Content Marketing

The Greatest Secret to Social Selling Success Is Hiding In Plain Sight


That's it. That's the rub. Millions of words, tweets and concepts compiled everyday on the interwebs about this tragically beautiful human thing we call selling and the social networks we're all grappling to understand boiled down into two words.

It's simple, it's not about you. It's about your customer. It's about your network. So how do you move off the solution, move off yourself and start to be present for others? Being geniuinely, authentically interested in what's in it for them, other's success and OPC - other people's content - will produce shocking results.

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

I moved my blog to LinkedIn but I released all the intellectual property I had here. I endeavored to give every shred of knowledge I have away after 30 years in selling back to the world for anyone interested. From 1,600 followers on LinkedIn Publish to over 6,000 was an incredible journey of discovery of each one of you in these last 90 days. So many interesting people have reached out for advice, mentorship, with partnership opportunities, asking about specific business challenges and sharing their story.

The benefit to me is not book sales or speaking gigs. That's the byproduct. The true self-actualized fulfillment is knowing I'm helping you. What I try to do every day is listen in social. I compile lists and add intriguing minds to them on Twitter so that anyone with something uniquely original to say makes it to Web 3.0 Champions. This list is closing in on 700 people. I listen around the clock in TweetDeck and retweet interesting things back out to my followers.

It's lonely on the extra mile of social selling. It's lonely taking five to ten extra minutes to read an entire article and pull out that one tidbit of genius it's self evident that writer worked so hard on. I'll comment that back. I'll ask a question about that silver lining. It's almost like SPIN listening. I want to know why? Why did they think of that brilliant concept? What influenced their writing? What was the situation or story behind the story?

LinkedIn is a gold mine. Not for what it can do for you but for what you can do for others. It's life-affirming and enhancing. You can unlock its secrets and world changing power only by thinking altruistically, philanthropically and in a pay-it-forward spirit of service. Service is the highest form of consciousness and Go-Giver selling is a unique reverse-pyramid paradigm. I'm always looking to take a step back and be thoughtful, to be 'fully there' present, giving that connection my full attention. Does this set me apart?

I'm always impressed when Mike Kunkle reads my entire post or David Brock weighs-in. They are so prolific it's mind-blowing. I read Dave's Partners in Excellence every day and marvel at how he fuses cutting edge social selling with advanced B2B strategic methodology. How about Anthony Iannarino? He's done 2,000 posts and look at the quality and level of insight. Jill Konrath is prolific in social, giving it all away. Jill Rowley makes the most thoughtful comments. She's a master at social listening and recently tweeted a plate of bacon at me – creative genius. The more they give, the more it comes back around in karma. When you write something with the intent of helping people, which hopefully this article will do, it not only puts out more great energy into the universe, hopefully the reader gets a result. They feel empowered, inspired and ready to go surmount the obstacles in their day.

Content marketing and social selling have become an addiction for some. I'll admit, I may not sleep as much as I used to. I am addicted to helping others. My iPhone buzzes with a tweet from the UK or an e-mail from The States. I'll get a new review of my book that makes me tear up for a moment. For those of you that have written a book, you understand the labor of love this represents. I'll get a profound question posed in a thread or group on here and I'll really think about it. Sometimes the questions are more exciting than the answers; the articles on LinkedIn Publisher are so thought provoking I'll wake up in the night with a new answer.

Inspiration is what LinkedIn gifted traditional selling. It opened up all our networks in an exponential way expanding our horizons. It makes the world smaller and breaks down barriers and that's a good thing. It's keeping us all more engaged and inspired than ever before. It's open sourcing knowledge and this synergy is making us all better.

I've warned my readers not to live on a computer even the supercomputer in their hand. We weren't meant to have 3 arms, wouldn't you agree? Maybe it's a bit more of a luxury for me as an independent consultant who's blazed a trail speaking, coaching, training and writing for a living. I hope you find these words helpful and explore what I call MY CORPUS. Dig around in there daily and apply some things to the real world every day. Please let me know how it worked, or could have worked better. After 30 years and many million-dollar deals fought for, won and lost; after incredible failure, rejection and success – I do believe what I've encapsulated here is the essence of professional selling success at the highest level.

Social Selling can be strategic. We can elevate it. It can be your edge and competitive advantage. Social selling is very much about being interested. The more hours you take understanding your customers, the greater partner you are able to be. The more you listen in meetings, the higher propensity to close. Actively listening is one level and the ultimate level is being fully there, smartphone off, notepad ready to write it down, making eye contact. Don't sell with your eyes. Just be there, shut off the past and future and contemplate every word. Don't look to interject or craft the next persuasive retort. Let go of all that: it's worthless, really.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes. The greatest mysteries were often hiding in plain sight. All of sales can be reduced to two words. BE INTERESTED. It shouldn't be that simple but if you just did that every day, you'd quantum leap all your competitors. It's not even about competition, it's about creation and sharing. I recently had the privilege to consult on an eight figure deal with an executive that hardly spoke. Just eye contact, listening and deft note taking. Timely follow-up displayed the depth of their understanding.

If you made it to the bottom of this post it's definitely going to pay off. How can you become more interested? Many people act like they're in Hollywood on LinkedIn: 'Enough about me, what do you think of me?' Buzzer! It's not about you silly!

  • Sort your social stream by Recent Updates so you can see them all.
  • Scroll and wait for something to jump out and grab you.
  • Read through slowly and don't just hit the like button.
  • Click through, read the entire thing.
  • Comment and reference something in the text, image or video.
  • If they reply, comment again.
  • Share a link.
  • @Mention them (use the @ sign to backlink to their name or others who should read it which will notify them and help others discover their work).
  • When you do a big LinkedIn Publish post, pull quotes from the readers underneath and add them back in with the quote feature. I love doing that! #interactive
  • InMail people, message them and admire what they wrote.
  • Give, digitally give. Define what that means to you! I get a thoughtful message from one author after every single post I write. He's a social selling champion.
  • Grab coffee
  • Take it off-line
  • Join 50 groups
  • Start your own group asking provocative questions of the group members.
  • Foster discussion don't just thank. You're giving when you want to know more.
  • Ask why!
  • When you retweet add a comment in that 140 characters.
  • When you read something inspiring, write something of your own in response and Tweet it back at that person.
  • Hashtag thoughtfully don't just stuff every tweet (guilty! – learning...)

This post has profound implications on CEOs and leaders. Please spend twenty minutes a day on your own LinkedIn profile. You could literally change lives with the power of social media by allowing more access to you. Writing a weekly update on Publisher as a thought leader helps many people. It elevates the sector. In order for social selling to work, we need the entire business community to all get online in here forming a super network. It's the promise of the utopian virtual reality. Ultimately, hiding behind a gatekeeper is again convenient for you but you're only further from the end customer you serve. I'm astounded when I tweet something at a brand and they don't respond to my tweet when others pick it up and respond in minutes. Social listening not only protects brand reputation it surprises and delights customers, the lifeblood of your entire business no matter your market share. CEOs: Your boss is ultimately a satisfied customer!

It's extremely difficult to be interested when you have over 1,000 friends, a deluge of Twitter handles you follow and streams that look like stock market tickers from Hudsucker Proxy spitting out data faster than a texting teenager. Get a list together in HootSuite or TweetDeck. Filter out multiple lists by vertical. Slow down to speed up. Re-sort your LinkedIn or Facebook feed to see all the posts and retrain the algorithm by liking different things. Make an old fashioned spreadsheet of targets and check in on just the top 30 each day. Start up conversations with dream customers.

Ultimately this subtle change starts with you. Paradoxically it's not about being more interesting, it's about being more interested! I'm interested in your thoughts about this idea so please leave a comment below. If you seldom ever leave comments make a violent exception even if it's just a share or like. Thank you!

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main Image Photo by Flickr: Ricardo Liberato

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Sales Reps SHOULD Be Creating Content

Every solid sales executive I know is telling me they want to see less social and more selling. - Matt Heinz from his Anti Social-Selling Manifesto

Really? Matt Heinz is by no means a Luddite. He's an amazing thought leader when it comes to sales and marketing on the bleeding edge of the industry so I respect his opinion greatly. I think it would be fun to make the devil's advocate case for why sales people should blog and leverage my platform to get the opinion of my tribe. What do you think about this? Does it lower productivity? I inadvertently got inducted into the Social Selling Mafia by walking my talk on these subjects.

Much of that can be done by curating good content vs. creating it, and you get basically the same external value for your sales reps at a fraction of the time.

Here is a brilliant article with 25 easy tips for creating great content as part of your social selling strategy.

Do you think curating is as effective as prosuming, creating, mashing up, remixing or writing your own content to build your position as a thought leader in the industry? Certainly LinkedIn's own Social Selling Index (SSI) algorithm very highly favors curation but also creating it seems to have a dramatic impact. I shot up to 82 on SSI while my mentee is at 72 after 7,000 friends and almost a decade on LinkedIn sharing and curating.

But what they really mean is that they want their reps to focus on selling. They want their best, highest-paid people focused on the activities that help them build relationships, rapport and velocity with targeted decision-makers at their best prospective accounts. I don’t really care whether you call it selling or sharing or helping or whatever. Your best reps should focus on sales.

