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How to Grow Your Managed Services Business Using Linkedin: MSPtv Navigate Special with Jeanne Hopkins

Posted September 24, 2015by Tim Lewis

 

 

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Navigate 2015 starts this Sunday! In preparation for the conference of the year, we've created a special Navigate series for MSPtv highlighting some of our key speakers who will share what to expect during their sessions. Continuing our MSPtv Navigate Special series, we have Jeanne Hopkins, Senior VP & CMO of Continuum. Tag teaming with Jay Ryerse, VP of Business Development at Digitel, this session will help you pick up some effective advanced search tips and tricks every MSP sales team should be leveraging! Tune in now!

Have any suggestions for an MSPtv episode? Want to give us your feedback? Email us at mspnow@continuum.net and let us know what you think!

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Episode Transcription: 

Scott: Hi, I'm Scott Glidden, and welcome to another episode of MSPtv. We are profiling people who will be speaking at Navigate this year, which is just right around the corner, be starting this weekend. With me today is Jeanne Hopkins, our Sr. VP and Chief Marketing Officer here at Continuum. How are you this morning?

Jeanne: I'm terrific, thanks Scott.

Scott: Good. We're really excited about Navigate. We're completely sold out. We have more than 600 people attending the conference. We're just super excited. It's going to be a great event.

Jeanne: Yes.

Scott: We have something like 60 speakers, I believe.

Jeanne: Over 60 speakers, and then if you think about all the panels and everybody that's participating, we're just really blessed with the content, I think.

Scott: Yeah.

Jeanne: Shannon Mayer has done a fantastic job of building out the agenda and all the breakout sessions, as well as the certifications. HTG having a special sessions, Continuum U you having special sessions, I mean it's really a huge body of content that you just can learn so much.

Scott: Yeah, and it's amazing, like you were saying, the certifications you can walk away with.

Jeanne: Right.

Scott: The educational opportunities. The four tracks of what we're talking about. I mean there's something there for every aspect of your business to really learn about and solid takeaways.

Jeanne: Well we're going to be waiting to find out how our partners feel about it afterwards. There's a lot of planning that went into this. We've been working on this for a year.

Scott: Yes, and viva Las Vegas.

Jeanne: Yeah, there you go.

Scott: So you and Jay Ryerse, the Senior VP at Digitel for Business Development, you're going to be talking about LinkedIn.

Jeanne: Yes.

Scott: Jay's going to really be getting into the weeds about the settings and really doing a deep dive on how to set up a partner's profile, correct?

Jeanne: Yeah, he did a great job. He's part of the Robin Robins Producers Club Team, and he really used LinkedIn during the past 18 months to be able to grow his business. He looked for every opportunity to be able to make connections with prospects, be able to leverage the network, being able to send in-mail to people that he may not know, or not be connected with, and also using other people in his network to be able to introduce him to possible business partners. And as a result, he grew his business over $1 million in 12 months. I think it was $1 million and $3.

Scott: Wow, wow.

Jeanne: He really wanted you to know about that $3. But he did such a good job that Robin Robins named him number one out of her entire group of Producer Club participants. And he's done a great job. And so the reason that we're bringing him in is to kind of teach our other partners like how can you leverage LinkedIn to be able to grow your business.

Scott: Right, and it is an amazing tool. It's really probably, you and I were speaking earlier, out of all of the social platforms that are out there, LinkedIn really is a business tool if you use it properly.

Jeanne: Well there's 277 million people on that particular platform, and while there's other social community sharing, like Facebook that has over a billion and Twitter that has over a billion, in reality LinkedIn is a business networking tool. And with 277 million, the profile of the individuals are primarily male, primarily between the ages of like 40-55, and its all business related. So it's a B-B connection, versus a consumer to consumer, or friend to friend. You think about Facebook, and Facebook, as I was telling you earlier, begins with an F and I believe it's for friends and family, and it's much more of a personal aspect, in terms of sharing. Some people are successful in sharing on Facebook, but I really feel that LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to connect with individuals, as well as connecting with businesses.

Scott: Right, and you were saying that it is, when you really look at it, it's a simple tool to use.

Jeanne: Oh absolutely. Once you're in there you have the ability to join groups, to follow companies. We will encourage our partners to follow Continuum, as an example, and also to connect with the various people on the Continuum team, and then to connect with each other, to be able to build that peer group, if you will, of success, and that's really what I believe that LinkedIn is about. You can post things very easily on LinkedIn. You can share other people's content, simply with a little click. And you can connect it to your Twitter feed, so that you can also share it on Twitter. LinkedIn owns SlideShare, and SlideShare is a great PowerPoint tool that you can upload audio, video, and standard PowerPoint decks that you can use as content for your particular business. So I feel like it's a three-fer. All these things that you can do with it, and you can spend as little as five minutes a day. You're a beginner, you can just go in and start trying to make connections. If you're in the more intermediate area, you can look for ways to be able to make connections to connections. And if you're an advanced user, I encourage people to make recommendations, recommendations to peers, or people that you worked with, or ask for recommendations as well, because it just builds out your profile. So it's a great tool.

Scott: Yeah, it's really a great networking tool for those of us, I think, that are used to trying to network at, let's say, local Chamber events, or business forums, or what have you. This is the same sort of thing, but in an electronic version. And it's an opportunity for you to share your knowledge, your connections within certain areas, and it's not that difficult to do.

