Live 🔴 MSP Monthly Profit Booster
Every month, I put on a free webinar – that’s packed with value bombs.
In December 2020’s webinar, we discussed why you should be rubbing your thighs about LinkedIn. Yes it really is that exciting.
This is what you’ll discover in this replay:
- LinkedIn stats and the bigger picture
- Get your LinkedIn basics right
- Focus on the 3 Cs
- LinkedIn’s true power is not what you do online…
- Some clever LinkedIn secrets
The replay is below, and the transcript below that.
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Join me for five live Zoom calls to get your marketing SORTED. I talk about this at the end of the webinar recording - and the full details are here.
January's webinar is
Why your MSP’s data capture doesn’t work – and how to fix it
Monday 18th January 2021
Afternoon. This is Paul. It's 1:00 PM GMT on Monday, the 14th of December. Here we are for our final live webinar of the year. We've got a whole year worth and loaded up for you for next year for 2021. But today we are going to be talking about LinkedIn. And I'm just going to pull up my PowerPoints now. As we go through, talking about LinkedIn and how it's so exciting that you could and should indeed lick the screen, which is a bizarre title for a webinar, I realized that.
As we're going through, of course, today, because this is live, you will have some questions. And the deal with this webinar is I'm happy to answer any question whatsoever, either about LinkedIn or just in general about your marketing. All you got to do is put it into the chat window.
Now, just to check that I am alive and I'm being heard around the world, if you could just put something into the chat and just say, "Yes, Paul, we can hear you. Everything's good." So, that would just help me know that everything is working fine. Yep. Caesar, you can hear me, Terry, Colton. Hi, Colton. May, that's brilliant. Thank you. Thank you everyone.
So, as we go through, what I'm actually going to do is, I've just turned off my chat, so I can't see it, because I get distracted by all those messages popping up. So, as we go through, please, do type your questions in, even if you think I may come to answer it, or if you want me to clarify a point, and I will go over all of those questions at the end.
I tell you what we'll do at the end as well is, we'll do some general marketing and MSP growth Q&A as well too. Any other things that you want to just generally ask me about, I'm more than happy to do that.
So, we've got a whole load of stuff to talk about today. And the first of those things that we're going to talk about is how we get the bloody screen thing to change. There we go. So, one of the things that we've got going today, we're going to start by looking at some LinkedIn stats and the bigger picture regarding LinkedIn. We're going to then look at getting your impersonal LinkedIn basics rights. I'm going to help you to focus in on the three most important Cs. I'll tell you what those Cs are. They're the three Cs of LinkedIn, and the things that you need to spend your time on.
Then we're going to look at the real true power of LinkedIn and how it's not really about what you do online, it's about how you leverage what you've got online to drive people into different channels. And of course, we're going to finish with some clever LinkedIn secrets. We've done a couple of hours of research, bits and bobs, and things you may never have heard of before with LinkedIn. And we will cover those off towards the end.
And as I say, towards the end as well at the very end all, I'm going to tell you about entry-level marketing program, which is called the MSP Marketing Accelerator. We have, I think it's a couple of places left for our January program. So, I'll tell you about that at the end. And then the final thing that we'll do is our marketing and business growth Q&A.
So, just some stats on LinkedIn, just to set the scene for this. I mean, LinkedIn is absolutely enormous. I must admit, if LinkedIn went down, it probably wouldn't cause the kind of stir that has happened in the last hour with Gmail and YouTube going down. I mean not only myself, having no Gmail for 20 minutes, that was just unbelievable for me. But I'm sure if LinkedIn went down, there wouldn't be quite that reaction on Twitter and on other places.
But LinkedIn is absolutely massive. And if you look at it, you realise, and this is the most up-to-date figure that we could find. There are 690 million active users. So, that means every single month, 690 million people log in. Now, I'm guessing it's actually slightly fewer people because there will be lots of people who have more than one accounts. I have two LinkedIn accounts, which is obviously technically against their terms and conditions. But that's still quite impressive, 619 million worldwide.
And four out of five people who use LinkedIn, so members of LinkedIn, say that they use LinkedIn to drive business decisions, i.e, they are decision makers. Now, I suspect there's a few porkies in there, because we know that lots of people use LinkedIn for job hunting or just to keep their connections. But basically the vast majority, 80% are saying that they have the power to drive business decisions in their business.
And HubSpot, which you may have heard of, HubSpot being a very core and powerful CRM, if a very expensive one, they have declared LinkedIn three times better than Facebook and Twitter for lead conversions. And I've got to be honest, if there's one organisation you listen to about lead generation, it's HubSpot. They really do know exactly what it is that they are talking about.
So, the bigger picture with LinkedIn, and I think this is almost like a mindset, a mentality for you to have with LinkedIn, is that it is the most up-to-date, constantly up-to-date, public database containing virtually every lead you could ever speak to. When I'm doing my marketing accelerator calls, where I'm talking to my ongoing clients in the war room or any of my other clients, the subject of lead generation just seems to come up again and again, and again.
