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Janine Bolon: Hello and welcome to The Thriving Solopreneur show! I am Janine Bolon. Today I have none other than THE Josh Turner. Yes, you heard me correctly. It is THE Josh Turner with me today.
He is a Wall Street Journal best-selling author as well as the founder and CEO of LinkedSelling. I first learned about Josh in 2016, hired him in 2017, my business rocked and rolled in 2019. So he is considered the leading expert in the world when it comes to growing your business using LinkedIn. Josh also developed and refined the relationship-focused lead generation system called link selling that he now implements not only for his own clients but he teaches you as the solopreneur or entrepreneur, how to do the same. We are not busting some major marketing moves that are being featured in nearly every major media publication. Josh spends the rest of his time with his partner Jess, his son Eddie and their dog Oscar. He also loves a good CrossFit workout in Joey’s Bidvine[?] and loves collecting Pearl Jam bootlegs. It is great to have you on the show, Josh. Thanks
Josh Turner: Thanks Janine. I appreciate you having me here.
Janine: Well, one of the biggest things is whenever I have somebody that really helps my business thrive. I cannot wait to grab them and put them on one of my podcast shows. I know you are super busy so we are going to get right down to a content. Talk to us a little bit about what to do now. Okay? Because LinkedIn has changed their platforms, consistently changes their platforms. So talk to us a little bit about what you have seen with LinkedIn and how you recommend a starting solopreneur would go about leveraging it for themselves.
Josh: Well, I think the first thing that people need to keep in mind is that the platform changes and so they had new buttons and drop downs and stuff from time to time but really the most important thing is not figuring out how to use the tool. The most important thing before you can get to that is the right mindset behind it. So we help people do is to generate leads using LinkedIn as well as a lot of other things as well. But when it comes to LinkedIn specifically if you are trying to use it for business development, to generate leads, get in front of new prospects and ultimately to turn some of them into new clients.
The first thing that you really need to be thinking about is consistency and that you are not going to just go on LinkedIn and poke around for a little bit and immediately get huge wins right out of the gate and just like we really we put any effort into it. You really have to have a plan for putting in a little bit of time whether it is going to be every day or every week. However, you want to chunk it out but that is the biggest thing I see is that the people who are successful with it like you Janine. Have a commitment to putting in the time. It takes time to be consistently prospecting and then doing the work that it takes to build relationships with those prospects. We can get into the mechanics of what that really means and how to do that but the starting point though is blocking off the time on your calendar to actually do the work and do it consistently. If you do it consistently and if you have a plan in place to every day or every week connect with new prospects on LinkedIn. Over time that is really going to snowball[?] and like Janine and your situation. You are going to look back a few years from now be like, “Holy cow. I have this massive database of prospects now on LinkedIn.” Of course over time, some of them are going to turn into clients as well if you are being diligent with working the process but it starts with mindset.
So anybody who is getting ready to dip their toe in on LinkedIn, if you are thinking of starting your own business or if you are already working for yourself or anything in between, you really just have to realize that like the people who succeed with it or the people who stick with it. I have never seen anybody who sticks with it that does not crack the code eventually and see success from it. But there is lots of people who mess around with it a little bit. They do not see immediate results and then quit and those people do not get any results.
Janine: Well. They do not stand business long either because as you know you have been an entrepreneur for a very long time, I do not even know how long, I forget. I read it in one of your books. How long have you been an entrepreneur?
Josh: If you consider some of the like little scams and stuff that I ran when I was like twelve years old, it goes back pretty far. But I built my first website when I was like sixteen and I had built an e-commerce site when I was nineteen. That is over 20 years ago and those were just kind of little side hustles. My first more real business that I was like made an attempt at trying to make a full-time income with was probably fifteen years ago and that did not really go anywhere. Fortunately, I had a day job and it was not until 2010 that I completely left the corporate world and started working for myself full-time. So we are over ten years ago.
Janine: Well, the reason I ask that is because I was one of those kids in Southern Missouri that was selling earthworms to bait shops. I was one of those kids so it is in my blood. I bought a franchise, I went into Mary Kay Cosmetics even though I do not wear a stitch of makeup and I was in a very male dominated area. I was an analytical biochemist but I end up selling Mary Kay to him because I would say pimples are not sexy and stuff like that. So, you know, we all start somewhere and one of the things that I hear over and over from successful people like yourself is consistency. You have to have some sort of a plan and even if the plan goes awry it is that consistency of effort. So, go ahead and talk to us a little bit about how you were able to take LinkedIn and do this relationship-focused lead generation. What are some of the ideas or mindsets because we all hear about this mindset, this mindset, really what is the mindset that you have to have when you are getting ready to connect with potential clients?
