Content Strategy

President Obama Narcissis-stick validation of SPIN Selling

This is the selfie shot with a narcissis-stick that went around the globe. Anyone who doubts the power of social media to build brands and sell a message must be living in a cave. Yet so many business people still act as if social is a fad – an aberration being touted and smuggled into the workplace by millennial and Gen-Y employees.

It's time to wake up! Savvy social media strategy won the presidency – twice. It's winning your deals for your competitors that you never even got invited to. There are 330 million people on LinkedIn, 2 people join every second, there are 200,000,000 unique views per day and 28,000,000,000 page views per quarter. 40% of users are in LinkedIn every day, 60% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers research before engaging. It's the biggest publishing platform in the world. The average CEO has 930 connections in LinkedIn... and you're still wondering if you should invest time in uploading a more professional photo!

Tweet this: Those who use LinkedIn for a 'warm introduction' are 500% more likely to secure a meeting. Also Tweet this: Those who have strong Social Selling Index scores (I am in the top 1%... believe me it works), are 50% more likely to achieve their revenue targets.

Social media is not some weird geeky teenage non-understandable web of confusion. It's simply a bunch of free messaging, publishing and engagement platforms where hugely powerful networks of people hang-out. The smartest businesses use social to listen, research, publish, engage and collaborate. Take off your hand-made black leather loafers, ditch the socks, roll up your Armani trousers and wade into the digital waters... it will transform your business life and results.

We live in the age of personal brands which are becoming stronger and more relevant at double the rate that which corporate brands are diminishing. Embrace the thing you fear and banish ignorance. I'm 52 and was a Luddite but I've done it – in less than 90 days I'm riding the Sigmoid curve of reinventionusing social.

SPIN Selling is timeless and Neil Rackham a demigod of all things B2B strategic selling; the mad professor of unified sales theory, the wise sage of the totally insane cottage industry that is the sales training community (Miller Heiman, CEB and TAS excluded). Many of you follow my blog and thanks for all the support (except for you Mr Deep Iceman... you know who you are).

President Obama is to be congratulated for reading SPIN Selling and engaging Professor Rackham in his skunk-works sit-room social media war-room designed to keep the Republicans from storming The Whitehouse at the end of the second term. I'm looking forward to writing Neil's biography, sipping tea in the English or Virginia countryside... but I digress. Scrawled on the whiteboard in the Oval Office is the Democrats social media strategy, and in almost illegible permanent marker (don't you hate when someone does that!), Donald Trump wandered in and added his own words to transcend politics to commerce.

Situation: We need to win the election, win the deal, win mind-share. We need to define target markets, understand personas, engage early with relevance and context, set the agenda, engineer the process, win the sale and bank the check.

Problem: No cut-through with the electorate. No side-stepping the EA, no return calls from my voice-mail messages, no reply to e-mail, no response to our spamming and direct mail.

Implication: The opposition wins and we're out in the cold for years; a legacy of losership. Wholly suppositories Batman, what it is it!? My career is flashing before my screen in 1,000 PowerPoint slides with endless bullet-point builds... where's the gun!? Without quality meetings I'm out of business.

Now we're really talkin! (sorry Neil, securing a great meeting is a 'Needs pay-off' benefit to the seller and buyer). Yes, we're saved by engaging where my customers are. Social selling delivers real benefits and tangible ROI if you know what you're doing.

LinkedIn is the new telephone for introductions and securing appointments. It's the way you connect with people; the way you build credibility before even meeting, the way you show relevance and social proximity, the way to publish insights and establish credentials. It's the power network of social.

Twitter is how you amplify your message and spread the word... President Obama's team are masterful. Here are some staggering statistics about Twitter: 290,000,000 users and 500,000,000 Tweets daily. 80% are active in mobile and it's the ideal platform for ‘news-jacking’ (that's what this article is) and also listening for trigger events to then go and engage with context.

