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Listen to the podcast here…
Jake Randall: Well, welcome back to the Profit Junkie Podcast, where we talk about increasing your sales and making sure you keep as much of your hard earned money in your bank account as humanly possible. Today I am really excited to have our guests on today. He’s one I’ve tried to schedule multiple times and the forces of nature stopped us, literally. We ran out of power. But I’m really grateful for his patience, and I think he’s going to add some serious value to your business. Ted Prodromou, welcome to the podcast.
Ted Prodromou: Hey, thanks for having me. We had a couple of false starts there, but life happens.
Jake Randall: It does. Ted, you are a America’s leading LinkedIn coach. But really, tell me who you are and how you came to be where you’re at today.
Ted Prodromou: Sure. Yeah. I had 20 years in the tech world in the 1980s and 90s. It was the greatest career ever. And then the dot com thing happened, and my career was gone overnight. Literally.
Jake Randall: Oh man.
Ted Prodromou: I reinvented myself. I became a coach, got certified. I just love mentoring people. Discovered I didn’t know how to sell and market. So I started going to Dan Kennedy conferences, and learning as much about sales and marketing as I could. And here I am today.
Jake Randall: Awesome. How did you get into LinkedIn? Tell me how you got from trying to figure out the Dan Kennedy stuff, and all the way into LinkedIn.
Ted Prodromou: Yeah. You all signed up when people sent that little invitation, I think 2004-2005 I signed up. One of the first ones. And I met Perry Marshall at a Dan Kennedy conference, actually. I was learning Google AdWords from Perry. And if you know Perry, he’s written The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, The Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, the two best selling books, ever, on Entrepreneur Press. They said, “Perry, we need a LinkedIn book and the Twitter book. Do you know anybody that can write it with you?” And Perry… I was in Perry’s coaching at the time. He said, “Hey, Ted, you want to write these books with me?” So, we signed the contracts and he said, “I don’t have a LinkedIn account. You just write the LinkedIn book. And I don’t use Twitter. So you just write that book.” And that’s how I got to become the LinkedIn guy.
Jake Randall: That’s awesome. That’s a great story. And, Perry Marshall is actually going to be on the podcast after you so I’ll have to remember that story.
Ted Prodromou: So, if you ever hesitate about investing in high end coaching, it’s definitely worth it. Because you meet the most amazing people and your mentors will send you lots of business over time.
Jake Randall: I found that so true, as well. You can go the really slow route of trying to make inroads with people that you want to do business, or you can sometimes just buy your way right in, right? By getting their coaching, and it just gets you access to them. And then you build those friendships naturally and organically, but sometimes you have to just get that access by buying it.
Ted Prodromou: Exactly. When you go home and tell your wife you just spent $20,000.00 for coaching, “It’s worth it, honey. Really. Trust me.”
Jake Randall: And now she agrees, right?
Ted Prodromou: Yes.
Jake Randall: Tell us a little bit, for LinkedIn, a lot of our customer, or our listeners, are solopreneurs, trying to make it big. What’s the number one reason why you think people ignore LinkedIn as business owners? Why do you think they do that?
Ted Prodromou: Well, because when we all signed up, they took you through that little signup wizard and you basically put your resume on there. And for a long time it was just recruiters on there. They were like trying to… You come across your profile sites, “Oh, here’s Ted. He’s qualified for this job.” It’s a great way to find a great job. And it still is. Two thirds of LinkedIn’s revenue is still from job postings and recruiters.
Jake Randall: That’s pretty amazing. But there’s some other stuff that you can do in LinkedIn. Tell us, what’s the biggest mistake people make when it comes to LinkedIn?
Ted Prodromou: Not completing their profile. Because I saw a stat from… I think it was from HubSpot, 83% of people will look at your LinkedIn profile before they have a meeting with you.
Jake Randall: Interesting. It’s the social proof of if you’re requesting a meeting and things like that, they’ll go and do their research beforehand. And if you have that halfway filled out, then you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Is that right?
