Another LinkedIn milestone, approaching 5,000 connections

In July of 2018, I was approaching 4,000 connections on LinkedIn. A mere year and a half later, I’m approaching 5,000 connections. For perspective, read: Reaching 4,000 Connections on LinkedIn– What I’ve Learned

In business and life, it’s simply about helping. Helping people connect, helping them get introduced to potential employers, and helping people grow their businesses. For historic purposes (and those reading this in 2023), we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

Now, more than ever we need to look beyond our day-to-day needs and see how we can help.

  • Help a friend grow their network
  • Impact a businesses reputation by sharing their content
  • Introduce your customers to one another
  • Or, simply acknowledge a colleague’s success in their career

For me, there is no better world-wide network designed to connect like-minded manufacturers and owners than LinkedIn. Are you still struggling with how to use this platform? Read: Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturers, 2nd Edition. Even if you are not in manufacturing, the principles are valuable and applicable to anyone in business.

Are we connected? 

– Rob Felber

How Account Based Marketing Tools Help Manufacturers

Recently, HubSpot launched Account Based Marketing Tools. We’re excited to share these new tools with our clients because they fit seamlessly into how manufacturers connect directly with their best-fit, highest-value accounts. At Felber PR & Marketing, we have been utilizing an Account Based Marketing strategy to target prospects for years. We’ve helped our clients ditch old, time-intensive tactics such as cold calling prospects; prospects that are just not ready to buy are a huge time waste for sales teams. As a manufacturer, you know the sales need to be nurtured. Sales cycles are often measured in months and even years.

By utilizing the new account based marketing tools, your marketing and sales teams align, and greater focus is placed on engaging with prospects and customers. Below, learn what account based marketing is, and how HubSpot’s new tools can help your manufacturing company sell smarter, not harder.

What is Account Based Marketing?

 Account-based Marketing (ABM) is a growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales teams collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts. By establishing the same goal, an agreed-upon revenue goal, teams develop their own paths and tactics to ultimately arrive at the same result – more revenue.

Why Manufacturers Should Utilize Account Based Marketing

ABM boosts the marketing and sales process by allowing you to weed out less-engaged companies early on and ensure that marketing and sales teams are working on the most valuable prospects. As a result, your marketing and sales teams can better engage and build relationships with companies that are more likely to buy quicker and more efficiently. ABM helps you to personalize the buyer’s journey and tailor content, email campaigns and messaging by identifying the buyer’s motivations, goals, and habits through monitoring real-time data and engagement patterns. By utilizing an ABM strategy, manufacturers can expect to see an enhanced return-on-investment from marketing and sales strategies and greater customer loyalty.

How to Get Started with Account-Based Marketing Tools in HubSpot

●     Develop Your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP)

For those who have used HubSpot or an inbound marketing strategy for a while, these are similar to buyer personas, however, you build these around entire companies rather than individuals. Your ideal customer profile should include information regarding revenue, industry, location, and the size of the companies you’d like to target. HubSpot’s ABM software has an ICP-driven workflow (automated email) templates to help you identify common traits and classify companies in your database by how well they match the ICP you have developed.

●     Set Up Target Accounts

Once your ICP has been established, you will be able to set up target accounts in the ABM software. By tagging “Target Accounts” in your HubSpot platform, you can manage your audience from your new Target Accounts Dashboard. In the ABM software, once you’ve tagged an account as a “Target Account”, you will be able to rank them with an ICP Tier Property (Tier 1 for high priority to Tier 3 for lower priority accounts). The ABM software utilizes artificial intelligence target account recommendations which help manufacturers automate the researching process of finding good fit companies.

These types of tools will help you manage and then segment your lists so you can deliver personalized content to your target accounts. Once your ABM tools are activated, your HubSpot account automatically creates contact lists based on ABM contact and company properties from your existing database.

●     Create a Clear Plan for All Accounts

It is essential that there is a team put in place from both the marketing department and/or your marketing agency, and sales departments to make ABM effective. That way, your marketing team can develop a more personalized experience that reflects the same value propositions that your salespeople are using in their meetings, and that will put systems in place to close the deal quicker.