The final part of the social trinity for B2B is YouTube. There are 6,000,000,000 hours of video watched each month and 1 billion unique visitors monthly. 100 hours of video content is uploaded every minute. Remarkably, the footage is comprised of 99% cat videos (Just kidding!). You can save YouTube by putting some relevant content up that that shares your expertise and helps customers upstream, allowing you to join the party! Stop doing high risk, low value demos. Instead, create compelling videos that help educate your buyers and take them on the journey to where they are ready to talk about what really matters. You can be your own television station, creating your own channel! But wait, there's more, don't sell the free set of steak knives if they dial-in now; instead be a publisher of insights to educate and entertain.

We all need to sell with the social savvy of Obama and the sales mastery of Rackham. Old school and new school together are atomically powerful.

Get on board with social selling 3.0 or be left behind eating the dust of your competition. If you'd like to know how, email me: tony at RSVPselling dot com or send me an InMail.

P.S. Facebook is the leading consumer social platform and was used for President Obama to post his clever video. Facebook's stats are also staggering with 1.4 billion users monthly and 890 million active daily.

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: BuzzFeed Video: Obamacare Promo

The 5 Most Unusual Daily Habits Of Highly Effective Social Sellers

They publish daily.

Believe it or not, top social sellers publish content to LinkedIn Publisher, their own blog or in Medium, everyday. They don't just publish what they think, they maintain a running 'string' of backlinks to mash up into the articles providing social proof of what other thought leaders think. This builds a content foundation of authenticity and veracity. They reference other articles, they newsjack current events and they respond to technology trends, world news and Google / Twitter trends. They are unabashedly utilitarian in helping their following with Youtility content; this is highly actionable content their dream customers can use to better their business and lives – right after reading it and in real-time.

  • Are you publishing daily on LinkedIn – yes you read that write – daily? Do you publish for others? In other words, is your work featured on other highly trafficked sites with author attribution?
  • Have you built a list of evergreen sources and a strategy for mashing up recent topics that matter?
  • Are you a trusted thought leader, subject matter expert and referenced source on the bleeding edge of your industry?
  • Do you have an active YouTube channel where you curate other amazing video content but also your own videos? Are they real raw and authentic or overly slick?
  • Do you participate in Twitter chats, Tweetups, Google Hangouts, Social Hangouts on YouTubes and interactive webinars? Are you a guest speaker on webinars for software companies?

If not, this is the number one habit I suggest and witness top enterprise sellers picking up in 2015 to rocket their success in #strategicsocialselling. Teach your customers with new insight in a public forum. Like Challenger says, teach with new and compelling insight that you've garnered from being active in your sector by listening to the common challenges and pain points that run rampant in the key verticals that you serve. Provide a channel: be the brand and face of that brand, channel and company. We are living in the age of the 'rise of personal brands' after all. Think edutainment! Share stories of customer success and case studies. Collaborate with other elite social sellers on content – very soon you'll be one. Even collaborate with your customers and friends, encouraging them to guest post on your blog.

They comment daily.

What's unusual about the most active sellers in your company on social media? They're frequently the top sales people too. Back in the day when social media was controversial, they studied top performing university students and found paradoxically that those most active in social media had the highest marks! Your top sellers frequently have a Social Selling Index Score of over 70 out of 100, which is quite rare. (It's humbling to see that mine has shot up to 82 after applying these methods.) Yes, they have a high Klout score too, a dizzying array of followers on Twitter and their stream is so jam packed with useful, wow content – you'd probably wonder, 'when are they actually working and how are they putting all this out to good use for our bottom line?'

But that's just how effective they are in social media, nurturing the funnel, edutaining and providing unexpected value daily. What's better for the bottom line than deeply satisfied customers and your customer's customers? What's better than a new customer that converted 90% of the way because they've been following your top reps blog for 9 months! As the face of your brand, they are proactive meets interactive. And commenting is a science and art form unto itself. Top sellers are actively participating in groups with provocative comments that foster deeper conversation and peel back the onion on commonly shared pain. They participate in the groups where your top customers go like CMOs or LinkedIn CXOs. They ask the questions that matter, effectively and frequently. When they read an article anywhere on the internet, they take the time to comment at the bottom with a track back to their blog or your companies site unlocking a landing page for a free white paper with game-changing insight. I've noticed an incredible delta between the interactivity levels of top social sellers versus those that are passively curating and monitoring.