Jeanne: You know what's so funny is that I speak a lot on marketing topics, and I always encourage people in the room to connect with me on LinkedIn. And I also, on my business card, I say make sure you reach out to me and connect with me on LinkedIn. And it's very funny how few people actually do that. And it's such a simple, simple thing, that if you came to me as a random person, and you wanted to connect with me, I get that from a lot of sales people. I love sales people, love 'em to death.

Scott: For sure.

Jeanne: But sometimes I'll look, and I'll say its a salesperson, and if they don't have a photo, or if I don't recognize the name or the company that they're from, I might look to see who do we have in common. And if I know that there's somebody that we have in common or like somebody that I respect, and I like, and I trust, I will accept that request to be connected. And if that individual ends up sending me the, "Hey, would you like a demo," or "Hey, I've got this list that I want to sell you," or "Hey," I immediately unconnect with them because that's not the purpose. I don't want to be sold. I want to be able to build a relationship with other people that are part of my, you know, network.

Scott: Circle, sure.

Jeanne: And it's funny because you meet...some people that I know absolutely refuse to connect with anybody that they haven't met face to face. They want to be able to meet that person, know that person, and so their group is very narrow and very tight, and extremely focused. I think that's limiting because you can't possibly meet everybody in the universe. So I kind of look at like where people are connected in things, and I also feel that it's okay to disconnect if people are using you in the wrong way and they're leveraging your connections, or asking for things without giving back. So the whole point of community is I give you a recommendation, you give me a recommendation. Doesn't have to be in the same day, or something, but it's...I get a lot of people that ask for recommendations, and I love to do that, no problem whatsoever, it's remarkable how few people will actually respond with that, or even thank you.

Scott: Oh, oh, really?

Jeanne: It's so funny. That's a good thing. I'm going to bring that up at our session, that that's something, like the actual act of thanking people, is something that's oft overlooked nowadays. I think we were talking about thank you notes, right, the other day?

Scott: Yes we were. We were writing a lot of them. And I think you're right. For me, LinkedIn is much more about my personal, not personal, but business relationship, and you know you work hard to maintain a business relationship, and your first impressions are so important. And I think people might say, "Really, you're going to disconnect from somebody?" but it's like, hey, you meet someone, and they start pitching you ideas, or a sales topic or what have you and you're really sort of slow down here, kind of thing.

Jeanne: Right, exactly.

Scott: And so you really need to be blunt and honest because it is your business relationship and reputation that you're out there with.

Jeanne: Yeah, because I feel that I don't want to be used in that particular way. There's the give get, right, that it's part of this is community. What are you giving to the community, and what are you giving to the network? And I like to be able to see people with a decent head shot. We are offering head shots at Navigate to be able to have people with up...because sometimes you see people's images and they're kind of strange. Or you also see, which always cracks me up, I can always tell what the stock photos are. The stock images, and it's like, I'm reasonably certain you don't look like this Calvin Klein model, so...you know, whether boy or girl. And you know they cut these images, and they're not real people. So there's the element of being able to add value to the relationship, being able to add value to the entire community. And that's what we're trying to offer and trying to encourage our partners at this particular thing. That by connecting with other people it gives you a chance to kind of build your own personal network and know who to follow. And LinkedIn has a cool way of being able to say, "Hey, you haven't been in contact with this person," or if you see somebody has changed jobs, or changed opportunities, it gives you an opportunity to message them, or like that, or comment on their changes. And I think it's an extremely valuable tool, for free. It's a free aspect.

Scott: And when someone gets a new job, or something happens, I mean, we all like getting little notes that say congratulations, or thank you. And it's a great way to find out, oh, I didn't know you knew so and so, and that sort of thing.

Jeanne: Exactly, yeah.

Scott: It can be very active. So to wrap up here, the why is it's a great platform, great tool for business, really. And the who and who you're following is really, really important.

Jeanne: Yeah, and the why is you can grow your business, and Jay has proof of that.

Scott: Yeah, very much so.

Jeanne: That's what this is all about.

Scott: Yeah, so actually when you go to this event, and we're assuming you're going to...

Jeanne: You better.

Scott: ...bring your laptop, yes.

Jeanne: Bring your laptop.

Scott: Bring your laptop because Jay is really going to get you down into the weeds and help you fill out the things, and Jeanne, you're going to give us the real why and the benefits of it all.

Jeanne: And we're also going to give you a handout, because we will have a handout, so if you don't have your laptop with you, you'll be able to do it later. And you should be able to do it on your own mobile phone as well. You should be able to figure this out on the mobile app very easily.

Scott: Very easy.

Jeanne: Yeah, yeah.

Scott: So thanks so much for coming by.

Jeanne: Oh you're welcome, thanks for having me. Thank you.

Scott: It's been wonderful. Sure, and folks we look forward to seeing you at Navigate 2015 in Las Vegas starting on this coming Sunday, the 27th, 8th and 9th, and hope to see you again back on the show. Thank you.

 

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Tim Lewis came from Emerson College in Boston, he lives and breathes motion pictures. In his spare time he enjoys petting his dog, Duke! Woof!

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