EP 542 – LinkedIn: Building Connections And Starting Conversations With Marcus Murphy

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn Connections

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn Connections


LinkedIn is becoming one of the fastest growing social media platforms that caters to professionals. If you are good at creating relevant content, it paves the way to starting conversations with people and building powerful connections. This is what Marcus Murphy teaches as an Instructor and as part of the Customer Advisory Board on LinkedIn. Prior to this, Marcus was the Director of Sales and Monetization of Digital Marketer from 2016 to 2019. His job description included accelerating revenue growth and sales productivity for DigitalMarketer’s flagship product, DigitalMarketerHQ, as well as sales for individual certifications and Certified Partner program. In this episode, Marcus shares why he prefers using LinkedIn when connecting with people and how it can be utilized to your advantage. He talks about how the platform is changing and the three biggest areas where he sees opportunities for entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople to improve in their connections and conversations.

Listen to the podcast here:

LinkedIn: Building Connections And Starting Conversations With Marcus Murphy

I am extremely jacked up because I am so excited to have our special guest. I knew him for a little while now. I consider him a friend because we run in a lot of the same circles and we’ve got a lot of same backgrounds with some of the people we know. This guy I believe is one of the hardest working and one of the most driven, let alone passionate people about helping entrepreneurs like you and I master the sales process and put some great tools behind what we’re doing to help impact our audiences and our clients. I’m much more emotional, I want to say physical level because that would be passing some lines on how physically he get in helping people overcome obstacles to close more, to have a bigger impact.

This guy has got a great background. He’s the Head of Business Development and Partnerships at a little company called DigitalMarketer here in Austin, Texas. Many of you’ve heard me do the episodes of what we do with the biggest nuggets takeaway from Traffic & Conversion Summit. This is the company behind those big events. He’s a speaker and educator. He’s an instructor and author from LinkedIn. He’s on the Customer Advisory Board at LinkedIn. He does an amazing job. The guy I’m talking about, the man, the myth, the marketing legend, Mr. Marcus Murphy joining us now. What’s going on?

Thank you. That intro is pretty special. The other part about it that is funny is that they won’t let me have sound effects. I also have a podcast and some other stuff, but no one will let me have a soundboard because I’ll ruin it. You did a good job. I would absolutely 100% destroy the show with sound effects.

I know you guys have been busy there with the DigitalMarketer, TCS, War Room and all the great offers that you own and it’s a phenomenal thing. You have a big passion and I love your comments. I love some of the articles you shared from why tomato juice is so special and getting rid of the fake Rolexes out there. Why such a passion for LinkedIn, Marcus?

I see LinkedIn as a vehicle, like everybody else that has come across it. I early on figured out that it was way more than a place that my resume was going to be. The reason why I realized that was like, “There are millions of people on this platform.” They gave us the ability to share content through articles, through our posts. That was where I fell in love with it because I realized that I had a pretty captive audience that had a lot of things to say. I didn’t know that people were going to take to them as much as they did. I fell in love with the platform that it gave me, the ability to be able to speak my mind and build an audience who are getting that a-ha moment too and saying, “Me too. I feel that way.” It’s funny you said that post about the airplane. I put a post together one time and I said, “It’s weird. I feel like there’s a conspiracy theory going on. I’m a business traveler and I only ever drink ginger ale on airplanes.”

I won’t keep it in my refrigerator at home. I would never order it anywhere. Why am I only drinking ginger ale on airplanes? I put it up as a post. I was like, “Who in the heck is going to relate with this?” Literally 120,000 views later and about 500 comments, people were like, “I thought I was the only one. What is going on here? This is a major conspiracy.” It was a cool thing but what I realized and the reason why I love LinkedIn is it gave me a place to start conversations. The biggest reason why I love it is that it has given me the ability to have thousands of conversations with people by literally building and finding my tribe of people who are going, “Me too.” I have a huge network of people now on LinkedIn who are very similar, who are going through a lot of same things, who validate and who push back and challenge me. It’s become a huge part of my professional life.

I’m looking at the demographics of the people that are spending time on LinkedIn. It’s much more professional environment than Facebook or Fakebook as some people like to joke about it. You can drive into it. I don’t want to say it’s an upper echelon, but you look at who’s on there and the income and the education and what they’re focused on. It helps you separate the people that you do want to connect with and target and surround yourself with versus a lot of the shapes that we see on Facebook and all the different groups.