Interested in discussing how Account Based Marketing can help streamline your manufacturing sales strategy? At Felber PR & Marketing, we are a proud HubSpot partner agency and help our clients sell smarter not harder by utilizing account based marketing strategy and real-time data and analytics through HubSpot.


3 Manufacturing LinkedIn Posts That Drive Engagement

LinkedIn has more than 575 million users and provides manufacturing salespeople an incredible opportunity to share their voice, harness the power of content, and improve both their personal brand and company reputation. Often we are asked, “What should I post on LinkedIn?” Below, learn 3 styles of manufacturing-focused posts that you should utilize on your LinkedIn profile with some stellar real-life examples from manufacturers we admire!

Strong Manufacturing Post #1– The Interactive Experience

Tiffany Bryson, Direct Regional Sales Manager at Grob Systems, Inc. does an excellent job of providing value to her followers on LinkedIn.

The post above is an excellent example of an engaging post because:

  1. It’s interactive, offering a virtual plant tour.
  2. It’s educational.
  3. Comments and engagement are encouraged!

Providing your audience with a virtual tour is an excellent way to give them a peek behind the curtain of your processes, products, and innovative plant. Don’t have the budget for a virtual tour? No worries. Consider utilizing shorter videos of a unique process or area of your business and then, as Tiffany did, ask people to comment on what they learned!

Strong Manufacturing Post #2– Take a Stand

Nora Toure, founder of Women in 3D Printing, is a LinkedIn powerhouse (that you definitely should follow!)

This post is an excellent example of taking audience interaction to the next level because:

  1. It takes a stand about an important issue.
  2. It makes you think about ways to take action and find a solution.
  3. It encourages engagement with 3 thought-provoking questions.

Nora’s post is a great example of taking a strong stance on an industry issue in a respectful way. She stated the facts about the lack of women in her industry and implored her audience to help find a solution. Also, we love that instead of simply asking for suggestions on how to address the problem, she took it a step further by asking 3 thought-provoking questions. Clearly, as you can see from the screenshot, she had a considerable engagement on this post, and this screenshot was taken only 1 week after this post went live. We continued to see it on our feeds for over a month and the engagement continued to rise.

Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts on LinkedIn (as long as your post isn’t overtly political or religious, you’re fine!) Reshoring, the manufacturing talent gap, and the manufacturing supply chain amid COVID-19 are 3 different examples of current hot topics that you could take a stand on in a LinkedIn post. Also, consider using Nora’s 3 question approach on your future posts to encourage audience comments!

Strong Manufacturing Post #3– Problem & Solution

Matt Covele, Senior Sales Representative at ChemStation, does an excellent job of listening to the feedback and questions of his customers and then utilizing it as LinkedIn content.

Matt’s post is an excellent customer-focused example because:

  1. It addresses and answers a commonly asked customer question.
  2. It showcases Matt and his team’s expertise in a helpful and non-salesy way.
  3. It links to a LinkedIn Pulse article Matt wrote which is an excellent tactic to get his blog read by other LinkedIn users that could utilize his services.

Matt does an incredible job of educating his audience and building a relationship through trust. Instead of posting salesy content about why his company is the best, he chose to write from the perspective of his customers and address a common customer issue and how to fix it. We also love that he utilized LinkedIn Pulse to share this information.

If you have expertise in a certain area, we suggest writing a Pulse post, which is essentially LinkedIn’s version of articles, that can be self-published by members. 500-750 words are the perfect word count. Any more than that and your connections won’t read on.

By using appropriate keywords and hashtags, you can attract a much larger audience to your Pulse article, your personal LinkedIn page, and the company page. Recently the president of Felber PR & Marketing, Rob Felber wrote a Pulse post and the majority of his readers were 2nd connections! So it just goes to show that Pulse is a great way to expand your audience and build credibility and respect in your industry.

Struggling with what to write your first Pulse article about? We suggest you review social media and website form first. Look for themes of commonly asked questions and if you don’t already have content that addresses it, write it!