Ted Prodromou: You know the picture, they have the cropped picture of a guy half drunk at a wedding? That’s their LinkedIn profile photo.
Jake Randall: Do people still do that? Do they still treat it like a Facebook social media instead of a business one, sometimes?
Ted Prodromou: A lot of people do. They just don’t… They say, “I don’t need to go to LinkedIn. I have a job.” Or, “I really don’t need that. I don’t get any value on LinkedIn.” They leave it and then their profiles half finished. It’s like sending in a half finished resume to apply for a job.
Jake Randall: Yeah.
Ted Prodromou: You know? You get one chance to make that great first impression and your profile is it.
Jake Randall: Yeah. I’ve been curious about this, too, how to use LinkedIn for my business. I’ve been stuck in that paradigm of, “Oh that’s for if I ever need a job one day.” Or something like that. Are there some proactive strategies of how I can use LinkedIn to grow my business? Give us just a tidbit of something like that might work.
Ted Prodromou: It’s the database. Anybody that is ever going to work with you is on LinkedIn right now. And they’re just waiting for you to reach out to them.
Jake Randall: When you do that, do you… Let’s say I wanted to contact some people. How’s the best way to go about making an approach to somebody like that? I get requests from people who I don’t know all the time.
Ted Prodromou: Yes.
Jake Randall: And I’m not sure, from a strategy standpoint, I’m not sure if it’s just better to be connected to everybody, and I should just accept everybody’s connections, or if I should be strategic or… And I don’t know how to reach out to somebody. What would you tell somebody in my shoes?
Ted Prodromou: Yeah. The way LinkedIn works, when I wrote my first book, I literally had 642 connections. I was… I didn’t want a lot of connections. I didn’t want all that noise. Now, I have 22,000 connections.
Jake Randall: Holy cow.
Ted Prodromou: And now I’m thinking, “I have too many connections, because I’m getting too much noise.” I’s really, what’s your objective for LinkedIn? Do you need 20 or 30 leads a week? For solopreneurs, small business, I see these LinkedIn “experts.” “I can get you 100 leads a week. I can get you 50 leads. 50 phone appointments a week.” If I’m a coach, how many clients do I really need?
Jake Randall: Right. Let’s say that your business was… You had no clients right now, and you were going to go start to generate some leads on LinkedIn. Is there a best practice, or way to to reach out to those people? Let’s say you find the person that you want, you could narrow it down. What’s like the best practice for reaching out to that person, and starting a dialogue?
Ted Prodromou: What I like to… And blame Dan Kennedy and Perry Marshall for this. Your professional headline, LinkedIn by default, puts in your job title. Your current job. And it’s like, “I’m an accountant at XYZ corporation.” Like, “Ooh, who cares? How do you stand out?” You take your USP, who do you help and how do you help them? What problems do you solve? You put that in your professional headline, and that’s what shows on LinkedIn. The algorithm puts that in front of thousands of people every day, literally.
Jake Randall: Interesting. There’s a section for professional headline?
Ted Prodromou: Yep.
Jake Randall: That’s different than my job title if I don’t have that-
Ted Prodromou: It will override your job title.
Jake Randall: Oh, awesome.
Ted Prodromou: You could say, “I help entrepreneurs saved money on their taxes.”
Jake Randall: Awesome. And then from there, they can see that, right? Then, if they get a message that pops up into my… If I sent them a message, they’re going to see, “Okay. This guy helps people lower the taxes.” That’s going to intrigue… It’s a subject line, right? To intrigue me to open the message instead of just going delete, delete, delete.
Ted Prodromou: I describe it as, it’s the title of a book. In the old days, when we used to go in a bookstore, and they have books on the displays. A title would catch your attention. have books on the displays and a title would catch your attention. You’d walk over and pick up the book, the title of the book would be your professional headline. And then when you read that inside flap, it tells you a story about the book and why you’d want to read the book. That’s the about section in your LinkedIn profile.
