linkedin strategy

The 5-Message Sequence: A LinkedIn Marketing Strategy that Generated $101k+ in 9 Months

You don’t need thousands of leads.

You just need the right ones. The question is… how do you find them?

A lot of people focus too much of their time being everywhere and everything to everyone in the hopes that something will work, and they’ll finally get traction—we call this the “Spray and Pray” approach.

But as a DigitalMarketer reader, you already know that it takes a well-planned strategy and action plan to have success.

What may surprise you, however, is that being on all the social media outlets, pumping out content, and putting ads everywhere…

Is not always necessary, especially when you’re looking to sell a high-ticket service offering.

Being on all the social media outlets, pumping out content, and putting ads everywhere is not always necessary, especially when you’re looking to sell a high-ticket service offering.

This may seem blasphemous to many a marketer, but in these cases, a more simple, straightforward approach based on building strategic business relationships can many times trump big ad spends or complicated funnels.

And one of the BEST places to do this is actually on LinkedIn, where there are TONS of businesses to compete against, true, but where you also have all the big-name prospects you’d ever need at your fingertips.

You just need a way to stand out and rise above all the noise. And building relationships is the key to that.

Following this simple, straightforward approach, we’ve been able to help our clients build relationships with their ideal prospects. This system has generated appointments with decision makers at big-name companies like…

This works for nearly any industry, as long as you have a specific prospect and a high-ticket offering.

Today, you’ll learn about Matt Jones, a corporate health and safety consultant, who finally saw major traction in his business when he streamlined his marketing efforts to focus on relationships and, using a simple 5-message sequence on LinkedIn, generated over $101,000 in fewer than 9 months.

You’ll also learn:

  • How the common approach most people take on LinkedIn backfires and how you can stand out from your competitors in a crowded market
  • Why LinkedIn is a gold mine for building strategic relationships and starting business conversations
  • What successful salespeople do to stay top-of-mind with their best prospects without being pushy or salesy
  • The exact messaging scripts we taught Matt Jones and hundreds of other business owners like him to generate appointments and sales with his high-ticket prospects
  • How the scripts work within a larger relationship marketing strategy and how you can implement this for your own business to build major trust with your prospects, create undeniable industry authority and influence, and even close high-ticket leads

But first, let’s talk about what doesn’t work on LinkedIn…

The Hard-and-Fast Sell

Coaches and consultants are everywhere. Take a look at how many are on LinkedIn…

And if you want to blend in with the rest of them, try this:

LinkedIn message with generic ad copy

This is extremely commonplace, even though it doesn’t work…

Sure, you might get 1 or 2 people to bite eventually because, like they say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

But when you are targeting your MOST valuable leads, many of us can’t afford to burn through prospects left and right.

Let’s explore why the hard-and-fast sell doesn’t work.

No one explains it better than Chet Holmes, author of The Ultimate Sales Machine, with his Demand Generation Pyramid. It looks like this:

Chet’s research revealed that only 3% of your target market are actually ready to buy at any time. Which means that if you send a message on LinkedIn encouraging someone to buy right away, there’s a 97% chance that they’re not ready to hear your offer and will immediately shut you down—not the result we’re after!

This requires a complete switch in how we sell…

When you focus on building a relationship instead of going directly for the hard sell, you’ll not only build trust with your prospect, you’ll also position yourself as an expert authority in your industry.

THIS is how you stand out from all the other vendors fighting for your prospect’s attention so that when they do move into that 3% that’s ready to buy, they know exactly who they’ll turn to.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Do What the Most Successful Salespeople Do

The question is, how do we actually build that trust and nurture a sincere relationship? To answer that, let’s take a look at what the most successful salespeople are already doing…

They already know that a hard sell like the one above isn’t going to cut it. They also know that it actually takes 7 to 13+ touches before most prospects will even consider doing business with you.

Microsoft shared their research on this…

Chain of events in sales contacts with prospects

What buyers and decision-makers respond to is a positive experience and a valuable relationship, especially if they’re one of the 97% that’s not ready to buy yet.

(*As a side note—this is one reason why LinkedIn is so perfect for this strategy… it allows you to easily message your best prospects in a FAR less crowded inbox than email.)

