Trevor Turnbull | Using LinkedIn the Right Way

There are a lot of misconceptions about LinkedIn out there, says Trevor Turnbull. It’s not Facebook for business people. It’s not an online business card and resume. It’s not a place to spam hundreds of people hoping to find leads.

But when used correctly this social media platform can pull in a steady stream of qualified prospects, says Trevor. And he should know. He’s The LinkedIn Guy, with more than 26,000 people having gone through his training programs.

In this episode, he talks about an effective client acquisition system he’s created, the LinkedIn Linchpin Method, that leverages the true value of LinkedIn, as well as…

  • How to avoid being perceived as a spammer
  • A content creation strategy that actually works, including a format you wouldn’t expect
  • Why you must start a conversation with a prospect before you ever talk to them – and how to do it
  • The reason you must act like a “human” on LinkedIn 
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:


Steve Gordon: Welcome to the Unstoppable CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Steve Gordon. And I got to tell you, folks, I’ve been looking forward to this interview for probably about two, three months now. The gentlemen that I’m going to introduce you to, is, I think gonna, this is maybe, may even go down as our best interview of the year. So I’m talking today with Trevor Turnbull. He’s the CEO of Linked Into Leads and he’s the founder of the transformative Expert Selling program.

They empower b2b solopreneurs and consultants and coaches and, you know, anybody who is selling b2b and working on their own, and we all know how tough that is. Trevor and his team come in and they help you connect with what they call your MVP, your most valuable prospects using LinkedIn and using something that he’s created called the LinkedIn Linchpin Method and I hope he’s going to tell us all about that today.

They have served over 26,000 people with his repeatable, predictable, measurable client acquisition system. And I’m excited to get into all of that today. So, Trevor, welcome to the Unstoppable CEO. I’m glad we finally got to do this. We’ve talked a few times in the last couple of months, but I’ve been looking forward to today. So thanks for being here.

Trevor Turnbull: Yeah, thanks so much, Steve. And no pressure, right? Best interview of the year. Let’s do this.

Steve: That’s right. Well, I like to set the bar high.

Trevor: That’s right. Yeah. I’ll step up. I’ll step up.

Steve: Yeah. Well, I say that, and I don’t say that lightly, either, because we’ve had some great interviews. But the method that we’re going to talk about today, I think, is going to get people pulled out of this trap that they fall into of thinking that LinkedIn is a place where they’re going to cold connect with people or they’re just going to incessantly post content. And you’ve got, I think, a better approach to that. So I’m excited about that. But before we get into it, can you give everybody a little bit of context, a little bit of background for how you got to the stage of your career?

Trevor: Yeah, sure. So I’ll give a condensed version that still may take me four or five minutes to get through, but I’ll try and summarize it as best. So my background, if I was to jump back like 17 years ago, in 2003, I got a marketing degree, went straight into sales. So back then, and this is kind of how you and I chatted before we hopped on the line here, is this social media, LinkedIn, social selling stuff, it didn’t exist back then.

So I had a sales manager who threw a phone book on my desk and said, best of luck kid. Go try and hit your targets. I was kind of forced into just figuring it out. And back then, of course, you know, networking was a big component of how I got new business. I’d go to breakfasts, I’d get up at 5 am, drive across the city and shake hands with the same people and eventually they’d refer me business and that was just how we did it because there was no other choice.

And then, you know, fast forward a few years, I jumped into entrepreneurship a few times, had a few successful and a few failed ventures along the way around website development, that type of thing. And I ended up working with a digital agency that was, I had a client that was a professional football team, actually, at the time. This was like 2009. And they were trying to figure out social media. And I said, Oh, yeah, I know that. Let me teach you that. I didn’t have a clue. But I was like, I’ll go figure it out of it.

Yeah, kind of marrying these two things of like, yeah, social media. I’m kind of into that. And I’m in sports. I have a background playing hockey and stuff. So I kind of threw myself into it and I started using LinkedIn myself to connect with people, and Twitter and all these other tools. And I really latched onto LinkedIn because I just saw the opportunity with just the business networking side of things and how it, like for me, it just opened my eyes to the fact that the business world was much bigger than my local market and just the people I was meeting with on a day to day.

And then, you know, over the past 10 years or so, since like 2010 to 2020, you know, I ended up registering a domain called LinkedInfluence, and never ended up taking any action on it and creating a course, but what ended up happening just through whatever, you know, greater power, I ended up connecting with a guy by the name of Lewis Howes, which some people might know.

And he said, Hey, I’m thinking about creating a LinkedIn course and I want to call it LinkedInfluence and I see you on the domain. Do you want to sell it to me? And at the time, I was like, I don’t really want to sell this thing. I was like, I’ll give it to you if you partner with me and we’ll work together.