  • How many comments do you post per day?
  • Are you solely hitting the like button or are you slowing down to fully read what's compelling in your stream?
  • Have you set up Lists and Filters for Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. so that you have a 'string' to cross reference when you write and comment?
  • Are you open sourcing everything to reduce friction and make it easy to buy from you (3.0) or gating everything to get backlash, increase bounce rates and negatively impact conversion rate optimization (2.0)?
  • Do you go share these social updates and push them out in non-duplicative ways to each social network or is it the same link inelegantly spammed everywhere hurting your SEO? Don't post the same link in every group you participate in, not even two? Never do this! Participate in groups by asking open questions and actively threading. It's a paradigm shift... trust me. I get many invites each week from this meta-tactic alone.

They courageously connect daily.

If you're not leveraging a Premium LinkedIn account, I would argue you're missing the full value of the system. It's incredibly affordable if you sell anything over $100. If you sell products and services over $250,000 into the enterprise, it's worth its weight in Inca Gold. Let me explain... Like any tool, it's how you use it – you'll get what you put in. Top social sellers exhaust their InMails... every single one. I use every InMail that I can and I'm courageous about it. I recently wrote a very senior executive at LinkedIn and was thrilled to get a warm response and some good strategic advice on improvising / improving content strategy. It's gratifying to see the team at LinkedIn 'dogfooding' their own product and practicing what they preach. People often ask if I 'work for LinkedIn?' No, I promote it like crazy because it works and the network effects are singular. I pay a premium for it because I would pay 10X more for the tangible revenue it drives into my consulting business and the power of the network alone that it's allowing me to build as a speaker, bestselling author and consultant who is well known in Australia but still breaking into international spheres:

  • Honestly, are you exhausting every InMail?
  • Are you courageously writing to the actual CEO, President or very important top officer (VITO) that can sign your contract?
  • Are you being courageous when you reach out maintaining relevance and respect or are you playing too small in social?

They listen, curate and share daily.

Top sellers don't just hit the 'like' button. They go further than that. When they read something in Publish that inspires them, they send a friend request with a tailored message. They take the time to study targets before connecting. They often have the luxury of an enterprise LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription that allows them to passively monitor key contacts in major strategic accounts so they can stay alert for trigger events before reaching out. Top sellers are listening to the Crunchbase feed to see who gets funding and connect in with them – daily. Funding is a phenomenal trigger event as is M & A, as are job changes and transitions, promotions or a big initiative on the docket announced in the media. The biggest, baddest, boldest trigger events are often hiding in plain sight. It's all about how we look at our streams as highly effective social sales people of the new age. Train your team on all the mechanics of Trigger Event Selling and build in measurable KPIs, metrics and critical success factors into your CRM dashboards to track leading measure activity levels. Something like an SSI score can even be SPIFFed or bonused around. At a few leading enterprise technology companies I'm even aware of a special status for the highest ranking social sellers in the company. Hint, one of them is top top social seller on my strategic social selling unicorns list!

Top sellers are cross referencing with LinkedIn Premium Data, with Rapportive for reverse email lookups. They're calling into the switchboard to verify phone numbers, understand political power bases and mapping organizational charts. They're being hyperactive in how they combine all mediums of outreach: Social, Mobile, Calling, Research – Google+, Facebook, Twitter. Top sales people are tracking email w/ Yesware and watching in social – putting all of this together into a gestalt to generate intel and insight. As they listen, they share. As they curate they comment and 'prosume' which is the opposite of consume. They write blog posts in response to other blog posts. They remix and mashup. They stoke provocative comment threads and take those conversations off line or amplify them back online in their own groups. Yes, they start their own groups and frequently help to moderate the company's official Facebook Page, Twitter Account or LinkedIn group. (Which can have several admins by the way!)

