Why LinkedIn Is Not Your Resume

Why LinkedIn Is Not Your Resume

Melonie Dodaro, author and CEO of Top Dog Social Media, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss moving beyond the resumé and unlocking LinkedIn as an invaluable tool for building substantial relationships and securing sales.

In This Episode:

Please Support Our Sponsors:

Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors for helping us make this happen. Please support them; we couldn't do it without their help! This week:

Full Episode Details

Not Your Social’s Resume!

If you work in social media, you know there is one constant: Nothing is constant. In its relatively short existence, the world of social has undergone ceaseless evolution, shaking off trends as quickly as they’re set while continuing to grow in its global ubiquity.

This can certainly bring despair to those who would seek comfort in their day-to-day marketing, but to the eager and astute, there is much to look forward to. One door opens as another closes—you just have to stay on your toes! We currently see this playing out on Facebook, and many businesses are left wondering how to pick up the pieces of what they’ve built on social.

According to Melonie Dodaro of Top Dog Social Media, the place to redirect your efforts may actually be a bit of a surprise: LinkedIn. While many view LinkedIn as an online resumé, it has, in fact, positioned itself as a powerful tool for gaining leads and sales. By refocusing your efforts on LinkedIn, using it to attract new leads and foster genuine relationships, you can ride out the present social wave (rather than getting caught underneath).

In This Episode

  • How LinkedIn has changed, and where it may be heading.
  • Why video is currently so successful on LinkedIn.
  • How to consider a global audience when deciding what time to post.
  • How to reach out to new prospects through LinkedIn.
  • Why you should move the conversation offline.
  • How to maintain connections through LinkedIn.
  • How to use LinkedIn to repurpose content.

Quotes From This Episode

“People go to LinkedIn to learn.” — @MelonieDodaro

Post something significant that's going to garner attention versus just posting. Click To Tweet

“We live in our bubbles, but we have a global audience that we forget about.” — @MelonieDodaro

If you're using LinkedIn as a business building tool, talk less about yourself and more about who you serve. Click To Tweet


See you next week!

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Social Media Operations at Sam's Club

In this 5-episode social media Deep Dive, you'll learn how the busy team at Sam's Club operates their social media strategy. Meet 5 different team members and find out how Sam's Club uses social across their entire business. All 5 episodes are available now, so get ready to binge! Listen to episode 1 of the Sam’s Club Deep Dive now.

