LinkedIn Unleashed: JD Gershbein's Strategies for Corporate Escapees

LinkedIn Unleashed: JD Gershbein's Strategies for Corporate Escapees


Welcome back to the Corporate Escapee Podcast. I'm your host, Brett Trainor. Today I'm welcoming JD Gersh bind to the podcast. JD is a LinkedIn specialist since 2006, so he knows what he is talking about. It's the founder of Oish Communications, which I love. That name publishes a weekly newsletter called the LinkedIn Style Guide.

Again, must read for folks that are struggling on LinkedIn. Uh, JD has also been published in the Huffington Post, Forbes and N B NBC Plus has appeared as a guest speaker on TV and radio across the country. Also, a performer of improvisational sketch comedy at Chicago's fame, second City, which we're definitely gonna come back to that one.

welcome, jd. Welcome to the show. Did I miss anything?

JD: Hey Brett. Uh, I'd like to say that I did escape from a corporate environment, but that's not the case. But, uh, I know a little something about, uh, what goes into those types of escapes, so I'm glad to be here. Thanks so much for having me.

Brett: No, I'm excited. I'm definitely excited. It's what we were chatting a little bit before the, before we hit record and you tried to get into corporate but couldn't. So I'm like, man, it's a blessing in disguise.

JD: right.

Brett: personal opinion, but,

maybe just to help the audience a little bit, tell people what your main focus is today and who you work with, and then we'll, we'll get into it.

JD: Sure. And, and thank you kindly. Um, I came to LinkedIn in 2006 and I've never shut up about it since. So I never thought my story would be of interest to anyone, but, uh, As I came into greater awareness about what this platform could do and started to write about it and speak about it, I basically conjured a consultancy out of thin air in a very short period of time.

So when I saw LinkedIn, uh, at first, I, I came in early adoption. About the 20 million or so user mark. I was writing website copy, uh, doing SEO work at a time when people were looking to get to page one of Google in a search category outside their name. Uh, it wasn't as constantly as it is now and it wasn't nearly as competitive as it is now.

So I had the time to kind of go on my own and look at this thing very carefully and saw something in it. Brett, there was something that really appealed to me. And I rode the wave, uh, even when there was no way to ride wa Wave to Ride. And, and nobody was ringing the phones, uh, retaining me for the services I provide today.

So, uh, as LinkedIn moved forward and kind of, uh, Exploded out of its, uh, perception as solely a job seeker site and into business development. I was there and I was talking to business people and just built a name and an identity for myself through this platform. I, I'm witness to, its transformational power, and that's, uh, what I bring to the table today and I work with.

Uh, executives, owners, uh, advisors, physicians and high impact corporate contributors who, who are struggling with LinkedIn and who feel that they're not making an impact, um, in their careers and, and want more. And they, they kind of feel that, uh, the LinkedIn train is passing them by. So,

Brett: I hear from a lot of folks, well, I haven't been on LinkedIn, it's, it's too late. Just because they see people with, you know, 30,000 followers and all that. I'm like, I don't think it's too late, but I love your perspective right now. What the best time to join was 2006. The next best time is today. Is that fair?

JD: Well, it's never too late to join LinkedIn, and you never know the value of a professional network or community until you're confronted with the urgency of using it. And that's really what we saw at the onset of the pandemic, where so many people who neglected or postponed or abstained from LinkedIn altogether were suddenly thrust into the virtual world and they had to do something, uh, and they had to.

Play catch up and it's tough to play catch up. They should have been building the network or the infrastructure all along and, uh, making the necessary changes to their profile quickly or pacing with real time. So we're more nomadic than ever before. Now, uh, is there such a thing as job security? Probably not.

So it behooves one to really look at this asset, this document, the LinkedIn profile, and really, uh, Tend to it. Uh, you can't do the hunting until you do the farming. And if you go out there looking for a new career, greener pastures or new business and build your book, uh, it's all gonna come down as to how you represent yourself in your LinkedIn profile.

That's where we are today with the importance of this document.

Brett: Yeah, I think that that's such good advice and I think you and I. Share a philosophy of no hacks, right? It's to build a fundamental approach to LinkedIn and, not a necessarily a tips and tricks guy, but you're more the, the foundational on how do we build a good strategy with, with

JD: Mm-hmm.

Brett: And, you know, one of the things that I, my. My, I guess, new Year's resolution now that we're in May that I've actually kept up was I'm just, I'm posting something every day on LinkedIn. I try to add value every time I do it, but I'm also not, I stop listening to what the algorithms are telling me or what people are saying that I should be writing about and just said, Hey, what's top of mind for me?

