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Outdoor Instagram Marketing

How To Create a Instagram Social Media Strategy For Your Outdoor Brand

By Social Media, Outdoor Industry Marketing

Instagram is a powerful tool for outdoor, hunting, and shooting sports businesses of all sizes. It can be used to build brand awareness, connect with customers, and drive traffic to your website. If you are a business owner our outdoor industry marketing manager who sells products or services that can be enjoyed outdoors, it is especially important to have a social media strategy in 2022.

In this article, you will learn the necessary components of a Instagram social media strategy for outdoor brands and get some tips to get started.


As with any marketing strategy, you should always start with a goal. Setting a goal gives you strategic direction and outlines where you are going and provides a context in how to get there. Without a goal, you are simply posting content for the sake of posting. So, what do you want to achieve with Instagram? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Sell more products? Once you have answered this question, you can start to develop your strategy.

Sample Goal: We will accomplish a 20% increase in Instagram followers by Q3 because we want to build brand awareness of our new broadhead.

Target Audience

Who is your target audience or buyer persona? This is an important question to answer as it will dictate the type of content you share, the tone of your posts, and the social media platforms you use. For example, if you are targeting young adults who are active and enjoy spending time outdoors, hunting or fishing, you will want to focus on platforms like Instagram. However, if your target audience is politicos fighting for 2A and conservation rights, you will want to be active on platforms like Twitter or TruthSocial. 

Additional Reading: 5 Ways Social Media Works For Your Hunting Company

Now that you have a basic understanding of what you need to get started, you have to develop 7 talking points based around the art of storytelling. Creating this framework or communication playbook will provide you the guidance you need to ensure each social media post is on brand, on message, and adds value to your audience. The most important aspect of this approach is you know what to say and what order to say it in.

The following should be included in your Instagram strategy:

  • Name your campaign: product launch, hunting season, holiday season, ATA Show, etc.
  • A content calendar
  • Key messaging
  • A process for creating and curating content
  • Posting frequency
controlling idea

Photo credit: Spectre Broadheads

1. Controlling Idea

First, start by creating a controlling idea. A controlling idea is the “why” or the point of why you are posting. Every Instagram campaign should have a controlling idea. This ensures that all your posts in your campaign has a purpose and is not just random content.

In the following, we’re going to use an archery broadhead product called Buck-O’ as an example. Your posts might revolve around the following controlling ideas:

  • Buck-O is different than other broadheads because it flys farther and straighter
  • Buck-O performs in extreme conditions
  • Buck-O is hand made from 0.36 stainless steel blades

2. Story Question

The story question is the question you must posit in your customer’s mind: Will this product help me harvest more bucks? Will my broadhead fail when I have that once-in-a-lifetime shot? The story question outlines the problem and the what-ifs.

The human brain is a problem-solving device. When you give it a problem it’s interested in, it will work on that problem until it solves it. This is called the reticular activating system, and you can use this to your advantage on social media by agitating the problem your customer is having.

For example:

  1. Tired of your broadhead failing?
  2. Does your broadhead leave a big enough blood trail?
  3. Did your broadhead not perform as advertised?

3. Agitate the Problem

Next, create a statement that agitates the problem further. The key here is to take the problem your broadhead solves and make the situation worse. Taking what we created above, add the agitation:

  1. Tired of your broadhead failing? That buck get away again?
  2. Does your broadhead leave a big enough blood trail? Great shot, but now you can’t find where your trophy shot went.
  3. Did your broadhead not perform as advertised? Your family is not going to be happy. 

See how we stated a problem our customer is having and then agitated it a little more? This is what you need to do in your social media posts.

The next step is to come up with what’s at stake.

4. The Stakes

If there are no stakes in a story, then it’s not a story. The stakes are what make the story interesting and worth telling.

Once again, let’s add to the above…

  1. Tired of your broadhead failing? Did that buck get away again? The season ends next weekend.
  2. Does your broadhead leave a big enough blood trail? It looked like a great shot, but now you can’t find where trophy shot went. That freezer is going to be bare this winter.
  3. Did your broadhead not perform as advertised? Your family is not going to be happy. You don’t want to tell them you had another mechanical broadhead malfunction.