And if you look at LinkedIn and think, everyone who is ever going to be a client of yours in the future is most likely in there right now, the vast majority certainly will be. And it's a completely up-to-date database. It's completely public. Anyone can access it. It's amazing. And I've often said before, if you were to go back to you 20 years ago, the millennium, the turn of the century, which seems so old now when our phones were old and clunky, and clamshells, and we didn't have iPhones, and we didn't have all the stuff. Gmail going down wasn't a problem, because Gmail didn't exist. YouTube was five years away from being invented.
If you had said to you 20 years ago, "One day you'll have this up-to-date database. And it's every possible lead you could ever want is there." It would blow your mind. And yet today we're almost a little bit apathetic to it because LinkedIn is a pain. Let's be honest, I don't like going on LinkedIn. Do you like going on LinkedIn? I go on there to try and sell my stuff and to build relationships with people. Why do you go on there? The same reason. In fact, that's one of the things that can make LinkedIn feel like an awful networking meeting. If you've ever been to one of those terrible, terrible networking meetings, real physical ones, where it just seems that everyone is there to sell and no one's there to buy. Sometimes LinkedIn feels a little bit like that.
But you've got to remember as well that LinkedIn is mostly free. You really can automate all of the hard work. You can, if we're going to talk about some of the tools later on like Dux-Soup, which I'm a massive fan of. And the thing with LinkedIn is you can, and this is a cliche and I hate cliches, but we all understand where we're coming from with that, is you can set yourself up as a thought leader. You can stump your expertise. You can bring in a whole load of people and connect to people, and engage with them in a way which it pushes up your authoritativeness, and your perceived expertise.
And you've got to remember a core fact of trying to reach the people that you want to reach is that they don't know what they don't know about technology. So, whoever your prospects are, whether they're just general people, whether it's a specific vertical you're operating, so long as you're not selling a co-managed IT services to existing IT support people, if you're just selling to ordinary business owners and managers, they don't know what they don't know. And LinkedIn actually gives you an opportunity to stamp that expertise and to show that you can be trusted. This is a fairly critical part of building a relationship with people.
My standard three-step strategy for any MSP, and this is your medium to long-term marketing strategy, is very simple. The first step is you build multiple audiences of people, people to listen to you. The second step is you build a relationship with those audiences. And the third step is you commercialise those audiences. So you use, for example, a multiple touch point marketing campaigns to find out the right time to speak to people, because people only buy at the point that they're ready to buy.
And I think LinkedIn is a great audience. It's one of those core audiences for most MSPs. I say, you should be building an email list and you should be using LinkedIn. And for the majority of MSPs, those are your two audiences. Those are the only two to focus on. So, LinkedIn is great for audience building, but it is also great for stamping your authority for positioning you in the correct way.
So, let's go through first of all, and talk about getting the basics right. So, the very first thing is you must get a professional profile pic done. And by a professional profile pic, I don't mean done by you with your phone, or one of your kids doing that with a digital SLR. I mean, a professional.
I believe you should have your photo updated every single year. I do. I lost a little bit of weight, well, quite a bit of weight, earlier on this year. And that was the impetus for me for getting a new profile pic done, because I also started wearing contact lenses. So, I was no longer fat and bespectacled, I was thinner with no glasses. And to me, it's really important that your LinkedIn picture keeps up to date with what you physically look like. Have you ever done this thing where you've looked at someone on LinkedIn and then you've connected with them on a video call, and it's like, they're a different person. There are fatter, older, grayer version of themselves.
So, I do believe that the cost of getting a profile photo done is so little. Get it done every single year. And in fact, you can use that profile photo in your email signature. You can use it on your website. You can put it on your business card. You can do all sorts of things with it.
If you don't have someone that you use for professional profile pictures, the easiest way to get it done is to just try and find a wedding photographer in your town. Now, whatever is happening COVID-wise in your area, certainly here in the UK, we haven't had big weddings this year. So, I'd imagine a lot of the wedding photographers simply haven't had nearly as much work as they would normally have, even in a bad year. So, ring a few wedding photographers in your area, because wedding photographers are great at making people look amazing in photos. In uncomfortable situations, they make them look warm and comfortable. Give a local wedding photographer a call say, "Look, I'm just all for profile pic. I don't want to pay through the nose for it. It's a 10 minute job. Do you want to come and bring your big lens, so we can be socially distanced. Take a photo." If you do it outdoors as well, then faff about with lights and stuff like that.
We just went into my garden when my a photographer friend came over. It's a very, very easy thing to do. And yet it makes such a difference having a professional profile pic. It really, really does.
And the other thing that you need to do to get your basics rights is to set out a message with your cover picture. Now, your cover picture is the thing that goes in the background. So, here's mine from my profile. So, you see the photo of me on the left is that I'm a bit more bronze in that one, it seems to have lost my tan. But that's my professional profile picture. Then the thing at the top, which talks about MSP marketing and the MSP Marketing Edge in the war room, that's like my cover picture. So, that's the thing where you'd send a message with it.
