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Building Your Lifeline on Inbound
Breaking into Strategic Accounts
1. What stops you from being successful in sales?
Think about it. Not just on social, but in selling in general. Why don’t people just see your email or your DM and go “🤩🤩🤩 WOW WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?”
Obviously – maybe your pitch isn’t all that great.
But more fundamentally: you’re not seen as credible.
We prefer the way Franklin Covey thinks about credibility:
- Can I trust you? (Integrity)
- Are you a good person? (Intent)
- Can you actually solve my problem? (Capabilities)
- Are you as good as you say you are? (Results)
These are questions you might have heard during a buying process. Or, if you’ve been a part of enough sales, you can identify these as subconscious drivers of the questions your buyers ask on calls. One buyer explicitly told us “I hope you’re as good as you say you are” on a call once. That’s a credibility challenge.
Think about the amazing influencers you follow. We bet they have answered each of these questions in their own way.
The most important piece – building credibility takes time. It’s not a one-and-done thing. It’s why sales takes more than one conversation if you don’t have a deep relationship with the buyer. They’re assessing your credibility.
2. What does credibility look like on LinkedIn?
The cop-out answer: lots of followers.
While it’s true that having a lot of followers implies that you have credibility, we’ve found it isn’t actually what buyers are looking for.
Here are three key metrics on LinkedIn that show you have a credibility challenge:
- Low connection acceptance rates (below 30%)
- Low response rates on DMs (below 50%)
- Lots of profile visits but no inbound DMs
If you send out 100 blank connection requests and you only get 30 to say “yes,” you have a credibility challenge. If you send out 10 DMs and only 5 respond, you have a credibility challenge (on top of a potential messaging challenge). If you get 1000 visitors in 90 days but zero people reaching out, you have a credibility challenge.
On LinkedIn, credibility looks like:
- A well-designed profile funnel that educates and connects with buyers
- An established network of engaged customers, peers, and influencers
The 🍒 cherry on top would be having lots of followers or a big, noticeable splash. But it is not a prerequisite to selling effectively on LinkedIn. A good profile and an engaged network are required.
3. Should I eventually become an influencer then?
A reasonable question.
Becoming an influencer, getting your 10K followers, posting content all the time –– if that’s your goal on LinkedIn, that’s great! Our Inbound section of this guide will help you do that.
Having that many followers does help with the credibility challenge. Social proof from our peers is an undeniable influence on who we think is credible vs. not. Becoming a content creator and an influencer is helpful.
But honestly: it’s also overrated. If your superpower is social, go for it. Otherwise, stick to the fundamentals outlined in this guide and don’t worry about your follower count. You’ll be able to demonstrate credibility in other ways.