The number of articles that I’ve read over the years along the lines of, “Don’t cold call, warm call” is abundant. Many of these articles shared similar content about the importance of networking, which is something that I significantly agree with. However, not many of these articles spend time focusing on the importance and power of content creation.
Many years ago, one of my mentors recommended that I start to post content on LinkedIn. Since that time, I’m truly amazed at how it has unexpectedly lead to business for me. Looking back on when I first started creating and posting original content, my primary goal was to help people. This goal hasn’t changed, but rather evolved into a method of personalizing myself and my work. This content serves as an introduction to what I do and lends credibility to my work as it shows that I’m educated in my field.
Just recently, I was contacted on LinkedIn by someone that I connected with many years ago. I hadn’t previously spoken with him, but he reached out to let me know that he’s been reading my content for years and has been enjoying it. He requested a call which recently resulted in a contract together. I had no idea that he was even following me.
This is something that you can and should be doing if you’re wanting to close deals without the need for cold calling. Based on my experience, here are some recommendations:
1.) Use Hootsuite
Hootsuite is a social media management platform that allows you to schedule your LinkedIn posts in advance. You can also schedule posts for other platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Every Sunday, I use Hootsuite to schedule all of my posts for the week so that I don’t have to worry about it on a daily basis.
2.) It’s Not About You
I make posts on LinkedIn 4 days per week. On Monday, I post my open jobs, but other than that I don’t self-promote myself or my company. I believe that the purpose of posting is to help people, and hopefully my job postings achieve that. It isn’t about telling everybody how great me and my business are.
3.) Be Consistent
Consistency is the foundation of a strong online presence, and this is not only about posting (e.g. don’t post 5 days in a row and then post nothing for 4 weeks). Consistency is also important when it comes to the subject matter of your posts. I typically post my open roles on Monday, a quote on Tuesday, an experience I had on Wednesday, and an article on Thursday.
4.) Play the Long Game
I’ve made this recommendation to other people, and some of them have said, “I’ve gotten no business out of it.” If that’s your attitude as it relates to content creation, I might say that you should not invest your time. This process is very much like SEO in that you aren’t going to get a flood of leads tomorrow. However, with steady content creation you will slowly become known as a thought leader within your field and people will remember you in the long run.
5.) If You Don’t Have Time, Hire Somebody
Multiple people have told me that they don’t have the time to write articles and post content. If this is the case, it doesn’t mean that you’re hopeless. Let me know and I can refer you to somebody very affordable that can assist with the process.
There are many services that exist in order to write articles and post content for you. However, my STRONG recommendation is that you oversee the creation of the content, and not just let them decide what to post. As an example, provide your content creators with an outline of the article that you’d like written. The articles that you are posting should be your ideas, even if somebody else is helping you write them.
The articles that you post should be ones that you find yourself or ask your content/social media person to help find for you. You might say, “I really like posting quotes about sales and finding articles about hiring. Can you please see what you can find, send them to me, and I will use the ones that I like best?”
My point here is that if you don’t personally have the time, there are still many ways in which you can effectively create and post content. The content can still be very personalized, and you’ll only have to invest 10-15 minutes per week.
In our increasingly digital world, content is king. Every business leader should be considering how to create and post content in order to establish themselves as a thought leader, which over time will result in more closed deals. Cold calling doesn’t have to be the only method of closing deals. Incorporate original content into your processes and transform the way in which you acquire new business.