Insight About LinkedIn from a Power User

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Over the past 19 months, a growing number of people have embraced LinkedIn as a platform to make connections, drive conversations, and share content.

Among the most successful is Joel Lalgee , a professional recruiter, who has more than 73,000 followers. 

In this episode of Marketing Spark, Joel looks at how LinkedIn has evolved and how his approach to LinkedIn has changed.

It's great insight from someone who has clearly seen huge ROI from LinkedIn.

Joel also talks about the "Great Resign" movement that has dominated the work landscape, as well as the challenges and opportunities of working from home. 

Is Mark Evans and you're listening tomarketing spark the podcast that features conversations with marketersand entrepreneurs in the trenches to losely is the best recruiter to followalong, like Dad Wow. That's just like the probosition one of those activeengage. Joel has seventy three thousand followers for anyone looking toestablish a network and thought leadership on Lincoln check out Joe'sposts and comments. Welcome to market spark to great B A mark appreciate. Youhave me out today I'd like to begin by talking about yourlinked in journey. When did you first get on the platform and as importantwhen and how did you decide to really jump into the fray yeah? So I originally joined theplatform back in two thousand and eleven, which it is right around the time that I wasfinishing up college. I had a friend who was in the recruitment space that ended up actually being a CEOlater on in life, but he had advised me he's like you've got to get on Linkedin,and that was before it was really, I think, obviously as popular. It isnow, but I jumped on there and- and I remember just doing an internship. Itwas like a sales and marketing internship and I just spent a wholesummer just connecting with people. I notice that you know once you get to those fivehundred plus connections, then it just says five hundred plus and and so thatwas my goal one summer. So I spent five from like two thousand and eleven twothousand and twelve. I was building up my network, basically just randomlyconnecting with people, because I didn't really have anybody in myprofessional network and then I put it down until two thousand and fifteen when I jumpedinto recruit men that same person who recommended that jumped on to linkedinstarted a recruiting agency, and at that time I was in banking and he justsuggested like hey, you should come...

...work for my start up and my recruitmentstarted up. I didn't have any experience in recruiting at that time, but obviously so much recruitmentnowadays is done on linked in so in two thousand and fifteen. I started againbuilding up the network connecting with people and then this time I had alittle bit more purpose with it like I was literally connecting with people torecruit them and then in two thousand D, nineteen or near the end of twothousand and nineteen. I just start getting really interested in thisconcept of using content to attract candidates and attract clients, and you know I was in recruiting it's likehalf a bit of sales. Half of it is, is recruit recruitment and even recruitingitself is kind of like sales, and I just started seeing lots of messagesfrom people on the news feed on Linkedin, saying hey. If you createcontent, if you're showing up you can start to attract inbound business andat the time the agency, the recruitment agency ELS with they're prettyprogressive in terms of their recruitment model. But when it came tomarketing and branding like most recruitment agencies, they weren'treally doing anything. So I thought you know what, if I can figure out a way toget myself out there and produce another channel for I to be able to track candidatesand client, I want to give it a go and- and so that was September, two thousandand nineteen and ever since then I've been posting at times three times today, but now I'm showing up about five times a week. Ave changed my strategy.You know, as I've kind of learned, how the platform works, but yeah that sothat's kind of my journey and it's taken me to obviously lots of podcastlots of connecting with different leaders within the recruitment space. Ihave my own podcast, which ive able to set up just through linked in andhaving a linked in presents, and then I...

