Mistakes are necessary steps to success. Jake Jorgovan knows that too well. Before becoming the founder of Lead Cookie, a lead generation services company, he started his career leaving one business after the other. But without giving up and getting discouraged, he eventually landed on a job that has his strong suit: sales consulting. Jake imparts knowledge on LinkedIn marketing, from where to begin to how to generate results. He teaches three important things that will get you leads through optimizing your profile, getting sales navigator, putting out content, and more. He also touches on topics like video content and crushing contact requests. Overall, he highlights the concept of your value proposition, which is about finding your niche and watching it multiply your efforts.

LinkedIn Marketing And The Art Of Generating Leads with Jake Jorgovan

My guest started his professional life with a job and within a few years moved to a startup. While excited and inspired, that particular startup never started up. Next, he tried another but that didn’t work for him either. Then he moved into the space many of us occupy. He started his own business, first as a writer and blogger, then into lead generation. He generates leads for companies who would love to make their mark on LinkedIn. Welcome, Jake Jorgovan, to the show.

Thanks for having me on here.

I love the topic because I use LinkedIn every single day and I work the program to generate my own leads. I love to hear more about what you do. Where I’d like to start all these interviews with is a simple question. Tell us where did this all begin for you in your professional life?

Where this all started, the leaving the job and going into this was when I was in college. I was going to school for audio engineering and thought I was going to be a music producer. At some point there, I had been working in gas station. All that stuff you do growing up, it was around the age of nineteen, I made this shift and I said, “I’m not going to do anything that’s not in line with the profession that I want to go down.” I went out and basically started what was then freelancing, doing gigs and projects and stuff that way. I had a few part-time positions that helped supplement that. Eventually, that grew into a company. I was this audio guy and I ended up pairing with this video production guy who was extremely talented there and ended up becoming my business partner.

Over the next four and a half years, we would grow that into about a seven-person agency and we did over $1 million in revenue and landed some big Fortune 500 clients. We were doing video production and animation for these large corporate events. That was the first real endeavor into entrepreneurship. While even in school we started the business. That was the first real experience with it and I had no idea what I was doing. I was learning a ton along the way and made a lot of mistakes and looked successful but didn’t make that much money. I learned a lot of the hard lessons early on that way.

If I do not make mistakes, I would no longer be learning. Click To Tweet

We tend to make just about every mistake possible, it seems. I’ve certainly had been in the same position many times. I’m still learning from my mistakes. Some might say, “That’s pretty sad, Mitch. You should have been old enough to no longer been making mistakes.” If I didn’t make mistakes, I would no longer be learning. I welcome them when they come. My job is to recover quickly from them, as I’m sure you noticed in your own life as well. 

The steps after that led to where I was. My next move after that agency was a big mistake. I eventually left the agency, which was necessary, and sold to my partner. I went and I tried a start-up and epically failed at it. It literally failed because I did something that was not true to myself. I tried to go into healthcare because I had this investor who wanted to invest in this concept he had and he wanted me to run it. It was living on someone else’s agenda. Ultimately, I threw in the towel on it mainly because I was miserable with wearing a suit suddenly. I’ve got tattoos up and down my arms and I was suddenly wearing a suit going out to a healthcare meeting. It wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

After that, the next several years I started doing digital marketing, web design, everything in that space. Eventually, that evolved into sales consulting, which is where I found out I was strong. I started doing sales consulting for other agencies because when I had my agency, I got us all these Fortune 500 clients. That’s where I was strong. All that consulting eventually evolved. I was consulting, but I knew I’ve got it in me to build an actual business beyond my consultancy. I kicked up what is now Lead Cookie, which is the current business. That is where we have done-for-you LinkedIn lead generation. That’s the journey up until where I am in this current venture.

It’s the journey that never ends. Just because you’re here doesn’t mean you won’t be somewhere else. What’s nice about building a business is the fact that every time you do it, you get better at it and you learn something super important. I bet Lead Cookie is probably in a lot better place than your healthcare startup or any of the others you’ve been in, just because you’re maybe a little bit older and a little bit wiser.

FTC 109 | LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing: Just because you’re here doesn’t mean you won’t be somewhere else tomorrow.