Jake Randall: Gotcha. Have you found that… I’m just going from my experience of the marketing that I get, and the kind I resonate with and don’t resonate with, but I’ve seen people do some type of advertising where they’ll push out some content, right?They’ll reach out to me with a message and say, “Hey Jake, I just finished doing this article, or whatever, on a software company, on how to maximize your whatever. Benefits with your software developers.” And they do some content, with no call to action other than, “Hey, check out this, it might be interesting.” Then, I’ve had other people that reach out and say, “Hey, I’m looking for X, Y, and Z. Would it be interesting to you?” Have you seen any, with your clients and things like that, is one of those better than the other? Or does it not really matter? Is it mostly just about hustling and trying to get-
Ted Prodromou: In the last year, there’s been a tipping point for LinkedIn. Microsoft bought them a couple of years ago, and as Facebook started having their troubles and it got harder to run Facebook ads, and harder to engage with people, a lot of aggressive marketers are moving over to LinkedIn now. I call them the hunters, and I’m a farmer. Where I like to plant seeds and just wait for the right ones to come back to me, where the hunters are aggressively… They even they even send you sales pitches in the invitation to connect now.
Jake Randall: Yeah, I’ve seen that. For most of those, I don’t respond to those, right?
Ted Prodromou: Right. You know they’re going to come back and pitch you. And they’re going to be aggressively marketing to you.
Jake Randall: Yeah. How would you go about doing a seeding? Your farming. I love this concept of farming versus hunting.
Ted Prodromou: Yeah. I share a lot of content. I use a program called Sendible, which is like HootSuite. So when I wrote my books, I hired five people on Upwork.com. They’re US-based social media writers. I paid 35 to 50 bucks an hour for these people. I didn’t want the broken English stuff.
Jake Randall: Right.
Ted Prodromou: I gave him my manuscript. I said, “Spend two hours and write me some social media posts that are excerpts from the book.” And it was awesome because I came back with 100 social media posts from five different perspectives, that I now queue up in Sendible, and post on LinkedIn every day.
Jake Randall: That’s awesome. When you put it on Sendible, is it buying advertising? Or is it just organically feeding it out there?
Ted Prodromou: It puts them in a queue and every day three to five posts go out from this collection. And then the Sendible also pulls in content from New York Times, and Fortune and Forbes. I’m posting 15 to 20 posts a day on LinkedIn. A lot of people see a Forbes article and they say, “Oh Ted, great article. Congratulations.” They think I wrote the Forbes article. It’s the 80/20s. 80% of the content I share is other business-related content. Gotcha. That just gets me in front of a lot of people.
Jake Randall: Yeah.
Ted Prodromou: And they reach out to me and want to connect. They read my profile and they see how I can help them.
Jake Randall: Gotcha. You’re just providing lots of value. You’re a super user on the system, even though you’ve really scheduled it out, right? It’s not like you’re in there 10 hours a day, creating posts, but you’ve created this system where posting often, relevant content, and that attracts, maybe the algorithm, towards you. And then those people get to know you and then that’s pretty… And then they know they need LinkedIn help, right?
Ted Prodromou: Now you can do hashtags. They brought those back last year. They came and went a few times. Now you can subscribe to hashtags.
Jake Randall: Okay.
Ted Prodromou: If you subscribe to the hashtag marketing, there’s like 10 million people following that. And when you follow that content that people have marked with, hashtag marketing show up into your newsfeed. You can see all these other people that are interested in that topic.
Jake Randall: Interesting. Do you ever-
Ted Prodromou: You can subscribe to the tax related hashtags, and people that are posting on that and interacting are interested in that subject.
Jake Randall: Yeah. Then it becomes more… It becomes a little bit of a forum, right? Where you’re all sharing information and you-
Ted Prodromou: Yeah.
Jake Randall: Can build relationships?
Ted Prodromou: And then they see you’re sharing great tax tips, or something, on your LinkedIn feed. They’re going to go look at your profile and say, “Oh, I want to become part of the Profit Junkies.”