Let me ask you this? Are you able to leverage LinkedIn Publisher (Pulse) at the core of your social selling strategy?

I outlined The Four Pillars of Strategic Social Selling in the post at this link. It's a new term which I believe I've coined with a brand new hashtag [#strategicsocialselling]. To innovate the practice, I've combined the best of battle-tested neoclassical strategic selling frameworks and methodologies from the trenches with the best of the best from the Strategic Social Selling Unicorns.

  • Pillar I - Strong personal brand
  • Pillar II - Social Listening
  • Pillar III - Social Publishing
  • Pillar IV - Social Research
  • Pillar V - Social engagement
  • Pillar VI - Social Collaboration

I'm currently training and coaching enterprise sales executives on these methods and they're consistently accelerating and closing six figure deals with this advanced, complex B2B format of #socialselling at the fore.

So let me unpack why I advocate for your top sales people unleashing a Social Selling 3.0 strategy. Here are two blog posts for background on exactly how to implement this to drive tangible revenue:

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things. - Peter F. Drucker

Let's really think about this quote as it applies to strategic selling, strategic content marketing and strategic social media application in a modern context. What you're really trying to do is the precursor of Challenger Selling. You're trying to leverage provocative insight to access key decision makers upstream, pre-trigger event, so that you can be the emotional favorite™, as Craig Elias and Tibor Shanto put it eloquently. B2B rich content and thought leadership allow for a steady stream of enablement, helping to walk your prospects up the ladder of engagement.

Mark Roberge, the CRO of Hubspot speaks about how suddenly, CXOs would just reach out to grab dinner and sign their whole company up for HubSpot the next day. Why? The power of content marketing carving rock like water. The opportunity is as wide and deep as the Grand Canyon but it won't take a million years to carve that rock. Most people simply haven't taken a data driven approach, mixed in strategic selling frameworks of yore and turned the volume up high enough 10X to truly extract the value out of strategic social selling methods. I've also noticed that the basics are ubiquitous but the advanced methods that I teach are very rare in the marketplace of sales training. Any tactic that can be a force multiplier supplementally can be re-engineered from first principles to become the core of a go-to-market engine or deployment of a Weingbergian Sales Attack.

So without further ado, here are the ten top reasons:

  1. Customers buy from thought leaders they know, like and trust who challenge the status quo with provocative insight and help them to reimagine existing business models.

  2. Customers are 57% through the buying process, according to research from CEB, so the goal is to either get there before it begins or differentiate yourself online while they embark on the process.

  3. Rich, relevant content intercepts deals to close pre-trigger. You can snatch deals out of competitors mouths like a breaching apex predator!

4. Salespeople can move from servicing demand to creating it!

5. Imagine being so early in a sales cycle, it hasn't even started yet. Like Steve Jobs said, 'let's give the customer what they never knew she always wanted.'

6. The key differentiator in any enterprise deal? The sales rep aka you. Build your brand equity and powerful brand presence to differentiate in the marketplace.

7. 10X your reach to literally become omnipresent in the industry via your remarkable, heavily shared content. Hat tip to Grant Cardone on this point.

8. Just like becoming a millionaire, the person you'll become by blogging everyday, the effort and research it takes to generate compelling insight and the ability to communicate at the highest levels, will revolutionize the way you actively listen, present, pitch and close in the analog world too.

9. The best way to sell to a buyer is to empathize with what they go through. Show that you can see the world through their eyes and your content will convince and convert.

10. Book deals, speaking engagements, consulting gigs, guest posts, interviews and the opportunity to meet new and exciting people from every walk of life all over the world! Reverse mentorship by experts in your field abounds to help you step up your game (and theirs!).

Need I say more? Whether you vehemently agree or disagree please tweet this out or leave a comment below. So what about reps that aren't natural born Ernest Hemingways or Om Maliks?

Content is like a resume. You should constantly be trying to improve and add to it. Sellers should get a writer/mentor and gradually learn to write...and speak. - Joel Heffner

This all seems to reflect the modern insight selling funnel that is more collaborative and multi-channel than ever. Here's data from The Rain Groupwhich is "the result of a study which focused on more than 700 B2B purchases made by a broad sample of buyers. In aggregate, these buyers were responsible for $3.1 billion in annual purchases. Along with their survey research, they've now spoken to more than 150 corporate buyers about their recent purchasing experiences."

The top 3 factors separating winners from 2nd place finishers?According to this research, all 3 must be practiced in tandem...

"Level 1, connect, is the price of entry. When buyers perceive sellers don’t understand their needs and don’t have a solution that can help—and if the buyers don’t like them—sellers don’t win. Even when sellers succeed here, it’s simply table stakes. More needs to be done.

[What's a better way to connect meaningful in real-time with any thought leader? #social]

Level 2, convince, increases wins. When sellers don’t convince the buyers they’ll get a worthwhile return, the risks are acceptable, and they’re the right choice, the buyers simply might not buy at all, might buy much less than they should (or only be willing to pay less), or may select another provider.

[Big deals take a finesse close, enablement and education over time which typically means longer sales cycles. What's the best way to do this? #social]

Level 3, collaborate, is when the seller becomes a key component of buyer success. The sellers who are perceived as level 3 collaborators, bringing new ideas to the table, cocreating ideas and insights, and working with buyers as a team, will find themselves in the winner’s circle."

[What's more collaborative then starting your own industry forum or LinkedIn Group? You guessed it! #social]

Strategic social selling can be utilized at all three steps in the modern sales process that increases propensity to win in major deals: Connect, Convince & Collaborate.

It's time to secure your place in the Winner's Circle and embrace Publishing as a Top Sales Leader. Become a micro-marketer and embrace social media as your core strategy. I suggest a LinkedIn Publisher post each day sharing your expertise and unique insight, a case study, a personal story and incorporating in a selfie style YouTube video. Shoot for building 5,000 followers on LinkedIn Publish [hub] and watch the leads roll in. You'll need to do this consistently every single day with Twitter, Google+ and Facebook as the spokes to amplify this out. Consistency, persistence and patience pay off. Just dedicate a half hour to an hour each day.

Salespeople who take my advice on this will have a massive edge in 2015. They'll do this in addition to all the other great things they do like effective prospecting by phone, face to face meetings, thorough discovery and qualification. They'll simply be able to work more deeply down into the funnel or on an empty playing field so far upstream, there are few to no competitors. That serenity alone is worth it's weight in gold.

Now it's your turn: Do you agree with Matt Heinz that 'sales reps shouldn't create content' or are you on the fence? I would divulge how much revenue I've driven personally to my business in just 90 days but I guess you can imagine just how big a payoff it's been for me by looking at my 150+ posts, many long form to get to that coveted 1,900 word, 7-minute sweet spot. Why would I do this? I prefer my sizzle with some steak, mate! As a 30 year veteran, my time is money and I invest it where the most is made. Adapt or die. The content selling #strategicsocialselling revolution will not be televised. It's already happening and top enterprise sales teams [case studies] on several contents are executing on this powerful strategy!

Major Caveat – Managers please pump the breaks and proceed with caution:

I understand (mostly) what you say, but I think the consequences of individual corporate salespeople becoming content writers are far reaching & serious. There are focus issues, skill set issues, prioritization issues, brand alignment issues, writing competency issues, etc. My personal observations from consulting companies big and small in a variety is industries is that too many salespeople fail from lack of focused new biz dev activity. They look for reasons not to proactively sell. Asking them to become authors provides another wonderful excuse not to do their primary job. You, Matt and I are consultants with platforms; we should be writing. Salespeople should be selling! – Mike Weinberg

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: Mike Licht

13 Formulas To Generate Viral Content - Hint: Creation Trumps Curation

The selling cycle has become a buying cycle driven by content.

Once buyers can take 100% of the purchase journey online, social selling and even traditional selling could go away. How? If you're reading the world's foremost expert on cloud switching technologies' blog every day for a year, one day, you just may literally reach a tipping point and be ready to buy. Arguably we're really just accessing our customers lower in the funnel but the funnel is flipped on its head because they're accessing us. It's the delta between old school interruption selling and new school attraction business to business writing.

Rich subject matter expertise can literally fulfill the customer's demands in real time and generate qualified buyers.

I'm not saying that sellers are going away. I'm saying that the sellers of the future need to understand this paradox and this paradigm shift and run with it.

'Who's writing the best content on the internet about what I'm most interested in? I need to find out now, connect in with them, develop a personal relationship with them, buy their books and audio programs, attend their seminars and engage with them in any way that I can to step up my game!' This is the simplicity of how the content revolution currently occurring on the internet works. We are all desperately seeking the source – great ideas that are effective and actionable that will give us a business edge and help us win.

Ask yourself one question? Do you want to be a leader or a follower with how you use social media to evangelize your company or industry? Your audience is much smarter than you could ever imagine and will go to incredibly great lengths to seek you out if you can simply supply awesome ideas born of real world experience. How you reached your station in life is fascinating to other people, especially the techniques that helped you overcome obstacles and your spirit in getting up after you failed.