In the next section, you get to save the day by coming in and helping your customer save the day.

Photo credit: WASP Archery

5. The Guide

The guide is you. Your customer is the hero. Your brand is not the hero in your story, your customer is. So many brands in the industry want to play the hero. So now that you’ve stated a common problem, agitated it, and described the stakes you now get to step in like Yoda (or Morpheus) and save the day. For more on the what it means to play the guide, read this post. 

  1. Tired of your broadhead failing? Did that buck get away again? The season ends next weekend. Luckily Buck-O broadheads have a 100% open rate and will never fail you.
  2. Does your broadhead leave a big enough blood trail? It looked like a great shot, but now you can’t find where trophy shot went. That freezer is going to be bare this winter. We understand what it’s like to make a great shot only to see your trophy run away, thats why Buck-O broadheads are consistent, durable and reliable.
  3. Did your broadhead not perform as advertised? Your family is not going to be happy. You don’t want to tell them you had another mechanical broadhead malfunction. We had enough of the silent treatment when coming home empty-handed and decided to do something about it and created Buck-O broadheads.
Outdoor Communication Framework

Create a sheet like this to outline your talking points.

6. The Plan and Call to Action

Every guide has to give the hero a plan to win the day and call them action. Next add your plan on how to solve their problem and what to do next. Give them the stepping stones to cross the creek and a clear yes or no decision.

  1. Tired of your broadhead failing? Did that buck get away again? The season ends next weekend. Luckily Buck-O broadheads have a 100% open rate and will never fail you. To keep bucks from getting away, go to our website and buy one today.
  2. Does your broadhead leave a big enough blood trail? It looked like a great shot, but now you can’t find where trophy shot went. That freezer is going to be bare this winter. We understand what it’s like to make a great shot only to see your trophy run away, that’s why Buck-O’ broadheads are consistent, durable, and reliable. Shop our website or see your local dealer.
  3. Did your broadhead not perform as advertised? Your family is not going to be happy. You don’t want to tell them you had another mechanical broadhead malfunction. We had enough of the silent treatment when coming home empty-handed and decided to do something about it and created Buck-O’ broadheads. Our broadheads are field tested and proven. Go to our website, shop our broadheads and have it delivered to your door in 3 days!

Lastly, we want to end our posts by foreshadowing the climatic scene.

7. Foreshadow the Climactic Scene

Now add the last piece of your post by foreshadowing the climatic scene. This is typically the outcome or the do-or-die moment in your short story that satisfies the brain’s desire to solve the problem.

  1. Tired of your broadhead failing? Did that buck get away again? The season ends next weekend. Luckily Buck-O broadheads have a 100% open rate and will never fail you. To keep bucks from getting away, go to our website, choose your broadhead. Never lose a shot again. #hunting #archery #whitetaildeer
  2. Does your broadhead leave a big enough blood trail? It looked like a great shot, but now you can’t find where your trophy shot went. That freezer is going to be bare this winter. We understand what it’s like to make a great shot only to see your trophy run away, that’s why Buck-O’ broadheads are consistent, durable, and reliable. Shop our website or see your local dealer and make bigger blood trails. #hunting #deerseason #whitetaildeer #archeryhunting
  3. Did your broadhead not perform as advertised? Your family is not going to be happy. You don’t want to tell them you had another mechanical broadhead malfunction. We had enough of the silent treatment when coming home empty-handed and decided to do something about it and created Buck-O’ broadheads. Our broadheads are field tested and proven. Go to our website, shop our broadheads and have it delivered to your door in 3 days! Join the Buck-O’ brotherhood and make your family happy. #hunting #archerylife #deer

A quick word on #hashtags

Hashtags are used so others can find you. Here are three rules of thumb. You can use up to 11 hashtags, don’t use the same hashtags over and over again and you can bury them if you don’t want them to be seen by adding spaces or placing them in the comments. Instagram does ban some hashtags but they don’t make the list public. For guns and other hunting hashtags experiment with your hashtags to see which ones get the most engagement (views, likes and shares). This will help you understand if you’re being throttled. If you post a bloody picture, you most likely won’t see it show up in the feed or it may get blocked or flagged.