...did spend the last nine months,coaching recruitment teams across the globe on how they could strategicallyuse the platform. How they could use content really is a way to kind of bring accountability to thework they're doing as re as recruiters, but then also getting their name outthere more and separating themselves in really what's a super competitivemarket and it's becoming even more competitive in two thousand and twentyone, and going in to two thousand and twenty two I'm curious about how youruse of Lindon has evolved of the last couple of years. Obviously, when you started in late two thousandand nineteen, it was almost like- you were going against the grain. It wasn'tsomething that HR professionals or recruiters use in the way that you wereleveraging. It can you provide some insight into how you started and o some of the waysthat you've evolved. Your strategy as the platform has evolved and has andhad more people have jumped on the platform as well yeah yeah, I mean whenyou know when I started like I said I was in a recruitment agency and therewas very little marketing that was done even by the marketing team. I think alot of the marketing that was done was kind of more traditional, whichobviously still works, like writing, blogs, and so and and but with you know,within the recruitment space. It's just such a sales focused world, and so Ididn't really have anybody to follow, unlike what really constituted goodlinking content other than the people I was connecting with connected with andand the content that was showing up in my news, feed. So definitely the firstfew months. It was a lot of kind of like monkey, see monkey do where youknow. If somebody's posting- something that's, you know inspirational story orsomebody's posting like a motivational...

...quote and I'm seeing it go viral, I'mseeing getting a lot of likes and comments. That was basically what I wasdoing and really just kind of learning how towrite an effective story. Learning how to write like short and punchy thoughts,and almost you know, sharing some one. Definitelysharing someone like my personal story within that as well like it was prettyopen initially with with sharing my personal story- and I am somewhat stillopen to that, but yeah it was. It was just reallylike a lot of like seeing what other people were doing and then just tryingto like emulate that at first and that was really probably the first three tosix months. I was on the platform platform creating it was. I did a lot more video as well, becauseit seemed like at that time. People was doing a lot more video and, like video,is kind of emerging on the platform as well and yeah. So I think that that's where Istarted and I started to evolve into you, probably at that six month mark Istarted to realize that you can't just post like motivational way. You canjust post motivation stuff. Obviously there's people who do that. But if you,if you want to actually connect with people- and you want to connect withprospects, then you've got a produce content that they're going tobe into and that they're going to find valuable and his whole idea than ofwell. How do I produce valuable content started to kind of get on my radar, andthat was a lot of looking at what are the problems with recruitment or ormore specifically, once I moved into coaching recruiters like what are theissues that they have with producing content and what are the issues thatthey have in their marketing strategy? And how can I start to dress thoseissues directly and, and so I'd say for at least a year a year and a half thatwas, I kind of had like a focus on...

...valuable content and then mixing that with personal content aswell, and I think the personal content is a tough one, because you know, Ithink we all know UN linked in there's a lot of le just kind of made uppersonal stories, or it seems like that. It seems, like people will just prosepersonal stories just to get more views, because that happens. But I think forme, like I just I saw like if I could be myself in my content and then as Iwent out and met people, whether that was it a networking event or whether itwas just a sales call. If if they felt like they knew me and then the personthat he met was the same person that they felt the new. I actually saw thatas a really really powerful way to just build a network with people. So so nowI think my strategies changed again and- and I think you know even just like lookingat value like- I think, there's a lot of really valuable content out thereand I think the value content is something that still works, but I alsojust think that a lot of times you can think you're posting really valuablethings, but it's not actually that valuable to people so I've just kind ofswitched. My health focus now to really looking at like relatablecontent and I'm trying to reach recruiters. That's who, who I'm actually recruiting,is I'm recruiting recruiters now, I'm back in the recruitment space, and so Istarted to look at like what what could I be posting that would be relatable torecruiters and so now a lot of what I post is kind of poking fun at the recruitmentprocess as a whole and then looking at just like really frustrating eventsthat happen as a recruiter and, basically put you know, almost likeplaying just just more like entertainment,tining content, I think, is where I'm going a lot of that just to do with. Ithink that I linked in, like you, said, initially lots and lots more peoplehave e joined on the platform and...

