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. 

Hi, it's Mark Evans and you'relistening to marketing spark, the podcast that features conversations with marketers and entrepreneurs inthe trenches. Joel lousually is the best recruiter to follow on Linkedin. Well, that's his linked in profile description. One of the most active and engagerecruis on Linkedin, Joel has seventy threezero followers and for anyone looking to establisha network and thought leadership on Linkedin, check out Joel's posts and comments.Welcome to marketing sparked, Joel. Great to be a mark. Appreciated havingme out of today. I'd like to begin by talking about your linkedin journey. When did you first get on the platform and, as important, whenand how did you decide to really jump into the fray? Yeah, soI originally joined the platform back in two thousand and eleven, which is rightaround the time that I was finishing up college. I had a friend whowas in the recruitment space that ended up actually being a CEO later on inlife, but he had advised me is like you've got to get on Linkedin, and that was before it was really I think obviously it's popular. Itis now, but I jumped on there and and I remember just doing aninternship. It was like a sales and marketing internship, and I just spenta whole summer just connecting with people. I noticed that, you know,once you get to those five hundred plus connections, then it just says fivehundred plus and and so that was my goal one summer. So I spentby from like two thousand and eleven two thousand and twelve, I was buildingup my network basically just randomly connecting with people because I didn't really have anybodyin my professional network. And then I put it down until two thousand andfifteen when I jumped into recruitment. That same person who recommended I jumped ona linkedin started a recruitment agency and at that time I was in banking andhe just suggested like hey, you should...

...come work for my startup and myrecruitment start up. I didn't have any experience in in recruiting at that time, but obviously so much recruitment nowadays is done on Linkedin. So in twothousand and fifteen I started again building up the network, connecting with people,and then this time I had a little bit more purpose with it. LikeI was literally connecting with people to recruit them. And then in two thousandand nineteen, or near the end of two thousand and nineteen, I juststarted getting really interested in this concept of using content to attract candidates and attractclients. And you know, I was in recruiting. It's like half ofit as sales, half of it is is recruit recruitment, and even recruitmentitself is kind of like sales. And I just started seeing lots of messagesfrom people on the news feed on Linkedin saying if you create content, ifyou're showing up, you can start to attract inbound business. And at thetime the agency, the recruitment agency IES with their pretty progressive in terms oftheir recruitment model, but when it came to marketing and branding, like mostrecruitment agencies, they weren't really doing anything. So I thought, you know what, if I can figure out a way to get myself out there andproduce another channel for a kick to be able to attract candidates and clients,I want to give it a go. And and so that was September twothousand and nineteen, and ever since then I've been posting at times, threetimes to day, but now I'm showing up about five times a week.Of Change My strategy, you know, as I've kind of learned how theplatform works. But yeah, that's so that that's kind of my journey andthat's taken me to obviously lots of podcasts, lots of connecting with different leaders withinthe recruitment space. I'd my own podcast which I'm able to set upjust through linkedin and having a linked in...

...presence, and then I did spendthe last nine months coaching recruitment teams across the globe on how they could strategicallyuse the platform, how they could use content really as a way to kindof bring accountability to the work they're doing, is recruit as recruiters, but thenalso getting their name out there more and set rating themselves in really what'ssuper competitive market, and it's becoming even more competitive in two thousand and twentyone and going into two thousand and twenty two. I'm curious about how youruse of Linkedin has evolved of the last couple of years. Obviously, whenyou started in late two thousand and nineteen, it was almost like you were goingagainst the grain. It wasn't something that HR professionals or recruiters used inthe way that you were leveraging it. Can you provide some insight into howyou started and some of the ways that you've evolved your strategy as the platformhas evolved and has and have more people have jumped on the platform as well? Yeah, yeah, I mean when, you know, when I started,like said, I I've in a recruitment agency and there was very littlemarketing that was done, even by the marketing team. Think a lot ofthe marketing that was done was kind of more traditional, which obviously still works, like writing blogs and Seo and and but with you know, within arecruitment space, it's just such a sales focused world and so I didn't reallyhave anybody to follow on unlike what really constituted good linkedin content other than thepeople I was connecting with, connected with and and the content that was showingup on my news feed. So definitely the first few few months it wasa lot of kind of like monkey see, monkey do, where you know,if somebody's posting something that's, you know, inspirational story, or somebody'sposting like a motivational quote and I'm seeing...