Jake Randall: Yeah, that’s great. I love it.
Ted Prodromou: And then they’re pre-qualifying themselves. You’re not selling them, they’re selling themselves on your service.
Jake Randall: Yeah. I like that. It’s more of a pull marketing than a push market, it sounds like.
Ted Prodromou: Right. And you can do push marketing, too. I’ll send… Do you know Dean Jackson?
Jake Randall: Yeah. I love Dean.
Ted Prodromou: The nine word email. You ask a question, so you connect with people and next ask them a simple question.
Jake Randall: Awesome.
Ted Prodromou: I have to give my assistant full credit. She came up with this. When I connect with people, I’ll send them a thank… A welcome message. Then I’ll say, “Just for fun. Tell me something interesting about you I wouldn’t know from your LinkedIn profile.”
Jake Randall: Oh, interesting.
Ted Prodromou: And 20% of people I send that to respond, and tell me something. So, it starts a conversation.
Jake Randall: Yeah. And then you just naturally roll into telling them what you do, and finding out what they do.
Ted Prodromou: And you build a relationship. What a concept.
Jake Randall: Yeah. Really it’s… I mean, we always talk about marketing is dating, right? That’s a perfect example of just jumping into a real relationship communication.
Ted Prodromou: Right. Another trick I do is, I’ll do a search for people that I want to work with. Small companies, one or two employees, the same people you’re looking for a lot of times. Entrepreneurs.
Jake Randall: Yeah.
Ted Prodromou: I’ll do a search, and view their profiles. And then they get notified that Ted viewed your profile and they say, “Oh.” They look at my profile. They invite me to connect instead of me reaching out to connect with them.
Jake Randall: Interesting.
Ted Prodromou: One of the tactics these hunters are teaching right now is, connect with 50… Send 50 invitations a day to LinkedIn. Only 40% are active on LinkedIn more than once a month.
Jake Randall: Yeah.
Ted Prodromou: Most of those just sit there. Then when you get too many LinkedIn penalizes you, or you get too many I don’t knows. I’d rather just do this farming, and let people come to me who want to work with me rather than aggressively marketing.
Jake Randall: Yeah, that’s really cool. I think, especially for… I’m sure there’s lots of applications for lots of business, but the ones coming in my mind, especially if you offer a high end service, or a high ticket program, or something like that, this seems like a… I know you were saying farming because they’re coming to you. But, because they’re coming to you, it’s like fish in a barrel, at some point.
Ted Prodromou: Exactly. Because it takes longer, and you build relationships with their… They stay with you longer, they spend more money and they refer you. If you want to be aggressive in scale, you run ads. You get your name in front of a lot of stuff, but if you just take this slower approach, if you’re only looking for a couple of clients a month, I only need three or four clients a month for my coaching.
Jake Randall: If you were going to scale on there, do you do your ad content, the stuff that you’re buying? Is it similar to the stuff that you’ve been talking about? Or do you go more aggressive on the ad side? Or do you still promote content via the ads and build better organic farming?
Ted Prodromou: It’s like the Facebook ads, now. It’s more about sharing stories and content rather than pitching your product. I’ve been trying to promote my book, The Third Edition of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business. I tried to run LinkedIn ads, and they won’t let me.
Jake Randall: Oh really?
Ted Prodromou: It has the word LinkedIn. Three years ago when I wrote the previous edition, they let me run ads.
Jake Randall: That is hilarious.
Ted Prodromou: Now I’m running Facebook ads, basically. And the ones I noticed all these people that sell a lot of books on Facebook, they’re not promoting their books. They’re selling a case study in the ads, which leads to the book.
Jake Randall: Gotcha. That’s really cool. Ted, I’m just curious when it comes to your business, or business in general, I have two questions. What’s your super power in business? And then, what’s one of the things that you feel like is one of your weaknesses? And what have you done to address that in business?
