The Top 2 Barriers to Success on LinkedIn and Strategies for Overcoming Them

Phaedra Perkins, Digital Marketing Director of Sondhelm Partners, recently had a great discussion with Emilie Totten, Chief Marketing Officer of Synthesis Technology – a data and content automation provider to the investment industry.

In their brief conversation, Phaedra lays out the top 2 barriers to success on LinkedIn and strategies for overcoming them. She also threw in a little lagniappe (Cajun for “a little something extra”) about SEO!

Watch the video of their conversation below or read the included transcript.


Emilie Totten: All right, Phaedra, you are a Digital Marketing Director at Sondheim Partners and you are also a LinkedIn expert working with asset managers, mostly boutiques and midsize, to help them get the most out of their Digital Marketing Program, set strategy, and specifically get more results with LinkedIn. What are you seeing in terms of the top challenges that marketers are running into at asset management firms with LinkedIn, and how are they overcoming them?

Phaedra Perkins: I can definitely say the top two barriers to using LinkedIn successfully, those challenges are time, number one. I don’t have time for this. They assume they have to spend a lot of time on the platform itself. The second one would definitely be, and I hear this all the time, “I go to LinkedIn, and I look at it, but then I don’t know what to do. What do I post? How do I engage?” I think part of that is a little bit of potential fear of the publicness of it and just not having an actual strategy in place. I would definitely say those are probably the top two I hear the most. Definitely. With time, let’s back up to that one and let’s myth bust right here.

It does not require you to be on LinkedIn all day, every day. It simply does not. If you can check into LinkedIn 20 minutes a week, and you can even split that up, then you can build your network, you can engage with your potential prospects, and you can have success on the platform. It’s just like anything else you put in that very busy calendar of yours. If you have to, in order to get yourself into the routine, set aside a time on your calendar that just repeats every week. Simply go to LinkedIn, and browse, and engage, and do some of the things we’re about to talk about.

This next step is, “Okay, I’m there, what in the world am I supposed to do?” I always ask them, if you were in a conference room with these same individuals that you are connected to on LinkedIn, your colleagues, your potential clients, how would you communicate with them? What types of conversations would you have with them, if you were there in the room with them? You can bring that into the digital space. To help with that strategy, it’s really simple. I always say, help first, sell later. What types of information, what news items, what information, what tips would be important or of interest to your audience? Would be helpful to them?

That’s what you post. That’s what you post first, always. Always want to help and assist. People do business with those that they trust. This is how you begin to build that trust process with them. Then you can also, of course, obviously post your own content, your firm’s news and updates as well, and you mix that in. That’s the first step, is to have yourself actually show up in the feeds of your connections and your network on LinkedIn. It keeps you, your firm, your brand top of mind. As I mentioned firm and brand, remember that people do business with people, not necessarily just logos. To keep that interpersonal touch in place.

Secondly, engage. Like the post of others, comment, share your expertise and your thoughts on things that your network has posted. Yes, you can do all this in 20 minutes. Emilie, I promise, it will be a fabulous story.

Emily: That sounds simple, but like with a lot of things in life, what’s simple may not be easy. How do you think firms or marketing leaders can hold their teams accountable, especially working with across the sales and marketing teams? A lot of times there’s a marketing leader and there’s a sales leader, but really, as both teams are trying to work together on LinkedIn initiatives, how can firms hold these two groups accountable to doing these things on LinkedIn? Because really, it’s discipline.

Phaedra: Definitely. That’s a very, very good point, Emilie. I think, first of all, you have to make sure that marketing and sales are not functioning in silos. That is a very, very outdated. Now we need to mesh the two. Specifically in this digital space that we’re all in. I would say, first of all, ensure that you have that great communication between the two and that they’re definitely functioning together and supporting each other in their efforts. That I think is the number one foundational piece. From there, you just simply have to have that communication.
Who is going to handle this piece? Who is going to be responsible for this piece? You have to have what I like to call your inside champion. Who is your LinkedIn champion on each team? Those are the two that should lead the effort, and definitely ask questions. “How did you do on LinkedIn? Let’s see. How many new connections did you get? Oh, I love this post.” Then you can also have marketing produce the content for sales to make it easier, so that sales employee has to post the content to their LinkedIn.

Then, of course, there’s software that you can implement internally as part of your MarTech stack to help hold everyone accountable, and to allow each to see what everyone is doing, and the results of those efforts as well. I think it starts with people, communication, and then, of course, technology.

Emilie: Absolutely. One of the things that we’re doing at Synthesis is we do our goal setting together as a team, sales and marketing. I think that is one thing that has helped us. We also have weekly meetings as a team. I think that this is very doable when you’re a smaller firm, particularly, and as you get larger, I think things do tend to get more siloed. I actually think that the boutiques and midsize firms have a bigger opportunity to be more aligned with sales and marketing.

Phaedra: You just nailed it. You simply nailed it right there. Your smaller firms definitely have a huge advantage in the social space. It’s organic, and it requires time. Not a huge monetary investment. It’s the perfect space for them to literally outdo their larger competitors. I would also toss out there too, let’s not forget the company page for LinkedIn. Make sure that it is functioning and operational and actually active and growing as well because when someone googles your firm, believe it or not, your LinkedIn company page is going to be probably number three or four in Google search results. So, a little lagniappe in there to keep in mind as well.