...there's different people who have kindof got frameworks for what works on linked in, and so we see a lot ofpeople with like ray similar content and- and so I just felt it was time tolike switch things up and see. If I can stand out by trading content, that's going to berelatable and the fun for recruiters, and it's going to get them interested in going to my profile aswell, and so I use my profile now is more of a landing page than using mycontent as kind of the vehicle to sell and get my message across. If thatmakes sense yeah, I think the lesson or the insight that you're offering isthat the platform evolve and as it becomes noisier and morecompetitive, to attract the spotlight content creators new to evolve as well.So, if you're using the same trick over and over again, eventually it's goingto get stale. So the idea is that you got to keep moving forward. I did wantto ask you, as well as how you've evolved in terms of your use of linked in howyou think the platform has evolved, because there are a lot of people whowould contend that linkedin really hasn't changed that much over the lasttwo years. It is what it is, there's a formula for success that linked in andits parent company. Microsoft has embraced, and you know why changethings when they're working well, what's your take yeah, I mean, I thinkI think it's less, of a change on linked in and just a really massivechange in work, culture as a whole, and I think obviously the pandemic is right,just change things. It's just changed the landscape of work in just the major way- and I thinkyou know this idea of this great resignation and great reshuffle and people just almost re prior to prioritizing like what work is tothem, and so I think, like Linkedin, has kind of mirrored that so I've seena platform change with definitely a lot...

...more personal content where it used tobe. If you were posting personal content, you definitely stuck out andeven two years ago, like if you're posting personal content, you stillstuck out a lot compared to most of the content as out there. But now thatthat's a norm, I think people have gotten bolder talking about socialissues and social injustice. I think people have gotten bolder about justtheir own brand and their own voice, and- and so I just think- that's justbeen more of a shift to just relevant content on Linton as well like even thenew speed. I've noticed that, like they featured they featured a post or mindas like a you know, featured editor post. I don't even know what they callit, but it was on linkedin news like they basically used a post, and mypulse was all about kind of how I'd over embraced, hosileculture, and I was taking some time away with my family and they took the they took the post andkind of made it their own, which is fine. I wasn't like necessarilythrilled about that because they kind of missed the heart of what the postwas. But I've seen like the editors on linked in paying a lot more attentionto the content as being produced. I think, as far as the content as far asthe platform of volting, I think they're realizing that they're probablylosing money on the linked in recruiter side, because there's a lot ofcompetition now for that business, and so now they're really seeing the newsfeed, which was doing great, I mean they think they made three point sixbillion on ads last year, but I think they're, seeing that news speed with everything that's going on withfacebook in particular, I think they're, seeing like linked in, has a majoropportunity to kind of pick up a lot of a lot of people who are justsick of facebook, for example, and so I think we're going to see a lot more.Investment in like life shows a lot more investment into creators as wellon a platform, so I'll be interesting to see how howthat evolves. With that with all that being said,though, I still think there's a big...

...opportunity for people like, even ifthey're, just starting out, because because it's just this kind of weirdfear that people have with linked in and like putting themselves out thereon there that you don't see with other platforms and because of that, there'sstill opportunity for people to get themselves out. There there's still alot of opportunity to connect with people. I think the danger is there's a lot ofjust again like coaches and training programs, which I've been involved inthose as well, but there's a lot of those where they'll teach you like asystematic formula to use. I I would kind of stay away from thatand try and figure out what works for you. What works for youraudience and what your radience responds well to and- and you know, definitely take advice fromother people, but not not to the point where you're just doing exactly whatthey do. I think that's that's kind of the danger that I see right now withthe platform. I do want to talk about the recruitingand HR landscape and do want to dive into this idea of the of the bigresignation movement, whether it's myth of reality, but before we move on fromlinked- and I do want to a rapid fire round on some of the things, some ofthe sort of elements to link to linked in quick comments on each one of them.If you're, okay, with that you're ready for this yeah, let's get great, let'sstart with creater mode, unsure unaware they're going with it. Ithink it was a big roll out and then that's been pretty disappointing. Sofar, ere modest with that writing linked in posts every day, I think initially, like writing postsevery day, can be helpful and, I would say, like every day would be Mondaythrough Friday, but I've really found a sweet spot withthree to five posts a week. I think that is enough for most people linked in articles. I I would say, don't waste your timewith them...