Listen to Episode 1 of the Sam's Club Deep Dive Now

Episode Transcript

Jay Baer:Hey, everybody. It's Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, joined as usual by my special Texas friend. He is the Executive Strategist for Salesforce Marketing Cloud. It's Adam Brown.
Adam Brown:Hey, Jay. How are you?
Jay Baer:Man, I'm living the dream. What a cool show we had today. It's a topic that we cover sometimes on this show, but not usually in great depth. We talked a lot about operations and tactics on LinkedIn.
Adam Brown:What I liked about it, Jay, was we talked about LinkedIn. We talked about another topic that we don't often talk about, and that is social selling. But one of the things that Melonie Dodaro really spoke about wasn't this tactics of social selling, but more the strategic side of things, and that you can't just use the technology to do this, but really, fundamentally, selling is still about that in-person relationship and how you segue from an online to an offline, and now in some cases back to an online relationship to complete a transaction or complete a sale.
Jay Baer:Yeah, super interesting episode. If you care at all about LinkedIn, and you definitely should, you're going to like this one. Also, make sure you listen towards the end because Melonie tells the story about how she met her father using social media. Make sure you hang in there for that 'cause it is a humdinger on this week's "Social Pros Podcast."
Adam Brown:As seen on "20/20" and several other TV tabloid shows.
Jay Baer:Yeah, it's really something. Enjoy the episode.
Hi, friends. This is Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. Thanks as always for listening to "Social Pros." I tell you now in our eighth year doing this show, it simply wouldn't be possible without the support of our sponsors. This week they include Salesforce Marketing Cloud, longstanding sponsor of the show. Social is more important than ever for B2B marketers. Yet, some have a hard time using it effectively or measuring results.
There's a new, complete guide, totally free from our friends at Salesforce. It's called "The Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers." It reveals the best types of content for each segment at each social channel, talks about the role of metrics, social listening, and how to elevate your message and drive results in social for B2B. Really good stuff. No cost. Just go to bit.ly/socialb2bguide. That's bit.ly/socialb2bguide, all lower case. You can download it right now.
This week the show is also brought to you by Brand Watch. As you know, there's thousands and thousands and thousands of images shared online every second. It's crazy; Instagram everywhere, et cetera. Brand Watch has world leading image insights that can discover any logo in any picture, and then helps brands measure their visibility within those photos. Pretty cool stuff. They've used this technology to look through - check this out - 250 million images to figure out which logos appear the most, and they've produced the 2018 Brand Visibility Report.
This thing is fascinating. It shows you how often the most popular brands are photographed online, how brands are more visible in particular locations, which brands are used more by influencers and their photos, and the sentiment attached to each of the brands' images. Really great stuff, terrific report, lots of smart data. Grab it at brandWatch.com/socialpros. BrandWatch.com/socialpros. No cost for the brand new 2018 Brand Visibility Report. Awesome.
Melonie Dodaro, CEO of Top Dog Social Media and author of the fantastic book, "LinkedIn Unlocked." Welcome to "Social Pros."
Melonie Dodaro:Thanks so much, Jay. Awesome to be here.
Jay Baer:Melonie is joining us on the show, Adam, not from an undisclosed location in the United States, or even from the unusual location that is Canada. Melonie is dialing in from Amsterdam in the Netherlands, which is quite fantastic.
Adam Brown:Yeah. Plus seven hours from where we are right now.
Jay Baer:Melonie, we really appreciate you being on the show because as LinkedIn gets more and more important, I think it's fair to say, there is still a lot of question about how to use it well. I think some people, like you, use it extraordinarily well, but I think other people still use it in a bit of a ham-handed fashion. That's what we want to get to the bottom of today is how we can use LinkedIn better.
Certainly, your specialty is helping professionals and sales people get into that whole realm of social selling and generating leads through Linkedin. I think we've all had good experiences with that. Some of us have had less than great experiences with that. We want to get into the weeds there and have you take apart the LinkedIn formula to make sure we can go off into the sunset doing this well. Yeah?
Melonie Dodaro:Absolutely.
Jay Baer:Obviously, there's been a lot of changes at LinkedIn even in the last few months. Talk about those a little bit, as a LinkedIn professional and a world-renowned LinkedIn expert. Talk about what you make of LinkedIn today and future cast a little bit. Let us know where you think it's headed.
Melonie Dodaro:LinkedIn's made significant changes over a number of years, but the most significant have probably been in the last year. That's what really forced me to write my new book because I had written one four years ago with the intention of it being evergreen.
Jay Baer:You wrote a social media book with the intention of being evergreen. That is the funniest thing I've ever heard of that show. It's amazing.
Melonie Dodaro:Hey, Jay, I tried my best. I made sure I didn't include screenshots and anything that could change, but there's been so much that has changed. Clearly, strategy has to change when it comes to marketing and especially to social media because things get overdone, overused. Fatigue sets in, but in addition to that the platform changes.
LinkedIn's made some significant changes over the course of the last year where they've taken away some of the functionality from a free profile, added it to a sales navigator profile. Quite honestly, in my opinion, have made LinkedIn Premium useless.
There was the three levels. There was the free. There was a Premium. There was Sales Navigator.
Jay Baer:So you feel like if you're going to do it professionally, you should get Sales Navigator and not worry about Premium. Either do free, if you're just casually involved or do Sales Navigator if you really want to unlock some of the power features.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. Absolutely. A free account works for many, many people because many people just use LinkedIn as a professional networking site where they're engaging with people that they know or they want to connect with, but they're not using it actively for lead generation.
For those who are using LinkedIn actively for lead generation, then Sales Navigator's absolutely the way to go. The amount of features that they took away from Premium literally, in my opinion, made it obsolete because there's no functionality for lead generation in that. They buffed a few little features in that for a difference of $20 a month makes no sense at all.
Go for Sales Navigator, especially if you're going to use it, as a tool to build business, to connect with leads and actually all the functionality that it organically provides if you've set it up properly.
Adam Brown:How much of this transformation, Melonie, do you believe is because of Facebook's acquisition of LinkedIn back in late 2016? How much of this was, do you think, just the evolution of LinkedIn that they probably already had charted and was probably part of their roadmap?
Jay Baer:Microsoft, you mean, Adam.
Melonie Dodaro:Right. Yeah. I was going to correct Adam on that, too. Yeah. I am sure that's what he meant.
Adam Brown:That's okay. We'll just put that in the blooper reel. So just [crosstalk 00:07:37]
Melonie Dodaro:You know what's really interesting is one year ago today, not exactly today, but this month, I was sitting in LinkedIn's corporate office in San Francisco having meetings with some of the senior executives there. I really, really worried about where LinkedIn was going because of the Microsoft acquisition. I was like, "Oh, they're making some bad changes."
