No one wants to hear a sales pitch on LinkedIn. But sales teams that use LinkedIn want to create valuable connections, which can eventually lead to sales opportunities. By making a few minor tweaks, you can turn your LinkedIn profile into a remarkable lead generator and sales tool, but first, you have to focus on creating a positive impression. What are some key ways to accomplishing this?
In today’s episode, you’ll hear an interview, and LIVE Q&A, we recently hosted with some of the leading influencers who are using LinkedIn that are using the platform to build incredible sales strategies. Our first guest will be Morgan J. Ingram, the Director of Sales Execution and Evolution at Jbarrows sales training, where he focuses on delivering to sales development teams to enhance their skill sets and performance. Morgan is also a motivational speaker that has been nominated for TEDxSBY and TEDxUGA.
Joining him is Jake Dunlap, founder, CEO, and B2B Sales Leader at Skaled Consulting. As a C-level sales leader and entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience, Jake has been able to develop and lead high-performing sales and operational teams, who have specialized in building out repeatable, sustainable methods.
Receive invaluable advice from some of Linkedin’s top influencers as they give thoughts on some of the best sale strategies, generate a list of valuable relationships, open new doors for opportunities, and help you reach your full potential with Linkedin. Tune in to hear more!
In this episode with Morgan J. Ingram and Jake Dunlap, you’ll learn:
- How the LinkedIn Algorithm Works And How to Make it Work for You
- Best strategies to generate and connect with potential sales prospects
- How to build a list of potential clients on LinkedIn wanting to learn more about you
- Keyways to manage your Linkedin profile and build a sales platform
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Please enjoy this conversation with Morgan J. Ingram and Jake Dunlap!
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Morgan Ingram 00:00
use LinkedIn video and the LinkedIn voice messages. I’ve been yelling about this for like years. Alright, if you use the LinkedIn videos and the LinkedIn voice messages, you’ll get people to connect with you more, you’ll get more meetings, and you’ll connect with people that probably that were not responding to you in the first place.
Matt Hunckler 00:32
Welcome to the powder King podcast where today we’re going to be sharing with you how the LinkedIn algorithm works and how to make it work for you the best ways to reach out and connect with potential sales prospects, and how to build a list of potential clients on LinkedIn who are waiting to learn more about you and want to learn more about your business. I’m your host, Matt Hunckler. And this is the powderkeg podcast the show that plugs you into the massive opportunities in startups and innovation in tech hubs beyond Silicon Valley that are exploding with potential. In today’s episode, you’re going to hear an interview and live q&a that we hosted with some of the leading experts using LinkedIn that can help you really reach your full potential with this platform that is just exploding with growth right now and tons of opportunity. Our first guest will be Morgan J Ingram, the Director of Sales execution and evolution at J Barrows sales training. Joining him on the show is Jake Dunlap, who is the founder, CEO and b2b sales leader at scale consulting. And we have a bunch of great guests lined up for future virtual events like this one that you’re about to listen to. So before I get into more of this show, be sure to check out our upcoming live virtual events versions of the podcast with open q&a opportunities to connect with the community and expert advice by going on over to powderkeg.com/events. Now our first guest, Morgan Ingram is the Director of Sales and execution and evolution at J Barrows sales training, where he focuses on delivering to sales development teams to enhance their skill sets and performance. Morgan is also a motivational speaker that has been nominated for TED X as well as number of other great speaking opportunities. Morin is one of the foremost leaders thought leaders on LinkedIn. And he’s joined today by Jake Dunlap, the founder and CEO of scaled consulting, he’s a C C level sales leader entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience. The thing I love about Jake is that he applies it right there for himself with his own LinkedIn, but also leads incredible scaled sales teams for repeatable sustainable sales methods. Hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did, and got as much out of it. There’s a ton of actionable advice here. Even if you’re not in sales, this is stuff that you really need to know. Hope you enjoy the show. And I was wondering if you could start with just kind of telling us a little bit about your story of how you first discovered LinkedIn as a platform to help drive your own career.