What's been valuable or what lessons have I learned and just have rode with it? But I've gotta tell you if some of my posts that I think are gonna be. Fantastic. It's like the best thing I've ever written, like cricket and something that was more of a throwaway post, you know, gets all the, all of the, uh, the eyeballs, if you will.

So I, I'd love to hear just your, your approach and, you know, how you advise folks to, to get started with LinkedIn. Not just get started, but what's, what's a good way to use the tool?

JD: I think we have moseyed away from the spray and pray approach. It simply doesn't work anymore. One reason it doesn't work is because of the aforementioned algorithm, and, and I don't write for the algorithm. I, I really don't. I, I enjoyed some unbelievable vanity metrics back when I was posting content, say back around 20 13, 20 14, 20 15.

We really didn't have the algorithm conversation out there. No, nobody really lived in fear of it. Nobody's posts were being suppressed and a lot of visibility and coverage was available to all. But now, the so-called clutter, we must cut through the so-called noise we must rise above. It's hyper-competitive out there.

The. Urgency of content. The content wars are escalating and everybody wants to get their voice out now into the ether, and it's become very tough to generate those, those types of, of, of views and impressions that are gonna really move the needle. So instead of just putting it out there like a message in a bottle and hoping it washes up on the right shore, I play the inbound game Brett.

Always the inbound game. I bring people to my content and let them see it, and that's what makes it more relevant. And through that, I'm able to mobilize more, uh, content advocates, uh, who would be organically willing to share what I've produced. And I think that's how you really gain, uh, organic spread on LinkedIn and get in front of the people who can retain you for the work you do.

Brett: I don't know, I, I, I like to think I'm building, um, assets by just posting and providing, and then eventually somewhere people will find me, or at least that's what I'm finding is the.

Uh, the folks that never engage with my content, never comment, never post are the ones that reach out for, for help or business development, right? It's just, it's kinda interesting.

JD: Uh, also to a, to dovetail that point, uh, you don't need a call to action on every post, a call to action smacks of advertising. And if you're going to be out there promoting, you must do it in an artful fashion. I, I teach artful self-promotion because let's face it, we're all on LinkedIn to self-promote and LinkedIn is set up for that, but it must be done in a.

In a way that appeals to the sensibilities of those you aspire to serve. Your colleagues who would be willing to share your work and maybe even, uh, comment with insight on your work, uh, if it were palatable to them. So structuring posts in a way where it makes it shareable is an art, and it's something that I don't see on all that many posts because we default to.

How cool we are. That first person narrative and putting ourselves out there kind of veering away from customer-centric writing and into, look, I did this, I achieved this. I'm good at this. I'm an bestselling author. I'm I was President's Club between 1996 and 2002. Nobody cares.

Brett: That is so true. You're right. If they don't care, they don't care. Logistic, it's like sales 1 0 1 too. Customer doesn't care about your features and benefits. Right. It comes back to what's the problem you're solving for me and, and probably how do you solve it or Right. How you're different about

JD: Yes. The what's in it for me component, the radio station, W I I F M, and then of course the sister station west of the Mississippi, which is K I I fm.

Brett: That's, that's good. I'll, I'll give full attribution when I use that in the future, but that it's so true. Um, cuz I made this transition and maybe still in process of making the transition right. Of 25 years in corporate with a lot of my network being, um, fellow.

You know, chief revenue officers, you know, leadership in, in B2B businesses, now my target audience is, is vastly different, right? So it's, it's a start of a, a purge. So is there any, you know, again, as people are thinking about getting started, they're still in corporate, what are, what are some of the things that we should be thinking about in order to start to pivot and go find our new ideal audience?

JD: For those who are in corporate, who in their minds, they're gone. They've bolted the company, they're, they're physically showing up, maybe in an office, maybe virtually, but, but their eyes are toward greener pastures. They, they see the writings on the wall. Uh, it, it's, it's a nightmare for the employer, for one.

So you've got this kind of, Interesting dynamic playing out where you have the, uh, the owners and the executives of a company whose number one problem, as we all know, is talent retention. They wanna keep their best people and they wanna keep them engaged and, and, and feeling part of a team and contributing.

And it's become tougher because left to their own devices, literally people are going to. Look at LinkedIn, they're gonna look at the job boards. They're going to leverage relationships in their professional community and say, uh, hey, who needs someone who, you know, who's looking, uh, maybe for a, a director of finance, uh, or a supply chain guy?

