leaders content. Encourage employees to learn about your prospects’ industry challenges, innovations and trends, written by those who live and breathe these topics. Then encourage employees to think about how this content relates specifically to your prospects, and how presenting the material to them can be a tool for earning their trust – and ultimately their business. By learning, researching and thinking critically, employees are building up their own knowledge, thus better equipping them to take on more responsibility.
Compile the most relevant resources into a discovery path
Once employees feel they’ve gained a broad understanding of a prospect’s business, have them curate a chapter from a relevant book, plus a video and an industry report that showcases their understanding. The point is to package the relevant content into a bite-sized path that your prospect can easily access, consume and learn from.
Add context to the content
This step is the most crucial when it comes to demonstrating knowledge and what your employees, and thus organization, can bring to the table. It’s also the step in the process
New business leads developed through employee social marketing convert seven times more frequently than other leads where employees have opportunities to truly showcase their leadership. Adding context to the selected content means having your employees explain exactly why the chapter, video and report is relevant to targets. It’s where employees add their own ideas and interpretations. So, when a prospect opens the discovery path, not only do they receive expert content, they also receive a message that proves your employees’ in-depth understanding of their business needs.
Share the discovery path and encourage open feedback
Once the content is curated and context added, it’s time to share the packaged content with your prospective client. Have your employees invite the prospect into the learning process by sharing the information, then follow up and offer an opportunity to collaborate and discuss the content and concepts derived. The key is to encourage
collaboration, and come up with next steps – whatever they may be – together with the potential client. The steps above outline a highly targeted approach to marketing to a new business prospect. This process can be carried out prior to the first meeting, or shortly thereafter. It is important to note, however, that this type of targeted marketing can also be generalized. For example, if you are in the business of consulting startup companies on how to secure funding, your employees can develop more general discovery paths that focus on various issues related to startups. The topics then speak to a wider audience, and the paths can be shared directly to employees’ social media platforms. However broad or targeted you’d like your employees to be, the main idea is to bring collaborative learning into employee advocacy efforts. Involving employees in collaborative learning-fuelled employee advocacy will provide them with opportunities to emerge as leaders more quickly by learning from industry experts, showcasing their own knowledge, and earning the trust of other professionals. — Michelle Yandre is PR manager at BlueBottleBiz – the first collaborative learning platform for business professionals
Q3 2017 Dialogue