Kevin Micalizzi: Welcome to the Quotable Podcast. I’m Kevin Micalizzi. Today we have Viveka von Rosen. She’s the Chief Visibility Officer and a Co-Founder at Vengreso. Today we’re going to talk about LinkedIn, not just the basic, “Here’s how you make your profile.” We’re going to talk about how the platform has changed over the years and how video is becoming an important part of what you could be doing to further your sales. Let’s jump into it.
So, Viv, thank you so much for joining the show.
Viveka von Rosen: Absolutely. My pleasure.
Micalizzi: Viv, before I jump into everything, would you share a little bit about yourself for the listeners?
von Rosen: Sure. Obviously, name’s Viveka von Rosen. I’m Chief Visibility Officer at Vengreso. I think they were just really trying hard to find me an executive position and all the good ones were taken.
Micalizzi: Hey, visibility is not a bad thing.
von Rosen: No, I mean I’m out there a lot, so, yeah, we chose Chief Visibility Officer. But we’re a digital sales transformation training company, which simply means we teach people how to use social — mainly LinkedIn, but [also] Twitter, social video — to find, connect, engage, and close good prospects, good leads, whether you’re a small entrepreneur, up to a 500-person sales team.
I’m just passionate about LinkedIn in particular. I’ve written a couple books on it. It’s been such a blessing to me. Which is not to say I don’t have some issues with it once in a while, but I really am a LinkedIn advocate.
Micalizzi: When you talk about LinkedIn, you’ve got a couple different aspects to it. You’ve got the visibility, so building your personal brand as well as fitting into your corporate brand. But then the other side of it, [what] you have is really prospecting, building your community, building your tribe, trying to get more out of it. Do you find you spend more time focused on one aspect or the other?
von Rosen: Yeah. Once your profile is done, it’s done, mostly. You’re probably going to spend a lot of time building your personal brand, or at least the static part of your personal brand. But once that’s done, you’re only going to go in and refresh it if you’ve got a new product launch or something like that.
Now it’s pretty much an even balance for me between creating content and actual engagement with my tribe, with my prospects, with my network. Now I’m not talking about creating long-form posts, rather. I’m not talking about creating blog posts. We’ve got people on our team who do that. I get to just use that content as a segue into my network. But doing things like video and updates and long-form updates, that type of content.
I’ll probably spend maybe a half-hour a day on that. And then really it is about monitoring, managing, and just trying to lubricate those relationships that I’ve initiated through LinkedIn, or that other people have initiated with me through LinkedIn.
Micalizzi: You talked about video. I want to dig into that a little bit. But before we do that, I want to ask you. Obviously, you’ve been on LinkedIn, I believe, since 2006. Am I getting that right?
von Rosen: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Micalizzi: How has LinkedIn and how people use it changed over the years?
von Rosen: Immensely. It’s really funny. I was just at Social Media Marketing World. We were talking about how social media has changed over the years. Facebook didn’t even come out really as a public forum until 2007. LinkedIn was around before Facebook for four years, and people don’t realize that because LinkedIn wasn’t really a social network back in 2003, 2004, right? It was really more of a job seekers’ site.
And while Reid and the guys created it based on a kind of dating platform, it really was a job seekers’ site. Unfortunately, it held that stigma, I would say, for probably about the next seven or eight years.
Micalizzi: Yep, I would totally agree.
von Rosen: Right? It’s only been since about 2012, 2013 that people are seeing it as truly both a marketing and a sales and lead-generation platform, as well. It’s definitely changed as far as what people consider it to be, and that’s affected its functionality.
I think about the heydays of LinkedIn when Reid had it and the API was open and there were all these great third-party apps that synced with it so well like Salesforce. There was a lot of opportunity in the platform at that point. And then Jeff came in and put up the wall a little bit and shut down some of the interactivity that was allowed. And then Microsoft bought it, of course. Things are starting to open up again.
And so, it’s really, as far as usability, it keeps shifting as well. I’ll take a breath here. One of the things that I do love about the platform are some of the new features like video.