Interested in learning more about LinkedIn strategy. We recently launched our Leveraging LinkedIn 2.0 eBook, which will teach you everything from optimizing your LinkedIn profile to growing your network, and sales strategies. The eBook also includes helpful templates to help you along the way!

Related blogs:

5 Unique Ways to Prospect on LinkedIn

How to Create a Successful LinkedIn Content Marketing Strategy

How to Export Contacts from LinkedIn for Ultimate Sales Opportunities




5 Stellar Manufacturing Sales Qualifying Questions You Need to Use ASAP

Let’s face it, not every prospect is the right fit for your products or services. Utilizing qualifying questions in the sales process is key to helping you uncover if the prospect you are courting will result in new business. Are the questions you are using leading to a higher close rate?

Keep reading to learn 5 manufacturing sales qualifying questions we suggest using in your sales process. 

1. What is the manufacturing challenge you are trying to fix? 

Your manufacturing prospects are risk-averse, and they know that implementing a new product, or service can be a huge undertaking. If your prospect didn’t have a real problem or strong reason to make a switch, they wouldn’t. Do not assume you understand what they feel is their biggest pain. You need to ask questions and probe to uncover the real answer.

2. Have you tried another process/service to solve this issue in the past? If so, why do you think it didn’t work? 

Oftentimes, your prospect has tried other solutions before coming to you. Maybe they tried to solve the issue in-house, which caused them a considerable headache. Perhaps they tried another solution with a competitor, only to have that solution fail.

It’s important for you to have a crystal-clear understanding of what your prospect has tried in the past and why (they think) it didn’t work for the application or their company. That way, you know if the solution your company can offer will be a better fit for your prospect. Another key reason to understand why something failed is so the solution you (and by extension your company) is not tainted by their previous vendor experience; past failures, internally or externally, should not be associated with your offering.

3. If you make no changes, what will happen?

If your prospect answers, ‘it won’t make that much of a difference’, they do not have a strong conviction that your product or service is the solution. At this point, manufacturing salespeople can make the determination if this prospect should be disqualified as a lead or if there is an opportunity to explain the risk ahead. If you cannot uncover enough pain, you very well might not have a prospect.

4. How are decisions typically made on your team, and is there anyone else who will be involved?  

Asking your prospect to describe a similar purchasing decision will provide insight into their process, risk tolerance, and help uncover potential roadblocks. As a salesperson, there is nothing worse than when you think you are consulting with the final decision maker, only to find out there are more people that need to be brought into the decision. It is also important to understand who has budget authority on their team and the hierarchy of those participating. 

5. Are you currently considering other services as your solution? 

Many times, your prospect is considering multiple solutions. Maybe your prospect is considering you vs. your biggest competitor.  Or, are they discussing completely different processes targeting the same result. For example, maybe your prospect is considering your company (a die caster) vs. a 3D printing firm to produce their parts. You never know where the prospect is in their buying process unless you ask. For all you know, your prospect may have an offer on the table from your competitor but are feeling price pressure from upper management and need to present other options. Carefully listen to their response so that you can better understand where they are coming from and how to best guide in their decision-making process.

We hope you found our list of qualifying questions valuable. Whatever questions you choose to use in your sales process, make sure you customize them to fit your company and speak to your prospects in a way that will resonate with them. Taking the extra time to craft a strong list of qualifying questions your entire sales team can use ensures that you are all using the same messaging and have a clear understanding of how to evaluate if a prospect is actually a good lead. 

Related Blogs:

How to Adapt Your B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy for the COVID-19 World 

Incorporating Video Into Your B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy

How to Write Automated Sales Emails That Don’t Feel Generic

5 Marketing Tips B2B Manufacturers Should Implement Right Now

We hear it all the time. Manufacturers get a majority of their sales through word-of-mouth and loyal repeat customers. However, it is important now, more than ever, that manufacturers embrace the value of digital marketing. 

At Felber PR & Marketing, our clients leverage content and thought leadership principles to attract prospects, drive lead generation and sales, and retain customers. 

