What’s the only networking platform that actually wants you to generate leads on their platform? That’s right, LinkedIn. Today’s guest reveals how to get consistent high-quality leads on LinkedIn without being spammy or paying for ads.
Jason Osborn started his online marketing career 15 years ago as a life coach. Now he works with businesses across the globe to transform their marketing strategy by using LinkedIn.
In today’s episode, Jason explains how to create a personalized connection request that stops the scroll, design a LinkedIn profile that stands out from your competition, and utilize the right tools to navigate your sales. He also shares how he remains grateful in the face of challenges, like surviving a plane crash when he was 19. This eye-opening episode will show you how to use LinkedIn to generate tons of new leads for your business in awesome new ways.
In this Episode
- [00:20] – Stephan introduces Jason Osborn, life coach turned LinkedIn marketing expert and the CEO of Impact for Leads. He’s also the host and producer of The Atomic Impact podcast.
- [07:19] – How Jason uses his story to help people go through all kinds of tragedies.
- [11:55] – Jason shares how he started exploring LinkedIn for marketing.
- [16:15] – Jason explains his strategy to help clients stand out on LinkedIn.
- [21:21] – Stephan and Jason discuss why a person’s mindset is the biggest roadblock.
- [26:04] – Why LinkedIn automation tools are sometimes spammy and not suitable for messaging.
- [34:40] – Jason shares his LEADS method.
- [39:26] – Examples of connection requests that are unique, innovative, and stop people from scrolling.
- [45:25] – Stephan shares advice he got from Black Belt Mastermind about going against a different direction to what people are doing.
- [49:46] – Jason shares that everything people go through will always present an opportunity for growth.
- [51:14] – Visit Jason Osborn’s LinkedIn profile and check out his free LinkedIn mini-course. You can also visit his website for more information about his services and his strategies.
Jason, it’s so great to have you on the show.
Hey, Stephan. Thanks so much, man. Really a pleasure to be here with you so thank you.
We met through JVMM (Joint Venture Mastermind), which you’re a part of, as am I. I was really intrigued first of all, not by your marketing acumen—although it’s great and that’s why you’re here—but because of your incredible story of surviving a near-death experience. Surviving something that very very few people can survive and that is a plane crash. If you could tell us a little bit about that, I would be very grateful.
Sure, my pleasure. I was living in Texas, I’m from America. I grew up in Houston. My accident is a little bit funny now. I moved to the Republic of Ireland in my early 20s and then ended up moving here to the North of England about 12 years ago. My accent is a little bit all over the place, but I am from Texas believe it or not.
I always forget because it was such a weird year, but I was 22 when this happened. It was about 19 years ago. It was January 17th 2002 and we were looking to create or build a youth facility, a youth place that teenagers can come to and hang out, play basketball, or video games, just a youth community facility.
We were looking for other places that had built something similar so we can model off of that and learn from their experiences, and all that sort of thing. We have found the place in a little town called Killeen, Texas near Temple, Texas. We flew up there, we had a friend who was a pilot, and he was like, let’s just fly out there. I was like, all right, cool.LinkedIn is different. People come on LinkedIn, and they're geared towards business. So the platform is for business people and professionals. Click To Tweet
Five of us were on the plane. We’re in the little twin-engine prop plane, a little Cessna twin-engine prop. It was the first time I’ve actually been on a prop plane and we flew from Houston to Killeen. It was supposed to take about an hour or so. We took off and just started flying. For anyone who’s been in a small prop plane like that, you’ll know this, but I didn’t know at that time, they’re very loud. You can hardly hear anything. They’re so loud.
The pilot and the guy who was sitting in the co-pilot chair, obviously they were in the front of the plane, and the other three were in the other seats. It’s tiny. There were only six seats and there were five of us in there. We were chatting for a little while, then afterwards we were tired of shouting at each other. We were just doing our own thing, reading or whatever. I was looking to start up another business at that time and was just projecting out some of my ideas and all that stuff.
I looked down at my watch and it was about an hour or so. I wonder if we’re getting close because it’s been an hour. I wonder, we should be getting there pretty soon. About that time, the guy who was sitting in the copilot seat—I was seated in the bucket seat right behind him; I was the only one facing the tail of the plane—turned around and said, “Guys you need to pray because I don’t think we’re going to make it.” I thought he was joking because he’s kind of a messer and joker, I was like, “Haha funny.” He’s like, “No, I’m serious. You guys need to pray. I don’t think we’re going to make it to the airport.” We were like, “Oh my God.”
A couple of seconds later—I was facing the tail of the plane, the left hand side of the plane—the engine just stopped spinning and a couple of seconds later, the right hand side stopped as well. We were just gliding down and we ended up flying over a housing estate. The pilots are taught when you’re crash landing to fly between two trees to take off the wings because the wings are made to break away from the plane because that’s where all the fuel is stored.
It was a very surreal experience. It all happened very quickly.