To dominate in social media, you need to be the butterfly flapping its wings causing a ripple effect that creates a hurricane of interest on the other side of the world. We must challenge ourselves to write powerful, compelling prose that move our public and inspire action. We must write things that help others, make them rethink their business and sharpen the sword of our own business acumen to supply an endless stream of new insight.

Water flows from the river to the sea. Our customers seek out that source of knowledge to establish a trusted advisor relationship with the content itself. I've read authors promoting various ratios. I tend to enjoy a 10:1 curation to creation. I've become a staunch advocate of daily LinkedIn publisher posting and now written extensively on how sales people can blog and publish daily while still adhering to social media policies and corporate governance.

Companies make the mistake of allowing a generic go-to-market strategy. Is it cohesive? Yes. But it's critical to allow reps to personalize and customize their sales story and materials. A final pause for a manager to look it over before going out to a key prospect is fine. The bigger risk is a cohesive, crystal clear brilliant set of approved collateral that looks exactly like the competitor. Sales people will differentiate by how they sell and the quality of the stories they tell. Dream clients are looking to find the best partner for them. They realize it's going to take a real investment to produce a dramatic result so savvy buyers are keenly interested in the ROI of similar customers. How did your solution help a similar client make or save money to justify the spend?

This is all fairly basic but where it gets fairly nuanced is what it takes to create content every day, bake in unique insight and balance it with a curation strategy. You want to give to get but you want to establish your credibility as a trusted source. You know more than you think you know.

  1. Mashups – I feel like I'm single-handedly bringing this concept back because it was en vogue at some point in Web 2.0. The reason this is so powerful, is one can simply take disparate elements and by putting them together, create some bizarre hybrid synergy which has a whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts. Let's take for example: MC Hammer, Search Engine Technology and The Wolf of Wall Street. How about: A circus, sales management and The Perfect Storm. What about: Putin, Potato Farming and Leadership Execution. Not only is this funny, outrageous and bizarre; this mixing and mashing provides an unique form of context that spices up flat B2B content and gives you a jumping off point almost like a radio show DJ. After all, your overarching goal is not to be 'boring.' You need to capture the hearts and minds of your readers who will invariably be potential customers. Make sure to still capture the core lesson in the message. Sticky, unique content is very rare in B2B so this technique will give you a tremendous edge in getting cut-through. Don't be afraid to stand out and embrace satire, humor and analogies to spheres of life that you're passionate about. For me, that's cycling, wake-boarding, aeronautics and Monty Python.
  2. Newsjacking – I consistently monitor Google Trends, Twitter Trending Hashtags and LinkedIn Pulse trending topics as well as (200 top sales and business bloggers) and leverage TweetDeck to listen as well. I also watch the Pulse Top 25 list and pay very close attention to what's going viral and by whom in my feed. Why? So that I can respond in a timely and meaningful way with my own opinion. An overarching theme to generating very interesting content that will have a higher propensity to go viral [potentially like this very article that you are reading] – is hyperbole. You probably actually have a pretty strong opinion about many things. Writers that are willing to put it out there and turn the knob to 11, resonate with those that share similar views. If you solely try to remain Swiss neutral on every topic and beat around the bush, you're not going to get much ardent support. Even people that disagree with you, will admire your writing much more if you speak from your heart and 'go big.' Watch the news each day? How does it relate to your company and your business? Granted, make sure you blog in line with a world class standard of how you'd communicate to a client but maybe some piece of it relates? Perhaps the news about Watson inspires you to reflect on whether sales people will go away and we'll have AI sellers? Maybe some technology trend about the rise of big data will inspire you to speak about how that could impact your industry or customer base? Blog about this, curate content adding your own comments to it and Tweet about this, getting into that hashtag stream. I could think of many funny ways to newsjack around themes like Kardashians and many serious and inspiring ones around world events! The options are actually limitless. Be creative!
  3. Threading – As you start to listen and monitor hundreds of thought leaders, it's critical to start a 'string.' Build out an Evernote file with a living, breathing list of topics that is constantly growing and changing. Sometimes, I'll pick 3 topics and build them into one. You'll also want to keep a running record of all the links you're browsing. You could do this from within by bookmarking resources you'd like to come back to. I'm constantly drawing inspiration from what I'm reading all over the blogosphere. I sort and re-sort feeds not just by Top but also Recent so I'm not missing anything. In, I typically have 400 new blog posts per day from myriad thought leaders. I sort it like Google RSS to first scan a couple hundred that day. Are there recurring themes? Is newsjacking occurring there? It seemed to happen a whole bunch over this 'gold dress - blue dress controversy' yesterday? What reaches out and grabs me by the lapels? Perhaps I'll write about or reference that. Active listening requires taking a macro and micro view and then building up a phenomenal set of data points and references that can become the foundation of the article you'll build.
  4. Take downs – Frankly, sometimes posts just rile me up. I can't help but voice my opinion. We have quite a vibrant selling community in the blogosphere right now and especially erupting in LinkedIn Publisher. I'm often puzzled when experts tout a method that stopped working in 1992 and are still teaching it today. The big violator? Transactional methods being espoused for enterprise engagements. I'm sorry, complex B2B selling is not a one or two call close. It's a slow burn of building trust and collaboration. While you'd never want to make an ad hominem attack, it's completely fair to respectfully challenge another author's thesis and dismantle it by pulling out quotes. I'll first praise the argument and I do a couple things I find original: a) I pull out comments that disagree with me and republish the article with attribution to those writers. b) If there is a highly differing view, I'll often boldy go re-feature it back in the article to foment debate. LinkedIn Publisher is a majorly interactive forum. I often update my LinkedIn Publisher posts over 50 times. I add backlinks, references and quotes and edit them over and over as I read them. My reader base writes in to correct things, ask for sources and even just suggest things that I could add. I run this open source: fully – every day. In that spirit, please inbox me or send an email to tony@rsvpselling now with your feedback, questions, topic suggestions or just to say 'hello' so we can have a skype about this. (Especially, if you need to train your team to become content marketing ninjas and leverage this to increase pipeline and sell better.)
  5. Sacred cows – There are prevailing views that are held sacred. A big one that seems to never die is the 'phone as savior.' Also the discovery albatross question, 'What's keeping you up at night?' or the expression: 'Uncover the pain.' Hosts of salespeople in the 80's and 90's used a variety of manipulative high pressure tactics before the advent of the internet. They actually wielded specialized knowledge that customer prospects needed. It was still a combative sales process because buyers weren't in control running it yet. As Mark Roberge states in his regression analyses of how enterprise reps actually win post 2010: It's about Coachability, Adaptation, Intelligence and Will to Win. The fact is, selling has changed. There are so many sacred cows like this. For example: CRM has been broken and needs to become Customer Experience focused if it doesn't become a mere encumbrance as a back-end database. Every time I tell the truth about CRM I get a resounding yes from dozens of people who are working innovating in this field. Those posts garner over 1,000 unique views almost ever time – often hundreds of shares and retweets. Do you see something that is wrong in the world of business? Is your product or service disruptive and uniquely solving a real business problem in a new way? Are you taking on the establishment? Don't be afraid to write an open letter or truly highlight a prevailing set of myths. Chip away at the bad information out there. Just because there's a legacy incumbent that dominates market share doesn't mean they aren't the next Kodak pooh-poohing the rise of digital cameras!
  6. Interviews – My YouTube strategy has turned into an interview. I'll sit down in front of a camera and answer some questions that my readers have written in. Another great idea I recently read, is to have a journalist freelance for you. Get them to interview your CEO for a couple hours one Friday and they can turn this into a smashing white paper. Transcribing interviews is a great way to build fresh content because you can go to the thought leaders within your own organization and allow their ingenious ideas to bubble up.
  7. Contributors – As I network globally, I'm often deeply inspired by a thought leader I connect in with. I know they are the world's foremost expert on a subject so I'll often reach out and say, 'John, could you send me a few paragraphs about the future of where B2B lead gen automation is going?' And amazingly, they will. I'll feature that content in italics and bookmark it with my own writing. Jill Konrath is phenomenal with how she interviews bestselling authors about their books. I'll also dedicate some of my posts to books. I've done several on Cracking the Sales Management Code, SPIN and The Challenger Sale.
  8. Quote compilations – Some of the posts that I truly enjoy are quote compilations. Take your top 5 favorite business books and pop in your top 5 quotes with a link to tweet. Top book or audio program lists rank well. It's phenomenally 'useful' to list a bunch of quotes and then write in response to how you relate to them. This stagger-step quote and then paragraph of your thoughts is also the format I observe in a take-down post.
  9. Thematic – I wrote a whole series of posts called the Tao of Steve Jobs in Sales and the Tao of Frost in Sales. It was fun to create a recurring theme and compare their thinking to how they might have sold. Many would argue Jobs was the ultimately seller! If you find a recurring theme on a topic or lyrical writing style that very much works for you, build out a series of posts. I did this with Whale Hunting Part I and II and felt like this was very engaging. In one post I even wrote the world's first poem dedicated to LinkedIn Sales Navigator!
  10. Rankings – We all are familiar with Dave Letterman's classic Top 10 lists. Anytime you can simplify a complex system like the thousands of books on leadership and selling on Amazon into a ranked list to help curate for your crowd, it's excruciatingly valuable. What are the top sales books of 2014 from your lens? Which 25 books most influenced your career? What were the top 5 greatest sales you ever made? Who are the top 12 world leaders who influenced your career? Who were the weirdest reps you ever managed? What were the most offensive things a client ever emailed you and how did you deftly handle it? Lists get dismissed as cheesy by some but I think ranking lists where you really put time into a strong curation, are a powerful tool and help people. They also let crazy-busy executives 'snack' that content. My two cents!
  11. Real world advice – Think back to your best friend, most generous client and even a parent or coach that told it like it is. You know, sometimes the world is starving for content that is 'real.' The truth is powerful. Roll up your sleeves, lower the gauntlet and dispense some real-world advice. Have you been in an industry for 25 years? Even 25 days. It's more that you are sharing something that actually happened to you, your customer or in your industry. Content that is grounded in reality, developed from the school of hard knocks or the mean streets, resonates in social media tremendously well. There is so much perfectly constructed ivory tower, research based pabulum choking the airwaves.
  12. Highly personal stories – Your call if you want to go here – I shared a story about my dad and a plane crash that I survived. I wanted my readers to understand me, my life and my motivations. The journey is often more important than the destination and I think you'll find the 'truth is much stranger than fiction.' Becoming a top seller just like exceeding quota or getting rich, is much more about the person one becomes in the process that the summit of that mountaintop. There's always K2 staring you in the face at your Everest moment. What's the greatest way that you can differentiate yourself? Your story. Iannarino had a metal band! Many CEOs started in the mail room or going door to door as salespeople. We've all lead nine lives so once you reach comfort, be relatable and don't be afraid to share your personal story.
  13. Case Studies – QF32 was the most amazing virality I ever achieved. It is the true story of a pilot that saved over 400 lives. It's about a real world hero and humble Jim Collins Level 5 leader who graciously represented his brand and served Qantas customers. Testimonials from your clients (approved) and YouTube testimonials will sell your product better than anything else. Case studies about how your sales team won against a massive competitor, help readers divine concrete takeaways that they can go apply today to win in their businesses.