So we worked together for like four years. I ran a sports recruiting website, which was all geared around helping young professionals leverage LinkedIn for branding and getting a job. And then a few years later, he started doing his podcasts which, you know, took off obviously, his School of Greatness. And I came back in and I became the lead trainer for that program. And I’ve had a few programs since then. So hence the like, 26,000 or so people that have gone through the trainings that I’ve created.

And it’s evolved a lot over the years and, you know, we’ve made mistakes and we’ve had successes and things are shifting constantly. And I think it kind of goes back to what you said at the start, which is, I think people see the potential of LinkedIn and maybe they’ve even used it in the past, but they just don’t know how to really fully leverage it without feeling like they’re becoming a spammer. And that is obviously something that I want to help people with is like, we can go back to what used to work and leverage it in this new technology.

Steve: Yeah, I feel like there are people who are probably listening to this right now, they fall into one of two camps. So you’ve got some people who, they have the profile on LinkedIn, and hopefully they’ve uploaded their photo, but they use it sort of passively as a placeholder for a business card, you know? And they’re afraid maybe to go out and do a lot of connecting because maybe they don’t really understand it, or they don’t want to be perceived, as you say, as a spammer.

And then I think on the other end, you’ve got people who look at it and, you know, maybe they are out connecting but I see a lot of people just posting content after content after content and typically really low-value content that I don’t think anybody pays any attention to. And that’s a real hamster wheel to be on too. So, what’s the middle way? What’s kind of the third approach here that people aren’t seeing? What’s the right way to use LinkedIn?

Using LinkedIn the Right Way

Trevor: Well, it comes down to a few things, I think. A lot of times, I think maybe people see the potential in it, but they just don’t know how to use it properly. So like to give an example, you know, if people get incoming connection requests where they either see them as like, I don’t know how this could possibly benefit me or that person. They don’t know what to do with it, which typically the answer is just delete it. Just move on. Like if you don’t see the opportunity, then move on.

But for those ones, where, you know, either you’re proactively reaching out and connecting or somebody is connecting with you where you see an opportunity to help them, people get paralyzed. They’re like, Well, okay, I’ll accept it. And now it just sits in the abyss of their, you know, online Rolodex and that is LinkedIn. But they don’t know what to, how to follow up. Like, how do I follow up without being pushy and salesy but at the same time, not being fluffy and non-value-adding, because that’s contributing to the whole concept that I’ve said numerous times in the last few weeks of like, marketers seemingly ruin everything, you know?

Like, and as soon as people started talking about LinkedIn like two years ago, it seemed like the platform started to become a big spam fest. And I know everybody listening will probably be able to relate to that because they have the experience. They’re like, oh yeah, every time I connect to somebody, they’re like, trying to sell me something. That’s how we all feel when it comes to LinkedIn.

So how do you flip it on its head? That’s the question, the big question, right? And part of it comes down to, you know, where is your time best served as the owner of your business, the best marketer, the best salesperson for your solopreneur business? So that’s something that we help people with and I’m sure we’ll get into that. And then just quite frankly, you know, where should you be putting that time? So how, like, do you proactively reach out? What do you say to people?

How do you take an approach to them that isn’t fluffy, but at the same time, isn’t too in your, you know, down your throat, like, Hey, I think I can help you, buy my stuff. There is a middle ground there. And that’s where I, why I created this LinkedIn Linchpin Method, which I know we’ll get into here. But it’s essentially a framework. It’s just a framework of communication of how do you unapologetically share your gifts, your expertise with people you truly believe you can help without it feeling as though you’re leading with a sales message. So you know, the framework is essentially, you know, be vulnerable, which is be a human being.

So stop trying to position and, you know, be too markety and just talk like a human being. Empathy, have empathy for the other person and what they’re currently dealing with or whatever their current reality is, and this has never been more apparent to have that empathy in today’s world, right? With everything that’s going on. And then gratitude, which is truly, you know, most of the. I shouldn’t say most, all of the people that we work with have years and years of experience. Like, they are good at what they do.

They are true experts. 10-plus years experience, 10,000 hours, however, you want to break it down, and unapologetically share that gift with gratitude and say, like, Look, I’m really good at this, which I think you may have a need for, and here’s how my process works, and then have a clear call to action. And by taking that kind of an approach, the thing that I want people to think of is, you know, this is how we used to do this 15 years ago.

So like when I went to a networking event, I didn’t lead with a sales pitch and just run around the room firing business cards out and hope that the phone rings. I went there with the intent on humanizing myself, you know, introducing myself, shaking a hand asking for feedback about that person and what their current reality is and where they could use help. And then, of course, like the salesperson in me says, I want to tell these people how I can help them. And it’s not going to be for everybody.

