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  • Writer's pictureSusan Tatum

Using Your LinkedIn Presence To Make The Right Connections

Updated: Aug 4, 2022

with Judi Hays, Certified Linkedin Expert

Judi Hays is a Certified LinkedIn Expert who shares how to stop the scrolling and get your target audience to connect with your LinkedIn profile. She talks about many tips from her book, Elevate, Expand, and Engage - A Refreshingly Different Approach to Winning on LinkedIn. Judi covers getting started, crafting your profile, and creating branded content to reach the connections to grow your network.

Notes from the Show

There are so many profiles on LinkedIn, how is yours going to stop the scroll and attract your target audience? Judi Hays, Certified LinkedIn Expert and author of Elevate, Expand, and Engage - A Refreshingly Different Approach to Winning on LinkedIn, describes how to make your desired connections to grow your network, craft a successful profile, and utilizing branded content to attract the right engagement.

When crafting your profile, what are the parts you have to get just right? Judi teaches that the profile picture is the most important piece of a profile, it's the first thing people see and it has to draw them in. Most people miss the mark with their profile photo. Next? The headline. This is more than just a boring job title. Describe your role in a way that's clear but piques your curiosity. Your target audience should see your headline and want to know how you can help them.

Active profiles are important but should you be posting every day? The answer is no. Posting too often, especially in a manner that cannot be consistently maintained, is training the algorithm to expect that much activity, pushing you down the line when it's been longer than usual between posts. Post only when you have something to say, which it's safe to expect to be about once a week. However, do not post just to post and clog the feed with meaningless, effortless content. Create and share branded content directly related to you, your page, and what your target audience wants to see. Engagement is only important if it's the right engagement. Without any interaction about 10% of your network will see your activity, once engagement begins visibility shoots in many directions and only meaningful content will land in front of desired eyes.

Growing your network on LinkedIn is similar to real life relationships. You have to build trust. But how do you build trust before you’ve made the connection? The first step is determining your target audience, and then expand your audience to those who connect with your target audience. Second degree connections and mutual relationships, create credibility and an open door to connections with the real targets.

Check out Judi Hays’ book, Elevate, Expand, and Engage - A Refreshingly Different Approach to Winning on LinkedIn, on Amazon where she breaks down all of the content we discussed in today’s episode and more. You can connect with Judi on LinkedIn, or visit her website for a free sample chapter of her book.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Judi Hays - Website

Transcribed by AI Susan Tatum 0:37

Welcome back to stop the noise. I'm Susan Tatum and today I'm talking with Judi Hays, who is a certified LinkedIn strategist and author of a new book called Elevate Expand Engage, which is a fantastic book on LinkedIn attraction strategy. And I think everybody should read it. So for anybody that's watching this on video, this is what it looks like, you can get it at your friendly Amazon website. And welcome, Judy.

Judi Hays 1:05

Thank you, Susan, it's always a pleasure to talk with you.

Susan Tatum 1:08

It's great to have you here. You know, our work, the work that you do, and the work that I do really complement each other. Because you, you focus on using LinkedIn to attract clients and attract prospects and the right people. So maybe select next sort of like inbound marketing, right? And my work centers around using LinkedIn for finding individual ideal prospects and reaching out to them one on one. So call that outbound and sales. And what we found over the last what since the last year or so is that the two work quite well together, we've shared some clients to to marry the inbound and outbound marketing and sales, if you will, and get them new and better clients that way. So what I wanted to talk about today is, what does that the attraction part of it have to do with filling a pipeline?

Judi Hays 2:13

That is a great way to start the conversation. Because I think first of all, you need to know who your target is. And so when you're filling a pipeline, who are we filling it with? And so it starts with that, which is your part and really identifying that. And then what I see that works effectively is once we know who that target is, we dig deep to find out what matters to them. And that's when we get their attention, if we can find a way to engage them with something that means something to them, what's in it for them, they're much more receptive to talk, and, you know, share their insights. And that's kind of the opposite of the old, you know, sales pitch, you know. Well, it just, here's everything I have. Yeah. And, and so it's, it's they know, or at least we imply that, you know, by having a conversation, that they are going to leave with some valuable insights, whether or not we work together. That's okay, you're going to learn more about, you know, what your how to have a sell more how to grow your business as a result of our conversation. So it's a non confrontational conversation. That's one way. Another way is creating content that educates them to be a better buyer of ideally, the service that you're selling. So this way, they're more informed. In other words, it could be like a buyer's guide, or a worksheet or some kind of an assessment that gets them to look inside their business and say, Okay, how do you select a vendor? Here are the things you should ask, you know, so then what happens? Is you the person that's providing this content, you become more trustworthy? Because wow, you know, you're sharing this insight, you're actually, you know, opening up your your secrets to me, and you're helping me again, then they feel that sense of, yeah, it's not necessarily obligation, but they feel that, you know, I want to work with you, because you've been helping me all along.

