How to master social selling to grow on LinkedIn with Laura Erdem

Laura Erdem

Just as introducing variety into your daily routine can add that extra flavor, incorporating creativity into your professional life can have similar benefits.

A touch of creativity on LinkedIn can not only boost your engagement, help you sell, and position you as a thought leader in your industry.

How to use LinkedIn as a sales funnel

No matter your purpose on the platform, you must start with an optimized profile that reflects your professional experience and expertise.

After that you need to build connections with your target audience and then start posting engaging valuable content.

Share diverse content formats, from insightful articles to engaging videos, showcasing your industry knowledge. 

Actively engage with your network by responding promptly to comments and messages, fostering meaningful connections.

Same as you would do as if you were building your personal brand.

Position yourself as a thought leader as Laura Erdem did by consistently sharing unique insights and participating in industry discussions.

Meanwhile monitor the activity of your potential leads and those engaging with them because people connected to your clients might have potential interest.

Dive into your prospects’ profiles for insights to examine their interests, highlights, and activity.

Then use the power of personalized messaging to initiate conversations with potential leads, focusing on relationship-building rather than hard selling.

Now if you think this sounds complicated, let’s see how Laura manages to captivate her audience and transform her connections into paying customers for Datadream.

But first, who is Laura Erdem?

Laura’s skill set includes sales management, business development, marketing, and strategic advisory expertise.

She started her career as a Customer Service Representative, but after a couple of years she switched jobs and worked at DXC Technology.

After working at DXC Technology, Red Hat, and Gartner, Laura started working at Dreamdata.

Here she started as an Account Executive and progressed to Senior Account Executive and then Sales Manager for the Americas. 

Closing deals, building sales processes, coaching junior AEs, and actively engaging in thought leadership on LinkedIn demonstrated her multifaceted approach to sales management. 

Laura’s success in growing her LinkedIn followers and sourcing leads from inbound channels further underscores her marketing acumen.

Since she started to use LinkedIn for sales, and building her personal brand, she built an audience of 28,000 followers.

Laura is also an advisor for ValueOrbit, Commsor, and Sendspark which shows Laura’s willingness to share her insights and contribute to the growth strategies of other organizations.

How does Laura excel in social selling, and what makes her a B2B creator?

  1. Talking about B2B strategies
  2. Providing industry insights
  3. Building her personal brand

A. Talking about B2B strategies

Laura started to constantly post on LinkedIn two years ago and the most recurring theme she talks about is the B2B industry.

She posts a lot about the importance of collaboration between sales and marketing teams.

In one of her posts she writes that the collaboration requires continuous communication and engagement from both sides.

Laura uses Steffen Hedebrandt as an example, mentioning how he consistently asks the sales team for input.

She also talks about the challenge of maintaining this collaboration amid busy schedules and the tendency to forget requests.

Besides the collaboration between sales and marketing, Laura often talks about what she does at Dreamdata, which is social selling.

Laura mentions that everything began with a challenge.

She, along with the marketing, sales, and customer success teams, was tasked with the goal of regularly posting on LinkedIn to measure how many views they could garner.

The incentive was set – if they could achieve 300,000 views within a quarter, they would all go out to dinner.

The teams actually achieved an impressive 500,000 views in that quarter.

That simple challenge encouraged collaboration between team members and it showed the power of setting goals and working together. 

Laura thinks it’s important to take the first step in building anything, whether it’s a personal brand or a company brand.

In the journey the challenges and failures are inevitable, but you have to build a mindset of continuous improvement.

One important lesson Laura teaches companies or people who want to build their brand on LinkedIn is that people on LinkedIn don’t care about who you are or your company.

People only care about the value they get from other people or companies.

Deliver something of genuine value, and you’ll witness an organic surge in followers or potential customers. 

It’s nothing you didn’t know but sometimes, certain truths need repetition to take root in our minds and guide our actions.

As a salesperson, she knows how important it is to create opportunities.

That’s why when she sees an opportunity to do something different she jumps on the train.

She said in one of her LinkedIn posts that before social selling the best sales channel for her in 2021 was ClubHouse.

It was an original approach when most of the people that time used to focus only on cold calls or emails.

Even if she seems to care a lot about data, she knows that sometimes you have to do things differently.

She shares one of Lars Grønnegaard’s posts, Dreamdata Co-founder, where he tells that sometimes one can do unmeasurable things and later learn how to measure them.

Laura agrees and talks about creative and inspiring campaigns other brands have made that were not measurable and invites her community to think if there were some ways to measure the success.