What I was super impressed with is that they were starting to reach out to people that were influencers and power users to get feedback. I even had an investment group that was heavily invested in LinkedIn that had researched me previously to that and had hired me for some consulting, just to get my opinion, which I was also impressed with that because most social networks never care about anyone's opinion, and they don't go seeking it.
Over the course of the last year, since I had that meeting with them, I've seen some significant and really, really good changes that surprised me because I literally did. I sat in their office. I said, "Listen guys, I have some concerns. I'm afraid that you guys are going to alienate all your free members to the degree that your network is not going to have any leverage anymore because you can't just rely on paid members. The network is the network because of all the free members." Of course, the revenue comes from the paid members.
I don't know what they've done. I don't know if it's a culmination between what they've done and what's happened elsewhere. I'm a big fan of Jay's, and so I've referenced him recently in a couple of articles that I've done, some of his videos that he's talked about in our articles that he's written about the changes that ... Facebook has made and how that's impacting the usage of Facebook. In my opinion, it's created tremendous benefits for LinkedIn. I have seen such a ramp up of momentum with LinkedIn that I've never seen before.
Here's what I loved about LinkedIn previous to this year. LinkedIn's one of those ... like if you're a business owner, you're an entrepreneur, you should really like to see a nice steady stream of your business increasing; a nice steady stream of sales and revenue and things ramping up. That's what LinkedIn's always been. It's had this really nice, steady stream of momentum, but nothing extreme.
Jay Baer:Yeah.
Melonie Dodaro:It hasn't had these big extremes, but right now it is, for the very first time ever in my opinion.
Jay Baer:That's super interesting. With LinkedIn right now is more and more people using video. Do you think that's one of the reasons that this new momentum is on the way?
Melonie Dodaro:I don't think video has anything to do with it. I think that LinkedIn is very much a late adopter with everything. They take forever to roll things out. I'm not a huge fan of LinkedIn, but I also know all their cons, right? There's the pros. There's the cons. They're very, very slow with rollout.
Where LinkedIn today is with the video is where Facebook was five years ago or four years ago-
Jay Baer:Yeah. For sure.
Melonie Dodaro:... whenever it was that they first launched it. That's exactly where they are today. You're doing a fantastic job with video, Jay. I see your videos on LinkedIn. I'm usually there liking and commenting them. And it's-
Jay Baer:I mean it works. For the stuff that I do, I get much better results now on LinkedIn video than I do on Facebook video. I never thought I would say that, but it's true every single time.
Melonie Dodaro:Well, and I'll tell you why, and that'll never change because people go to LinkedIn to learn.
Jay Baer:It's almost like YouTube, right? It's YouTube for business people where any time anybody needs to know anything that's "not business" or even if it is to some degree, it's on YouTube.
My son said the other day ... I may have mentioned this on a previous episode. He's going to be a senior in high school. He's like, "Yeah. I could go to college, or I could learn everything I need to know on YouTube." I'm like, "Well, that scares me, but you're not wrong necessarily."
I think LinkedIn is ... You're exactly right. It's where people go to learn. Whereas some of my audience on Facebook wants to learn, but some of 'em just want to reminisce about high school. I don't have as homogenous of an audience on Facebook. Nor does anybody. Whereas LinkedIn at least you have a [homageian 00:11:51], or however that word is said, of why you're on ... Nobody's on LinkedIn on accident, I guess, is way I would say it. People are on Facebook on accident all the time.
Melonie Dodaro:Right. Exactly. You post an article and the video might be different because people are engaged in video a lot more than a static article for example, but you post an article on Facebook that's business-related, it's crickets; hardly any action. [crosstalk 00:12:20]
You post that same article on LinkedIn, you're going to get a massive attraction from it because that's what people are interested in. We have to understand why do people use different platforms? What are they there for? And make sure that we're catering to that.
This is one of the reasons why Facebook has never been a huge platform for me because I'm not interested in the mindless stuff. You talked about in your article all the political stuff and all the things that you think are decreasing Facebook's usage.
For me, one of things that I'd add to your list ... You had four really relevant items that you have on your list. I'd love for you to share them 'cause I think they're great, but the fifth that I add to that is the mindlessness, like people posting things just for the sake of posting so they can say they posted it. Or for the sake of getting engagement. Like what kind of Disney princess are you? Just these mindless, stupid things that you'll never see on LinkedIn. And I [crosstalk 00:13:22]
Adam Brown:Mulan, actually, if we were going to get into that, but that's okay.
Jay Baer:Adam is Belle. I'm Mulan, in case we want to take stock of specific Disney princesses.
I'm glad you mentioned the posting for posting's sake, Melonie, 'cause it leads me to a follow-up question I wanted to ask. This is partially for my own edification. I know the answer's going to be "it depends" because you're a good strategist, but if I had to pin you down, what is, in your estimation, the right posting cadence for LinkedIn?
I'm not talking about prospecting and reaching out to people one-to-one using Sales Navigator, but just creating content and "status updates," if you will on LinkedIn. What do you try to do in terms of number of posts per week, et cetera?
Melonie Dodaro:Oh, a number of times. On average, once a day. You can go one, two, three times a day, depending on how active you want to be. I hear a lot of people saying, "Hey, you know, you got to post often because you need people to see you." That's never been my philosophy. I don't subscribe to the "look at me" industry that were in. I'd rather post once a day or even once every two days and post something significant that's going to garner attention versus just posting.
If I was to give a number ... And absolutely, Jay, "it depends" is my favorite phrase because I always say, and I'd be doing people a disservice by answering a question without asking five other questions to know what the goal and the objective is. If I were to just answer that generically, I'd say once a day. Maybe twice.
Adam Brown:As a follow-up to that. One of the things I've noticed ... This is for a personal edification question. I have noticed, Melonie, that many of my friends and colleagues have started posting on LinkedIn during the evenings and during the weekends, which made me start to think if others like me had begun to realize LinkedIn is where I go more for that learning, that more focused content that's a little bit more relevant to maybe what I'm doing at that particular moment. But with people who are now time-shifting and spending more time on LinkedIn, not during your typically 9-5 hours, a) is that something that you're seeing? And b) is there a strategy that can be built for content strategy in and around that?
Melonie Dodaro:That's such a great question, Adam.
The answer is I don't know because in the past I would tell people post early in the morning. If you're going to post twice a day, post early in the morning or in the beginning of the afternoon, but there is a big shift right now. There's a shift that's happening that's never happened before where people are spending less time on Facebook and more time on LinkedIn.
Well, we know that people were spending more time in the evenings on Facebook. Are they now spending that time in the evening on LinkedIn?