And that’s a big, big part of it, too, I think, Steve, is that we get very fearful of hearing No. When, in my mind, a no is closer to a yes. It’s the maybe and then I’m not sure that is what’s paralyzing for us. So there’s a lot to unpack in what I said there but that’s kind of the gist of it is, you know, big picture, people are looking at LinkedIn wrong. They’re thinking that I don’t want to be a spammer, but the same time, I don’t got time to do this all on my own. So what’s the sweet spot in the middle? And that’s really kind of what I’ve perfected and what we do with our clients.

Steve: Well, I think, you know, a lot of people look at it and they think if I do this and I do it incorrectly, I’m going to somehow ruin my reputation permanently online in front of all seven and a half billion people on the planet, you know? Everybody’s looking. It’s out there. You know, and I’ve heard that from people.

We get clients that ask us, I mean, this isn’t in our wheelhouse, but they’ll ask us because we’re their trusted marketing advisor, you know? Hey, somebody sent me a message on LinkedIn. How do I respond to this and do it in the optimal way? I think some of that is everybody’s just a little bit too uptight about it. I’d love to hear your take. I mean, how do you approach things like that when people have those fears?

Trevor: Yeah. Well, that’s definitely real. It’s one of the most important things that we reference when we talk about the mission of the program that we have too is the idea of, you know, you are the best marketer and salesperson for your business. If you truly are like a consultants coach, like you’re a solopreneur, maybe you have a small team around you, but, you know, reputation is everything, right?

We don’t want to become that spammer. That does ruin the reputation by doing it the wrong way. But by not taking any kind of action, it’s almost like as equally harming right? Because then we don’t create opportunities. We’re kind of waiting for the phone to ring. It’s like back in the old days, right?

If he didn’t cold call or go to networking events, you sat there in the office looking at the phone just hoping that some business would come in. So we have to step through those fears of, you know, what should I say, you know, and how should I respond to a certain message. A lot of it comes back to just basic communication skills. Keep conversations going, ask questions, receive feedback, figure out what the challenges and the biggest pains are of your audience, and then find ways to solve it through the offers that you’ve created.

And, you know, the goal ultimately in using this platform, because if you’re using it the right way, it’s not a quote, unquote, scalable platform. There’s no, you can use automation tools, but we don’t advise people to do so because of the reputation components, right? It’s like do you really want to use an automation tool that may screw up and throw hi first name and the message and show that you’re completely disengaged with the actual relationship building of prospecting? Of course not. Not anybody that runs any kind of valid real business.

They don’t want to do that. But at the same time, it’s like, how do you make enough hours in the day to actually proactively do all this work yourself? So the thing that we’ve worked towards over the years is really cloning your authentic voice. And what I mean by that is that there is a way to script not only how you reach out to prospects, but then also how do you respond to certain feedback that comes back? And how can you look at every single back and forth engagement that happens and script out messages that still authentically come from you, but don’t have to be sent by you?

That’s the key to really allowing to have enough volume of conversations happening but without losing the quality of the conversation that’s going on. And, you know, you and I have talked about this before a little bit too when we talk about like direct prospecting, what are our options? We either cold call ourselves or hire an agency to do it for us. We either do LinkedIn ourselves or hire an agency to do it for us. Same kind of deal with other social platforms. Same kind of deal with email, either focus on building a list or you going to buy a list.

And you, let’s be honest, you spam people with cold messaging. These are the options that we have. What we’re all looking for is authentic outreach that still has the ability to scale without losing that authentic voice. And it can be really frustrating for people because it takes time. We need to be patient, we need to be patient too. You know, like cloning, your authentic voice doesn’t happen overnight. You have to be patient in seeing what kind of conversations are happening so that you can truly remove yourself and involve a virtual assistant, for example.

Steve: Well, I think one of the reasons people don’t want to give it the time is that they get themselves in a place of a little bit of desperation. You know, the roller coaster, the revenue roller coaster of I’ve got clients and engagements. I mean, this is like the consultant’s, you know existence. I’ve got client engagements and I’m busy. I’m not marketing. I’m not prospecting.

And then those engagements and those clients go away and then it’s like, oh, no, here we go, I don’t have any revenue right now. So now it’s market like crazy and prospect like crazy and hope that it pays off. And so I see a lot of particularly solopreneurs, they get into that because they don’t have much of a team around them. And so they’re just kind of torn back and forth from these two extremes.

And they get in a position where they don’t have the time to really allow something to work. And I don’t care how you’re marketing. I don’t care what method you use. There are very few that are going to be instantly productive because there’s a learning process to it. So I think that’s a really important point. So you’ve alluded to a couple of times this method that you have, the LinkedIn Linchpin. I would love for you to just describe what exactly that is, you know, from a high level and maybe break it down as far as you can for us.

Trevor: Yeah, well, and real quick, just on what you just said, there, too. Like one of the, there’s three T’s that I speak about a lot of times that I find these solopreneurs get hung up on or stuck on. And that’s technology. What tools do I use? How much do I spend? How do I automate as much as possible? Team, which is how can you ultimately, you know, surround yourself with experts in different areas, or at least services that can completely remove things off your plate so that you can focus more of your core expertise on areas that you should? And that’s the time component, right?

