Heidi Cohen interviews Melonie Dodaro
New book: LinkedIn Unlocked
Q: What’s your best piece of advice for readers looking to improve their marketing?
I can’t tell you how many social selling experts I’ve heard say that the key to success is through sharing content on LinkedIn.
Content has its role, and it’s an important one which I discuss in depth in Chapter 7, but content alone is not going to generate a steady stream of new clients. What will, is a direct outreach to targeted prospects, which is the fastest, most reliable and effective way to generate leads and clients on LinkedIn.
I have developed a lead generation system that is specific to LinkedIn, I call it The LINK Method™.
There are five crucial steps that make up this process that can turn LinkedIn into a highly predictable lead generator for you.
The LINK Method™ consists of the highest leveraging activities you can do on LinkedIn to generate new clients, and includes these important five steps:
- Make first contact
- Engaging prospect
- Build relationship
- Move conversation offline
Q: What was the inspiration for LinkedIn Unlocked?
I wanted people to have access to the latest strategies of what’s working in the world of LinkedIn and social selling.
I wrote a bestselling book on the topic of LinkedIn in 2014 (see my interview with Melonie on The LinkedIn Code,) but so much has changed since then. The user interface has changed, they’ve added and removed features and what worked then has also changed. To continue to succeed you must adapt your approach, this book outlines a brand-new strategy on what’s working today.
Q: What is the key concept behind your book?
When you stop collecting connections and start building relationships, you increase trust, credibility and attract more clients.
Effective social selling is all about building relationships and trust.
I developed a social selling framework that continues to evolve over the years. However, the key principle remains the same; to help people from collecting connections online and move towards building relationships offline.
And while everyone has been talking about social media, few have been talking about LinkedIn. LinkedIn was being ignored by many businesses for two primary reasons:
- It isn’t sexy.
- It isn’t fun or exciting.
LinkedIn may not be exciting, but getting new clients and having a successful business is.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from your book?
The purpose of this book is simple. I want to help individuals and businesses successfully generate leads using LinkedIn. I’m going to share industry best practices, concept driven exercises and tools that have been developed from my years of experience as a professional in the social selling industry. They can be practically and immediately applied simply by reading this book and actively engaging in the exercises.
Q: How do you describe yourself professionally?
I change the way people look at LinkedIn and show them how to mine it for unlimited leads, prospects and clients.
Q: What are 1-3 books that inspired your work?
Start With Why, by Simon Sinek. I have attributed him in my book as your ‘why story’ is an important piece to include in your LinkedIn profile to help people connect with you.
I also love the book Influence by Robert Ciadini. I attributed him in my book as well, but I also caution people not to use his weapons of influence in an unethical way, which can eliminate trust.
Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your life or career?
Early in my life, I was a person who preferred collecting connections over building relationships. Growing up, I had never met my father. My mother who was very young, couldn’t care for me so she left me with my grandmother. I moved often and didn’t really develop real relationships.
I realized that collecting connections was more convenient and safer than building meaningful relationships. If I just collected connections, I couldn’t be hurt. I felt I had more control over my life and I wouldn’t be vulnerable. I had all kinds of surface level connections and lacked any real relationships.
This did change for me over the years and resulted in the greatest miracle of all, which I share in the introduction of my book LinkedIn Unlocked.
Q: What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?
I took a bold move last year and decided to move to Europe. I have dual citizenship for Canada and the UK but spend my life in Canada. I have moved to Europe to connect with family and experience a new adventure.
Q: Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
I have a lot of career accomplishments that I am very proud of. But there is no other that makes me prouder than when I decided to be completely vulnerable and share my personal story with the world. This was a transformation moment for me that changed the way I saw the world and the people in it. My story went viral and became worldwide news. I even had to choose between three American television networks that wanted to cover my story.
Q: Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share?
LinkedIn is a powerful social selling platform to connect with today’s modern buyer, I recognize it might appear to be an overwhelming task to those looking at this lead generation strategy for the first time.
But even the most complex of tasks can be made simple if you have a clear, step-by-step system that you can replicate and follow, and which will also provide you with repeatable and predictable results.
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