I could probably go on forever with ways to be creative with content. I'm often asked, 'How can I possibly generate this volume of quality content every day?' The above lucky 13 principles form the DNA of my process. It's not unlike writing for Seinfeld. Taking the minutia of a sale and breaking out atomized portions of the content like my recent admonition, 'Don't be a face sucking alien!' highlight one super annoying or funny thing and a valuable key lesson. From this periodic table of themes and elements, an entire universe of limitless rich, engaging content will materialize for you. As a bi-product of edutainment, sharing and creating you'll start to see a funnel build and over time, your public will seek out and buy your book. They'll be a standing room only at your next public speaking event. Thousands of people will research you and your company and start to move through the buying cycle on their own time 24/7 around the world. By the time I receive a message in my inbox on LinkedIn, it's an opportunity 9 times out 10. I average 25 LinkedIn invites per day from people I've never met because I have my email address included in my bio and ask that if you enjoy my content, please connect. So please connect with me now: tony@rsvpselling

Sophisticated content marketing creates a virtuous cycle. Curation alone will never get you there! You're just sending all your best relationships to competitors and others who they can buy from. Why tee up a buying cycle and diffuse your market share? Ensure that you are the trusted source. Ensure that your unique insights and your business is the hub and your spokes of insights that amplify out to every corner of the web always bread crumb back to you.

Open source your content and your life. If you have a very stringent policy for what you publish, make friends with your most senior manager and get buy-in for this strategy. Jack Kosakowski does! He's the Saas-a-Nova of Marketing Automation. He blogs up a storm in LinkedIn as a briliant Regional Sales Manager for Act-On Software. His blogs follow everything I shared above. They're funny, insightful, moving (he wrote a beautiful tribute to his grandfather) and rich with insight. He also hosts social hangouts and is hyperactive in social. Does he know how to sell? Yes. Is he monetizing his content? Is he active in the real world and in all other forms of quality selling. Don't doubt it! Social is his force multiplier and he evangelizes it, practicing what he preaches in the new guard.

Yes, he always providing value and creating content that has the capacity to go viral. Is he aligned with his companies policies? You bet and he still has a blast and readers like me do to just reading the stuff. Your audience will literally wait on the edge of their seat for the next riveting post. Sometimes I feel like Jerry Bruckheimer because I'm not afraid to feature a sexy ingenue saving the world on a motorcycles or pyrotechnic explosions. Other times, I feel a bit like John Cleese running rampant in here. Some of the most shared posts I've ever seen on here, come from folks like Jack who aren't afraid to be original and push the envelope. [H's frequently at the top of any top influencer list.

Be like Jack – sell to thousands of dream customers at a time one-to-one-to-many who are looking for your insight... right as we speak! They have a problem that you solve now and can't find you. They're finding Jack. Btw, if you are in the market for marketing automation, why not link in with him and see what he has to say?

Dare to be different. Think differently. Create something. Share what's in your head. Don't die with your music still inside you. Why would you work so incredibly hard one-to-one when the opportunity to move from interruption selling to attraction selling, from push to pull and walk your dream clients up the ladder of engagement every single day exists for you right here!? Naysayers of the old guard? Why not do both? Time management, reps not selling?

Well, social sellers are selling. The funnel is filling. The facts are the facts and the case studies are legion. The best reps still pound the phones but they do it lower in the funnel. They leverage LinkedIn to land more on-sites than their competitors and tee up triple the qualified discovery calls. While a phone only rep is gating EAs, the strategic social seller has landed multiple meetings. Phone rep reached 3 EAs in 10 tries. Strategic social seller buzzed 6 C-Levels iPhones in pocket.

No joke! Don't worry...No, I don't work for LinkedIn. I'm living these articles. Actually, I've started to call it 'living the corpus.' It's holographic as I apply the 150+ articles I've written in here, an upward spiral of ability unfolds and I become stronger in social selling daily.

Ask yourself this, "Is what I'm writing useful? If I read it, could I go out and leverage it to get powerful real-world results today?" If that answer's yes, the next step is always... to hit publish!

Social selling and phone selling, all the tactical selling is all going away. Sellers that win will continue to win. The selling of 2020 is paradoxically called: SELLING. The revolution will not be televised. It will be written by YOU.

If this post inspired you to write your first LinkedIn Publish or use these methods, please send that link back to me after you write it and I'll feature it to my stream with a shout out!

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: Maria Elena

Can't Write? Can't Sell!

The risk of harming your brand reputation with sloppy writing in social selling is very real. But here's a big secret! Your greatest sellers are already your best writers. This makes one of the current debates raging in social media right now regarding whether salespeople should write, for all intents and purposes... moot.

Syntax? Grammar? Spelling? Is anybody paying attention? Do you know how much sloppy writing distracts and even distances your customer from the message that you're trying to give them?

Clarity? Simplicity? Ingenuity? Must-haves if you want to get a compelling business insight across to your dream customer. Let's talk about 'writing'... a word almost as dirty as 'attrition' in the salesperson's lexicon.

If you really think that your salespeople are not writing when they are selling to your most important clients, what do you think they're doing? They have a keyboard in front of them. They're answering texts. They're shooting emails and most importantly, they're devising the concepts contained in them - hopefully 'strategically' - in their minds. Let's not let them sabotage their own best ideas with stupid errors or confused expression.

Do you want to improve your sales cycle both in time and substance? Do you want to raise the closing percentage of your soon to be world class sales organization? Make sure that each element of your sales team has the tools to communicate as clearly, succinctly and as effectively as possible. That means knowing how to write forcefully and clearly.

There has been some confusion on this subject due to the concern of executives that sales team members should be working on selling and don't necessarily have to know about copywriting. But since the line of communication between your company and its customers is mostly maintained through the writing of its salespeople during the sales cycle, what better investment than to improve the writing skills of those who are actually the interface between you and your customers.

My theory is the following. After having invested a very small amount of training into basic syntax, grammar and spelling, the sales team should have at its disposal what I call The 'Manager Editor' who not only reviews what goes out from the sales team to the blogosphere, not only encourages clarity and brevity, but now has a much more hands-on knowledge of what actually is occurring between his sales team and customer base.

This is, in itself, a characteristic of inbound marketing which should shorten the sales cycle, give sales people a greater sense of control, and provide management with a simple set of data points that they can use to evaluate the quality of the sales cycle and the quality of the salesperson.

Some have argued that giving salespeople this kind of freer rein may have the potential to erode the standardization of sales processes. However, there is a greater liability in sending every customer generic content when we know that the personalized, individualized, insight-driven communication is more likely to keep the customer engaged, so the cycle can come to a successful conclusion.

As confidence grows in the individual sales person's own ability to find their voice and be on the fast track toward more masterful writing, they will simultaneously fast track their ability to close sales. The power of you company's communication - verbally and in writing - is commensurate with your power to close business.

My experience shows that most salespeople have blocks when it comes to communicating in writing to their customers. Uncertainties about the right word, the right phrase, etc., abound, and cause delays in their efficiency. Thus, I see that a minimum of training about writing - helps them to clear up their own misgivings and concerns, which will ultimately be an investment that will pay back in spades with more time available for selling.