 

I’m definitely more passionate about it. I also have the right advisers and things around. Being older and wiser definitely makes a lot of difference.

Let’s talk a little bit about the advisers you have around you because your story is quite common among entrepreneurs. You’re the typical smart guy who goes to college with the idea that, “I’m going to get a job and I’m going to do well,” then pivots because of not being happy, whether it’s tattoos, long hair or simply the desire to not sit in the cubicle. We get those feelings. We need to move, we need to get out and we need to strike our own claim, as it says. What would you tell our audience who are in a position that you were in about working with advisers or coaches or maybe people that you admire? Describe what you did and how you found your advisers in which you would advise my audience to do as well?

When I was young and in college, I went crazy. I used the college student card as a way to interview older business owners and people that were more successful with me all the time. I had so many advisers, so many people helping and I guarantee that’s a large part of the success. As I got older, I started to realize that people don’t necessarily give away their time as much to people in the middle of life as they do to a college kid who is passionate. There’s something there. Two things that I’ve done since then is that I have a podcast also where I interview people. Holding an interview-style podcast, you’re basically getting to pick the brains of smart people all the time. I’m sure you realize, Mitch, you probably learn a ton from these interviews as much as you give value to the audience. You personally learn yourself.

What’s the name of your podcast? 

It’s called Working Without Pants. It’s mainly for agency owners and consultants as the primary audience where I’ve interviewed over 100 people in that space, agency owners on their journey of building their business up.

To everyone, you will know why I’m asking this question but Jake will not. Do you have an accountability partner?

I realize for a while with my consulting that I was stagnating. I eventually went out and hired a business coach and adviser to help me. I ended up hiring Alex McClafferty, who was one of the co-founders of WP Curve, which was a very similar business model to what we were doing. Having that was massively helpful. Someone who’s been down the road that you were looking to go down and to hold me accountable and to ask me the hard questions and also to share the experiences from being ahead, it was a game changer. I went from stagnant in my business for years to the most progress I made in six months.

Great coaches are accelerators. Click To Tweet

That’s what great coaches are, accelerators. You step on the gas, you take advantage. You pay a lot of money, but the end result is so worth it if you could find the right person. If you’re going to find a business coach, make sure that they’ve already done what you’re trying to do.

That was my general philosophy whenever I was looking for people. I want someone who’s built a business similar to what I’m looking to build and has been on that similar journey. There was a good match there and that’s been my philosophy. I’ve always gone out looking for it.

When I started my software company many years ago, Timeslips Corporation in the 1980’s, back then software was very new and very cool. A lot of people were starting up companies and I went and interviewed the CEO of several of these mid-tier companies and what I found was unbelievable. These people, CEOs, were thrilled to take a meeting with me and chat with me even though I was a total nothing at the time. I learned so much. It got so much great advice, but I also observed something that I needed to pay attention to.

Many of the people I was talking to when I described what I was doing, several of them said, “It’s a very competitive market. It’s not a good time to be getting in and you’re doing something that’s obscure.” I had to put that advice aside. If I would’ve listened to it, I might not have done what I did. I decided that I was going to take all of the good advice and dispose of the stuff that sounded like a lot of fear to me. Just be aware that sometimes successful people are a little sensitive about some of the places where they failed in the past. Take that into account when you get your advice.

FTC 109 | LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing: Take all of the good advice and dispose the stuff that sounded like a lot of fear.

 

It’s hilarious, the advice that a software is not a good thing to get into in the ’80s. They may have misinterpreted where that was going.

It turns out that I was excited by the fact. I had followed Bill Gates since he was a young man. When Bill Gates came out with a BASIC and Dos, I said to myself, “We better do something quick or else this whole industry is going to get ahead of us.” That’s how long ago my journey started in software. I am building yet another software company based on accountability partnership. It seems like you’re offering amazing service. You’ve been doing it long enough to have acquired some skills and some knowledge of your own. Jake, tell us where do we start if we want to begin marketing on LinkedIn.

