How To Use the Power of LinkedIn To Market Your Online eLearning Membership Business
John Nemo is an author, speaker, 1-on-1 business coach and consultant, John Nemo helps individuals, organizations and businesses boost their brand, generate sales leads and increase revenue.
The son of two English teachers, John grew up in a home where the basement walls were lined floor-to-ceiling with books. A lifelong love of story led him to a career in journalism, where he started his career in 1997 as a reporter for The Arizona Republic and later The Associated Press.
John later worked in talk radio as a producer and on-air talent at KTIS-AM radio in Minneapolis-St. Paul. He also served as a freelance writer for hundreds of different magazines, newspapers and websites, covering topics ranging from Fantasy Football to Norwegian Architecture to Rock Music.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks for the WP Tonic Show. It’s episode 369. I’ve got a special guest today. He’s a great guy. He’s been on another podcast of mine. I really enjoyed the interview. And he had great things to say about LinkedIn and how to use the power of LinkedIn. That`s John Nemo. John would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
John: Hey, thanks for having me back, John. Well, it all started in a snowy March day in 1975 when I was born. Day one was not very exciting. I’m just kidding. I won’t do my whole life story. But long story short what I, I grew up as a journalist, associated press talk, radio PR, got into social media. Really where LinkedIn comes into the story that I think will be of interest to listeners is. I really was able to make a leap, quit a safe six figured a job.
Open up my own marketing agency and using LinkedIn all the way back in 2012 to find, attract and engage my ideal clients. So I didn’t have to travel, I didn’t have an ad budget back. I had one client, enough money for 30 days, and then I had to find business. And so where that’s led me to is using LinkedIn the last six years. Now I’ve kind of got like a suite of different online courses, which I know is of interest to this audience. And what I do is now I use LinkedIn as kind of the lead generation engine to bring people in to Webinars and online courses and coaching programs. And really most importantly, doing it in a way that isn’t salesy or spammy or sleazy. But in a very conversational kind of one to one face to face almost approach. And it works incredibly well. So LinkedIn is really where I live in Brea, I love the platform and excited to talk about it on the show.
Jonathon: Yes listeners, you can tell, John’s got plenty to say about this subject. Cindy would you like to introduce yourself to the listeners and viewers?
Cindy: Yes, thank you Jonathan. Welcome John. Hi everyone. It’s Cindy Nicholson here from the coursewhisper.com. And I’m excited to hear about LinkedIn. I’ve been trying to use it more and more of myself. So I’m intrigued with the advice that you’re going to provide today. John.
John: Thank you.
Jonathon: And before we go into the main part of the interview, folks, I like to quickly talk about one of our great sponsors. And that’s Kinsta hosting. And Kinsta specializes in WordPress only hosting. Big enough to have all the bells. And whistles small enough to still care about their clients. And we host the WP Tonic website on Kinsta. They have decided to be one of our major sponsors in 2019. We’re really grateful for their support.
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Jonathon: Well alright John. So you are an eLearning entrepreneur. You want to build a course or membership site. How do you use the power of LinkedIn to find possible clients for your great course?
John: Yeah. You know what we’re going to do, John, for this episode, we’re going to use Cindy Nicholson as our Guinea pig. Are you ready Cindy?
Cindy: I don`t know.
John: Can I share my screen?
Jonathon: She as just woken up actually John.
John: Listen. I’m going to try to share my screen. And we’re going and the listeners will follow along too. Can you see my screen okay?
John: Cindy? The Course Whisperer is about to start shouting. So as we go through, Cindy’s going to be our Guinea pig. And here’s the deal. The biggest thing with LinkedIn, there’s three specific ways to use this platform. And what I talk about is the three pieces. So one is profile, which we’re looking at a fabulous profile. Cindy Nicholson’s right now on the video stream. Number two is prospecting, which we’ll talk about in a minute. And number three is really what I called profits. That’s where the engagement is. So let’s take a look at Cindy’s profile and let’s put her on the spot.