For any major executive who becomes white knuckled thinking about this concept, think of empowering your sales managers as editors, and you will find that conditions will improve immediately. By the way, believe it or not, many of these sales managers are already doing this... and it's working! The better you coach your writers, the more likely you could end up with a pool of quality public speakers for your next customer-centred event!

As executives, we have all experienced embarrassment at improper or weak outbound messaging from our staff. The 'Manager Editor' will shore up the levies that will ensure that garbage doesn't overflow toward a customer.

Sales and marketing must reach a detente. One of the greatest risks to a consistent corporate message is weak or incorrect verbiage. An executive, in a customer's firm, who receives sloppy writing will often dismiss the entire message, even a deal, even the entire company on the basis of that one fatal mistake. Am I overexaggerating? Not a bit. After all, there are a dozen competitors in every deal, so you can distinguish yourself on a positive basis or be cut out completely on the basis of something as simple as misspelling the executive's first name!

The editing function will dovetail perfectly with social media governance. This way, you allow for the greatest amount of creativity but still ensure the message is consistent, much like the traditional journalistic editor whose power to create clear content is legendary.

How are the largest and most successful companies solving this important problem now? They are NOT!...because they're overlooking the leverage they would gain in sales if they would just improve the quality of the output.

Clients ask, "What about the phone, Tony?" The answer is obvious. The better, the clearer, the more solid the writing, the more likely that every phone call will be more valuable. Engaging content that is not peppered with silly spelling, platitudes or grammatical errors will have the most dramatic effect on creating more face to face interviews and more efficient and qualified phone interaction. This will have a more dramatic impact on your pipeline than banal phone scripts and high pressure closing tactics that are relics from a bygone era.

The face of your brand includes the everyday content delivered by your brightest salespeople and unfortunately, the most lackadaisical. Are you reading it? I would argue that if you're generals are not reading it, editing it and injecting insight into it, you are leaving millions of dollars on the table. Incisive writing, coupled with editorial control, are the table stakes of the sales leaders of the next two decades. CEOs – your future and that of your salespeople depends on it! The extinction of the field sales function is not inevitable. Create indispensability. Create better writers.

There is a battlefield of wounded, highly qualified, editorial and copy experts who would rise from the dead for the opportunity to be hired to help achieve these goals. Just as we have sales engineers, why not deploy a phalanx of 'sales editors' as a consultants to your organization? Thus, hundreds of years of experience in getting a clear message out in the print media can now be used as a weapon for your sales team. Arm them!

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: John O'Nolan

Top 10 Most Eccentric Content Marketing Hacks For Total Web Domination

1. Ideation trumps creation trumps curation. I've shared a picture of Elon Musk because of his first principles Physics way of thinking. If you deconstruct systems into their fundamental parts and rebuild them from the ground up it's feasible to generate new ideas the world has never seen. He's never afraid to take moonshots and think bigger. Colonizing Mars? Unlimited energy? Hyperloop? I rest my case. “Today it costs over a billion dollars for a space shuttle flight. The cost… is fundamentally what's holding us back from becoming a space traveling civilization and ultimately a multi-planet species.” - Elon Musk

2. Long form content outperforms short form. The establishment will contest this point but I've received some of the most phenomenal traction with content that is over 2,000 words. Tell the entire story. Be willing to put some steak with the sizzle. There's just far too much click bait and flash in the pan on the internet. If you write an authentic long form story you may just break the internet. "I love when people underestimate me and then become pleasantly surprised." - Kim Kardashian

3. Writing passionately from the heart resonates. What matters most to you in your heart of hearts? What are you all about? What gets you fired-up and what do you truly believe in? Paradoxically, people are playing it safe in content marketing. You could write an op-ed or you could just shoot from the hip and express your truth. Manifestos, open letters and expressions of what we're all thinking but never say go viral. It's a unique portrait of your Beatles 'Day in the Life.' Extoll megalithic world changing ideas as well as the excruciatingly mundane. You'll be relatable. You might even get groupies! “You know, I'm not one of these people that just because I've done all that I now become Superman. You can't touch me. You know, you can touch me. I'm very, unfortunately, very reachable." - Sir James Paul McCartney

4. Believe it or not, we are all subject matter experts about something so celebrate the niche you know. Even if you are the world's Cricket encyclopedia and that's all you know, go with it. Relate cricket to business, to politics, to strategy. The analogies to what you know best are extremely interesting to readers. They give context and a deeper meaning. "Cricket is a most precarious profession; it is called a team game but, in fact, no one is so lonely as a batsman facing a bowler supported by ten fieldsmen and observed by two umpires to ensure that his error does not go unpunished." - John Arlott

5. Breaking all the rules yields unexpected outcomes so exercise your poetic license. I've made the case for grammar, syntax and writing expertise. I'll also make the case for freedom of expression, creativity and unexpected prose. Even the way you write, can be the key differentiator to making it unusual on the web. For those that read me, you're aware that I can write conservative B2B strategy content in an expository fashion with the best of them but I frequently tend to bend the rules of writing and defy gravity! If what you write lights up a room and puts a huge smile on your face, if you get calls after you've hit publish from concerned family and friends – you've won! “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou

6. Dry, safe and boring fails. You want to be Mac, not PC.

If you can wrap phenomenal Youtility content in a cloak of exciting analogy, metaphor, storytelling or hyperbole it's a sleeper hit, wolf in sheep's clothing and it will reach a far wider audience.

Messy sex hair content will outperform the buttoned up approach. “Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?” - Steve Jobs

7. Focus on making your content immediately useful. Can the reader apply your advice today and get tangible results? “Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are possessed by our possessions.” - Peace Pilgrim

8. Your truth is stranger than fiction. Tell true stories from your journey. It's filled with bizarre characters worth writing about. “The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” - Hunter S. Thompson

9. Chances are, you're funnier than you think; certainly quirkier. Be unabashedly humorous, uninhibited and unrestrained. Audiences will find this incredibly refreshing. “I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anything - which as you know, always leads to something - cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything.” - Jerry Seinfeld

10. Think of yourself as a content mixologist. Mix, mash and splice like Jackson Pollock. An impressionist beautiful mess resonates in contrast to the perfect symmetry of a white paper from the corporate marketing department. Remarkable imagery is worth thousands of words especially pictures that wouldn't ordinarily fit together like the ones in this post. Entice with a veritable cornucopia, feast for the eyes! “It doesn't make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said. Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement.” - Jackson Pollock

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: martinak15

5 Lover's Quarrel Ends: Sales & Marketing Must Bury the Hatchet

This is no longer about chucking the 'good leads' over the wall only to have bitter enmity grow between the marketing team and sales. It goes beyond that. The entire organization needs to generate unique, compelling insight. It's not Marketing's fault Sales can't close their leads. It's not Sales fault that Marketing is so out of touch. Let's not even get to the impact this vicious cycle has on Client Services trying to fulfill on solutions sold that the company probably doesn't even deliver.

The lines between sales and marketing have inextricably blurred. It's time to get stakeholders from all sides into the same room weekly to get on the same page.

  1. Marketing and Sales must collaborate together to build an insight generating flywheel machine. If you think this will erode selling time, think again. Generic decks and off kilter personas from the marketing team that don't align with top seller's vision, clutter the pipeline and create busy work ad nauseam.
  2. Marketers work hard and often make great sellers. They're masters of lead gen and due diligence experts. Sellers needing marketing skills and marketers need selling skills. Exchange books, ideas and training programs. Build an interdisciplinary marketing and sales superpower.
  3. Content marketing has changed the game for inbound selling, marketing and PR. If you haven't embraced a culture of content generation, you are simply behind the times. Every person on your staff should be blogging about their expertise. The caveat is obviously strong social media policy but that's so ten years ago. Build in quality control via a series of editors, even if you bring in former journalists to your content team, as LinkedIn is does. Massive open source software companies can now scale to tens of millions of dollars through community learning centers alone, pumping out vibrant, lively user generated forum content that attracts the key B2B customers, incentivizing them with value added services.
  4. The costs of paid content and native advertising are astronomical in contrast to guerrilla efforts customer driven and amplified. You need to be paying for a portion as a catalyst but a strong organic strategy is sound for SEO juice to fill the funnel. Google is a cash machine and for good reason. Jason Miller of LinkedIn, recently made the case that paying to promote select content in a "bat out of hell" strategy for the "big rock" content like The Sophisticated Marketer's Guide to LinkedIn, is essential. Thisexclusive interview is insanely relevatory. ––– 'I’ve seen ‘Big Rock’ content drive millions of dollars in business…. The first ‘Big Rock’ piece of content we created at LinkedIn over a year ago was called The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide To LinkedIn and has driven more than $4.6 million in business in just the first 90 days- it’s still bringing in business to this day!'
  5. Seth Godin said that 'all marketers are liars' and then as a corollary to that hit book redefined them as 'storytellers.' Truth be it told, only a data driven approach, that benchmarks performance, highlights case studies and allows your best customers to generate new customers, will ever be trusted. Bottom line is both sellers and marketers are fighting a tarnished image and reputation. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and there's just too much spam, scam and get-rich-quick empty promises reaching epidemic proportions in this modern incarnation of the internet.