Learn 5 valuable strategies your B2B manufacturing company can utilize to get started developing a strong digital marketing strategy:

Develop a thought leadership strategy

In order for your company to see success with its marketing strategy, it is important to be positioned as a leader in your industry. To establish your manufacturing company as a thought leader, we recommend developing a strong content strategy. Tactics such as company blogging, expert interviews, white papers, hosting or sponsoring webinars on industry ‘hot topics’, or exhibiting at notable trade shows help position your company as a trusted leader and expert in your industry. 

Leverage PPC (pay-per-click) ads, social media advertising, and SEO

A strong content strategy, when combined with PPC ads, social media advertising, and SEO, is essential for digital marketing success. By utilizing these tactics, you can ensure that your prospects, customers, and potential employees can find your company online. 

We have many B2B manufacturing clients who are currently utilizing digital advertising to generate strong, qualified leads. (We’re also practicing what we preach for our own lead generation – and it’s working beautifully!) Social media advertising (primary LinkedIn ads) has been especially valuable for our clients as this is the leading B2B social media platform for the industrial sector. 

When meeting with new manufacturing clients, more often than not, they tell us that they are or have utilized digital ads and saw an uptick in traffic. However, when we go further and ask how many of those website visitors converted as a lead by filling out a form, more often than not, the ads aren’t generating conversions.

Consider all this great traffic coming to your front door (website), but it’s 5:55 pm, lights are out and the door is bolt locked. Leads cannot get in! Consider our free Inbound marketing assessment to discuss your situation now, for free.

Develop a consistent schedule of content 

A strong content strategy with relevant, engaging content is the foundation of digital marketing and lead generation. A consistent content strategy helps manufacturers stay at the top of search engine results and also, solidifies your brand’s position as an industry thought leader. 

To create a sound content marketing plan, it is essential that you take the time to identify your ideal customers and uncover their unique goals and challenges. That way, you can write content that addresses your ideal prospects and helps you speak their language. This process is called creating buyer personas. Buyer personas help manufacturers identify their best prospects. The profile of your best prospect and how they buy is the buyer’s journey. Read Why Your Content Strategy is Failing (Content Mapping 101)

Once you’ve identified the buyer personas you would like to attract to your brand and eventually, close as a customer, develop a running list of content ideas that would appeal to that ideal buyer. Then, develop a content map to ensure you follow through with your new content ideas and develop a consistent stream of content! 

Don’t underestimate the power of video

Video is a powerful tool to show your audience your products, the innovative machines, and processes utilized at your plant. Additionally, we highly recommend incorporating video case studies to showcase the value of working with your company.

 Manufacturing case studies are an amazing way to show your prospects and customers your skills and capabilities. Case studies add third party credibility and could be the difference between your prospects choosing you over working with a competitor! Don’t think your customers would be willing to participate in case studies? Check out our blog “How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies” for helpful tips!

Focus on engaging current customers

While digital marketing is a great tactic to attract new prospects and customers, it’s also an incredible tool for customer retention. Develop email campaigns to target existing customers offering high-level technical content, helpful resources, and product discounts. Also, we recommend having existing customers participate in a yearly survey. Take the time to develop a survey where your customers can explain why they work with you, what you can improve upon, and what content they enjoy receiving. Then, you can tailor your content strategy, sales efforts, and messaging to not only keep current customers happy but also, attract similar prospects!

Check out these helpful related blogs to learn how to revamp your B2B manufacturing marketing strategy:

My Dog Doesn’t Know There’s a Pandemic

A recent distraction that did some good. Prayers from Maria – Sunflower Fields of Hope

Arriving home recently from another long day, I was greeted by my dog Rolo, stubby tail wagging as always. Rolo is a Pitbull mutt rescue with the most peaceful disposition (unless you’re a squirrel, rabbit, or chipmunk).  She doesn’t know there is a pandemic nor do I think she would care. She still gets two walks a day, a full bowl every morning and evening, and unlimited access to the couch and TV (yes, she watches TV).

It reminded me that we need to pause and enjoy these moments. We’re bombarded 24/7 with bad news. We never know what the next day will bring, and we know we have friends, neighbors, and colleagues going through tough times.