The interesting part is true. Every platform has a purpose. My previous CEO a few jobs ago, he started a company called Yelp. I was there for enough time and I loved it. I had a great experience and grew a ton. The one thing I remember him saying to me is, “You go on Facebook to what? It’s to engage with family, friends, to be able to follow up with ex-girlfriends and boyfriends,” whatever you do on Facebook. That almost solidifies my point that what we are trying to say is that people go to Yelp to make purchasing decisions. They’re going there to read reviews, to patronize, to get directions, to find out whether they should be patronizing or going to a business or using them. Whereas you’re not going to Facebook to buy something, but the ads work because there’s a billion people on there.

The important part is you can’t get rid of the audience. Every platform has a purpose. LinkedIn to me is a place where it has a professional persona attached to it. You’re not going to find a bunch of cat videos on there. You’re not going to see a bunch of that stuff because it’s in a box; it has a framework. It says, “Come here. You’re professional. People want to know what you do. They want to hear your professional thoughts and they want to hear what you think about things that are relevant to them and what’s relevant on LinkedIn is professional.” It’s the purpose. That’s why some of those other things don’t work or translate well for other social platforms. It’s because it has a very specific framework and it’s professional.

It’s definitely that way up there. It is going through its changes. It’s nice seeing some of the different things that have evolved there over the last quarter. The thing I always joke about was the Thanksgiving Day massacre when they took away the ability to export emails. I understand why they did it. They still make it a lot available with the articles and the inception of the LinkedIn video when those get negative proof across the board to a lot of people.

LinkedIn Live is going to be an interesting thing. I’ll tell you, it’s a double-edged sword. Just so everybody knows on here, their video is powerful. A little over a year ago, they launched a native video, which means you can upload a video that is not platform-specific or on YouTube. You can upload a native video and be able to share. It’s huge because the people that are winning at LinkedIn right now are content creators. They’re the people that are sharing good content and not just any content, but content that is getting a lot of engagement. People were having conversations online, commenting. Those comments are turning into conversations. It’s great.

What they’re realizing and what’s crazy is there are nine billion content impressions per week in LinkedIn feed. That’s 468 billion a year if you’re a mathematician. Those are being driven by 1% of the entire population on LinkedIn, which is 645 million people, Scott. If 1% of those people are driving all of it, that’s called viral. If you get enough people to comment on your specific piece of content, it means that it’s showing in their community and their following and their connections, which you’re not even connected to. Those are your second and third connections. All of a sudden, it shows that Susie Q wrote on your post to her entire community. It might be 20,000 connections she has. Those people are engaging with it and then those people’s people are engaging with it.

It goes so far that all of a sudden, these nine billion impressions are being driven by a small sliver of the population on there, which is a huge opportunity. That’s the reason why video is massive. This a reason why LinkedIn Live is going to be huge. It’s because it’s a content-based platform now that is being dominated by such a small group of people on the platform that everything is getting circulated like crazy. It’s like Facebook six years ago. If you tap into the ridiculousness of this thing and you have good content that starts these conversations where you get this type of engagement, you are going to amass a massive following very quickly because of the way that this thing can go for you. Do you know the company Drift? Have you ever heard of them before?


Their previous vice president of marketing is a good friend of mine. His name is David Gerhardt. David has built one of the fastest contents. He is literally a content house and he’s at 35,000 followers right now. He amassed those within 6 to 9 months. It was crazy. We had a conversation and I was like, “You need to get on this LinkedIn thing and here’s what you need to do with this content.” I gave him the same spiel about the impressions on the site and he took advantage of it. That was the huge part. Video is huge. Native video was big. LinkedIn Live is going to bite people in the butt a little bit because LinkedIn hasn’t dialed in how to notify people that you’re live without being annoying.

I started using it and trying it and I was losing followers because people were, “Marcus is live.” They’re like, “Whoa.” This isn’t IG. This is me. I’m trying to read content, be professional and be on this thing. All I see is this dude popping up over and over again. The content has to be good. That doesn’t change. You can do LinkedIn Live, which is going to roll out to everybody. I was in the second beta group, which was exciting for me, so I’ve had it for almost a year. I’m thinking that I answered way more of your question in the video, but I do think that I hope people walked away with content is king on the site whether it’s video or not. It’s huge.

I agree with it. Who do I have to kill? I’ve been waiting for at least six months to get it approved. I know they’re rolling it out, but this is a different conversation. 

It is one, but we’ll see what I can do.

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn Connections

Building LinkedIn Connections: LinkedIn gives you the ability to have thousands of conversations with people by building and finding your tribe of people who are going, “me too.”