It’s like, every solopreneur consultant coach should be spending part of their time on sales bringing in new opportunities and part of their time on fulfillment, creating exceptional experiences for their clients because that creates referrals, which makes sales easier. And if you stay in that bubble, that’s a sweet spot. But now, you got to have the pieces in place to know like, what kind of technology and team can I build around me to keep the leads coming in and ultimately maturing and, you know, lead scoring these leads or leveling them up, right?

And that’s why, you know, and you and I’ve kind of hit it off talking about this topic, because like podcasting is one of those things, right? Show up, do the interview like this, have a whole team behind you that’s doing all the other pieces of technology and distribution and everything else and it solves that problem of Hey, I’m too busy fulfilling for clients, but Oh, shoot, I just lost two. How am I going to fill the pipe?

Oh, right. My team and my tech has been working for me. As soon as people get that and they hear it, they’re like that makes a lot of sense. So where do I start, right? And, you know, from the prospecting side of things and where that relates the LinkedIn Linchpin Method, the thing that’s really hit me lately is that everybody always says that I need more leads when that is not the case. Leads are easy. At least it is for me, it is for you, for people that do marketing.

Like, generating like conversations is not hard. It’s generating conversations that justify your time as the consultant coach to be able to spend that extra little bit to mature that lead. So it’s all about lead scoring. And the LinkedIn Linchpin Method, to me, is really kind of like how I described before around the framework. It’s about how do you build awareness and open the door and basically accelerate the process of really, you know, putting a sales-type message in front of somebody without being too pushy early on.

And it’s all about just the approach and the framework of just being aware, just being self-aware of the idea of being vulnerable and empathetic to their current reality and then sharing your gifts. That’s the key. And it sounds really simple, but the thing is, is that when people think about LinkedIn, they forget that and they go, should I like, try and get them on a call or should I just send them an article?

And the answer is neither, and build rapport and trust so that they go from just being aware that you exist to actually being aware of the problems that they have to, considering you as an option to evaluating you against your competition and seeing enough of your stuff like in the form of content marketing, which is where again, podcasting and repurposing content is important in the buyer’s journey. So that by the time you actually get on a call with them, they know who you are.

They trust you. They know what you can do to help them. They’re already bought into your method because they’ve heard it enough to see how it can actually help solve the big problem that they have. And now you’re just in the semantics of helping that person overcome their limiting beliefs and fears around spending money because that’s sales 101. It’s like Yes, logically show them how you can solve the problem and then help them overcome their mindset as to why they should spend money because even if logically, it makes sense that they should hire you, they still will stop themselves sometimes.

It’s like, ah, I tried that podcasting thing, or I tried that LinkedIn marketing thing before. It didn’t work. Why would you be any different? That all comes down to the Linchpin Method, which is, again, it’s just a framework of how to communicate. I can go into more detail as far as like the specifics of what we teach people how to do to create that type of experience as well if you want me to, Steve.

Steve: Yeah, let’s do that. I just want to underline something really, really important that you said. You’re absolutely right. It’s easy to create leads. And what we always talk with our clients about is you want to create an experience that pre-sells them, you know, and I think you described it perfectly. So the experience I want for, you know, the consultant, the experts that’s listening is that when you’re on that sales call, you’re across, you know, the table virtually or physically, from that prospect that they’ve already bought into the idea they have a problem.

They’ve already bought into the idea, you have a solution, they’ve already bought into you, that they want you. And I don’t know in Canada if they use the term Hey, I got a guy. Here, you know, I got a guy for it, right? You know, I got a gal for that. And you want to be in that position in their mind before you’re in a sales conversation because then you don’t have to be a really great salesperson to do really, really well. All the hard work’s been done. I think that’s what you’re really talking about here.

Massive Value Painkiller Guide

Trevor: Yeah, and there is some specific steps to it in the whole entirety of the Linchpin Method. So the Linchpin Method is a framework for communication and creating video content. Whether it’s, you publish that video as a LinkedIn post or you’re just doing direct outreach to past and current clients and hot prospects. It’s like, it’s just how you talk to people, and ideally on video. And Steve, I can’t underline this enough, too but for the last like two months when I was creating this method and really teaching people like, Hey, you should use Loom to create videos to reach out to your prospects because it’s actually kind of a pattern interrupt.

People are surprised by it. And, you know, it really allows you to connect on a personal level just like you could if you went to a networking event. And I could hear people going, Yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And then they weren’t doing it. I’m like, what’s the, do you not see the opportunity here? And then I started to see the fear that people had around being on camera.