So, today’s Tactic Thursday departs from business, education, or tactics. Just a reminder to find those moments. Find the time for yourself. For me, working out, using the “breathing” app on my iWatch, and just falling into the couch at the end of the day with one of those Marvel movies I never took the time to watch helps. No, the pandemic and our business challenges are not going away. But, they can for a few minutes.

Let’s make this a place where we share our distractions. What are you doing to stay balanced?

Post or comment, perhaps with a photo of how you are distracting yourself from the daily stress.

Best of the Felber PR & Marketing Blog

At Felber PR & Marketing, content development has been our bread and butter since 1993. We were early adopters of blogging and you can search our company blog posts back to 2008! While the world has changed tremendously since then, much of our manufacturing content is as relevant today as it was back then. Keep reading to see some of our best blogs from the last 12 years!

Best Inbound Marketing Content

Felber PR helps business to business manufacturers impact lead generation with inbound marketing and has been a proud HubSpot Agency Partner Since 2016. Check out our client reviews in the HubSpot Partner Directory! Over the years, we’ve posted considerable content on inbound marketers for manufacturers. 

Here are a few of our favorites: 

  1. The 5 Biggest Inbound Marketing Mistakes Manufacturers Make 
  2. How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing CEO to Invest in Inbound 
  3. Why Manufacturers Should Utilize HubSpot
  4. Why Your Pay-Per-Click Ads Aren’t Working
  5. Why Manufacturers Should Invest in Digital Advertising Right Now 


Best Public Relations Content 

Public Relations is at the core of everything we do. Since 1993, our firm has represented business-to-business manufacturers and given them the recognition they deserve. Public relations tactics remain a powerful tool to improve brand awareness, establish manufacturers as thought leaders, and drive better prospects to your website. 

Here are some of our best PR blogs: 

  1. Why Manufacturers Need PR in a Digital World
  2. Manufacturing Media Interviews: How to Ace Them
  3. How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects
  4. Extend the Reach of Your Media Hits with Social Media
  5. Trade Shows for Manufacturers – Maximize the Three Most Important Stages

Best Manufacturing Sales Content

At the end of the day, sales are the bottom line B2B manufacturers. We are a sales-focused PR and inbound marketing agency. We work with our clients to automate their sales process through great targeted content, email automation, and real-time data.

Here are some of our best sales blogs: 

  1. How to Write Automated Sales Emails that Don’t Feel Generic
  2. Automating the Manufacturing Sales Process with Inbound Marketing 
  3. How to Adapt Your B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy for the COVID-19 World
  4. How to Create Downloadable Content Offers that Generate Leaders
  5. Why Video Should Be a Part of Your Manufacturing Sales Strategy


Best of the Felber PR & Marketing eBooks

At Felber PR & Marketing, we believe that knowledge is power and we strive to educate our customers on the B2B manufacturing marketing and sales best practices. We compiled eBooks to share our best-kept secrets.

Check out our best eBooks below: 

  1. The Industrial Manufacturer’s Guide to Inbound Marketing
  2. Trade Shows for Manufacturers eBook
  3. The Manufacturer’s Guide to Public Relations
  4. Leveraging LinkedIn for Manufacturers 2.0 eBook

We hope you enjoyed this walk down memory lane of our ‘best of the blog’ over the years. Interested in learning more about B2B manufacturing marketing and sales? Subscribe to Tactics Thursday to receive a new sales or marketing tactic every week!

Forbes: On CRM: When To Buy HubSpot, And When Not To

When to Buy HubSpot and When Not to Buy

We love HubSpot, but it’s not for everyone. Forbes Magazine contributor Gene Marks does an excellent job of breaking down the most often asked question, “should my company buy HubSpot?”


“HubSpot is one of those sales and marketing platforms that, when mentioned, always raises questions from my clients. Is it a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system? Is it just for marketing? The answer is both. It’s an excellent, cloud-based marketing and CRM platform. But whether it’s right for your company depends not so much on what HubSpot does, but what you’re able to do with it.”