Now, what would your message be? I would argue that the best message you can send is whatever the headline is on your website. So if for example, the headline on your website said, and this is one of my favourite headlines for an MSP, 1082 people trust us with their IT everyday or trust us to keep that business running every day, which is a great, a really, really great headline. And that number by the way, is the number of users that you support. That headline could go onto your cover pic, the cover thing at the top.
And the fact you've then got a consistency between your website and your LinkedIn, which is really important to have the two consistent, same kind of photos, same kind of imaging. It's all part of your brand. I don't talk a lot about branding. I don't really get branding and all that kind of stuff. I don't enjoy it. But it is important to be consistent, because consistency makes people feel comfortable. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they are to buy from you one day. We don't buy things from people that make us uncomfortable. That's a psychological block, literally a gut-feel block to that. We only buy things from people that make us feel comfortable. So, consistency is very good.
Another thing that you can do is you can claim your personal URL. Don't ask me exactly where the setting is to do that. That's a Google search away. Fire up the Google machine for that one, if the Google machine is working. But I know on mine, it's linkedin.com/paul-green-msp-marketing or something like that. And because obviously, Paul Green had gone a thousand times over because it's such a common name. So, you either go for your name or you can put your business name in there.
When we're looking at LinkedIn, the most important thing is that you are sharing content from your own personal profile. So, you will probably have a business page for the business, but you'll also have your own personal profile. And when we're talking, as we talk here about the three Cs, which we're going to come on to, which is your core activity on LinkedIn, primarily, you're going to be doing that from your personal profile. So, assuming you're the owner of the business, you want it to be your profile. You want it to be your name in the URL. And the reason that you do that as the owner and you use the owner's profile, even if actually someone else is doing that on your behalf, the reason you do that is because as the owner, you're the last person to leave the business. You're the last one to switch out the lights before you go, or of course you sell the business, which is even better.
So, we want to make sure that you've protected your own personal LinkedIn profile, and there's no risk of that LinkedIn profile being taken away. If you'll say, what do I mean by that? Is if you let a salesperson do all the networking on LinkedIn with their profile, and then they leave you for someone across the road, then they're going to take all of that, all of the LinkedIn connections with them. So, you need to make sure that you use your own personal profile and that you're the one that retains that.
Some of the basics is to get all your basic contact info in there. Again, all of this is Google-able of how you do that. You just need to make sure you've got, fill in every website address you've got, phone numbers, all the basics. In fact, LinkedIn prefers it when you've completely filled in all of your details. I think it calls you something like an all star, if you managed to get all of the contact details in there.
Another thing to do, and this is quite important, it's to have an impactful attention grabbing headline. And your headline, which the character limit was increased in the last couple of months, it used to be 120 characters. It's now 220 characters, which is plenty of space to do what you need to do. You've got to explain what you do, who you do it for and what the benefits are.
There's a difference between benefits and features. Features are what you do. The benefits are the advantage of what it is that you do. So, you do IT support, but what's the advantage of that? Or the advantages of that people sleep better at night. They don't have so many problems, and they can get more done in the business, for example.
So, here's an example of a bad headline, IT support for town name or local businesses. It doesn't do anything. There's no emotions in there. Because remember, people buy with their emotions. They don't make a cognitive decision about which IT support companies to use. They make an emotional decision. Because remember something we said earlier, is that people, they don't know what they don't know. When they don't know that, they don't know have the cognitive ability to judge whether you're a good IT support company or a bad one, they can't compare them. So, in a situation like that, all they can do is, well, the decision drops down from their brain and drops down to their emotions. And it does become a gut-feel thing. It becomes an emotional thing.
So, a better one would be this, and it's the same headline I was saying earlier. In fact, you can extend it because you've got 220 characters in your LinkedIn profile. And unlike a website headline, which you wouldn't want to have it too long, because there's a length. And someone's going to ask me, "What's the right length for a headline?" I don't know. I know when it's too long. And this would be too long on a website but this will be perfect for LinkedIn, 1082 town name people trust my team and I, or me and my team, depending how grammatically correct you want to be, to keep their business it running every day. And as I say, that could be a longer, almost more extended version of what's actually been on your website.
Now, in terms of other things to get to your basics rights, you have an about section. And in the about section, that's the place to tell your story. And your story again, should be a version of what goes on your about us page on your website. So, the about us page on your website is one of the most critical pages. It's the page, well, people are most likely to read your homepage and your about us page. Those are typically the two most highly trafficked pages on any website. And on LinkedIn, it's really important that your about section is a version of what goes on your about us page on your website.
Now, the problem with most people's story is it's really boring. And I know the vast majority of MSP story is, you are either a consultant... Oh, no, hang on, let's go back a bit. When you were seven, you got your first computer and it was amazing. And you would sit up to 2:00 in the morning, playing with it and controlling it, and feeding in programs by cassette tape. And then you obviously went into IT, and you either became a consultant, or you worked for another IT support company. And then one day you had the entrepreneurial seizure. And the entrepreneurial seizure as detailed in Michael Gerber's book, The E-Myth Revisited. And suddenly you're like, "I've got to start my own business."