Josh: Well, I think one of the biggest things that, to go really high level is the mindset where you believe in yourself. That is a really big one of course, but then to get more specific and to be honest I bring that up is because we work, I have worked with thousands of businesses over the last decade. Clients that have hired our company in one form or another and you see people who are really succeeding, they really believe in that they are going to achieve the success that they are after. I think that is big but more tactically when it comes to LinkedIn, the thing that we always try and impress upon people is when you are using LinkedIn to try and get new leads, connect with prospects, get clients etcetera, you do not want to just connect with people and then send them a sales pitch.
One of the big mindset things is like you want to approach LinkedIn with relationships in mind and that you are really trying to build relationships with people and treat people the right way, the way you would want to be treated. If you think about it, you would not go to a networking event and just walk up to every person you see and start pitching them on your products and services and telling them all about your features and benefits, right? You kind of get to know people first. You ask questions about them etcetera, etcetera. And if you have a good rapport that maybe you might follow up afterwards and see if they want to grab a coffee sometime, right? So there is a process to being a good human. Then sometimes people forget about that when it comes to LinkedIn and they get on there. We call him leg humpers, people who you connect with and then they immediately send you a sales pitch.
We have all been on the receiving end of that so many times but for some reason people are still doing it, so often. It really does not work. Can you get something from that every once in a while? Yeah. There is it you know, it is a needle in a haystack thing if you just happened to hit the right person at the right time. But instead of doing that, if you play the long game and build relationships with people instead of that, you can get a significantly higher percentage of people to eventually jump on a call with you or meet with you, to talk about what you do. It works. I am talking about like if you take the leg humper approach with just sending sales pitches to people you connect with, you might get 1 or 2% of people to say, “Yes. I am interested in what you are trying to pitch me on here.” If you play the relationship game, maybe more like 15, 20% of people will say yes to having a conversation with you. It is not like you got to spend years building that goodwill. With the process we teach in our programs and our methodology, it can be just weeks. But there is a big difference and it is just like take a little time to get to know somebody first before you start pitching them.
Janine: So one of the things that I was lucky enough to do is, you folks helped my business. So I was able to take your work that you had done with LinkedIn and then transfer it to Facebook. And because there is such a different environment between Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin, I encourage solopreneurs. I am like, “Look, pick a platform and then work the system on one platform. Find out your success and then move on from there.” Are there any advice that you would give somebody who is like, “Okay. We are going to make this, we are going to try to work this.” So do you mind talking a little bit about the system that you do without of course given away any of the secret sauce?
Josh: Yeah. It is okay. Really these days I give away the secret sauce because my focus now is our business, Connect 365 which is our software company. We really kind of give away so much of the training that we used to sell training programs is to teach people how to use LinkedIn to generate leads. But now we kind of give away the training for anybody that signs up for our software because what we realized was that the biggest thing that held our clients back from having success on LinkedIn was really in two areas.
Number one, it was that sending lots of messages one-on-one personally on LinkedIn. It takes time and a lot of people would just not stick with it because it was too much. When you think about it, if you have hundreds of prospects that you are reaching out to, the messaging process can be very time consuming. That is one of the biggest problems. The other one is that part of our process involves posting regularly on social media so that the people you are connecting with see your name on a regular basis. Oftentimes before you even reach out with an invitation to a phone call or a meeting. By the time you do that they have already seen your name so many times that they feel like they kind of already know you. But that social media content strategy of posting content really every day is something that we saw many of our clients struggling to actually implement and stick with. So we built a software solution that solves both of those problems. Now, that is our focus. It is really just helping helping businesses implement the solution and using our software to make it much, much easier on them so they can really more quickly get the results.
At the end of the day, what it comes down to is really three steps: number one, prospecting. Having a process in place to find the right people who would be ideal clients for your business and there is lots of ways that we teach how to do that in our programs. LinkedIn is just one of the many tools you can use to get in front of people. Then number two, the messaging process. What kinds of personal messages are you going to put in front of those prospects to work them through sequences they are going to build a relationship and then invite them to some next step with your business? And then number three, the social media content piece that I talked about with putting content in front of your prospects on a regular basis. On LinkedIn that is really status updates. So it is just sharing good content that your prospects would be interested in.
Every once in a while slip in something about what you do but then when you have something that is going out on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter, really every day, which is what we do in our system. It makes a really, really big difference in terms of your ability to stay top of mind with all of the people that are in your database, that you are connected to on social media and all that good stuff. So that is really the strategy in a nutshell. When you combine all three of those components: prospecting, messaging and social media content. It is really like the specific methodology we have developed around those three pillars. We have found to be really the optimal way to generate leads online in an organic way that does not require any sort of adspend or building complex funnels or any of those sorts of things. So it is really, really a great system for small business owners, people who are just getting started. If for no other reason that it is like you can put in just a little bit of elbow grease, you will get results.
Janine: Well, I am definitely testimony to that because when I first started, I was putting in roughly five to eight hours a week. So I had it all broken up like you guys had in your system. So that one time I was prospecting, I was doing a follow up, I was connecting with people and so that is how I broke it up in my head. But the other thing that was amazing to me was the spreadsheets and the way that you had it so automated. I was still having to do the manual pieces and parts but at the same time you had ways of helping people make it go faster since we did not have a lot of the high-tech software that you were able to use for your other clients.