Read the full article here

Additional resources:

HubSpot Products, a platform for growth

HubSpot pricing


3 Business-to-Business Manufacturing Lead Generation Strategies That Work

Are you a manufacturer seeking to connect with prospects, increase brand awareness, and generate qualified leads that ultimately convert into customers? Keep reading to learn 3 B2B manufacturing marketing strategies that can help you do that!

1.Utilize Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Brand’s Following

Manufacturing decision-makers more often than not will make purchasing decisions based upon recommendations from industry experts and their peers. Many of our manufacturing clients have seen success by utilizing influencer marketing strategies. 

To start, meet with your marketing and sales teams to make a running list of industry influencers. Industry influencers are not necessarily individuals with gigantic social media followings; rather they are people who are considered ‘thought leaders’. 

We suggest ‘micro-influencers’, meaning industry leaders with under 10,000 followers on their social media channels, but with high engagement from their audience (which aligns with YOUR target audience or “persona”.) 

Contact your target list of influencers to discuss collaborating via guest blogging, co-presented webinars/events, and social media post strategy. When reaching out to influencers, it is important to have a clear understanding of what marketing tactics would be mutually beneficial. 

2. Develop an Event Marketing Strategy

Events are tried and true ways to generate leads and close sales. However, it is important to have a clear strategy behind your events. When considering participating or hosting events, start with your goal in mind. For example, if your goal is to build stronger relationships with prospects and shorten the sales cycle, self-hosted events like webinars, small-group plant tours, or live video demos could be a great option. If your marketing goal is growth, large events like trade shows or conferences can generate a large number of leads. 

At the forefront of any successful event is the promotion strategy. Pay-per-click ads or social media advertising (especially on LinkedIn), could be a great way to generate new leads from your events, while email marketing is the best way to get existing prospects in your database to register for your event. 

Once you’ve started your event, encourage your audience to post about it on social media, further impacting registrations and getting the buzz started. 

3. Enhance Lead Capture and Email Automation

It is essential to have a strong lead capture strategy to identify who is on your website and then, have a solid email automation strategy prepared to nurture those leads and turn them into customers. For more, read our blog The Power of an Automated Marketing, Sales, and Service Platform. 

Our clients utilize HubSpot to automate their sales process. HubSpot is a powerful tool that captures leads in one easy-to-use platform, and tracks all contact interactions back to their first visit to your website.  Valuable information for your sales team, such as the contact’s website page views, content read or downloaded, and email read is automatically logged. 

When a prospect fills out a form on your websites, that prospect will automatically be enrolled into a workflow (automated email campaign) based upon the product, service, or topic that prospect is interested in. Thus nurturing the prospect and building a relationship, all the while providing interesting, relevant and informative content. 

At the core of what we do, we believe that each prospect should have a personalized experience with your brand. By utilizing the lead generation strategies in this blog, your manufacturing company will build brand awareness, generate better leads, and close them as customers quicker and more efficiently. 

Check out these helpful related blogs to learn for great B2B manufacturing marketing tips!

Podcast interview: Pursuing Media & Press Releases in a Digital Age

One of the most rewarding benefits of being part of the HubSpot community is the selfless peer to peer support. There are as many HubSpot partner agencies as there are niche markets to serve. Agencies and their owners go out of their way to help each other with strategy, technical hurdles even live prospect sales calls. One of the coolest, most energetic and giving partners is Alysha Dominico from Tangible Words. Alysha resides just north of me in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Last “American” Thanksgiving, before the world entered into the Twilight Zone, we had a fun and carefree discussion about digital marketing and public relations. We joked about chicken and waffles at my daughter’s college (never imagining that fun little midnight-delight would succumb to some virus we never heard about yet).

We discussed three key strategies:

  • Press Releases & Media Coverage vs. Inbound Marketing
  • What to Do When Press Releases Do Not Get Picked Up
  • The Personal Touch in Business and Why It’s Crucial During Tough Times

Have a listen and enjoy

Podcast interview: Pursuing Media & Press Releases in a Digital Age

Tangible Words and the entire blog post can be viewed here. 


PR for Manufacturers