If you think about it, these marketing campaigns are similar to what the B2B creators are doing right now.

As Todd Clouser said, they measure the engagement, the personal messages, the podcast invites, but don’t have a stabilized way of measuring things.

Laura is also a company evangelist, promoting and celebrating achievements within Datadream.

Being an evangelist is related to social selling and the well-being of the company.

B. Providing industry insights

Laura’s LinkedIn is also filled with industry insights and professional development techniques.

She talks about the B2B customer journey, offering details about the number of touches buyers typically make before making a purchase.

She emphasizes the mastery involved in determining the channels that effectively support both top-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel activities.

In another post about buyer’s journey, Laura says that buyers are already 55% of the way through their customer journey the first time they speak with your sales representative so it’s important to identify their intent until they reach sales.

Understanding buyer intent enables sales teams to target and convert high-potential leads effectively, ultimately enhancing overall sales performance.

Laura is not only a supporter of the company she works for, but she also expresses her support for women in sales.

She writes about her early experiences in sales, highlighting the gender dynamics within her team where most of the team, buyers, and partners were men while the women were in supporting functions.

The gender balance within sales teams may have evolved over time, at least in Laura’s immediate environment.

But despite this change, she emphasizes that there are likely many women in sales who currently find themselves in a position similar to hers eight years ago.

Laura knows about the supportive community for women in sales, acknowledging the importance of mentorship, shared experiences, and encouragement in professional growth.

Talking about LinkedIn, Laura shares a tutorial with her audience on how to seamlessly incorporate the “Book an Appointment” button into their profiles.

Laura reveals that the inspiration for creating this post came from a query by Tim Davidson.

Despite crafting the content in response to Tim’s inquiry, Laura admits that she has never experienced the firsthand utility of the appointment button activated under her name. 

Her openness and honesty shine through creating genuine connection with her audience.

C. Building her personal brand

Obaid Durrani once said in a LinkedIn comment that there are three reasons someone posts on LinkedIn.

People either post to sell courses/masterclasses, to build their personal brand, or to help the company they work for grow.

But sometimes, like in Laura’s case, all three apply.

What started as a challenge to post to grow the Datadream helped Laura get more comfortable to post.

In time, the regular posts in the course of two years helped her define her personal brand and discover the topics she’s great at.

After she started to build up her community, she started to invest some of her time in building courses like the social selling course on Sparkforce.

Besides all the content related to marketing, sales, or Dreamdata, Laura knows how to create engaging content and offer her audience different content types than what they’ve seen so far.

One example is the bike ride interviews she took while she was in New York.

She knew she would be in New York for a conference so she decided to make the best of her time and invite marketers and salespersons to a bike ride to talk about the industry.

She did not do the classic “book meetings with prospects”, but did something original and gained a lot of content for her personal brand which also helps Dreamdata.

What are the top three lessons B2B creators can learn from Laura?

1. Social selling mastery

Through strategic engagement and content creation on LinkedIn, Laura built a substantial following and demonstrated the incredible potential of using the platform for inbound sales.

Laura transformed LinkedIn into a dynamic sales funnel.

She managed to do it by building authentic connections, sharing valuable insights, and creating meaningful conversations.

So platforms like LinkedIn can help you drive business success.

2. Learn to collaborate

Whether you work in a company or on your own, building connections is key to personal growth, same as Laura collaborates with the marketing department and with people outside her workplace.

Find the right people who compliment your skills and share a mutual commitment to growth. 

It’s important to set goals, work together, and maintain a mindset of continuous improvement to drive successful B2B collaborations.

3. Be unconventional

Laura’s approach to personal brand-building is characterized by creativity and boldness.

Her advice is clear: break away from the ordinary and approach tasks with an original and unexpected perspective.

By thinking outside the box and infusing normal activities with creativity, you not only stand out but also cultivate appreciation from others.

This uniqueness helps you create a distinctive and authentic personal brand that resonates with your audience.

Final Thoughts

At first I thought Laura’s superpower is social selling, but as I researched more about her I realized it’s something else.

It’s the way she thinks and the way she doesn’t do things like you would normally expect.

She may be a salesperson, but she aces the marketing game.

From conducting interviews in a bike ride through the vibrant streets of New York to repurposing Dreamdata’s Co-founder’s posts as her own, her approach is refreshingly unconventional.

Her ability to go beyond traditional boundaries shows us how innovative and bold she is, setting her apart from her industry colleagues.