...unless, unless they they drasticallychange it, I wouldn't waste time on articles. I had much more focus on justkind of like regular news feed posts, video. I was going to say stories then, butthey nix that so but yeah. I would stay away from articles or focusing a ton inarticles linked in groups. Groups groups that I think I wouldn't wastethe effort in building one right now, because it just it's the notificationthat that's an issue, but they keep talking about kind of reviving LintonGroup, so there could be valued down the road. But again it's like articles.I probably wouldn't waste a ton of time on groups that had much more focus ifyou're going to do a group trying to connect with people and get him to likea discord or a different server, where the notifications are a lot better, atopic that attracts a lot of polar views. Poles, Hey, I'm! Actually, I'm a fan of Poles.If you, if you neef down and you've, got areally select market that you trying to reach, for example like if you wererecruiting electrical engineers- and you have likea really specific question for electrical engineers- can be a greatway to actually start conversations with people. I think, if you're justgoing to use it just to get views the conversion from Poles and like pulls ofgun viral to like profile views, is really really low, which would signifylike people, don't really care who made the pole. They'll just click a button. You know, so I I'm a fan of him if youknow how to use them and if you can convert in them, but if you'reliterally just doing them just reviews, it's not. You know you get the views, but youwon't get the conversion of your profile, which, for me, is a majormetric that you need to consider...

...the value and necessity of makingcomments. Oh Yeah, I think to me to me thecomments are at times more powerful than content. I think, especially whenyou starting a like when I started creating content on Linkedin. Iprobably spent two hours a day, just commenting on other people's andnetworking and like and building up that network. So I think comments are probably thearea that people give the least amount of effort to. But for me the comments-and this is like on a wall platforms with maybe the exception of Tick Tock,but I feel, like comments are probably the best way to connect with people ingeneral. And finally, this may be differentbecause you're a nature recruiter the need to accept or your approach toconnection request and I'm sure you get a lot of them yeah I mean this is completely changedas well like. Originally, it was raced a third because a really well knowninfluencer had said you got to get through to CA. So, like your follow, Ifollow but no shop when you produce content, I've actually been going through andgetting rid of connections that just aren't valuable, which is basicallypeople who aren't active on the platform that I'm connected with. So if I was to rebuild those connections,it's looking at it and going. What can I do for this person or, like you know,are they are they going to? Are I going to be able to provide value to them?Are they going to be able to provide value to me that should be the basisfor decisions, and you definitely shouldn't just connect with everyone to me. That's a sure fire way just toget spammed non stop over and over on the platform. One final question linked and related when you think about life beyondLinkedin. What are your thoughts about other platforms that people people likeas Professional Sud? Consider I, like,...

I think you should be on every platform.To be honest because I just think like, I think the challenge is: is a timeallocation for each one, so you've got us got to think like what'syour ultimate goal of platform. So for me like Linton's, an obvious one,because I'm a recruiter and that's where recruiters do the majority of thebusiness, but I think like no understanding,trends on other platforms is a big deal and even with with Tick Tock like a lotof people have just been on the fence with it and kind of writing it off, andI'm not saying we need it like necessarily produce content on there,but just be aware of like what's actually going on, and what you find isa lot of the trends on a platform like tick tock. They end up like they end upin other places and and then you wonder like why you know why is this ad likethis on TV and if you know the trend from Tick Tock, then you can start tounderstand like where the influence is really coming. From so same with twitter, like I'm ontwitter as well like you know, and obviously I'm super late to the game onthat, but I just find it really interesting to understand like whatwhat are the? What are the subjects that are trending and then, overall, you know how are people connecting ondifferent platforms, so I think, if Linton is where the majority of yourclients are, then yeah definitely spend a lot of time on the platform, but keep open. The platforms as welland, like you said, like Linton's, involving a lot of other platforms, areevolving as well, and I think it's just helpful to understand, understand why and understand abouteach platform. To be honest, okay, that's great appreciate all yourinsight into linked in let's turn sites to the war landscape, and I do want totalk about the great re resignation, two thousand and twenty one. The ideathat coved has forced a lot of people totake stock of where they're at in terms of their professional and personallives and many people are reloading in...