John: Okay. Cindy is not prepared for this. So the number one thing that I’ve learned, okay, and this is not bad. This is not bad, Cindy you’re not going to get totally destroyed by me on this podcast and on this video. And here’s the big thing. Here’s the big thing that 99% of LinkedIn profiles do wrong that we all have to overcome. So it’s Cindy’s in great company. Everyone else is too. It’s not having what I call a client facing profile. So what I mean by that is so many of us when we started with LinkedIn and the reputation this platform has is it’s really for job seekers and HR professionals. And you upload, when you create your profile page, it’s supposed to be a virtual resume. So you write about yourself in the third person and you talk about where you work and what you do.
John: And the only problem with that of course is nobody cares. Everyone cares about us. So can we rewrite your profile on the spot?
John: Okay, good, good. You’re such a good sport.
Cindy: I don’t have a choice.
Jonathon: She is just in a state of shock actually.
Cindy: She is. Okay, well you know, let’s do something while people watch this is we’re going to in real time rewrite Cindy`s profile. I’m going to actually do this in a Google doc.
Jonathon: Cindy you complain about me bringing up things on the spot.
John: And me being on this show. So Cindy`s profile. So everyone can watch while we do this. And I have a specific template for creating a client facing profile and we’re going to do it with Cindy. And I’m teasing her because I’ve had her on my podcast. I know a little bit about you. I know you’re a good sport. So what we’re going to do with the top of Cindy’s profile, if you’re watching the video. First thing we’re going to do is talk about the title and then we’re going to get into the summary.
John: And so we want to have a client facing profile. So for Cindy’s title, so LinkedIn headline, there’s a couple of things you want to look at. The first is keywords. And so we’re going to go deep on this. We’re going to look down, one of the places to find out. Understanding LinkedIn is a big search engine, 600 million members, and 200 different countries. All of our data is indexed and organized, every single element of it. So what you want to do is write your profile two ways. One is client facing which I’ll show in a minute. The other is kind of writing it for search. So if you go down to the bottom of your profile where it says skills and endorsements, we want to put a few keywords in that Cindy wants to be known for. These top three skills and endorsements that you list on your profile.
John: Tell LinkedIn how to categorize you, what does Cindy wanted to be known for. So I’m going to click on add a new skill. And you use this like Google search and you type in online courses. And it’s going to give you some dropdown menus or examples. And right now, so maybe e-learning. So e-learning consulting, eLearning modules. Online, let’s see. See there’s not a lot with online courses. That’s not a term people are searching for. But you could say digital course. So you kind of play around with some of the templates, but you also want to mix between search and just plain English. So for Cindy’s headline it would be online course consultant, it would be e-learning consultant.
John: And it would be. You can also then, let’s see what else you’ve got here. So you’re an online course creator, you help entrepreneurs. So then the other big thing Cindy and everyone else is when you’re writing a LinkedIn profile, the riches are in the niches. If you try to appeal to every single audience on LinkedIn, you’ll be nobody to no one. So Cindy, give me like two of your top people that audience groups that you help entrepreneurs that looks like is one. Is there another one that you serve a lot of with course consulting?
Cindy: Not specifically the ones professionals. So lawyers, doctors, people that kind of have kind of a brick and mortar business but are wanting to scale and build something online. So I kind of do work with everybody, but the ones I worked with the most have been lawyers, doctors, and real estate.
John: We’re going to make Cindy a bunch of money on this call. Okay. So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to niche you cause one of your big things that you’re so good at is I have an idea for a course, but I’m not sure how to create it validated.
Cindy: Yeah. And how do I get all that information and into a course that makes sense.
John: Yes. So one of the core audiences that I know is fascinated with this and is easy to engage on LinkedIn is business coaches and consultants. I want to scale my time or I have too many one on one client I want to scale. So let’s just take a niche approach for Cindy and I’m going to connect the three p’s here, profile, prospecting, and then the profits. And this is an example, a template everyone can utilize whether you’re listening or watching on video. So the first thing, LinkedIn headline, it’s going to say online course consultant eLearning consultant. You’re not talking about Cindy as owner, CEO. We’re not talking about job title, company name, anything like that. We’re seeing on, so we know instantly what does she do? Online course consultant, eLearning consultant. Then we’re going to put serving entrepreneurs.
