episodic content

How to use LinkedIn for sales: create a show and invite your prospects to it

Everyone's on LinkedIn now trying to do sales. Stand out from the masses and get results with this new approach to give value first, at scale.

If you haven't already read Give and Take by Adam Grant and your job is in some way connected to sales, you're missing out. It's one of our favourite books. We've previously summarized some of the powerful concepts in the book here.

The book is subtitled, "why helping others drives our success" which is what we want to talk about today, in the context of episodic content. In this article, you will learn how episodic content can help you build relationships by giving value first, while accelerating your own sales process. 



1. The three types of decision makers to understand

There are three types of people (read: decision makers, too): matchers, takers, and givers. As a salesperson, or marketer supporting sales, you need to familiarize yourself with them. 

I. Matchers

According to Grant, most people are matchers. These people are happy to help, so long as the other person has helped them before or is in a position to help them later down the line. On the receiving side, matchers are equally compelled to give back as a means of reciprocation.

You're likely to unlock the best of them by giving to them first. Keep in mind, as I said, most people are matchers.

II. Takers

Takers are can be hard to distinguish from matchers, except for one thing: they always seem to be trying to find ways to extract value, without giving none in return. They walk around trying to figure what's in it for them.

They often exhaust others, whether intentionally or not, with their constant asking for something without reciprocation nearly as much - if at all. That said, there are cases where even takers give in, and become matchers after some time, in some situations.  

III. Givers

Givers, as the name suggest, give without expecting anything in return. They draw fulfilment from the act of giving. While they are open to receiving, it's not conditional to them giving first. That being the case, they also tend to give more than they get - according to Grant's research.

Something beautiful happens when givers are unable to give themselves. They connect you to others like them. 

IV. Most people will give back (to your brand)

Since takers are the least common sort you’ll encounter, and because they’re a stubborn lot, go ahead and factor them out of your equation for now.

What matters most for the purposes of this article is that matchers and givers respond very positively to value that come their way.

Offering value without explicitly expecting something in return will help you reap rewards in the majority of instances. You are building a positive image of yourself in all cases. Sometimes, they will delight with ways of giving back that you did not even think of, and you thought you were so clever, eh? 


2. How episodic content makes sales easier

We've covered the definitions of givers, takers, and matchers - and the notion that if you think about it, most people will give back. We've now set the stage for the next part of this article, how episodic content can accelerate sales opportunities for your business. 

In case you missed it, episodic content is an approach to sales and marketing that focuses on creating binge-worthy episodes as part of an original series - from video podcasts, to documentaries, and other show types.

So how can we bring the two together to help you accelerate building your sales pipeline? 

I. Plenty of ways to give first

Running a video podcast or other original series should leave you with plenty of openings to invite people to weigh in on discussions that matter to them. Since the best examples of episodic content cut aim to be relatable to the target markets of the businesses that run them, it makes sense to give some lucky audience members the opportunity to phone in or make an appearance.

By inviting your sales prospects to your show, you create a more natural occasion for you to reach out and connect with them to build that first impression. Make sure there are no strings attached, as they will see right through that.

You have to be in the mindset of truly giving value to them by offering them a platform to voice their thoughts and experiences around a common set of topics that you can craft.

You satisfy their inherent desire for a little time in the spotlight, and prove to your wider audience that your brand is one that takes the initiative to find out what they have to say. It’s a great look, and an engine that feeds itself: their opinions can more than fill time and add meaningful layers to your content.

Beyond inviting them to your show, you can also invite them to recommend others they care about to participate on the show. This way, you enabled to give something of value to others. Once the episode is published, you can recognize their contributions publicly as you share and repurpose the episodes into lots of content pieces. 

II. The pros massively outweigh the cons

What's the "worst" case scenario here? You've co-created valuable content and built general, positive sentiment and brand recognition. Publicity and recall are rewarding in and of themselves, because they improve your chances of conversion and referral at various touch points along the sales process.

Best case scenario?  They may very well turn back to you and ask about your business and reveal pain points that you may solve as a means to collaborate and continue staying in touch. Remember, this is not why you're doing this. You're doing this because you want to build positive brand sentiment and give at scale.

Having said that, this is a probably outcome. Another positive outcome as that they put you in touch with someone else who could be a good guest for the show, or even someone that could leverage your product or services. Givers should be good at receiving. 

III. The content created serves two revenue-driving purposes

Think about it.  Once your episodes are launched, you can leverage the content in them in two different ways using the power of repurposing. Firstly, marketing content - to continue engaging with your community and attracting new members who most need you. Secondly, social selling content that eases the process towards building you as a trusted advisor in your industry.

The top-of-mind name everyone keeps seeing pop up. What's more, you enable your team to do the same. Reps can pick clips from the episodes and thoughtfully share with prospects to start conversations.

Who knew that working in an industry would make it easy to talk about that industry?

IV. It’s a way to scale empathy and sales in lockstep

No more hard sells, just natural relationship building. Monitor conversion metrics to be able to predict revenue and pipeline value month on month. One of the biggest compliments you can get out of your giving is "this speaks to me." It shows that you understand your prospects deeply.

In today's age of social media, it's not difficult to do a deep dive on (read: stalk) your audience for insight. A quick glance at their profiles, and you can see what interests them, what they've been up to, and what topics they tend to like.

Do your research, and use what you know about them when you reach out to them. For example, you could say, "Hey, I noticed that you're passionate about employer branding.

I'm actually running a show for companies that are trying to navigate building their employer brand, and I think your insights would make for an awesome addition to share with our audience, we'd love to feature you." Or something to that effect.

Don't be creepy. Be authentic, and mean it. Do that and you'll be fine.

3. Boost your results as a salesperson and thought leader

I. From 0-100, faster and better than before

Build a high quality pipeline founded on giving first and rock solid relationships. Any new-age salesperson worth their salt will tell you that the days of hard sells are practically over, and they're probably glad about it too.

Less pressure on both parties, and not even effective in the first place. What works more is relationship-based selling. There is a reason beyond the product and service in question for collaborating, speaking, and exploring an opportunity. 

Now look, it takes time at the start to gain pipeline momentum, but it pays off and makes your life (and quota) so much easier. But what doesn't take time? That's right, microwaved mac and cheese. Onwards.

II. Get into the habit of giving first

Invite them as a guest on your show. Offer them a spot/feature in your next blog series. Offer to send them referrals for leads. Offer to give them something else for free (a copy of your book, course, extended free trial, etc). Ask for their feedback on something you're working on. Make a list of things inside your company of things you can give that your customers would appreciate. 

III. Get insights into what they care about

We have 2 ears and 1 mouth - listen to what they’re saying on the episodes, get insight into what’s important to them.

When coming up with subjects to cover, listen first. Sure, your content is about your voice and what you have to say, but make sure that there's an audience willing to hear it.

We suggest starting with a rough draft of what you want to do, then progressively refining that by consulting people who are in your target audience.

Listen well, and you'll find that there are great ideas beyond your own. As far as you're concerned, that's a perfect way to meet new people and build new relationships.



Modern businesses need more than just a strong sales pitch to thrive. They need to learn to give with the best of ‘em, and to focus on creating that positive ripple effect that adds value to others, and certainly, themselves. What goes around comes around, and as a business, you can measure it. 

Investing in episodic content for sales is more than a strategic play that attunes to people’s preferred media consumption habits. It’s an investment in your brand’s voice, and a potent way to engage with its target audiences.


Want us to help you brainstorm a show for your business? Chat to us now or book a meeting.

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