The problem is, most businesses don’t even make it to 5 touchpoints. As you can see from the graphic above, Microsoft’s study shows that by the fourth contact, a full 89% of salespeople have moved on.

What buyers and decision-makers respond to is a positive experience and a valuable relationship, especially if they’re one of the 97% that’s not ready to buy yet.

In fact, Salesforce explains it perfectly, “To win at selling now means helping your customers win too, fostering a discussion that uncovers their needs and proposing solutions that best fit them.

See the chart below for their findings:

All this tells us that business buyers respond most to those they trust and have a relationship with.

Now let’s take a look at how business owners like Matt Jones are able to build relationships with their best prospects using our process…

The Exact Process Matt Jones Followed to Generate over $100K in 9 Months

Headshot of Matt Jones

Matt Jones is the Owner and Operator of Advanced Safety, a health and safety consultancy in New Zealand, and before he started using the exact process I’m about to show you, he was in a very sticky place. He knew he had something to offer, he knew that he could make his business work, but he just hadn’t figured out how to do it.

He needed a consistent stream of good-quality leads, giving him opportunities to close new clients every single month. With only a few hundred in the bank and pressure from all sides to return to the corporate world, he needed to do something different

“I was a start-up business. I literally had a few hundred dollars in the bank. It was a crossroads moment in my life where I had the choice of turning back to the corporate world or going out myself. I had a lot of people in the background advising me to get back to the corporate world where I had a guaranteed income and could pay the mortgage and the bills.”

So, using the system we taught him, he gave it one last effort and started to create simple relationships with his primary targets.

Once they trusted him as an expert in his field and as someone who could deliver results for them, these relationships naturally turned into the conversations that fueled his business growth and allowed him to produce more than $100,000 within 9 months.

Here’s the exact process we helped Matt, along with hundreds of others, implement on LinkedIn to build more trust with their best, high-value prospects:

Niche Down

First, he niched down and got very clear on exactly who he wanted to target. This is key to the whole system!

(RELATED: [DOWNLOAD] The Customer Avatar Worksheet: Finally, Get Clear on WHO You Are Selling To!)

If you target the wrong people…

  1. The sale will be harder
  2. They’ll likely be more difficult clients to work with
  3. They won’t help your business move forward. You want to target people who will become excellent clients, people you know you can get results for, and people who will pay you appropriately for those results

You might have heard the phrase, “the riches are in the niches,” or like Seth Godin said, “Everyone is not your customer.” And it’s ABSOLUTELY true. Because you cannot be everything to everyone.

Matt decided to target small, medium, and large businesses specifically in New Zealand. He created a LinkedIn group to attract these very people…

LinkedIn group for Business Leaders New Zealand created by Matt Jones

Is he missing out on business?

No. It’s the opposite.

He’s able to speak to a specific group of people who have very specific, shared experiences and interests. In his communication, he is now able to speak directly to those specific needs and interests, positioning himself as THE go-to guy for anyone in that situation who needs help with their taxes.

Here are some other examples of what that looks like…

And don’t worry, as you grow, you can expand outside your chosen niche. In fact, look at what our client, Aaron Agius did…

LinkedIn Aaron Agius profile and screenshot of his LinkedIn group, Global Marketing Leaders Network group

He initially started out targeting “Marketing executives and directors in Australia.”

Now, he didn’t ONLY work with Australians. But he tailored his LinkedIn work more specifically to that audience to help him stand above the noise. Once he began to get a following in that niche, he expanded to include international audiences.

But it doesn’t just have to be finding your niche based on geography.

Just look at Tom Swip, CEO of Swip System, a software development company specifically for manufacturers.

LinkedIn group for Midwest Manufacturing Leaders made by Tom Swip

We have clients who tailor their LinkedIn campaigns to all sorts of different niches—from job position or title to industry, gender, age, and more.

Starting with a well-defined niche and following the rest of the process in this article is what has led Tom to generate over $600,000 in new client revenue.

Build and Nurture the Relationship

Once Matt knew exactly who his BEST prospects would be, he began messaging them in a very strategic way designed to build trust and nurture the relationship.