...terms of their careers and what theywant to do. What's your take on the greatresignation? Is it this wave? Is it overblown by the media and what are youseeing sort of in the trenches right now? Everybody's hiring likecrazy to every company, including recruitment companies. Everybody'shiring, which, which obviously is can be, is a goodthing, but there's just a lack of people who are willing to work becauseit's a cross sectors like it's not just it. It's not just one in particularfield that that people are struggling to find people with it's like acrossthe board. So it's like retail is really struggling. Manufacturing isstruggling. You know, there's a massive supplychain in you now with truck drivers. So there's like part of it is, I think,there's a a large part of the population that just aren't willing towork or just a not motivated to work right now and then I think within likeyeah, I guess more of like the quote, quote professional roles, we're seeinga different type of a thing where we're seeing people being able to work fromother places, and so you can you could like, for example, I just gota job in a company, that's based in Chicago. I live two hours away, I'm notnowhere near the city and so like cost of living is a lot lower. So I thinkwe're seeing a lot of people realize it hey I if I can live somewhere, that'snot as expensive and still keep that same job. I'm going to do that. I thinkpriorities in terms of like work. Life balance at me mean a lot more to peopleand that's causing a lot of people to think you know. Do I just want my whole lifeto be given to a career, and what am I actually getting out of it so, but anat the end of the day, too, there's just a massive skill shortage when itcomes to you know, tech skills like, and youknow whether it's like AP developers of...

...software engineers, there's just amassive lack of talent out there and as a massive skills gap within thepopulation as well. So I think like I definitely I mean it. Definitely is areal thing and it's evident to see and like you, you knowit's easy for me to see, because I work for crugers all the time and I probablyhad two to three hundred conversations this year with recruitment owners, soowners of recruiting agencies, and they are all busier than can be it it's agreat time for them in a lot of ways and the shift from a year and a halfago, which was a year and a half ago, nobody was really hiring or they didn'treally know what was going to happen in the future. That's flipped on its headeverybody's hiring. Now it's hard to find candidates and then and then Ithink we just see in a shift to just just in general, where there's a lot ofpeople who are deciding to retire, which is opening up a lot ofopportunities for you know for people coming into theworks work place as well, but then that creates a whole different set ofchallenges with just the mindset of somebody who's Genz compared tosomebody who's a millennial. Everyone has different mindsets and values workdifferently, and so I think this is. Is it's such acomplex compliance issue, but it's definitely real and I think,like the news, definitely hyped up because that's what they love to do,but I think we're seeing it and I'd be surprised with anyone who's. Listeningto this, if you're not seeing fast food places offering signing sign up bonuseslike if you drive down the street, you see twenty hiring now hiring scienceand that everywhere so yeah. I think, there's going to be. I think we're going to continue to seea challenge with hiring for the next couple of years, and it will just be interesting to see howtack adapts to things like, I think, like the push for like self drivingvehicles and those types of things are going to behuge and like even just automating...