Susan Tatum 4:21

Well, that's, that's reciprocity that you're referring to, right. But I think the word you used is trust. And that's what's so critical. Especially if you're selling a service. Because basically, you're selling air. You know, you can't touch it, you can't feel it, you can't test drive it.

Judi Hays 4:38

Yeah, and I think what you want to do is you want to get the prospects thinking differently, you know, because sometimes what we have found is that they may not know they have a problem. They might not know that that is really the problem or that's the core, you know, impact on their business is this specific problem. So it's a matter of helping them see it a desired in state. You know, here's how it could be better. Here's how I hadn't thought about that, you know. So again, it's like an awareness and awakening. So but you know what I find? And here's the truth, Susan is that it's very rare that the same approach works for different clients it is unique, and even going into some types of industries. You know, we've had success in certain industries, and it's been more challenging in others. And then it really depends, it depends on who the who is, you know, providing the offering and who's buying it. You know, it's like, who's on both sides of the table?

Susan Tatum 5:37

And what the market is like, at that point in time?

Judi Hays 5:39

Yeah, yeah. I mean, there's so many things. So LinkedIn is primarily the tool. I mean, it's the tool that we're using, I think, you know, in the past, almost two years now, it's kind of replaced the need for the face to face. So now people are more comfortable engaging on a digital platform, or at least getting that introduction. And I think, you know, the, the where I see the success is getting that call or getting that conversation offline. You know, whether it's a direct email exchange, whether it's a phone call a Zoom meeting, or face short, you know, that that's really where I think that the real benefit happens. But it's like, how do you get to that?

Susan Tatum 6:17

Well, that's it. I mean, you want to move off LinkedIn as fast as you can, for numerous reasons. But how does so first of all, what are the elements? When you're putting together a program for somebody's presence on LinkedIn? What are the elements that go into that?

Judi Hays 6:34

Well, the first thing is they need to be dressed up for the party. So how is their profile? You know, the very fundamental LinkedIn profile, which you know, originally started out job resumes, so it was like a resume, but how are they presented there? Do they look trustworthy? Is there some kind of interest in their profile? I think of the content as the breadcrumbs kind of leads you along the way, it's the headline that you have, that makes you curious, it's the imagery that you use, that stops you with as you're scrolling, you know, it's all these different things. And so, when, when I look at a profile, I'm probably not a normal person that looks at profiles, because I'm really analyzing them. But it's just like anything else, anything that stops you in your tracks, you know, you go to a store, and you're walking down an aisle, something catches your eye, what is it? You know, same thing with LinkedIn, you know, you're seeing lots of profiles, lots of conversations, lots of you know, noise. And it's like, what is going to stop somebody to pay attention? So the profile is the first thing and it's in the words, there's pieces of the profile that are most important. I would call that the information card, which is the top section,

Susan Tatum 7:45

the top part of the profile?

Judi Hays 7:47

Yeah, but I mean, most important is, is the picture. It's the person's picture. And you know, so many people kind of miss out on that, you know, and either they have older pictures, they don't really look like that. They're not friendly. They're not smiling. They're not looking in, you know, looking into the profile. That's a subliminal thing that we used to use in restaurant marketing.

Susan Tatum 8:07

you know, you had me change that on my profile. I was I was looking out of it. Yeah.

Judi Hays 8:11

It's it's a visual signal. So you know, that's the first part. And then I think the headline is something that is misunderstood. And the headline is really not your job title. You know, it's really, it can be used in a couple of different ways. But it should really give the person a quick idea of, oh, I'm curious, this person has an interesting role, or they're an interesting industry. So what what are they solving? What do they do? You know, as opposed to just a job title,

Susan Tatum 8:39

which you put what about if it's a CEO, or a C level person? Is there some value in having that in the headlines so that they see?

Judi Hays 8:50

Yes. And you know why is because like minded people, CEOs want to connect with CEOs? They want that peer to peer. The downside of that is that is one of the most sought after titles on LinkedIn.