It actually blew me away because I just didn’t relate to it because I’m like 10 years removed past that. And then I thought to myself, wait a second. What was it like 10 years ago for me when I did my first video? I was like, Oh, that’s it. It’s like, you know, think back, we’re both old enough to know like, what it was like when you heard yourself, record yourself on a tape recorder, right? You’re like, that’s not my voice. I don’t sound like that. Same thing times 10 on video. And then I realized that like, Oh man, I got to help people with that first.

But to bring it back to the overall method, it’s like if you use that framework and you publish a video on LinkedIn as a LinkedIn post that speaks to all of those pain points, it talks about the unapologetically sharing of the gifts that you have saying, like, Look, this is what I’m really good at. This is how I do it. This is my method. This is how I can help you. One of the best ways to do that is to offer up a guide or some type of value piece. I call it a massive value painkiller guide. And it’s a simple framework of just really addressing like, again, it all comes back to those pains, right?

It’s kind of like marketing 101 as far as doing the discovery of how you can best help people. But if you create a guide and a simple like, Google Doc that talks about those things, why they should trust your advice, it outlines your method, give away your best stuff, it builds massive amounts of rapport. You now have a solid piece on LinkedIn that you can drive traffic to through your messaging that encourages engagement that allows them to comment to receive your thing or just reply back to your message.

And then what it does is it accomplishes the whole thing that I was saying before, which is lead scoring. Because where do you, the solopreneur, spend your time? Well, ideally, you spend it on the time with the people that connect with you, that reply to you, that request your thing that engage with your thing. And now they’ve just leveled up to the point of like, these are the people that are most interested in at least exploring how I might be able to help them.

And now that becomes, that feels accomplishable by the solopreneur, consultant coach, especially the ones that didn’t grow up with technology and have the initial fear of just getting on camera is they’re like, okay, I can do that. I could do that part. If I know who is already kind of putting their hand up and saying I’m kind of interested in your stuff, I’ll go spend myself time there. That’s the whole context of the method is just it’s a framework to open conversations to be able to see who’s putting their hand up and wants to talk to you so you know where to spend your time.

Steve: I love that. So, if I understand what you’re explaining to us correctly, let me just rephrase. So you’re suggesting that the approach is create video content that explains your unique process, your unique method, how you help people in the world and you create probably series of videos over time that do that in different ways. And in each one of those videos, you’re offering up this mega tool, this mega piece of content and driving people to it. Is that kind of the fundamental piece of it?

Trevor: Yeah, generally speaking, like, you know, to reference the guide as like that mega piece of content that massive value painkiller. That’s actually exactly it. It’s like, and again, psychologically speaking, a lot of times people go, Okay, I think that makes sense. But number one, how do I create it? Well, it’s the simple framework.

And trust me, two years ago before I started to do this myself, I was completely paralyzed trying to summarize something into a guide because it felt like writing a book, the entirety of it was like, Oh, my God, where do I start? Then somebody gives you a framework, and you’re like, Oh, yeah, I can go fill in the blanks on that. And that’s one piece is like, what, how to do that.

The second part, and I’m sure you might be able to relate to this with yourself or your clients even too, Steve, or anybody listening is giving away your best ideas. Some people really, really struggle with that. They’re like, well, I can’t. I can’t like, tell everybody how I do what I do because that’s what I charge for. And my argument is the opposite. It’s like you absolutely should do that because, and I’ll use one example, leadership coaches.

If you Google, or not Google, you go into LinkedIn and you research leadership coaches, you go search for them and Sales Navigator, you’re going to find 40, 42,000 leadership coaches. So whenever I ask the leadership coach that thinks that they’re so unique, why would somebody hire you? Well, I have 30 years experience. I’m like, Okay, well, let’s filter that search down.

Okay, now we’re down to 10,000. How are you gonna stand out from that crowd? Well, I used to work for General Electric or some big fortune 500 company, so I have that. Okay, let’s filter that. Now we’re down to 5000. How are you gonna stand out? They don’t know how to answer that question aside from, oh, maybe I should tell people exactly how I do what I do. Because ultimately, when they hire you, they’re hiring the little piece that’s in between the details of what they do to help people get the desired result.

And I think that usually sinks for people where it’s like, Okay, you’ve kind of convinced me to take my unique process that I thought was all of the value in my business, and now give it away with the sheer, just the sole intent on helping people and solving a major pain point. And as soon as people break through that and they create this type of thing, the kind of feedback that you get is like, Oh, my Lord, like you gave this to me for free.

I wonder what it’d be like to actually hire you and work with you on these things that you’ve laid out and spent 30 years becoming an expert at. And I can tell you, Steve, like this, I didn’t think like this two years ago and I painfully went through the exact experience that all of our clients go through, which is why I know I can relate to it. Because I always thought that my training, my knowledge was my value. And then I realized it wasn’t. Information is so easily available nowadays.