That’s what he did; he was flying between two trees. But the plane was built a year before those regulations came in, so the wings didn’t really give in the way they’re supposed to. When he hit the trees, it torqued the plane 90 degrees whilst ripping off the whole right side of the plane which is the side I was on. When we torqued at a 90-degree angle, we smashed into a house. We crashed and there was a lot of fire. Long story short, me and one other guy survived and the other three passed away that day. It was a very surreal experience. I didn’t really know what was going on when I came on the plane. It all happened very quickly.
I think it was about a year later, we found out that there were some utility workers down the road. They ran out—this was before cell phones and camera phones being able to take videos on your cam and stuff—they had a digital camera in their truck. They were just a couple of doors down and actually started taking photos. It was interesting because when we got the photos, what I felt was a long time was a matter of minutes after the crash when I came to, trying to figure out where I was. I was confused and it was a very surreal experience through that.
That was about 19 years ago and there were a lot of things I had to work through that next year over that, but that’s the nutshell version of what happened in the crash.
Wow. Did you ever write a book, or memoir, anything about this?
I haven’t. I started one, I haven’t fully completed it and we’ll see. I’m not in any rush to get it out, but probably in the last year, I started using that story more as a way to get people’s attention because it’s something that’s different. It took me a long time to get to that place because I thought, how can I use that and leverage it for my gain which is what a lot of people will look at that from.
After years of just thinking on this and chatting with people as well, it’s my life, it’s my story. If I can use it in any way that will benefit people whether they’ve been through some sort of tragedy themselves, doesn’t mean you necessarily have lost anyone, but we all go through tragedies, divorce, business challenges, business losses, or whatever. If there is anything I can do to help people to encourage them, then I want to do that.
At the end of the day, I’ve always been really big on impact and helping people. I’ve got a podcast called The Atomic Impact podcast. My business is called Impact For Leads. It’s all about impact so if I can use any part of my life to impact people, then I’m willing to do that.
You’ve earned your stripes certainly. To use that story to connect with people, to reach more people, I think hats off to you. You went through the pain of it. You might as well have something to work with having come through the other side. Thank you for sharing that.
I first heard you say that you survived a plane crash, one of the first things I thought of was the true story of 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke and how she fell two miles out of the sky on a plane. She was the sole survivor, fell in the Amazon Rainforest still strapped into her seat, and miraculously survived. There’s a movie being made about it called Girl Who Fell from the Sky.
That’s amazing. I’ve never even heard of that story. I have to check that out. That’s something else.
It was Christmas Eve 1972.
Wow. That’s amazing.
Her parents died and everyone else on the plane died, but she was able to not only survive, she didn’t have life-changing injuries from it, and it gave her a lot of drive to really focus on the Amazon rainforest and saving the species in the Amazon. She made a difference in her life with that.
That’s cool man.
All right. Thank you so much for sharing that. Let’s switch gears to marketing. In particular, let’s talk about LinkedIn because that’s the area you focus on the most. Why LinkedIn? Why not Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube?
Every other platform.
It was a bit of a journey getting into LinkedIn.
It’s interesting. It was a bit of a journey getting into LinkedIn. When I moved to Ireland, I was looking for a business startup. I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial, having my first business when I was 20. I was really intrigued with this whole online marketing world. This was 16 years ago, so it was really really new then. It’s still new as an industry, but it was kind of a wild wild west back then, but I was intrigued with this.
I trained to be a life coach and I started marketing myself online. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing marketing myself, but I loved being able to know that I can have an impact around the world and help people. As a result, 18 months later, I had built up an email list of 9000 people. I was coaching people in 13 countries and doing that sort of thing.
I had gotten to know some bigger-named internet marketers, and they said, “You should start helping people with their online marketing.” I was like, “Why? I don’t know anything that I’m in.” You know that morning, you’re thinking there, okay. I took their advice and transitioned into that about 12 years ago. In one form or another, I’m either doing or helping people with their online marketing over that time.
A couple of years ago, I kept hearing things about LinkedIn and I would hear little things, people say it’s great or I’d see something come up on someone’s feed about getting leads on LinkedIn. I was just blown away by it, LinkedIn? It’s just a resume website. How in the world would you create leads on LinkedIn? I just didn’t get it.
I started diving in a little bit more and another guy that I’m good friends with, another online marketer, he was like, you got to look to get into it. I was like, okay let me look into it. I started messing around with it and I got to tell you, Stephan, for the first two months I was just baffled. I actually even gave up on it because I don’t get it.
I actually even gave up on it because I don’t get it.
What people tried to do on LinkedIn is they tried to use LinkedIn like they would use Facebook or Instagram. I was still trying to see LinkedIn through those eyes and I just couldn’t figure it out. I gave it up for a little while. It became a little bit personal, it was like no, I figured out other platforms. Other people are doing it, there’s got to be something there.
I dove back into it and really started understanding what was going on with LinkedIn. What I realized was LinkedIn is probably the most misunderstood as well as the most underutilized platform out there because it is different in its nature.
