If you’re anything like me, there’s not much worse than having to cold call businesses only to get stuck in the purgatory that is having deal with a gatekeeper. Of course, they’re probably just doing their job but they really have no clue how my service will help generate more revenue for their company. Yet they can generally keep me from getting in touch with the person I actually want to talk to.
And even if they do let me through the gate, oftentimes, I can’t get my message across in a phone call because my results are better shown than told. That’s why I developed this method to get my videos in front of the eyeballs that can make decisions.
Now, let me just say that while this method does work phenomenally well, there’s still nothing like establishing relationships with business owners or decision makers. However, this strategy will give you the ability to contact people that you’ve unsuccessfully tried to make contact with because you can put your business in front of anyone on LinkedIn by placing LinkedIn Ads. After all, most business owners and power players are on LinkedIn. You just might not have a “Connection” to them yet!
Note: while I won’t cover what makes a phenomenal LinkedIn account because it’s beyond the scope of this article, it’s very important that you do create a powerful LinkedIn account because the person you are targeting will likely check out your profile.
Step 1: Setting up a LinkedIn Advertising account
Don’t worry, setting up an advertising account on LinkedIn is easy and affordable if you do it my way. I’m literally paying less than a $1 to get in touch with the decision makers that I want to talk to. And most time, I’m paying less than $.25 which is less than half of the cost of just mailing a letter that will likely get tossed in the trash.
- Go to https://www.linkedin.com/ad/start and click “Get Started”. (Insert photo)
- Follow the instructions to set up your account and add your credit card info.
- When it asks you how you’d like to use LinkedIn Ads, select “I want to drive leads across multiple LinkedIn pages with Text Ads.”
- If you don’t have a LinkedIn company page, just select no for right now. Frankly, I never direct my LinkedIn Ads to LinkedIn Business Pages because they just don’t look that great or give enough information to my visitors.
Step 2: Create an extremely targeted advertisement with my LinkedIn marketing strategy
OK, before you can create your ad, you need to do a little research to figure out who you want to contact. The first place that I always start is LinkedIn itself.
Of course, if I know the name of the person, it’s pretty simple to track them down. Just search for their name and maybe their business name and you’ll probably find them pretty fast. Most business owners and higher level employees have a profile on LinkedIn.
If they have a profile, be sure to make a note of important information that might help you narrow down your “Ad Target” when you actually create your ad like:
- Their company’s name
- Their job seniority, title and function
- Where they went to school and their field of study
- Member or trade groups or associations to which they belong (like the AMA for doctors or the Bar Association for lawyers)
However, if they don’t have a profile, this strategy can still work because you’ll just find someone in their company to target who will send the information linked to from your ad to your target contact.
Basically, with this LinkedIn marketing strategy, we are creating two ads that will do one of three things:
- Target the specific person you want to contact.
- Target people that know the person you want to contact.
- Target people that work at the same company of the person that you want to contact.
Next, you’ll need to decide where to send LinkedIn members when they click on your ad. And for this, I have two recommendations:
- A landing page on your site with a video. This method gives you the ability capture the person’s contact information but it’s also more difficult to set up and it’s beyond the scope of this post. If you don’t know how to set up a landing page, then definitely choose option #2.
- Create a short, sweet video and post it on Youtube with your contact info in the video and the description box. Frankly, this option is much easier and even I choose it 60% of the time. I only choose option #1 when I believe that the person I’m trying to contact might be worth having on my newsletter list.
Again, I highly recommend an engaging Youtube video that says how much you love their company and how you would like to help them with whatever it is that you do. Flattery definitely works in these videos.
The most important qualities of this video are that the video is engaging and to the point with hint of mystery and intrigue to get them to contact you. Usually, I add something like, “Look, if I’m smart enough to target an ad directly at you, don’t you think I’m smart enough to help you in other ways?”
For example, let’s say that I want to get a hold of Sara Harper, the Director of Marketing at the Hotel del Coronado. I would create two ads.
One ad directed at her like this:
Know Sara Harper?
Then please help us pass on this message to Sara and the Hotel del Coronado team.
With this ad in particular, I really want Sara to see it but I also want people close to her to see it as well. The marketing department at this hotel is pretty large and by doing this, I raise my chances of someone on her team seeing it. So I always copy the profile image from the target’s LinkedIn profile and paste it into the ad.
And here’s a little trick to make it easier:
- Right-click on their profile pic and select, “Copy image URL”.
- Then when you upload the image, all you have to do is paste the URL and click “Open” and the system will grab the image from the Profile. Like this below:
And another ad that targets the whole company to get the message passed along to Sara like this:
Know anyone at the Hotel del Coronado?
Then please help us pass on this message to the team.
Note: I usually like to use the company’s logo but, in this case, the hotel’s logo is very hard to see when it’s thumbnail size. So, I used this photo of the hotel’s iconic spire instead. Anybody that works there will instantly recognize it.