Instagram Post Example8. Add a professional photo or video

Now that you have a basic framework on how to write engaging posts that get results, you need to identify and reach out to a photographer/videographer who can bring your posts to life. Content is king. Professional imagery and video will provide your followers with engaging, memorable content that will make them want to follow you and purchase your products.

Right now, Instagram seems to favor reels (short videos). Try experimenting with short videos and track your results in the form of views, likes, shares, website traffic, email signups and sales.

9. Bring it all together by combining Instagram with email

Due to the unfair and illegal censorship of our industry, you must drive your followers to sign up for your emails to stay informed. A lot of times they won’t see your posts, especially on Facebook. You can also use other platforms like GoWild, TruthSocial, or MeWe to reach a wider audience. You can also sign up influencers to help expand and create content for your brand.

So in conclusion, an effective social media strategy for an outdoor, hunting to shooting sports brand should include:

  • A goal
  • Target audience
  • A short, attention-grabbing intro/headline
  • Compelling copy that tells a story and/or solves a problem
  • Professional imagery or video
  • A call to action telling the audience what you want them to do next
  • Hashtags
  • Double down with email
  • Expand with influencer marketing

Now that you have the framework, go out and create content that will engage your audience and convert them into customers. If you got questions, give us a call or signup for an online course in communication to get started.

pinterest outdoor marketing

An Often-Overlooked Social Media Strategy for Outdoor Brands

By Social Media, Outdoor

Outdoor brands are constantly looking for ways to promote their products in the competitive marketplace. Smartphones and social media platforms continually bombard us daily with messages that some estimate to be in the thousands. 

“Back in the ‘70s, the average consumer in the U.S. saw around 500 ads per day. That number has since increased by a factor of 10 to upward of 5,000 ads per day,” says Ryan Holmes, Co-founder of Hootsuite.

So how can you gain an advantage to help your outdoor industry marketing and brand get attention? In this article, we look at how Pinterest (an often-overlooked) social media platform – can help your outdoor social media marketing strategy attract more customers and potentially add additional revenue to your bottom line. 

Other Social Media Platforms

Before we get into the advantages of Pinterest, let’s look at the current “Big Tech” platforms. Each social media platform has specific benefits that outdoor brands can utilize. Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook each provide unique ways to promote your product.


Facebook allows users to post pictures, videos, and messages.

  • Users: 1.79 Billion Daily active users worldwide
  • Audience: Generation X and millennials
  • Industry impact: B2C
  • Best for: Brand Awareness; advertising


Twitter allows users to post a short message up to 280 characters per post on their account. This allows companies to give quick announcements in a large platform.

  • Users: 186. million daily active users worldwide
  • Audience: Primarily millenials
  • Industry impact: B2B and B2C
  • Best For: Public Relations; customer service


Instagram allows users to post a picture with captions. In addition, Instagram also allows users to post a picture on their instagram story that lasts up to 24 hours. This allows users to visually show their followers their products and also make announcements.

  • Users: 1 billion monthly active users
  • Audience: Primarily millennials
  • Industry impact: B2C
  • Best For: Natural-looking media, behind the scenes, and user generated content; advertising

(Source: Hubspot)

Like the three major social media platforms, Pinterest also has some unique ways to help outdoor marketers and business owners reach new customers. Let’s look at three reasons why Pinterest may be the social media platform your outdoor brand is looking for. 

1. Pinterest Posts Have a Longer Lifespan

Social media marketing is a must-do for outdoor brands to promote their product to customers. But, with social media there can be an overwhelming amount of posts a business’ target audience may never see. 

