Posted by Matt Register

Ashley Johnson, Founder and CEO of Mouth Marketing, joins us to talk about LinkedIn lead generation and how businesses are leveraging this network to great result.

Please excuse any typos in this hasty transcript.

Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. is a Web site. We’re talking about sales and lead generation. It all starts with sales, guys. You got to get the, you got to get the cash register to ring, before you have anything to do. And we’ve got some guys in here that are going to give you some tricks, tips on how to build up your lead generation and increase your sales. I’m your host Matt Register. Jay Curry sitting over there in the co-host chair as usual. What do you think, man?

Jay Curry: Absolutely. It all starts with lead generation. We used to say it always started with sales but to get sales got to get the lead generation. This is a great program. We’re having a lot of fun and actually is going to give us some very informative information on the subject. So, I’m looking forward to this.

Matt Register: Yeah, no doubt. Ashley Johnson, Founder and CEO of Mouth Marketing LLC, out of Houston. Is a, they’re a company that deals with sales, lead generation and sales, utilizing LinkedIn. Which I think is particularly interesting. Ashley, welcome to the show.

Ashley Johnson: Thank you. I’m very happy to be here.

Matt Register: So talk to me, what is Mouth Marketing? What do you do? Who do you do it to?

Ashley Johnson: Yeah. So, Mouth Marketing, we work with business to business companies. So, if you are looking to sell to other businesses or maybe you’re thinking about it, maybe you’re on the consumer side. We help businesses get business on the B to B market. So, are linkedIn lead generation plan, very B to B focused.

Matt Register: Well, talk to me a little bit about, you know, I’m a, I’m a company that has, you know, does B to B sales. I need more business. How do you fit into that process and how can you help me solve my problem?

Ashley Johnson: So, we use LinkedIn Sales Navigator. What we do is, we connect to up to 50 people a day that are in your target audience. So, if that’s an executive, that their function is marketing and a company under 200 employees in Houston, we can target, very specifically, connecting you to up to 50 of those individuals every day. Then what we do, is we create content, at least three times a week, of custom content that’s, that’s built to engage that audience. And then what we do, is we actually go in and comment, like and really start to have these conversations with these people that you’re connecting with. And then, at the end of the month, we export all that data and then, send them an email to invite them to coffee. So, we end up getting a ton of meetings for our clients this way and it takes that cold sale out of it because now they feel like they know you, you’ve built that relationship up with them. So it’s, it’s a, a more organic way to do it, in my opinion.

Matt Register: Well, we’re big fans of Linked-In on this show and have talked about a pretty extensively. LinkedIn has one thing going for it, that has never existed before in the history of the world, is they have a self-correcting business database. Right? And LinkedIn being purchased by Microsoft, LinkedIn knows how to build the database, Microsoft knows how to make money. Right?

Ashley Johnson: Yes.

Matt Register: And some of the tools that are developed out of that, that merge, that is utilizing that same database but for the business side of it, has been a complete game changer. Right?

Ashley Johnson: Yes, totally game changing. We’ve, the reason that we picked LinkedIn, really over Facebook or something like that, is because LinkedIn your incentivized to really put true information about yourself in there. Whereas Facebook, I mean, there’s trolls all over Facebook.

Jay Curry: Yeah. Who knows? Right?

Ashley Johnson: So, you never know if your ad is really getting to your target audience or not because there’s so much fake information out there. But LinkedIn, you really have true engagement because you’re talking to the real person and not fake data.

Jay Curry: You know one of the advantages of this, is the targeting. You can get very specific in your targeting. So, your clients can tell you what they’re looking for, for their lead generation. And you can target it and then you go after the lead generation that develops into the sales. I mean, it’s a great, I mean, what technology has done for us, is pretty great.

Matt Register: Talk to me a little bit about targeting because you can get very, very specific in this. I mean it, it, it, it essentially has the resume of everybody, you know, every one of their members. So, you know talk to me a little bit about how you go through and target that. And, and, because you don’t want to waste money on, on you know viewers and people that aren’t actual leads. Right?