LinkedIn, for a lot of people, it’s the struggle with the unfinished bridge scenario. They start a lot of things. They start their LinkedIn profile and I’ve always told people that LinkedIn is a great way of guiding you through to get a completed profile because that’s where you get the most out of it. I would say maybe the biggest gaps that people aren’t utilizing are with their profiles. It’s the basic profile stuff before we get into some of the content you see working with.

They’re not optimizing their profile for conversations. Let me say it this way. Everybody’s got a photo now. Everybody’s got their basic information. They might even have a few different skills on there that people have said, “You’re good at this and this.” You can go on Google. Google everything. You’ll find a template. I’ve got a bunch of them out there about how to build an all-star profile. Congratulations, you got one. What people aren’t doing is utilizing the real estate. There are actual character limits on all the things in your profile. The biggest one that people miss is there’s a headline section. The headline section right now, most people are putting their title on there.

The title is going to be inside of your profile. When people are scrolling through and they see your little snippet there, they see that mini version of your photo, your name, your headline and then whether if somebody wants to connect with you or not. That is the first and only opportunity that you can get someone to want to click on your profile and go a little bit deeper. The headline is super great. My teams are personalizing it and I tell them, “You’ve got 300 characters. You should go through there. Whatever the character limit is, you should use that real estate to start a conversation.” You should say to people, “We’re on a mission to double the size of 10,000.”

“Ask me how I can help your business do X,” is a great one that you can put there. People know what you can do to help them. They know what you’re good at, what kind of conversation they can have with you when they see your name and your picture show up. The other big missed one is the summary section. The summary section is 2,000 characters, but everyone uses it like a resume. They’re bullet points of superlatives or things that you’ve done. I’ll tell you what has been working for me. I write a narrative format. I tell people this is my mission. I answer it with some personality. I tell a joke because I’m typically pretty lighthearted when it comes to most of my life.

I put something in that so that by the end of it, I get to a call to action where people feel like they know what I’m all about, what my mission is and why I’m on that mission. They’ve got a little bit more personal information about me than maybe what would be on my resume normally. At the end, I always have a call to action, which is like, “Who wants to join me?” I’ll tell you, every single week without fail for the last two years, once a week if not way more than that, when I go on the road and I speak, I’ll get people being like, “I love your summary. I love your mission. How do we involve? When can we talk?” That shows me as a proved point that if LinkedIn is in the real estate, you have to use it. Not just for SEO, not just to put a bunch of words in there so that it shows up in a different way, but to truly start conversations. That’s where people miss the big profile piece of it.

They’re not using the real estate in a thoughtful way to start conversations with the right type of people, not just everybody. If you narrowed down, if your content is good, if you’re writing in the right way, if your headlines are the right way, you can qualify the types of conversations that you’re having. You’re getting rid of people who might not resonate or it’s not relevant to them about the things that you’re talking about that you care about. The people who are reaching out to me, those are the right types of conversations that I want to have because they pass that litmus test which is like, “Was that relevant? Did you like what I’m saying? Are you on board with this?” If they write to me that they totally are, we can jump right into a super thoughtful conversation.

Those are two valuable points. I agree to that and I heard you talk about that in Traffic & Conversion in San Diego and those were the two biggest points. I was like, “Yes, let’s maximize that character. Let’s maximize it versus being bullet points. Here’s what I’m good at. I’m good at PowerPoint.”

Proficient at Microsoft Excel is not going to be something I care about.

I like the fact that the ability to be able to put up slides or videos of the things that can add show people your personality. You said a very powerful thing. It’s all about getting to that conversation side. While we love to use social media videos to the masses, it’s all about having it narrowed down. I hate to say funnel, but getting down onto the people that you need to have those one-on-one conversations with, it’s hard to replace that. A lot of people like to try to systemize that with bots. Still, getting that one-on-one conversation with the right client is so valuable.

It’s the same thing that people have been doing in marketing and sales for a long time. It’s what a lead magnet is for. Lead magnets aren’t just a cool way to get more leads. It’s a way for somebody to go, “That’s relevant to me right now in this moment and I want it so I’m going to raise my hand and fill out something or take a next step to get that thing.” When I reach out to that person knowing that they downloaded the thing, I know what they want to talk about. I know that they are motivated. I know it’s relevant to them. I know the type of conversation I should have with them because of what they’ve downloaded.

It’s super important to understand that if someone’s engaging you off of the summary section that you wrote, that summary section should give you enough information to understand, “This is the type of conversation I’m going to have with this person. This is what they care about.” This is because they’ve engaged with this piece of content. I’ve intentionally put that out there almost as a way to narrow down the audience to make sure that I have a very captive audience that is well-qualified for the type of conversation I want to have.