“Unlike posts on other social media sites, Pinterest pins are basically immortal. They could show up in a users feed weeks or even months after you originally post them if they’re relevant to a user’s search. According to WebpageFX, the half-life of a pin is around 3.5 months.” (Source: Epipheo)

Pinterest will allow your outdoor brand’s social media posts to have a longer lifespan than any other social media platform. Instead of spending your time and energy on a post which may only have a lifespan of a couple hours or even a couple minutes—a post on Pinterest will last for months.  The longer time that your post is on social media the more likely your target audience will see your post. 66% of Pinterest users make a purchase after seeing a brand’s Pins. (Source: Hubspot). This allows your post to be seen by more people which could increase the amount of exposure and sales your business gets. 

2. Pinterest has a High Amount of Traffic 

Although many may not realize, Pinterest is one of most visited sites on the web. For a growing outdoor brand—this is a great opportunity to utilize Pinterest’s traffic to promote your product to your targeted customers.  

“More than 200 billion pins have been saved on Pinterest. And 90% of weekly Pinners make purchase decisions on Pinterest” (Source: Hubspot).

Seeing that Pinterest has a high amount of traffic on the web, Pinterest may bring more awareness to consumers about your business product and what your outdoor business has to offer.

“One of the social media platforms that I think is the most overlooked, and one of the highest trafficked is Pinterest. (Chad Rogers, Co-Founder and CRO, Lemonlight). 

3. Pinterest is a Great Way to Visually Represent Your Products

According to HubSpot, 90% of users say that Pinterest helps them decide what to purchase. Which makes Pinterest a great way to explain and sell your products to potential customers. Pinterest gives outdoor brands a great way to explain how their product will benefit customers’ lives. 


Outdoor Marketing Strategy

“Pins that show a product or service in action are 67% more likely to drive sales” (Source: Pinterest Business).

Furthermore, it is easier for a business to show the benefits their product can provide to a customer rather than trying to explain with no visual representation. Imagine being a fly fishing company trying to explain how to fly fish with no visual representation. No matter how well you explain fly fishing, trying to explain the concept with no visual representation can be very challenging to fully grasp. In comparison, if you had a visual representation of a fly rod in your hand on the river explaining to someone what to do would be much more beneficial for someone to learn. This can be true for any product or service your outdoor business has to offer. 

“85% of Pinners search for and prefer visual content.” (Source: Hootsuite

Outdoor Marketing Strategy. PNG

Example of Orvis’ Pinterest Page.


Pinterest may not have been a part of your business’s social media plan. However, Pinterest could be the spark your social media strategy needs to drive more awareness, interest, and sales. Pinterest is one of the top-visited websites on the web. And because Pinterest’s posts last longer and its format is visual, it provides your outdoor brand a unique way to tell your story.


hunting shooting firearms social media company

5 Ways To Understand How Social Media Can Work For Your Hunting Company

By Firearms and Hunting, Inbound Marketing, Social Media

If you’re like most business owners or marketers in the firearms, shooting and hunting industries, social media is still a bit of a mystery. A lot of marketers and business owners think that social media is a waste of time or are vague on how to effectively use it. Like all things we don’t understand, we typically just shrug it off.

We know we have to have a Facebook page—and maybe even a Twitter account, but still we struggle to grasp the importance of social media and its use.

Social media can be explained like this: Social media is digital word-of-mouth. Like traditional word-of-mouth or referrals, you share content, ideas, recommendations, stories or pictures with people who are your neighbors, friends or family. If you stop for a moment and think about it, most of the services and products you have bought in the past—have come from referrals by neighbors, friends or family.

If people find your information (i.e. content) useful or interesting—odds are they will share it, tweet it, like it or buy it.

Social media helps get your information or content out to more people—and given the right circumstances, can grow your website traffic, leads and customers exponentially. By spreading your content far and wide—you cast a bigger net, which means you increase your odds of generating more customers.

Here are 5 ways to finally help you understand how social media works in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry. 