And those of us that have had that seizure, that entrepreneurial seizure and have acted on it, know how rewarding that is. Could you imagine never having acted on that? And there are people out there. I have a very good friend who has had that entrepreneurial seizure for nearly 20 years, and he's too scared to act on it, which is insane. He's going to be a very, very unhappy, retired ex employee, but hey, there we go.
So, you had the entrepreneurial seizure, you started your own business. And you've probably still got your first or second client, even though it's 10 or 15 years down the line. Most MSPs have a very similar story. And the trick is to take that story and enhance it, and embellish it a little bit. And enhance it being, to turn it into a story. Because when we're talking about stories, we don't just mean dry facts of, "In 1979, I first acquired a Commodore ZX80, whatever." That's boring. We don't want that stuff. We want stories. People respond to stories.
There's a machine called, I think it's got a functioning or functional MRI. You have two types of MRI machine. You have the one which just takes a photo or takes a 3D buildup of the brains, 3D buildup of whatever it's scanning. So, it can actually build a model on the computer.
And then you have something called a functioning MRI, which shows what's happening in real time. If you put someone into that functioning MRI, and you tell them some facts, one part of their brain lights up. But if you tell them the same facts wrapped up as a story, lots of different parts of the brain start to light up. And when lots of different parts of our brain lights up, we make new connections. And we're more likely to remember something. And we're more likely to be emotionally influenced by it, and therefore it will have more of a sway on us.
So, don't just give us the facts about you, because the facts are boring. Turn it into a story. Introduce some drama into it. Think of all the elements of your favourite TV show or of a movie that you watch. And what are the elements of those? What are the things that really hook you in? It's always the story elements. And all of those should be in your website and in your LinkedIn.
And then finally, we're not finally actually, give LinkedIn everything that it wants. If it wants some media, upload some media, some photos, some videos, upload some articles, give it links to any references of you online. Or you could link it to your Google, my business listings. If it wants you to list all your jobs, fine. Obviously make sure they are relevant jobs. The fact that you had a paper round at the age of 12 is not quite relevant. Your experience, your accomplishment skills, give LinkedIn as much as you can. The more you put into LinkedIn, typically the better.
And also it will ask you to go and get some recommendations. It's really simple. It will actually do the work for you. It will message your connections on LinkedIn to ask if you will do some recommendations. The easiest way to get recommendations is to give recommendations. So, just to go out and look at your network, and go, anyone that you can recommend for anything, go and recommend to them. And the power of reciprocity would generate some recommendations back to you.
And then the final one of the basics to get right, is a very clear call to action. This is actually very similar to your website, isn't it? Because on your website, you need a very clear call to action, what's the one thing you want them to do. And of course, the best practice for that right now is having your live calendar embedded into the website and saying, "Book a 15 minute phone call with me or 15 minute video call." And I would argue that's a perfect call to action for your LinkedIn as well, which is you might not be able to embed your calendar, but you can do a link to your Calendly or your Microsoft Bookings or whatever it is. And I would argue, that's a very clear call to action.
You can't be subtle about these things. You've got to be completely clear, "If you're not hundred percent happy with your current IT support company, then we really should talk, book a 15 minute, no-obligation video call with me here." And you have a link to your calendar.
And those are all the basics. I know it sounds basic, but the basics really are the basics. You just need to make sure that you do them well. And then go back on a regular basis. This might be something that perhaps you schedule into your productivity planner or your calendar every three months, just to go back, just check, check your basics, check that everything is up to date. Because things change, and we forget to go in and change Linkedin. LinkedIn doesn't make it easy for us to remember to do things like that. It's not even easy to get to your profile really. But all of these things that just need to be checked on a regular basis.
Then we come to working the three Cs every day. Now, the three Cs are the things that really turn your LinkedIn into a much more powerful marketing tool for you. And the first of those three Cs is to connect. So, every single day you should be looking to grow your database by connecting to other people. And there are lots and lots of different ways to do this. I'll give you the two things that work the easiest.
The first of them is, and this is in reverse order. So, this is the least powerful of the two. But the first of them is, you approach your area systematically and you work through different professions. So for example, let's say you wanted more CPAs, more accountants. You literally do a Google search. You find all the names of all the accountants, accountancy firms in your town, or all the, certainly the geographical area that you want to target. You then find out the names of the people, so the directors, the managers, the people, the decision makers in those firms. And then you go and try and connect to those people on LinkedIn.
And there are lots of different things. Sometimes you can type in the company name and it will have a company profile with all the staff. It depends on how big they are really. Sometimes you just have to put their names directly in. This is something by the way, this is a job that a virtual assistant can do for you. It's a criminal waste of your personal time to be physically Googling stuff and coming up with lists of people to target within LinkedIn. Literally anybody can do this with 12 seconds of training. So, don't waste your time in the spirit of DOA, which stands for delegate, outsource, automate. Don't waste your time, your precious life on this. Get someone else to do it for you.
