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Tom Boston's SDR workshop on social selling

  • Sep 28, 2023
  • 4 minutes

Tom Boston is the Brand Awareness Manager at SalesLoft.

A big name on LinkedIn for his social selling skits and SDR real-talk, Tom spoke at our event in July 2023 - The Best SDR workshop EVER.

Here are the best bits from his teachings on social selling.

As an SDR, about 30% of my pipeline could be attributed to LinkedIn inbound leads.

Want to know how you can do the same?

Let’s go.

Be present and be worth talking to

In this day and age as an SDR, having a presence on LinkedIn is fundamental - do not put it off. 

If you are reaching out to prospects with LinkedIn as a step, and you do not have a personal brand - I’m talking consistent content and an active a voice - you are falling at the first hurdle

Your prospect will see you connecting with them and think you are just another salesperson.

Show prospects you are a trustworthy and likeable voice so they consider you worth speaking to.

The three elements to social selling

Social selling consists of just three things:

  1. An optimized profile
  2. A content strategy
  3. An engagement strategy 


Most people just go for number 2 and just post a picture of their desk or a selfie. If you do, most users won't click on your profile, or bother getting to know you. Any users that do, will click on your profile, but if it's not optimized you’ve lost a potential connection.

If you’re not doing number 3 either, you're missing out. Engaging with other people’s content is just as important as creating your own on LinkedIn. It gets your name and profile in more places each day, maximizing your chances of being seen and known.


Create a LinkedIn mission statement

This will help with your approach to the three elements above. 

It is your reason for being on the platform and should underpin everything you do.

Think about your mission and how it could be connected to your product or service. 

For me, it's three words: making sales fun. 

I've leaned heavily into humor because I like making people smile. And if I’m selling Salesloft, I’ll make it about Sales and how it can be terrible and how it can be fun. 

Everything I do on the platform is then tied back to that mission.


How to optimize your LinkedIn profile

Take a look at your profile photo.

Your photo should look like you.

I know that sounds really, really basic but as an SDR, if you jump on a Zoom call with a prospect or they see a video of you on LinkedIn and they can’t tie it to your profile picture, you are making it harder for your prospects to understand who you are and what you have to offer. 

The cover photo.
From your profile, people need to understand what they're going to get from you and what you have to offer. So think about how you can get that across using your cover photo. It’s an extra bit of space on your profile lots of people waste.

The about section.
Most people wrote theirs years ago and haven't updated it. Your about section is your time to shine. A place for your personality to come through. Take the time to update it. I spoke to someone recently about humanization - humanizing yourself as a person. In today’s world of robots, AI, who’s real and who’s not, humanizing yourself and showing prospects you are a real person is key. Your about section is a great place to do that. 

How to create content for social selling 

Create content that resonates.

If you’re in a sales role, you want to be appearing all the time, showing potential prospects what you have to offer. 

But I know what you’re thinking. “That sounds great, but what do I actually post?!’

I always direct people to their email outbox. 

The messaging within your existing emails, the pain points you solve for - that’s your content. 

At an event recently, the speaker said ‘Nobody cares about you or your problems”

It’s a harsh reality but she was spot on. You need to accept that and realize that people only care about themselves and the problems they face. Work with their world and the problems they are facing.

The other thing to remember here is your early content will be bad.

But think about your journey for the next 6, 12 or 18 months and how good it will be. 

Then just start posting. 

Shareability on LinkedIn

You’ll know your content resonates when it is shared. So when you're posting, ask yourself ‘Would someone share this with their network?’

If the answer is no, you’ve not added enough value to the post. 

Value can be found in many ways - entertainment, education, interest - but never content about your product or service. So ask yourself the question and refine it until the answer is yes. 

Note: memes are great!


Prioritize content on your LinkedIn

People love video so I’ve prioritized it by pinning it to my profile. Whatever you want people to see when they click on your profile, add it to your featured section. 

Don’t waste good content - good posts will eventually get lost in the feed so make sure they are featured on your profile for people in the future. 

If you commit today to posting once a week for six months, I promise you that at least one of those posts will resonate and do well. So when this happens, feature the post on your profile. 

LinkedIn engagement strategy

Your comments are just as important as your content. 

The same energy and effort that goes into your content should go into what you post in the comments on other people’s content. That’s because these will be seen just as much as your own content - if not way, way more. 

Add value in the comment section the same way you would a post - or even use your content as the value. 

Comment on influencers’ posts to increase your reach and show up across the platform. Go onto the profile of influencers in your network and ring the bell to get notified when they post. Then jump straight on and comment, so you are visible to their network. 

Follow relevant hashtags to find more influencers and grow further. 


Tom’s talk was part of Jimmy's Best SDR Workshop Ever in July 2023, where we explored some of the best sales techniques with the best in the biz. Tom spoke alongside Chris Ritson and Jack Frimston, and you can learn from their talks here:
Jack Frimston on cold calling.
Chris Ritson on SDR strategies that work.

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