1. Social media starts with valuable and relevant content 

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, then social media starts with creating content. You can’t attract new customers without generating content. Content can be created in the form of blogs, videos, whitepapers, ebooks or infographics. Tweet, share and post these pieces of content and distribute them on your social media networks to maximize your content reach. Write your content specifically for your buyer persona.

Should I post the same content on all networks?

To help you better understand the differences of social media, here are few comparisons made by social media guru, Guy Kawasaki (1.7 million followers on Twitter)

  • Facebook = People. It’s mostly for communicating with those with whom you already have some connection.
  • Twitter = Perceptions. It can help you build your reputation and visibility.
  • Instagram = Passions. It’s for sharing your passions with others who have the same passions.
  • Pinterest = Pinning. It’s about beautiful images and finding great stuff.
  • LinkedIn = Pimping. He means this in a good way, Kawasaki said. “LinkedIn can help you position yourself as a serious person and influencer.”

For Facebook, you’ll want to bring your content down to a human level and mix it up with real-life experiences. Try to make your content sound “casual” and make it fun. Posts on Facebook should be about office happenings and culture. Think reality show.

For LinkedIn, dress your content up in a suit. Make sure you add your own personal comment as to why you’re posting. Try to think in terms of how to establish yourself as an influencer or perhaps even a thought leader.

For Twitter, you only have 140 characters to get your point across. Your tweets should be short and succinct. Try to invoke curiosity or urgency to drive clicks to your content.

Buffer found that tweets with images receive 18% more clicks. Always add an interesting, eye-catching picture. This also goes for Facebook and LinkedIn.

What the heck is a hashtag?
Hastags (#) are used to identify a subject. So if you were to post something about Elk hunting in the Rockies you may tweet something like: “Elk Hunting is the Best in the Rockies! #hunting #firearms #wyoming” What the hashtag does, is allow other users to search for the same hashtag. This creates a small micro-community that follows an interest, event or subject.

2. Identify which channels work best for your business

Not all social media channels work and operate the same (as noted above). The only way to understand what network works for you is to experiment. We typically have more success on Twitter and LinkedIn than on Facebook. So we concentrate a lot of our efforts on those channels because they are more B2B oriented.

If you’re focused on reaching women (which is currently exploding in the industry) – you may want to try Pinterest as their members are almost 90% female.

Google+ should be used to help with increasing search engine rankings and indexing your pages. Google continues to struggle with creating a viable social network. However, Google+ should not be overlooked. 


3. Curate other people’s content and follow back your customers!

In order to start gaining followers, you must tweet, post and share often–especially on Twitter. It’s recommended that to gain followers on Twitter you need to tweet at least 4x a day—for starters. It’s been proven the more you tweet, the more followers you get.

You won’t have enough content in the beginning—so tweet other industry/topic relevant content. Make sure to follow the 80/20 rule: tweet 80% of other people’s content and only 20% of yours. By retweeting, favoriting and sharing other people’s content, you gain followers as people are likely to follow you back.

For LinkedIn and Facebook, I recommend once a day or at least 4 times a week to maintain top-of-mind awareness. Back off if you sense people are getting annoyed or you start losing followers. Always be professional and courteous. Do not use profanity or coarse language.

Most companies in the industry are highly self-promotional. They are always tweeting out their latest products, sales, deals and happenings—push, push, push.  Their social media strategy dictates that:  Follow less people and have more followers than we’ll be considered more important.” Companies in the hunting, firearms and shooting industries should follows their customers back. Social media isn’t about being the most popular kid on the playground—it’s about sharing and  associating with the people you are trying to help, build a relationship with to turn them into life-long customers. 

Here’s how this plays out. I’m considering a new AR-15. So I head to Twitter and follow Stag Arms, Colt and Daniel Defense so I can learn more about their products and get updates on their latest news to help make a decision on what AR-15 to buy. Out of those three companies, Stag Arms ends up following me back! Wow. A big brand like Stag, wants to follow me? Guess who I’m going to buy from. Stag! So go ahead, follow back! You tell your potential customers you’re interested in them and you care about them. This goes along way in establishing your branding and inbound marketing strategy


4. Boost your content on Facebook

Facebook has changed its news feed recently and it has become harder to get your content in front of the right audience. Facebook now offers “boosts” to reach your target audience outside of your network for increased exposure. Boosts start at $20 and go up from there. Boosts are a cost effective way to drive traffic and capture likes, leads and shares.


