You know, an internet marketing agency has to be one of the more difficult businesses to scale.
LinkedIn lead generation usually comes into play, as the typical scaling strategy usually involves maximizing revenue generated by our sales team and aiming to serve those clients as best as we can.
Which is, of course, a very delicate balance.
What’s even more challenging is that most of our competitors are very well-versed in leveraging all the channels of internet marketing to do this themselves.
It’s tough to beat other experts of marketing at being experts of marketing (but we do our best!).
- SEO – they’re doing that.
- Paid Search Advertising – they’re doing that too.
- Inbound marketing – oh, you BET they’re doing that!
- LinkedIn Lead Generation – …oh wait, maybe not as much?
LinkedIn Lead Generation
If you’re catching my drift here, LinkedIn Lead Generation has been one of the tactics that the Fannit team has used not only for ourselves, but for our clients too!
We have had some great successes in doing so, as it semi-automates the process of making new connections via LinkedIn and gets our clients connected with opportunities in their target audience.
The process is fairly simple, involving a couple of LinkedIn automation tools, Sales Navigator, and a few other Fannit tactics that make it our own. But we can go into the process itself some other time.
This blog post is about something else. It’s about the loss (and recovery) of a human element in this prospecting, and why no matter what internet marketing tactics we use… we musn’t EVER forget the human at the other end.
You Have the Wrong Number – Making mistakes with automation
What spurred the writing of this blog post was an interaction I had with a gentleman named Mitch Garvis.
Mitch was the recipient of my connection request on LinkedIn that was MEANT to target marketing leaders and HOPEFULLY spark a conversation.
That would have probably worked great, if I hadn’t completely missed the mark in my automated communication to Mitch.
And he let me know!
Okay, fair enough. Although I tried to restrict my LinkedIn search criteria for marketing folks, it seems LinkedIn made an error blip; surprise surprise.
People like Mitch with the title, “Senior Technical Engineer” don’t usually have anything to do with marketing. And it’s likely that I really pestered him with my outreach that could have been prevented if I had simply read his profile.
But before I could get am apology response over, Mitch came back with something else!
Yikes. Mitch had written a blog just for me. Let me help you understand exactly what this is.
This is a personal blog post by Mitch Garvis unpacking how inconsiderate my communication was, and disrespectful to him that I would not even take the time to personally look at his profile.
My communication was so far off the mark that it was ridiculous and made me look like a goofball.
But the real trouble is that the LinkedIn automation ran unhinged, and I allowed that to happen.
If I had taken a personal approach in connecting with Mitch, I would have seen that he wasn’t in my “target” audience as a marketing leader.
Although, to play devil’s advocate… if it weren’t for the automation, we wouldn’t even be connected PERIOD! 🙂
Ego: Target destroyed
When I started reading Mitch’s blog post, I felt pretty ashamed actually.
It was a sting of my ego being jabbed, and also an uncommon moment where some very transparent feedback came through the anonymity of the internet and spoke to me personally.
Most of the time, we simply don’t think about who is reading what we say, how the audience will REALLY react, and we just get too caught up in the numbers.
“Look, I made 93 new connections!”
But what good is that if they’re not REAL connections?
It’s like on Facebook — I don’t think any of us would profess to truly have 900 “friends” in real life. Dang, I probably have like 12 “good” friends myself, and even THAT is probably an exaggeration!
So after letting this simmer for a moment, I knew that I had a rare opportunity to make things right with Mitch.
I genuinely felt bad about the interaction, and felt like the best way to proceed was to lift the veil and tell him the truth. Tell him how this interaction even came about in the first place.
I sent Mitch a video response powered by Vidyard’s GoVideo tool… and basically “reacted” to reading his blog, apologized for my error, and explained why we did what we did.
I also explained that the Fannit team is just full of people trying to figure all of this out too! And we really never meant to hurt anybody or be a nuisance.
There’s so much new tech, it’s hard to know how to wield it responsibly, especially when your competitors are not.
Well, it turns out that this response was very well-received! In my act of bringing the humanity back into the reaction, I was able to meet Mitch at a mutual line of communication that transcended social networks.
Let me try again, less verbose.
Because I was so honest with Mitch about what was going on, and offered up a sincere apology and explanation, I was able to humanize Fannit, myself, and most importantly MITCH — the human on the other end of the interaction all along.
Mitch definitely could have let me go here and say something like, “What a mook.”
But to my surprise, he came back with THIS as a response.
And here’s the twist… this time, the blog was a much more positive sentiment that paid tribute to the interaction, and the personal touch in our communication together.
Through simply telling Mitch the truth and treating him like the human being he is, we were both able to turn a negative interaction into a positive one that would live on!
Here is the blog, titled “A Class Act.” I highly recommend reading it! Mitch’s writing style is very free-flowing and fun to read.
My reaction to this new blog
Of course, I never expected to receive much of a response after my video… I considered the fault to be my own, and figured (based on history) that Mitch would probably just carry on and (maybe) block me 🙂
So seeing this was a wonderful moment! My response below:
So now what?
Mitch and I had a back and forth message conversation, and actually connected by phone some time later to discuss the situation and just get to know each other a bit.
He definitely isn’t a marketer — but his accomplishments could be piled up all the way to the moon.
Mitch had amazing insights into the long line of tech developments that have led our society to where we are now. He’s been an active technical expert since the Internet was in its infancy.
Watching this entire process from inception sounded fascinating!
He is also very well-traveled, having lived in every possible time zone around the globe during his career. I don’t know anybody else that can say that.
Now, Mitch mainly works as an educator and mentor, passing his experience along to new folks looking to become experts like him and leave their mark on the world.
Consider your reality – CHECKED!
I wanted to share this experience with you because it was a special opportunity for me to really break “digital character” and get to know somebody as a human.
We get caught up in our marketing tactics and generating “leads” that it can be easy to forget that each person you connect with has a unique trail of experiences that led them there.
In fact, LinkedIn Lead Generation is but ONE tactic that should be part of a whole marketing strategy.
If you need to put together a more well-rounded strategy, definitely review our Ultimate Marketing Plan Guide.
Paying respect to that trail of experiences and treating it with the humanity it deserves will always beat automation that only speaks to people as a category…
However, there is a delicate balance. It is possible to use automated tools and still speak to the human at the other end, even if it takes an extra 1 minute on your part. This is what Fannit aims to do with our LinkedIn lead generation.
And when there is another human being with a lifetime of experiences on the other end… that extra minute is worth it.
LinkedIn Lead Generation Lessons
That’s a wrap though! This is a blog post that was not meant to be about educating you on SEO, PPC, and the like… but to just remind you that we are humans here too, having human experiences.
And every so often when that happens, it’s impactful enough to share.
My experience with Mitch was a good transformative experience. And I’m truly flattered to have been featured in not one, but TWO posts on his blog! So it’s only fair that we highlight him and his expertise here at Fannit!
Thanks for the great story that I get to carry with me, Mitch! And I’m sure we’ll be keeping in touch.