How to use LinkedIn to Improve Your Business, with Christian Lovrecich and Phil Laboon
With LinkedIn, having a plan is crucial. Define your prospecting and sales process and stick to it for at least 30 days before trying something else. Make it super simple and easy to follow every day. Split test message copy and make sure your messages resonate with your audience. For example I’ve had a higher response rate with a message that I never thought would resonate with a specific audience.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Christian Lovrecich, a speaker, trainer and consultant in internet marketing, social media, niche marketing, niche market lead generation, branding , business development and also is the founder and CEO of Lovrecich Media, which is a full service digital advertising firm that focuses on driving sales to businesses using the power of digital marketing across all digital platforms.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve always been an entrepreneur at heart. Even as a kid, I was always trying to sell. Besides the adrenaline rush of making a deal, I love providing a service or item that makes someone else’s life easier or makes them happy and more fulfilled. Sales has always been a part of my background, so I have significant experience and have done my share of “cold calls” to make sales and obtain clients. I’ve always been interested in finding a better way to match potential customers with the goods and services provided by businesses.
Marketing has always interested me. I’m that guy who watches the Superbowl for the commercials instead of the game. At 23 years old, I started my first company, and I began to study marketing and how to target customers. At that point, I was working with traditional marketing, such as mailers and similar print materials. I’ve always been somewhat of a “techie,” and I’ve always seen the value of developing technology, using the internet, and keeping up with day-to-day changes of how we communicate and obtain information. I’ve been a social media junkie since it began. I knew it would be huge and continue to grow and affect marketing and advertising. I wanted to be a part of it, and here I am!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I decided to test the idea of promoting my agency to help others to grow their businesses with the power of digital media because people everywhere I went that knew what I did always asked for my help. When I was starting out, I needed to create case studies to be able to show big companies results, that we knew what we were doing, and what was possible when it came to the return on investment of their marketing budget, which is commonly referred to in the industry as “ad spend.” I reached out to a friend who owns a real estate brokerage and began a digital ad campaign for him on Facebook. Immediately, we got so many leads his team couldn’t keep up. We actually had to dial back the campaigns and he had to bring in other people to handle all the leads we generated. It’s an example of how I helped a business grow and take it to another level, and that is what makes me the most happy and passionate about what I do.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was learning about selling on Facebook when the platform first became public for advertisers, I decided to test a shirt that I knew would be a winner because it was a very niche specific design. It was a niche I am passionate about and the design looked awesome! I hired a company to make the shirt as the orders came in and to ship them to the customer directly. I launched the campaign for a Black Friday deal. It was an instant hit! The orders were coming through 24/7, and I was super excited because it was my biggest success at the time.
You’re probably wondering where is the mistake? Well at the time I had the design made, I looked at it on a monitor that wasn’t calibrated, and I made the huge mistake of not ordering a sample for myself. It turns out black print on a navy blue shirt does not show up well in person. After the orders went out, I started getting bombarded by messages on our fan page and emails complaining about the product. Customers emailed me pics of the product. It looked horrible.
That shirt went on to make about $12,000 in sales before I pulled the plug because of the faulty design. I believe in quality and taking care of my customers over anything else, so by the time I was done sending replacements, processing refunds, and giving away gift certificates to make everyone happy, it actually cost me a lot more than that. In other words, the irony is that my first “real winner” in ecommerce ended up costing me a lot more than the revenue it generated. Lesson learned, and I NEVER made that mistake again. Every product is sampled and checked for quality control before we even put it online for testing to see if it sells.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
It really depends on the particular product or service but Facebook , with is massive amount of user data is by far the most cost-effective platform that produces the best return on investment, if used correctly. Interestingly, the cost of advertising with Facebook keeps increasing every year because big brands are finally becoming interested in using the platform; however, most businesses really underestimate the power of the platform because they simply don’t know how to correctly utilize it to get maximum return on their investment in ad spend.
For example, a campaign of ours is being run for a software company in the SAAS (Software As A Service) niche. We built a highly targeted campaign on Facebook where our goal was to acquire new clients by offering an online presentation of how the software works (a “demo”), with an ad spend of approximately $1,500. As a result of the campaign, we were able to book 23 demos. Out of those 23 demos, 6 were brought on as clients, and the lifetime value of each of those clients is $8,500 in revenue per year for the software company. Cleverly targeting the right people can give you a massive return on your investment. In this case the return was over 30 times the investment made.
Let’s talk about LinkedIn specifically, now. Can you share 5 ways to leverage Linkedin to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
1) Take advantage of Linkedin Sales Navigator. It gives you the ability to search and have access to everyone’s profile and direct messaging. You can also perform custom searches in a specific industry by company size, based on the number of employees. From there, you can customize searches based on the activity level of the individual employees and their job titles. This is useful because you can refine your search to make sure you choose people to target who have been active in the past 30 days, and who will be more likely to accept your connection request and engage in a conversation with you once you send them a message.
2) Having a plan is crucial. Define your prospecting and sales process and stick to it for at least 30 days before trying something else. Make it super simple and easy to follow every day. Split test message copy and make sure your messages resonate with your audience. For example I’ve had a higher response rate with a message that I never thought would resonate with a specific audience.
3) DO NOT sell on the first message. Disarm the individual first by complimenting them or thanking them for connecting with you. Talk to them like they are human (because they are). I don’t ask for an appointment or call until the 3rd or 4th message now. This has tripled my response rates.
4) Follow up with those who don’t respond to your LinkedIn message through email. You can export the email addresses of your LinkedIn connections and move them into a service such as Mailshake or Quickmail. You’ll pick up 10% of people who didn’t initially respond to your LinkedIn message.
5) Don’t be afraid to GO BIG! The sales cycle may be a bit longer, but it pays off when you target bigger clients. I’ve been targeting big businesses in the 8–9 figure range and have done discovery calls with CEO’s of $500M companies. These people have big budgets and need your help. You’ll be surprised how many CEO’s from these companies answer your message right away.
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
The education system needs a complete overhaul. Unfortunately, education in the US and many countries focuses on memorizing material and test scores. We need to focus on real life skills and how to put ideas into action. People would benefit more from that kind of education system and, in turn, they will be more motivated and end up in careers they love and enjoy. It will help our country become more productive. We have great technology at our disposal and it should be used interactively to educate our kids.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
I would have to say Mark Cuban. He’s a billionaire in the tech sector and followed his passion for basketball by buying the Mavs and turned the franchise around. He’s invested in many startups throughout the years, and I like that he’s involved and spends time helping others realize their entrepreneurial dreams. I respect that many times he makes an investment in the person behind the business, not just because of the business itself. He came from nothing and went all the way to the top through hard work and determination. I admire his involvement in many different business sectors, and I aspire be able to do one day as well.
Thank you so much for these great insights. This was very enlightening!
About the Author:
Phil Laboon wants to live in a world where actions speak louder than words, people shout their stories from roof tops, and where following one’s passion is the norm. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, his personal and professional life has spotlighted in hundreds of publications such as People Magazine, Rueters, Forbes, Inc, HuffingtonPost, and CBS This Morning. Phil also writes a regular, nationally syndicated column on the subject of how great leaders build great companies. When he’s not building memorable brands or launching exciting startups, you can find him backpacking exotic countries looking for new inspiration and challenges. If you would like to book Phil for an entertaining speaking engagement about inbound marketing or growing a business, he can be contacted HERE.