In terms of LinkedIn, there are so many things you can do with the platform is overwhelming. You can send people a happy birthday or congratulate them on every job. A lot of that is wasted energy and effort that’s not actually going to get your results. When I look at it, there are three things that I recommend most people do with LinkedIn to basically start generating results. First is to optimize your profile and your headline to where it is not just a resume and a bio of you, but something that is focused on your target prospect or your target customer and the value you bring them. Don’t write your whole life history but talk about how you help people. That’s one tip on the profile.

Then there are two ongoing things you can do to generate leads. The first one is simple. I would recommend getting LinkedIn sales navigator for this, which is one of their paid products, but it lets you do this at a lot higher velocity and volume. Start to connect with people on a daily basis. Who are your target customers? You don’t have to send them anything crazy, just a message saying, “I was browsing your profile. You looked interesting. We work in a similar space, I thought I’d connect.” Something very casual like that and then whenever they connect to engage with you, you can send them a question. Don’t pitch them out of the gate, but send them a question that’s somewhat related to your value proposition or somehow around what you’re offering is annual. For me, my question is, “What are your primary lead generation channels?”

It’s not too invasive. It gets people talking, it gives you information that qualifies or disqualifies them as a potential prospect. Literally at Lead Cookie, we do drip extra messages on top of that, but those two messages right there will generate a ton of lead. Even if you did ten or twenty people a day and you ask those questions to everyone that accepts that, you’ll start getting some conversations going quick. We do 100 a day at Lead Cookie and it generates a lot of conversations. That tactic right there is one simple way to start immediately having conversations with your direct customers.

You and I both use the exact same technique. We invite people in using a simple message, “We both seem to share some common interest. It would be great to connect.” When they connect with me, I send them a very short message. I say, “Who’s your ideal client?” The other one I use is, “Who’s your target audience?” What I find is that this works so much better than any of these other strategies like sharing useful articles, which nobody’s going to read and trying to build a relationship that way. Because with one short question, some people are going to write back and say, “No thanks or leave me alone.” Others will write back an entire page answering your question and inviting you to have that next conversation, which is exactly what we’re all trying to accomplish with LinkedIn marketing.

It’s a super powerful tactic. It does take a bit of time to do that and keep that organized. Another one, even if you don’t have time for that, and if you’ve got five minutes a day, there’s a tool out there that we use called Dux-Soup. You can use this for connection requests. I prefer to do them by hand because I’m not a big fan of those features. We use Dux-Soup to go visit 500 profiles of your target prospects every day. What it does is it starts loading up their pages and as when you view them, what happens is you start to show up in the who’s viewed your profile section for all of those people.

What’s nice about building a business is the fact that every time you do it, you get better at it. Click To Tweet

Suddenly in 2,500 people per week, you’re showing up in that Who’s Viewed Your Profile section and if you’ve optimized your profile and you have a good headline, some of those people might click in. They might add you as a connection. We get leads on our website directly from this. That one right there is super simple. It’s a little chrome extension that’s $15 a month and it is a great tool. That’s how I first started in LinkedIn, which is doing that and I was like, “This is working and I’m getting clients from this. I better research and figure out what else I can do here.” Just that little tool, another one, even if you’ve only got five minutes a day and you want something a bit more passive.

The site is Dux-Soup.com. Jake, Dux-Soup is an absolutely awesome tool. I don’t use it enough but I do use it and I love it. Continue your process, tell us a little bit more.

There’s a lot of other stuff, obviously posting content on a regular basis, super valuable. Adding media to your profile or using the articles feature to publish blogs. There are so many things you can do on LinkedIn but literally, if you use those two tactics on an ongoing basis, it becomes a repeatable process to generate leads. It simply works. That’s what I recommend people focus their time and energy on if they are trying to do B2B leads on LinkedIn. That’s the main areas that I would recommend.

I have focused a lot on LinkedIn and I have done my best to get educated. I purchased several courses and marketing on LinkedIn. The first course was about a $2,000 course and it helped me get my profile created and some basic messaging done. Then I bought a better course and that was much more money. What that did is it helped me create a bunch more of the marketing tools that I would be in need of. That started me on the path of understanding LinkedIn and doing a great job marketing on it. I am at a point now where I pay somebody like you on a monthly basis to begin this process of generating connections. That’s where all of my connections come from. Between Dux-Soup and my connection generation guy, I’m getting somewhere between ten and 30 leads a month. I’m very happy with that process. What other ideas, techniques, or tools would you offer listeners who are in the same place want to market on LinkedIn?