When I realized that LinkedIn actually wants you to generate leads from their platform, it changed the game. I was like, hold on, wait a second, they actually want you to generate. They’ve created it to network and it’s different from a social networking platform like Facebook and Instagram. Facebook and Instagram, I always tell people the two differences between those platforms and LinkedIn is the psychology of the frame of mind that people are in when they go to those platforms.
When most of us go on Facebook or Instagram, we go on thinking about what have our friends done? Let’s check out what our friends are doing, or post what we ate, or party we went to, or picture of our kids. It’s social, it’s about our life and who we are.
LinkedIn is different. When people come on to LinkedIn, they are not in the frame of mind to be posting pictures about what they ate, where they went yesterday, or where they’ve been on their vacation or holiday. They’re not in that mindset. When people come on LinkedIn, they’re geared towards business. The platform is for business people. It’s for professionals.
When I started really understanding this—most people still don’t get this—I understood it because we haven’t been taught it, which I’m learning trying to help people understand. When you get that, it changes the whole game. When you realize that LinkedIn wants you to actually use your platform to network and generate business, you just have to figure out how they want you to do that. But they’re not really clear on how to do that.
Once I figured that out, it just took off. I was generating leads every single day. I didn’t have a website. I have a website now, but I refused to have one for quite some time because it was one of my angles for people. It’s part of my unique preposition. Look, I don’t even have a website. I’m generating leads every single day from LinkedIn if you know how to use it right. LinkedIn was a bit of a journey, but that’s why I use it. It’s a brilliant platform.
Give us an example of a client success story where they didn’t get how to be on the platform, you taught them the approach, you gave them the blueprint or roadmap, and then they just took off with it.
I’m going to give you a couple, but one of the ones I usually talk about is a client here in the UK. He is an independent financial advisor and he’d been on LinkedIn for a long time, but it wasn’t really generating leads from it which is what I get from a lot of people. He has been on it forever. I’m making posts on it, but I’m not really generating leads.LinkedIn is the most misunderstood and underutilized platform out there. LinkedIn wants you to generate leads from their platform. Click To Tweet
We started looking at it. One of the biggest mistakes that people fall into—this is true on all platforms, but particularly in LinkedIn—is that they will (what I call) commoditize what they do. They fall into a commodity-based market. What I mean by that is they will say on their LinkedIn profile that they are such-and-such. I’m an independent financial advisor, I’m a life coach, I’m an executive coach, I’m an accountant, I’m a solicitor. Who cares? There are millions of them out there. What makes you different from everybody else?
One of the things we look at is how you actually frame what you do, how you position what you do to make it stand out from your competition. That’s what we did. We worked with him and when we were chatting through the process from it, I said, “What do you love doing?” He said, “I love working with people on their pension.”
Okay, took me back by surprise. I was like, “Pensions, that does not sound very exciting.” He’s like, “No, I love working with pensions.” I was like, “Why?” He goes, “Listen, I can work with high-net earners, high-net value people, whether they’re high-net value or just high-net earners. I can help them restructure their pensions to help them retire up to 10 years early.”
I was like, “Whoa, whoa, hold on a second. Nowhere in your LinkedIn profile did it state that at all.” He’s like, “Well no.” I was like, “Why?” What we did was helped reframe what he was doing. Changed up his headline. It basically says, “I help high-net earners to restructure their pensions to retire up to 10 years early.” Then with your profile, it needs to be all about your prospect.
How you position what you do to make it stand out from your competition.
This is something again we often miss because we do think of LinkedIn as a resume or CV website which when you write a resume, who do you write it about? You write about you, it’s all about you. On your profile, when you’re using your LinkedIn to generate leads, it doesn’t need to be about you. It needs to be about your prospect. Your prospect doesn’t care about you. They just want to know how you can help them. It’s about framing how you can help them. It’s all about them, not selling, pitching, or anything like that.
We just helped him reframe that. There’s a process—I have a method that we work through on LinkedIn—and that’s where we start doing it and within eight weeks, we generated an additional £35,000 of business, which was amazing. We see that happen all the time. Clients land their own clients oftentimes the first week, could be the first couple of weeks. I’ve got another client who 25% of all their business now comes from LinkedIn.
They didn’t have a LinkedIn profile when they came to me. That’s what we see happening in LinkedIn and it’s phenomenal. When you use it right, you’re not spamming people, and you actually know how to connect with people correctly, it is a brilliant platform to use.
Amazing. You have a client who gets 25% of their business from LinkedIn and they didn’t even have a LinkedIn profile before starting with you.
Wow. What kind of business?
He trains people on Instagram. He’s an Instagram mentor, trainor, consultant. We had people, again, the independent financial advisor. He’s a professional services person. We have life coaches, anyone that falls into that life coach, coaching kind of thing, generating all sorts of leads from the platform as well.
