How Swip Systems Created “Authority Leadership” in Their Market to Generate $600,000+ In Revenue

Posted by Ben Kniffen in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Development, LinkedIn Marketing Insights

Authority leadership.

It can literally build your business, and today we’ll show you exactly how and why it makes such a difference.

To begin with, Tom Swip’s company, Swip Systems, is an IT Consulting company that targets big players in several highly competitive industries – including the very busy manufacturing space.




Now, IT consulting is competitive enough… but when you’re targeting high-ticket projects in a crowded industry like manufacturing… well, it adds a few degrees of difficulty to say the least.

Using our LinkedIn group strategy to create authority leadership, Tom’s company quickly established themselves as THE leading service provider in the minds of his prospects, leading to BIG deals resulting in 447%+ ROI.

What is Authority Leadership?

The best way to explain this is to show you.

And to do so, let’s start with the end goal in mind. We want sales. So let’s work backwards and think of the best way to get them.

What makes people buy?

They buy when they have a problem they are trying to solve and when they trust you as the one who can deliver that solution.

So how do you build that trust? How do you position yourself above all the other noise out there?

THIS is where your authority leadership comes into play.

It’s tried and true.

When we position our clients, like Tom Swip, as leaders in their prospect’s space, and put them in front of those prospects over and over and over again… ….our clients become THE only solution. The one that the prospect has become familiar with and viewed as a resource. It’s about positioning yourself so you’re not just another bottom-feeding vendor .

If you take the old fashioned approach of going after a sale with your prospects right away, many won’t give you the time of day.

But when we work them through a systematic relationship and trust-building process that begins with creating your Authority Leadership, our clients see 21% of their prospects happy to schedule a call.

This just proves what Zig Ziglar says about trust and sales… “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”

Our own experience implementing LinkedIn marketing solutions for our clients proves it over and over again. That’s why we focus on building trust and relationship in our core process. It leads to better response rates and more sales.

Now, let’s explore exactly how Tom Swip was able to generate over $600,000 in two years from this idea…

4 Ways to Create Authority Leadership

Swip’s industry was – and continues to be – saturated. Competition is high among IT firms, and because of that, many IT firms are pretty aggressive in their tactics.

And on LinkedIn, this really poisons the well. As a result, their target market has essentially been trained to tune out.

So we re-positioned Swip Systems as a peer to the senior C-level decision makers he targets. To do this, we need to know – really well – exactly who his target is and what they look for when making a decision. We use this information in our positioning to make Swip Systems stand out.

1. Know Your Prospect

So here’s a bit about Tom’s target prospects…

First, he isn’t looking to work with small operations. They have big ticket engagements and work with large companies.

One of the target markets they had success with was manufacturers and the people they target within these companies are often the CEO, CFO, CIO, etc. You know, the kind of people that aren’t easily sold ONLY because you sent them a cold message on LinkedIn.

Now manufacturer’s aren’t the only types of companies that Swip Systems works with, but it’s an industry they had a proven process for and we recommended tailoring their campaign to directly speak to the niche.

There’s no shame in niching down to go after a specific target on LinkedIn. As Seth Godin wrote, “Everyone is not your customer” because “the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

To reach these high level prospects, we knew we needed a unique approach to stand above the crowd. An approach that would position Tom and his company as a true leader in his space, keep his name consistently in front of his best prospects (in a non-spammy way), and make his presence so rock-solid that his prospects would hardly be able to resist being a part of his community…

And then, do business with him. Here’s how…

2. Create A LinkedIn Group (IE: Your Authority Platform)

The key here is to cater to your ideal prospects, so in Tom’s case, we didn’t create a group about IT and software development (his expertise) – that would just attract his competitors. Instead, we created an industry group focused on something his PROSPECTS would enjoy.

We called it “Midwest Manufacturing Leaders” and we started inviting his ideal prospects to join. Take note here –

His prospects are C-level manufacturers and by inviting them to be involved in a group of “Manufacturing Leaders” it not only boosts their confidence by considering themselves a leader, it also positions Tom as a major name in the industry because he’s bringing them all together.

So as of 2018, this group has grown from 0 to nearly 7,000 members (6,968 to be exact) in five years. All of these members are Swip’s ideal clients and they are used to seeing his name and reading the material he shares through his group.