John: Serving entrepreneurs, coaches and consultants. Now, if I am an entrepreneur, a coach, or a consultant on LinkedIn, and I get an invitation from Cindy Nicholson to connect. The first thing I do is look at her profile headline and what does it say? I serve entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants. Wow, okay. She’s all about me. What does she do for me? She does course help. Oh, interesting. I want to talk to her. Because again, the riches are in the niches. When I did this back in 2012 I literally niched myself as a debt collection marketing guy. Like I opened up a new market agency. I could’ve served any audience anywhere in the world and I knew the riches are the niches. So I literally rewrote my profile as debt collection marketing consultant. So now we’ve got a niched headline and a common question people ask, and Cindy’s probably thinking is, well wait, I serve more people than just those three audiences.
John: Like I don’t want to limit myself. Here’s the thing with LinkedIn. I would say 99% of the success you have on LinkedIn is going to be from outbound outreach. Meaning Cindy invites you to connect, engages you, and then you hire her to sell. Very little of it is going to be from people, quote unquote finding you and hiring you. And so it’s okay to niche your profile into two or three audiences. You can still have other sections and I’ll show you in a second where Cindy can appeal to all the other audiences. But if you really want to hone in and your e-learning professional course creator. You’re thinking, hey, how do I sell more courses? First thing is who buys them? Who are your top two or three target audiences to sell to? Because then now your LinkedIn profile needs to only appeal to those audiences.
John: So what we’re going to do with Cindy is say LinkedIn headline, online course consultant, eLearning consultant serving these two or three target audiences. Now we’re going to do her LinkedIn summary and we’re going to use a template that I use that really helps people immediately know, like, and trust you and decide if you can help them. So the first sentence is what I do colon. And I use all capital letters in a colon if you’re listening, because LinkedIn right now inside of your profile, you can’t do bold or Italics or fancy text. So what I say is what I do, who I serve, what makes me unique, why it matters, what others say, ready to talk. These are just some examples of LinkedIn profile templates that I use. But answering these little questions is going to really help people see that Cindy’s profile is all about them. It’s not about Cindy. Cindy’s profiles and going to start with, I’m Cindy Nicholson, I’m the Courses Whisperer. I’m a big deal. I’m so successful because again, they don’t care. Like they’re like, how can you help me? So what I do, and this is a specific sentence you want to start your profile with for Cindy or anyone else. Cindy didn’t know, she’s getting a free consulting call today apparently.
Cindy: I am glad to hear it’s going to be free John, thanks.
John: There’s no charge. So what you want to do for the first sentence of your LinkedIn profile, you want to say what I do colon. I help insert your target audience, achieve benefits they want by providing my service. So for Cindy, it’s going to be, I help entrepreneurs, business coaches and consultants. And what are the big benefits of that they would get from doing an online course. What would you say Cindy likes serve more clients, increased revenue, what would be like two or three benefits?
Cindy: Yeah. Well, the benefits of the online course itself are they’re all thinking about passive income. They’re all so all talking about scaling their business and being able to reach more people than just one on one.
John: Perfect. So here’s the sentence we’re going to use. What I do, I help entrepreneurs, business coaches and consultants that Cindy’s target audience. Here are the benefits they get from working with Cindy. I helped these people increased revenue, scale their business and save time. Because she knows the pain points of her target audience. In this instance. And now you say by providing online course and eLearning consulting services. Okay, and now look at that first sentence. It’s not about Cindy and herself. It’s about; I help these audiences get these benefits by providing this product or service. That’s that first line. And so what we’ll do, we’ll skip who I serve because we kind of said that right away. Cindy, what makes you unique or different or better than the average consultant?
Jonathon: But before we do that John we are going to go for our break.
John: But I am on a roll.