Jay Baer:It's anecdotally. I feel the videos that I posted recently. I've saw 'em on East Coast time. I've signed off at whatever; 6, 7 o'clock. Had a video count. Then logged back in the next morning and have had substantially more views overnight. Obviously, some people are West Coast and that's some of it, but to Adam's point and to your point, Melonie, I've been shocked just on a personal bases recently how much overnight traction some of that content has gotten. Yeah. It's different then what we think, Adam. Right?
We always think LinkedIn is the 9-5 bankers [crosstalk 00:16:39] hours social network, right? But that seems to maybe not be the case now.
Melonie Dodaro:Well, interestingly enough, I'm from the West Coast of Canada. I now live in Europe. I'm now nine hours ahead, so I'm now posting at about 3 a.m. Pacific Time when I post because that's now noon, my time. I'm testing it to see should I wait till later in the afternoon? Because I have a much larger audience in North America and Canada and the US from Pacific Time to Eastern Time, but I've always had an audience in Europe, but it's, I think, growing more so now, especially because of the time that I'm posting. I never posted European time before.
We live in our little bubbles of our Eastern Time or Pacific Time or Central Time or Mountain Time, whatever time zone where in. We live in those bubbles, but we have a global audience that we forget about.
Adam Brown:It's true. I think this becomes even more critical when it involves one of the other topics, Melonie, that you're an expert on, which is live streaming because finding that sweet spot of when we're going to, at least produce the live content where going to see [crosstalk 00:17:52]
Jay Baer:Yeah. When you turn on the button.
Adam Brown:Yeah. When do you hit that red button to start?
Melonie Dodaro:Oh, my goodness, Adam. I am far from an expert from live streaming. I've done so very few of them. I actually have only ever been a guest. I've never hosted my own. Here's why. I can't stand watching people's live streams.
Now, Jay, I don't know if you do live streams, but if you did them, I'd be watching yours-
Jay Baer:Thank you.
Melonie Dodaro:... because ... No. Jay's like all about content.
Jay Baer:I have, but I don't do as much as I used to. [crosstalk 00:18:23] I used to do a lot. I used to do a lot.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. I don't notice most people's because anytime I've ever logged into a live stream, people just ramble. I'm a long time entrepreneur. I've been an entrepreneur for 20 years. I'm a no-nonsense kind of girl. That's why I like LinkedIn. I'm not into fluff. Live streaming for the most part, and I'm not talking about everybody, but I'm noticing 90% of the people that live stream are talking about fluff.
Jay Baer:Well, [crosstalk 00:18:55] one of the challenges of live stream is that you have to be on long enough for people to get the notification that you're live. Then have them drop whatever they're doing in theory, log in and then interact with them in the comments. That's what makes it.
Well, that means-
Adam Brown:Without losing some of those first people [crosstalk 00:19:11] you can't just pre-fluff. Yeah. You gotta [crosstalk 00:19:12] have content [crosstalk 00:19:13]
Jay Baer:Yeah. You have to have a fairly [crosstalk 00:19:14] long content window, I think. It's ... 'cause I stopped doing it because most of the videos that I do are shorter, five minutes or less, because I want people to consume them.
Live stream I think you have to be 15 minutes or longer. Right? It's almost the exact opposite. Adam and I have talked about live streaming this show. You can actually push live from the platform that we use to do the show and actually just live stream the recording every week since we don't do tons of editing. Then we would have enough time on air to make that happen.
Actually, listeners, if you're interested in having us do that send me an email: jay@jaybaer.com. Just be interested to get people's take on it. We haven't done it yet, but we've thought about it because we certainly have a long enough window.
Now I think, I suspect that at some point, LinkedIn will start to offer live video. Now as Melonie said, LinkedIn is always a few years behind everybody else. Maybe 2021 at this rate of game, maybe they'll live video it then.
Melonie Dodaro:You know why, Jay? They were supposed to launch it last quarter of 2017. Everybody keeps asking me, "What about live stream. Do you think LinkedIn's going to launch live stream?" I'm like, "Well, they said the end of 2017. It'll probably be first or second quarter of 2019."
Jay Baer:Yeah. 'Cause it's 18 months later. There's something else that I have written about a couple times with regards to LinkedIn that drive me crazy that I want to get your take on. Okay? I am really unhappy with the shunning of SlideShare. I was always a big fan of SlideShare. I thought it was a tremendous learning resource and a really unusual and valuable corner of the social content universe. Since the Microsoft purchase of LinkedIn, they have really basically slashed the staff and let that thing grow over with weeds to the degree that nobody even talks about it anymore hardly at all. I just think it's a real shame.
Melonie, what do you think? Do you think it makes sense that they moved away from it? Do they have something else planned? What's your take?
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. They have PointDrive. They have Microsoft products. It makes perfect sense. Again, I don't agree with that because I'm a Mac user. People talk about PointDrive and Microsoft ... What is it? The email platform, Office 365 or something like that.
Jay Baer:Right. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:21:29]
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. I don't use any of that stuff. That's a problem. We have all these different tools. Many of them don't integrate. You have to choose one or the other. I don't like choosing 'cause I like to choose the best of this and the best of that, whatever's going to work. I don't like when I'm isolated from one thing or another. That's certainly it.
They have their PointDrive and their other various Microsoft tools [crosstalk 00:21:58] that they're trying to [crosstalk 00:21:57] promote, which is a mistake because yeah, SlideShare has much more potential from a more mainstream usage than what they're looking at doing with something like PointDrive.
Jay Baer:Yeah. No doubt. I want to ask about the core of your programs and in working with sales professionals to create new leads using LinkedIn. Obviously, you have hours and hours and hours of content. You do full workshops on how to make this happen. Go to Top Dog Social Media to learn more about how to hire Melonie to make this happen.
I'm not going to ask you to give away all your secrets here for free in the podcast, but if you could provide some council. First question I would have is can any salesperson do this? Or is it a particular type of salesperson that is going to be more effective at using LinkedIn in this way at this point?
Melonie Dodaro:That's a great question. Absolutely any salesperson can do this. I posted something on Facebook and LinkedIn today about I'm an introvert. LinkedIn and social media are fabulous tools for me because I was never capable of going to networking functions and going to events. I'd be the person hiding in a corner until somebody would come up and talk to me.
Now salespeople aren't typically that personality style. They're more outgoing and willing to go up and talk to people, but yeah, LinkedIn will work for absolutely anyone. The only people that will struggle with it are those that are so adverse to technology that they're not willing to give it a try.
Jay Baer:Sure. Yeah. That makes sense. When you advise people to go through the multiple step process of finding a lead, contacting the lead, nurturing the lead on LinkedIn. Eventually, you always recommend taking that offline. Right? Telephone, face-to-face, et cetera. What is your best council for how to do that well? Because it's certainly not always done well; sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. How do you make sure, I guess put another way, that people use the Melonie Dodaro secrets for good rather than for evil?