Susan Tatum 9:02

So you're gonna kiss?

Judi Hays 9:03

Yeah. So it's kind of a double edge challenge. But yes, I would, I would say leading with that, especially if you want to connect with other leaders, if you're not a CEO, then I think leading with something a little bit more, you know, not necessarily I help or whatever it may be, you know, some benefit that you're providing just something that gets people to think, oh, this person does this, you know, I'm trying to think of something specifically in my mind is racing. I really can't think of that. But I would say that if you're a CEO lead with a title if you're not think of what would get somebody curious.

Susan Tatum 9:49

Well, I think if you're let's say if you're with a consulting firm, you may not be a CEO, but a managing partner or something that puts you on the same level as that person. But then then now You're talking about somebody that's I kind of help this person, but we may not be peer to peer. Maybe those are advisor?

Judi Hays 10:08

Yeah, it really depends. And again, there's no sort of one size fits all, I think you have to look at who it is that you're approaching. And what do you think it's gonna resonate with them? What's going to attract them? Who do they want? Anybody that has like sales manager? Oh, my gosh,

Susan Tatum 10:23

do they still do that.

Judi Hays 10:25

Yes. Business Development Executive? Oh, yes. You see them, another one don't do as coach. You know? Executive Coach. Yeah. Because again, it implies they're gonna sell you something nine out of 10 times you connect with a coach, they're gonna pitch you.

Susan Tatum 10:39


Judi Hays 10:39

So yeah, I think that there's, there's so many different kinds of titles, but instead of saying, like CFO, it could be a strategic CFO, you know, it could be a financial advisory CFO, you know. So again, taking it a little bit further to differentiate yourself. But I think understanding who it is you're targeting, and what would make them curious to want to talk with you. That's, that's what I would lead with.

Susan Tatum 11:07

So that and that. So from my perspective, when I am doing designing outreach, that's going to get that's, that's going to be sent to someone, and they when the when the recipient doesn't know who's sending them a message or connection invitation, the first thing they're going to do is go to the profile.

Judi Hays 11:25

you would hope?

Susan Tatum 11:26

Yes, I would think so. I mean, you know, maybe not 100% of the cases, but I think most people do that, or they just accept it. Or maybe they just ignore it. But anyway, I want the person that goes and looks at the profile to say, Oh, I do want to connect with this person.

Judi Hays 11:46

You know, here's, here's another way to think of it, I just, I always think of food and stuff like that. It's like going to a restaurant and nobody's there, and it looks kind of dead. There's nothing happening, you know, and it's like, oh, and you know, versus going somewhere that's really happening. And it's a lot of buzz around it. That's a really optimized profile. So here's kind of a profile, there's, you know, it's really filled out, they have the pronunciation feature, they have a cover story, they have a nice header, they've got a great headline, they've got their, you know, education and company connected, they've got featured content, you know, they've got their providing services bar, it's like, oh, there's a lot going on here. This is really I like this, yes, of course, I want to connect with this person, they're active. You know,

Susan Tatum 12:29

so you've got a there's a lot of cons, I would call it marketing content that's needed branded content. That's well, yeah, that's needed to support a really well done profile.

Judi Hays 12:43

Yeah. And the other thing, too, is in you may or may not validate this. But when you're doing a search, just like with SEO, the the results in that search are generally the ones that have the higher probability. So profiles that are more fully optimized, are going to trigger the algorithm to deliver that in a search, because there's no rhyme or reason, sometimes, when you see search results, but if you look at those profiles, it's interesting to see some of them may be more optimized that are coming to the top of the, you know, the top of the heap, So that's another reason as opposed to just a, you know, a bare bones profile where, you know, there's like, no experience, no content, no activities, like, why would I connect with this person?

Susan Tatum 13:30

So they're going to look, now Linked gives us absolutely no information whatsoever on what's what people look at, and how long they spend on it. But I know what happens with me is that I look at the header, I look at a person's picture, I look at the header image I look at if it's blank, you notice that immediately. There's nothing happening. Like you said, I look at the number of followers that they have. So the network's important. And then there's the their activity.