From here, Tom can also directly engage with his potential clients through group discussions, which brings us to the next step…

3. Amplify Your Authority with Content

Now that you have a group formed and you’ve cemented your positioning, you need a way to stay-top-of-mind. We do that with what we call the “Authority Amplifier,” a process that’s so simple, but so powerful…

Especially because any update to your LinkedIn group is sent directly to every member’s email inbox. The top-of-mind awareness this builds is massive!

Now, content in LinkedIn groups comes in two forms, via discussions and via content you create or 3rd party content you share.  Here you can see an example of a discussion Tom has initiated with his prospects…

As for sharing content, here are two golden rules for sharing content that instantly builds trust and authority….

Curate Don’t Create.

Think of yourself as a curator – finding and sharing amazing resources for your prospects.

The most obvious reason to curate is that you don’t need to take the time to create your own content. But saving time is just the surface. It’s also a very strategic move because the type of content you share is also a great positioning tool.

When you can actually share content you know will be appreciated, content that’s already received a good response, you position yourself as well-read, humble (because you’re willing to step aside and let others shine), helpful, and just as knowledgeable as the original content creator.

It’s the perfect way to position yourself as an authority because you achieve that without being pushy or salesy.

Share What Your Prospect Values. Not What You Value.

Most content online never gets shared because businesses make their content about themselves instead of their prospects.

When you do the exact opposite and share content unique to your prospect’s interests… they’ll be more likely to notice, engage, and remember you. That’s why getting to know them inside and out is so important.

For example, if you are an IT consultant like Tom Swip and you sell to the owners of small manufacturing firms…don’t only share IT content. That’s what you are most interested in NOT what they are most interested in.

So Tom shares articles and resources related to manufacturing and other topics C-level executives in the manufacturing industry would be interested in.

And here’s a bonus tip: you can use simple tools like Feedly that make finding great content a breeze. Feedly delivers the content to you so you just need to scan a list of relevant content to share and choose the topics your prospects would like.

4. Remember to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile to Attract Your Specific Prospects

The Authority Amplifier process goes hand-in-hand with optimizing your LinkedIn profile; one informs the other and it cements your positioning as an industry authority.

You can see how Tom does this here…

He includes his positioning as the founder of the Midwest Manufacturing Leaders right in his headline.

This is important because when your prospects check out your profile, you want to be sure that your profile speaks directly to them and makes it easy to contact you. We’ve discussed how to properly optimize your LinkedIn profile here in length here.

Biggest Benefits of Authority Leadership

You can listen to Tom relate a lot of the benefits himself here…

Here’s a summary:

  1. People know, like and trust Swip Systems, both online and off, and have a “warm introduction” before ever meeting.

“The biggest benefit that I see, is that when I go to one of these real world events, the people in the room already know who I am.

And then on the phone call with them, if we don’t do a real world event, they also know who I am – and who WE are, because they’ve seen our content come through, they’ve seen our pictures in our posts… They just have a general warm introduction to us before we actually meet with them the first time.”

  1. It’s another way to grow your connections on LinkedIn and get more prospects

Before he started, Swip’s LinkedIn account had less than 500 connections and we helped him quickly ramp that up to over 5,000 connections.

  1. It’s easier to start the conversation and drive leads through the pipeline, resulting in more sales.

From here, it’s that much easier to generate leads and drive leads through pipeline because he’s well positioned, he’s built trust through the content he shares, and people know him.

As a result, Swip Systems used the LinkedSelling system, and his authority leadership specifically, to turn over $600,000 in earnings.

“It gets us to the point where as an organization, we’re stable in our lead pipeline, with the people that we’re helping and the people we’re connecting with. And personally it’s a great feeling to walk into a room and introduce yourself and say, ‘Hi! I’m Tom Swip,’ and they say, “I know, you’re in my inbox everyday.’”

“They know you ahead of time, there’s that warm introduction and then they’re more welcoming to the conversation and they’re looking forward to how we can help each other out. The people that we talk to really feel that we know what we’re talking about and that we’re out there to give them a hand.”

Your Turn

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage authority leadership to gain industry influence, get more connections with your IDEAL prospects, and make more sales, book a time to talk with our team below:

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