This episode of the Sales Transformation Podcast with Collin Mitchell features Rob Napoli, entrepreneur, coach, and now the author of The Social Soul. In this episode, Rob gives us an in-depth view into his journey as an entrepreneur, and the experiences that he gained which made it into the book.
Rob has spent much time opening himself up to new experiences and opportunities, which has led to gaining unique insights on all aspects of business and marketing. For Rob, it’s all about authenticity, intentionality and having the desire to give value, nothing else.
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Rob: "It's amazing what happens when you take a chance on things and you open up to life's experiences and that's what I wanted to convey in The Social Soul. It's when you do that, and start having these different networks and different things that you're doing, and different communities you serve, and different places you've lived, how do you manage that?"
Rob: "A lot of us don't actually need to create a lot of content to start those conversations because we can go engage. Think about your audience. If I engage on Collin's post and have a meaningful value added comment, it might be marked at the top, most relevant, get sub threads, other likes and comments, other people start seeing it and start conversations off that thread. And that's just as valuable as creating content."
Rob: "We don't realize how easy it is to provide value through engagement versus thinking about how to be an influencer, and we don't need more of those."
Rob: "I'd rather have 500 highly active and engaged followers that are saying, hey thank you, and I'm helping and providing value because those 500 will tell their friends and that will slowly grow with the right people in. I don't need a million people just to have a million people."
Rob: "My network needs to be aligned to my conversation, my topic, what I want to learn, where I wanna grow into, and what I wanna do. And so I wanna prune it."
Rob: "There's a lot of toxicity going on. People copying and pasting to be influencers, and the space and taking bigger peoples' stuff and calling it their own, it's a whole big mess. And that's something that I don't want to see more of. The whole idea is to stop doing that. That's not helping you grow at all. And it's not doing anything for you but likes and comments. And it makes you look bad. It's not driving business, it's not driving real relationships, it's not driving opportunity. Stop wasting your time."
Rob: "Build with intentionality. Follow, connect, engage with those that are gonna help you level up in the ways that you want to level up in. Be authentic. Talk about from a real place of who you are and what you learned, your experiences, and how to talk through that. And then engage. Engage, engage, engage."
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[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or breakthrough to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell, and this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.
[00:00:24] All right, what is happening? Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. Today is a special, special episode. I've got my. Rob Knapp here with us today. Um, this will be round two. We're having Rob Knapp come back. We're going to have a little bit of a different conversation. You can check out the first episode back when it was sales hustle, or a little bit more of the origin story of Rob nap.
[00:00:44] But if you don't know who Rob Knapp is, he's an entrepreneur founder, coach trainer podcast, hosts of bare necessities, and now author of the social soul. Rob, how are you doing? Do you want to wow. The guy thanks for having me back on. Um, happy new year to you and your family. Glad to be back on the pot.
[00:01:03] It's been a lot since we last chatted early in 2020, when we first met, it was like February or March of 2020 when we got things rolling and, uh, excited to be back on almost a year later now. Yeah. Yeah. There's an, there's a lot to talk about since that's happened. Yeah. Yeah. So just, you know, for those who maybe didn't tune into the first, uh, Rob Knapp episode here.
[00:01:29] Yeah. Um, give us a little bit of Rob story. Like, you know, I know you have a pretty interesting path of traveling a lot and doing a lot of interesting things. So, so give us the short version and then let's get into. A little bit more social soul topics. I love it. I love it. So the short version is lab backgrounds, very diverse.
[00:01:47] I never walked a linear path. Uh, it's got my start in sales and marketing. I was a recruiter in the Midwest for back during suffer development days did fortune 500 fortune 100 recruiter. Did that for five years, uh, met my now wife in small town, Iowa. She happened to be at my best friend from college's kid, sister, uh, three months in a relationship.
[00:02:09] She was like, Hey, oh, like I don't do long distance. I'm moving to Italy, Europe to get my master's when I graduate breakup and then the heartache now or come with, and I was like, screw it. Let's go move to Italy. Got a master's in Milan and international multi-channel marketing. I coached professional American football.
[00:02:26] I was there. And I started working for a direct to consumer e-comm startup, um, as the head of content and brand skeleton from 5k at a hundred K MRR and six months, um, did some really cool stuff with them, which brought me to New York through an accelerator program. Um, after that, I started going to scale to the U S so lost that job.
[00:02:48] Went back into recruitment here in New York for large global corporate went into another recruiting firm, got fired for the first time. Start them out, two businesses, two and a half years ago. And now just rolling, um, with my training development company and, you know, kind of why the social Sali even happened is when I made that job.
[00:03:08] So I worked in recruiting. I was a big network or what I made that jump to it. How to figure out how to second acted. And I was traveling for football. I had gotten traveled like 12, 13 countries, 55 cities while I was there for two years, meeting people from all over the world. And I was like, how do I keep everything straight?
[00:03:25] How do I keep track of everything? Right. Social media. Right. So I started leveraging social relationships. And then when I came to New York, I started leveraging those. You know, start up for finding people here for all these different things. And that's, that's where this all got born out of was that moments and having to figure out how to manage a global network.
[00:03:47] And it just became a passion project of mine, which culminated into a book now. Yeah, boom. That is the super condensed Rob story I've heard, you know, from having you on and just our conversations and even just like listening to some of the other pods that you've been on. Um, I've heard the story, you know, a few different times, but for whatever reason, I can't help, but just totally smile.
[00:04:17] When you tell the part about what your wife was like, yo, I don't do long distance you coming with me or not. And he just, I'm just picturing you, you know, packing all your shit up and say, let's go. Yeah. I mean, it was, I make it sound that way. And it was like, I, I was pretty convinced because I had known her for awhile as my best friend, sister.