Judi Hays 14:05

Yeah. And think of it like this, again, looking at it in real life. If you went to a professional event, you know, how do you go into a room? And where do you go, you're gonna go to the person that has a buzz, you know, the person that looks presentable, the person that looks like they're, you know, they're just kind of not the life of the party, but that there's, you know, interest, you know, where do you go or do you stand in the corner? So same thing with LinkedIn is how do you want your profile to show up? You know, do you want it to look lik, I think of it like this, your resume is what you've done in the rearview mirror. Okay, it's pretty factual. It's I did this, I do that blah, blah,

Susan Tatum 14:46

That's the experience section probably now.

Judi Hays 14:49

Yeah, pretty much your resume. Yeah. LinkedIn is aspirational. It's the road ahead. It's how you want to be perceived.

Susan Tatum 14:58

One of the things that you're so good at is getting engagement with the posts on LinkedIn, from from a profile. So I want to talk about what that does.

Judi Hays 15:12

Put engagement from posts? Well, again, it goes back to knowing who your target is, what do you want to reach what's important to them, and then understanding how the platform works. And it changes all the time. But again, if I have a piece of interesting content, and I share it and perhaps ask a question, and there there starts to be engagement with that particular piece of content, then it's important to keep it going. So and that's where I see a lot of people fall off is they'll post something, and then people might engage with it. And they don't do anything with that. So there's a couple things you can do. You can look at, well, who has posted a reaction? Am I connected to them? Are they the right people? Oh, well, here's some very interesting people that has reached and no, I'm not connected with a couple of these people. So now I can reach out to them and say, Hey, I'm so glad you liked that post. I would love to connect with you start another relationship.

Susan Tatum 16:15

And we know from personal experience that that works really quite well.

Judi Hays 16:17

In fact, it could win awards.

Susan Tatum 16:20

It can win clients.

Judi Hays 16:22

But again, that's so you know, the other beautiful part about that is when you are getting visibility on your posts, and this is changing recently, I've noticed that posts have a longer lifespan now. So it used to be like what happened in the first hour was it mattered. And now I'm seeing posts is really interesting in several of my client accounts, in my own feed, things keep coming back to the surface like oh my gosh, that's a week old and it's just coming back in the feet again, you know, so I think things are taking a little bit longer. And the reason why is I believe more people are posting content, if you notice, it's getting a little busier in Linkedin there's more people out there posting. Not all of its really business type content. So there's a little bit of this, you know, private, not personal type content going out there. You know, emotionally want to capture interest and want to heartthrob, whatever? Yeah, there's some of that coming on LinkedIn, it's not bad. You know, it's, if people respond to it, then it's not wrong, but it was the right people responding to it. You know, I would go for quality over quantity. So I don't really need to have posts that have like, super, you know, super high reach, and very few relevant engagements. I think we saw that in a recent post with a client, where we had something that had way, you know, unusual reach, based on the size of his network. But the people that were engaging with it were either not his end users in different geographic locations that weren't in the target. You know, so was that valuable? No, pick up more eyeballs. But no, that wasn't that converting the content?

Susan Tatum 18:14

What about if somebody that came and looked at the profile? And they saw Oh, wow, this had there's a lot of stuff you're talking about? There's a party going on? Just to see that something's happening. may subconsciously give you the feeling that okay. This person is involved.

Judi Hays 18:31

Yeah, pushing, get a sense of their voice, you know, what kinds of things are they posting? How are they responding? I always look at activity sections, I want to see what they're engaging with, you know, and if there's a sense,

Susan Tatum 18:41

I think that's an, that's an opportunity to show what you're all about. And what if you're providing insights with your content, then you're providing value, and that people look at your profile, they'll see that.

Judi Hays 18:53

And you know, what's interesting, I think we learn from the comments. You know, and I know inactivity, the comments are really interesting. I mean, there's certain posts that get really good conversations going, it can be really interesting to read them. And you can learn something that way. And that's a way if you're not really comfortable with creating original content, you can demonstrate your subject matter expertise, by finding content, and then commenting on it in an insightful way. You know, some people find that more of a comfort level. Because I think it's scary for people.

Susan Tatum 19:30

I yeah, I think we run across that with every client that hasn't been doing it, you know, for a while, is uncomfortable with it.

Judi Hays 19:38

It's, I don't want to come across looking silly. I don't want to look stupid, I don't know what to say. Or they say it to mechanically, you know, it's not something as if they were speaking it, but I have seen once they start to test the waters and put content out there, and then it starts to get a reaction. Oh, wow. That's pretty cool. Let me do it again, you know, and so I think it's like building up a muscle. Yeah. But the way to approach LinkedIn is, you know, get your profile dressed up. But but don't try to dive in and do everything at once. You know, because what happens is most people run out of steam,

Susan Tatum 20:20

So I was going to ask you, if you haven't been posting much, what's the sweet spot? Where do you start? Like, we always get asked, How often should I post?