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. That's a great question. There's two big mistakes that people make online, whether it's LinkedIn or any other social media platform. One is they connect with somebody, and they go in for the pitch, whether they're a salesperson or you're an entrepreneur, whoever you are, that doesn't work. People don't want to be sold on social media. It's just not the platform for it.
The second thing is keeping that relationship online all the time and never moving that conversation offline 'cause it's offline that business happens in the B2B world. Now in the B2C, business-to-consumer world, yes, things are different. Business still happens online, but if you're selling a high ticket service or product, it's happening offline.
What I talk about is what I call "The LINK Method." It's a five step approach. The first step is finding those prospects online. You can do that through advanced search. LinkedIn's got the most fabulous advanced search of any social media platform that's ever been created. You can do Boolean search where you can create all these limiters like "but not this and but this and plus this and not this," and so forth. It's a phenomenal tool to really, really target and narrow it down who you want to connect with.
From there, you send a connection request. A lot of people talk about, "Oh, send them an in-mail." Why would you send them an in-mail when you can send them a connection request? You don't need to spend money on in-mail. You just send the connection request.
Here's all you need to do. To connect to almost any decision maker, and keep in mind the higher up you go in the food chain, if you're trying to connect with CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, this is going to be very hard, but depending on who your audience is and who your target market is, you're going to have to be really, really strategic about how you approach them.
That connection request has 300 characters. Make those 300 characters count. Personalize them. Spend three minutes, two minutes, one minute on that person's profile. Go to their activity section in LinkedIn. Look at what they've shared. Look at what they've engaged in. Find something personal to use to connect with them. That's all it's going to take because 98% of the people that send connection requests on LinkedIn, send 'em un-personalized.
You will stand out by taking that 30 seconds, one minute, two minutes if you want to get really, really good at it, and depending on who your target market is, to send that and to send that personalized.
From there, Jay, the next step is ... So many people are like, "Oh, I've been on LinkedIn for so many years. I'm not getting any business. I don't understand why." I'm like, "Well, what are you doing?"
"Well, they're not doing anything. Somebody sends me a connection request. I send them one. If I meet somebody, I send them a connection request." I'm like, "Oh, you're magically expecting business to appear?" Wow.
Jay Baer:It's like collecting business cards and just letting 'em sit there in a stack. They're like, "Well, I've got all these business cards."
Melonie Dodaro:That's exactly what it is. I'm like, "You have to engage in a dialogue." You send, what I call in The LINK Method, the welcome message, which is simply: "Hey, thanks so much for connecting." How I approach this welcome message and how I taught people how to do this two years ago is completely different from how I teach them how to do it today. Keep that really short, really simple, just really engaging some dialogue-
Jay Baer:When do you send it, Melonie? How often after the connection do you send it?
Melonie Dodaro:Right after. It could be anywhere between an hour after to a day or two days after, but in that short window.
You just thank them for connecting. If you can find something to compliment them on, whether it's their personal profile, their company. You can find something that they've engaged in online that you want to reference, anything that you have in common with them through reviewing their profile, anything that you can create some rapport with; just simple and short and sweet. That's it. Don't ask for anything.
First of all, don't ever ask for anything. At the end of the day, business is going to happen offline. You want to have a sales conversation with somebody before you ever try to sell them anything. That means you need to find out what are their problems before you offer a solution. That's the first step.
The next step is to continue to build that relationship, build a rapport. Maybe send them a message that is a value to them. Maybe you've come across an article or a resource or a stat or something that's of value to them, but you do it ... Again, you just keep personalizing this.
I used to say just message script. You could use the message script 'cause that used to work. It doesn't work anywhere because everybody's doing it. Things get fatigued in marketing. Things get fatigued in social media. It's that personalization that makes the difference now. Yeah. You could have a little template. You can then just add your personalization into it. Absolutely. I teach people how to save time and do this in a super productive manner on a regular basis, but you need to spend that extra one or two minutes.
Then once you've built enough rapport, and you've established a little bit of a relationship or a little bit of a dialogue, then you can find a way to comfortably move that conversation offline. It doesn't happen all the time, so whether it's 20% or 30% or 40% of the time, there's going to be times when it's not going to happen for the most part.
That's when you're going to use what I call "your trigger events." You're going to pay attention to what they're doing online. You're going to engage with them. Get them to know who you are. Share their stuff. Comment on their stuff. Maybe send them a personalized message every once in a while, and they're going to know who you are.
There's so many times where people will ... I've been so busy in the last several months with my book launch and everything that I've got going on and moving and so forth. I've had some people reach out to me that share my content week in and week out, every single week. "Melonie, I'd love to have you on my podcast." I'm like, "Ah, man." I really just want to say no because I don't have the time. Of course, I would never say no to Jay Baer. That day would never happen.
Jay Baer:A lot of people do, Melonie. You'd be surprised.
Melonie Dodaro:But ... Reciprocity kicks in. It's one of the influencers, reciprocity. When somebody does something for me on ongoing basis and they ask something of me, I can't say no for the most part, for the most part.
It's building relationships, but it's really about doing it in a methodical way that you've got to be able to move that conversation offline. How you do that? Again, this is one of those "it depends" answers.
Jay Baer:You don't necessarily mean offline, per se, but at least off LinkedIn.
Melonie Dodaro:No. I mean offline.
Jay Baer:You do [crosstalk 00:30:53]
Melonie Dodaro:It's a phone call. It's an in-person meeting. It's a video chat. Depending on how you do business.
Now, it could be email in some cases, but if you're selling like a $5000 service or a $10000 or $20000 service, you're typically not selling that via email. It usually [crosstalk 00:31:10] requires a dialogue.
If it's a $1000 to $2000, maybe it is just an email conversation. I've had a lot of people that have bought from me through an email conversation because they've known who I am. Or that they've been referred to me by somebody and that conversation hasn't gotten offline, but I've never sold a $20000 service without a phone call.
Jay Baer:Yeah. Makes sense.
Melonie Dodaro:Ever. I don't know if you have. If you have, you're going to have to teach me a few things.
Adam Brown:I completely agree with this idea of how to take online relationships and then take them offline. Take them traditional, especially when you're starting to talk about higher ticket items or services.
My question for you, Melonie, is recognizing that. Let's assume that you are a sales person. Let's assume you're selling a higher price consulting services where you may have a sales process that lasts into the quarters or even a year. What are the secrets for someone who is gone to that stage four or stage five of a seven stage typical sales process?