I don't do my LinkedIn at all. I'll check my messages sometimes, not that frequently. But most of my LinkedIn is done for me by my marketing manager, James. And he does that so that I don't have to. So, I can focus on things like this, which I'm the only person in the business who can do this kind of thing.
So, that's one way to connect to people. Here's the really smart way to do it. If you go and find someone else who's already connected to the people that you want, then they have done all of the hard work for you. So for example, there may be an Uber networker in your town.
I live in just outside in the village, just outside Milton Keynes, in the middle of the UK. And there's an Uber networker in this city called Mark Orr. And everyone in business in Milton Keynes knows Mark Orr, because he has been to all of the networking groups for the last 20 years. He runs his own networking group. He's quite a character in many ways. And I'm not interested in local businesses, but if I ran a business here, and I want to build up a LinkedIn profile and reach local businesses, then I would connect to Mark Orr on LinkedIn. And he has several thousand connections, which are visible because you can't hide them. There's a setting, so you can hide your connections to stop someone else doing what I'm about to suggest you do.
But let's say he's a visible, he's got several thousand connections. Because I know he's well connected in this geographical area, I can then go in and try to connect to his connections. Does that make sense? So, basically I can take all the last 10 years worth of work that someone like Mark or the Uber networker in your area has done. They've got a whole load of connections. They're connected to the kind of people you want to be connected with, business owners and managers around this area. So, you go in, you look at their connections, and you just try and connect to them.
And on the free version of LinkedIn, which is right for most people, by the way, there's only a tiny number of MSPs that need Sales Navigator, which is the paid for LinkedIn version. It's basically, if you're using LinkedIn for hours a day, that's where you really need Sales Navigator. Or if you want to take the training wheels off and just do more and do more activity, and that's what Sales Navigator is useful for. For the vast majority of MSPs, you don't need it.
We've grown personal LinkedIn connections this year from 400 to well over four and a half thousand on the free version of LinkedIn. So, you don't need it. It just means you can do things faster.
So, I think on the free version, you can attempt up to 20 connection requests a day. What you would do is you would use automated tools to do this. So, Dux-Soup, D-U-X-Soup, S-O-U-P, is an automated tool. If you Google alternatives to Dux-Soup, is one I think called Octopus. There's a couple of them around.
And most of these tools, they sit, they work as plugins to your Chrome. So, they're not sat on a server somewhere where LinkedIn can detect them. They literally plug in, you pop it in your Chrome, and it will do the automate. It will automate your work for you so that you don't have to. So, it will do things like go and look at someone else's connections and connect to those connections. And it literally, so the Dux-Soup is the only one I've actually physically seen in action. But it just, it will go onto a page, it'll scroll down as if it's reading the profile. It'll click the connect button. It'll paste in a message. It'll personalise the message. And it'll send it off. It's a very, very clever thing to do. And they really are worth having a look at those automated tools.
So, connect is your first C. The second C is content. And content is where, we're using LinkedIn to try and build a database. And that's the connect part of it. The content is trying to build a relationship with people. Now, the goal is always to get into people's timeline, their newsfeed. This is exactly the same as Facebook. If you want to get content in front of people in Facebook, you've got to get it into their newsfeed.
Now, LinkedIn, and this is only my own personal belief, I have no evidence of this, it just seems really obvious. Linkedin is Microsoft's copy of Facebook. So, obviously Microsoft acquired LinkedIn some years ago. And I believe again, personal opinion, but based on just what I see, I believe that Microsoft's business model is that they're trying to have a comprehensive offering of everything. And they look at any category of software. They look at who the market leader is. If they can't acquire that market leader, then they build a copy of it.
So for example, Slack, Teams. Teams is you could argue, and obviously it's gone a lot further than this now, but Teams certainly started off as a copy of Slack. It was certainly an interpretation of it.
And I would argue that under Microsoft's ownership, LinkedIn in has become a copy of Facebook. So, I believe they tried to put together similar algorithms to the algorithms that drive Facebook. And that's because LinkedIn seems to work like Facebook in many, many ways these days. So, for that reason, we know that we need, you got to get your content into their newsfeed. And that's exactly how it works on Facebook. And it's how it works in LinkedIn.
So, you've just got to put lots of content out there. And there are lots of things that you could put out there. I mean, I've got some suggestions here. You've got things like translating technology for them. Even something basic like Gmail going down or YouTube going down, you know that there'll be a problem with servers, a load balancing thing, this or that. Even I don't know how it's all engaged.
But for service like YouTube to go down for 30 minutes worldwide is a major thing for Google. And that might be an interesting piece of content to speculate, not what happened, but literally say here, just to put this in perspective, this is how seriously Google takes providing it services. And I'm sure you could find some stats on how many server firms they've got, how many specific servers are offering service, and what a bit, and how much fall over... What did he call it? Back up. How it must be a really big deal for all of this stuff to go down for 30 minutes or so. That's translating technology for them.