These quotes from Jason Miller, Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Marketing Solutions at LinkedIn are just too phenomenal to pass up. Buy his stellar book: 'Welcome to the Funnel' to here and rock out with him! Underscore, double-underline, solar-flare high ninjitsu kick on these gemstones of quotes:

If you’re not using some kind of marketing automation… you’re behind the times!”
I’d rather one piece of content be viewed by 15 CMOs that I want to reach than a thousand-practioner types that we’re not trying to reach”
It’s 2015, folks: Native advertising – if you’re not paying to promote your best content then you’re missing opportunities."
At the end of the day, you don’t need to create more content you need to create morerelevant content”
I worry about our messaging being too forward-thinking…it’s no good if what you’re saying is not relevant to your audience or their current interests”
You have to repurpose the hell out of your content – make sure it’s optimized for every channel where your audience is.”
Marketers who use the right technology can now show their contribution to pipeline and prove that they’re a revenue-driver not a cost center.”
Don’t let your ego hijack your content strategy… I’m not concerned with the number of shares, I’m concerned with who is sharing it.”

It's time to break down the silos and competing methodologies and realize both groups are very much morphing into the same thing. The 'smarketing' of 2020 is about attraction. It's about building audiences and increasing engagement. The sales cycle on magnificent content can take up to 2 years to convert according to the prescient Tony Hsieh of Zappos. Here's a mind-blowing slideshare by Rand Fishkin of Moz that you should sit through explaining why your content marketing efforts are failing. It has massive implications on complex B2B marketing and sales alignment.

You have to ask yourself, whenever you are producing any type of content, Who will amplify this and why? ~ @randfishTechEmergence

Now it's your turn: Where do you see sales and marketing going? Will it become 'smarketing?' Will this battle du jour ever end? Do you agree with this article? I would love to hear your most outrageous or innovative thoughts about revolutionizing sales and marketing into something that works in a modern context below.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: MGEARTWORKS

Frequency – What Sex And LinkedIn Have In Common

I'm almost through my first 90 days of Blogging exclusively within LinkedIn. It's been exhilarating and exhausting – the honeymoon phase of my affair with LinkedIn Publisher is very much still alive. I'm besotted by LinkedIn as the most powerful publishing platform on Earth:

  • There are 430 million members
  • 40% of LinkedIn members use it daily
  • 60% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers research before engaging
  • CEO members have an average of 930 connections.
  • 90% of business decision-makers in Australia are there which is highest penetration in the world
  • Two people join LinkedIn every second
  • There are 200 million unique views of page content every day
  • There are 28 billion page views in an average quarter

You are 500% more likely to secure a meeting using a LinkedIn 'warm introduction' than from a cold call or cold e-mail. But not with clumsy 'spam' InMail. Salespeople who use LinkedIn intelligently are also 50% more likely to achieve their sales revenue targets.

So, LinkedIn is the world's most powerful social platform for business-to-business (B2B) and one key to achieving cut-through is 'insight publishing'. But how frequently should you be 'doing it' – what's the right amount of posting? Being a newlywed to LinkedIn Publisher, I'm propagating content several times a day when I can – certainly once a day is my minimum. My wife, in the real world, has given me permission to spend evenings with my publishing mistress and I've been going at it like a rabbit.

Some people have asked how in the world I'm punching out such a high volume of quality content. I've been asked: 'Surely you're paying someone else to write all this?' But let me share a secret – It’s 100% all my IP and I’m writing 4 hours a night; no TV at all and my wife has been wonderful in allowing me to disappear after dinner to plunge into social media to launch myself globally. I’m not paying anyone to ghost write and I’ve re-purposed a lot of my previous website, book and whitepaper content. My biggest post has had almost 200,000 reads in LinkedIn compared with just 76 reads on my website previously as a whitepaper. I'm a writer and have already published a best selling book, The Joshua Principle, Leadership Secrets of Selling.

Writing is like a muscle; it becomes stronger the more you use it but I am under no illusion; if I post low value 'white noise' rubbish, I will be unfollowed faster than you can say #StrategicSocialSelling. Nor can I get away with disrespecting readers by posting 'let me tell you what you already know' dross – I would be dumped like a jilted lover. But I'm giving my best and the response has staggered me. I write for you assuming that you know the fundamentals of social media, professional selling, leadership, and sales enabling technologies. I write for an adult audience, not at a tabloid or high school reader level. I never publish click-bait to lure you away from LinkedIn.

But I'll admit that my LinkedIn publishing is new ground... a bold experiment. To my knowledge, I'm the first person in the world to dump their website blog completely and go all-in on LinkedIn. I do this even though there's no RSS capabilities for me to be able to use tools such as Tribber to easily amplify content within my trusted network (John Smibert at Strategic Selling and Anthony Iannarino from The Sales Blog are top of my list).

In a few weeks I'll publish a 90 day case study and transparently reveal the results of my LinkedIn mania and it will surprise you. As an example of what's happening for me (without any push marketing or interrupt selling), ten days ago LinkedIn themselves invited me to write for them and you'll begin to see my content published by them from March onward. Yesterday Kelly Riggs from#BizLockerRadio invited me to be interviewed on his hugely successful program.

There have been many genuine people who've reached-out to me offering advice and few suggested I reduce the frequency of my posting. Almost all of them have subsequently written to me with a change of opinion and encouraged me to continue. This InMail from David is an example and he kindly allowed me to provide this screenshot as an example.

I've been told that there's actually such a thing as 'bad sex'... wow. And now backwards... WOW! It's hard to imagine such a thing. Yet bad writing abounds and we see it everywhere in social. Volume kills quality and we're all so incredibly busy. But commitment can overcome the most insurmountable of difficulties.

Almost all of us would love to experience exhilaration at least once a day. Think back to when you were hormonally in love... fifty shades of beige but without the weirdness. It's not about how often you indulge and the best sex occurs when you give yourself fully to the other person. I've always believed that great sex is had with genuine love, skillful enthusiasm and a little humor.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: Mark Taylor Cunningham

10 Steps To Build Wildly Remarkable LinkedIn Publisher Content Daily

Writing is something uniquely human, the ultimate form of self expression. So why all the cheesy listicles on LinkedIn? There's a very good reason! What influences the most viral content on LinkedIn to go viral? How can I rapidly construct daily 'hit it for six' B2B content that will be rapidly shared? Which images should I share and where should I source them? How do I come up with the ideal titles? What about writer's block and frequency? Here are 10 simple ways after much trial and error:

  1. 60% of the impact is the title. 30% is the image. 10% is the content.80/20 on LinkedIn works like this: 80% of readers just like it and only 20% read the whole way through. Build a powerful title that would pull YOU to click through first. I actually have a list of thousands of titles that I pull from in Evernote prior to constructing each post.
  2. List PostsWhy and How-Tos resonate most. Why? It allows busy executives to 'snack' the content. People are looking for unique, snackable, actionable takeaways. Leverage hyperbole or extremes because a strong opinion connects emotionally to the right hemisphere of the brain. Good content is the enemy of great. Safe is the enemy of bold. Think of it this way:Youtility. Can your reader immediately go apply your posts to their lives andgarner results? Hence this exact post you're reading now!
  3. Push yourself on ideation over creation. A+ content infrequently performs far worse than B+ content frequently. Google crawls Publisher and to be seen as a publisher, frequency is critical. Publish every day. The crux of ideation is the power of original ideas. I'm not opposed to publishing growth hacks... How can you constantly generate remarkable ideas and prevent writer's block / burnout? See my next point #4.

4. Mashups aka hybrid synergy. Blend the old with the new. Be anachronistic. Take a sport like cycling, a TV show, a story, something comedic, any bizarre topic you understand, could even be stamp collecting and use it as an analogy. Wingsuited base jumping sales maneuvers was a fun post I did. Why Sales Is Like James Bond in Goldfinger! Humor is huge. I had a post called Unicorn Alert!!! To provide value, I've been getting phenomenal traction by building content based on classic strategic selling and advanced social selling. Sharing your own real world experience is uber powerful. Including YouTube videos in your posts is a very strong technique so build out your YouTube channel with authentic selfie videos and plug them into posts. Lampoon the power base and turn the satire up to 11. Create new categories of content and hashtags. #strategicsocialselling is my new pink!

5. Leverage Flickr Commons for header images: Pull free images here and provide attribution and link back to the originator's page. It's the right thing to do! Search that link by 'use for commercial purposes.' Especially if you sell a book or consulting services.

6. Nothing is more eye catching and beautiful than the human face so feature it. You'll notice my hidden agenda of female empowerment and equality. My two cents is there should be more women in leadership – the world would be a vastly better place. The human face is capable of 10,000+ expressions. When in doubt, a picture of Richard Branson smiling will always rank well for example. How about a cute baby, kitten or puppy? I'm serious!

