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're listening to marketing spark, the podcast that features conversations with marketers and entrepreneurs in the 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 engage recruis on Linkedin, Joel has seventy threezero followers and for anyone looking to establish a network and thought leadership on Linkedin, check out Joel's posts and comments. Welcome to marketing sparked, Joel. Great to be a mark. Appreciated having me 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, when and how did you decide to really jump into the fray? Yeah, so I originally joined the platform back in two thousand and eleven, which is right around the time that I was finishing up college. I had a friend who was in the recruitment space that ended up actually being a CEO later on in life, 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. It is now, but I jumped on there and and I remember just doing an internship. It was like a sales and marketing internship, and I just spent a whole summer just connecting with people. I noticed that, you know, once you get to those five hundred plus connections, then it just says five hundred plus and and so that was my goal one summer. So I spent by from like two thousand and eleven two thousand and twelve, I was building up my network basically just randomly connecting with people because I didn't really have anybody in my professional network. And then I put it down until two thousand and fifteen when I jumped into recruitment. That same person who recommended I jumped on a linkedin started a recruitment agency and at that time I was in banking and he just suggested like hey, you should...

...come work for my startup and my recruitment 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 two thousand 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. Like I was literally connecting with people to recruit them. And then in two thousand and nineteen, or near the end of two thousand and nineteen, I just started getting really interested in this concept of using content to attract candidates and attract clients. And you know, I was in recruiting. It's like half of it as sales, half of it is is recruit recruitment, and even recruitment itself is kind of like sales. And I just started seeing lots of messages from people on the news feed on Linkedin saying if you create content, if you're showing up, you can start to attract inbound business. And at the time the agency, the recruitment agency IES with their pretty progressive in terms of their recruitment model, but when it came to marketing and branding, like most recruitment 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 and produce 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 two thousand and nineteen, and ever since then I've been posting at times, three times 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 the platform works. But yeah, that's so that that's kind of my journey and that's taken me to obviously lots of podcasts, lots of connecting with different leaders within the recruitment space. I'd my own podcast which I'm able to set up just through linkedin and having a linked in...

...presence, and then I did spend the last nine months coaching recruitment teams across the globe on how they could strategically use the platform, how they could use content really as a way to kind of bring accountability to the work they're doing, is recruit as recruiters, but then also getting their name out there more and set rating themselves in really what's super competitive market, and it's becoming even more competitive in two thousand and twenty one and going into two thousand and twenty two. I'm curious about how your use of Linkedin has evolved of the last couple of years. Obviously, when you started in late two thousand and nineteen, it was almost like you were going against the grain. It wasn't something that HR professionals or recruiters used in the way that you were leveraging it. Can you provide some insight into how you started and some of the ways that you've evolved your strategy as the platform has 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 little marketing that was done, even by the marketing team. Think a lot of the 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 a recruitment space, it's just such a sales focused world and so I didn't really have anybody to follow on unlike what really constituted good linkedin content other than the people I was connecting with, connected with and and the content that was showing up on my news feed. So definitely the first few few months it was a 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's posting like a motivational quote and I'm seeing...

...it go viral I'm seeing getting a lot of likes and comments, that that was basically what I was doing and and really just kind of learning how to write an effective story, learning how to write like short and punchy thoughts and and almost, you know, sharing some 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 am somewhat still open to that. But yeah, it was. It was just really like a lot of like seeing what other people were doing and then just trying to like emulate that. First, and that was really probably the first three 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 time people were 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 I started and then I started to evolve into you probably at that six month mark I started to realize that you can't just post like motivational we you can just post motivational stuff. Obviously this people who do that, but if you if you want to actually connect with a people and you want to connect with prospects, then you've got to produce content that they're going to be into and that 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 and that was a lot of looking at what are the problems with recruitment or or, more specifically, once I moved into coaching, recruiters, like what are the issues that they have with producing content and what are the issues that they have 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 and a half, that was I kind of had like a focus on valuable content and then mixing that with personal content as...

...well. And I think the personal content is is a tough one because, you know, I think we all know, on Linkedin there's a lot of the just kind of made up personal stories, or it seems like that. It seems like people will just post personal stories just to get more views, because that happens. But I think for me, like I just I saw like if I could be myself in my content and then as I went out and met people, whether that was at and networking event or whether it was just a sales call. If if they felt like they knew me and then the person they met was the same person 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 now I think my strategies changed again and and I think, you know, even just like looking at value, like I think there's a lot of really valuable content 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 posting really valuable things but it's not actually that valuable to people. So I've just kind 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 so I started to look at like what what could I be posting that would be relatable to recruiters, and so now a lot of what I post is kind of poking fun at the recruitment process as a whole and then looking at just like 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 think that on Linkedin, like you said, initially lots and lots more people have joined on the platform and that's different people...