I, I mean, that kind of thing. So you've got this kind of hidden. Job network that's going on beneath these scenes too, where people are tapping the potential of their networks, the people that they've already brought into their professional communities. So you have that and then obviously you have the idea of.

Uh, companies that don't want their folks on LinkedIn, they don't want their profiles to look all that good and become poachable by recruiters. But for someone who's looking to break away from corporate and start a business, become an entrepreneur, uh, it takes a little bit more than just flipping a switch and making it happen.

There's gotta be some, there's gotta be some bootstrapping going on beneath the scenes. Uh, and so that when, when it's time to. To launch or, or time to hit the fanfare button. It, it's more subdued and it's more of a, a transitional glide into the new era than just. A clean break and saying, I'm doing this now.

And that's where the profile can pace with these changes beautifully, because you can add as much or as little content as you want. And then finally, when, when the change happens and it's time to hang out your shingle as a consultant coach, uh, uh, speaker, author, whatever, it's already set up for you.

You've already done that work. You've built the bridge.

Brett: I do want to get into it with you kind of, um, some of the newer tools that are out there with LinkedIn live and chat, G P T and the impact. But before we transition to looking forward, is there a couple of other. Common mistakes you see people making that we can just knock out that says, if you're doing this, stop doing this.

Before we start looking at what, what we should be doing.

JD: You know, it's interesting, Brad, I really am not the advisor that harps on people's mistakes because I, I really am focused on keeping them on the right track. And there are a lot of people in my trade that, that are writing a lot of blogs, doing a lot of programs on the mistakes. Made on LinkedIn, and I'm not really sure that some of the things that are deemed as mistakes are mistakes because again, I, I advocate people's individual use of LinkedIn kind of conforming the platform to fit their scenarios.

Um, there is no playbook. There is no cookie cutter methodology and there is no magic bullet. Everybody has to look at this thing, superimpose themselves on the platform in the way that they think it works best for them, and then create their outcomes. So obviously you reverse engineer. An objective I wanna get from point A to point B.

How does one get two point B? Well, it's the point A that has to be the, the, the manipulated piece. So, uh, that's the profile and that's the reach out strategy. That's, uh, how you personally connect with people, how you message them, and are there mistakes made with that? I'd say if I were to break it down to a, to an error, Or, uh, kind of a lapse in judgment, I'd say the ability to sell oneself too soon.

Uh, it, it, it's probably most people's past peeve right about now because of the proliferation of, of spammy messages and sales behavior going on right now on the site. And, and that's not a LinkedIn problem, that's a LinkedIn user problem. So if I am correcting anybody at the outset, I am imploring them not to sell their brains out early on.

Don't pitch someone right from the get-go. Everybody's pre-conditioned. They're waiting for it, and if you can abstain from it, you start to stand out. You actually start to cut through the clutter. If you're not selling anybody anything they don't want or need.

Brett: it's funny, I think on a daily, uh, definitely on a daily basis, the two industries I wouldn't wanna be in is somebody setting appointments for me or promoting my podcast. I must get two inbound requests saying they can do that all the time. And so if you're competing in that space, geez.


JD: some SEO work for you? Brett, can you use some SEO work from overseas Can?

Brett: probably coming back, man. There's, it's, everything keeps to circle,

JD: How about a franchise opportunity? You wanna buy a franchise?

Brett: Your background is impressive. Have you considered franchise opportu? Yes, that's definitely another one of them. And I think, you know, again, one of the things where I took that, that step back to, to your point in no Silver Bullets, is writing just much more personal, right.

Here's some of the things that happened to me, or if I would've done it differently. And that seems to be resonating a a lot better. And I, I think, um, even going back a little bit with your background, right, with, with improv, I'm super curious. How was that? Just more of your personality come out or you, is this something you always wanted to do?

So I'm getting to a point, but I wanna understand how improv with you ties into your business and your writing, and then, you know, how people can use their own personal, passions is, is part of their overall, uh, approach. Does that make

JD: I see improv as a very valuable cognitive framework for pretty much anything in life. And as I apply LinkedIn, or I'm sorry, as I apply improv to LinkedIn, more and more of that starting to come out. So I discovered, uh, second City, uh, in the 1980s, but that didn't mean that, that was my intro to improv. I.

I have been telling folks I've been improvising my whole life and I, I, I think we both, we basically are, don't you? I, I, I mean, who the hell, tells us what to do these days? And, uh, obviously if you're confronting the virtual world as we all are right now, People had a lot of problems navigating it at the outset.