We have someone else, we call him a joint venture broker, so people that basically connect people with their ideal prospects, they’re the link between people and she landed five clients in her first ten days, which was amazing, and she was just blown away by that. We just see all sorts of really cool things happening on LinkedIn. It’s phenomenal.
And you said you got a big influx of leads personally. Was that for life coaching or was that for your LinkedIn business when you first started this?
That was for LinkedIn with what I was doing for online marketing. I started moving into the LinkedIn element of that. Now it’s just purely, I help people with LinkedIn. It’s pretty much where I get all of my business from in terms of what I’m doing and lead gen outreach–type stuff. That’s what I do. I coach, mentor, consult people, corporate, solopreneurs. As long as you have something like a business-to-business or a business-to-professional, then it’s a phenomenal platform to use.
Awesome. We’ll talk more about that, but I’m just curious. Just a little sidebar here for a minute. What kind of life coaching were you doing prior to this?
I coach, mentor, and consult people, corporate, and solopreneurs.
When I started, it was just generic. If I would do it again, I’d probably do it differently now because I learned so much about how to market and position yourself. When I started, that was general life coaching. I was coaching people on everything. It was great fun, I enjoyed it. I still use a lot of those skills working with people because even if you’re helping people in business, there are still a lot of mental things that we need to go through and all that stuff.
If I would have changed it, I’d probably fine-tune it more towards executives or potentially maybe even dads. I like working with men and dads as well. Back then, I still didn’t know as much as I learned now.
It’s good to niche down so that you can differentiate from everybody else. The skills you get from a life coach are so invaluable. Not just personal life, but in business. The biggest roadblock we face as business owners, entrepreneurs, executives as well, is between our two ears. That’s our mindset. The beliefs that aren’t true, that we believe to be so.
Exactly 100%. I tell clients that all the time as well, particularly people that are just starting off online, they’ve never owned a business before. It’s an exciting journey, but it’s also very challenging as well. I actually ask them, what do you think the number one reason is that people fail in their online business journey? They’ll give me all sorts of stuff—platforms or knowledge or whatever. No, it’s our mindsets.
We’re going to face challenges. We’re going to feel like giving up. There’s this time we think oh my God, why did I choose to do this to myself? It happens, but it’s realizing that, moving past that, and saying, cool I recognized it now let’s move on. Let’s find solutions and go from there.I've always been huge on impacting and helping people. So if there is anything I can do to help encourage them, I want to do that. Click To Tweet
Somebody who’s resilient, maybe even antifragile, and that they thrive in the challenges, trials, and tribulations. Somebody like Keith Cunningham who lost hundreds of millions of dollars, lost his entire fortune that he had built up, and started all over again and built an empire even bigger the second time around. That’s so inspiring. It just goes to show that it’s not about having a silver spoon in your mouth when you’re born. It’s not about getting the right, lucky break or whatever. It’s about making your own good luck.
Exactly, which takes perseverance, consistency, and the willingness to be coachable whether you have a coach or just doing this to learn and realize you make mistakes instead of going no, no, I’m going to do it this way. You do those things and usually you’ll be fine.
Same belief. Belief in yourself, belief in higher power, belief in the ultimate outcome that you’re after, that it’s not just possible, but it’s inevitable.
All right. Let’s talk now about LinkedIn and how to generate leads. I see a lot of LinkedIn requests coming into my personal LinkedIn that are so spammy and irritating. Let’s say that they don’t send a spam message in the initial connection request, as soon as I grant the request, then they send their spammy five-paragraph spiel 10 seconds later. It’s super annoying. I’m sure that people who do that get kicked off the platform. They get enough complaints.
I’ve complained before. I don’t do it all the time but especially egregious examples. I’m going to block that person. If I choose to block them and it’s going to ask, would you like to report it? Yeah, I’ll do it. I don’t do it often. I don’t believe in throwing people under the bus or shooting at the competitors or whatever. I just think what they’re doing is not sustainable. I don’t think it is value-focused. It’s not give then get. It’s stealing people’s time, attention, and I don’t like it. What are your thoughts on that and how do you differentiate from that?
First of all, I completely agree with everything you said. It is very annoying. There’s been a perfect storm, if you will, around stuff on LinkedIn over the last two years. There’s already quite a momentum of people wanting to understand LinkedIn and we’re getting into that. Obviously, people would see opportunity around it and go, LinkedIn is the new thing (even though it’s been around forever), so I’m going to start telling people I’m a LinkedIn expert.
Then of course, the pandemic hit. How else are you going to connect with people? You can’t go out and connect with people the same way. LinkedIn got a lot more people coming on, using the platform, and then wanting to use it because that’s the best way to actually reach out because you couldn’t prospect necessarily the same way you used to before. Maybe you can go out and do meetings and stuff like that.
There were a lot of people claiming to be LinkedIn experts when in reality, all they would do is set you up on an automation tool which is exactly probably 95% of what you said is what you’ve experienced. It’s just an automation tool. Someone can set you up on an automation tool is not an expert in marketing. Anyone can do that, you can do it yourself, it’s not hard. That’s what those automation tools do. Even then, a lot of times, the way that they target who they’re connecting with isn’t even targeted, which is even worse because then you’re getting messages that are completely not related to you at all.