Micalizzi: You and I when we were prepping for this talked a little bit about video. I know we’ve had Mario Martinez on. We’ve had Sati Hillyer from OneMob on as well. But let’s dig into it. I don’t want to talk about LinkedIn from the, I hate to call it the 101 perspective, but we’ve done enough, I think, on the basics of using LinkedIn social media. I want to dig in a little bit more on what you’re seeing with how people are using video now.
von Rosen: Sure. As with any new toy, people play with it without knowing how to when it first comes out. And so, especially when video was first released, there were a lot of really bad videos out there.
I’ve noticed recently like, I don’t know, people maybe weren’t getting the responses they expected or they were getting too much criticism. But I’m not seeing as much bad video on LinkedIn as when it was first released. People are realizing that you can’t just be new. You actually have to share content that’s relevant to your network. You can’t just be there pitching your stuff all the time, or ever, really, with video, I think.
And the other thing is I think there needs to be an alignment between your LinkedIn brand, your profile, and who’s showing up on the screen. Sometimes that disconnect is so huge that people are actually losing respect, losing credibility, losing followers because they’ve created this very polished personal brand on LinkedIn, and then suddenly they show up in video and the disconnect just turns people off.
Micalizzi: Are you saying it’s like — I’d equate it to the Instagram video where I’m running through the airport or something of that nature that just doesn’t match up with the existing brand that they have? Is it that the videos aren’t polished enough to match their brand?
von Rosen: Oh, no, not necessarily, although yeah, it’s probably not the place for food videos and what you’re eating. Unless you do that for a living, you probably don’t want to do the same type of videos on Instagram as you do on LinkedIn. No, I mean literally the brand.
It used to be what if you’re — You’ve got this photo of yourself on LinkedIn obviously, and then you go to a trade show and no one recognizes you because the photo has been so Photoshopped, or it was taken so long ago, or so many pounds ago, or so much hair ago, that there’s just a huge disconnect. Of course with video, as Mario says, it’s your party without pants. You can actually get that very human interaction, or at least it feels like that, right? Because it’s video, it’s you talking to your audience.
And so, if the “you” talking to your audience looks, sounds, and feels different from that profile that you have been — that you’ve maybe spent the past 11 years polishing — that disconnect can really cost you. Not everyone should do video. I guess that’s what I should’ve started with. Not everyone should do video.
If you are super uncomfortable with video and you practice and you practice and you try and you try and you just never nail it, guess what, maybe you should be doing something else. Because the last thing we want is for native video, or anything that you do on LinkedIn, to actually cost you business. We want it to attract new prospects your way.
Micalizzi: Right. That’s why I do podcasting.
von Rosen: I’m really glad this is a podcast because I did not do my makeup today.
Micalizzi: Let me ask you. I live on video. I’m a remote employee, so every meeting I go to now is video. What you’re talking about is different from that though, right? Because you’re not talking about you and I, let’s say, getting on a web conferencing platform and having a video face-to-face interaction.
von Rosen: Right, not yet.
von Rosen: Yeah, not yet. There’s a lot of rumor going around, because Microsoft owns Skype, Microsoft owns LinkedIn. There’s a lot of rumor going around that they’re going to be introducing a video exchange. Maybe not conferencing, but some kind of video messaging feature within Messenger. So fingers double and triple crossed.
Micalizzi: I have mixed feelings on that one.
von Rosen: Yeah.
Micalizzi: I think from hosting a podcast I get a lot of connect requests from people who I don’t know, and they’re immediately followed by that pitch instant message — not instant message, but the pitch message.
von Rosen: Or you’re thrown on their newsletter list without your permission. Yeah, that drives me nuts.
Micalizzi: That one happens pretty constantly.
von Rosen: But I don’t think even if someone — active status, right? That’s why I’m also thinking that this is coming, because active status, you see that somebody is — one of your connections — is actually active on LinkedIn, and now you’ve pressed the call button. You don’t have to pick up.
von Rosen: And I guess if you really wanted to have a conversation, you just go, “Hey, let’s jump on Zoom. Hey, let’s jump on join.me. Hey, let’s jump on Skype.” You always have that opportunity to take that conversation immediately to another online platform. But no, that’s not what I’m talking about. Those are my wishes and my hopes for the future. No, I’m just talking about videos.