Jonathon: It`s a small break, and we would come back. And we can talk to Cindy some more when we come back. We will be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We are coming back. We’re talking about building a power LinkedIn machine that gets you great referrals. And Cindy’s been a great champ. She’s been put on the rack. But John is really pumped in the way back to you, John.
John: The Guinea pig is getting poked and prodded. I love this. Okay, so in real time we’re rewriting Cindy’s LinkedIn profile. This is the first client facing profile, a LinkedIn headline. The summary. Now I won’t do the whole summary right now. Cindy, answer this question because this will help people listening. When you are explaining yourself, what does make you uniquely different, better than the competition in your own words?
Cindy: Well, I have a teaching background and I’ve worked over 10 years in the corporate training world. So I’ve spent a lot of time designing and delivering training materials. That in the corporate world’s, ROI was a big deal. So all of the training had to get real results. So, I’ve always had that mindset of if I’m creating training material, how do we make sure that the people get the transformation. So it’s really my education background that maybe other online course people may not have as much of that background.
John: And let’s humanize and make you likable and approachable. What type of teaching did you do? What grade or what age of kids?
18:55 Cindy: I was high school math and Physic Ed.
John: Oh my gosh, you poor person. But see, you’ll also want to showcase some of your personal story in your profile because again, people do business with people. So we don’t want Cindy’s profile to read like just a list of services like she’s a robot, get to know and like and trust her. She’s going to share some of her story. So Cindy first line is what I do. We talked about that second line. What makes me unique as a former, and I’m typing this out in real time. All People Watch as a former high school. See if I can type it better here. Okay. As a former high school math and science, was that right?
Cindy: Physic Ed.
John: As a former math and a Physic Ed teacher and as a corporate trainer. I’ve spent the past and then I always like to leverage experience. So if you say, past x, Y, z years, helping translate concepts and I’m just doing some copywriting here. Concepts and theories into teachable, ROI driven, trainings, something like that.
John: And we would come back and edit this, but the idea is like what makes Cindy better? What makes her unique? You want to think about this yourself with your own business or brand. Is it your years of experience? Is it your client list? Is it your unique background as a longtime teacher turned corporate trainer who had to create ROI base? Because again, for your target audience, what will make you stand out from the crowd? Is it your bestselling book? Is it your, whatever it might be. Look for that right away. Put it up high. What makes me unique? Different, better. If you can personalize it even more so. So we would continue this trend with Cindy’s profile. What makes me unique, services I provide, you know what others say? You can insert some testimonials. So that now becomes this strong client facing profile.
John: The first P, and remember the riches are in the niches. We’ve identified entrepreneurs, coaches, and consultants. So now step two is prospecting. Now we go onto LinkedIn and we use it like the world’s biggest search engine for leads. And this is where we go in and to LinkedIn search. And I literally can type business coach in LinkedIn search and immediately have 80 okay, so now if I filter it, I can do, let’s do connections. Let’s just say second and third level people I can connect to. I can instantly connect to drum roll 75,000 business coaches for free. Immediately there’s no, these are the exact decision makers who want to hire Cindy potentially. There are no gatekeepers. This is the power of LinkedIn. This is how I built my business so quickly is you have; you can whittle this group of 600 million people in 200 countries down to your exact perfect client, your exact perfect prospect using LinkedIn search filters.
John: So Cindy wants to get really nuanced and really Ninja. She can say, well I want business coaches in Toronto, Canada who have been in, had their own business for at least 10 years and you know also serve health care clients. Like you can get that nuanced and that niche with your searches. And then again, the riches are in the niches. The other big thing here is personalizing the engagement. So not only the Cindy have this list of 75,000 business coaches that we can use LinkedIn search filters and whittled down by location industry they serve. We can do where they went to university or college. Now we’ve got context for conversations. So I can immediately look at the first person on the list, Frazier, who’s in the United Kingdom. I can make a joke about London and God Save the Queen and say, I’d love to connect.