7. Push your ideas to the outer poles of the spectrum or break the fourth wall. Taking a contrarian stance is massively effective. Controversy for the sake of controversy backfires whereas paradoxessacred cows orupending the prevailing wisdom / status quo is highly intriguing to readers. The fourth wall is the concept of the known unknowns. If you can present a black swan idea and literally turn an industry upside down, this could be via futurism of technology or a contrarian stance on a megalithic system, it can take off. I suggest starting with an 'open letter' to your industry. Dispel mythsand chip away at the bureaucracy of it all. Tell the David versus Goliath storyas a business parable when a point solution won against the incumbent!

8. Don't be afraid to share long form content. The perfect blog post takes 7 minutes to read and is about 1,700 - 1,900 words. Think of the New Yorker or a phenomenal article in your favorite magazine. Oddly, once you've hooked the reader they'll often be disappointed if you don't put some steak with the sizzle. Link back out to your other posts! – The majority of the links in this article reference specific aspects of my LinkedIn Corpus of 146 posts in under 90 days! Maybe it's a bizarre social experiment or challenge, like that lady that ate every meal at Starbucks for one year. Document it! Blog as you experiment.

9. Share your personal stories: Yes, I know it's daunting to spill your guts on LinkedIn. I shared my story of a plane crash I survived as an ultralight pilot and related it to leadership. Great mashup, true story and highly relatable. Opening up the intimate details of my journey helps me to be more relatable to an audience looking for truth in real world experience. Take my90-Day LinkedIn Publisher Challenge and build a case study out of it. Don't be afraid to get political or express your opinion. I stood with Apple in the rap battle for the ages against Microsoft. I even referenced The Quest for the Holy Grail of Sales Enablement. Teach people how they can make more money in business or become more successful.

10. Optimism, futurism and positivity: LinkedIn is remarkable in that shock content doesn't work. Negative media style shock and awe goes thud. Thank goodness. Wildly utopian, innovative, futuristic, inspirational, bold and 'punchy' content gives readers hope and stimulates the imagination. Apparently, I am often offensively positive! Is that possible? Don't be afraid to dream. 'Imagination is more important than knowledge.' To quote Jack Canfield, "Feel the fear and do it anyway".

11. Bonuses: LinkedIn is about open sourcegive your intellectual property away freely. If your readers garner actionable insight daily, they'll seek out and buy your book, products or services. Fact. Remember to leverage the power of Newsjacking, time your posting topics to current events, Google and Twitter trending topics. Build Twitter lists and write posts in response to other top trending posts or debate other posts. Give other authors love! Write your own mini manifesto like I did on Australia Day in support of 18MM salespeople everywhere! Share your Syllabusbecause you're a specialist! Think in terms of moonshots and 10X.

Make no mistake – I'm encouraging you to take positive risks and step outside your comfort zone. Also realize if you set a goal to blog daily, you need to hold yourself accountable. Parkinson's Law states that 'work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion' so you may lose a bit of sleep at first but you'll eventually fall into a rhythm of posting.

Here's a phenomenal analysis of David Kerpen's most successful LinkedIn posts.He's a content genius and was first to market. I also found this anatomy of a perfect blog post incredibly insightful. Lastly, here's an analysis of 3,000 of the top LinkedIn Publisher posts. My suggestion would be to take a data driven approach and A/B test.

Ultimately, not all your posts will get tagged into the channels. Posts on leadership tend to get wide engagement as that channel has over 9MM followers. The key metric is likes but posts that take off tend to garner hundreds of shares. Dry B2B white paper content does not work on LinkedIn to build your engagement funnel. At least, that's been my experience. The overarching rule of success in LinkedIn publisher is: push the envelope. Fortune favors the bold so think differently and express who you truly are. Say out loud what everyone's thinking and you'll have a hit record on your hands in no time...

Where is this all going? Engagement, warm qualified leads, speaking engagements, guest blogging, new consulting clients, super-networking or even your dream job? Your content is your calling card and the clarion call into a new realm of possibility. You'll have to trust me on this one so I'll see you at the end of the rainbow.

In closing, the biggest secret I can share with you on posting the most remarkable paradigm shifting, curve-jumping, innovative content on the interwebs Kawasaki? Find a willing and able millennial and let them train you! They are ninjas in social media and will school you. Write about it! Be open to a reverse mentorship.

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main Image Photo by: Lili Vieira de Carvalho

Cracking The LinkedIn Publisher Code - 30+ Mystical Magical Bullets

What I'm about to post may be deemed as controversial but these are truths I hold to be self evident, empirically true after over 150 posts on LinkedIn Publisher in a 90 day period. Even the executives at LinkedIn may dispute some of these but I utilize them over and over again and they hold true. Leveraging them, I've been able to outperform most writers I see on LinkedIn. Granted, that does not include LinkedIn Influencers. Acceptance to that group was closed way before Publishing capability was extended to mere mortals like me. I do notice they keep letting celebrities, captains and Kings in there but that's neither here or there. On the chess board I play on, here's how to actually out-compete and quantum leap your content strategy to get noticed. Let this very post prove it!