After you’ve set up your ad, click “Save” then set up the second ad before moving on to Step 3 of this LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Step 3: Target the ad (Hint: You want to target as few people as you possibly can)
Now comes the not-so-difficult, hard part. We want to target the ad so that as few people as possible see the ad, yet enough to make it work. Basically, what I’ve discovered is that your “target” needs to consist of more than 1,000 people. Yet, sometimes the company that the person works at is not large enough to just use the business name.
Even though you have to target at least 1,000 people to trigger LinkedIn’s approval, I’ve used this method to get a hold of people like lawyers and dentists that have only 10-12 people in their office. So, you really have to be creative on this point.
So, to target the ad when implementing this LinkedIn marketing strategy, the first thing that you want to do is choose your location. This will narrow the ad quite a bit.
Also, you might try the following criteria:
- Start with the business name. In this advertising campaign example, there are about 400 people that work at the Hotel del Coronado and are on LinkedIn. So just choosing the Business Name option would not be sufficient. So, I also added six other hotels in San Diego to push the list over 1,000.
- If you are targeting someone at a huge company, you may not want to advertising to the whole company. So you might narrow the search down by adding criteria like: Job Seniority or Job Function.
- Choose a job title or other businesses because business owners in a specific industry tend know each other. Also, I’ve even had people that I wasn’t targeting call me up about my services and they say something like, “Well, if you can help Bob rank his site, can you help me too?”
- Choose a “Field of Study” because oftentimes people who studied the same subject know each other. For example, when I targeted a particular dentist, I chose to target all dentists and dental assistants in San Diego to get the number over 1,000. And it was a dental assistant at another dental practice that contacted my target because they’re personal friends.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you too much detailed instruction on this because there are just too many different options. You’ll just have to fiddle around with it and trust your gut.
Just remember two things:
- You want to advertise to as few people as possible to keep your expenses down. Really, I only want to get 50-100 views of my ad to get a hold of my target.
- You want to think like Goldilocks. You need an audience big enough so that LinkedIn lets you post the ad but small enough so that you don’t pay a ton. I generally want to target around 1,000 people, so in this example, I’d simply target everyone at the Hotel del Coronado plus a few other hotels to get it over 1,000.
Step 4: Set your bid price to manage your LinkedIn advertising costs
This is the easiest step of my LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Because we are only targeting a very small and targeted list of people we don’t need to spend a lot here. So here’s how you keep your expenses under $1:
- Choose the CPM Bid Type option. This is critical to avoid spending a lot!
- Enter the Minimum Bid of $2.
- Set a Daily Budget. This doesn’t really matter because it’s so targeted but I generally enter $10 even though I’ve never gone over $1 for a campaign.
- Set the Start Date to Immediately.
When you set the CPM to $2, this means that you are paying $.002 per ad view. And even if 100 people view your ad, you’d only pay $.20. Frankly, I usually only get 25-50 ad views to get through to my target. That’s a whopping five to ten cents total!
Step 5: Send them somewhere to get info
There are a lot of different options for this step. You can do as I do, and send them to a custom landing page where they can enter their contact info. Or you can take the really simple route and create a quick Youtube video that has your contact info.
The important aspect of this step is that the video is custom-tailored directly to the person you are targeting and that it’s short and sweet.
Be sure to flatter them by mentioning their name and how great their company is like, “Sara, I loved my stay at the Hotel del when I was in San Diego, and I’d love to help you with ______.”
Tell them what you can do for them. Remember that this video is about them and what benefits you can give them.
And finally, this is important… point out that if you’re smart enough to laser-target them through a LinkedIn ad, “Imagine what I can do for you! Contact me right now!”
Step 6: Wait for them to respond
OK, this isn’t really a step because you don’t have to do anything but sit on your butt and wait but let’s think about something.
How would you react if you were on LinkedIn one day and saw an ad with your face asking, “Know Sara Harper?”
Wouldn’t you think something like, “What the hell? That’s me!” Then click on the ad to see what it’s about? Only to watch a video that says how great you are and what this person can do for you and your company. Wouldn’t you be intrigued enough to at least make contact and get more details?
Or what if you worked with the person being targeted in the ad? Wouldn’t you contact the person and say, “Hey Sara, I saw this ad on Facebook that had your photo and I watched this video where the person said how great you are. I think you should contact them.”
Look, the funny thing here is that the person I’m targeting rarely even sees the ad or even the video that I created. Instead, what usually happens is that they get like 5-10 messages from their friends all in short period of time that they essentially “cry Uncle” and contact me.
In fact, the funniest example of this was when I created an ad targeting the director of marketing at an auto dealer in San Diego. Within 12 hours of placing the ad, I got an email saying, “I get it! I get it! I’d love to talk to you but please, for the love of God, take down the ad. Everyone at the dealership is sending me emails about the video. I don’t know how you did it but you got my attention.”
They signed as a client two days later!
This LinkedIn marketing strategy does take a little time to set up but it works like gangbusters because it’s so laser-targeted and unique. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.