Ashley Johnson: Exactly. So we always start with second degree connections. And we do this because these are people that you may have met in passing, maybe not. But you have enough people in common, that they kind of question in the back of their head, have I actually met them? So they feel a little bit more likely to, to actually accept your connection. So then, from there, what we do is, we pick it apart based on demographics. So we ask all of our clients; who’s your ideal client, what do they look like, who’s the easiest sell for you? And so normally they have some common characteristics. So whether that’s the, you know, human resources executive for some of our recruiters. Or maybe that’s real estate agents for some of our insurance agents. I mean it really just depends on who the customer is. And sometimes our clients don’t always know their ideal audience. So we will refine it for them over time. Because if we see, you know, only 10 percent of people are accepting your connection request. Why is that? That’s a problem. So maybe that’s something wrong with their headline. Maybe that’s something wrong with their summary. Maybe there’s just not enough blog posts on their account. Maybe there’s just not enough of the right content, whatever it is, we’ll figure it out. So we play, we do make small changes to their accounts over time to refine it to where you’re getting 20 meetings a month. I mean, we’re, we’re slammed ourselves, doing this.

Matt Register: Sure.

Ashley Johnson: So a lot of our clients, generally get one sale a month, at least from this, one big sale. And these are B to B sales. So that’s, you know, $10,000 plus accounts. So, it really just depends on who they’re selling to and, you know, the, the sales cycle length. But generally speaking, all of our clients have so far, made a sale with in their first month.

Matt Register: Talk to me about one of your favorite success stories. Right? I mean, you know walk me through what they walked in the door wanting and what kind of impact was this able to make on their business.

Ashley Johnson: Yes. So we were approached by an insurance agent, he owns his own agency. And he came to us and he said “I have tried everything. I have telemarketers. I have all these lead generation tools. I’m spending crazy amount of money on this stuff. What can you do different?” And so, I talked about the LinkedIn lead generation. We started this with him in, I want to say it was around February or March. Since then he has let go every other marketing company that he works with. He does, he no longer has telemarketers. He no longer does any of the other advertising stuff. In fact, he doubled his budget with us because it worked so well. So, I would say that it just kind of depends on what your market is and who you’re targeting. But that was, that was such a rewarding feeling when he said “Oh my gosh. I’m just so happy with everything that you guys are doing.” So…

Ashley Johnson: Well and as long as people can, can identify X amount of dollars in equals X amount of sales out, it becomes a no brainer. Right? It’s, it’s when it’s very, very hard to measure that it becomes a whole lot harder. Right Jay?

Jay Curry: Yeah, it sounds like, that your client has already figured out what they want to do. But as Mouth Marketing, you also help them with the front end side of it. So you will help, if they don’t have a clue but they need to get sales up and they need to get self-generation up. You’ll actually help them with the marketing, trying to target, trying to figure out who their targets are, you know, what’s their competitor, you’ll do that work also, right?

Ashley Johnson: Yes, we do. So we will actually sit with them, a lot of times this is how we started conversations too. Is, we want to know exactly what problems they’re having, who they’re targeting currently, what their goals are. So, we’ll put together a comprehensive strategy for them. And then we’ll also break it down to say, these are the vendors you use for these things, these are the top three in every category, you can call them at any time, you have special Mouth Marketing rates. So from there, that’s just, that’s kind of how we’ve started to do things now, is just really supporting their marketing strategy, creating that for them and then giving them all the tools they need to actually roll this out. If they say “Hey, would you guys manage it?” We can certainly do that too. But I definitely want to pair up with the right people, the best people for the job, so that way they’re getting the biggest bang for their buck too.

Matt Register: Well I tell you what, LinkedIn has definitely changed the game when it comes to this kind of stuff. We use it. If, guys if you’re not using it in your business, you’re missing the boat and need to learn it. There’s somewhat of a learning curve to it but figure out how to be able, how to use that information to benefit your business. You’re going to be glad that, that you did. Ashley Johnson, Founder and CEO of Mouth Marketing out of Houston, Texas. Ashley thank you very much for joining us.

Ashley Johnson: Thanks for having me.

Matt Register: What’s the easy to wait for somebody to get in touch, should they want to learn more?

Ashley Johnson: You can check us out at or you can give us a call at 832-589-0817.

Matt Register: All right. All right, I got it. I’ll have it linked right there from Texasbusinessradiocom. If you’re driving and can’t take notes, we got it. However, we got to go pay some bills ourselves. So we’ll be back right after this. We’re not going to be gone very long, you don’t have time to go do anything else. We’ll be back right after this. Don’t go anywhere.

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About the Author
Matt Register

Matt Register

In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.

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