5. LinkedIn is about establishing yourself as an influencer and thought leader to establish credibility

Once you commit to creating valuable content, you’ll begin to learn even more about the industry and your buyer personas. An amazing thing happens when you start to research, read, tweet, post, write and curate content. You wake up one day and realize that you’re living on the bleeding edge of the latest trends, industry news and technology. You become a resource that others will find useful. I tell this to my customers who are venturing into inbound marketing. Like training for an Ironman, you start out slow, but gradually over time, you gain momentum and fitness to go the distance—and before you know it, you’re a stud triathlete.

Ok, if you’ve made it this far down on this article, you may be asking, OK great, how does participating in social media really help my business? Here are 5 important reasons:

  1. Builds your brand and reputation
  2. Social proof (i.e. a lot of followers) establishes trust among leery visitors
  3. Attracts customers you otherwise would not have reached
  4. Drives traffic to your content and landing pages to convert visitors to leads
  5. Establishes yourself as resource, influencer and thought leader to a global audience

So there you have it.

If you were confused about how social media works—you should now have a better understanding. Social media starts with valuable content, choosing the right network, curating other peoples content (80/20 rule), following your prospects back, tweeting to drive traffic, boosting on Facebook to gain shares, and using LinkedIn to establish yourself as a credible thought leader. If you still have questions? Contact us or give us a call to see how to make social media work for your business. 

how to prospect a new indusrty for new customers

How To Prospect A New Industry For Customers

By Inbound Marketing, Sales, Social Media

If you’re thinking about breaking into a new industry for the purpose of selling your products or services, there are few things that inbound marketing and social media can offer you to make your efforts more effective.

But with so many different points of entry like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and blogs—where does one begin?

Inbound marketing is a way to use content to attract your ideal customers to your website. Inbound then uses social media as a distribution mechanism to spread your content to those you hope to do business with by attracting them to your website for lead capture. This methodology has been proven to shorten sales cycles, garner trust with your prospects and boost referrals—which is critical to building a presence in an industry you’ve never been involved with before.

With so many of your prospective customers already on social media, you may be missing out on ample opportunities to fill your sales pipeline.

In this article, we’ll look at how inbound marketing combined with “social media prospecting” can help you break into new industries to prospect new customers.

[box type=”info” size=”large”]Seventy-eight percent of sales people using social media outsell their peers. (Source: Forbes)[/box]

1. Search industry organizations
To begin, start by looking online for trade and industry associations you’re interested in. A simple search should turn up several results. Industry association websites typically have content on industry statistics that you can download for free without paying a membership fee. These pieces of content can give you helpful insight into the industry you’re prospecting. In last week’s article, we highlighted a few of these industries. Trade show websites also provide great sources to learn about the industry you’re investigating. Check out this list of trade associations to get started.

2. Add “top” or “best” to your web search to identify category leaders
It’s funny how most companies will describe their product or services as “top” or being the “best”—even when they are clearly not the best in their category. However, there are some legitimate sources that you can use to your advantage that will point you in the right direction. By simply adding ”best” to your search: best aircraft manufacturer, best hunting brands, top financial advisors, most purchased computer monitors, best doctors in Raleigh, best branding agencies, etc…, you’ll be able to figure out who the leaders are in any given category. This will provide you some framework into the industry you’re looking to do business with and a list of companies to go after.

3. Utilize your personal networks
If you know some people in the industry you are targeting, it doesn’t hurt to call them up and ask them a few questions. Maybe even take them to coffee. Here are some good questions to ask:

  • Where do you go for information? Blogs, newspapers, trade journals?
  • What are your biggest challenges?
  • Where do you acquire most of your customers?
  • Who are your customers?
  • Do you use social media?
  • Do you use Google for search?
  • What was the last topic you searched on?