The results you’re seeing there are pretty typical for this stuff where it does generate a lot of leads there and a lot of new connections with it as well. The other thing is to definitely try to do content on a daily basis. LinkedIn is putting a lot of focus on video content in their newsfeed. Anything video you put out there, especially native video, they’re pushing very heavily. Even if writing full blog posts is too overwhelming or anything for you, literally popping in and trying to write something thought-provoking or contrarian or an opinion on your industry and share a status update, all of that stuff generates traffic to your profile. It generally gets your name out there as well. Those are other things that I like to do on top of this because if you’re sending these connections every day, you’re sending these drip messages and questions, then you’re going to be adding tons of connections. The more content you get out there into the feed, all of that feed people back into your LinkedIn profile.

FTC 109 | LinkedIn Marketing

LinkedIn Marketing: The more content you get out there into the feed, feeds people back into your LinkedIn profile.

 

Another more in-depth tactic on the connections too is you can get detailed with it and that this is something that if you’ve never upgraded to LinkedIn sales navigator, which is one of their paid product, it is amazing how granular you can get with the searches there. You can literally add positive keywords, negative keywords. You can say, “I want to see VPs of marketing, companies that are 51 to 200. I want people that are life coaches and not people that are health coaches.” You can get so granular and specific with it. Taking the time to learn how to use those search features, you can get super powerful with your targeting there.

Let’s talk about groups. Are you a guy who recommends that people build groups and maintain them and invite people to them? Do you feel like groups are not as important? 

I am not a big proponent of groups. I don’t invest time in them at all. Years ago, I did. I thought groups were good. If you look, LinkedIn has almost hidden their group’s feature. It’s even hard to go into one of their little sub navs for you to get to it. They’re definitely not pushing it as hard. From some people that I’ve talked to that have engaged to or have a contact within LinkedIn, they say they’re not certain what the future of groups even is. Every time I get into a group, I feel like it’s a bunch of people posting their blog articles and there’s no actual conversation happening. There are probably good ones out there. As a general consensus, I got burnt out on groups. I haven’t seen them being too active. I know it was for a while, the longtime strategy to invite people to groups. I don’t think that they’re as used on LinkedIn or as powerful as they used to be or anywhere near as compelling as something like a Facebook group is.

I have a LinkedIn group called the Alternate Revenue Channel Network and I have about 150 members in my group. I’m short of screaming bomb in a movie theater. I can’t get these guys to respond to anything. I offered free stuff. I started conversations. I can’t get anybody to engage. You’re right, groups are dead. I’d like to go back to something you said about the video. One of the things that I find video works well for are testimonials. I have some very powerful video testimonials, but I’ve never put them on LinkedIn. The reason I haven’t is that I figured that once they scroll off the top, they basically are done being valuable. I’m wondering what you think about taking something like a video testimonial. Have you ever used LinkedIn advertising to promote yourself or promote your clients?

A piece on the video testimonial, with that I would still post it as a status update. It would be great to do. I’ve done that a lot with text testimonials and everything as well and it’s definitely a super easy content to create and engaging. You can also add that as media on your profile as well. That’s another great place to put it. In terms of the advertising, I have not done advertising on LinkedIn. I am not a paid ads guy. That’s not my background. I’ve got a good friend, AJ Wilcox, who specializes in that space. LinkedIn advertising is super powerful with how targeted you can get. You have sales navigator and you can target people. Your minimum size is 300, but you can get super focused. The thing is it’s expensive. AJ’s rule of thumb is you need to be willing to spend $3,000 to $5,000 a month on advertising minimum to make it worth it. He told me the last we spoke, it was somewhere around $7 to $10 a click. It’s pretty pricey.

That is pricey and I do see the point. You mentioned that you like the idea of posting videos and in your feed where it says share an article, photo, video or idea. Do you get a response to your videos? Do you use videos as a way to start a conversation? You said you’re sharing content every day. How many of those are videos?