Ted Prodromou: My super power is I genuinely want to help people. When I grew up, my grandfather started a restaurant in the 1920s in Pennsylvania, my father took it over. I grew up working in a restaurant. You got to get good service and high quality service and provide… Build relationships. I just like to help people. I’m not looking to work with a thousand people at a time. I don’t want to build a huge company at this point. I just want to live comfortably and help people. That’s my super power. I really care about people.
Jake Randall: I can tell. You’re one of the most genuine people that I’ve talked to.
Ted Prodromou: That would be my weakness, too, because I don’t like to charge people sometimes. It’s like, “I’ll just answer that question for him. I won’t charge them.”
Jake Randall: Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s something that a lot of people struggle with, right? How have you addressed that? Have you done anything to… I mean even just personal goal setting to make sure you don’t give away the farm?
Ted Prodromou: Yeah. As it gets more crowded in the LinkedIn expert space, I stick out because I care about people. And I tell a lot of people when I get on calls with them. I say, “You know, I really can’t help you. I would love to charge you and take your money, but I really can’t charge you because I’m not going to able to help. Your business isn’t ready for this yet.”
Jake Randall: Gotcha. Which, in some weird way, it probably makes them want to work with you more, right?
Ted Prodromou: It does. I said, “You know, maybe in a year your business will be ready for this, but you’re just starting out. You need to do this, this, and this.” I tell him exactly what they need to do.
Jake Randall: Yeah. Yeah. That’s awesome. What is… First of all, if people want to learn more about what you do, I’d like to just send them to your website. What’s the best place for them to connect with you other than LinkedIn?
Ted Prodromou: Find me on LinkedIn, of course, and tell them… In the invitation to connect, say that you saw me on this or heard me on this podcast.
Jake Randall: That’s awesome. How about you give them your website.
Jake Randall: Fantastic. It’s time for the question, the curve ball question I’m going to throw at you here. Besides growing your sales and focusing on growing your business, what’s one thing you’ve done in your business to make sure that more of the money that you’re bringing in actually drops to the bottom line as profit rather than just leaking out in expenses?
Ted Prodromou: Well, I just learned this the hard way. We were talking before we started this call. Right before my book launch, my whole Infusionsoft database got corrupted from some software bug and 10 years of list building, all my previous clients, and book buyers, got corrupted. I just started looking at everything and I was like, “Wow. I’m subscribed to this service, this service, this service.” I was spending over $2,000.00 a month on services like Infusionsoft and Shopping Carts, and blah, blah, blah. I literally just tore all of my technology down to nothing, and I’m starting over, literally. Now my expenses have gone from over 2000 a month. I’m at about 500 a month for all this technology. And I cut out all those extra coaching programs that are 27 or 47 a month. They add up.
Jake Randall: They add up, right.
Ted Prodromou: It’s like, “Oh, I haven’t listened to this guy in two years, but I’ve been paying him $99.00 a month.”
Jake Randall: That’s awesome. I think that’s a good exercise for people to go through. I have to go back and take a look at that like you did. That’s great. I like that you did that. You intentionally, you took your marketing stack and said, “I had a problem, but let’s use that as a catalyst too really look at that.”
Ted Prodromou: Then you start examining your bank statements closer. I was like, “Oh man.”
Jake Randall: I could be way more wealthy than I am right now.
Ted Prodromou: Right. Or I can invest in the other kinds of coaching programs. Because you don’t stay with people all the time.
Jake Randall: Right.
Ted Prodromou: But people like Perry Marshall, I’ve been with him for 15 years, as a subscriber.
Jake Randall: Yeah.
Ted Prodromou: He provides incredible value.
Jake Randall: Yeah. That’s awesome. What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received, in business?
Ted Prodromou: Probably from my father with the restaurant, you got to provide… The flashing open the signs on restaurants, that used to drive him crazy. The ones, you’re driving by, the big billboard thing. If you provide really good food, and really good service, people are going to know when you’re open. You don’t need flashing signs to grab people’s attention. That’s why people with the fancy, all those little symbols in their LinkedIn profiles, that personally drives me crazy. If they know, you don’t need to do those tricks to get people’s attention if you provide incredible service to them.