They have gone traditional. They've used LinkedIn to mine that opportunity, to nurture that relationship and then actually have an in-person relationship. But now they've got to go back and perhaps use LinkedIn to continue that relationship, to stay relevant. Should they spend their time sending personal messages to that person? Should they spend that time giving that person kudos or endorsing that person? Or should they just spend that time maybe even creating more public content on LinkedIn that is highly relevant to that particular person and hoping that it actually starts to drive some engagement on that end?
Melonie Dodaro:All of the above. All of the above. Again, it depends on is this a hot prospect? Or is this maybe like a lukewarm prospect or a cold prospect? Where is this person in that funnel or in that sales process?
A lot of companies have a six month, nine month, 12 month sales process. Most of that conversation should be happening offline, but yeah, you could stay connected. You could stay engaged. You could stay top-of-mind by continuing to stay relevant through what you do on LinkedIn, from what you post to the engagement of what they post.
Some people use LinkedIn and they don't post anything at all. We know that. We see this on Facebook all the time. I bump into people in the grocery store, all over the place and they know every single thing about my life. I'm thinking, I've never once seen them post anything in response to one of my posts. They're creepers. Right?
Many people just pay attention. They look. They observe, but they don't post. It depends on each scenario, but yeah, for hot prospects continue to engage in their content, pay attention to what they're posting and how they're responding to other posts 'cause we can see everything that they do. "Jay Baer just commented on this," somebody else's posts. Whatever it is.
There's tons of opportunity to engage with them. Keep it relevant. You stay top-of-mind, but at the end of the day, here's the thing, everybody talks about content marketing. I'm a pretty big content marketer. I publish content on a regular basis, but at the end of the day, I think it's a myth when people say that social selling is about posting relevant content on a regular basis because that's just a very, very, very small piece of it.
If you sit around and wait for business to knock at your door because you posted content? Good luck to you.
Jay Baer:If you build it, they will not come.
Melonie Dodaro:Right. The results come through your proactive approach, through an outreach to your ideal prospects and the continued follow-up that happens afterwards and the continuing of building a rapport, building a relationship and engaging. One of quotes I would say, "Stop collecting connections, and start building relationships."
Adam Brown:That's a great quote. That actually is going to lead to my follow-up question here. This is a little bit of a trick question, but I'm going to pretend for this purposes of this question, I am a salesperson. I am a pretty successful salesperson, but I'm a busy salesperson. I only have about 10 or 15 minutes every day that I can spend on LinkedIn. How the heck do I allocate that 10 or 15 minutes? Where am I going to get the most bang for my buck?
Melonie Dodaro:There's only one place to spend that time. That's prospecting. You're a salesperson. Prospect. Use LinkedIn advanced search. Find your ideal clients. Send 'em a connection request, personalized, of course. Have a follow-up sequence that happens after they accept that. That's all you have to do. You could actually do a tremendous amount of business on LinkedIn with never doing anything but that.
Jay Baer:There you go, Adam. If this doesn't work out on the marketing side, as the Executive Strategist at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you [crosstalk 00:36:08]
Adam Brown:I know where I'm going. Yeah.
Jay Baer:Sales, baby. Adam's going straight commission from here on out, thanks [crosstalk 00:36:12]
Melonie Dodaro:You're hired, Adam. Would you like to come work for me?
Adam Brown:Yes, please.
Jay Baer:Melonie, I'm glad you talked about content because that was my next question. In addition to prospecting and individual connections and messaging through the Linkedin platform, you can, of course, create status updates on the social side. We've talked about that earlier, but you can also publish to LinkedIn and use LinkedIn as a blogging platform if you will and publish articles there. I do some of that. You do as well.
How important do you think that is? How successful do you see it, and how often or should you be posting similar content to LinkedIn versus your actual blog? Obviously, you have a blog at Top Dog Social Media. You also have a LinkedIn profile where you publish content. How do you think about those two things? As different or similar?
Melonie Dodaro:I think of 'em as very similar. I'm sure your belief is going to be similar to this, Jay. My belief is that our focus needs to be on the assets of which we own, which is our website, our blog, our email list. We can't control what LinkedIn does, what our Facebook does or Twitter does. We're seeing some downward momentum with many social media platforms right now. All those people that's business is reliant upon them, what's going to happen?
When Facebook changed its algorithm and barely any business pages posts were showing up, people were freaking out. It's like, "Really? You expected to have this free popcorn forever? You can't rely on something that you don't own."
My philosophy is always post to my own blog first. If I'm going to share content on LinkedIn Publisher, it's going to be repurposed. I'm not going to spend time writing a brand new article for LinkedIn Publisher, that's going to be totally repurposed.
Now here's the benefit of posting on LinkedIn Publisher. They've got phenomenal Google indexing. Much better than yours and my blog will ever do. Right? They're an authority site. They're the top 10 of Alexa.
When we post our articles on LinkedIn, they're going to show up a lot higher in the search results than our normal articles on our blog posts will. For example, I've got blog posts on LinkedIn Publisher. They're showing up in the number one position on Google organic search. Yet, my website, which is a fairly decent site in terms of Google ranking, it is showing up maybe on page two or three for that same article that was posted on my website first. Meaning Google indexed it on my website first because of LinkedIn's powerful Google indexing. Yeah. There's tremendous opportunities there.
Repurpose on average anywhere between three to seven days later, it would be the minimum. You can post it a month later if you want. It doesn't really matter, but at the time, you just don't want to post it immediately right after you've posted it on your website so that Google has a chance to index it so that your website is the site that it was first posted on.
Adam Brown:That's fascinating. To be able to use LinkedIn really as a cross posting SEO/SEM type benefit. I hadn't even thought about that. That gets to my next question which is around measurement which is about ROI. How do we determine these things are working?
For pure social selling obviously, the main KPI that we're trying to track is "Did we sell more stuff? And can we finally allocate that to our social efforts?"
Talk a little bit, Melonie, about how you consult your clients to set up their measurement and their analytics to demonstrate whether their salespeople are more or less effective and if all their other social marketing activities are driving whatever benefit they're trying to measure.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. That's such a great question. With any digital marketing, when it comes to organic stuff, it's always been hard to track. For me ... When it comes to social selling, I only look at one ROA. It's how much revenue?
Yes, yeah, You can look at, okay, leads and how many phone conversations. Then you can start to decide is there a sales problem? Is there a marketing problem, a sales problem? Where's the problem here? If you've got a salesperson that's generating a whole bunch of conversations and not selling them, maybe there's a sales problem. Not a social selling or a lead generation problem. But there's so many KPI's when it comes to digital marketing and social selling. They're overwhelming.