Judi Hays 20:32

You know, I think, honestly, I've had a lot of success with once a week, as long as it's really good content, and not the same type of content. And we may do a poll, we may share a text only post and ask a question, we may share some kind of visual image, we may share an outbound link, you know, depending on what it is, but I would say you know, because we may share a document, you know, some kind of slide presentation or PowerPoint, whatever. Mixing it up, is is effective and different types of content I like to work with, like what I would call the the turkey, a big, big hunk an article that has a lot of stuff and then create infographics from it, pull quotes, you know, maybe even a short video, you know, a lot of different types of material from that one piece of content, and that content should align with the core problems that your end, you know, that your target audience is dealing with. Because then, you know, you can say the same thing in a lot of different ways. And they're going to oh, man, they finally get it. You know, it's like, yeah, I gotta, we need help with that. Who was that person? It was the conversion company. Let's call them I keep seeing the always posting these great things. You know, it's like the billboard on the road. You see the billboard enough and then when you have the need, it's like, Yes, let's go there.

Susan Tatum 21:58

Familiarity. Yeah, that's tough. Well, so I heard you were we shared a client that got so excited about posting they posted every day. And you are not happy about that.

Judi Hays 22:12

It was just too much. I knew that they could not keep that momentum. And, and what's interesting what they found and here comes back to the personal, not private, when they posted about who they really were, you know, like a glimpse into their team or celebrating something in their personal life, you know, I think it was their spouse's birthday or something really, really good engagement. And it just is like, again, at the end of the day, people do business with people. They don't do business with companies. And so when you show a little bit about that, but but if you can't keep up with that momentum, you know, so you have no posts, and all of a sudden, you're posting every day, what's gonna happen is, you're gonna fizzle down, and you're gonna lose all the momentum that you built up. So it wasn't that I wasn't happy, I just was concerned that, you know, I have not seen anyone keep up with that kind of pace.

Susan Tatum 23:06

I think the way that you that you phrased it was, you're training the LinkedIn algorithm to expect you to post every day, and you have to maintain it, and you can't just go up and down, or it stop showing your stuff.

Judi Hays 23:22

You know, people that understand SEO and Google search or online search, there are a lot of parallels to the LinkedIn algorithm, you know, in terms that when you first post something, and this is why growing your network is so important, which is one of the other pillars of the book is to expand, typically, typically, about 10% of your network, is it's a good benchmark, we'll see something that you post, that's assuming nobody engages with it, that's 10% will see it out of the gate, okay, it could take a little bit longer now, for that to cycle through the platform, once people start engaging with it, it can go off in all these different directions, I've tested like the same type of post, at different times, maybe a different format, and it goes in totally different directions based on who engages with it, because you get that six degrees of separation. So that's what's interesting is, again, trying to it's like throwing something in, you're trying to get it close to the goal, and then the wind takes it somewhere else you wanted to go over there. So you know, how do you do that you can't really, you can't really manipulate the algorithm you can try, but it just doesn't work. So that's where it goes back to, I would only post if you have something to say. And think about again, you know, Here's here's a, here's a concept I want to get through to my target audience. And I want them to embrace this. So I may put it out in a couple of different ways to get a conversation started. And then from there, you know, use the content as the catalyst for the conversation.

Susan Tatum 25:03

Is it fair to say, because you said only posts when you have something to say, but is it fair to say you should have something to say once a week?

Judi Hays 25:13

Yes. Find something to say. And post, you know, again, putting it out there, if you if you're going to just share articles. I would share a listicle then Okay

Susan Tatum 25:28

so 10 best articles or something? Yeah,

Judi Hays 25:30

Here's the 10 best podcasts this week. Here's the 10 best books this week, you know, or the the five questions my clients are asking me this week, you know, something like that, that is going to show that you've put some effort into it, because if you just sharing an outbound article there's no context, no comment or anything? Kind of fall flat.

Susan Tatum 25:50

I mean, just re re sharing a blog article or something.