The automation tools, they send the request out to people and even in the connection message, sometimes it’s quite spammy. If you do accept it, it’s set up either to send out a message within the first 5–10 minutes, you can set it up to send within the next 24 hours. Usually, within that first day, you just get a message, it’s usually quite long telling you all their services, how you’re going to change their life and all this stuff. It does get really spammy.
That’s not what LinkedIn is there for.
I saw this coming for quite a while. LinkedIn has recently made some changes on the platform about a month ago. They’ve reduced the amount of connection requests that people can send out now. I’ve started seeing spam reduced as a result of that because people were sending out 200 connection requests a day. It was crazy. That’s not what LinkedIn is there for.
I always tell people, you have to look at it from the platform’s perspective, whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, YouTube, it doesn’t matter. You have to look at it from their perspective. They want to make sure the users are having the best user experience on the platform. If the users aren’t having a good experience, what do they do? They leave, and they’re not going to have that. They’re going to make sure that they’re going to restrict, reduce, and get rid of anything that is going to be annoying their users. That’s the reason why they’ve brought in this thing now. It hasn’t really affected what we do because if you do it right, it still works.
With that, when you’re connecting with people, you want to make sure it’s targeted. You want to make sure that when you’re reaching out to people, your connection request message does not read as spammy. Don’t be asking people to be getting on a phone call with you in that connection request. Why would they? They don’t know you. Why would they waste half an hour of their time to get on the phone with you? They don’t know anything about you.
Those connection requests, you want to make them personalized. That means you have to do every single one personalized, but you want it to come across where it doesn’t look generic and spammy. When you do actually reach out and message people and communicate with people, you want to do it in a way that is different. I always tell people, whether it’s the way that you message people or the content you put on LinkedIn, you want to do something that interrupts people’s scrolling pattern.
You want people to go, whoa, that’s different. It’s been shown in studies, we have a scrolling pattern, just scroll, scroll, scroll, scroll. We don’t even pay attention to what it is that we’re looking through. We just aimlessly… It’s weird.
It is. It’s like we’re robots. It’s absolutely true. You need something that stands out and makes you different. When you do message people, you want to make sure that it’s different. There are different ways you can message people on LinkedIn, but you want to do it in a way that’s different.
With what you’re saying to them, you don’t want to just be saying, look, this is what we do. Schedule a call. Why? You don’t even know anything about it. There’s been no rapport, no relationship-building. That doesn’t mean you need to spend the next two weeks chatting to them about their life. I’m not saying that, but you want to like, why would someone actually want to communicate with you? As you said, you want to give. Show value. Show that you’re a real human being. You’re not just some automated tool sending out a message because you’re desperate for business.
These automated tools, there’s one called Ducksuite. I haven’t used it, but I’ve heard of it. Aren’t they terms of service violations to use these automated tools?
Technically, yes. It’s against LinkedIn terms and conditions to use automation tools. LinkedIn knows people use them.
They’re turning a blind eye to it pretty much.
They’re turning a blind eye if people aren’t abusing it, and people have been abusing it. They’ve restricted the amount of connection requests that people can send out to 100 a week. On some people’s profiles, I’ve seen a little bit more, but not much more than that. Compare that to people who are sending out 100–200 a day. That’s a big difference for people.
Spammers, they work off the law of averages. You get enough messages out there, you’re going to get someone coming back. Sure, let’s get on a phone call. You take the large numbers away, then all of a sudden your averages drop and then it just doesn’t work. The connection request, even our connection acceptance ratios that we’re getting from people, we’re seeing between 60% and 70% connection acceptance ratios. Most people never see that. They might get 20%, 15%, but if you do it right, you can get really high connection acceptance ratios, which helps with those numbers again, because now you people are actually wanting to connect with you because there’s a reason to.When you're using your LinkedIn to generate leads on your profile, it doesn't need to be about you. Instead, it's about framing how you can help them. Click To Tweet
I’m not here slating automation tools. It sounds like I am, but I think there are some automation tools that you can potentially use for some purposes. When it comes to messaging, I don’t think automation tools are great for messaging because it’s too generic. You can’t stand out differently enough from your competition to make your prospects go, wow, this person is really different, I want to actually learn more about what they have to say.
One tool that I think is essential for LinkedIn in terms of generating leads is Sales Navigator. That’s a tool from LinkedIn. You’re totally within the terms and conditions to use that. That helps you target people more effectively. As you said, one of the first stages of this whole process is targeting, going after the right people who are the most relevant people. You’re relevant to them, they’re relevant to you.
There are two tools. I’ll talk about Sales Navigator in a second. The other one is your Social Selling Index score, and it’s free. You have to be logged in to LinkedIn to get this. You can just go to Google, type in social selling index then, and you can get that for free. When you look at that, there are a couple of things to make note of this.