Jake Randall: I feel that might be one of my aha moments during this call with you, is the sincerity in the LinkedIn stuff. Because I feel like a lot of the stuff that… If I’m looking back at what’s worked on me and what hasn’t, the stuff that comes across as truly genuine I think has been… I’ve been open to having a discussion. Whereas if it feels a little salesy, it doesn’t feel like advertising. It’s like email, in a sense. It’s a personal relationship. It’s not like I’m on a stage talking to all my people and so I get… I think I’ve only responded ever to the ones that came across as like sincere and looking to connect, and not like looking to just put me on a leads list, sometimes
Ted Prodromou: It’s like the aggressive marketing, it works. It tricks you, but every time you buy it you’re like, “I didn’t get any value out of it. I got more value out of the promotion.” Like an infomercial. You’ve watched those like, “Oh yeah, I’m going to get that, and I’m going to lose 50 pounds, and blah, blah blah.” And you never get the results, but you fall for the hype.
Jake Randall: Yeah. Yeah. That’s great.
Ted Prodromou: That’s why I tell people. If I get on a call with someone I say, “I can’t help you. I don’t want to take your money.” They’re like, “Okay.” They’re not happy sometimes, but I just won’t take people’s money if I can’t help them.
Jake Randall: Who is the somebody that would be ready for your LinkedIn coaching and things like that? What’s the right type of person that would fit that profile?
Ted Prodromou: Well, since I’m older, over 50, I attract a lot of over 50 people because there’s all these LinkedIn experts and a lot of them are all sizzle and no steak. They’re getting you hooked in there, and you send all these messages and send these templated messages, and the people over 50 that had been successful in their careers, and they’ve been disrupted for some reason, they build a relationship with them. They see that I’m this sincere, and I’ve been through the ringer a few times. My career has been disrupted three times in 20 years. I didn’t control the dot com crash, or 2008. I got laid off from a company. We quadrupled their revenue in three years.
Jake Randall: Wow.
Ted Prodromou: So I’ve been through it. They like those stories, because I’m here to help them.
Jake Randall: Yeah. That’s great. I think that’s really a value.
Ted Prodromou: If you lie and cheat, or steal, you always get caught. My mom always said that. If you lie, eventually you’re going to get caught. And she was right.
Jake Randall: Yeah, Isn’t that amazing how many people think they can get away with that?
Ted Prodromou: There’s just so much hype out there now. And everybody’s seems desperate to make the sale.
Jake Randall: Yeah.
Ted Prodromou: It’s like just be the good guy.
Jake Randall: Be yourself, right?
Ted Prodromou: Yeah.
Jake Randall: Unless you’re not a good guy, then don’t be yourself. Be someone-
Ted Prodromou: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly.
Jake Randall: Awesome. Well, I really am excited to go and try some of this stuff. I need to really evaluate how I’m using LinkedIn, based on today, and I think the big takeaways from here. The sincerity thing, and then posting highly relevant content and playing the farming game instead of the a hunting game. I think those are really awesome, awesome insights. Everybody, just for our… If you want to go find more of this stuff or get more information, get his book and everything like that, go to yourLinkedIncoach.com. And I highly recommend that you take a look at it. I think there’s going to be some real awesome value there. And Ted, any last words of advice for our listeners when it comes to managing their LinkedIn?
Ted Prodromou: Make sure you go update your profile right now because people are looking at it, and the algorithm is putting you in front of thousands of people every day.
Jake Randall: And you’re just wasting that space.
Ted Prodromou: Exactly. Free advertising.
Jake Randall: Hey Ted, thanks so much for making the time to… and being patient with us… and making time to come on our podcast today. It’s been a real, real treat.
Ted Prodromou: Yeah. Hey, thanks for having me. This has been great.
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