By asking where your potential prospects spend time online (or offline) will help you understand how these people think and where you can focus your marketing and sales efforts in the future.

 4. Create relevant content
61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, and are more likely to buy from that company. (Source: Custom Content Council)

In order for your social prospecting efforts to gain traction, you must create content. Blogs are the first best place to start to attract prospects. Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (Source: HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014) 

By creating a blog article zeroed in on prospective industry keywords and your ideal customers, you’ll have the ability to share your thoughts, tips and advice with those in the industry you hope to do business with—which creates value. If you have little information to draw upon—start with simple industry statistics. As you become more familiar with the category, more ideas on in-depth topics you can write about will emerge.

landing pageSecondly, create a downloadable offer like an ebook, whitepaper or case study. You can create a landing page on your website specifically targeting the keywords your prospects are using so your page shows up in search results. Using a form will allow you to capture inbound leads once a prospect decides to download your offer. Using inbound tactics saves an average of 13% in overall cost per lead. (Source: HubSpot State of Inbound, 2014) 

When you do reach out over email, social media or phone, your offer has already initiated some initial trust in the mind of your prospect. And with 57% of the purchasing process over before ever talking to sales, its important to make sure your website is up to snuff. (Source: Executive Board

[box type=”info” size=”large”]You are 70% more likely to get an appointment on an unexpected sale if you join LinkedIn Groups. (Source: Steve Richard, Co-Founder of Vorsight)[/box]

5. Social prospecting
The best place to prospect for new customers in a new industry is on social media. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are all great places to start looking for prospects once you know who the players are.

The professional network of LinkedIn boasts 225 million members. Top sellers use LinkedIn 6 hours per week. (Source: Jill Konrath)

Seek out industry groups on LinkedIn and join them. Notice what topics are being discussed and join in on the conversation. Share and comment on your potential prospects comments and content. This allows you to establish some thought leadership. Aim to be helpful. Find the names of people and their positions who are the decision makers—more on this below.

Twitter is best for understanding what your prospects are interested in. Use #hashtags to search topics, people and ideas. To find what hashtags your prospects are using, take a look at these top sites to speed the process:

Retweet, favorite and comment on those prospects you are trying to build a relationship with and create a list for those people and companies to organize your feeds.

With 1.35 billion users per month, Facebook works the same as Twitter and LinkedIn. Locate the companies you want to work with and “like” them. Comment, share and like the posts to show interest.

It’s important to understand that you must approach social prospecting with the mentality that you want to help—not sell. Any advances that are too “salesy” or aggressive, may put a bad taste in your prospects mouth. Take it slow at first; aim to connect on an emotional level, help and be authentic. The goal here is to warm your leads so that when you do post a blog article or send an email or call them, they’ll know who you are.

[box type=”info” size=”large”]Personal value has 2x as much impact as business value does, and 71% of B2B buyers who see personal value will purchase a product. (CEB)[/box]

6. Create a list of prospects using a CRM
Utilize a CRM tool to track your prospects. A great tool we use is Sidekick and HubSpot’s CRM. It allows us to streamline our information gathering and prioritize our leads and sales pipeline more efficiently.


In a typical firm with 100-500 employees, an average of 7 people are involved in most buying decisions. (Source: Gartner Group

Hubspot’s CRM combined with Sidekick allows you to identify who your potential decision makers are, making your initial calls/contacts more productive.

7. Set SMART goals
No effort should take place without SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). A good example of a SMART goal looks something like this:

  • Prospect 25 companies that includes the contact information of decision makers
  • Identify and connect on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter
  • Close 2 customers by the end of Q215
  • Sales Goal: $50K

Combine SMART goals with your CRM to stay focused and consistent.

To wrap up, breaking into a new industry or vertical can be fun and exciting. Social media prospecting combined with some inbound marketing tactics like blogging, landing pages and content offers can build out your sales pipeline and allow you to make some strong inroads into a lucrative new industry.