It’s called your Social Selling Index. LinkedIn is trying to establish how well you rank on their four criteria for your social selling. They’re tracking you on this. The higher your score, the more likelihood you’re going to show up on people’s feeds and all that kind of stuff because it’s showing LinkedIn that what you’re doing is relevant.
When I started realizing this, like, wait a second, LinkedIn has actually got a score? They score me on how good I am at social selling? I need to get better at social selling then because if I can do that, then I’ll show up better. As you said, the other thing is Sales Navigator, a tool that helps you to navigate your sales on LinkedIn.One of the biggest mistakes that people fall into is that they will commoditize what they do. They will say on their LinkedIn profile that they are such-and-such. Who cares? What makes you different from everybody else? Click To Tweet
When you start realizing this, you’re like, oh, wait, they’ve given me tools to figure this stuff out. Sales Navigator is brilliant. The filters that you can do to find your ideal prospects is by far the most targeted on any of the platforms. It’s so precise what you can do to search for people, bring them up, and then start building that.
Again, we have a whole methodology and system that we work through on that. Sales Navigators, brilliant. Most people, when I talk to them, they’re like, oh, yeah, I’ve used that, it doesn’t work. It’s like, well, did it not work or did you not work it right?
Exactly. You said you have a method or methodology. Could you walk us through what that is?
Overall, I have a methodology called the LEADS method. We start off with L, which is laser focus. The first bit of that is getting really clear on your positioning, how you are framing what you do, so what we said around all your headline, and then getting that really clear. The laser focus bit is around that and your profile.
Once we get that done, and that has to get done first, then we move into the E and A which is expertly connect and adding value. You want to be able to use Sales Navigator and target specifically on who your ideal prospects would be, and then you want to be able to add value to your prospects. Show up.
Just one example of this is before you ever even send a connection request, comment and like on their posts. Show up in their world. If you look at most people’s posts—this is just me just making over a number here based on my experience—I’d say probably 95%–98% of people who make posts on LinkedIn have fewer than five comments on their posts. The LinkedIn algorithm for their posts. There’s an algorithm all around this.
Overall, I have a methodology called the LEADS method.
Very few people hit the numbers where it starts being actually generated more on people’s profile, which means very few people get a lot of comments. When you comment on someone’s post, it’s like gold dust to them, particularly if you’re a second or a third-degree connection. They’re like, whoa, someone else on my network sees my post? Oh, my God. Is it going viral?
People just love it. You show up on their radar before you ever send a connection request. How much more likely are they to accept the connection request if you’ve been shown to be engaging with them? There’s a little bit more than we do around that. Just one element of adding value goes a long way.
You want an expert to connect, add value—there’s a whole process we teach and it’s dependent on your niche and all that stuff—and then once you do that, then you move to the D, which is direct and close. You’re not trying to sell on LinkedIn, you’re not pitching on LinkedIn or anything like that. It is a tool to move people on to a phone call. You can actually have a conversation with them. Find out exactly what they need. Can you help them? All that sort of thing, and then close them if you can help them, so direct and close.
Then once we’ve done all that, we go to the S bit which is scale. Most people, Stephan, want to scale first before getting everything else in line. I always tell people, if you don’t have everything else in line and you try to scale, you’re going to scale problems.
Everything else in line first, we validate the entire process for them, and then we start looking at how to scale potentially using some tools that help but then also how to do that maybe in terms of having someone work on that for you, having a VA. We have a whole process and system around all that as well. Because you don’t want to be doing all of that work yourself every day, you want to focus on what you’re good at, which is usually speaking to clients, or selling, or whatever it is that that particular person is doing. Whether they’re a salesperson and a company, or a CEO, or whatever it is, solopreneur, it doesn’t matter. You focus on what you’re good at.
That concept is so critical. I was just on a strategic coach call with Dan Sullivan. He was teaching one of his tools just an hour ago, right before our interview. It’s so important to identify your own unique ability—that’s the term that he uses—and every one of your team’s unique ability, for them to know that and keep them in that unique ability for as much of the day as possible. If you can spend 90% of your time in your unique ability and same with your team members, wow, that’s golden.
Everything else is in line first.
One thing I wanted to also point out too, is this the E and the leads method of expertly connect. You spoke earlier about interrupting the scroll. Can you give us an example of the kind of connection request that just is a jaw-dropper that makes people go, whoa, that’s really innovative, that’s unique, that’s something that makes me pay attention?
I’ll start off by giving a boring one, something that we see all the time because it’s the contrast between these two things. When I get connection requests—I’m sure you see these as well, Stephan—when a lot of times people will send something and I’ll say, “Oh, I see that we’re both in the same industry. Let’s connect.” I still don’t know why.