Many years before I was in this industry, I was in a traditional industry where I had brick-and-mortar businesses. I used to spend $800000 a year marketing my businesses. I did that through radio, TV and newspaper. I had a 1-800 number assigned to every single marketing medium that I had. I tracked every single call that I had through that medium and how many of those calls converted into a client.
Adam Brown:The white pixel of the day.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. It was all manual. Right?
I got the tracking from how many calls. That was digital, but how many of those converted to a client was manual, but here's the thing. I get contacts through my website every single week through what I do organically through posting articles on my website.
I got call a couple weeks ago from a very large Fortune 500 company in the US that was interested in having me train their sales team. I said to the person who connected me. I said, "Hey, would you mind if I asked you how you found me." She said, "Yeah, Melonie. I typed in 'social selling training' into Google." I'm like, "Wow. That's awesome."
Because I create content all the time. You never know-
Jay Baer:It works.
Melonie Dodaro:... is it producing?
Jay Baer:It works.
Melonie Dodaro:Right? This is the thing that I've always had when I train a sales team on social selling, it's like, "Okay. You do this, this, this, this. This is the measurement. The measurement is how many phone calls and how many did they convert?" And in [crosstalk 00:42:33]
Jay Baer:Yeah. The measurement is "Did you get sales?"
Melonie Dodaro:Right.
Jay Baer:Yeah.
Melonie Dodaro:But it depends on the goal. Jay, I love the fact that you use my word. That's my phrase. I coined it. "It depends." I'm just kidding.
But that's the answer that I always say to everybody. I'm like, "If somebody says that they can provide an answer to a question like that in one answer, they're doing you a disservice because you need to ask a few questions before you know what the right answer is."
"It depends." What is the goal? Is the goal brand awareness? Is it building thought leadership? Is it ranking in Google? We have so many different goals.
At the end of the day, I have two sets of KPI's. The ones that measure revenue and the ones that measure things that aren't revenue that are valuable.
Jay Baer:That are the way to revenue hopefully.
Adam Brown:I have: are you making me money? Are you saving me money? Those are the two buckets that [crosstalk 00:43:28]
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah.
Jay Baer:Melonie, the standard unit on LinkedIn is the LinkedIn profile. Everybody has one. It's the modern resume for many people. You have obviously spent a lot of time with people on their LinkedIn profiles 'cause if you can't get that right, then you probably can't get the rest of this right.
I want to ask you an easy question. I think it's easy. What's the number one mistake most people make on their LinkedIn profile?
Melonie Dodaro:Treating it like a resume.
Jay Baer:Ha-ha! Look at that! All right. Go on. Describe that more. Let me hear about that more 'cause I'm [crosstalk 00:44:00] probably in violation of this. Now I'm like, "Shit."
Adam Brown:Yeah. You and me both. Yeah.
Jay Baer:Yeah.
Melonie Dodaro:Oh, Jay. I'm going to have to go look at your profile.
Jay Baer:Please do. Please do. [crosstalk 00:44:07]
Melonie Dodaro:Again, it depends on how you're using LinkedIn. If you're looking for a job on LinkedIn, then having it more resume focused is absolutely fine. If you're using LinkedIn as a business building tool, you're going to take a different approach. That's a more client focused approach. You're going to talk less about yourself and more about who you serve. So here's-
Jay Baer:More solutions provided or how you help other people.
Melonie Dodaro:Right. Here's the three goals that you have with your LinkedIn profile.
You want to build authority and credibility. You want to let people know that hey, you are somebody who knows what you're talking about. Then you want to share how you help your ideal clients, and you share that by identifying who they are, identifying the problem that they have and the solution you offer to solve it.
The last thing is you want to build an increased trust and engagement. You ultimately want them to accept your connection request if you're the one proactively doing that or send you a connection request, if they've stumbled across your profile in one way or another, whether it was through seeing you post online. Or it's doing a search and you showing up. Whatever it is, you want them to take that next step and to reach out to you.
Anybody who's trying to sell and when I say, "sell," you're never trying to sell via social media or in LinkedIn. You're trying to build relationships to ultimately move to them to the conversation offline where you're going to have that sales conversation. But if you're trying to connect with prospects online, you need to have a profile that's compelling enough that they're willing to click accept because it's just as easy for them to click ignore.
Jay Baer:Actually easier.
Melonie Dodaro:What's even worse is after they click ignore, they can then click that little link that says, "I don't know this person." You get five of those-
Jay Baer:[crosstalk 00:46:04] You're grounded.
Melonie Dodaro:... you're in LinkedIn jail, and you can no longer send connection requests without knowing somebody's email. Well, tell me how you're going to prospect on LinkedIn in that [crosstalk 00:46:14] scenario. Right? So-
Jay Baer:All right. All right, Melonie. I'm going to send you my profile. Well ... you know to find it, and I'm sure you're going to send me an email like, "You're such an idiot. You've got this podcast, and your LinkedIn profile sucks. Adam's is way better." All right ... we're going to be all bummed out unfortunately.
But you're right. You're right about all these things.
Adam Brown:"And your LinkedIn profile is not a resume." That's the biggest [crosstalk 00:46:39]
Jay Baer:That's the headline of the show. [crosstalk 00:46:40] That's going to be the headline right there. [crosstalk 00:46:41]
Adam Brown:Melonie Dodaro, it's so great to have you on the show; CEO of Top Dog Social Media, author of "LinkedIn Unlocked."  Such great insights you've shared.
Before I hand it back over to Jay for the two big questions, I did want to ask you if you could share a story that you shared with us right before the show around how you met your father using Facebook. Would you mind sharing that story?
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. No. Totally, I would be happy to.
It was late May 2015. [inaudible 00:47:12] is my favorite social media platform for a reason. I don't like to get too personal on social media. I'm a very private person. I'm an introvert, and I'm private.
Social media's been a fabulous tool for me, but I get really uncomfortable with the really deeply, personal things that people post. It's just not my style. I'm much more professional. I just am who I am. Right? I'm a little different in that I'm not comfortable sharing deeply, personal things, especially in public.
I was actually at an event in Victoria British Columbia, and I was having dinner with one of my girlfriends. We were both speakers at this event. She was telling me a story about her dad. After she told me her story, I said, "Oh, you know, that's really cool. I've never met my dad." She's like, "What do you mean, Melonie, you've never met your dad?" She was literally puzzled. She's like, "I can't even understand what you're talking about." I'm like, "I've never met my dad." She's like, "Well, let's look for him."
Here we are, sitting in this Italian restaurant in Victoria BC. We're Googling and Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. My dad's ... he's Dutch. He's from the Netherlands. He has a name that's the equivalent to the North American name, John Smith. It was a tough situation.
Adam Brown:Crazy common. Yep.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. Anyways, nothing resulted from that.
A week later I was back at home. One of my girlfriends came over. It was Friday night, and we're sitting outside on my deck. We're having a glass of wine. Well, at this point in time, we've had three glasses of wine.