With you speaking and traveling more, you traveled quite a bit for the last few years doing a variety of different things. Do you recommend if someone goes in there to maybe put a booking link for somebody to engage off the profile as a possibility?

Honestly, one, it’s not going to be an active hyperlink, so no. The one thing is with booking links, we experiment a lot of things at DigitalMarketer. Everybody knows we are trying to break everything. What I’m realizing is that if you send out a calendar link, you’re going to get people who click on it if it’s relevant to them. What a lot of people have done and what I’m going to lean heavily on, and a lot of sales people are going to hate this, is that rapport is BS. We have focused so much on building these relationships that we don’t understand that relevant always precedes rapport. When you’re sitting around thinking about, “I’m going to put my meeting link in there,” put the meeting link in there. If it’s relevant to the person, then yes, they’re going to go ahead and click on it or they’re going to want to take it and take it further.

My challenge to everybody is have things in there that people want to take an additional step to have a conversation there. It’s not a conversation that you want to get them to. It’s like, “I’m on this platform. Let’s go somewhere else.” It’s like going into a bar, having a great conversation with somebody and then be like, “Do you know what we should do? We should leave.” No, stay in the environment. Stay right there. Continue that conversation. People are making a huge mistake by not understanding the conversation. People that are great at conversations are omnichannel with it.

They will go have a conversation wherever that person wants to have it. Telling somebody like, “If you’re on LinkedIn, have the conversation.” That is my point, Scott. If you’re trying to take somebody to a meeting, you’ve skipped a bunch of steps because you haven’t had enough of a conversation there to ask for an additional meeting where somebody would even want to go over and go somewhere else with you. To answer that, it’s a very long-winded way, but I need to unpack it so that people understand because it seems like a quick like, ” Why not? Throw your LinkedIn there. Why wouldn’t you want to do that?” You’re five steps ahead and haven’t had enough of a conversation on the platform that you’re currently on. Having the conversation in order to take it off of one or escalate it to a place where you’re going to have a more captivated meeting.

It does totally make sense because it gives them the opportunity to see what else is on there and comment on other things in articles or other things that you’re sharing there on a regular basis. What are some of the things that drive you bonkers?

Most conversations are big. The fact of the matter is most of it are trash at it. We are the worst conversationalist. In fact, we don’t want to have conversations. We are a huge population of people that are conditioned to a place where I believe we like to do antisocial thing socially. We love going to read a book in a crowded coffee shop, but we don’t want to talk to anybody. What are we doing there? We enjoy being in proximity but never in conversation. The reason why I believe that is because we don’t know how to have one. The frameworks for most conversations don’t exist. My biggest pet peeve on the platform is the way people reach out and connect.

The type of messaging that is going on the platform is outrageous. It is showing up and be like, “Hi, my name is Marcus Murphy. Let’s go back to my place and have a pizza.” I’ve skipped every step in the relational guidebook there with that question thinking that I’m going to walk up and be like, “Sex, sounds good? Great. Let’s go do that.” It’s not, because if you’ve ever been in any type of romantic relationship, you understand that there’s a dating sequence. There are real scientific steps that come with creating intimacy. There’s a book by Desmond Morris, which no one here is ever going to read, but it’s about the twelve stages of intimacy. He’s a zoologist. I first heard this from Ryan Deiss and it blew my mind as a salesperson.

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn Connections

Building LinkedIn Connections: The people that are winning at LinkedIn are content creators. They’re the people that are sharing good content that is getting a lot of engagement.


It blew my mind because I’m thinking that we don’t have a framework for how to have an effective conversation online. We don’t know how to take human traits and normal things that we would do and bring that to an online environment. Right now, if we took some of these messages from LinkedIn and we brought them in real life, it would be what we do now. This is what happens on LinkedIn. You can see people who’ve looked at your profile. You’ve seen that, Scott. At that point, no one writes to those people and said, “I saw you looked at my profile. Is there anything I can do to help you?” In real life, it would be us doing this and then not doing anything and walking away.

Online is amazing. Social platforms are amazing. They have done something to open up our world. It is amazing what you can do and the people you’re connected to. You can go all over the world now and know people everywhere, anywhere. It is amazing the type of reach, but it’s also the dangerous thing that it has conditioned us to be antisocial. The social thing that we’ve created has taught us how to be antisocial. We don’t know how to engage in a real conversation or when it’s appropriate. We get these messages on LinkedIn from all these different people out there who show up and say, “Here’s my stuff. Do you want to buy it?” They’ve added no value. They haven’t even seen if something is relevant to you. They haven’t done, “I’m going to put a feel out there and figure it out.”