Here’s one of my most hated favorite ones where they’ll go, “I wanted to connect because I’m growing my network.” Okay, so you’ve just literally told me, the only reason why you want to connect with me is to grow your network. What’s in it for me? There’s no reason for that or no reason why I would want to connect with someone like that. You want to stay away from stuff like that. Just the boring, generic, anything that makes it look like the reason you’re connecting with them is purely for your benefit, it’s selfish. Don’t do that, stay away from that.
Now, what about if you don’t put any custom message into the connection request at all? Is that bad as well?
I always say, test it. I don’t like doing it. I’m a little bit different because of the niche that I’m in. For people that are in that lead gen online marketing stuff, there are a lot of us out there, even though we’re not all the same. People are inundated with people that are saying, we can get you leads or market you and all that stuff. It’s niche-specific. I think you need to test that.
Personally, I think if you just send a connection request to somebody, why would they want to connect with you? They don’t know you. There’s no reason or anything like that. I don’t recommend it, but I have heard of other people that have had good results with it. It depends on the niche.
In terms of a good connection request, the message that you’re putting in, again, if you are commenting and liking someone’s posts, then a very easy one is to say, “Hey, I saw your post, I’d love to connect because they’ve already seen that you’ve engaged with them and it makes more sense.” If someone sends me a connection request message like that, I’m like, okay, cool. They’ve checked in my message. I know they’ve engaged, they’re interested in me, and they’re wanting to connect now. Most people will accept those types of connection requests, because why wouldn’t you want to connect with someone that’s already engaged with you and likes what you’re putting out there?
I get a bunch of requests as an author of The Art of SEO, which is a definitive book in the topic space. I’ll get all these LinkedIn connection requests and they’ll say, “I loved your book, it helped me get to where I’m at, please connect” or something like that. That feels good to the ego, but then I question, is that true? Did they just see that I authored or co-authored a book and then they’re just mentioning that in their personalized, scaled blurb that they send out to everybody?
Good point. Sometimes you just need to basically follow your gut on those types of ones. Some people might see that in your profile, or they’ll use tags where it’ll just automatically populate in your company name or something like that. It’s a little bit different now. If someone is commenting on your posts and they’ve actually commented on it, then that’s different. If you made a post, Stephan, about your book and someone actually commented on the post and said, “Oh, yeah, Stephan, I’ve read that book. It’s really helped me” Then you get a message from them saying, hey, I’ve read your book and I comment on your posts, that’s different.
You know it’s not an automation tool now. So it depends, absolutely depends. If you’re sending someone a connection message or maybe they don’t have a post, they’ve never made a post or anything like that, just put something a little bit that’s unique in there. If you’re funny, try to say something a little bit funny.
I’ve used connection requests before, where it literally just starts off with capital letters, “OMG. Are you sick and tired of getting these spammy connection request messages?” I got a great response from that because it’s just different. It’s like, oh, yeah, I am tired of these. Sometimes people just accept because it’s just different.
The other thing is, if you can personalize it a bit more if you are looking at really high-end clients, and you need that extreme personal touch, take the time to do that. Look through their profile. Make your connection request message say something that they know there’s no way it could be an automation tool. You’re going to get higher acceptance ratios on those as well.
The next question that people have is, well, how do you scale that? That’s why we get to that in the scale, but we have to validate the process first then, and then we look to scale those methods later.
Is the scaling with tools, or is it with people like VAs, or both?
Usually it’s VAs. I like VAs, that personal touch, you just can’t really beat it. There are some automation tools you can use, but again, I don’t like telling people unless I’m coaching them how to use them because you need to know how to use them right.
Or you can get in trouble. It’s like driving a truck or something for the first time. That could be a real mess.
You need someone to help show you the way with it. One thing is a definite no-go is to use any automation tools that are Chrome extensions. You’ll get your account shut down really quick on LinkedIn using Chrome extensions.
Good to know. All right. One piece of advice that I remember talking more, telling me and others in the Black Belt Mastermind years ago was, flip the script on what everyone else is doing. Everyone else is being personal on Facebook and they’re being professional on LinkedIn, thus, flipping the script on that as to be personal on LinkedIn and professional on Facebook. Professional as in putting out ads for your training or what have you.
When everybody’s talking about their dogs and what they had for dinner, you’re putting out really professional looking ads on Facebook, but then being personal on LinkedIn is making you more approachable, more human, you’re cracking jokes, you’re being funny, you’re doing stuff that makes you stand out.
Now, it doesn’t seem like that advice is counter to anything that you’re talking about. Early on in this conversation, you did say that you need to understand that LinkedIn is a place for business professionals. If you try to treat it the same way that you treat Facebook, you’re not going to gel with the community there.
It is a great point. There’s a difference between being you and posting things on LinkedIn that aren’t relevant. I’ll give an example. I saw a post a while back. Someone made a post that I think was what they ate the night before. There was no context necessary. It was literally like a post you’d see on Facebook, like, literally, you go, this is a post for Facebook. There are so many comments on that post going, this is not the platform for this type of post.