Judi Hays 25:54

It's crap that clogs the feed? Pardon my Direct. Yeah. And and, you know, you know, what I like to ask clients is what stops you, when you're looking at your feed, what grabs your attention? What interests you what is in there, and you know, the other thing that a lot of people don't realize is, you can fine tune your feet. Because when you connect with somebody, by default, you follow them. And again, you know, who is active in in your newsfeed, it's going to show you what LinkedIn calls relevant. Okay, that's based on engagement, and you know, how you're connected and all that stuff. And then there's a feature called recent, and you can flip that switch. And if you just go back and pick the people that you want to follow, that's what I would do with if I had a particular type of target audience. I would pick 10 people that I would love to have conversations with. And let's say that these people are active. So out of all, I'm gonna pick 10 that are fairly engaged. I'm going to start as a routine, engaging with the content that they share. Guess what's going to happen? It's going to get their attention in a positive way. I just did it with somebody and they just invited me to be on their live. Because I started engaging, and it was just, you know, back and forth for no other reason. But I, you know, it was definitely somebody that I wanted to have a conversation with. And then they reached out to me, you know, somebody else. I mean, it's interesting how that happens. So don't don't always have an end in mind. I just thought I could add value to some of the things that these 10 profiles are saying.

Susan Tatum 27:46

just like you would if you met somebody at a at a cocktail party, you you're just having a conversation. Yeah. Yeah. And you're being helpful in whatever ways you possibly can.

Judi Hays 27:53

Yeah, so I think that, you know, that is where the magic of LinkedIn happens, if you can look at LinkedIn as a virtual networking event, it is an event every day is an event because different people show up and, you know, the content is the food and the wine, you know, you go into a room, it's a crowded room, there's a lot of people there, they all look pretty interesting, right? So you've got the network, but there's no food, people are like getting, you know, what do we do here

Susan Tatum 28:24

is leaving

Judi Hays 28:25

no content, they leave, you know, same thing, the it could happen the other way, there's a lot of content. A lot of times when I do an audit for an account, I see the posting a lot of stuff, no engagement, they've got a network of like 3500 people that said, you know, what, you're not reaching, whatever you're posting is not relevant, because nobody's engaging with it. So that is like having an event, and having all this wonderful food, and there's nobody there. Nobody's eating it

Susan Tatum 28:52

it's wrong. You're it's a vegetarian crowd and you're serving steak.

Judi Hays 28:56

Exactly. It's not resonating with them, you know, so or you could have, you know, people waiting to get into a place but they can't get in, that's having a profile that's not accessible. You know, you don't have your settings right, or you don't have it optimized, it's like they get into this place. It's like, well, this is like a warehouse. You know, what, yeah, you know, so again, I try to visualize things because then people can relate to it. They're like, okay, now I get it, you know, so you're gonna have this wonderful professional networking event, you're going to have the best wine, the best food that your audience is going to like, you're going to invite, you know, people that are really interesting, and entertaining, and even some people that we would call lurkers that may come out of their shell,

Susan Tatum 29:40

they're still working. They're still seeing your stuff.

Judi Hays 29:40


Susan Tatum 29:43

You know, before we wrap this up, you touched on another piece. That's important. And that is the network. That's your first degree connections. And we've seen several, several times here recently, where that's the first thing that we've had to do is build up the relevant network.

Judi Hays 30:03


Susan Tatum 30:04

What talk a little bit about why that is?

Judi Hays 30:08

Yeah, well, it really depends, again, on somebody's comfort level on LinkedIn, back in the day, you know, you would only connect with someone that you actually met,

Susan Tatum 30:18

or something, which makes sense. Yeah.

Judi Hays 30:20

You know, I do believe it's important to have a connection strategy. You know, because if you connect with just anybody, what happens is it It diminishes the quality of your network, and also the people that see the content and activity. So I would say, again, it goes back to really getting clear on I'm going to position my profile to attract a particular audience. Okay. So you know, for instance, if I'm selling professional services was a lot of different kinds. Well, let me focus on supply chain right now. So I'm going to work with people in supply chain. Okay, maybe maybe from the, you know, from the technology side. Okay. So now my profile is really going to be optimized to appeal to that audience. So then I'm going to look at where I might find people to start to build that network that guestlist, right. Trade Associations, I might look at conferences, I might look at, who's publishing, you know, podcast, who was a guest, and start to really build that way, because those people are generally connected to more people, like, like minded people. So yeah,

Susan Tatum 31:30

so you're, you're suggesting that part of the strategy would be yes, you want to get connected to people that you want to do business with? But you also want to get connected to people who have access to those people?