...it go viral I'm seeing getting alot of likes and comments, that that was basically what I was doing andand really just kind of learning how to write an effective story, learning howto write like short and punchy thoughts and and almost, you know, sharingsome Mu's. Definitely sharing someone like my personal story within that as well.Like it was pretty open initially with with sharing my personal story and I amsomewhat still open to that. But yeah, it was. It was just reallylike a lot of like seeing what other people were doing and then justtrying to like emulate that. First, and that was really probably the firstthree to six months I was on the platform, platform creating it was.I did a lot more video as well, because I seemed like at that timepeople were doing a lot more video and like video is kind of emergingon the platform as well. And Yeah, so I think that that's where Istarted and then I started to evolve into you probably at that six monthmark I started to realize that you can't just post like motivational we you canjust post motivational stuff. Obviously this people who do that, but if youif you want to actually connect with a people and you want to connect withprospects, then you've got to produce content that they're going to be into andthat they're going to find valuable. And its whole idea then of well,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 or, more specifically, once I moved into coaching, recruiters, like what arethe issues that they have with producing content and what are the issues that theyhave in their marketing strategy and how can I start to address those issues directly? And and so I'd say for at least a year, a year anda half, that was I kind of had like a focus on valuable contentand then mixing that with personal content as...

...well. And I think the personalcontent is is a tough one because, you know, I think we allknow, on Linkedin there's a lot of the just kind of made up personalstories, or it seems like that. It seems like people will just postpersonal stories just to get more views, because that happens. But I thinkfor me, like I just I saw like if I could be myself inmy content and then as I went out and met people, whether that wasat and networking event or whether it was just a sales call. If ifthey felt like they knew me and then the person they met was the sameperson that they felt they knew, I actually saw that as a really,really powerful way to just build a net work with people. So so nowI think my strategies changed again and and I think, you know, evenjust like looking at value, like I think there's a lot of really valuablecontent out there and I think the value content is something that still works.But I also just think that a lot of times you can think you're postingreally valuable things but it's not actually that valuable to people. So I've justkind of switched my whole focus now to really looking at like relatable content,and I'm trying to reach recruiters. That's who I'm who I'm actually recruiting,is I'm recruiting recruiters. Now I'm back in the recruitment space, and soI started to look at like what what could I be posting that would berelatable to recruiters, and so now a lot of what I post is kindof poking fun at the recruitment process as a whole and then looking at justlike really frustrating events that happen as a recruiter and basically put you know,almost like playing just it just more like entertainment taining content, I think,is where I'm going. A lot of that just to do with I thinkthat on Linkedin, like you said, initially lots and lots more people havejoined on the platform and that's different people...

...who have kind of got frameworks forwhat works on Linkedin, and so we're see a lot of people with likevery similar content and and so I just felt it was time like switch thingsup and see if I can stand out by creating content that's going to berelatable and fun for recruiters and it's going to get them interested in going tomy profile as well. And so I use my profile now as more ofa landing page than using my content as kind of the vehicle to sell andget my message across with. That makes sense. Yeah, I think thelesson or the inside that you're offering is that the platform evolves and as itbecomes noisier and more competitive to attract the spotlight, content creators new to evolveas well. So if for using the same trick over and over again,eventually it's going to get stale. So the ideas that you got to keepmoving forward. I did want to ask you, as well as how you'veevolved in terms of your use of Linkedin, how you think the platform has evolved, because there are a lot of people who would contend that linkedin reallyhasn't changed that much over the last two years. It is what it is. There's a formula for success that Linkedin and it's parent company, Microsoft,has embraced. And you know, why change things when they're working well?What's your take? Yeah, I mean I think I think it's less ofa change on linked in and just a really massive change in work culture asa whole. And I think obviously the pandemic is just change things, it'sjust change the landscape of work in just a major way and I think likethis idea of this great resignation and great reshuffle and people just almost reprior toprioritizing like what work is to them, and so I think like Linkedin haskind of mirrored that. So I've seen the platform change with definitely a lotmore personal content, where it used to...

