Today personal branding is the foundation of social selling. More so for B2B companies.
Imagine this. You get an email from Jane Doe asking you to how you are, how she is such a huge fan of your work etc. She says she would like to meet you and help you increase your company’s profits by 25%.
Business has never been so quasi-transparent as today. Every cold or warm reach out you make, prospects and clients “Google” you up to figure out who you are – not just as a business but also as a person.
Prospects today see sales executives for who they really are – first point of contact and doorkeeper to a potential business-relationship. If you can be trusted, then so can your company.
If a B2B sales executive can come across as a seasoned and credible thought leader with domain expertise with value to share, half the bloody battle is won.
So why Medium for lead generation?
- Because Twitter is a landmine, you never know what you’ve tweeted/re-tweeted could boomerang at you.
- Facebook is too wild-child to have a mis-timed image pop up from your crazy yester-years where a friend playfully tags you.
- LinkedIn is like a CV book. It tells you what you did in life but not what you are as a person.
- Enter Medium – a platform of 15.4 Million users where people engage over intellect and learning, far above the narcissism or vanity of social media.
People who come to Medium are coming there with one purpose – To read !!
Majority of the Medium population is problem aware or solution aware or even both. So it takes lesser time to convince them if the logic and argument provided is robust and authoritative. In B2B scenarios this is a gold mine.
What Medium can provide a sales executive:
1. Personal Branding : Sales executives and consultants can write well researched articles to build a robust personal brand and come across as subject matter experts (SMEs) with insightful vantage points. (eg. Think how McKinsey sells, it’s all about Thought Leadership for them for decades now )
Over time consistently offering quality articles from you can position you as an influencer.
2. Inbound Sales: There is undeniable value in Inbound lead generation.
Its more valuable to be found and approached by a customer than you are hammering their inbox and phones. There’s true value in there and that would happen if you make it easier to be found, discovered and followed. People might not become customers immediately, but once they see consistent value in you, they are sure to recommend or reach out to you sooner or later !!
3. Pre-segmented and highly targeted audience: Medium also boasts of a very targeted audience. Sharing some insightful visual stats, I found in Neil Patel’s blog.
The age spread of Medium’s highly educated readers broken down. The coveted 18-34-year olds are here!!
Hopefully I’ve convinced you by now that medium is where every sales executive should be!!
and if you’re not yet on Medium, then read this exhaustive note on How to start a blog on Medium and ace it !!
Some tips on generating leads on Medium:
1. Finding leads on open search. – This is a trick my ex-boss taught me long back for LinkedIn searches but works equally well for Medium too. The power of Boolean search. Go to Google and Type this:
site: www.medium.com AND (“Keyword1” OR “Keyword2″) AND (US OR India)
2. Network– Most influencers and thought leaders are present on Medium today. Engage with them by mentioning them (eg if you tag me @DS_Alore, I will be notified and can choose to engage with you)
3. Find commonalities with Tags – Medium has updated the number of tags per article to 5 from an earlier 3. It means there is more detailed indexing and searching for people via Tags will give you list of people who are into that discussion already.
4. Collect Leads – Use email collection forms like Upscribe plugin to collect emails of people who would like to sign up for your news updates.
5. Engage as guest writer on Publications – Its the easiest trick in the book to be noticed and get toa stage and be amplify your reach. Write valuable stuff and be noticed.
6. Reach out proactively – Reach out to people who clap on your articles or follow you and try to initiate a conversation when the lead fits your target persona well. They wouldn’t be expecting reach out on Medium and hence you wont be one face in the sea of incoming requests.
7. Warm your leads – Once you’ve figured out influencers and leads that match your target persona, woo them. Drop creative comments on their posts, highlight nuggets from their article. Do it until they’ve noticed you 3-5 times with a thanks etc. Then reach out to connect directly.
8. Complete your profile – In your short Medium bio, drop a back-link to your business so its easy for curious minds to trail you to work.
9. Use “Letters” – Medium allows you to send an open newsletter to all your followers. Use this well to send valuable information, links etc to drive leads down the funnel.
10. Metrics and CTAs – Use these wisely to lead customers to the next piece of content that can mould their thoughts on a topic in your favour. Use the free Google UTM tool to better track what interested the prospects most. You can even lead them t gated content like Guidebooks via links to get them to fill up a form for you.
11. Get Referrals – With 84% buying decisions stemming from a referral, referrals is what you should aim to get out of the engagement on Medium. and its easier to do so here with social proof being easier with your thoughts on display.
12. Publish consistently – Consistent publishing indicates planning and commitment to your craft. If you post once in Jan and twenty in Feb and thrice in March, somebody doing his/her “background research” on you might find you unpredictable and loosely translate the same attitude to your work style. Choose an optimum frequency for yourself.
As someone who has actively focused on Medium for lead generation and found a large number of sales qualified leads(SQLs), I’d like to mention that consistency and focus were key through it all. and these:
1. Focus on Quality not quantity. You can only attract leads if you have something of value to share.
2. Engage with those who operate in your network. Networking never hurt no one !!
3. Position yourself as the go-to person for a niche and nail that niche well. – Be the SME everybody wants to check stuff with.
4. Best time to post is Saturday morning (US Time zone)
5. ALWAYS collect emails and email these leads. Have a slice of their mind every week/fortnight.
6. Nurture the network of followers, sign ups and influencers. The more you do, bigger your network(funnel)
7. Re-post/Update any existing content on Medium to give your SEO a boost. More visibility is always great in sales.
Do feel free to comment on what you think of it
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