You’re Always Both the Messenger and the Message

Posted on June 30, 2015 at 1:39 PM

For your entertainment; a short knock-off skit based on the Drew Carey TV series “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”

The Host: Welcome to “Whose Content Is It Anyway?” Where the quota is made up and the revenue doesn’t matter. Our first skit is called, “Your marketing content sucks.” Mr. Sales VP, you’re very nervous; you’ve just examined your sales pipeline and discovered your team will not meet its sales objectives.

Ms. Marketing Rep, you are a super confident business development person from a marketing technology company ready to save the day.

Ready? … Action!!
Sales VP: Oh my! No wonder we don’t have a #salespipeline. We don’t have the support we need to nurture our leads and move them through the #salesfunnel.
Marketing Rep: I know #whatkeepsyouupatnight. You have a #contentmarketing problem! Our #robust #scalable #cloudbased #revolutionary #unique #endtoend solution helps business #engage with their prospects so that they can #buildprofitableloyalrelationships and #closedealsfaster!
Sales VP: I’m glad you called! I’m so lucky you just happen to come across my #LinkedIn profile and decided to reach out! Our #marketingcontent is terrible. Is there any hope??
Marketing Rep: Never fear! Although your pipeline is practically nonexistent, we can help. We can quickly implement our solution and you’ll be #fillingyourfunnel in no time!

Sales VP: Oh thank you!! I’ll sign the #orderrightnow!

Content is the Totality
Can you relate to the skit above? Of course not, your quota may feel like it was just made up, but you know revenue always matters! OK, on a more serious note; did you notice that marketing was thrown under the bus? The “what keeps you up at night” situation was described as a “marketing content problem.” But what if the social profiles of the sales force is the real content problem? Content is the total picture. And that means you’re always both the messenger and the message. Your message may contain great content concerning your product and your company, but the receiver is still going to check your personal credentials. Yes, they are going to look you up on LinkedIn and will probably Google your name. The question is; are they going to find someone they believe is capable of adding value to their day, and allow you the opportunity to develop their trust?
Making a Good First Impression 
There is no room for error here. Does your profile brand you as a professional?

  • Profile picture: LinkedIn data shows that having one makes your profile 7 times more likely to be viewed, so don’t use your company logo. Profiles with photos receive a 40% InMail response rate. Enough said. Use a professional business photo. Sure, cell phones take pretty good pictures these days. But this is not where you want to post a selfie. On the other extreme I wouldn’t recommend glamour shots either. If you don’t keep it professional looking you are putting your first impression with the viewer at risk.
  • Headline: Be descriptive. How do you help organizations accomplish their goals? What’s your value-add? The headline must be compelling enough to persuade the viewer to look deeper into your profile. If your picture passed, but your headline fails engagement will never start. I’m not going to lie. An important job title as a part of your headline will help. Executives like to network with other executives and they are more likely to respond to individuals they believe to be their peers. That may not seem fair, but that’s how it unfolds most of the time. That means you should think carefully before sending your summer interns or most junior sales people after the C-Suite because the odds are not in their favor no matter how revolutionary you think your product might be.
  • Summary: Your picture and headline passed. Congratulations on making it this far. The pressure is not off though because you’ve only got a couple of seconds to impress the viewer enough to examine your credentialed experience. Tell your story, capture their imagination. But don’t wonder, stay on point. How does your “story” benefit the viewer? You can also use this section to post videos, blogs, white papers and other marketing artifacts that help establish your authority and your organizations credentials.
Social platforms, particularly LinkedIn, are ideal for business development. If used properly they can be a map of all your business contacts, and create a route to important prospects you don’t know yet. Just remember, you are both the messenger and the message.

Categories: CMO, Content Marketing, Personal Branding, Social Media

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