Morgan Ingram 02:53
Yeah, so I read a book called How to Get your dream job by Pete Lyman back my sophomore year in college. And at the time, when I was a sophomore in college, there really wasn’t a lot of activity on LinkedIn, nobody was building their brand at all the content that was there was mostly articles. However, what I realized is in that book, it talks about how you could reach out to individuals for informational interviews. And I found that to be intriguing, because at the time, I wanted to be a sports agent. So you all probably in the comments have seen Jerry Maguire, show me the money. Well, that was me, I was like, Yo, I’m gonna be a sports agent. I’m gonna figure this out. So what I did is I went on LinkedIn, and I blind connected with almost every single person that was in the sports industry. So the Atlanta Hawks, the Atlanta Falcons, the NBA, like everybody. And so what I did is, at the time, is when you could connect with people immediately, normally their number was there, or their email was there. And so I would send 20 emails a day to figure out if I could get informational interviews from individuals to learn from them because I was in college and I just was like, Hey, I’m, I’m just looking to learn 1520 minute conversation is all I’m asking for at the end of the day. And so what I gained from LinkedIn is that it was a place to learn from individuals, and they have tons of resources and tons of experience. And so I was super fortunate, I was able to talk to the owner of the Atlanta Hawks, the VP of sales at the NBA, the general manager at Fox Sports south and many others that I’ve been blessed to network with. And it was an incredible experience. And so that’s where I really started leveraging LinkedIn not even creating content just connect with people because they had information that I wanted to learn about.
Matt Hunckler 04:44
Well, I guess then I really only have one question which is can you show me the money?
Morgan Ingram 04:50
know I got you I got show that man, I think it’d be I didn’t need to be a sports agent. But, you know, I learned I learned a lot from those individuals. I’ll tell you that.
Matt Hunckler 04:58
Yeah, can you tell me about it? that experience when you were kind of connecting, you mentioned connecting with the owner of the Atlanta Hawks, you mentioned some of the things you learned through connecting with people on LinkedIn. First of all that strategy of just kind of blind connecting to everyone in your industry, is that a strategy that you would recommend for LinkedIn today?
Morgan Ingram 05:19
I know Jake, I know Jays gonna have a comment on this when he comes on. So I’m gonna go ahead and go ahead and reinforce a point that he’s already gonna make. So the blanket Act has a higher acceptance rate. It’s crazy. I didn’t believe him, but it does. And I’ve been doing it myself in terms of connecting with people. And it seems to be working. However, I would recommend to do a personalization note, write personalized note, if you’re looking to connect with someone that maybe you have listened to their podcast, or you’ve read their book, then yeah, you would do that I sit one to Chris Voss the other day. And I watched his masterclass. And I was like, Hey, man, your masterclass was great, was one of the best online courses that I’ve ever watched. And I also mentioned that there was a certain part in there that I enjoyed. And that’s what helped create a dialogue with him, right. So if you watch something or you listen to something, then absolutely put that as a personalized note. But the blink connection request still stands true today. It’s very interesting, but it does work out.
Matt Hunckler 06:14
And just so everyone is on the same page is what we’re talking about. Blind connect, can you kind of explain what that is?
Morgan Ingram 06:20
Yeah, so blind connects all that means that the the days you don’t add a personalized note inside of your connection requests. So that means that you just click Connect, and you immediately connect with that person.
Matt Hunckler 06:31
I appreciate you kind of going into detail there. So I know you’ve transitioned your career now into sales training, just based on the success that you had leveraging LinkedIn and other strategies. Can you talk about how LinkedIn fits into a broader set of of tactics for a sales strategy?
Morgan Ingram 06:52
Absolutely. So I’m going to turn to the chat real quick, I got a question for you all, put a one. For me, put a one for me, if you use LinkedIn as of today, to prospect or to sell.
Matt Hunckler 07:07
I love it.