I think they've become better. I mean, you give us enough time and, and the technology and we'll make some strides. So I, I do see market improvement in the way people have been handling themselves in the online world. But for me, it goes back to childhood. Yes, I was structured, yes, I had a, great parents who, uh, instilled in me, uh, moral values, ethics, all of that.

But, but I found it all on my own. I was highly exploratory as a child. I. I was also very creative as a child and I've just had those outlets and those neural pathways, they've always been running in the background. So when I was in my thirties and I discovered Second City and performing improv, it was, I.

It's just something I felt I was prepared to do. I, I was there already. I, I, it, it came naturally to me and it helped me in business, helped me in my academic pursuits. Um, I probably couldn't have done as well as I did in school without the ability to improvise. when I came to LinkedIn, there was nothing set.

There were no instructions. I didn't know what the hell to do. There was no me to tell me what to do, so I just put my eyes on the platform. I critically thought my way through session after session, after session, and I, I guess I have this kind of rehearsed improvisational skill now where I still am highly improvisational, but.

But I know what I'm doing a lot more and, and I have areas that I can turn to that are set, uh, that are, uh, that I've laid down memory for. Uh, I, I know what to expect. I anticipate problems, and I have this ability to extend conversations, which I'm guessing is probably my superpower right now is, is managing all of these conversations at once.

And that's, that's where improv has, has really, uh, paid dividends for me.

Brett: Yeah, no, I think it makes sense. There was a, a gentleman I had on the show a while ago, actually, I think he's been on twice. John Seak, who's a standup comedian, turned enterprise sales rep, now coach, where he teaches folks. Basically how to use humor when trying to break through the ice and connecting with, with your prospects, which I think is interesting.

So I'm always super fascinated how people apply what I would call non-traditional skills and education into the business world and then, you know, learn from there. Cuz I, I agree with the improv is, yeah, probably 90% of what we do there is no script,

JD: You have to be careful with humor. I, I will add as a caveat, yeah. Sometimes when humor doesn't land well, it can be a disaster. Uh, that has happened. And in the early stages of my career, I held back on that. I, I really didn't think people brought me in to do material in their conference room or, or to act out skits.

Uh, it was about, Helping them get through, uh, and extract value out of LinkedIn. They, they did, they brought me in for a reason. They're, they're very practical people and again, I, I kept a lot of my story very guarded. My background was really inconsequential to what I was providing. I, I just let them know that I came from the marketing world and that LinkedIn appealed to, uh, to my sensibilities and everything that I had been trained for.

I felt I was qualified to be in that room, training their team, and that's how it worked. I, I kind of acted as if for a good part of the beginning stage until I. Found my momentum, and I think that's important for anybody who's even detaching from the corporate environment is if this has been in you all along, if you've kind of always wanted to do this, these skills and areas of expertise will surface.

Let them, enable them, capture them, and start to write about them.

Brett: and I'm, I'm gonna guess you're gonna, you're more, uh, less is more type of a person when it comes to your content or where,

JD: Yeah, I think it depends on the scenario. It depends on the vehicle, the medium. Uh, I, I surge forward on some and I lay back on others. Uh, Coming up with ideas is no problem. Coming up with supporting points, uh, sometimes can be challenging because you do have to defend an argument no matter what you're putting out as original these days.

And I'm confronted with the unique situation of having to defend the value of LinkedIn from time to time because if I'm, um, Under consideration by a company and they're not sure or they don't see the value in what I do, that becomes my sell. Uh, yes, I'm selling JD and I'm selling my ability to come in and achieve a desired outcome for them, but at the same time, I've got to show them how the LinkedIn engine is going to work, how it should be kept churning as efficiently as possible, and what needs to be done by the people within that organization to make sure that it serves the collective.

Brett: you know, Even thinking about, um, my business now, right? Because the one thing as a corporate escapee, it opens up different paths, right? So there's different revenue streams and you know, the, what my personal approach to this is kind of like a personal holding company, which is not my I idea, but I loved, I think it was Michael Gridley or Gurley that.

That came up with the idea. And I, I really like it because we do have the flexibility to do different things and create revenue in different ways. But the challenge I'm struggling with, um, and challenge being relative is right, I've got, so I've got the corporate escapee identity, right, is where I really passion project.

I want, if there in the audience listening, thinking about getting outta corporate or just burned out and wanna get out, I wanna help that one extra person get out. But the business side where I really. Business is helping those, you know, two to 20 million businesses grow, right? So there is a connection point, but if I look at the corporate escapee and then you know, the hardwired for growth and then my personal writings about different things, they all kind of tie, but they're different.

So I'm like, well, do I just talk about one thing? Can I talk about multiple things? And you know, that's where again, I get. It gives me a headache thinking about where do I focus, right? Because everybody tells you just, you just pick one message, so you're known for that one thing. But if I'm doing multiple things, you know, how do I balance that?

Is there a, is there a recommended path to do that?

JD: Well, you're only one brand, Brett. You can only be one. Umbrella brand. And underneath that brand is where all of your value proposition kind of settles. And they're like tiles of a mosaic. You've got to piece them together and curate the best elements of your narrative into a singular brand. And those are good profiles.

That's what folks want to see. And if you've been in corporate for 10, 15, 20, 25 years, and now suddenly you're taking those intellectual properties and you are. Monetizing them. Your experience, your, your observations, your insights. There's a huge market for that. Uh, outside impartial advice is important to companies because they're too close to their cultures and they can't see the problems that you might see as an outsider.

And that's a huge piece of the value that you can convey in a LinkedIn profile. And again, that's information about you. It's certainly pain point for the clients that you want to serve. But at the same time, that becomes the story. And since storytelling is the new marketing, that's what we should be doing.

We should be focusing on what got us from from here to there. Or from there to here, and talk about why that value is now important to companies. Or to businesses. Or to individuals. And look, the market is full of coaches right now. It, it, it, we've got a lot of corporate escapees who have become coaches or consultants and they're out there trying to compete for the same gigs and it's tough.

How do you, how do you get those gigs? Well, it's relationships and it all comes down. No matter what business you're in, it's a relationship business. And if you've been building relationships while in corporate, that will bode well for when you bolt out of it.

Brett: Yeah. No, and I think that's an underappreciated point of LinkedIn, right? We think about selling or we think about the job search, but building relationships, again, maybe an unintended, um, benefit to me has been that right? With, with reaching out and connecting with folks and really not. To your point, don't sell me.

Right. That time will come if I'm interested. I'm, I'm finding people only buy when they wanna buy anyway, so they're gonna, if they trust, you know, you, they're gonna, they're gonna come to

JD: Absolutely. If, if you're known in circles as a, a resource, a service provider, uh, A leadership figure, yes, you will be accessed when it's time and when it's time for the buyer. So this, you know, right outta classical sales training and all this buyer's journey that we're hearing about, yes, you have to take the buyer down the path and, uh, handle objections smoothly and, and there's all sorts of slick closes that, that sellers use.

But you know what, in the end, they're not buying until they're ready. And hopefully you've positioned yourself as the recipient and the transaction partner. And if and when the time comes, they'll call you. And, too many folks try to push a square peg into a round hole. And ghosting behaviors right now are prevalent.

Uh, there are plenty of salespeople that, that get very adrenalized by meeting a prospect and everything's going well, and the proposal is sent and the wait, and the wait and the wait. And then. No response. And it happens all the time happens to me. I'm not immune from that type of crap, but at the same time, you go with people who it's meant to be.

And that's, I think a, a, a huge piece of what the universe has shown me in the last several years since the pandemic is exactly. People will buy when they're ready and hopefully they will buy from you.

Brett: Yeah, it's, it's, it's a good point and I've kind of been adopting that recently too, where especially in, in in sales type of situations where maybe we'll work together, maybe we won't. I always feel like if I have to sell them on why to work with me, not just as part of the process, as we're talking and working the discovery sessions, figuring out if it makes sense, and at the end, they're still not sold.

I'm not pushing hard to say you really should, or find that last bit. Cause I want them to be a hundred percent uncomfortable working with me. And if they're not, then I'm not, I don't wanna force an issue. Or if they're not a hundred percent certain, then that's okay because. History has taught me that those don't end up being good long-term relationships anyway.

So easier said than done when you're just studying, getting started and, you know, need a few dollars to get the momentum going. But yeah, it just, it seems the less pressure and the more you're willing to walk away, the better your, your sales

JD: Well, if you're able to remove your ego from the equation, you're going to stand a better chance of becoming sustainable in today's business climate because of, of fickleness, in, in, in the, in the customer base, there are people that. That may buy from you. And, and, and that's it. It, it's one and done. But the, the economic value of a client over your business lifetime is what you and, and I like to pursue.

I, I, I like repeat business. I, a beautiful byproduct of the work that I've done is that it's turned out that. Folks do need constant updating of their LinkedIn profiles, and I'm a, a service provider in that area. I write them and my clients go through a, a very immersive process for me to, to flesh out that narrative and tell their best story.

And that story's changing. It's changing on the hour. Sometimes it's, you know, every day we wa we wake up, we're, we're. Sweeping off a clean slate. And we have that ability sometimes to write an email, receive an email that can dictate the course of our day, and we position ourselves accordingly. And so much of the behind the scenes work that we do on LinkedIn can set us up to create a a positive future.

But for whatever reason, if you're not attaching significance to it, it ain't gonna happen. You do have to. You need the input to produce the output, obviously, and.

Brett: Yeah, you have to be

intentional about it,

JD: LinkedIn is input equals output in every aspect of its of its functionality. So working with people on profile is one piece, but also keeping them engaged and eyes on screen and improvising constantly.

That's again, that's the improv, the cognitive science behind all this is. Making decisions when they happen, but also being proactive so that you're giving people a chance to make a decision on their end as well. And that's really the art and science of LinkedIn. It, it flows through conversational skill.

Brett: Yeah, the engagement for sure. Definitely. If I'm finding more of that, um, and, and connection, right. With genuine interest Right. Or curiosity, I think is, is helpful and people can see through it. If, if you're not, and you know, one of the, the interesting, I don't wanna call it a. Tool because I really do enjoy, so if I hear somebody on a podcast that I haven't, you know, heard or guested, I'll almost always reach out on LinkedIn afterwards, say, Hey, really enjoyed the interview, especially if I'd like, if I didn't like the interview, then I'm probably not reaching out.

But I would say 95% of the time I get a, the, the connection request accepted and a note back. Appreciated the, the facts. So if you're struggling again, that's more of a tactic, I guess, but, but it's been a genuine, because to your point of engaging and starting a conversation, right, people like to hear that you enjoyed, you know, what they're putting out there.

And it's not just, uh, Hey, I enjoyed this. Now buy this from me.

JD: I think so, I think there's a fine line between fluff and sincere flattery, and you see a lot of fluff. You see a lot of currying favor out there, and people sidling up to people and, and that's important. I, I, I understand that, but I also think there's a way to, To not finesse an outcome and to be the genuine article and get in there as yourself and, and again, to take that improv metaphor a step further.

You're on stage with everyone. Everyone is your conversation partner and your mission. Whether you choose to accept it is to extend that scene. And if you have a way to keep that scene going, that that, yes and paradigm, that is the hallmark of improv. You just keep conversations going and that's all I've ever done in everything I've done is keep conversations going so that when I pick up with someone down the road, it may be a year, five years, 10 years, it's.

We're, we're there. We've just bookended it. We we're, we're ready to pick up where we left off. So, so conversational skill, again, that's, that, that's really the top competitive advantage in using LinkedIn effectively.

Brett: Yeah. And I love that, that it's, it's such a good point on the continuation of a conversation versus a restart, right? Because yeah, there's folks that I've heard from mostly through the podcast or LinkedIn Live, which I wanna ask you about in a second. You know, folks I haven't heard from in 10 years, and I go back and look maybe tens in extend five, at least five years, right?

And I go back and look, oh yeah, that was our last conversation was this, and it was good. So it is more of a, Pick it up versus a, a cold start again. So yeah, learn the art of conversation, right? Keep an engagement is, is the important thing, but sincere engagement, not the, to your point, you can see and smell fluff a hundred miles.

JD: I have my fluff detector on all the time, Brett. I know fluff when I see it.

Brett: I'm getting there too, so. All right. So two things that I do wanna ask about, kind of the current state of LinkedIn. One is, is LinkedIn live, right? Is what, what's your perspective on that? Is this just a, a fad type of a tool? Is LinkedIn looking at this as a future? Because I've done a few LinkedIn lives and has have some good engagement and I don't mind doing it.

But it, back to the point, we've only got so much time in the day. Does LinkedIn live? Add value to, to the engagements, um, is the first one. I'll let you

JD: A, anything related to LinkedIn has the potential to be a value add. LinkedIn live is a piece of the creator mode, so within the LinkedIn profile you can set your account to creator mode, which means that you are in the creator economy. You have access to LinkedIn's, uh, platforms like LinkedIn Live.

Another is the LinkedIn audio events and the LinkedIn newsletter, which I publish. So with LinkedIn Live, you've got a couple things at play here. First of all, you've got people who want to do shows who are interested in doing shows, but it's media and it's broadcasting and it's work. And sometimes when you look at these folks on the news stations like C N N, they make it look easy.

But that is not easy work when you have to stare in front of a quarter inch diameter lens and bring it and be, uh, And, and be engaging and enthralling and welcoming to a guest, and you have to have a good flow. You have to make it watchable or otherwise people will zone out. LinkedIn live is also unique because that you have real time commentary on the right rail.

You can see these comments go up, you can see what people are thinking in real time as you're, as you're stating your value or as you're answering questions or you're having a bunch of small talk over the weather. So, I think that the LinkedIn live catches people live when they're working. When they're on the platform, it's archived, so folks can always go back and check it, but I'm not quite sure to what extent these are generating leads.

They're great for brand awareness. They're great for the ability to get on in, in front of. A rolling webcam and a hot microphone and tell your story maybe sometimes from a different angle in a very animated way at times, if it's fun. But again, it's out there. Are people watching it? I don't know. Do they have time to watch it?

We're also damn self-absorbed these days, so, so you have to depend on the right view instead of a lot of views. And I think that's the misnomer is that these. LinkedIn lives, these podcasts, these audio events, and even my newsletter, you think you're going to amass these huge followings very quickly when in reality you have to build just, uh, you have to work just as hard to build those audiences as you would any other piece of LinkedIn.

So it's a time consuming proposition to get known as not just a LinkedIn live host, but a LinkedIn live host that people will rearrange their days to watch. So it's, it's a tough challenge like anything else, and it's inbound. You gotta recruit some, some evangelists who can help you get the word out about your show and hopefully draw some eyes to it.

Brett: Yeah, it makes sense. And you're the point you made about being media companies, right? I think we all are our own media companies now, or should be, right? Because it's easy to do it. Not easy, relatively speaking. You can, right. Obviously with the podcast you can do video, which, you know, this one's audio, but there's no reason why this couldn't be YouTube.

I mean, done a few of these interviews where we tried LinkedIn live and you're right, it's just another. Way to get out in front of your potential audience.

JD: it, it's a good way to show LinkedIn. It's, it's reserved for a LinkedIn audience, so obviously viewers have to be logged into their LinkedIn account. You can multi-channel it, but it is designed to be viewed and consumed on LinkedIn. And even though you can have comments on other platforms if, if it's about business, That's where your decision makers are.

They're not gonna watch it on YouTube or Facebook or Instagram. It's gonna be, it's gonna be on LinkedIn and it's archived there, so they can always go back to it. And, and you can use it, you can, you can create a. A gold mine of content in a 30 minute LinkedIn live. You can extract things that you've said.

You can turn them into quotes, you can turn them into short formm or long form posts, and you can kind of perpetuate the content machine. So that's what I do. And when I go on a, a program like yours, I think I've said a few noteworthy things. Didn't she say?

Brett: More than a few. Absolutely.

JD: go back, Brett, I assure you. And I'm gonna listen to what I have to offer.

I'm gonna listen to what you have to offer within the context of your, your wonderful corporate escapee, uh, vehicle. And I'm gonna tailor this content to, uh, to meet the psyches of those people who are sitting on cubicle row somewhere. And are entertaining the thought of, of doing something on their own, of opening up their own business or going into, uh, coaching or consulting, the side hustle, the passion project.

Call it what you will. We're more nomadic than we ever were before. We can wake up one day and decide we wanna do something else. Well, you don't wanna walk away from a cushy job with great benefits, but at the same time, enough is enough for some people, and they have done that.

Brett: finding that balance has been the, the, the key that I'm finding with the, the interviews and people across the board. I thought it was just to replace income, but it's, it's much more than that, which could probably devote a whole episode to talking about that. But I do wanna get your opinion on one last topic, because it's all over the news with, with Jack G P T, and I'd love your perspective on.

You know, maybe the impact or your thoughts, you know, to me garbage in is still a garbage. I don't know, but I love to hear what

JD: You know, the jury is still out on it. It's way too early to tell as we sit here and tape in early May of 2023. So if people are listening to this 10 years down the line, things have played out and maybe we've hit it on the on the head, maybe we haven't, but. At this stage, at this early stage where all of the media is focusing on it, and there's been a lot of news stories on it.

It is a hot topic without question, and folks are mobilizing around that topic and ideally real human beings and not machines. Um, I, I contributed a piece to my newsletter on the illusion of thought leadership where so many people who want to be known for their wisdom. Recognized for their wisdom, acknowledged for their, their insights, their expertise, their opinions, et cetera.

This is what we've been putting out there into the mainstream since really the advent of LinkedIn posting and social media posting in general. And now you have this incredible wealth. I mean, beyond wealth, I mean just this infinite pool of knowledge that's being continually added to where you can just spit out an idea and have this thing.