...stuff that we see in fast food,restaurants and kind of retail work. I think we can see more automation,that's designed to help with that. It's definitely a crazy time for recruitersin general and I think most businesses. The other thing I have to ask you aboutis the work from home phenomena. A lot of people have enjoyed working fromhome, there's no commute far less stressful. On the other hand, there arepeople who want to work in the office. They want that interaction, thesocialization, the the stimulation. When you talk to companies that arelooking to recruit employees, you know, what's the balancing act,that they have to think about when it comes to people who don't want to workat home or people who should work at home versus corporate culture andmaking people feel like they're part of a team and and infused with purpose,how does a HR person or how to companies in general navigate the thewhole new way that people may want to work in where they want to work? Yeah I mean personally, I've worked forabout the last six years and the company I worked for for as L as I gotinto recruitment, they were a fully remote organization and their culture was great, and so I thinkthe approach to me. It's just always about theleadership and it's if the leaderships willing to embrace remote work andthey're willing to embrace like off site meetings and the that facilitatedconversations internally and their facilitation, facilitating like just time to connect with the team.That's not work related online and virtually, I think you can. I think youcan do well with with culture and and create a good culture. I think thechallenges you know there's a lot of differentpeople that want different things in the situation. So I think my advice topeople is,...

...if you don't want to invest in, like inan actual office that people can go to or have the option to go to anddefinitely be investing in, like we work spaces and places that people canstill get together. But ultimately, I think the big shiftthat we're seeing that we were just alluding to is, I think, I think,candidates and just employees in general. They just want they just wantwhat they want nowadays, and they almost have the power to be able to dothat, and so I think leadership in companies managers. You kind of got tounderstand that mine shift where the candidates are the ones who are indemand right now. Work is hard to find and and quality employees are hard tofind. So you kind of have to cater to them. You got to listen, you got to beempathetic, you know if you're going to make changes, involve your employees,ask them what they want and to your point, like, I think, the whole remotework thing is kind of sexy right now and it's a kind of like a cool thingthat you can offer it employees, but you know I can tell you from experiencewith remote work like you end up working a lot more and it's a lot moredraining. So I think you have to as like a leadership and company you'vegot to involve people who are actually on a for line like well. What do youguys want? What are the things that we can be doing and kind of be humble andrealize, like you probably don't know, what's best for your people unlessyou're involved them in the conversation and again like if you're, just makinglike a decision and saying we're just going to do this? To me, that'sdangerous, I think you've got a you got to involve people all levels and thenagain you just got to be willing to make shifts and kind of figure it outas you go along and be okay with getting input from other people as wellso yeah. But to your point like I, do I mean? How do you keep a culture remote?I think it's definitely. I think it's possible for sure I t, but I think youhave to then you've got to have like offside meetings. You've got to haveteams meeting together face to face somewhat regularly. I mean that's whatI've seen work well and to me, like the...

...ultimate is just being able to decidelike do. I need to go in the office? No Great, I won't go in if I want to go ingive me somewhere that I can go where I can interact with people and then alsolike. I just think like this is a big shift. That's happened as well like. Ithink companies really want people to feel like they belong, but I think,like I think people are even just question. Like why is that, like is my?Does my company need to really be my family, or can I just kind to go in anddo my thing and then spend time on things that I care about outside ofwork as well, and I think we're going to see more and more ofthat, because people, I think, have just seenlike their parents and their grandparents like slave away and notreally get that much out of the end of it, and so I think people are lookingfor like balance with those things as well and we'll see more and more ofthat as well. So that's fascinating times and it'll bevery interesting to see how they work. A landscape evolves thanks for Ale,great insight, your wore. Can people learn more about you and what you do yeah. I would rink in definitely theplace to find me, but if you just search my name, you could find me onoil platforms and I'd say linked ans, probably the place that I most active,but I'm probably easier to get a hold of on a platform like twitter, whereI'm not as engaged. My D, MS, are not bursting through the scenes, but yeah.If you get a hold of me there, and then you know, if you're going to send aconnection request just in the message for the for the personalized invitejust mentioned. You heard me on the podcast that I'm happy to accept, andyou know always happy to connect to me with people offline as well. Thanks for listening to another episodeof marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, please leave a reviewsubscribed by I tune spot by or your favorite podcast tap and share viso eto learn more about how I help TB SASS companies as a fractional cos O to oadvisor and coach, then an email to mark and marketing spark co or backwith me.

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