Morgan Ingram 07:08
Cool. So yeah, we got a lot of people right here that are putting once fun to chat. Alright, so we got a lot of ones here. Boom. So we got a lot of stuff here. So you could put two in here as well, if you’re like, hey, Morgan, this is something that I don’t normally do. I like to keep my network sacred, obviously like to hear from you all. And I know everyone’s gonna have different ways of seeing this. But how I see LinkedIn as of today. So there was a report I saw two weeks ago. And this is due to the current climate, what’s happening now is that there was a 75% increase in new and unique messaging, in terms of prospecting. And then also said that there’s a 48% increase in LinkedIn activity. So what what that means to me when I read that data, is that more people are on LinkedIn now more than ever, because you’re at home, you’re not traveling as much. And LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with someone because I see LinkedIn as a campfire. Everyone is there right now. Everyone is seeking out advice. Everyone’s trying to figure out what the next steps are. Everyone’s trying to figure out how do I advance my career right now, because we’re all at home looking at the screen. So if you’re able to connect with your buyers on this platform, and engage them in a way that’s different than what everyone else is doing, that’s how you’re able to stand out to get meetings. And LinkedIn has been a main channel for me, right now to schedule meetings has been a main channel for the clients that I’ve been working with to schedule meetings, because everyone is there. So I’m always going to, I always want to be where the people are at. And that’s why LinkedIn is a campfire right now. And everyone should consider selling prospecting more so on LinkedIn, now more than ever.
Matt Hunckler 08:48
Morgan, thanks for sharing your story. We’re gonna jump into our next guest. And bring bring them on to the show. And our next guest is a sea level sales leader, and is an entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience coming to show. It’s great to have you here, man.
Jake Dunlap 09:01
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great, great first couple of sessions. I know I had some takeaways. I was taking some notes over here too.
Matt Hunckler 09:08
Awesome. Hey, I love that you’re ever the student. I know you’re always experimenting, and always kind of pushing the limits of the platform. Can you talk a little bit about when you started to realize that LinkedIn? Was it? I think I recently saw that you said, you know, if you’re in sales, you should be spending more than 50% of your time. If you’re in b2b sales on LinkedIn, when did you start to realize that’s the that’s the basket you need to be putting a lot of your eggs in?
Jake Dunlap 09:33
Yeah, it was I mean, it was actually a very specific point in time where it was like, Was it May of 2018 when GDPR came out? If you guys remember GDPR it was is this a data privacy rule? And the US we don’t really believe in these things, but in other parts of the world, they believe and then they’ve castle in Canada and stuff. So So we wrote we kind of dissected the law. Well, the whole lobby wrote this beautiful like 10 page ebook for marketing and for sales leaders like if you’re in The marketing and sales like, this is like the Definitive Guide. And you know, we pushed it on social media, we were doing a blog post every week, and like engagement was okay. And then finally, what I realized is like, look, this is just not how people want to consume information anymore. You know, the idea of you put up ebooks, you put up blogs, you put up these things. And so, you know, what I quickly realized was, this is not current consumer behavior. And so we literally between June of 2018, and June of 2019, we put out zero ebooks put out zero blogs, and 100% to short form content. Right, and, you know, the and just started to really focus on how do you build value, you know, had a chance to, you know, we kind of went down the hole, like all in on social media, really. And I think we just also saw that LinkedIn was just prime, that there was so few people that were producing content, it was just silly. And so as we started to do that, we started to see traction, quick inbound leads coming in. But it didn’t look and feel like what you’re supposed to do as a consulting firm. So that was really like, our tipping tipping point was, you know, I
Matt Hunckler 11:04
just I got set up like, this is a waste of time, I remember that exact time period and 2018. And clearly, it’s paying off for you. What is the thing right now on LinkedIn, that you and your team are kind of going all in on in terms of either one of the new features, or one of the new types of content or strategy or outreach techniques? That’s really working for scale? Yeah, I
Jake Dunlap 11:27