I would say it’s like Facebook Live that you see on Facebook, but it’s not actually live. That’s a little bit of a misconception. You have to create the video first, whether it’s on your phone or on your desktop, save it, and then upload it to either your phone or your desktop, and that’s the video. Which means that it can actually be a little bit more crafted. Do as I say, not as I do.
But you can caption it that way, right? You can filter it. You can use a green screen. We’re big users of Zoom and having the green screen. We’re big users of OneMob, too. And so, OneMob has got some really nice features that you can shoot your video on OneMob, download it either on your phone or on your desktop, and then upload it as native video. So, it’s not really native, and it’s not really live. But it’s more than sharing a link to a YouTube video.
The difference is if I’m just sharing a link to a YouTube video, it could be the exact same video. In fact, there’s a video that I’ll be sharing on LinkedIn tomorrow about some of the new features on Sales Navigator that I’ve already sent off to the company to polish up and make it look better on YouTube. But I’m not going to share that YouTube link because it’s not going to get enough visibility.
I’m going to upload that very same video that’s maybe a little less polished, but I’m going to upload that very same video as raw or native video onto LinkedIn, and it will get 10 to a hundred times more visibility than just sharing a YouTube link. That’s really what I’m talking about.
Micalizzi: That’s similar to what I’m hearing with folks who blog on LinkedIn now, because the days of you needing to go publish your own blog are pretty much gone.
von Rosen: Yes and no. LinkedIn Publisher, which don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Publisher and I still think people should use it. That’s the blog-like platform that LinkedIn has. I’ve definitely noticed that my visibility and my views have cut down a lot, and I probably get more than the average person. While I absolutely love Publisher, it’s not actually getting as much visibility as, say, a long-form update which is taking up to 1,300 characters worth of content and putting it in just an update instead of in that blog-like form.
von Rosen: Yeah. Interestingly enough, even if — because I just tested this, right? I wrote a Publisher post on a — it was for International Women’s Day. And then I shot a video on it. And then I did a long-form update on it. And then I wrote an update and pointed back to the post. And then I did an update and pointed back to the video, just seeing which was going to do better.
von Rosen: And the video and the long-form post without links in them were pretty much neck-to-neck. I think the video got something like 10,000 or 11,000 views, and the long-form update probably got about 7,000 or 8,000 views. The Publisher post got 51 views.
von Rosen: I know. And the update with the link in it got like 121 views. So, LinkedIn is most definitely promoting, or rather it’s not inhibiting, the visibility of posts that don’t have links in them, which is, again, why I love video. Because in the video you can talk about stuff, you can promote things, not in a sales-y way, but you can promote things and then say, “Hey guys, if you check in comments below, I’ve got the link for that free e-book, for that checklist, for that ROI calculator, for whatever.”
Micalizzi: Okay. Now when I’m creating that video, am I creating like the, “Hi, I’m Kevin. Welcome to whatever I’m talking about,” or am I using that as a way to, let’s say, curate and add value to other content I find? What are you finding is the most effective way to use it?
von Rosen: Yeah, certainly curating content or sharing content, adding value. Now having said that, and I’m going to totally destroy Guy’s last name, but Guy [Stribach], he did, “Hey guys. I love using video, and it occurs to me that I’ve never really used LinkedIn native video to tell you who I am.” And then he did essentially a sizzle reel, and I think he used wave.video to do it. It’s really lovely. It’s clever. It’s very professional looking. And that video did significant — it got significant views.
Now he’s not going to do that every week. He doesn’t need to because every time it’s like they’re shared, it pops up again. He could end up putting that video as media. He could then share it to YouTube and then take that link and add it as media in his actual profile, but you’re not going to do that every week. The most self-promotional thing you’re going to do is, “Hey, guys, it’s Viveka von Rosen, Chief Visibility Officer at Vengreso, and I’ve got a great LinkedIn tip for you. I just discovered today, blah-blah-blah.”