...who have kind of got frameworks for what works on Linkedin, and so we're see a lot of people with like very similar content and and so I just felt it was time like switch things up and see if I can stand out by creating content that's going to be relatable and fun for recruiters and it's going to get them interested in going to my profile as well. And so I use my profile now as more of a landing page than using my content as kind of the vehicle to sell and get my message across with. That makes sense. Yeah, I think the lesson or the inside that you're offering is that the platform evolves and as it becomes noisier and more competitive to attract the spotlight, content creators new to evolve as 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 keep moving forward. I did want to ask you, as well as how you've evolved 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 really hasn'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 of a change on linked in and just a really massive change in work culture as a whole. And I think obviously the pandemic is just change things, it's just change the landscape of work in just a major way and I think like this idea of this great resignation and great reshuffle and people just almost reprior to prioritizing like what work is to them, and so I think like Linkedin has kind of mirrored that. So I've seen the platform change with definitely a lot more 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 posting personal content, you still stuck out a lot compared to most of the content as out there. But now that that's the norm, I think people have gotten bolder talking about social issues and social injustice. I think people have gotten bolder about just their own brand in their own voice and and so I just think it's just been more of a shift to just relevant content on Linkedin as well, 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 linkedin news like they basically used a post and my post was all about kind of how I'd over embraced also culture and and I was taken some time away with my family and they took the they took the post and kind of made it their own, which is fine. I wasn't like necessarily thrilled about that because they kind of missed the heart of what the post was. But I've seen like the editors on Linkedin paying a lot more attention to the contents, being pretty duce. I think as far as the content, as far as the platform evolving, I think they're realizing that they're probably losing money on the linkedin recruiter side because there's a lot of competition now for that business. And so now they're really seeing the news feed, which was doing great. I mean they think they made three point six billion on ads last year, but I think 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 pick up 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 investment in 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. With all that being said, though, I still think there's a big opportunity for people like even if they're just starting out,...

...because because it's just this kind of weird fear that people have with linkedin and like putting themselves out there on there that you don't see with other platforms, and because of that, there's still opportunity for people to get themselves out there. There's still a lot of opportunity to connect with people. I think the danger is. There's a lot of just again like coaches and training programs, which I've been involved in those as well, but there's a lot of those where they'll teach you like a a systematic formula to use. I I I would kind of stay away from that and try and figure out what works for you, what works for your audience and what your audience responds well to and and, you know, definitely take advice from other people, but not not to the point where you're just doing exactly what they do. I think that's that's kind of the danger that I see right now with the platform. I do want to talk about the recruiting and HR landscape and do want to dive into this idea of the the big resignation movement, whether it's myth the reality. But before we move on from 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 on each 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 and then it's been pretty disappointing so far. I'm I'm honest of that writing linkedin posts every day. I think initially like writing post every day can be helpful and I would say like every day would be Monday through Friday. But I've really found a sweet spot with three to five posts a week. I think that is enough for from most people. Linkedin articles, I would say don't waste your time with them unless unless say...

...they drastically change it. I wouldn't waste time on articles that I'd much more focus on just kind of like regular news feed posts, video. I was going to say stories and but they nix that. So but yeah, I would stay away from articles or focusing a ton of articles linkedin groups, groups, groups that I think I wouldn't waste the 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. Much more focus if you're going to do a group, trying to connect with people and get them to like a discord or different server where the notifications are a lot 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 niche down 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 specific question for electrical engineers, can be a great way to actually start conversations with people. 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 follve views is really, really low, which would signify like people don't really care who made the poll. They'll just click a button, you know. So I I'm a fan of him if you know how to use them and if you 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 your profile, which which for me, is a major metric that you need to consider 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 on Linkedin, I probably spent two hours a day just commenting on other people's and networking and like and building up that network. So I think comments are probably the area that people give the at least amount of effort to. But for me, the comments, and this is like on all platforms, with maybe the exception of Tick Tock, but I feel like comments are probably the best way to connect with people in general. And finally, this may be different because you're a nature recruiter. The Need to accept or your approach to connection 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 to k because a really wellknown influencer had said you got it, gets K. so, like your follow a follow button, we'll show up when you produce content. I've actually been going through and getting rid of connections that just aren't valuable, which is basically people 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 am 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 basis for decisions and you definitely shouldn't just connect with everyone. To me, that's a sure fireway just to get spammed nonstop over and over on the platform. One final question linkedin related. When you think about life beyond Linkedin, what your thoughts about other platforms that people, people like as professionals, should consider? I, like, I think you should be on every platform, to be...

...honest, because I just think that, like I think the challenges is a time allocation for each one. So you'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's where recruiters do the majority of that business. But I think, like no, understanding trends on other platforms is a big deal. And even with with Tick Tock, like a lot of people have just been on the fence with it and kind of writing it off. And I'm not saying you need to like necessarily even produce content on there, but just be aware of like what's actually going on, and what you find is a lot of the trends on a platform like tick tock, they end up like they end up in other places and and then you wonder like well, why, you know, why is this ad like this on TV? And if you know the trend from Tick Tock, then you can start to understand like where the influence is really coming 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 know how a people connecting on different platforms. So I think if Linkedin is where the majority of your clients are, then yeah, definitely spend a lot of 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 evolving as well, and I think it's just helpful to understand, understand why and understand about each platform, to be honest. Okay, that's great. I appreciate you all your insight into linkedin. Let's Turk sits to the work landscape and I do want to talk about the great reserve resignation. Two Thousand and twenty one the idea that covid has forced a lot of people to take stock of where they're at in terms of their professional and personal lives and many people are reloading in terms of their careers and...

