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May 12, 2020

What Makes You the Expert? Harnessing Targeted Content

GUEST: Joe Sullivan, Thinker & Founder at Gorilla 76

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What’s on your company’s blog?

Pet pictures? The company dodgeball tournament results?

If so, you’re missing a chance to build trust and earn attention through your expertise.

It’s something my guest today, Joe Sullivan, Thinker & Founder of the industrial marketing agency Gorilla 76, says happens at too many companies.

Most great salespeople know establishing yourself as an expert can guide the buyer through their buyer’s journey and buying decision.

So, why do so many businesses forget the power of expertise in marketing?

In this episode, Joe explains:

  • What makes your expertise so powerful (& how you can use it)
  • How meaningful connections beat volume in the long run
  • Why video-based prospecting is so potent

What makes you the expert

In sales, there is a longstanding idea — instead of trying to persuade or convince the buyer, you are trying to guide them to a solution. 

When you can establish yourself as the expert practitioner and guide the buyer through their buyer's journey, naturally, you're going to be the one they come to when it's time to make a buying decision.”

JOE SULLIVAN at Gorilla 76

But this rarely ends up getting translated to the marketing side of things.

And it’s a shame. Not because the company dogs aren’t cute, or your dodgeball team shouldn’t be proud of their underdog success story ripped straight from the script of The Mighty Ducks.

It’s because you’re occupying valuable real estate with things potential customers don’t care about.

Content marketing is also about guiding a buyer to a solution. And you do this through your expertise.

What makes you the expert? What problems can you solve that others can’t?

Answering these questions gets you the content you should be showcasing to the world. Your company is filled with experts in your field, people you can lean on to infuse your marketing with the answers people need.

Let’s take a completely plausible example: Say you’re a circus performer who gets shot out of a cannon every night.

When you hear of a new industry regulation seriously limiting the firepower of human artillery, you’re probably going to start furiously Googling technical information about these cannons, right?

If you are consistently getting good information about the new human-assault-cannon legislation from People Bazooka LLC, who are you going to turn to when you find out you need a new one to shoot you through the ring of fire?

The point is, by helping customers find these answers, you’re providing value without any ask or conditions. You’re gaining a reputation for being the kind of company who understands the buyer’s problems are and how to solve them. 

Nobody cares who you are or what you do until they believe you’ve seen their problem before, understand it deeply and have helped other people like them solve it.”

JOE SULLIVAN at Gorilla 76

 

And this value is how you capture your audience’s attention.

Turn down the volume and make it personal if you want long-term success

When it comes to more direct approaches, like shooting off emails, you need to make it personal, while still adding value.

Often, the pressure to market at scale means a very generic, canned approach. Yes, it makes this volume possible, but it also garners absolutely zero connection from a prospect.

This translates to low reply rates — which, to be fair, you probably already know before you fire off 100 of these things and maybe you’re OK with that.

But when you can hit a smaller number of targets you’ve gotten to know a little better, spent more time with, the results are exponentially better. And, when you add immediate value on top of this, you’ll see an astronomical difference.

This doesn’t mean you need to spend hours on it, just enough to genuinely personalize your interactions. Spend 5 or 10 minutes looking at their LinkedIn profile and see if you can learn something about them.

Joe knows, for instance, if he’s speaking with a fellow Wisconsinite, he might be able to commiserate with them about last week’s devastating Packers loss.

To give value, Joe — whose expertise is more geared toward websites than the human cannonball industry — can look over their company’s page and quickly notice a few things he can point out to help them. 

I'm trying to create meaningful conversations with people that create value.”

JOE SULLIVAN at Gorilla 76


How video can help your prospecting

Joe is a huge advocate for video-based prospecting as a way to make a meaningful connection with your prospect.

Even though I have a face for radio, doing this podcast makes it easy to see his point — people need to know you are human.

Joe uses tools like Loom to help personalize his message. By copying and pasting the videos he records into a message, a little thumbnail of his face appears. He’ll also set the website of the person he’s messaging as the background to the 2 or 3-minute long videos he sends.

This way, the recipient sees a human face, sees their website and makes an instant visual connection, which humanizes Joe’s brand.

Through video, you’re no longer a person hiding behind a curtain of words entirely indistinguishable from the millions of other words cluttering someone’s email inbox every day.

You show you’ve actually taken the time to think about your recipient, record a personal message for them and present yourself as an actual, real-life human.

Joe’s seeing great results with this approach and recommends everyone try it.

Even if they do have a face for radio.

This blogpost includes highlights of our podcast interview with Joe Sullivan, Thinker & Founder of Gorilla 76.Subscribe to hear this episode and many more like it. For the entire interview, you can listen to The B2B Revenue Executive Experience. If you don’t use Apple Podcasts, we suggest this link.