Or interviewing people. If this was a videocast, we could take up to 10 minutes out of this and pop it up as native video. Or you can do a product demonstration. That’s not going to get nearly as many views. I did Anthony Iannarino. I did get his name right, I think.
Micalizzi: Iannarino, yep.
von Rosen: Iannarino, thank you. I did a little book report on his latest book and that got nice visibility, mostly because I tagged Anthony on it and he, of course, then shared it with his audience. Actually, a cool thing that happened was I did a — not demonstration. I talked about a product I like, the product [is KNOW] Foods. And the CEO and the head of customer experience both reached out to me and said thanks so much. I didn’t even tag them in it because I didn’t know who they were — and they ended up becoming clients of mine. And I just really liked the product.
So, that was kind of the reversal where I promoted the product first and then they became clients. So, there’s a lot of — And free gluten-free food for the rest of my life that actually tastes good. That should be their tagline: “Gluten-free food that actually tastes good and isn’t filled with chemicals.”
Micalizzi: And tastes good?
von Rosen: But I digress. There are a lot of different ways that you can use video. I was just, again, at Social Media Marketing World, and Mari Smith was talking about video on Facebook. And she said, “You know, there are so many tools out there.” I can’t even do her accent. “You know, there are so many tools out there” — no, that’s not it — “that you can use.”
If you’re not comfortable on video, you can use things like wave.video or Animoto. You can make video, raw video, and upload it. But I think video that’s a little bit crafted but is really the personality of you is what’s going to do best on LinkedIn.
Micalizzi: You’re suggesting that I, maybe not weekly, but periodically create a video to share information or knowledge as opposed to doing the personal greeting, the kind of video you’d put, let’s say, on your profile in the same way you’d write your LinkedIn bio or summary?
von Rosen: If you’re going to do like Guy, and you were going to do more of a sizzle reel, more of a video biography of yourself, like I said, you do it one time and it’ll get refreshed and shared so you don’t have to keep doing it. And then definitely you save that to where you can upload it into your media on LinkedIn. But you’re not doing that a lot. The most you’re going to do as far as an introduction is, “Hey, I’m Such-and-Such of Such-and-Such, and this is what I have for you today.” So yeah, most of the time you’re really doing value add type video, not self-promotional-type video.
Micalizzi: Okay, so let’s focus for the reps that are listening. I’ve never done video like this. Never even crossed my mind to do a video on LinkedIn. No, I mean a lot of reps I work with will share an article or share something they come across. They’ll add a little note to it or say, “They, this was great advice” or, “I’ve seen this app,” something along those lines just to add value as they pass it on. How do they get started doing this?
von Rosen:: As I mentioned earlier, video isn’t for everyone. If you’re breaking out in a cold sweat right now and feeling a little nauseous, you know what, video might not be for you and there are a lot of other things that you can do to become visible on LinkedIn and share content on LinkedIn. However, if part of your strategy as a sales rep is to position yourself as an advocate, a thought leader within your industry, you’re probably already thinking about ways to do that.
You’re probably already thinking about content that you can create or content that you can curate and share with your audience that helps to position you as a leader, as a thought leader, as a subject matter expert, as an advocate within your own industry, and so finding a way to share that content with video.
The thing is, this isn’t Facebook Live, so you can shoot 50 videos. And trust me, I’m usually doing 2 or 3. You can shoot a bunch of video until you’re getting a little bit more comfortable with it and then pick the best one and upload that. So you do not have to go with the first. It doesn’t have to be a first and only.
Now I’ve never had to do this because I’m actually pretty comfortable with the camera, but one trick that — I can’t remember who it was — that was shared with me was to actually paste the head, a picture of somebody, your buyer persona, like literally behind your camera. And so, pretend you’re talking to them. To me, that would be super-duper distracting. But if it was someone you liked, it might make you smile.