...what they want to do. What's your take on the great resignation? Is it this wave? Is it overblown by 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's hiring, which, which obviously is can be, is a good thing, but there's just a lack of people who are a willing to work, because it's across sectors, like it's not just it. It's not just one in particular field that people are struggling to find people with. It's like across the board. So it's like retail is really struggling, manufacturing is struggling. You know, 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 of the population that just aren't willing to work or just they're not motivated work right now. And then I think within like yeah, I guess more of like the quote unquote professional roles. We're seeing a different type of thing where we're seeing people being able to work from other places. And so you can, you could work like, for example, I just got a job at a company that's based in Chicago. I lived two hours away. I'm not nowhere near 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 work life balance are meet mean a lot more to people and that's causing a lot of people to think, you know, do I just want my whole life to 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's just 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 skills gap 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 like eat. You know, it's easy for me to see because I work for crucis all the time and I probably had two to three hundred conversations this year with recruitment owners, so owners of recruitment agencies, and they all busier than can 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 and a half ago nobody was really hiring or they didn't really know what was going to 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 to just it just in general, where there's a lot of people who are deciding to retire, which is opening up a lot of opportunities for, you know, for people coming into the works workplace as well. But then that creates a whole different set of challenges with just the mindset of somebody who's Gen z compared to somebody who's a millennial. Everyone has different mindsets and values, work differently, and so I think this is just it's such a complex such a complex issue, but it's definitely real and I think like the news definitely hype stuff 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 seeing fast 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 continue to see a challenge with hiring for the next couple of years and it would just be interesting to see how tack adapt to things like I think like the push for like self driving vehicles and those types of things are going to be huge 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 designing to help with that. It's definitely a crazy time for crude as in general and I think most businesses. The other thing I have to ask you about is the 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 are people who want to work in the office. They want that interaction, the socialization, the the stimulation. When you talk to companies that are looking to recruit employees, you know what's the bouncing act that they have to think about when it comes to people who don't want to work at home or people who should work at home, versus corporate culture and making sure 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 the whole new way that people may want to work and where they want to work? Yeah, I mean personally, I've worked promote the last six years and the company I worked for for as I got into recruitment, they were fully remote organization and their culture was great, and so I think the approach, to me, it's just always about the leadership and it's if the leaderships willing to embrace remote work and they're willing to embrace like offsite meetings and the facilitating conversations 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 you can do well with with a culture and create a good culture I think the challenges. You know, there's a lot of different people that want different things in the situation. So I think 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 to go to, the definitely be investing in, like we work, spaces and places that people can still get together. But ultimately, I think the big shift 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 just want what they want nowadays and they almost have the power to be able to do that, and so I think leadership and companies managers kind of got understand that 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 now and 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 got to involve people who are actually on the front line, like what do you guys want or the things that we can be doing, and kind of be humble and realize, like you probably don't know what's best for your people unless you're involve them in the conversation. And again, like, if you're just making 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 levels and then again, you just got to be willing to make shifts and kind of figure it out as you go along and be okay with getting input from other people as well. So, yeah, but at to your point like I do. I mean, how do you keep a culture remotely? I think it's definitely. I think it's possible, for sure, I still but I think you have to then you've got to have like offsite meetings, you've got to have teams meeting together. facetoface somewhat regularly. I mean that that's what I've seen work well and to me,...

...like the ultimate is just being able to 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 big shift that's happened as well, like I think companies really want people to feel like they belong, but I think, like I think people are even just questioning, like why is that? Like is my does my company need to really be my family, or can I just kind of go in and do my thing and then spend time on things that I care about outside of work as 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 and their grandparents like slave away and not really get that much out of the end end of it, and so I think people looking for like balance with those things 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 work landscape. Of alls. Thanks for all the great insight. You all working people learn more about you and what you do. Yeah, I would rinkedin definitely the the plates to find me, but if you just search my name you can find me on all platforms, and I'd say Linkedin's probably the place that I'm most active, but I'm probably easy to get a hold of on a platform like twitter, where I'm not as engaged, my dms are not bursting through the seams. But yeah, if you get ahold of me there and then you know if you're going to send a connection request. Just in the message for the the personalized invite just mentioned. You heard me on the podcast and I'm happy to accept and you know, always happy to connect to meet with people offline as well well. Thanks for listening to another episode of marketing spark. If you enjoyed the conversation, please leave a review, subscribe by Itunes, 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 sparkcom or connect with me on the day.

I'll talk to YOU STIF.

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