SocialTech Tuesday: Sharing the Content Love

Last week, I shared 15 ideas for creating content that captures interest. It would be lovely if everyone we talked to or had on our target list was ready to buy now, but let’s face it, that’s just not realistic.

Things have changed pretty dramatically since back in the day when I first started selling. Frankly, I think selling is much tougher these days. I say that because…

  • Decision making seems to take longer than ever with multiple stakeholders involved. Some of these stakeholders don’t even hold real influence, but you have to talk to them anyway (or you think you do).
  • Buyers have unprecedented access to information. Your feature/benefit dump is wasted effort.
  • The market is crowded. In pretty much every industry that I can think there is a ton of competition. The trick is to rise above the noise and stand out.
  • Buyers block calls and delete emails.
  • Your prospects don’t care about what you want (they never did actually), they care about what they want and what you, your product or your service can do for them. Hint: features aren’t it!

Your ultimate goal with selling is to get IN FRONT of sales opportunities. My goal is to help you become a Content Concierge, because you want to be seen as someone who stays ahead of the curve bringing fresh insights forward and gets prospects thinking about business problems they probably don’t realize they have yet.

That’s where content comes in. Visibility is key and your ability to create, curate and share great content needs to be an integral part of your Strategic Social Selling Plan.

But from talking to and training thousands of people who sell, the idea of becoming a content concierge is a little daunting for these reasons:

  • Who will create the content?
  • How will I manage and share the content?
  • How will I benefit if I do all of this work?

My last post covered creation, so now, let’s talk about the management and sharing of content.

Hootsuite is my content management platform, and I want you to check it out. HootSuite is a social media management system for individuals, businesses and organizations that lets you share content across multiple social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook from one secure, web or mobile-based dashboard. Want to get a bit more sophisticated? You can also leverage a suite of social content apps for Instagram, SlideShare, YouTube, Tumblr and more.

Here is a picture of my Hootsuite Dashboard

Here are some of the super cool things that you can do:

Schedule content in advance. This is the secret sauce, which allows you to schedule messages to post through the day, week or month while you are off doing your job…selling.

  • Even with the FREE version, they have this nifty feature called “autoschedule”. You create your message and then let Hootsuite determine the best time to send it to your networks.
  • You can also click on the “calendar” icon and pick a specific date and time to send your message. The free version allows you to do this for individual emails only.
  • Buy the premium version and schedule up to 350 messages across your social networks. Talk about making life more efficient. Plan your calendar and cue up relevant content to share at on specific days and times. CAREFUL though… you don’t want to be perceived as a bot, so remember to go back in and engage in conversation with people.

Use RSS to set up your blog/company feed so that messages post automatically when a new post is published. The FREE version lets you establish 5 social sites and/or 3 sites and 2 RSS feeds. The premium gives you an unlimited ability add a mashup of social networks and RSS feeds of the Influencer blogs your follow and whose content you trust.

Use streams to track what your competitors, prospects, customers or influencers are posting about. I mean really, did you actually think you could follow over 250 million tweets daily without the ability to do something like this?

Monitor conversations - cue up messages to social sites like LinkedIn and monitor conversations from within the dashboard.

Share images/files easily with your posts.

Bottom line – to share content consistently, you need the tools and an organized approach to get you there.

If you’d like to learn HOW to put Hootsuite to work you in your social selling activities, you should REGISTER for my session next Tuesday, June 25. I’m going to show you exactly what and how to use Hootsuite to your advantage!

BTW – I a very SPECIAL webinar coming up on June 27. My guest is Jason Wesbescher of Handshakez. Sales people can have their own “room” for sharing visually compelling content and information with their prospects. I promise you – you won’t go back to wasting time with email ever again!

SocialTech Tuesday: Content Captures Interest

Unless this is the first post you’ve ever read of mine, you already know that I believe social selling success breaks down into 3 buckets:

  • Strategy
  • Skills
  • Execution

Basically, you need a plan, sales and technology skills, the right technology to support your goals, consistent execution and a commitment to measure and track your results.

With buyers starting the journey without sales people initially, you need a way to create a sense of authority and influence, and anyone who sells anything certainly needs to be visible and easily found.

A cornerstone of your social selling strategy is having great content to share. And your first tip today, is that the content should not always be yours and it most definitely cannot be a sales pitch!

If you work for a company that is sizable enough to have marketers creating content for you to share…awesome. A word of caution though…the content being served up cannot be perceived by your prospects as your own personal love fest. In other words, provide value in the case studies, white papers, video’s, blog posts or recorded webinars. If all you do is talk about what you sell and how great you are, you just missed the entire point of what social selling is all about.

If you have no content to work with here are 15 ways to serve some up:

  1.  Write a blog and/or comment on other top blogs in your industry.
  2. Conduct podcast interviews with industry leaders.
  3. Curate the content from key influencers (not competitors) or websites you like - Forbes, Mashable, TechCrunch, Top Sales World…whoever is important to you in your field… via RSS feeds and using a dashboard tool like Hootsuite.
  4. Follow influencers in your field on Twitter and on LinkedIn. Share their posts.
  5. Reach out to other influencers and ask about guest blogging on their site. If they do podcast or video interviews, ask to be considered for an interview.
  6. Share content from the people you respect and follow on LinkedIn. Use the new mention feature to give them a shout-out.
  7. Conduct a webinar. Deliver your own content or set it up panel style and moderate. Record the session for post follow up and use in sharing content later.
  8. Create a kick-butt presentation and post via Slideshare and then share it with you minions and encourage them to share with theirs.
  9. Curate a newspaper using Add 25 of the top people you like and include their blog posts, tweets, etc. It will post automatically through your Twitter account, and you can also share it with others via email or LinkedIn.
  10. Speak at an event - could be as a featured speaker or a panelist and have it videotaped. Share the video on your LinkedIn profile.
  11. Create a video of your tip of the week. Get really good at it and do it daily.
  12. Host a live tweet chat, capture key points from the discussion and turn that into blog posts, interviews or presentations.
  13. Get to know editors at various online sites who publish blog posts or magazines. Offer to guest write an article.
  14. Host and record a Google hangout session focused on an educational topic that your prospects would be interested in.
  15. Conduct a survey and share the results with prospects and others in your network. For example, I co-authored our Social Media and Sales Quota report, which you can download from our website.