Micalizzi: Right, right.
von Rosen: But you do want to talk to the camera as if you’re talking to a person. You do want to assume that there is someone out there listening to you. Don’t think of creating video as talking to a camera, because that makes everybody nervous. Think about it as I’m talking to an audience of people who know, like, and trust me, — or at least hopefully know, like, and trust me — on the other side of this video or on the other side of this camera. I’m not talking to the camera. I’m talking through the camera.
Again, do as many as you can. If you’re going to use your phone, make sure that you’ve got some kind of stand for it because you will be shaking. My first video ever is atrocious. I’m shaking like a leaf, and not even because I’m nervous, because I’m just a shaky type of person, right?
von Rosen: And so, that’s my first video ever on LinkedIn and it’s still out there.
And then if you do want to do things, like I use a tool called ScreenFlow. I’m a Mac person. And I’m sure there’s a — I think Camtasia has something that you can do where you can — if you don’t want to be the center of attention, you can be a little bit of a talking head, but you can have a screen behind you.
It’s actually in front of you, but it can look like the screen is behind you, and you can showcase a product, a service, anything online, right? And then you can have you just shrunk down, little, tiny in the corner. So, people still get that face-to-face feel of who you are, but they’re looking at some webpage somewhere, basically.
Micalizzi: Right, so you don’t have to feel like you’re so out there if you’re not comfortable with it.
von Rosen: Exactly.
Micalizzi: Understood. What about the folks who — and I’ve met quite a few of them — who think, “If I’m going to do video, I don’t know how to edit video. I can’t do this because I’m going to record it and then I want to put in screenshots and I want to add stuff to it and really up the production value.” What do you suggest for folks like that? Is just my sitting in front of the camera and recording a couple minutes talking about that topic, is that sufficient?
von Rosen: It can be.
Micalizzi: Or do I need to kind of step it up?
von Rosen: Yeah. No, no, it can be perfectly — Like I did a rant today, just a huge rant of me just ranting at the camera. It was business related, but it was still a rant, right? And so, that’s just me talking to the camera from our skip and repeat behind me because I’ve got a really messy office and no one needs to see that.
Micalizzi: Do you just set it up so that they can’t see the office?
von Rosen: It’s literally up all the time so they cannot see behind me. But I’ve also got a green screen, so if I do want to do all that produced stuff, I could do it as well. A, you don’t have to have super produced videos.
What I would recommend is do a video until it’s relatively flawless and then use your best version. If you’re going to do a book report, if you’re going to talk about an author, or you’re going to talk about a trade show, or you’re going to talk about an event that you were at, or you’re going to talk about the industry and what’s changing in the industry, you’re going to talk about Facebook or whatever. You might need to do it a few times and then just pick the best one. You don’t need a bunch of editing tools.
That being said, every phone has video editing tools built into it. Anything that you record with online whether it’s free or paid has video editing tools within it. Certainly if you’re going to use OneMob, it’s got editing tools within it so you can edit. Take it from me, I’m no professional editor. I failed that in communications. I chop off the beginning and the end and that’s it, right? So, it really doesn’t have to be —
And then there’s great — there’s like videos. There’s wave.video, which I’ve talked about a bunch now. There’s Animoto. There’s a bunch of really great free to cheap to super expensive but really great tools out there that will allow you to do what you were mentioning: pulling in screen shots, and doing fade to blacks, and pulling in captions, and doing flashing lights.
There’s a lot of tools out there that will help you do that will help you do that relatively easily. And by all means, use that video as well.
Micalizzi: Now I’m guessing you’ve probably blogged about some of theses and I can hit you up for links?
von Rosen: Yes. Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Micalizzi: Perfect, perfect. We’ll share those in the show notes. If you’re listening right now, take a look at the webpage or in the show notes and we’ll include all of these in there.
Now we’re talking specifically right now about LinkedIn.
von Rosen: LinkedIn Native Video, yeah.