I have seen posts, though, on LinkedIn, where maybe it is about food, or a holiday, or you kids, but you’re framing it in a way that makes sense for the platform. It could be about work life balance. Now all of a sudden, it makes sense on the platform. If you’re maybe having a picture of what you ate last night, maybe you’re telling a story about how we relate to something you’ve done in life and how it’s helped you grow or help you benefit in your business, then it’s personal, or it relates to business, that’s different. But you out on the beach in your bathing suit, just going, hey with a beer, that’s not professional, like, hey, we had a great time. That’s Facebook stuff.
It’s like showing up in board shorts and no shirt at a board meeting.
Exactly. There’s context to all of that stuff.
Now, all this is precluding paying for ads, you don’t have to pay for LinkedIn ads to be successful with lead generation on LinkedIn. Do you see a place for LinkedIn advertising? I’ll preface this by saying that I had a very bad experience doing LinkedIn ads. It was a total waste of money. It was a five-figure experiment that failed. I’m not inclined to do it again anytime soon. With that all said, what’s your position on LinkedIn advertising?
LinkedIn ads are quite expensive. It’s definitely not as cheap as you’d get on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. You need to have a high-end product or service that you are offering to make sense of that, but it always comes down to testing. I’d say for anything that you’re doing, definitely make sure that you’re testing things organically.
If it’s working really well organically on LinkedIn, if you’ve got that process down, then take what you learn from that and transition into some LinkedIn ads, and test it, and see what works for you. I wouldn’t recommend just jumping into LinkedIn ads. They are more expensive.
Okay, got it. All right. Last quick question then we’ll wrap up. Back to the plane crash again. Was there something that you wanted to share with our audience here, with our listeners that was maybe a miracle, a message, some sort of gift in retrospect, looking back on it, that lesson or something that you want to share?
There are loads, but I think one of the main things is, with everything that you go through, there’s an opportunity for growth. No matter how tragic things you go through, there is always an upside to it. I know when you look at something that tragic in terms of someone dying, you think, well, there’s no upside to that. There’s always a downside and upside. Even with the upsides we have, there’s always a downside to it.
This has been almost a 20-year journey of me learning all this stuff, but when I’ve realized that I approach things with that. Even in my journal which I have here—I journal every single day—I write three things down that I’m grateful for every day. If I’ve gone through something particularly challenging that day, I will look at what I’m grateful for in that challenge.
Has it helped me realize how resilient I am? Has it helped me practice my negotiation skills? Has it helped me to be able to see an opportunity that I didn’t know existed, that if that problem didn’t happen, I would have never known existed in the first place? Looking at things from a place of gratitude (I think) is imperative.
Wow, that’s beautiful. Being grateful, not just for all the blessings, but for the challenges because the blessings are hidden in those two. I love it.
All right. Jason, thank you so much. Where do we go to work with you, to learn more from you, and follow all the cool stuff you’re doing?
I would be remiss if I didn’t say LinkedIn. Check out LinkedIn. I’m definitely there. I do have a free LinkedIn mini-course for people if they want to check that out by going to impactforleads.com. They can go there and get that for free. The best way to check me out is that way.
Okay, awesome. Thank you, Jason. It’s impactforleads.com. Thank you, listener, for sticking out to the end so that you can improve your LinkedIn presence. We’ll catch you in the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer signing off.
Your Checklist of Actions to Take
Make an impact. Find ways to encourage people through my life’s stories. I don’t have to go through extreme tragedies to help and inspire others.
Think about my prospects. Instead of focusing on myself, I should state what I offer on my profile. My business should be about my potential clients, not myself.
Pay attention to details. Scan through my prospect’s profile and use the information I find to build a rapport. The more I understand their needs, the more likely they will accept my requests and respond to my message.
Be persevering and consistent. I won’t always have luck or fortune on my side. But I can become successful when I learn from my mistakes and keep going despite the challenges.
Create personalized connection requests. My message will not look spammy if I craft targeted messages that show specific value, not just generic ones. I should also refrain from using automatic tools for messaging.
Interact with their profile. Before sending a connection request, I should make small interactions. Whether liking or commenting on their profile, I can make a lasting impact when I’m familiar with them.
Identify my unique ability. I offer a distinct set of skills that only I possess. When I maximize these abilities, I become valuable to my clients and my team.
Extensively research LinkedIn Ads. They’re expensive, so take time to test and see what strategies work for me. Then, create a process for these ads that will generate a return on my investment.
Test things organically. Sometimes, it’s essential to go through trial and error to find out what works best. But, then, it should be an effective way to prove and disprove claims.
Visit Jason Osborn’s LinkedIn account and check out his free LinkedIn mini-course to know how to generate quality leads consistently. You can also tune in to his podcast and listen to impactful ideas from online marketing to business growth.
About Jason Osborn
Jason Osborn started his online marketing career 15 years ago as a life coach. Now he works with businesses across the globe showing them out to get consistent high-quality leads on LinkedIn without being spammy or paying for ads.