John: I can look at Ben or Bob, the next person, he’s a business coach in Minneapolis. I can make a joke about the weather. Like the big thing, and this is part three with prospecting on LinkedIn, is understanding the power of one on one personal engagement. So Cindy, let me put you on the spot again. I assume when you meet a prospect in real life for coffee, you don’t immediately ask them to pull out a credit card and buy stuff or give you money.
John: Okay. So why do we do that on LinkedIn? So many people connect with you on LinkedIn and then immediately ask for something. So it’s easy enough to get people to connect on LinkedIn with a personal note. Hey Ben. Hey Bob. Hey, Sally came across your profile. Would love to connect, help the weather in London is treating you well.
John: Because I can make a filter list of business coaches in London England. Make a little reference about the weather, where they live. I can do it by university. It’s easy to connect and start a one on one engagement. Where people really make mistakes is now they’re trying to marry someone on the first date. I am so glad we connected. I’d like to have you book 15 minutes of time with me for a free discovery call to talk about your online course planning needs. Like, no, you wouldn’t do that. Cindy, what do you normally do to gauge a prospect’s interest to see if they’re good fit for you?
Cindy: In terms of like on LinkedIn or just?
John: In general. Like, I’m going to answer it for you, but you ask them questions. You start with like, are you even interested in online courses, I assume?
John: Right. So what Cindy’s going to do is she’s going to connect with online business coaches and then her first message after she connects says, I have a very specific script. Where it says, Hey John, hey Cindy. Hey Sally, great to connect. And then I pivot to a question. This is the prospecting and the profit in part, I say great to connect. And then I have a question. Curious, are you interested in blank? And blank is typically a benefit or something related to my service. So for me as a LinkedIn trainer, I say I connect with the first business coach or find Bob. Talk about the weather in Minneapolis and say, Bob, great to connect.
John: Curious, are you interested in using LinkedIn to find more coaching clients? Cindy’s would be, hey Bob, great to connect. Curious, are you a fan of or ever interested in creating online courses for your coaching business. Are you a fan of or are you interested in scaling your time and reaching more clients with online courses. Whatever, however you would want to phrase that benefit for Cindy. That’s what we would ask in that second line of the follow-up. Curious, are you interested in this, in this benefit blank, whatever. Are you interested in improving your search engine optimization rankings on Google? Whatever your service is. Then what you do is you say sentence three is, the reason I ask is I have a great blank. Like a great free resource, a great Webinar, a great podcast, a great blog posts, a great free book on this benefit.
John: So for Cindy, you have different lead magnets or things like that you can use. So you would say the reason I ask is, and here’s where you drop a little credibility, and I’ve spent the past x years helping business coaches create and develop online courses that help them save time, generate passive revenue and add new clients. If you’re interested in seeing how the process works, I’ve got a great free eBook I’d be happy to share that outlines the process. And you don’t include the link. This is a big thing with LinkedIn messaging is don’t assume people want it. That first follow-up, we’re asking a question. We’re saying, hey, are you interested in this? Is this even on your radar? The reason I ask is it’s kind of my specialty. It’s something I’m really good at. If you’re interested, I can share something for free. I’m not asking you for your time.
John: I’m not asking for money. I’m just saying I’ve got something really valuable for you. If you want it, and then you say, if you’re interested, just reply yes or shoot me back a thumbs up Emoji. I’m big on emojis and I’ll send over a link. And then I end the message with, if not, no worries. Great to connect and eager to hear more about how you’re giving an on professionally, how things are going. And what this script does. This is a simple one message follow-up after we connect. It basically says to the person, here’s how I can help you. I’m willing to give you a bunch of free advice and tip to start the relationship, but if you’re not interested, I’m not going to bother you with it. And people then feel in control like what you’re asking permission. You’re asking me questions now, Bob or Matt or Jack might say, yeah, I’ve always kicked that idea around.