mean, I’ll try to talk through with kind of like a mix of different strategies, things were testing, and then algorithm changes that I think are important for anyone who’s producing content here. So I guess you know what I’ll start with, actually, maybe I’ll start with the algorithm stuff. So in on May 12, LinkedIn did a major update to the algorithm, where they basically added in a major component that’s called dwell time. And so what dwell time looks at is how long are people like actually having invited me this is what tick tock does Instagram, it’s more of like a maturation metric, as opposed to vanity like likes and comments and things. And so what that means is that look, you know, if you’re writing a super short form posts, that post that’s not vulnerable, etc, that it’s going to be tough to get traction. And so dwell time is what we’re trying to play with right now is like, what is like, how is the algorithm thinking about it? So imagine now it’s images with text in it. So it’s like, you read it, you do that? I tried this yesterday, Morgan gave me shit about it, I did a post with 37 emojis in it. And so like, I was like, I don’t know, maybe that will get people to do it. So we’re testing with different, you know, we’re testing with like, different ways to focus on this idea. And we’ve also seen a correlation. So we have a data partner that can pull in personal page data. So we look at data from 10s of 1000s of posts, and a direct correlation between reshare and then LinkedIn kind of keeping it going. So we’re really focused on you know, how do you create type of content that people are going to want to like, look at or social media, we’re so used to the scroll, and then the type of content that people would want to click that that that share button. And that’s really big for us on the content side, on the the demand gen side. So we’re a sales consulting firm. And so what that means is, we are always trying for our clients to see what’s next for demand gen and why. And what that really means is, we are just front loading almost every single sequence with LinkedIn activity connect day one, take a look at did they change jobs? are they posting? Do they follow your company day one, engage or comment on posts, because you’ll be shocked so many executives get zero comments. And, you know, it’s worth a group. That’s more two different groups this morning. Most executives get no comments. So what’s better, you start calling and emailing somebody, or you’re the first person to comments on their posts. And then And then oh, my gosh, you slow play it and you wait for days, and then you like or comment another post, they are gonna immediately remember who you are, and then you DM, hey, you know, your your stuff popped up in my feed, it seems like you’re talking about this, this is what we do, if there’s interest would be great to maybe walk you through it if not enjoying the content. So, you know, all all sequences now should start with, if they’re if they are active on LinkedIn, if not skip straight to calls and emails and direct mail and whatever. But if they are, why not try to build a little bit of relationship affinity? Because I’m telling you any executive that’s getting no comments, when you comment on their posts, and you do it twice. They immediately are like, who’s actually walkins? Like, don’t sit? So if I’m in sales? That’s the play is like, Can I can I develop some type of affinity with this person, and then move into what we would traditionally look at as like more direct outbound activities.
Matt Hunckler 14:24
I love that get on the radar first before you search out with a more direct ask. That’s it. Hey, Matt, here again. After having the opportunity to interview both Morgan and Jake briefly, we got to hear some valuable thoughts and questions from a great lineup of powderkeg members who had problems and questions for our guests on the show. And so we get into a couple of really interesting topics here. So here’s that q&a and discussion. Our guests our question askers can be audio only. What’s your question for Jake, Andrew?
Andrew Thompson 14:55
Hey, if I can take one quick seconds to give a great shout out to Matt Matt. When I way back when I was podcasting, you are my very first guest on podcast that I had years years ago. So it’s it’s great to be here, it
Matt Hunckler 15:11
had to be like, Oh my gosh, probably eight or nine years ago at this point,
Andrew Thompson 15:15
I think it was maybe even 10. Yeah, but not that long. But, Jake, my question for you is kind of offline. From what we’re talking about today, I saw that you posted about hiring a full time VP of marketing or sales. And you said, it’s not necessarily the best way for a company to go and maybe not the best way to is there a short quick answer to what better alternatives for company trying to boost their sales through enhancing their management team looks like to you?
Jake Dunlap 15:49
Yeah. And yeah, obviously, you hire LinkedIn expert, right. So that’s my relevant to this. But the side is that look, sales is the only organization that does not use experts to scale marketing, finance operations, all hire and outside experts at different stages of scaling. So sales is like, you know, here’s some, here’s maybe you get some training you bring in Morgan and good luck, right. And and I feel like as we grow forward, we need an outbound optimization agency, which, you know, to optimize our outbound efforts, right, we need an agency that looks at optimizing our sales cycle at all times, sales operations, isn’t doing that sales enablement, isn’t doing that they’re looking at once every six or 12 months, and we’ve got to start to run our sales organizations more like a performance organization, verse a big initiative, then we kind of like set it and forget it. It’s just we can’t keep up with buyers that way. And so being able to hire expert leadership at the different stages of scaling can help you to cheat through that first a VP that is only relevant for you for six to seven, eight months, and then you’re on to the next one, but you keep it for six months, then you go hire another one for six months, you fire that one after nine months. So I just think that there’s smarter ways to scale as we look forward.