Steve: Well, and I think that’s a shift. So for people who, you know, like the leadership coach example, you know, they worked for the fortune 500 company in maybe the 80s and the 90s and early 2000s. If you’re in that generation, or you come from that experience, you started in business in a time when information wasn’t as readily available.

And it was a distinct competitive advantage if you had information because it wasn’t free-flowing. Well, the internet’s destroyed all of that. There truly is nothing new under the sun and you can go find 10,000 examples of it tomorrow. Google will bring it right to your computer. You don’t even have to get off the couch. But what I see is differentiating people is the way that you articulate that idea. So, you know, it’s so funny.

I talked to consultants who will tell me I’ve got this amazing, unique process. It’s the best thing you’ve ever heard of. Nobody has it, all this stuff and I’ve, you know, and I have to break it to them. I’ve heard that five times in the last six months from people, okay? It’s not that unique. So who wins? The person that wins is the one that articulates it clearly to the marketplace to a specific niche within the marketplace and puts the information out there so that they can be trusted. Because trust trumps knowledge. Trust trumps information all day long.

Just Start Sharing Your Expertise

Trevor: Yeah. And the person that suffers the most about you not sharing that knowledge, and this is my own personal experience and I’ll just project it out there. Some people might relate to it. It’s typically your significant other, your spouse, your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever. And I’ll get, I’ll frame that for everybody. You know those moments when you come in, you finish your Friday and you’re like, oh, why doesn’t this person just get it? And like, I have this amazing system and you tell your wife all about it, you’re like, and this is how my framework works.

And this is how I deliver the thing. And it’s operating in a silo in your house. Nobody hears you talk about it. I’m sure it’s amazing, but guess what? Your wife or your husband’s sick of hearing about it. That’s what I experienced too eventually. And this is again, you know, I wrote about this in an article on Entrepreneur just kind of telling my path to get here too. And it took my wife like literally, you know, kind of taking a stance at one point and saying, like, Look, you don’t have to convince me.

You are really good at what you do. But like, stop telling me and start telling other people and not worry about what the feedback might be or the wins or the losses that might come. Just start sharing your expertise. She’s like, you have it. But seriously, don’t bring it up again at dinner. And I’d be like, Okay, Okay, I got it, I got it. And that actually is one of the things that allowed me to start wrapping my head around the idea of creating content too, because as little as six months ago, Steve, I was not sold on the idea of creating content. I just thought like, ah, does it really move the needle that much? And what am I going to talk about?

And how am I going to produce it? How am I going to put it out? And how am I going to track it? And all that stuff. When I stopped overthinking that stuff and I just started creating, I started taking that same thing that I just referenced, which is, what is that thing on a Friday that I go and I rap to my wife about that I could easily say publicly in a video that would help solve a problem for somebody. Oh, that’s the content. And it just, it was about training my brain to just show up and create was a huge trigger for me to start seeing momentum in that direction. And it speaks to, you know, the great conversations you and I have had around, like, Why do a podcast?

Well, it’s because it creates a breadcrumb trail of micro pieces of information that allows a person to have one thing stick and go, that was really smart. I think I’ll listen to more of this guy. Geez, that was really smart too. Oh, man, this person sounds like they’re talking right to me. That’s the experience that you want to create before they get on a call. And if you go full meta, like full circle on that, that is ultimately what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to get appointments booked, right?

We’re trying to prospect. And everybody can relate to the idea of getting on that sales call where the person, you know, to one extreme is like, yeah, I booked this call, but I’m sorry. Who are you again? And what do you do exactly? Like, I don’t know, I’m reaching out to a lot of guys that do leadership coaching right now. I’m just trying to find a coach. That is the worst call in the world to do. It’s energy-draining, it’s sucking, you’re having to explain and validate your expertise to that person in a sales call. We want to avoid that at all costs.

And this is where all of these pieces kind of fit together. And it takes patience and it takes time. And I know we’ve talked about that before too, like you don’t invest in a podcast with the intent on doing it for a month. You don’t invest in LinkedIn prospecting with the intent on doing it for a month. Like, you need to put the effort into this to make it work over a year and longer and actually treat this as though it is a core component of your business. At the front end of that, how do I build more awareness and put the leads into my funnel to now score them to get better sales calls to create better clients? Sounds simple but patience is the key.

Steve: You and I’ve talked about this before. My whole approach to any kind of business development is to build a foundation. You need some way that you start with what works to get clients. I don’t care what that method is. I mean, you could give me any method and I could probably come up with an example of where it worked for somebody. And the only reason it worked is because they spent the time to master it.

But once you’ve got that foundational level and you’ve got a few clients, then you’re looking to take some of the profit from those clients and add a layer. I like to think in terms of like a layer cake. Your business development has all these layers. And so, you know, you, I see a lot of people who get really religious about their particular method like, you’ve got to do this way, this is the only way. I don’t like that. I’ll take a client any profitable way I can get a client. So how can I build as many layers on as possible, but do it in a way where whenever I’m adding a layer, I’m committed to that.