You can do stuff that's relatable to their lives. Again, some of your Gmail thing is just perfect today. Some of your prospects will be using Gmail. Some of them will be relying upon it as their main business email. Rightly or wrongly, you can talk about something today that's relatable to them.
Humour is good. There are plenty of IT support jokes out there, if you go looking for them. Just don't do the really geeky ones because they won't get it.
Success stories are amazing because they're stories. Remember what we were saying about stories, lighting up parts of the brain. Success stories are great and show that you've got clients that are doing well.
Scare people. Cybersecurity is a massive one for this. It's only really in the last year is I've got really heavily involved with my clients and started to really understand what malware is. At the moment we're creating some videos, which we'll be giving to the members of our MSP Marketing Edge service. And they'll get those in round about January.
We've got a certified ethical hacker, who has filmed both sides of a ransomware attack. So he's got, his machine is the hacker's machine. He's got a separate virtual machine, is the victim's machine. And he's literally showing us, I think it was WannaCry, "This is how I dispatched WannaCry. This is the email I sent them. This is what happened when they clicked on the link. This is the PDF that's got the script hidden inside it. Here's how I launched the WannaCry attack. Here's what happens on their machine."
And when you see it from both sides, and we filmed these in a way, which are understandable and of interest to ordinary people. Because the idea is that our MSP Marketing Edge clients will be able to use these tools, use these as tools to sell more cybersecurity offerings to their clients, basically by showing them this is what happens. This is literally how you get encrypted. And this is what encrypted content looks like. This kind of stuff, it's scaring me. And I'm an ordinary person. If this is an ordinary person though, because I hang out with MSPs all the time and have done so for around five years. I'm not a tech, I'm only slightly above here. And it's terrifying the hell out of me. It really is.
So, imagine what that kind of stuff can do with ordinary people, that you've just got to against things like the words, cyber security, being a turnoff. There's so much warning and so much people being scared that you've just got to cut through that in some way.
And you can challenge conventional wisdom. Debate seems to work really well on LinkedIn. LinkedIn and Facebook's algorithms both similar, in that what happens to content in the first hour or so after it's been posted, dictates how many other people will go on to see it. So, if you post something on LinkedIn and it gets some likes, it gets a share and it gets some comments, then LinkedIn will show it to more people in your audience.
The vast majority of the content that you post, including canned content, and can content is the kind of content that I provide to my clients that doesn't get huge amounts of engagement. And we can make it engaging because you can ask people questions. But the reality is the best kind of content is personal content that comes from you with some of these subjects.
I make no apologies by the way, for my can content not being highly engaging. We've got 350 odd clients, 350 odd clients around the world. It would be impossible for us to make content that was engaging and relevant to every single MSP in every single marketplace. Our content is there. So, there's some content, because some content is better than no content. But what the best thing to do is to take canned content wherever you get it from, if you get it, and add in some of your own content as well. And personal stuff works really, really well. And ask questions as well, ask questions with people.
In fact one of the things we uncovered during some of our research for this webinar is that plain text LinkedIn posts actually, they seem to get more interaction and seem to get a better response than adding photos and videos, which is weird. That's not how it works on the rest of social media, but that maybe that's just a quirk of LinkedIn right now.
And also how to, show them how to do stuff. Anything that you do on LinkedIn, whether that's a post, which is like a short form thing, or an article, which is a longer form thing, or a video or anything you do, you've just got to remember, you've got to host it all within LinkedIn. So, LinkedIn thinks of itself as a walled garden. It hates sending traffic outside of LinkedIn, just like Facebook. And so, if you have an article on your website, you'd be better off reposting that article on LinkedIn.
And as far as we know, even though Google does index content on LinkedIn, as far as we know, there are no or very, very minor duplicate content penalties for doing so. You've probably heard that Google hates duplicate content. It detests it. The issue is, if you are constantly posting content, which is on other websites. Actually, if you've got something on your LinkedIn profile, which is a copy of what's on your website, we don't believe that to be a major problem.
So, the three Cs, then we've got connect, we've got content, and the final one of those is contact. And contact is where you message people. I think LinkedIn messaging is underused by most MSPs. So, most MSPs, obviously they're trying to build their network, they're trying to add more, put more content on to engage with people, but there's not enough messaging going on. And just think about it, you've got the ability to message all the thousands of people that you're connected to on LinkedIn. That's huge. It's so exciting. So, make sure that you use that.
And I would not be appeased on messaging, and certainly don't send that salesy spammy stuff. But if you've got something that's relevant, for example, if I mean, let's just take the Gmail thing again, you could message people today and just say, "Hey, I just wanted to double check. Do you use Gmail as your primary business email?" We move all of our clients onto Microsoft 365, because it's typically more, I wouldn't say it's typically more robust, actually Gmail is quite robust one. But you could come up with some kind of messaging along that. And you could just literally send them a message saying, "Hey, just wondering, do you use Gmail for your business email? Did you have an outage today?" You could send that message today. You could send it to good prospects. You could send it over the next couple of weeks. Better still, you could automate it.