It’s thoughtless outreach. I used to totally rage about that. Over the last several years in my old age, Scott, I’ve stopped and started to educate. It’s the main thing I talk about on LinkedIn. It’s the tactics I put out in the world. It’s the things I teach about. It’s the number one thing. How do you insert a relevant conversation that creates the opportunity for rapport and that you’ve added enough value where someone would ever want to do anything with you? They would want to have a real connection or find out if there’s something that maybe we can align on or if they want to buy from you or they don’t or you want a partnership.

All of those professional relationships, everybody’s trying to expedite it. The only thing you can’t expedite is intimacy. There’s no way to speed that up. We know people in our personal friend groups that they need one night, but they still had to go through the steps. They had to go through the steps of building that when there are intentional steps that are like that. I’m on a soapbox so high right now, Scott. It’s the one thing that I hate. There’s too much information out there. There are too many different ways that you can connect with people in an intentional way. There’s too much out there to be thoughtless. I hate it because the platform is built to be the antithesis of that. It’s built so that all of that is at your fingertips. You’ll know so much about the person, what they like, what they share, what they’ve done, what they care about, what groups they’re in.

There’s so much information there that it’s bad when all you do is you walk up and you say, “Here’s this thing. Aren’t I great?” It’s like, “No.” You have to start talking about them. If the conversation is not about them, you lose. You don’t have permission to move the conversation forward because they haven’t given it to you. That’s the reason why a lot of these people are not getting a good return rate on this platform. Six hundred forty-five million people and 1% of them are doing it right. I get fired up because I think we can be better. I’m out here creating all this content because I’m trying to regulate that stigma of thoughtlessness on the platform. It’s not just on the platform but in real life. How do you bring humanity online and make it real? That’s a huge challenge.

I would agree. A lot of people are trying to move that relation too fast. “Here, I’m ready to connect with you. Buy my stuff, even though what I do doesn’t match anything that you’re trying to sell me.”

It doesn’t even matter yet. You haven’t even built enough value or gotten anybody excited. Something that people should totally check out is the customer value journey that Ryan created for DigitalMarketer. It has very specific stages like, “Here’s an awareness phase and there’s an excite phase that comes next.” If you don’t get people excited enough, they got to go back to awareness because they can’t move on to any additional phases. Whatever you’re doing or talking about wasn’t relevant. It didn’t get them excited enough to advance them through the journey. That’s the thing. We try to advance everybody through the journey. We try to skip steps and unfortunately, you can’t do that. If I was someone’s defense attorney though, is that I realize that people don’t know the steps. Honestly, that’s what I’ve been sitting here going. I can get angry or I can educate. A lot of times what I’ve found with DigitalMarketer is that I’m a damn good educator and I have a little bit more patience than I think I do. All I want to do now is teach people the real steps that it takes in order to create that and be intentional online and create these meaningful relationships. That’s big.

That brings me to the next thing because I know you said something in between you posting your high school freshman photograph. You’ve got a new kind of LinkedIn training that you’re rolling out.

Yes, I’ve got two things. The post you’re talking about, it’s funny. The president of my high school reached out to me and asked me to come back and do a full school assembly and talk about success. I laughed hard because I barely graduated from high school. If anybody knows my story, I had a 1.7 GPA and they call that dumb in real life. I wasn’t dumb. I’m not dumb. Academia is the way that it was structured and I was too social. I didn’t do homework and didn’t have good habits. It was all those things I sat there and I was like, “Okay, I’m going to do this.” I realized that I would have been the kid in the auditorium that hated being there.

It’s like, “You don’t get me. I’m supposed to feel inspired.” I want to build that talk and say, “What is the advice that I would have given my high school self?” That’s why I put that picture up of me, that frail skinny picture of Marcus Murphy when he was fifteen years old. I put that up because I was like, “What would be the advice that I could give that guy twenty years in retrospect? What is the thing that I should tell you?” I listed them out. I put, “You should surround yourself with better people and you should do these things.”

I’m going to go back to this high school and I’m going to share the successful things I would want my younger self to know and hopefully that resonates with some of these young kids. The other thing that I’m excited about is a LinkedIn Learning. I’m an author on there. There are 415 authors on LinkedIn Learning. There are 22 million students, which is cool. LinkedIn Learning bought Linda, so people are more familiar with Linda. That is what it turned into. The cool part about being an author on there was they have a Santa Barbara location where you go to film everything.