I’m committed to getting to the point where, you know, I’m either bringing in a team who’s already mastered it and they’re going to bring that mastery to me, or I’m going to master it. One or the other. So yeah, that all makes a lot of sense to me. And, you know, we said it early, it’s easy to generate leads. Very easy. The problem, I think that the disconnect most people have is on the conversion side. Getting them in the front end is straightforward. But all of this content, all the things that you’re describing to us, those are the things that turn a lead into a pre-sold predisposed to do business with your client. And that’s what we really want.

Marketing isn’t Isolated From Sales

Trevor: Yeah. Yeah, there’s, I’m sure you and people that are listening to this can relate to this and I found in the last couple of years, there’s, you know, it kind of goes back to again, marketers ruin everything. Because there’s really good copywriters out there that’ll put claims out there and even, you know, sign up for a call to learn how I can get you guaranteed 20 appointments per month. And that’s enticing. It’s like, oh, man, if I get 20 appointments per month, and I converted X amount, and I got one new client, that makes sense. Let’s do that. Hundred bucks a month?

Oh, man, let’s go. Like it’s a pipe dream. It’s ridiculous. And I’m saying it out loud, very openly here and in all of my content, that that kind of stuff doesn’t exist. It does exist because I can go do the same thing. I can guarantee everybody listening to this 20 appointments in the next month too. But I guarantee you, you will curse my name at the end of that month because 18 of those people will show up not knowing why they’re there.

One person will show up and they’ll try and sell you something and then the other person, eh, they’re just kind of disinterested, it doesn’t go anywhere. So anyways, the whole point is where we’re trying to all find the sweet spot is why I don’t want to have a one-year strategy knowing that I’m doing the long term thing and that I’m doing it all the right way because if you don’t go and land clients in a timely manner, you might go out of business.

And now you’re in a whole new spot, which is, should I go get a job or do I try and figure out how to hack my way into just making enough money to live? So there’s always that balance between. And this is kind of why I was referencing before of like, the Linchpin Method is not just, it’s not a fluffy like let me just ask you a whole bunch of open-ended questions and survey you and it’s not the sales approach that’s like very direct, like, let’s go book an appointment. It’s a hybrid in between.

It’s a let me try and relate to you as best as possible, ask you what’s actually going on for you so I can learn from what your biggest challenges are and craft an offer that actually suits and fits and solves that problem. And I’m not going to be ashamed to say that I believe I can help you. And this is how. Which is just asking for the sale. And this is where these things bleed over. And, you know, it’s kind of like what you just said, there’s no one perfect solution, just like lead generation is not, and marketing isn’t isolated from sales. They’re all kind of one and the same. They kind of they have to work symbiotically together.

And people have a tough time wrapping their head around that. And I know this again, myself too because in wearing the marketing and the sales hat in my own business over the years, it’s kind of like the devil in the angel, right? It’s like one side of you saying, you need more leads Trevor and the other side’s saying, hey, I’ve given you enough leads, Trevor. Go close a damn sale. It’s this weird psychological thing that goes on. And I’m sure, you know, people that are listening are like, Oh, man, I know that exact kind of feeling.

We want to try and get out of that as much as possible. And a lot of it comes down to having proper processes to do the outreach and then truthfully, just knowing where to get out of the way because we’re all trying to become experts at things that we quite frankly shouldn’t become experts at. Like we talked about this before. I want to do a podcast. We’re talking about how we can make that happen. I don’t want to learn how to do the audio edits. I don’t want to learn how to upload it to all the different platforms, you know?

I don’t want to do the work of the distribution, because quite frankly, my time’s better served in other places. So I have to figure out, do I just straight up hire Steve and his team to do it? Yes. The answer is yes. Do I have somebody on my team help me distribute it and monitor comments and create engagement where I’m not involved but they’re cloning my authentic voice? Absolutely. That’s the ultimate. That’s what we’re all trying to get to. So in building that for myself, that was where the big aha moment came for me of like, what if I helped people do the same thing on LinkedIn that I’ve created for myself?

And that’s usually where it sticks for people where they’re like, yeah, yeah, I want what you have. Whatever you created, I want that thing. So and that’s what we do. That’s how we help people as we go create that. But big Asterix on that, they are the yeast to the bread, if I could use that reference. The bread does not rise without the solopreneur, consultant coach expert. They have to be actively involved. You cannot completely outsource lead generation. It just straight up doesn’t work the way that you want it to. Not if you want good clients that will pay you top dollar for your expertise.

Steve: Yeah, I think that’s really well said. And, you know, people look at other kinds of businesses and they think that it can all be handed off to, you know, a group of prospectors or sales team or something like that, and outsourced. But in this case, you’re selling you. I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what they’re buying.