You could use a Dux-Soup or one of those other automated tools to do some messaging for you. Certainly much of the messaging that we do on LinkedIn, we write a personal message and we personalise it. But Dux-Soup does the actual messaging for us, so that humans don't have to, in that spirit of DOA, delegate, outsource, automate.
I mean, the main goal that you're trying to do with your messaging is you're trying to move the conversation offline. Linkedin is great. Don't get me wrong. But like all of the digital marketing methods, it's noise. It's anything that's free and easy to use is going to be used by people. And it just creates a lot of noise. And we all see LinkedIn as some noise. I tell you what isn't noise, is getting people on the phone, it's getting something into their hands.
And I would use LinkedIn as a way of sourcing people who you can move to offline stuff, right down to, can you use the messaging and say, "Hey, I've got a book or I've got some information I'd love to send to you, is your address still 12 so and so street?" Which of course, you've just got off their website. And someone getting a message saying, "Oh, I've got a thing here I want to send to you, a piece of paper, a document, an info pack. I've got a book." Something educational always works better than a sales thing. "Is this still the right address?" And then you just paste in the address. And a VA could do this for you. That's always going to get a better response because it feels more relevant. And the more relevant something feels to someone, the more likely they are to respond to it. So, that's what you're looking to do is you're looking to move that conversation offline.
So, same with getting your telephone person to pick up the phone and just call your LinkedIn connections. And often when I start working with an MSP and I say, it's how powerful it is and how you've got to have someone picking up the phone all the time, quite often, that the kickback is, but we've got no one to call. Yes, you have. If you're connected to a few hundred or few thousand people on LinkedIn, you call those people. Okay, it's not the greatest database and you don't have the best relationship with them. But if you send them something, you send them a message, physically send them something in the post off the back of that message, and then phone them, your phone person has got a reason to call those prospects off LinkedIn. And you're just using LinkedIn as a way of sourcing people to call.
Okay. Before we finish off the webinar, I've got a couple of things to tell you about. And the first is some clever LinkedIn secrets. These are just some things that we found during our research. Did you know, and I didn't know this, you can send voice messages from within the app on your mobile? And again, obviously that's not very scalable, but you can actually. You can't do it through the web browser as far as we can see, but pretty cool to send those within the app.
Engagement, as we said, attracts more engagement. So, the more engagement you get early on, the more that people are likely to see it. We believe it works kind of a bit like a point score, which is if someone likes something, it gets one point. If someone comments on something, it's two points. If someone shares it, it's three points. We don't know that for a fact, this is a belief. And this is how LinkedIn and Facebook figure out whether or not a post is being engaged with. The more points it has within the first hour, the more likely it is to be seen by other people. Simple as that.
I mentioned this one earlier that text only posts seem to get the highest number of views, which was quite surprising. I also mentioned already as well, that Google now indexes LinkedIn posts. LinkedIn is a funny one. It really is. There's so much out there about it. But ultimately, I think in terms of what you do on a daily basis, if you can find 30 to 60 minutes every single day to work on LinkedIn and to work on the three Cs, connect, content, contact, I think that's the way to make the most out of LinkedIn and to absolutely maximise your use of it.
Okay. So, we're going to do the marketing and business growth Q&A. That's going to come up in about five minutes time. Just before we get there, let me tell you about the next webinar. It's going to be on the 18th of January, which I'm sure is going to come around really quickly. And we've all had a good break. And we're going to be talking about email data capture 101. So, 101 being the basics. I'm going to gather off all the things. So, how you set up a data capture page, how you select a CRM, a thing called an ethical bribe, because no one likes to give their contact details over. So, you need to offer them something in return, which is we call it an ethical bribe. And we then talk about sequences. So literally, what's the email sequence that you would do. And there were two different types of email sequence, which are worth you putting in there.
Now, I just have to quickly write something down. So, I just had a great idea for a webinar, which is that one. And I'm going to do that one for you in February, because that's going to be a great one, that is.
Okay. Just before we go into the marketing Q&A, I just want to tell you about our entry-level training course. Now, we've just started our December version of this. We had a November one and a December one. And I'll be doing this a fresh course every single month throughout 2021. And we're positioning it as the fast track way to get your marketing sorted. So, we've brought the price of this down incredibly. It's a very, very low cost. It's a no-brainer. It's a one-off cost. And the reason I'm doing it is because I can then start a working relationship with a whole number of MSPs every single month of the year. And some of those people will go on to do other things with us, some of them won't. And that's absolutely fine.
There's no pressure to buy anything. I don't do hard sell at all. But I found this a very easy way for us to get started. So, the only thing behind the marketing accelerator is we have five calls. And they're typically, it might be, let's say it's Tuesday at 2:00 PM, it would be the same, 2:00 PM, five Tuesdays in a row. Obviously, we're having a bit of interruption with Christmas. But we cover off five subjects in detail across those five weeks.