...be if you were posting personal content, you definitely stuck out and even two years ago, like if you're postingpersonal content, you still stuck out a lot compared to most of the contentas out there. But now that that's the norm, I think people havegotten bolder talking about social issues and social injustice. I think people have gottenbolder about just their own brand in their own voice and and so I justthink it's just been more of a shift to just relevant content on Linkedin aswell, like even the news feed. I've noticed that like they featured,they featured a post of mine as like you know, featured editor post.I don't know even know what they call it, but it was on linkedinnews like they basically used a post and my post was all about kind ofhow I'd over embraced also culture and and I was taken some time away withmy family and they took the they took the post and kind of made ittheir own, which is fine. I wasn't like necessarily thrilled about that becausethey kind of missed the heart of what the post was. But I've seenlike the editors on Linkedin paying a lot more attention to the contents, beingpretty duce. I think as far as the content, as far as theplatform evolving, I think they're realizing that they're probably losing money on the linkedinrecruiter side because there's a lot of competition now for that business. And sonow they're really seeing the news feed, which was doing great. I meanthey think they made three point six billion on ads last year, but Ithink they're seeing that news feed with everything that's going on with facebook in particular, I think they're seeing like linkedin has a major opportunity to kind of pickup a lot of a lot of people who are just sick of facebook,for example, and so I think we're going to see a lot more investmentin like life shows a lot more investment into creatives as well on a platform. So be interesting to see how that how that evolves with that. Withall that being said, though, I still think there's a big opportunity forpeople like even if they're just starting out,...

...because because it's just this kind ofweird fear that people have with linkedin and like putting themselves out there onthere that you don't see with other platforms, and because of that, there's stillopportunity for people to get themselves out there. There's still a lot ofopportunity to connect with people. I think the danger is. There's a lotof just again like coaches and training programs, which I've been involved in those aswell, but there's a lot of those where they'll teach you like aa systematic formula to use. I I I would kind of stay away fromthat and try and figure out what works for you, what works for youraudience and what your audience responds well to and and, you know, definitelytake advice from other people, but not not to the point where you're justdoing exactly what they do. I think that's that's kind of the danger thatI see right now with the platform. I do want to talk about therecruiting and HR landscape and do want to dive into this idea of the thebig resignation movement, whether it's myth the reality. But before we move onfrom Linkedin, I do want to rapid fire around on some of the things, some of those sort of elements to linked to Linkedin, quick comments oneach one of them. If you're okay with that. You ready for this? Yeah, let's go. Great. Let's start with creator mode. UNSURE, unaware they're going with that. I think it was a big rollout andthen it's been pretty disappointing so far. I'm I'm honest of that writing linkedinposts every day. I think initially like writing post every day can be helpfuland I would say like every day would be Monday through Friday. But I'vereally found a sweet spot with three to five posts a week. I thinkthat is enough for from most people. Linkedin articles, I would say don'twaste your time with them unless unless say...

...they drastically change it. I wouldn'twaste time on articles that I'd much more focus on just kind of like regularnews feed posts, video. I was going to say stories and but theynix that. So but yeah, I would stay away from articles or focusinga ton of articles linkedin groups, groups, groups that I think I wouldn't wastethe effort in building one right now because it just it's a notifications.That's that's an issue. But they keep talking about kind of reviving linkedin groups, 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 at ad. Muchmore focus if you're going to do a group, trying to connect with peopleand get them to like a discord or different server where the notifications are alot better. Topic that attracts a lot of polar views. Poles. Hey, I I'm actually I'm a fan of Poles. If you if you nichedown and you've got a really select market you trying to reach, for example, like if you were recruiting electrical engineers and you have like a really specificquestion for electrical engineers, can be a great way to actually start conversations withpeople. I think if you're just going to use it just to get views, the conversion from Poles and like pulls a gun viral to like pro follveviews is really, really low, which would signify like people don't really carewho made the poll. They'll just click a button, you know. SoI I'm a fan of him if you know how to use them and ifyou can convert them. But if you're literally just doing them just reviews,it's not you get the views, but you won't get the conversion of yourprofile, which which for me, is a major metric that you need toconsider the value and necessity of making comments.

Oh Yeah, I think to me, to me, the comments are at times more powerful than content.I think, especially when you're starting out, like when I started creating content onLinkedin, I probably spent two hours a day just commenting on other people'sand networking and like and building up that network. So I think comments areprobably the area that people give the at least amount of effort to. Butfor me, the comments, and this is like on all platforms, withmaybe the exception of Tick Tock, but I feel like comments are probably thebest way to connect with people in general. 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 changed as well. Like originally it was your race tok because a really wellknown influencer had said you got it, gets K. so, like your follow a follow button, we'll show up when youproduce content. I've actually been going through and getting rid of connections that justaren't valuable, which is basically people who aren't active on the platform that I'mconnected with. So if I was to rebuild those connections, it's looking atit and going what can I do for this person or, like you know, are they are they going to am I going to be able to providevalue to them, are they going to be able to provide value? Tome, that should be the basis for decisions and you definitely shouldn't just connectwith everyone. To me, that's a sure fireway just to get spammed nonstopover and over on the platform. One final question linkedin related. When youthink about life beyond Linkedin, what your thoughts about other platforms that people,people like as professionals, should consider? I, like, I think youshould be on every platform, to be...