I will honestly admit, for me, I have not published as much video content even though I know it’s the trend. You can see it in the algorithm and there are articles all about this or that. They’re pushing this and Facebook and LinkedIn, they’re all starting to push toward video as a medium because it’s more engaging. I tend to produce more text. It’s the kind of person I am. I have not done as much video so I can’t necessarily give as much feedback there on that aspect of it in terms of my real-world experiences. What I’m sharing there is more what I’m observing in the trends but I haven’t necessarily utilized that one as much.

It’s important to have a very clean profile, almost like a sales letter focused on exactly what it is you want your prospect to know about. Once you do that, it’s a matter of finding ways to get that profile in front of more people. Then once you start doing that and you feel like your profile is in place and you have a content strategy, then step two is to crush it with contact requests. Try and create as many connections as possible. You mentioned posting content on a daily basis if possible and how that works as well. Any other advice you might offer to people who are trying to market and particularly those who have tried and have not been successful on LinkedIn?

One of the biggest concepts that I share a lot of is that your value proposition is everything. To give an example of this, we have run over 90 campaigns at this point, LinkedIn Outreach Campaigns. We use the exact same framework of scripts, same framework for profile copy. It’s a system that we run and everyone’s going through this same process, but we see massively different results for different people. The audience and the industry can make a little bit of a difference. The biggest thing is value proposition. If someone is a generalist and they’re saying, “We do digital marketing for small businesses.” It’s great, so does everybody else in the world. No one responds but we have a digital marketer. I help franchise or attract franchisees, very niche, very specific, phenomenal results.

We had a software development company where I was like, “I help blue-collar companies automate their manual processes through custom software.” It’s very niche targeting, manufacturing, blue-collar companies getting great results. It’s that value proposition that niche focusing and having a pain point for your marketing, that is a multiplier. Everything that we’re talking about, all the tactics here, they’re useless if you don’t have a niche and a good value proposition. If you’ve got a great nation, a great value proposition that multiplies these efforts in the results you’re going to get.

Be aware that sometimes, successful people are a little sensitive about some of the places where they failed in the past. Click To Tweet

That is fantastic content and so much valuable information. I appreciate you sharing this and I know that listeners who are trying to market on LinkedIn and doing their best are going to benefit a lot from something you told me you had as a free giveaway. Do you want to tell us what that is?

I have an eBook called How-to Guide on LinkedIn Lead GenerationIt gives away in depth the tactics that I talked about, the exact steps I even give these scripts and the framework everything forward. It literally goes into all of this in way more detail, gives you scripts and everything to work from. That eBook could be the place to go.

Jake, this has been fun and I enjoyed learning from you. That’s part of why I do this. I get to learn from so many smart people and you’re a part of that group as well. I have the question for you. This is the question I ask all of my guests and it is so good at helping us better understand a little bit more about who you are. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

I would have to go with probably Marcus Aurelius, author of Meditations. He’s probably my favorite of all philosophers or anything along those lines. That would probably be my number one there.

Why would you select him? 

I’m a big fan of stoicism and Seneca always seemed a little bit more of a less friendly and more cynical. I would say Marcus Aurelius is probably more fun to hang out with. That would probably be my reasoning there.

For the grand finale question, the change the world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

I had this question and I haven’t looked at it and thought of it ahead of time. Just to be honest, I could make up something here and say that I’m out there trying to change the world, but honestly with the service we’re doing is creating value for people. It’s helping grow their business. With where I’m at, what I look at is a very simple life of wanting to build great businesses that create freedom. That is the core purpose of what I’m doing in my current business and what I tried to do in any of them is something that creates freedom for me, creates freedom for our customers and our team. It’s not going to change the world at a massive level. For the people that surround me and the people that are involved with it, it can change their world a bit, improve their quality of life, and help them enjoy where they’re at more. That’s where I look at. I’m not trying to go and cure world hunger or something. If I can improve the lives of a handful of people that are close to me, that’s success for me.

Jake Jorgovan says, “Go out and create freedom and change the world.” 

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