John: I’ve never really, I’ve always had an idea for a course. I’ve never really know where to start. Yeah, I’ll take a look at your free stuff. Sure. Send it over. Now Cindy sends them over to a, sends a link to a landing page on her website where they opt in to get the eBook. Now they’re getting automated follow-up emails from Cindy with more tips than invite them to an automated webinar that they go through and qualify themselves. That now invites them to a free discovery call with Cindy to talk about how to work on their course. What we’re doing is we’re marrying content marketing to LinkedIn lead generation. People are pre-qualifying themselves through your free content and automation to talk to you live. So Cindy doesn’t have to spend all day, every day one-on-one chatting with all these LinkedIn prospects. She’s basically saying, hey, nice to meet you.
John: Are you looking for any tips on this? If you are, I can send you over to this automated sales funnel. This is still valuable content that helps me get to know, like and trust Cindy. And at the end of it now, if you’ve gone through all that content, here’s a way to talk to Cindy live. And so the way I use this for online courses is I connect with business coaches. And I sell them. One of my courses is how to use LinkedIn for lead generation. So I connect with all these business coaches. My follow-up is curious, are you looking to use LinkedIn to generate more business coaching clients? If you are, I’ve got a great free Webinar that walks you through my process. If you’d like to see it, just reply yes, they’ll send over a link if not, no worries. And so for the coaches that say, yes, I have a virtual assistant or you can do it yourself, that goes in and says pastes in a script that says, awesome, here’s the link to the Webinar.
John: I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Now they go over to my website, they go to a Webinar opting page with a bunch of great copy and testimonials. They opt in for an automated on demand Webinar that walks them through the process. And at the end of the Webinar when I teach and train, I say now if you want to take the next level and I’ll work with me directly, I’ve got an online course for you. I’m going to make a special offer here on this Webinar, time-sensitive fast action. And I also can talk to you live one on one before you decide. And so I rolled in live chat software at the back end of the automated Webinar. So anywhere in the world I can be sitting on the beach walking my dog, or you get a little alert on my phone, new visitors, someone’s on your sales page in Canada and they want to talk to you about the LinkedIn riches course.
John: And so the way that this frees you up as an eLearning online course creator is you’re using all this automated content to sell people, but you’re still offering a personal touch. Because a lot of us know selling online courses, like that’s high trust. Like to sell a $2,000, $3000 online course, like people need to talk to you. But I want to prequalify them with all of this content ahead of time, webinars, blogs, and eBooks. Then if they’re still interested at the end book, come into a discovery call to sign them up. O makes a straight offer to a course. And this works incredibly well because again, you’re asking permission, you’re only giving the people that are interested links to this content. Now that’s where it really matters. So let me show you one.
Jonathon: Before that John, we got to finish off the podcast part of the show. But John is going to be staying on. We are going to have some bonus content, which I’m sure listeners and viewers you’re going to go to. Which you’d be able to see you on the WP Tonic website. John, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to John?
John: Thank you for asking. Yes, so I practice what I preach. I give away tons of free tips and content. Go to linkedinriches.com. Linkedinriches.com you can get a free copy of my bestselling book, their LinkedIn Riches. All kinds of blogs, eBooks, templates, LinkedInriches.com and obviously I’m on LinkedIn. You can find Nemo just look for John Memo. I’m on there. Make all the fish jokes you want and yeah, would love to connect with listeners.
Jonathon: That`s great. And Cindy, how can people find out more about you and what you’re up to Cindy?
Cindy: Well give me some time back and connect with me on LinkedIn that when you can check out my new profile that has been updated. Come find me on LinkedIn email@example.com.
Jonathon: And before you go. It’s the seven steps that you got to make sure you got right before you can build and launch your course. And if you join this live, I will be giving a one year maintenance plan to one of our live listeners and viewers that joins us on the Webinar. I know Cindy’s got some freebies that she will be giving away to the people that join us live. And how’d you get to register for this Webinar? It’s quite simple just to the WP Tonic, backstroke webinar and you will be able to register for the live Webinar. And it’s going to be a real fun. And it will be for a hour on Thursday the 28th. We will be back next week with a great guest. Offering you great value to build that eLearning course, that membership site. We will be back next week folks. Bye.
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