Matt Hunckler 16:56
Thank you. Good dancer. Yeah. Our next question is from Meghan nicknames. And this is one that I think I’d be interested in everyone’s perspective on this. I’ll bring Megan here on the show. And hopefully, she can hear us Megan can yours?
Yes, I can.
Matt Hunckler 17:14
Hey, welcome to the show. What’s your question for our guests today?
Yeah, well, my question is that I get a lot of pressure from pretty much every organization I’ve ever worked for, to participate in their marketing initiatives on LinkedIn by like changing my cover photo or posting content that they send me and want me to post that’s related to their marketing initiatives. I’m just wondering, does this have any benefit for me other than, you know, I’m supporting my company, which I love doing. But do I get something out of that? Is there some way I can leverage that? Like, how can I maximize my own benefit when I’m doing that work on behalf of my marketing team?
Matt Hunckler 17:47
Morgan, is there are there any great company campaigns that you’ve seen work really well, in terms of companies that have engaged their entire employee base to really make an impact on LinkedIn?
Morgan Ingram 18:00
I think the company that, that they don’t do as much anymore, but drift, drift did a fantastic job doing this, they would have everybody be like, alright, this is the campaign that we’re running. And they would have people doing videos, doing posts, posts in their own voice, just like autumn was saying. So that’s something that I would definitely be focused on when your company is like, Hey, here’s the content, we need you to go put out. It’s like, cool, I’ll just add my own context around that. So it isn’t just another post that’s out there. And as part of the noise, it’s something that will stand out. So yeah, drift, drift did it the best, they would be like, hey, there’s a campaign and they would have every single person do a video, but it was in their voice, and it stood out.
Matt Hunckler 18:35
I love that. Jake, you have any other perspective on the LinkedIn algorithm? And what’s kind of your philosophy on the algorithm? Do you play to the algorithm? Do you try to chase the algorithm? Do you kind of stay tried and true, and I would love everyone’s perspective on this, feel free to,
Jake Dunlap 18:51
to weigh in. It’s both meaning, you know, it’s about understanding it and but also about like, like video, for example, under indexes, big time on LinkedIn, massively, right? If you want to get likes and engagement, don’t post videos, unless it’s a meme video about a soldier meeting his daughter for the first time, or a woman walking for the first time, then your video get a lot of attraction. But but it doesn’t mean you do it. Because you got to think about you’re building an audience, you’re building a name for yourself and a reputation in your industry. And so video gives people different touch points. So I know when we put out a video, you know, we put out an audio whatever it is, it’s not going to do quite as well. So for us, it’s a mix. Yes. Like I said, we tried 37 Emojis then we’re trying these texts. It’s like we’re trying to understand it, but it doesn’t mean that every post is a pander to the algorithm. Right and, and I feel like that’s the because you want to create community diversity and types of content ways to interact. So so that’s how we approach it. It’s scaled.
Matt Hunckler 19:46
I know their perspectives their
Morgan Ingram 19:48
perspective, Jake and I were talking about this the other night so my My thing is, you know, I’ve been studying it. I’ve been looking at it I’ve been analyzing it as well. Jake is correct about the videos however, or it’s having a mix of content was Jake is saying and so just because your video isn’t getting a lot of views, that doesn’t mean that it’s not valuable. I truly believe that the views of the video are more valuable than sometimes your text post views and here’s why. So when you see someone on video, it creates a relation with him. So when I started a YouTube channel, like years ago, people felt like they knew me and I’m like, yo, I don’t know you. But the thing is, is I created so many videos that I created that affinity that bond with the viewer. So even though it’s not getting a lot of views, I wouldn’t say don’t do video, I would say added as part of your strategy. But do more short form posts. I’ve been playing around with this too. And the highest engagement posts that I’ve had so far, it literally was a sentence. And it blew up. And I was like, Alright, cool, I guess it’s 1000 likes, they like short form, tweet like content. And then also, pictures have high engagement with context around it also are great to putt. And the algorithm likes that as well. So these are just things to consider when you’re looking at the algorithm. And this is what I have seen successful success with. And also other people that I know are seeing success with it as well. And the also just telling your story, just as I was talking about earlier is critical as well.