So yeah, it was pretty methodical and I had people tease me about being a machine when I would share with them what I was doing and how I was doing it but it paid off. It took eighteen months of me doing that over and over but in eighteen months, my business tripled. That is why when people are like, “Oh, it is just somebody worth my time. Should I invest on? Like, how good are you at automating stuff for yourself?” If they say, “I do not have any clue,” I am like, “You need to take its course. You need to definitely listen to what he has to say.” So that is one of the things.
We are going to go ahead and wrap it up but I just wanted, if you do not mind take a few moments and chat with us a little bit about, okay… So we talked about the person that just started out and how to get them going. But it is about the relationships and I think people are starting to catch on to what you knew a decade ago. Doing the cold hard sell that we were taught as youngsters is not going to work anymore. What do you recommend for the business owner who is ready to embrace the growth like the systems that they have are no longer working? What is kind of the next step for them because you talked a lot about your authority platform and stuff like that? So you care to chat a little bit about that.
Josh: Yeah. Well, I think the biggest thing is no matter what you are doing, so if you already have an established business in your seeing that things are not working the way that they used to. The conversation that we are having with a lot of our clients these days is really around the whole idea of building trust. And that making sure that whatever you are doing in your marketing is building trust with your prospects and clients and not destroying it. And in a lot of ways the old school like email marketing stuff and like so many of the things that you know, in terms of online marketing people have been doing for the last twenty or so years. It does not work the way it used to. Have people know that it is not personal and it is just like a blast email going out to everyone on the list so no one responds to it. It often times ends up in the spam folder etcetera, etcetera.
What we are talking to so many of our clients about is just like how do we make marketing more personal. That is really my company’s mantra and that when the prospects that receive your marketing feel like it is actually personal one-on-one to them. The response rate is dramatically higher. And now that does not mean that you have to use my company software because it achieves a lot of those things. But no matter what you are doing in your marketing right now just look for ways that you can make it more personal. Outside of even what my company does, like so many of our clients are looking at how can we integrate the phone more into our marketing? So if we have prospects who are opting in to our list, signing up for webinars or ebooks or whatever it is, how can we have somebody actually pick up the phone and give those people a call to start building the relationship?
Somebody[?] is just getting back to more old school tried-and-true marketing approaches but that is what I have seen to be most successful. It is just like old school personal relationship building, trust building, personal marketing, all those things. If you combine them in a smart way with a lot of these online marketing tools that allow you to automate and achieve scale and leverage in different ways, if you combine those two worlds together the right way you can get optimal results. That is what we have seen.
Janine: I have to concur with you. I watched my open rate of my emails over 2020 drop like a rock and I was like, “Okay, this is not working anymore. I have to find something different.” And sure enough, I was lucky enough I have a lot of people’s addresses and so I do direct mail. I can send out blasts of direct mail but most of the time it is me and instead of doing the hours that I used to do with the link selling, I am now spending five to six hours of week just doing follow up and using cards. So sending cards since that has worked for my business but I have a business that people are going to drop anywhere from $10,000-$20,000 for a program. So if that is the case, they want to see a lot of that high-tech and high-touch like they used to say.
Anyhow, any closing thoughts like where can people go to learn more about you and what you got going on?
Josh: Yes. I would just recommend if you want to learn more about what my company is doing go to connect365.io. You can take a look at what we are doing there and you can request an invitation to try our platform out and the cool thing about it when you do, there is no big commitment or anything that you have to sign up for. It is extremely low price. I will just leave it at that. I think you are going to be amazed at what it is. Then when you do that, you get access to a ridiculous amount of training in for all areas of marketing and sales in your business. Not just on like how to implement our system and do the things that Janine talked about, that she has done in her business. But like now, we have a sales master mind that all of our customers get to be a part of where, you know, we work with our clients on how to optimize the sales conversation so that the prospects that you are driving and turning into leads that you are able to make sure that then once you get on the phone or face-to-face with them that you convert a maximum percentage into clients. It really is a tremendous program so go to connect365.io to check that out. Thank you for letting me share that, Janine.
Janine: No problem. I have had a lot of success with it. Like you said, it is mindset and that was what I needed. Once I got the mindset there of how I was going to go about doing a lot of stuff that I had done old school into the digital format, it really worked out for me.
Thanks for your time today talk, Josh. I know you are a real busy dude and so I am really grateful you had time to work with us today. And for those of you that are listening to today’s episode, please look down in the notes, the show notes and visit the website the Janinebolin.com. That is my personal website. Just so that you can see what I am doing and the people that I support and the businesses that helped me get to where I am in my level of success. Just know that these people, you can know them, you can get to liking them and you can trust them. They are solid individuals that stand behind their product. So have a great day today and keep reaching for those stars.