Don’t become overwhelmed with these suggestions, you only need to choose a few of them to get you started!

If you have content to work with that’s cool. Mix in any corporate content that has been created for you and also integrate a few of the suggestions that I’ve shared with you.

Don’t forget that sharing only your content is boring and will appear self-serving. Make the content you share a nice mix of yours and that of others who offer fresh insights and perspectives.

Once you create content, you have to get really good at sharing it. That takes an organized approach and scheduling, which I will talk about next week. Until then, happy selling!


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Becoming a Content Curator

Today, in addition to being a brand, we are all now publishers of content. Every tweet, blog entry, Facebook post, LinkedIn status update…it is all content that you want to leverage as elements of your sales and marketing strategy.

Over on Beth Kantor’s blog, she says the three threes of content curation are: Seek, Sense, Share. It is important to think about the process in this way because each are integral to your overall strategy of gathering and sharing content that is relevant to your network. In the graphic that Beth created, she does a nice job of breaking down what the elements of the process at each stage are.


First, you need to find great information to support the personal brand objectives you’ve set for yourself. What I mean by that is to make sure that the information you choose to share is consistent with how you want to represent yourself.

Curating content that will provide value to the prospects you are targeting is a great way to demonstrate credibility in your role. You don’t have to write everything yourself to be viewed as credible. You can surround yourself with industry experts and their content. Of course, it is important that it compliments yours. Learning to curate content well helps you to position yourself as a go-to business resource. That gets you noticed!

Next, you want to make sense of the information. How can you add your unique twist to a tweet or a blog post? What sources will you use to create a blog post based on the information you’ve uncovered? For example, I searched out sources on content curation so that the post would have more depth.

Finally, you need to share the information. To help to streamline the time investment you need to make to get your content out there, you’ll want to choose tools and put a process in place to help you. I’ll talk more about that in just a moment.

Content is both Queen and King. As content is refreshed, it keeps you more visible to your networks, increases search engine rankings to your website or blog and positions you as someone staying on top of news, trends and people in the minds of your prospects.

Where do you find the right type of content to curate?

That’s a great question and it leads me to talk about tools that you can use to kick your content curation activities into gear.

First, start by creating a list of the most important business topics that you want to be known for. For me, it is sales, social media, technology and business. Then you want to create a list of the people that you admire, who would also lend credibility to what you are doing, so that you can share their content also. By the way, some people only want to share their own content and that’s fine. It’s also only one perspective. When you surround yourself with other known thought leaders, your credibility is elevated.

Now to the fun part…here are several technology tools to help you pull all of this together.

Twitter lists – According to Twitter, “A list is a curated group of Twitter users. You can create a list or subscribe to lists created by others. Viewing a list’s timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the users on that list.” I can create a list of the top women in sales and once my list is created, I can easily scan to determine what tweets I’d like to share of theirs with my network. – have some real fun and create your own newspaper(s). This is a project that has been on my list for some time, and I yesterday, I finally set mine up. You can add news sources, people and RSS feeds from blogs you like. does the work laying out the content in a magazine format that is appealing to the eye. The free version is pretty cool but you do have ads on your pages. I decided to spring for the $9 a month to remove the ads. Check out my newspaper:  Social Sales Talk

Storify – nifty tool for creating summaries, such as the recap of the Sales 2.0 conference. Here’s the morning recap from the conference. You can summarize your thoughts and then include supporting tweets or video to your story. I just started working with it. Pretty cool stuff!

Hootsuite – I’ve used the Hootsuite dashboard to manage my social accounts for quite some time and love it. With the free version, you can track and manage five social networking accounts and or RSS feeds. I manage my Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and LinkedIn profile and our company page all from within Hootsuite. Because I also like to share content from other popular bloggers, I have an upgraded account to accommodate more RSS feeds.

Pinterest – this is a great tool for curating your visual communication. You create boards based on interest or business products and services. After a board has been established, you simply begin adding pictures to your boards. I have boards that are for business, and I share information about social media, technology, business tools we use, etc. I also mix up the fun with some personal boards about food and wine, animals and travel.

Facebook fan page – You fan page content shouldn’t just be all about you. Sorry, but that begins to feel like a thinly veiled sales pitch and it gets boring fast. Mix it up with relevant business information that you community of followers can benefit from reading. We mix in other bloggers content, news articles, videos, pictures and more. As noted earlier in the post, who you surround yourself can also elevate your credibility.

When I think of all the technology changes during my past 29 years in business, it is amazing how far we have come. Our ability to provide value to prospects in advance of sales opportunities in such amazing ways blows my mind. If you want to stand out in the mind of your prospects and crush your competition, learn to be a curator of information. Content curation gives you the ability to let your creativity and inner publisher break free while solidifying your position as a thought leader in your field.


What’s stopping you?


P.S. no sooner had I published the post, I came across another tool that looks cool.  I’m setting up a page now.