It’s months and months of preparation. I have one course called Marketing on LinkedIn and that was my first one. I walked in eyes wide open. I had no idea where that was going. My next course was Aligning Sales and Marketing. I’m so proud of that body of work. It’s only a 35-minute course. It is the most packed, real, sometimes funny but super relevant if you have a sales and marketing team in your organization. It is everything that I’ve learned, the good and the bad, the hard stuff, the things that we do here that bridge the gap between sales and marketing. It not only bridges the gap but talks a lot about cohabitation.

What are the real things now that your teams are vibing? What are the metrics? How do you measure it? How do you report on it? What are the positions? What are the titles? What are their job responsibilities? I took a super deep dive into everything we’ve learned at DigitalMarketer by how we get our teams, both the sales and marketing, which is traditionally pretty bad. There’s a lot of conflict and friction there. Enough friction can start a fire in a good way too. When you put those two together, I got to do this awesome course and it came out and it’s getting a lot of positive feedback, which I’m excited about.

Check it out, guys and girls out there reading. They’re 35 very valuable minutes for you to take a lot to notes on. You do fill it full of great stuff. Passion is coming out of your pores.

Thanks, and a lot of sweat too. That’s what I call sweat. I call it passion, so that’s good. I am very passionate.

I might have to use that nugget. That’s the money shot there. Anyway, that’s great stuff. You talked briefly about how you’ve got a goal to help 10,000 businesses double the size in the next ten years if I remember correctly.

The mission statement of DigitalMarketer was to double 10,000 businesses by 2020. We’ve had a lot of iterations of our business, but that has always been what drove us. Whether we hit the goal or not is irrelevant. I’ve always thought that. I’m like, “I want to hit the goal.” I put goals. We put goals and missions out in the universe to drive us. Ultimately, what it does is it steers our ship and the decisions we make on a daily basis. It’s who we serve, how we do it, how we set up our conversations, how we set up our office.

Everything right now is about how to work from home and four-day work weeks. All that stuff is great, but if it doesn’t serve our global customer base, then it doesn’t work. If we’re not set up for it, if a four-day work week doesn’t get our customers where they need to be in their lives, we’re not doing it for our convenience. We’re doing it for theirs. We’ve been driven by that mission for the last five years that it’s been around. It has informed so much of our decisions, the businesses we buy, the acquisitions, the partnerships. It’s an unbelievable litmus test for all of it. We’re proud of that.

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn Connections

Building LinkedIn Connections: Four day work weeks are great, but if it doesn’t serve your customer then it doesn’t work.


You should be. That’s a very valuable thing. I know I always get a lot of stuff from a DM Lab and some other things. The Traffic & Conversion Summit is always the first thing we have on our schedule.

This is the year. If anybody’s coming out to Traffic & Conversion Summit, it is the biggest marketing conference in North America. This year we’re tipping 10,000 people, which is pretty crazy. We’re at the Convention Center in San Diego. Yours truly is going to host the whole thing. I’m going to fall down dead at the end. The main room, we’ve got some huge celebrity speakers as always. We’ve got 130 something sessions of over four days and parties. We’ve rented out the entire Gaslamp District. All the bars on both sides of that street down the Gaslamp, they are all for different companies. We’re blowing this thing out and we have a musical guest, which no one ever wants what I want. I’ve always wanted Boyz II Men and I think they’d bring the house down. They’d be $20,000 in first class flights. I could hear Motown. I can hear all that stuff. It gets super emotional, but no one ever wants it. Before it was Humpty Dance crew, whatever it was. There’s always stuff. This is the year. I’m so happy that you kick off your year with that because it’s such a good way to get excited about 2020.

It’s amazing up there. As we are rolling into 2020, if there was a nugget that somebody’s not doing with LinkedIn or if something that they’re not doing in their business to help them boost their marketing and sales, I know there’s no magic pill. If there was something that you absolutely adore, I’ve seen it with your guys, these companies you’ve worked with.

I’ll tell you the one thing that people are doing on both sides of sales and marketing. I can only speak to what I know. By the way, I’m a proximity marketer. I’m a sales guy through and through for the last fifteen years to being around some of the best marketers in the world. You can’t help but be a marketer or think that way. Here’s what’s working. People are sending the first piece of contact that they have. Imagine, everybody on here has got a list of people or a captive audience or something. A lot of people are doing is they’re sending and communicating with people ineffectively. It’s the same thing that I hate on LinkedIn. It’s the same thing with a thoughtless outreach. What I realize is if people started using emails, if they started using ways of their initial outreach just to start a conversation, what we’ve done in DigitalMarketer is we have a nine-word email.