...honest, because I just think that, like I think the challenges is a time allocation for each one. Soyou've got just got to think, like what's your ultimate goals the platform?So for me, like Linkedin's and obvious one because I'm a recruiter and that'swhere recruiters do the majority of that business. But I think, like no,understanding trends on other platforms is a big deal. And even with withTick Tock, like a lot of people have just been on the fence withit and kind of writing it off. And I'm not saying you need tolike necessarily even produce content on there, but just be aware of like what'sactually going on, and what you find is a lot of the trends ona platform like tick tock, they end up like they end up in otherplaces and and then you wonder like well, why, you know, why isthis ad like this on TV? And if you know the trend fromTick Tock, then you can start to understand like where the influence is reallycoming from. So same with twitter. Like I'm on twitter as well,like you know, and obviously I'm super late to the game on that,but I just find it really interesting to understand like what, what are they? What are the subjects that are trending? And then, overall, you knowhow a people connecting on different platforms. So I think if Linkedin is wherethe majority of your clients are, then yeah, definitely spend a lotof time on the platform, but keep open the platforms as well and,like you said, like Linkedin's evolving, a lot of other platforms are evolvingas well, and I think it's just helpful to understand, understand why andunderstand about each platform, to be honest. Okay, that's great. I appreciateyou all your insight into linkedin. Let's Turk sits to the work landscapeand I do want to talk about the great reserve resignation. Two Thousand andtwenty one the idea that covid has forced a lot of people to take stockof where they're at in terms of their professional and personal lives and many peopleare reloading in terms of their careers and...

...what they want to do. What'syour take on the great resignation? Is it this wave? Is it overblownby the media? What are you seeing sort of in the trenches right now? Everybody's hiring like crazy, so every company, including recruitment companies. Everybody'shiring, which, which obviously is can be, is a good thing,but there's just a lack of people who are a willing to work, becauseit's across sectors, like it's not just it. It's not just one inparticular field that people are struggling to find people with. It's like across theboard. So it's like retail is really struggling, manufacturing is struggling. Youknow, there's a massive supply chain, as you now with truck drivers.So there's like part of it is is I think there's a large part ofthe population that just aren't willing to work or just they're not motivated work rightnow. And then I think within like yeah, I guess more of likethe quote unquote professional roles. We're seeing a different type of thing where we'reseeing people being able to work from other places. And so you can,you could work like, for example, I just got a job at acompany that's based in Chicago. I lived two hours away. I'm not nowherenear the city, and so, like cost of living is a lot lower. So I think we're seeing a lot of people realize it. Hey,if I can live somewhere that's not as expensive and still keep that same job, I'm going to do that. I think priorities in terms of like worklife balance are meet mean a lot more to people and that's causing a lotof 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 and but then, at the end of the day too, that'sjust a massive skill shortage when it comes to, you know, tech skills, like and you know, whether it's like APP developers, a software engineers, that's just a massive lack of talent...

...out there and as a massive skillsgap within the population as well. So I think, like I definitely,I mean it definitely is a real thing and it's evident to see and likeeat. You know, it's easy for me to see because I work forcrucis all the time and I probably had two to three hundred conversations this yearwith recruitment owners, so owners of recruitment agencies, and they all busier thancan be. It's a great time for them in a lot of ways.And the shift from a year and a half ago, which was year anda half ago nobody was really hiring or they didn't really know what was goingto happen in the future. That's flipped on its head. Everybody's hiring now. It's hard to find candidates and I think we just seeing a shift tojust it just in general, where there's a lot of people who are decidingto retire, which is opening up a lot of opportunities for, you know, for people coming into the works workplace as well. But then that createsa whole different set of challenges with just the mindset of somebody who's Gen zcompared to somebody who's a millennial. Everyone has different mindsets and values, workdifferently, and so I think this is just it's such a complex such acomplex issue, but it's definitely real and I think like the news definitely hypestuff because that's what they love to do. But I think we're seeing it,and I'd be surprised with anyone who's listening to this if you're not seeingfast food places offering signing sign up bonuses. Like if you drive down the street, you see twenty hiring now hiring signs, and it that everywhere.So yeah, I think it's going to be I think we're going to continueto see a challenge with hiring for the next couple of years and it wouldjust be interesting to see how tack adapt to things like I think like thepush for like self driving vehicles and those types of things are going to behuge and like even just automating stuff that...