Judi Hays 31:41


Susan Tatum 31:43

And, and that would be some credibility that comes along with being connected to them, right?

Judi Hays 31:48

Yeah, we call it the Kevin Bacon strategy. So that's six degrees of separation. No, it really is. It's, and then, you know, if I'm connected to you, and I want to connect with Steve, and now you're connected with Steve, now I have an entry because you really do need a second degree connection. Because when somebody looks at an invite, they want to see oh, yeah, you're connected to 17 people in my network, okay. We travel in similar circles. If you're not connected to anybody I'm connected to.

Susan Tatum 32:18

Will you sort of start thinking is this a real person?

Judi Hays 32:20

Yeah, and there was an article recently that I shared about, you know, the, these artificial intelligence profiles just have a strategy. And really, I would say, do your due diligence, when you're having an inbound invitation and how you're processing it, I tend to pick the people I want to connect with. And I'll invite them. If somebody posts something really interesting, like, I'll search with a hashtag on LinkedIn. And if somebody's posting interesting content related to that hashtag, I will compliment them on that and say, I loved your article because of this. And I'll name something specific to demonstrate that actually read it, say, Hey, I would love to have you in my network, let's connect, again, that you really want to, it's not a race to the finish. And I think you will do better by hand picking and it's one of the things I love about the work you do is you actually take the time to look at the profile and look at the person and it's not about you know, let's connect with everyone that has a title of CFO is let's connect with the right people that we can tell, you know, from various, you know, intellectual intelligence that we have, that they are going to be a fit for this particular.

Susan Tatum 33:25

There's so much more that goes into that strategy that's just going through my head, but we're going to run out of time here. And I you know, the question that I think maybe going through a lot of listeners heads, and we get asked this by clients is, boy, this sounds like it takes a lot of time. Is it worth it?

Judi Hays 33:45

Well, let me ask you this, if you're selling a six figure, service or product, and you know, the result of this effort brings you that deal, or maybe two or three? Is it worth it? Yeah, you know, but I will tell you this, it is not a sprint, LinkedIn is a long game. So you know, when you start it, have that in mind and say, Okay, I'm going to try this for three months. And here are the things I'm going to do, I'm going to spend 15 minutes a day, and we're going to build up that muscle. And as I start to see results, that I'm going to increase that now I'm getting results, let's go six months, some of my clients, most of them sell high ticket services. In the six and seven figures. It can take as many as 12 touches and as much as 18 16 to 18 months, actually close a deal. Because we don't know where people are in the process. But guess what, if they don't even know who you are, you know, then you're never even going to be considered. So you want to you want to have built that relationship and that visibility. So when the timing is right for them when their problem is such that they're willing to put money to get it solved. Guess who they think of? You because you've been there all along, you've been providing insights, you've been helping them, you've been engaged with them. You've been, you know, thinking of how you can be a good resource. You've built the credibility and the trust.

Susan Tatum 35:19

So you have the credibility and the trust, and you have also, you've gotten to them early you've gotten to them before they even knew that they had a problem before they started looking. And it gives you a great competitive advantage. One last question for you. Why did you write this book?

Judi Hays 35:36

I had to get it out of my head because I felt that a lot of people are challenged by LinkedIn. And so I wanted to give them a map or roadmap as to you know, if you broke it down into these three concepts to elevate, they expand and they engage. And each chapter, by the way, has a checklist of action items, that hopefully it'd be manageable, and that people would at least realize that this is a pretty awesome tool that we could use to grow our business.

Susan Tatum 36:05

So I think the other thing that you did was laid to rest a lot of the misinformation, of which there's plenty that's going on out there and just giving a really realistic view of what needs to be done these days.

Judi Hays 36:20

Well, you know what it is, it's really about building relationships that are lasting and we just happen to use LinkedIn as the tool.

Susan Tatum 36:25

Well, thank you so much for stopping by and those that want to find you follow up with you. What's the best way to do it?

Judi Hays 36:31

It's Judi Hays and that's spelled And if you go to my website, you can download a copy of chapter from my book. If you go there, find me on LinkedIn. I'm hanging out there all the time. I would love to connect with you be sure to mention this podcast. And I would, I would love to have a conversation with you.

Susan Tatum 36:53

All right, cool. Well, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Judi Hays 36:55

Thanks, Susan.


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