How to build trust using social media for lead generation

How to build trust using social media for lead generationCold calling’s a numbers game. If you ring 100 people a percentage are going to agree to meet you and some will eventually buy from you.

Social media isn’t going to radically change these percentages if you use it as an ‘old style’ sales tool.

Let’s face it, being contacted by someone you’ve never heard of to take a look at their product or to meet with them can be pretty irritating – regardless of whether it’s by phone or via a social network.

Some tell you, you have connections in common who think you should meet with them – if that’s the case, have the mutual connection tell you that! 9 times out of 10 I bet your connection doesn’t even know the person is contacting you. It’s a thinly veiled cold call.

Tom Skotidas, a specialist in the field of B2B lead generation, put it really well when he said: Over time reach out to people and move relationships beyond LinkedIn but only once you’ve built trust by sharing insights.”

What does that mean?

How to build trust using social media

  • You’ve got to give before you ask.
  • Share information and insights people will find valuable.
  • Answer their questions.
  • Give away some of your knowledge for free.
  • Enable people to make an informed call about whether you’re someone who knows what they’re talking about.
  • Don’t ask for that meeting until you’ve proven your worth and earned the right to meet offline

By building trust, when it comes to the meeting….

  • The other person will already know about you.
  • They’ll understand how you can help.
  • The meeting won’t be cold. It’s going to be more valuable for the other person and for you. And it’s more likely it will lead to work.

When professionals tell me that social media doesn’t work, I wonder what they’re doing.

  • Perhaps they’re relying on a half arsed profile
  • Or they’re spamming other users by requesting meetings BEFORE they’ve demonstrated their worth and built any sort of relationship.

Social media’s not a silver bullet. You have to consistently put in time and effort to reap the rewards.  But reap them you can.  All it takes is a genuine passion for helping others and less focus on getting people to become your clients RIGHT NOW.

Action: You can start right now in building trust with your social media connections.  Look back at what you’ve done over the past week and how you have engaged with your connections.  Re-read the list above and make necessary changes to your tactics going forward.  Think about what makes you feel a connection with a person online and duplicate this behaviour.
Have you come across ‘cold calling’ practices on social media?  If so, has it ever resulted in you doing business with that person?


Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant