Thank you so much Andy.
Andy (00:36:32) – Yeah, nice to meet at some point. Yes, absolutely. But stay in touch. Thank you.