This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Frank Ieraci. Frank started out owning a successful marketing business, but after a few years, realized that there was a great niche in helping clients grow their business through maximizing the power of LinkedIn. He did very well and grew an even larger business, but after some time, realized, that even though the results he was delivering for clients were excellent, the business couldn’t scale unless he found a way to automate his manual processes.
He figured it out and created one of the top LinkedIn marketing software solutions out there today, ClickedIn. ClickedIn is used by everyone from small one person businesses to large enterprise organizations, even groups like entrepreneur magazine.
With Frank’s background and experience, it was only fitting that I ask him on the show to discuss what he’s learned on his entrepreneur journey and his secrets on how use LinkedIn to help maximize the growth of your business.
Through year end 2019, ClickedIn is offering a 14-day free trial of their software for $1. You can sign up right from the website.
Frank has been in marketing for over a decade. He started out in the SEO, AdWords, and social media space, but quickly saw how saturated the market had become. About 7 years ago, he sold off that side of his company and decided to focus solely on helping people grow their business through LinkedIn. During that time, he built a personal network with over 7.2 million connections.
Frank started out as a consultant helping clients get leads through a unique, but manual process. He guaranteed the service and had a lot of success. A few years ago, he had his “light bulb” go off and had an idea to build a software that mirrored what he did manually to help even more people around their world grow their business and that’s when ClickedIn was born.
- It was an untapped market
- LinkedIn is a B2B platform so you can target much better
- You can get a better 1 on 1 interaction on LinkedIn which makes the conversation much easier.
- It allows you to get that direct relationship.
Did anything surprise you about LinkedIn as you started to work with it and build ClickedIn?
- The quality of the conversations you are able to have – they are so much better than other platforms.
- You can do it without ad spend.
- You can book and get meetings with potential prospects much easier.
At the 9 min mark, Frank talks about ClickedIn and some of the nuances of LinkedIn and how it works…
- ClickedIn allows you to target your exact best match or prospect.
- It then communicates with a new connection for you based on messaging you create, but is smart and has an AI component that recognizes positive and negative responses.
- LinkedIn has specific rules for all users.
- LinkedIn wants to see a healthy ratio of connections sent out to acceptance.
- LinkedIn caps a user at 110 connections per day.
- LinkedIn also monitors page views to make sure you are not spamming inside the platform.
- LinkedIn allows you to export only a certain amount of your connections and to get all the data, you need to have a paid account.
A lot of social media marketing and automation services have been shut down, how have you avoided that with ClickedIn?
- The companies getting shut down are Chrome extensions and the social media platforms can see you are using them just from the URL in the chrome extension when you login.
- ClickedIn is a fully web-based platform, no extensions. When it connects, it looks the same as you do sitting at your desk. The software also follows all of the LinkedIn rules and terms and conditions.
How can someone maximize the reach of their LinkedIn profile?
- Think of LinkedIn as your digital resume.
- Have a professional photo. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Instagram, people are looking for business opportunities, so you need to look professional and like the executive that you are.
- A professional photo and banner have proven to help increase conversion rates.
- In your title section, put at least 3 key words of what you or your business is about. These help you rankings in search on LinkedIn.
At the 17 min mark, Frank talks about how he uses ClickedIn almost exclusively to grow his business and the best practices he’s learned about messaging and connecting with people in LinkedIn…
- First, know your audience. Know exactly who it is that you want to target.
- Social media is not about the number of connections you have – it’s about the quality of connections you have.
- Make quality your focus and then be very genuine in your messaging. Be yourself and who you truly are.
- When messaging, don’t go in for the sale on your first message.
- You do need to understand that people will want to know, “Who are you and what can you do for me,” but start out by engaging and giving before you ask for anything.
- Try to make things more conversational and temper your aggressiveness.
What are some of the most important things you’ve learned in building a software business?
- One word “PATIENCE!”
- You must have patience in building software because you are constantly improving things and adding new capabilities – and you have to deal with things not always working.
- You are constantly in a mode of testing, fixing, releasing, etc.
Besides patience, what you have you learned about yourself through your journey?
- You must learn to develop a ‘never quit attitude.”
- To get comfortable with the unknown
- Thrive in the face of challenge.
- It is so gratifying and rewarding to see what you’ve created help people.
At some point, you reached a breaking point, a time when you were on the brink of quitting. How did you overcome it?
- A lot of curse words
- It comes back to the whole reason why you started. The why.
- Nothing great ever comes easy and the bigger the obstacles you can overcome, the bigger your business can be.
- There are always a hundred reasons why you can give up and many times only one to keep you going. Always be looking for the one to remind yourself why you started your business and keep you moving forward.
Your best one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur starting out?
- Stay aggressive
- Stay focused
- A lot more are rooting for you to fail than succeed – tune it out.
- Refuse to quit – don’t give yourself another option.
Any trends across marketing or social media you see coming?
- Stay in tune with the guidelines and terms on the platforms because they are changing.
- Stay true to you through any change.
- Focus on the right approach and the conversation.
- Always make sure you are refining and be diligent about connecting with your target audience.
Best Quote: Social media is not about the number of connections you have - it's about the quality of connections you have.
Frank's Misfit 3:
- Refuse to be in the position you are in now.
- Never quit or give in.
- Stay aggressive and be patient. Never be satisfied.