  • As a manager are you bringing Sales and Marketing together weekly?
  • Are you encouraging your top sales people to become micro-marketers?
  • Are you just phoning it in with the like button?
  • If you had to meet the last 5 authors of Publisher Posts you liked in person, would you be able to honestly reflect on what they wrote? Just think, these could be your next dream customers!
  • Are you filtering with TweetDeck or HootSuite? Are you leveraging social filtration technology and tools to step up your game? Are you leveraging Buffer App to Tweet while you sleep to accommodate your base on different time zones? Are you building highly targeted Twitter Lists so that you can retweet with comment?
  • Here's a big one: Are you sharing your compelling sales story and you personal life story? Are you featuring customer wins and testimonials? More importantly than anything else in this article – are you making the content about them? For them! Is it immediately useful and applicable to their job today?
  • Are you writing passionately about the things you know best in life and tying these insight back to business? (Sports, music, philosophy, history, politics + your brand + your software + your UVP!)

They aim straight for the top daily.

This last point is a fascinating one. I was approached and am now coaching an executive who read my book that is consistently closing six figure deals in under a 90-day sales cycle fully inside, by applying my RSVPselling framework and this last point daily. I have been consulting companies on how to build a LinkedIn War Room to ramp revenue and dramatically lower cost of field sales, which is very different from a traditional Web 2.0 Social Media Command Center.

Don't be intimidated by the senior executives in social media. Every CXO was once just starting out. Richard Branson encourages a leapfrog strategy in which you go high courageously. LinkedIn InMails give you the ability to write to just about anyone in the system. Do not waste them. Do your research and reach out with a compelling business case. My book, The Joshua Principle, tells the story of how a fairly junior sales rep landed a key meeting with the CEO of his biggest target account to bring home the biggest deal of his career and jumpstart his trajectory into sales leadership. I recommend you read it as a blueprint for generating just what that key insight will be as you improve how to develop the acumen to connect at the very top.

Senior executives focus on outcomes and risk. They'll be more impressed if you understand their balance sheet, annual report and what they're sharing in social, at conferences and in the minutes of their quarterly call, then if you parrot puffery and cliches back to them or show up with static thoughts printed out. You can't be canned – you have to understand! You would be surprised how much subject matter expertise you already have and in many industries, how little exposure business leaders often get to technology acceleration and change from the corner office. If you're in a disruptive business or unit of a big company acting disruptively, you have a severe edge. The savviest CEOs I know are always looking to constantly converse and network to keep their skill set sharpened and their knowledge ahead of the curve. They want to meet with Millennials – they're looking to be reverse mentored. So many sales people will aim lower and be too intimidated. Reaching high will make all the difference in your ability to sell top-down as you beeswarm and build consensus with social connectivity across the organization. Be careful – not everyone in an account should be wantonly added in social media. There are always frenemies and competitors in every deal, the greatest of which is 'do nothing' aka the dread status quo!

  • Are you analyzing a company and aiming one level too low? Are you afraid to access the C-Suite? Are you just sending a passive friend request rather than researching for 15 minutes to a half an hour and writing an extremely targeted and customized message that is timely and relevant with your bespoke CXO LinkedIn invite or InMail?
  • Are you slowing down to connect with less people more meaningfully or mass adding off a conference attendee list?
  • When powerful people add you back on LinkedIn or Twitter are you sending a personalized message?
  • Are you tweeting at top thought leaders, bloggers and the tech media that covers your sector? Are you inserting yourself into the conversations that matter? Are you paying it forward - giving to get? Sharing to be shared?
  • Here's a really big one: Are you playing up to your audience's intelligence or dumbing yourself down? Why not write content to help leaders in your industry advance even further? That right there, is the yellow brick road to the emerald city of Trusted Advisor – digitally. Paradoxically, you'll get noticed if you cater to your audience's existing expertise and advance the knowledge base further rather than the constant drone of: basics, basics... basics.

Now it's your turn: What are the daily habits and routines of the most effective social sellers that you've noticed, that I may have forgotten to include on this list? What's your secret sauce in social? Are you willing to share it below in the comments for the Youtility of everyone reading? If so, thank you!

I'm endeavoring to live every principle in this post every day right here.

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

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