Micalizzi: Yeah. Are you finding that folks are also taking those same videos and sharing them out, let’s say, through email to prospects?
von Rosen: Exactly. It doesn’t really matter where you created the video as long as you’re not sharing a link, as long as you’re sharing the raw video. It’s usually opposite of that, right? Usually they’ll create a video on Instagram or they’ll create a video on OneMob or on Vidyard, and they’ll then download it, and then they can upload that video into LinkedIn. So, it’s usually from elsewhere into LinkedIn.
But, yeah, you can absolutely share that video or reuse it again, as long as it’s relevant to whatever platform you’re on, and certainly as long as it’s relevant to the email that you’re sending out with the video in it. When you share, you can actually share the link to the video and it shows up pretty well on Facebook. It shows up on your own company page on LinkedIn. It’ll show up obviously on your timeline.
It doesn’t show up well, ironically enough, within LinkedIn Publisher; I tried that. And it doesn’t show up well in Twitter. It won’t populate the thumbnail. But you can even take the link and share it in some places. You can share it in a message, and on mobile it shows up with the thumbnail sometimes. I’m not quite sure why not all the time. And it never shows up right on desktop LinkedIn Messenger, so go figure. But, yeah, you can absolutely repurpose that video if it’s really good.
Speaking to that, here is a ninja trick for you. I wish someone had taught me this because I lost some really good videos. Once you’ve done a video on LinkedIn, if it’s not getting a ton of engagement, or even if it is getting a ton of engagement but it’s old, it disappears, right?
von Rosen: If it’s over 30 days for most people, and for me two days because I get a lot posts. I’m a big blabbermouth. And the video isn’t getting a lot of engagement, it just kind of drops off and disappears. You can’t really find it in search unless you’re using a special hashtag or something like that.
So, the trick is if you’ve got a video and you want to keep it around for a while. First of all, after you hit post and it posts, there’ll be three little dots on the top right-hand side. You’ll just copy that link and then save it somewhere, save it in an Excel file. I actually pull those videos into a folder that I have on Chrome called LIVid, and that way I can always find it.
You can go back into a video that you have, maybe one that’s starting to peter out a little bit, and just like or comment on somebody else’s like or comment, and that brings it back up to your notifications and back up in the timeline. And then the other thing that you can do is use a unique hashtag. At Vengreso we use #vengresovids. And then that way when you type in #vengresovids, all of us who have created video with #vengresovids in it, those videos will show up.
And so, if you work for a larger corporation, you can create your own like #kevinsvids. You might be competing with other Kevins.
Micalizzi: But it does increase your chances of being able to find them when they’re scrolled off that far.
von Rosen: Exactly, exactly.
Micalizzi: Yeah. No, totally understood. But I like your idea, your ninja trick there, to save the links to the videos separately, and that way you’ve got them any time you need to go back to them. I tend to be a little compulsive about keeping track of things that are published, whether it’s personal or I’ve done it professionally.
von Rosen: Yes.
Micalizzi: I have spreadsheets full of blog posts, too, things like that. But that is great, because honestly it would never have crossed my mind to save where I placed that video.
von Rosen: It didn’t cross my mind until I was — One of our partners, Kurt Shaver, did this awesome video. It was a green screen video. We were going to speak at Frost & Sullivan, which is a sales professionals, sales leadership actually, event in Tahoe back in February. He green-screened himself skiing down the hill and talking about sales leadership and that kind of thing. I thought, “That’s so clever. I’m going to showcase that on a webinar.”
I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find it anywhere. And then I said, “Oh my God, Kurt. Where is it?” And then he couldn’t find it. And so, that’s when I went, “Okay, I need to add that extra ninja trick into any teaching training podcast webinar that I do in the future.”
Micalizzi: Before we wrap up, what is the first thing the reps listening should do?
von Rosen: Get comfortable with video. You don’t ever have to post any of it, but get used to talking to your phone. If you’re really, really uncomfortable with it, then maybe get on Zoom or Skype or whatever and record that conversation you have with someone else, or go to a trade show and talk to someone at the trade show and record that conversation, or look at some of the cool tools out there. I’ll put a list of cool tools, including some of my videos, in the show notes. Check those out. Play around with those.