Matt Hunckler 21:13
I want to wrap up here with with all of our guests with a lightning round, your top 10 Second tip. And powderkeg is all about the untapped potential in tech communities beyond Silicon Valley. We have an amazing community here. Jake, would you start us off with your 10 second top tip for LinkedIn?
Jake Dunlap 21:32
10 second top tip 10 seconds. Okay, I got it. Alright. So for me, look, here’s what I’ll say, when you google your name, there’s a very high likelihood LinkedIn is the number one result. And you have a digital presence, you have a reputation whether you want to pay attention to and not to it or not. And so all of you are in this game for the long haul. You’re building a career and a life. And the network that you build on LinkedIn is unlike anything you’ll ever be able to build physically. And so my advice like that is is the number one reason your reputation is digital. You have to get involved.
Matt Hunckler 22:01
And, Jake, if people want to find you online, what’s the best way to connect?
Jake Dunlap 22:06
I mean, I’ve got to say LinkedIn, right? Yeah, I mean, it’s pretty simple to shake Dunlap do NLP right? Go check us out. Again, you can go to Jake dunlap.com. You can get access to all our different social channels as well, as well there too. And thanks again. Thanks again for having me on. It was really good. meet all of you as well, too. That’s absolutely
Matt Hunckler 22:22
Thanks for Thanks for being here. Jake. Morgan, what’s your top tip for LinkedIn?
Morgan Ingram 22:27
use LinkedIn video and the LinkedIn voice messages. I’ve been yelling about this for like years. Alright, if you use the LinkedIn videos and the LinkedIn voice messages, you’ll get people to connect with you more, you’ll get more meetings and you’ll connect with people that probably that were not responding to you in the first place. So LinkedIn videos LinkedIn voice message, that’s my hot tip. We’ve seen conversions from 2030 40% and on by using this technique. So that’s that’s my go to tip right there.
Matt Hunckler 22:56
I love that. I have not tested the waters there yet, Morgan. So this is this is going to be me tipping the scale and I’m gonna let you know how it goes.
Morgan Ingram 23:04
Alright, man. And where can people find you, Morgan? Yeah. So LinkedIn, super simple. Morgan J. Ingram, on LinkedIn if you want to connect and you have any further questions. Awesome, man.
Matt Hunckler 23:15
Thanks for being here today. That’s it for today’s show. Thank you so much for listening. Also, huge thanks to our guests, Morgan Ingram. And Jake Dunlap. Please go check them out at Jay barrows.com and scaled.com. That’s skled.com. And for links to their social profiles, and the other people, companies and resources mentioned in this episode, please head on over to powder keg.com and check out the show notes. While you’re there. Would you like to discover even more interesting companies stories and strategies to help you reach your full potential, then you should definitely be getting the inside scoop each week with powder kegs hand curated newsletter, The spark that’s delivered to your inbox every Thursday, with the tech news and opportunities outside of Silicon Valley that you really need to know. You can just go to powderkeg.com. And sign up right on the homepage. It’s right there at the very top. And each Thursday, you’re gonna get an email directly from me with the most important stories, trends and companies in tech. And it’s curated by some of the most connected people in tech hubs between the coasts in sort of the unvalued of America, and of course, my team at powderkeg as well and you’re gonna find a ton of insights that you’re not going to find anywhere else. It’s totally free. And again, it’s just powderkeg.com P O W D, E, R k, e, g powderkeg, all one word.com. And to be among the first to hear the stories about entrepreneurs, investors, and other tech leaders outside of Silicon Valley, give us a subscribe on iTunes, drop us a review while you’re there. Thank you if you’ve already done that, and we’ll catch you next time on The powderkeg podcast.