To do so, he used a multi-point messaging process that looks like this…

Message 1: Thanks for Connecting

Message 2: Link to quality resource

Message 3: Link to high-level discussion in group

Message 4: Request for call

Message 5: Follow up to Message 4

LinkedIn Marketing Strategy with 5 Message Sequence

Let’s dive into each of these messages now…

Your Multi-Touch Messaging Campaign

Below is an example messaging template we recommend to Matt and other consultants and coaches to help open the door to sincere business conversations. You will want to update these scripts to include specifics about you, your business, your prospect, and your industry.

Consider this a starting point to boost your own messaging campaigns and spread them out over a few weeks.

Message 1: Thanks for connecting

First message from 5 message sequence LinkedIn marketing strategy: thanks for connecting

This message sets the tone for the relationship.

Instead of being another sales rep with commission-breath on the tongue. We are simply thanking the prospect for connecting and looking to build on that connection on LinkedIn.

Message 2: Link to quality resource (3rd party content)

Second message in 5 message sequence LinkedIn marketing strategy: interesting article

This message is about value and positioning.

You are providing your prospect a resource they’ll find useful without an immediate benefit to your bottom-line.

That positions you differently in the mind of your prospect.

You led with value that wasn’t directly tied to a sales funnel.

You are now a resource.

Message 3: Link to group discussion

Third message from 5 message sequence LinkedIn marketing strategy: group discussion

For our clients with a LinkedIn group, this is where we love to promote the group through the lens of it being another resource the prospect can use.

If you have created a group that is specifically for your prospects and about what they care about (not just your solution), then this will cement you as an industry resource in the mind of your prospect.

You aren’t another vendor. You are different. You can be a trusted advisor.

Message 4: Request for phone call

Fourth message from 5 message sequence LinkedIn marketing strategy: request phone call

A key addition to Message 4 is providing a quasi-specific timeframe for this conversation.

The easier you can make your call to action on a prospect, the more prospects you’ll have follow through.

This approach is looking to further build the relationship with your prospect.

We find in our campaigns that giving general timeframes (i.e. day of the week + morning/afternoon) is the best practice.

This approach is looking to further build the relationship with your prospect.

By getting them into a conversation or appointment, you are effectively taking the relationship to the next level. Think of this as moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend. You haven’t yet made the pitch (proposal) or sale (marriage), but you’re moving toward that point.

Message 5: Follow-up for phone call

Fifth message from 5 message sequence LinkedIn marketing strategy: follow up

Always, always, always follow-up.

Don’t leave your call to action by itself. Add a follow-up, and you may try a different angle with this one. For example, you see above the place in the template to add some information about your business and who you help.

This is a more direct approach, but it can be effective as a follow-up.

How You Can Get More Appointments with Your High-Value Prospects

This messaging strategy has seen success in numerous industries and with various company sizes, from small to big businesses. It has also helped our clients get their foot in the door at otherwise nearly-impossible-to-reach big-name companies—and it can do the same for you.

The best part is, targeting your best prospects and sending out a multi-touch messaging campaign doesn’t take nearly as much time as you think, especially once you break it down into a manageable system. Then, once you’ve developed the relationship, the sales conversation happens much more naturally, so that when your client eventually moves into the 3% of prospects that are ready to buy, you already have the relationship and you’ve already proved your value.

However… remember that this messaging campaign should be part of a larger LinkedIn strategy; success on LinkedIn isn’t just about logging on and blasting out messages to everyone.

While the messages we just reviewed are a key factor in a successful LinkedIn campaign, they work best in synergy with other components of a strategic plan. So, in order to maximize the effectiveness of your messaging campaign, here are a few other things to keep in mind.

You need to:

When you use a marketing method that focuses on creating and nurturing strategic relationships with the RIGHT prospects, you can stop the “Spray and Pray” approach that is too common on social media these days and start booking high-ticket sales appointments on LinkedIn.

Josh Turner

Josh Turner

Josh Turner is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and the Founder and CEO of LinkedSelling. LinkedSelling is a marketing agency, consulting, and training firm that has been named #252 on the Inc 5000 list the past two years in a row. He is widely considered a worldwide leading authority in using LinkedIn to generate leads, appointments, and clients. If you’d like to learn the entire formula, join The LinkedIn Accelerator Formula workshop.

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