If you’re a techie geek, there are so many cool video tools out there that you might go, “You know what, this video thing is not so bad after all.” So, just get comfortable with it. If you can’t get comfortable with video, don’t worry about it. Don’t do it. There are other things that you can do. Video is not for everybody.
Micalizzi: I really like what you’re saying, especially about recording, even if no one is ever going to see it. This is my advice to add on to yours: don’t assume that you’re going to be horrible at it.
von Rosen: Yeah.
Micalizzi: Get yourself on camera and do it a couple times or 10 times, and let yourself feel more comfortable. It’s the same thing with public speaking. Some people go, “I will never be able to do that.” No, you just haven’t. You’re not used to doing it. You haven’t really trained yourself to do it well. Most people can do it with video as well.
von Rosen: For that matter, yeah, join Toastmasters. Because if you can learn to speak well onstage, you can absolutely learn how to do video, right?
And there’s so much — Google it on YouTube. Amy Schmittauer-Landino, she just got married. Amy Schmittauer-Landino who has Vlog Like a Boss, that’s her latest book, she’s got great tips. Okay, we’re not all like gorgeous 20-year-olds, I get that. But she’s got some great tips on how to use video. She focuses on YouTube. But there’s so much out there, so just educate yourself.
If you have the time, honestly, Toastmasters is such great training for salespeople. If you never step on stage it doesn’t matter. You will gain confidence in so many areas in your life by going through a program like that. I could recommend that to a lot of tentative speakers and videographers.
Micalizzi: Yeah, that’s great. Before we wrap up though, I need to ask you your lightning-round question. If you could take all the knowledge and experience you have now, go back to the beginning of your career and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?
von Rosen: Hire an assistant right away. I’m not kidding. I bootstrapped for many, many long years.
Of course, a sales rep, you’re going to have a different answer, maybe, although I’d say to sales reps, too: There’s so much — and it all depends on compliance issues with your company — but there’s so many great VAs, virtual assistants, out there. Take all the monotonous stuff that you suck at, like putting your information into Salesforce, and delegate that to somebody else so that you can go out and do what you do best, which is selling.
Think about it. If you could focus 90% of your time on selling and only 10% of your time on menial things like actually driving somewhere to a meeting or whatever, setting up the technology in your house, just think about how successful you could be. A lot of sales reps don’t even think about — As business owners, yeah, we think about what can I delegate sometimes. But as sales reps, a lot of times we don’t think about what can I delegate.
I remember for very — You said lightning round. Good luck with that. When I first moved to Colorado, I did not get the job I thought I was going to get and I ended up selling cars. One of the first things that I did was hire someone to do the menial stuff so that I could go out there and sell more cars, right? And then I quit as soon as I could. But some of you started out that way, too.
Yeah, do what only you do best, that’s my best piece of advice. Do what only you do best, and find systems, find people, find platforms, find services, find consultants, find contractors that can help you do the rest.
Micalizzi: I think that’s phenomenal advice, very Tim Ferriss.
von Rosen: Excellent. Exactly.
Micalizzi: Yeah, he very much approaches that world. Though I will underscore what you said. For anyone listening, please make sure you’re not violating any of your compliance issues or any of your agreements with your employers when you do this.
von Rosen: Exactly.
Micalizzi: But yeah, absolutely. Get the — I don’t want to call them trivial — but get the non-essential activities off your plate so you can do what you do best. I think that is such great advice, and probably advice I should be taking because I spend a lot of time on I call it administrative work that doesn’t advance the things I need to get done.
von Rosen: We all do. And even though I’ve got two virtual assistants and then one — not really. Like the other two ladies aren’t not real, but a woman who lives locally to me, I’ll put it that way. Even then I catch myself doing menial stuff. Because the other thing about salespeople is we’re like, “I can do it better myself,” right? We got to get past that, too. Someone else might be able to do your accounting better than you, I’m just saying.
Micalizzi: And most likely there is someone who could do it better, absolutely. Viv, thank you so much. This has been a riot and it’s been absolutely fun.
von Rosen: Thank you so much. I had a great time, too. Thank you.