They’re buying some belief in you. And I think that’s, you can’t disconnect yourself from that. It’s very different than selling anything else. So I know we’re close to time, we could probably have this conversation for hours and hours. I’m having a good time. I hope you’re having a good time. So is there, before we wrap up, is there a question that I haven’t asked you that maybe I should have asked you?

Shifting Your Sales and Money Mindset

Trevor: We covered so much stuff like honestly, it’s so, it’s fun to go through all these things. We kind of started with like, the, you know, how people are using it wrong to how people should be using it to the importance of content creation. I guess the other one key that I would say in all of this, and it’s kind of wrapping all of these pieces together, Steve, is really around the concept of our sales mindset and even our money mindset.

And this is something we talked about right before we hopped on too is that we can logically get to the understanding of like, why we need to remove ourselves and surround ourselves with a good team or outsource lead generation, where we can’t remove ourselves and we are the best salesperson and marketer that is ultimately selling ourselves. We can logically understand it.

But there’s still sometimes these blocks that people have around like, Yeah, but I’m not really good at sales. I don’t do sales that well, you know? I’d rather just get that off my plate. And that is one of the most critical components to actually having a profitable business is to shift your mindset around sales.

And even money too with regards to like, what is your worth? What should you be charging for what you do? And not letting the market dictate it but actually letting your own self-worth dictate that. And we spend a lot of time on this inside of our program, but I spend a lot of time on it myself personally. And I have a mindset mentor, performance mindset mentor. Her name’s Danielle Grant. And really, you know, we were talking about it earlier today, because she asked me. She’s like, Where do you think I’ve helped you the most?

Meaning her helping me. And I said, you know what the biggest thing is, is that like the last two, three months has been like a pressure cooker. I think everybody’s feeling it. It’s just like, we’re all going 100 miles an hour and, you know, we’re finally I think right now just kind of like coming up and like taking a breath, right? But I can tell you our business is, it kind of took like a little like, oh man, we’re in some tough times, and then all of a sudden, we’re on this upward slope again and it feels like we’re in a flow here. And that didn’t happen by accident. And I alluded to the idea that like, I used to play hockey at a pretty high level.

And even when we practiced, like, I pushed myself because I was, you know, I was an elite athlete at the time, right? The years have caught up to me, but back then, but I would have never got to where I was or pushed to that next level without a coach. And that’s what she did for me was to help me go, Hey, we’re making diamonds here and you’re in the pressure cooker. And guess what? You’re going to stop yourself personally from getting better at sales, from shifting your mindset to be better at these things unless you have somebody and a community of people to surround yourself with.

So that would be the biggest thing that I think kind of wraps all this in a bow is like, you know, we can talk strategy and, you know, how to respond to that message on LinkedIn all day. But if we don’t overcome the fear of rejection, the fear of judgment, the fear of whatever asking for the sale and hearing no, we’re going to be constantly in the same place. So to me, it’s the most foundational thing that anybody can work on, especially a solopreneur. When you’re reliant on being the marketer and the salesperson and the amazing fulfillment person, and you sweep the floors and everything in between, you have to work on yourself. Number one.

Steve: I love it. Perfect way to wrap this all up. So Trevor, where can folks find out more about you? Where can they connect with you?

Trevor: Well, connect with me on LinkedIn, of course. And I always tell people that if you do, just put a brief note in there and tell me that you heard me on this podcast. It gives me some context as to where the starting point is of our relationship. Because if I know you heard this, I have an understanding of what you’ve heard me rant about and we can start from there. And I’d love to hear your feedback on your thoughts. Was it helpful? Was it not? Do you have differences of opinions?

I love good conversations. So that’d be one thing. And then is the website. You can go there and you’ll find the LinkedIn Linchpin Method linked up on there as well if you guys want to go check it out. It’s completely free. Everything that I teach is in it. And I don’t sugarcoat that and saying like, but if you want the really good stuff, no. Like, it’s everything that I teach is inside of that LinkedIn Linchpin Method. So get it, do it, come back to me if you want help with it. That’s my pitch.

Steve: Yeah, go get it, folks. I’ve read it. It’s tremendously valuable. And, Trevor, you’ve really given a ton of value there and definitely a great resource for folks. So we will link all of that up in the show notes. We’ll link to your LinkedIn profile so folks can connect with you there. We’ll link to the website and all of that. So if you’re driving or running or going out and playing in the garden and listening to this, you’ll be able to go and find it in the show notes. Trevor, thanks for investing some time with me. This has been great. And you lived up to the very high bar that I set for you at the beginning.

Trevor: Thanks so much, Steve. I appreciate the time to chat with you about this. And I look forward to our future conversations. I’m really excited about what you’re doing and all the ways that we’ll be able to level each other up here too.

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