So, the first week cover off in detail, your website. That's quite a long call. We look at literally every single element that you need on your website. I put some websites up on the screen. This is a Zoom call, by the way. It's a Zoom call for me and a small number of MSPs. And so, we have quite a high level of engagement. I present some content, and then we have a conversation about it. So, week one is your website.
Week two is absolutely all about LinkedIn, which is the second most important marketing basics to get right. The third week, we look at how to build audiences and how to build a relationship with those audiences, which is a critical part of that three step strategy I was talking about. Your fourth week is about commercialising those audiences. So, it's the multi-touch point marketing campaigns. And then the fifth week is a success blueprint. And success blueprint is where we look at the 15 different areas that you need to address to have a machine within the business, a machine that churns out net profit. And that's what we talk about in week five.
Now, every single week we have a complete Q&A. And you can ask me anything. And actually, you have direct access to me on email for that five weeks as well. So, the idea is, and we would say we have made it incredibly low priced. The idea is that you are immersed in my world and in the marketing help that I can offer you. And if that's enough for you at the end, brilliant. If there's more, obviously we've got more to go on with for there.
So, January is that's this, you can see here, we've got two places left for January. We took this screenshot this morning. And those are the dates for January. We've got February, we've got five places left. In March's program, we've got seven places left. I am going to run it every single month next year. It's been a very successful program for us this year. And it's a great way for us to start working with people. But there's a finite number of places. And when those places are gone, we will close off the program.
And in terms of the investment, as I said, it's a one-off. It's not a monthly recurring. It's 49 pounds plus VAT, if you're in the UK. If you're in the US or anywhere else in the world, it's $69. We do ask you to pay for the UK, please pay by GoCardless. That's just because that makes it easy for us then, if for something else that you buy from us, we've already got a mandate set up, and exactly the same with the card. It just, it reduces our admin burden, which is one of the ways that we keep the costs down of something like this.
So, we are done there with the live stuff. I'm going to reopen the chat and see what kind of questions have come up. And they're quite a few, which is good. So, we'll just go through those.
Amia says the audio quality is terrible. I'm sorry about that, Amia. It is being recorded, yes. And Paul says, okay. A few people say it was good. And there might've been just a local thing for you, Amia. So, apologies for that. Yes, there will be a recording and actually full transcription. We'll get that on the website probably by Wednesday or Thursday this week.
Matthew says, should you link to the other MSP in your area? Great question. So, you mean on LinkedIn, do you link to another MSP and steal their connections? The only reason you'd link to another MSP is to steal their connections. That's being brutally honest about it. You can Google how to hide your connections in LinkedIn. It's actually something we cover off in the marketing accelerator of how specifically, how you do it, but it's ever so easy to find on Google. I would connect to them, yeah, just for that reason, steal their connections and then disconnect from them.
Christian says he does, and some of them are actually, they regularly engage with his content, especially his blogs, which is fascinating. And yes, Christian's vlogs are amazing. And if you look at Northstar IT on YouTube, when YouTube works, look at Northstar IT. And that's absolutely brilliant. And this is chat now between Christian talking about videos, Matthew has asked if Christian... Christian, you're going to have to guest on one of these webinars. In fact, I'm going to write that down. If you don't mind Christian, I'm going to get you on a guesting because you're doing the best MSP vlogs right now. So, I'm definitely going to get you on for that. And we'll do a special on that, some point in the new year.
Craig says you can also send video messages via the LinkedIn app. We do this with new connections. It makes it personal, a bit different. That is beautiful. And that, I didn't know, Craig. That is absolutely great. Great piece of advice that really is.
Here's some more stuff about bits and bobs. Alexa says, "I've just completed the first week of the accelerator program, found it very useful." Thank you, Alexa. And we've gotten to the call on Wednesday, which we're going to be talking about Linkedin. So, I didn't see any more questions on here. Oh, here we go. Adrian said, "Is there a page to see the previous webinars?" Yes, they're all on my blog.
So, if you go to paulgreensmspmarketing.com/blog, and you'll see. We've only done two webinars so far, Adrian, but there will be a webinar every month, again, throughout 2021. And you'll find the recording and a full transcript. And that will be, so if you go onto the blog, you'll find it there.
I think we've pretty much done with questions today. So, thank you very much for your time. Oh, Olly, has just popped in with a question, "How do you suggest adding the Calendly link on LinkedIn?" Olly, you do that as within your LinkedIn profile, you've got the option to add, I think it's up to three website addresses. So, you'd have your normal website, and then I would link to the Calendly page on your website. So, you could just link directly to your Calendly, or you could link to the Calendly page on your website, which I think is probably a better way of doing it.
If you have got any more questions by the way, because I'm going to stop there, do email firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, thank you very much. I'll see you for the next webinar on the 18th of January. And don't forget, if you want to have a go at that marketing accelerator, get onto one of those courses and starting January or February. It's paulgreensmspmarketing.com/accelerator. See you next month. Bye, bye.