  1. The optimal length of a LinkedIn Publisher article is 1,900 words (a 7 minute read).
  2. Write daily and if you're ambitious about 10Xing your inbound marketing twice per day. If you're ultra ambitious take the 90-day LinkedIn Challenge and write 1,900 word posts twice per day.
  3. Result: Insane levels of pull marketing - I'm generating over 30 inbound LinkedIn invites per day now. I went from 1,600 to 6,600 followers in 90 days and garnered 346,000 unique page views.
  4. Many of my posts crescendo over 1,000 reads with 50 Likes, 25 comments and hundreds of shares tagged to channels like Marketing, Sale Strategies, LinkedIn Tips and Leadership & Management. I'm going to release a full case study but I rank in the top 1%, my SSI shot up to 87 (without being on Sales Navigator) and I've outranked some authors that honestly have been at this for ten years so in humility I won't mention their names.
  5. Pictures of human faces outrank everything else. (Just like this free Flickr Commons one)
  6. Growth hacks ranks well as do list posts, how-tos and hyperbole.
  7. 60% of success is determined by the picture, 30% by the title and 10% by the content. Make the photo count, make the title over the top, make the content a snackable list so crazy-busy executives (like you reading this!) can skim it and still derive great value.
  8. Of the 80% who like it, only 20% will read the entire post (yep, even this one!)
  9. Likes are the biggest determinant (leading indicator) of LinkedIn Publisher success. Comments are rare so treat them as precious and potential leads.
  10. Profile views generated by LinkedIn Publisher posts within 72 hours are also leads. Followers are leads. (Engage meaningfully with all these folks with a personalized invite and find out what made them engage.)
  11. I'm not encouraging you to be LION but if you write daily, embed a business email address where you can be reached in this format, encouraging your base to contact you with ideas, feedback and to ask for business advice: tony at rsvpselling dot com (can't be scraped by spammers).
  12. My book sales have gone through the roof thanks to LinkedIn Publisher activity. I embed links to download the eBook and Audible book rarely. In fact to prove it, I won't even tell you the name of my book or where to get it. (Oddly, a few people will probably go buy it after reading this paragraph. I find buyers in my comment threads daily now who reference it – super grateful!)
  13. The best way to generate new business sales, grow existing business and fill your funnel chock-full of the perfect leads? Write high quality specialized subject matter expert content every day on LinkedIn Publisher. The engagement levels are commensurate to a traditional blog with 200,000 followers. Do the math – 5% open rate with a 2% read rate on 200K followers is 4,000 uniques. I frequently do 10,000 uniques in one week. It's no joke, this medium is crazy powerful due to Metcalfe's law = the power of network effects.
  14. I literally stopped blogging at my traditional website and am on pace to exceed speaking engagements, consulting and book revenue in just the first quarter of 2015. (Let me train your team on how to do this and still crush quota - I have 30 years of complex B2B selling management and individual quota bearing experience in the field. Don't worry – phones are still a huge part!)
  15. Leverage Twitter as an amplification system to boost traffic to each Publisher post. Just to test how viral Twitter is, I often only hit the share to twitter button one time. With just that one Tweet 'heard round the world,' I'll often garner two or three dozen retweets which send hundreds of new and existing viewers in. Result? More inbound invites, likes, comments, shares, inbound emails, book sales, requests for consulting, coaching and speaking engagements and the One Key Metric (OKM) I base my success off of, which is a new metric on the internet: LINKEDIN PUBLISHER FOLLOWERS.
  16. Humor! Traditional B2B content is a walking brochure, insanely dry. Go back and look at some of my posts. It's a mix of Monty Python's flying circus meets Wayne's World, Fawlty Towers and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I have way way way too much fun. Why? Because people love it and it actually gets read. I exercise my poetic license to thrill!
  17. Everything David Meerman Scott writes about in his two bestsellers is the absolute blueprint for dominating in here. New Rules of Marketing and PR, plus Sales & Service contain everything you need to know so buy those two books and then go into massive 10X action writing your heart out on here and building a dynamic audience on the subjects you're most passionate about that matter. If it moves YOU it will move your base. Your base is desperately seeking your content. Right now? Will you hit publish? I dare you not to!
  18. Here are the top subjects you all love to read most that I write – it varies for everyone: Social Selling, LinkedIn Growth Hacks, Leadership, CRM Issues and Hiring and Firing of Sales People. (Again, this is empirical based on recurring themes.) Did I miss any?
  19. Newsjacking, Mashups, Analogies and Metaphors work devastatingly well on here. Mash up your favorite sport with anologies and insights into business. How 'bout a current event mixed with humor and prose? The Tao (way) of Anything, lists of any kind that are wildly creative and hyperbolic e.g. 32 Ways James Bond Would Close an Enterprise Deal, 12 Reasons Beyonce Is A PR Genius. Don't dismiss this as meaningless listicle content! If you're wildly creative, LinkedIn Audiences will reward you. You should be checking Google Trends, Twitter Trending Topics and LinkedIn Pulse Top 25 everyday.
  20. Controversy and negativity won't help you. This isn't CNN. What does work is finding a highly contested post like the CEO who will never hire a salesperson and then unpacking it paragraph by paragraph in a formal response or take down. I even saw an author ad hominem attack someone in the headline on here. So much pressure was applied by the greater community, he later reneged on the post and took it down after several formal apologies - realizing he'd shredded his brand reputation taking on an august speaker in Canada. LinkedIn polices itself but freedom of speech is very much alive and well, even applauded. Take positive risks with your true opinions!
  21. Build your own Lists of Thought Leaders and announce them on LinkedIn Publisher. I built a Top 100 Strategic Social Seller List and to dogfood these outrageous purple cow Godin content ideas in this article, dubbed them 100 Unicorns. It went viral. I tweeted it out over 30 times to notify them. Most retweeted. Then some of my followers went and requested them all. Over 50% added back. Was this based on advanced analytics and listening algorithms or Klout score like mechanism? Not in the slightest.
  22. I manually read 200 thought leader blogs from a list in Twitter I named Web 3.0 Champions (notifying all of them how awesome they are!) and after 90 days of observation felt I had a pretty good grip on who was applying old school and new school methods. Hence #strategicsocialselling, a spanking new hashtag I started and hopefully a new twist on advanced B2B complex strategic selling in social I've coined. I can't claim to invent it because those aforementioned unicorns live it. Thought leaders like Mike Weinberg and Jill Konrath embody a super strategic approach to social media that will drive concrete revenue results for your organization. Jill Rowley and Timothy Hughes are teaching enterprises how to adopt these platforms at scale to exceed quota.
  23. Paradoxic of our Ages = Professionals are starving for great content. There are 1,000 channels and nothing's on. This is why pay for play premium content like HBO Go does sensationally well. We're starving for quality and a better story. Audible and Kindle sales are through the roof. Real world knowledge that works, that we can execute on for true success results is a diamond in the digital rough, a glint in a cloud of chaos! Short posts only sizzle - give them the steak, I say! Executives need utility content which becomes YOUTILITY. Serve the community and allow for a User Generated Feedback Loop and Virtuous Cycle. Your dream customers need posts like this so that they can stay intrigued and than punch above their weight in immediate real world application that is NOW. If you can write things that get your customers results, it's game over. You'll win on LinkedIn Publisher.
  24. Some of the highest ranking posts in here have had one super striking photo. Others I share, have dozens of hilarious photos. I typically source from Creative Commons with attribution in the field above.
  25. Chip away at myths, call out what everyone's thinking about LinkedIn. Satirizing and lampooning the cottage industry you're in which in any market niche is a bit like 'Best In Show', is a great way to go to source great content. I've likened a daily publisher campaign that succeeds wildly on LinkedIn to serialized writing for Seinfeld. I've even identified an amorphous muse I call 'The Writers.' Is this a Joseph Campbellesque modern mythology? Probably. What inspires me the most? People like Elon Musk who do bizarre backflips with technology.
  26. Take one simple idea like salespeople being 'face sucking aliens' and turn it into 1,900 words. Think macro and micro - do both at the same time. Explore the bleeding edges and the paradox. Explore with world is flat beliefs. Risks being Galileo - I promise you your crowd will thank you rather than lock you in the tower! Build one amusing mashup after another and blast it out. Why David HasselHoff Would By A Sales Manager's Worst Nightmare. Funny, punchy, extreme and humorous. It's edutainment! The right brain remembers stories. She who tells the best story wins on LinkedIn Publisher. Ideation trumps creation. Creation trumps curation. If you can come up with unique ideas it doesn't matter if your prose are like Malcolm Gladwell – you'll do just fine – you'll be read and celebrated. This is science laced with art. B2B needs a shot in the arm of disruption and creative ideas.
  27. Remember: until you get haters, you haven't turned it up loud enough. If your friends and family are not writing in warning you about how frequently you're posting and how over the top it all is, you haven't pushed this medium far enough. I did, and now I'm training enterprises on how to implement this intra-organizationallly, extrinsically and with respect to managers as editors, corporate governance and social media policy compliance.
  28. Net net, SMBs, enterprises, entrepreneurs and thought leaders of all stripes are facing one great fundamental challenge on the modern internet as it quantum leaps to 3.0: Relevance - being the signal in the noise. Pulling dream customers to them with sticky content! MOVE FROM PUSH TO PULL < marinate on that concept alone. Be the garden that attracts the butterflies not build bigger, better and faster nets burning money in the fireplace.
  29. Tell remarkable, true stories and write B2B fiction and nonfiction as an Aesop's fable to illustrate the point. Soliloquy and Allegory make sensational bedfellows. Pull the top 10 points from the best 5 books you've read in a series of posts. Parse the best content and quotes. Pull a series of things that annoy you about Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Take screenshots of the most remarkable things you've seen in content. Share your Syllabi.
  30. Pump out YouTube selfie video content and percolate your posts with it.
  31. Interview other thought leaders, authors and stakeholders in your own company and turn those into LinkedIn Publisher posts. Konrath is an ace at this!
  32. Request 3 paragraphs from anyone you're connected to and book-end it with your thoughts to generate posts.
  33. Take on the establishment and the sacred cows. We know CRM is broken. We know too many bad salespeople are still on the payroll. We know effective and efficient social selling is possible and nobody has seemed to effectively teach the advanced methods. Poor customer experience makes your head explode. We know politics is 'corruption at its finest.' Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. 'When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace," professed Jimi Hendrix and I'm not afraid to write about it in the context of leadership. The leader is the culture!
  34. We know enterprise sales is full of snake oil. We know we still have to pick up the telephone. We know leadership gaps are destroying civil societies. We know there's no quick fix, hack job, push button solution to a real problem. We know women are smarter than men and there should be gobs more in the C-Suite... ad infinitum. Have the courage to express what everyone else is thinking to themselves in their heart of hearts.
  35. If you experiment enough in this medium you can develop 35+ mystical magic bullets of your own and an equally outrageous title to boot! Empirically, I'm convinced I've developed specialized knowledge of LinkedIn Publisher that is esoteric. Writers like Jeff Haden, Dave Kerpen and Bruce Kasanoff get it. Even the establishment at LinkedIn might disagree but paradoxically have asked me to blog for them. Length: Limited to 600 words. I'm honored and privileged to be on here and welcome your thoughts, dissent and reactions to this big reveal. What's working amazingly well for you? Are you willing to go ballistic on here for 90 days, rant, worldwide rave and drive a boatload of the right kind of organic traffic to everything you stand for?
  36. Your turn __________________ !

Remember the paradox of all phenomenal content one might ever publish on the web: It's a great big universe of readers so every time you post, someone is discovering you for the first time. That's why it's critical to think of content strategy in terms of recurring themes, humanization: aka the babies and puppies factor, humor like a cavalcade of 'guys in suits' and where am I driving mainly to check if you're still reading?

Content is either evergreen to be used over and over again and remain valid like any syndicated hit TV show or super recent, pulled out of trending topics, breaking news or trending hashtags. If you are 100% your authentic self, those that disagree with you will just stop following you or delete you. Once you crank up your publishing approach to 11, you'll gain 100 followers for every one that deletes you. Guy Kawasaki proved this many times. Personally, I'm not a fan of ever duplicating anything because of the ramifications on SEO juice. I try to switch up every Tweet and share. I use to monitor hundreds of blogs. I often pull four or five quotes out of an article and blast that out to TweetDeck for a lark. But mainly I allow my subscribers and followers to handle the heavy lifting of amplification for me.

I've often written and asked LinkedIn executives and many connections on here concerning what really works in Publisher. It's clearly an algorithm and it's also possible to get an Editor's Pick. The resounding response? There's no rhyme or reason to the algorithm. But then when I apply the above crazy set of best practices I've developed to a post like this, I can often simply engineer in a viral successful outcome. So I'll leave this Easter Egg to close: Inside my corpus of 150 blogs I reference 3 specific data driven studies of what ranks best on the greater blogosphere as well as an analysis of 3,000 of the top ranking LinkedIn Publisher posts. To prove my last point, I won't even share it here. I'm confident you'll find those diamonds in the haystack and leverage them to your greatest strategic competitive advantage.

Thanks for listening and for all the support, and for being a part of this bizarre thought experiment and cutting me a whole bunch of slack so that I can entertain, inspire and hopefully help you drive more business – every day!

All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king. - J.R.R Tolkien

TJH (in 2,975 words).

P.S. Here is an enhanced version of the Tolkien poem in my very last LinkedIn post! 

If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website:

Main image photo by Flickr: Johanna Krauel