I said, "Hey, Julie, will you do me a favor? Will you hold my phone?" I'm not a video girl. I don't post a lot of video. This is one of the areas that I'm actually moving a lot more into. I'm like, "I got to do more video," because I'm a woman. I need my hair done and my make-up done. It's a lot of work. Right?
I asked her to hold my phone. She just literally hits record and I shoot this video. Unplanned. Unscripted. Didn't know what I was going to say. Had three glasses of wine. I was just like, "Hey, I'm going to just share a story with you guys." I told 'em that I'd never met my father and everything that I knew about him.
I didn't post it that evening because I was like, "That's not the right thing to do." Let me wake up, with no alcohol in my system and decide if I want to share that, so I looked at it in the morning. I'm like, "Oh, my God. This is a terrible video, but if I don't post it, I'll never do it again."
Because it was so real and so authentic and so ... I couldn't do that again because it just feel contrived.
Jay Baer:And try to make it too polished.
Adam Brown:Yeah.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. I posted this horrible video. It went viral around the world. Literally, around the world.
Within three days, I was actually speaking to my father on the phone for the very first time. It became one of the biggest news stories in June 2015. In fact, I had three American television shows: "20/20," another one, "Inside Edition," all these shows. It's like, "Melonie, we want the exclusive rights to your story. We'll fly you overseas to meet your father. We want to film it all."
It was in the newspaper, on TV and radio all around the world. It was like this crazy, crazy story, but it was a huge lesson for me because it was really, actually the very first time that I was truly authentic and vulnerable online.
Adam Brown:Wow.
Jay Baer:It was.
Melonie Dodaro:It was amazing. You know?
Adam Brown:Yeah.
Melonie Dodaro:Now I had built up a lot of good will. People liked me, and I was very generous. I was a nice person, but I never revealed a lot.
Over the course of that weekend when that video went viral, and people were sharing it, all I could think about is I don't even care if I ever meet my father. This weekend has been the most amazing experience of my life to see how people wanted to help me. [crosstalk 00:51:28]
How people literally came to my rescue. They're like, "Melonie, how can we help you?" They were literally sharing it everywhere that they could. Posting it in Dutch Facebook groups and here and there. I'm like, "Well, I know my dad lived in Australia. I knew he lived Europe. He lived in Canada." People just went crazy all around the world sharing it.
It was a transformational experience for me. Regardless of whether or not, I met my father, which I ended up definitely experiencing that, which was pretty incredible, but it would have been incredible regardless.
Jay Baer:And it turns out that your dad is an Elvis impersonator, which of all of the things that you would think hey, I'm going to meet my father for the first time. I wonder what he does? Elvis impersonator probably not the top 15, 20 answers that you would assume that your dad does.
And his two children, your half brothers and sisters-
Melonie Dodaro:Oh, Jay!
Jay Baer:... are named Elvis and Priscilla, which is a commitment to your craft that I really, really appreciate. Like that is, "I am all in on this career, and I am totally down with it." It's fantastic, right?
Melonie Dodaro:How long have you known-
Jay Baer:That part had to have been a little bit bizarre, but it's an amazing story.
Melonie Dodaro:How long have you known that for?
Jay Baer:Quite a while. I'm good at this job. [crosstalk 00:52:53]
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. Yeah. It was pretty amusing. That's why the media loved it so much. They're like, "Social media expert searches for the long last dad and finds the king." That [crosstalk 00:53:02]
Jay Baer:That is the truth is stranger than fiction circumstance right there. No doubt.
Melonie Dodaro:It was crazy. It's pure craziness. There's no question about it.
Jay Baer:The power of social ... We're delighted that you got to meet your dad, and I think your lesson about being vulnerable and authentic and how powerful that can be is one that applies to everybody who listens to "Social Pros."
I think we tend to, and I'm certainly guilty of this as well - hold my beer - we tend to, especially on the commercial business side of the thing, try to polish it. Try to make it perfect. Try to do those things, and then when you're actually raw and vulnerable, that works the best. I found the same thing to be true in my own work. I'm not naturally like that either. I find it difficult to go down that road, but every time I do, amazing thing happen. Melonie, I'm glad to have that lesson reinforced here.
I'm going to ask you the two questions we've asked all the guests here on the "Social Pros Podcast" for eight years now. The first question is what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro?
Melonie Dodaro:I want to say be authentic and be vulnerable and transparent, but I also want to say balance that because I see the extremes. It's a combination of be professional. It's pawns on what you're business is.
For me, my business is I tend to attract a much more professional type of person then maybe somebody that's talking about Instagram or even Facebook. It really depends, but yeah, have that combination of professionalism and authentic and vulnerable and transparent, but at the end of the day, always provide value.
Jay Baer:I like that idea of a professional authenticity that it's ... One person's authenticity is somebody else's train wreck. That's maybe not exactly what we want to see in social either. Right? I like that idea of that fine line between vulnerable and too vulnerable. Hard to know where that line is, but I think it's a good concept.
Last question for Melonie Dodaro, who is the CEO of Top Dog Social Media. You can find her there. Also, the author of "LinkedIn Unlocked." If you could do a video call with any living person who is not an Elvis impersonator, who would it be?
Melonie Dodaro:I have to tell you, I'm not even an Elvis fan.
Jay Baer:Of course, that's even better.
Melonie Dodaro:It would be Richard Branson, and that's simply because I have a crush on him.
Jay Baer:[crosstalk 00:55:29] Branson? We have crush on Richard Branson ... We have had a couple of people say Richard Branson in the history of this show, but not as many-
Adam Brown:Including me when I was a guest.
Jay Baer:That's right. Including Adam. We used to get more Richard Branson's. Now we get more Elon Musk's, who's like ... I think you could make a case that he is almost like Richard Branson 2.0 in some ways.
Melonie Dodaro:Yeah. But he's not as cute.
Jay Baer:I'm just going to sit that one out, Melonie. Sure. Okay. I don't even know.
Adam Brown:The trends of CEO [inaudible 00:55:57] guys.
Jay Baer:Yeah. I don't even know. Sure. Melonie says that Richard Branson is cuter than Elon Musk. That's the headline.
Adam Brown:He's got that hair. He's got the accent.
Jay Baer:Yeah. The accent's good, too. Absolutely.
Adam Brown:Elon has neither.
Jay Baer:He does have an accent. Just not that same accent.
Adam Brown:That's true.
Jay Baer:Melonie, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with our listeners. It's been fantastic. Always great to see you. Congratulations on the new book, too. Guys, it's fantastic. I have a blurb on the back of it saying that it's indispensable for LinkedIn. It's absolutely is, although, as I mentioned, I still have to work on my profile, but it's really, really good. You can get it on Amazon or whatever: "LinkedIn Unlocked."
Melonie, thanks for being here.
Melonie Dodaro:Thank you, Jay. Thank you, Adam. It was great to be here.
Jay Baer:Ladies and gentlemen, that's been this week's edition of "Social Pros." Adam and I'll be back next week with another fantastic guest, until then keep on listening. Tell your friends. As I mentioned, if you've got any questions, comments, you can always find me: jay@jaybaer.com. We'll see you then. This has been "Social Pros."
Show Full Transcript