We give that to our certified partners and our agency program as well. They send it out. The nine-word email is something like this. It’ll be a paraphrase because there’s a real nine-word email that people use, but it’s asking, “How can I make X business go faster?” It’s a relevant, simple conversation that is relevant in terms of the people that you want to respond. It’s like, “How can I help your team do X?” One, that person’s got to have a team. Whoever’s responding to you, whether it’s a yes or no or, “What is this? I’m interested or I’m not interested or like, “l need your help doing this. Are you hiring for important positions? Do you need help with this thing?” People aren’t utilizing the simplicity of email. Scott, how many emails you get a day?

Over a hundred a day. I want to clarify something because that nine-word email is one of the most valuable emails that we send out every six months at least I’ve done every quarter. It’s very plain. There’s no logo. “How can I help you close more business? How you can close more deals or raise more capital or find more notes?” 

The most important email I sent when I was way back, I used to be a 90 call a day sales guy a long time ago. It wasn’t that long ago, but still. I started working a little bit smarter than harder. What I did was I sent an email and the subject line was, “Meeting Confirmation.” That was my subject line. In the email all it said was, I’m excited to connect with you. I don’t know exactly what works for your schedule, but here’s my calendar link. I sent that email out to a thousand people that were in my pipeline that I hadn’t connected with yet. There were 63 meetings that were booked out of that. I was full for almost three weeks. I had a problem with getting people to show up because they were booking out so far in advance. That’s an amazing problem to have. It was because it was simple. It was conversational and it was plain. If we can get back to understanding that the point isn’t to sell people online. The point of it is to get a conversation started.

If we can start getting it simple and having good, one line, not complicated emails that start conversations, we can get good about monetizing that conversation. We’re taking that conversation in different places and making sure that we’re not over complicating it. That’s the biggest nugget that we can give people. That’s the best gift that ever happened to us. Our sales teams walk in with booked meetings, they walk in with a bunch of conversations started in their inbox because the majority of the marketing that’s done is to create simplistic messaging that starts conversations. The true thing that I can tell you, the gift that keeps giving is get good at starting conversations and get good at having them. Those are the two big things on both sides of sales and marketing. It’s the reason why sales and marketing get along so well. It’s because one, marketers are good at starting conversations. They are amazing at it. They really are if you’ve got a good marketing team, they’re great about that.

Your sales team should be good at having them with real people. Marketers are antisocial or introverted salespeople. I’ve never thought Ryan Deiss was an introvert. Ryan is an introvert. It surprises the hell out of people because he’s all over the place. He gets behind a camera to do that work. He sends emails. He’s an incredible writer because he doesn’t love all of the people for a long period of time where it’s me, I’m 99% extrovert. People give me energy. It’s cool to understand that there’s a cool balance, but the people that are going to win, the people that are going to do well this year are good at starting conversations and good at having them. The simplicity in it is the key. I hope that’s helpful, Scott.

That’s extremely helpful. I will vouch that Ryan is an introvert. I ran to him last year at the Nutcracker here in town. He was here. I was like, “What’s up Ryan?” He’s like, “What’s going on?” He’s like, “I got to get out of here. I’m scared. People don’t even know me.”

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn Connections

Building LinkedIn Connections: The point isn’t to sell people online. The point of it is to get a conversation started.


A lot of the great ones are like that. I think it’s funny. Ryan, at the end of the day, is a husband to his wife and he’s a dad to his four kids and it’s amazing to see that. That’s the most important thing. It’s not necessarily wowing the audience or being famous and important. Those things happen. I’m going to leave you with one last thing, Scott. This has been a huge realization. I’ve been around with a lot of famous people in the last three years, speaking on stages, interviewing them, whatever it is. Everybody from Richard Branson. Have you seen the movie a Free Solo with Alex Honnold?

You’re sweating sitting there watching even though you know he made it. My feet were sweating. It was so intense. He was speaking at Hypergrowth in Boston. Ryan was speaking, so I was backstage. All those guys are friends and so I’m back there. Alex is speaking and I’m fascinated. I watched it. He’s backstage. He’s very quiet. He goes out on stage and he’s funny and animated. He talks about doing pull-ups with just his fingertips and making me feel super emasculated.

I was like, “He’s the most humble dude.” You’re not talking about yourself; you’re just enjoying. He’s asking me a ton of questions about me. You’re going to go get on a bus with your backpack and go back. He lives in Vegas, not because it’s the strip because he hates it. He lives there because it’s a good climbing. I’m sitting there going, “There were two types of people I’ve met. There are two types of celebrities. There are people that have their whole life pushed to be a celebrity. There are people that are so good at what they do, they become one.” I continue to surround myself with people like that because one, for a guy that has a propensity to want to push to be a celebrity, it’s important to realize that you got to be good at your craft first.