...we see in fast food restaurants andkind of retail work. I think we can see more automation that's designing tohelp with that. It's definitely a crazy time for crude as in general andI think most businesses. The other thing I have to ask you about isthe work from home phenomena. A lot of people have enjoyed working from home. There's no commute as far less stressful. On the other hand, there arepeople who want to work in the office. They want that interaction,the socialization, the the stimulation. When you talk to companies that are lookingto recruit employees, you know what's the bouncing act that they have to thinkabout when it comes to people who don't want to work at home or peoplewho should work at home, versus corporate culture and making sure people feel likethey're part of a team and and infused with purpose. How does a HRperson or how to companies in general navigate the the whole new way that peoplemay want to work and where they want to work? Yeah, I meanpersonally, I've worked promote the last six years and the company I worked forfor as I got into recruitment, they were fully remote organization and their culturewas great, and so I think the approach, to me, it's justalways about the leadership and it's if the leaderships willing to embrace remote work andthey're willing to embrace like offsite meetings and the facilitating conversations internally and their facilitationfacilitating like just time to connect with the team that's not work related online andvirtually I think you can, I think you can do well with with aculture and create a good culture I think the challenges. You know, there'sa lot of different people that want different things in the situation. So Ithink my advice to people is, if...

...you don't want to invest in,like in an actual office that people can go to or have the option togo to, the definitely be investing in, like we work, spaces and placesthat people can still get together. But ultimately, I think the bigshift that we're seeing that we were just alluding to is, I think people, I think candidates and just employees in general, they just want they justwant what they want nowadays and they almost have the power to be able todo that, and so I think leadership and companies managers kind of got understandthat mind shift where the candidates are the ones who are in demand right now. Work is hard to find and and quality employees are hard to find,so you kind of have to cater to them. You got to listen,you got to be empathetic. 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 remote work thing is kind of sexy right nowand it's a kind of like a cool thing that you can offer employees.But you know, I can tell you from experience with the remote work,like you end up working a lot more and it's a lot more draining.So I think you have to as like a leadership and company, you gotto involve people who are actually on the front line, like what do youguys want or the things that we can be doing, and kind of behumble and realize, like you probably don't know what's best for your people unlessyou're involve them in the conversation. And again, like, if you're justmaking like a decision and saying we're just going to do this to me,that's dangerous. I think you've got to you got to involve people all levelsand then again, you just got to be willing to make shifts and kindof figure it out as you go along and be okay with getting input fromother people as well. So, yeah, but at to your point like Ido. I mean, how do you keep a culture remotely? Ithink it's definitely. I think it's possible, for sure, I still but Ithink you have to then you've got to have like offsite meetings, you'vegot to have teams meeting together. facetoface somewhat regularly. I mean that that'swhat I've seen work well and to me,...

...like the ultimate is just being ableto decide, like do I need to go in the office? No, great, I won't go in. If I want to go in,give me somewhere that I can go, where I can interact with people,and then also, like, I just think like at this is a bigshift that's happened as well, like I think companies really want people to feellike they belong, but I think, like I think people are even justquestioning, like why is that? Like is my does my company need toreally be my family, or can I just kind of go in and domy thing and then spend time on things that I care about outside of workas well? And I think we're going to see more and more of that, because people, I think, I have just seen like their parents andtheir grandparents like slave away and not really get that much out of the endend of it, and so I think people looking for like balance with thosethings as well, and we'll see more and more of that as well.So that's fascinating times and it would be very interesting to see how they worklandscape. Of alls. Thanks for all the great insight. You all workingpeople learn more about you and what you do. Yeah, I would rinkedindefinitely the the plates to find me, but if you just search my nameyou can find me on all platforms, and I'd say Linkedin's probably the placethat I'm most active, but I'm probably easy to get a hold of ona platform like twitter, where I'm not as engaged, my dms are notbursting through the seams. But yeah, if you get ahold of me thereand then you know if you're going to send a connection request. Just inthe message for the the personalized invite just mentioned. You heard me on thepodcast and I'm happy to accept and you know, always happy to connect tomeet with people offline as well well. Thanks for listening to another episode ofmarketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, please leave a review, subscribe byItunes, spotify or your favorite podcast APP and share by social media.To learn more about how I helped BEDB SASS companies as a fractional CMOS,which Dick, advisor and coach, send an email to mark and marketing sparkcomor connect with me on the day.

I'll talk to YOU STIF.

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