Churn out words upon words upon words, tens of thousands of words from which you can call and cobble together an article or a video or, uh, or a white paper. What I think it does this early into the proceedings though, Brett, is it completely negates the authenticity conversation that we've been having since the advent of the pandemic, because with all that we've been hearing about being our authentic self, staying true to your authentic self.

Living in authenticity, machine generated AI work. Chat, G P T is about as inauthentic as it gets because if you're passing off a robot's, work is your own. That is not authenticity.

Brett: Yeah, it's so true. And again, it comes back to being human right by humans. Buy from humans and. And maybe the baseline, if some of the, the stuff will rise. It'll make our, our lives easier if we use it the right way. But it's, I think it just rises the, the level of noise

JD: It does.

Brett: your, I think to another level.

And you still gotta figure out how to cut through it. And, right to your point, machine generated content won.

JD: I also think, and mark my words, that people are going to get better at spotting AI type writing. So I, I've seen it. I have not done it. Uh, as we sit here today, I have not. Used it, but I have seen it and I have watched enough of the content on television and some of the programs that I trust and some of the people that I trust in speaking about it, where I know what's on the other side of these programs.

And again, I'm, I'm rooting for the people that come up with the software that deem it as taken or plagiarized or. PIL from machines. So once we have that, then I mean, you can doubt the credibility or the provenance of the piece and the author and I put out a lot of written work. I really do. And I started to use a disclaimer, 100%.

Jd, no chat, G P T. I want people to know that, and I'm a very technical style of writing. I, I can be very technical profile writing should be somewhat technical, but at the same time, I don't, I don't go beyond just getting an idea or two from a search. I credit an attribute, uh, I give proper attribution to any author that I find online who has given me a point or a supporting, uh, topic.

And, and that's where, that's where it is for me. Give credit where credit is due. But I wouldn't just. Spit. You know, give a command into a machine, put that out as my own and say, okay folks, I'm a thought leader. What do you think?

Brett: I love that idea of the 100%, you know, authentic JD or 100% Brett. Right. I think it's just, it'll become that differentiator again that we're looking for. And why are you different? Because I wrote it. It's, it's truly coming from me. Um, now I

JD: You know, I wasn't, you know, the first time I read Moby Dick and had to turn in a term paper, I went right to the Cliff notes. I mean, I didn't read the damn thing at first, but, you know, and Cliff notes were really kind of like the, you know, a, a chat G p t ask version of, of what you wanted to, to submit.

But the teachers were very good at recognizing that kind of thing. So now when I do projects and when I write my own content, and I'm actively involved in content creation every day, multiple times a day, And I have little goals I set too, 2000 words here, 3000 words there. So it's all coming from me. It's all being curated by me, and I wanna make sure that folks know on the other side that it is me.

And, and I hope that that becomes the, the standard down the road that if people do need help, they go to these. Content providers, these, you know, and get their suggestions, but that they also say, Hey, I had help doing this. It's not all me.

Brett: Yeah. No, I love that. And that's probably a really good way to to to end the show. You've been really generous with your time today, jd. I appreciate it. Um, folks are interested in learning more and definitely folks are interested in working with you. What's the the best way for them to connect

JD: Well, it shouldn't surprise anybody that they can find me on LinkedIn. I'm searchable under my name, Brett.

Brett: And we'll put it in the show notes too. I don't know if people actually ever read show notes cuz what I do in listening to podcasts is I Google the guest right there. So,

JD: There you go.

Brett: on LinkedIn to find the

JD: Well, since I'm gonna be promoting this extremely aggressively on LinkedIn, they'll, they'll have it right there. They'll, they'll know.

Brett: you go.

JD: You know what I've always said to folks is if, if someone wants to find me bad enough, they'll find a way.

Brett: Yeah. A hundred percent. Right. I, I agree with you. I, I wa I look at some of these extensive show notes and go, one, I just, I could just read it and not listen to the podcast. But yeah, it, like with Google, I can find, I can find it. If I really want to find you, I can track you down. So, but we'll make it easy for folks that actually do just

JD: please. Cuz they've got enough coming at 'em. Brett just, just silver platter it for 'em. Would you.

Brett: Not a problem. That's what we do. White glove service. So, jd, thank you very much. Appreciate your time today. This was a super beneficial lesson. I learned a lot, so I'm sure the, the audience is gonna learn a lot and we may have to make you a, uh, a reoccurring guest to help us as things evolve and merge and we start to figure out, you know, just to help us, make us just a little bit better on LinkedIn and we'll, we'll be better

JD: Thank you, Brad. Good to be here.