Ryan Deiss is that guy. Ryan became famous because he is the guy. He’s one of the best marketers on the planet and he got that notoriety, the fame and everything else. He didn’t pursue it. He didn’t want it. That’s cool to be around with guys like that every day because it feeds my soul. It helps me stay humble when you’re surrounded by people who aren’t impressed with you. It was cool and that this felt right because it’s good to understand who Ryan is. At the end of the day, Ryan doesn’t feel like he has fans. He feels like he has students. That’s the coolest thing that we can do in this world. I don’t know where that went, but that was fun to say.

I would totally agree. The thing is you have to know your craft and everybody, especially in social media wants to be, “It’s all about me.” You need to reverse the conversation. How can I make the conversation best about you as a client on a one on one basis versus look at me? Flip the script and have those conversations. I would agree, David Asprey and Gary Vaynerchuk and Daymond John and some of the people out there I have a chance to meet are completely humble. They know their craft.

Gary has been talking about the same thing for ten years, the same five things and somehow he’s still famous. We spent some time. We were in New York City together at backstage and I don’t always get the opportunity to introduce people that I know, I respect and care about. I’m introducing Gary and we got up there and I was like, “You know what I’d say about this guy?” I started talking about all the things I could talk about. Gary has done so much. It’s like a fairy tale. At the end of the day, he identifies as an agency owner. That’s how his mind, he’s like, “I identify as an operator. I’m a CEO. I don’t have a COO because I operate the company. I have to make payroll. I know the things I have to do. I’m a good operator.” That’s the reason why he’s so famous. It’s part of the reason why he has such an impact. One, he’s passionate and he cares a lot about it, but he’s also an incredible operator and his identity is not wrapped up in being a celebrity. You’re right, if you’ve met Daymond and you’ve met Gary and all those people, you’re super blessed. The second thing is they understand they’re celebrity, they understand their platform. They’re not a Kardashian or anything like that.

They know it, they run it and that’s what makes them nice person. You’re an amazing expert to talk about not only in sales and helping people expand their business, but also on LinkedIn platform. That’s why I was so excited to have you on here. It’s such a valuable tool. I know I made a huge difference in what we do with our niche in real estate, how we contact asset managers and how we connect with investors and other types of real estate professionals to grow our audience and build our business. We built on the backbone of LinkedIn is a big thing. There are so many people when you see people wanting to do big things. They’re not willing or they don’t do the simple things of getting on and sharing content or sharing what’s going on in their business on a day in, day out basis.

Share all the time. You’re winning on LinkedIn when you’re creating a ton of content. You’re winning in that game, but it’s relevant and it starts meaningful conversations like period. You’ve got to get in the content game. That is the winner.

Have a big thing you’re working towards for yourself. What’s a big goal you set aside for yourself?

Every year, I always want to lose some lbs. That’s always my thing. My wife’s a photographer and has Photoshop, so I go eat everything. I want to be a better dad. I’m on the road a ton and I love my girls. I’ve got two girls, 4 and 2, and they are the world to me. My family doesn’t get enough of me all the time when we’re building big stuff like this. My goal this year is not about the amount of time I’m home, but the quality of time when I’m there. That’s a big one is being present and being super present with my family when I’m around. I’m taking my daughter for the first time on a business trip this year with me. She’s going to go with me to the meeting. She’s going to go with me when I speak and get on the plane and do the thing with me. I’m super excited about that. Those two things, be a better husband and a better father. I’ll wrap up 2020 and feel pretty darn good about it.

How many times have you seen Frozen so far?

My daughter had the dress, it was happening. You should see this Frozen dress she has that my mom bought her. I could sing some of the songs but I’m not going to.

I won’t make you do that. Thanks for taking the time. For the audience, check him out on LinkedIn, Marcus Murphy. Check out that 35-minute course. I always say, put some things in place, start taking action and we’ll see you at the top. 

Thanks, Scott.

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About Marcus Murphy

NCS 542 | Building LinkedIn ConnectionsMarcus Murphy is a sales expert who cares deeply about the flourishing and success of entrepreneurs. Marcus previously worked for Yelp in San Francisco, going from start-up to a multi-billion dollar giant.

He has also worked at Infusionsoft as the Global Partner Development Manager where he developed and broadened new international markets through strategic partnerships, and is a recognized instructor and speaker at Linkedin.

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