[00:04:41] When we kind of had that moment, we started dating. I was all in, like I was, you know, I dated before, like later in life, like I waited till I was almost 30 to get married for a reason. Like, I kind of knew what I was looking for. And when I met her, it was just like, I kinda knew it. And so when she asked, I was like, man, I got to see where this goes.
[00:04:58] Like I kinda like danced around. Like I was more afraid to tell my parents and my family kind of stuff. Um, you know, I kind of try to make her say, like convince her to stay. Cause I was, I had a six figure income. I just bought in the house that I closed on my house a month before I started dating her three months into dating her.
[00:05:16] She asked me to move to Europe. Nine months later, we were gone. Like, that's like, you know, those are the six figure income. I bought a house. Like, how did I carpet off like all this stuff? And it really wasn't that hard of a decision for me if I just kinda knew, um, Well, you know, I, I, I have a back end.
[00:05:33] There's a lot of back and forth, but what's the worst that's gonna happen. I kind of thought like, I've never really traveled. I've never gotten out. I've got some money saved up. I'm going to go to Italy and either marry this girl, or I want to be coaching professional, American football, getting a master's and living abroad.
[00:05:50] And I thought I'd come back and make money. Like I knew that I have skills to make money. I knew I had places to come back to. How cool would it be with either, either option didn't sound. Right. And the risk was, the reward was way, way more than the risk. And I was like, absolutely. And then I worked out, I mean, I got engaged in, you know, a hundred in New York city and married her, just, you know, it was one of those things where sometimes you have those moments in life where you just know, you know, and you just kind of like whatever they say, I'm just gonna, I'm just going to say yes to and jump.
[00:06:21] It was, it was a fairy freeing moment. I would say that I always let other things dictate my path. That was the first time. I think after buying a house that I've made a commitment to myself, um, for something that I wanted to stand for. And that was it. And, uh, yeah, I mean, it was kind of a crazy whirlwind Mo and I still laugh at it because when she asked, I didn't really hesitate.
[00:06:43] Um, I hesitated after I said yes. Um, but what she asked the moment, I was like, yeah, I'll follow you. Like, why not? Uh, I was, I was solid. It was as over early. Wow. Yeah. I love that. Um, got the job, got the house and then just flip your whole world upside down. Yeah, that's the girl, but it worked out, man. I mean, I mean, you've had so many incredible experiences.
[00:07:12] By saying yes to that outside of even just, you know, the relationship with your wife, obviously, but just professional experiences through traveling. Right. Which has kind of really triggered this whole, you know, idea that's covered in the book, like of like how to stay connected in a meaningful, authentic, you know, um, way with all of these people in these relationships that you've built all over the place.
[00:07:38] Yeah, absolutely. I mean, It led me to a path that I'd never thought possible. Cause I remembered like when I was in Iowa, I was working for these fortune 500 companies Dwolla had just started while I was one of the first like, um, um, Blockchain, uh, startups and it was coming out of Iowa, Ashton Kutcher invested into it.
[00:07:59] It was like a big deal, uh, especially for Iowa, right? Like the Moines, like a Midwest, like we want like a startup hub. Right. Um, so, so like, I was like getting all into this like startup thing and like all these things and, um, entrepreneurship, which I didn't even know really existed. Like, you know, I didn't study that in school.
[00:08:15] I studied business and marketing the time entrepreneurship. Wasn't like a class like it is now. And. That's going to get a master's and, and in Europe and Italy, it was really cool because it allowed me to explore that vein in a way that I never thought possible, which is how I got an internship at a startup, which is how I got into a startup accelerator, which is how my whole world was created.
[00:08:37] Um, and this ecosystem is now and, and, you know, I, it's just amazing. It's amazing what happens when you take a chance on things and you open up to life's experiences. And that's what I wanted to convey in the social soldiers. When you do that. And he started having these different networks with different things you're doing and different communities you serve in different places you've lived.
[00:08:55] How do you manage that? And how do you interact authentically and engage in a way that can turn friendships into business relationships, for instance, relationships in their friendships, like connections that you don't talk to you for years and turn into something down the road, just by being authentically you and intentional and how you interact and engage.
[00:09:15] Right. And I use the word engage a lot because. It's not about being an influencer, you have enough thing, influencers, um, online. Like that's not what we're here to do. We need to give value and engage in meaningful content. And that was, yeah. I mean, I, I know I'm kind of going on, but these, I get really passionate about this because this is something that started for me a long time ago.
[00:09:38] And I remember I got the opportunity to go speak at a conference in Prague called web expo in 2019. And this was at the time that Jake Dunlap and Gary V started talking about social selling was kind of this big thing at the time. And I, um, I got asked like, what do want to talk about on stage? Like, I don't know, I'm open to all these things, like, well, we really love this idea of like social selling and tools and stuff like that.
[00:10:01] Would you want to speak on it? I was like, why the hell not, this is passion of mine. I've been thinking about this. So then I was able to kind of condense all those thoughts in that first part. And I remembered after I got off stage. Uh, before anyone else started talking about social engagement, I got upstage and I was talking, interacting with the guests and I had like 125 people in the auditorium.
[00:10:20] And about 50 people came up and talked to me. And I remember thinking it's not about social selling. It's about social engagement. If there's one thing I wish I did at that moment is that I had started talking about, I shouting from the rooftops then, cause I waited and held all this in. And now in 2022, I finally have a book coming out, but this is.
[00:10:37] This is something I've been thinking about, talking about doing behind the scenes. It's 2019. It's just, I'm finally glad to get it out. It's perfectly imperfect and it's all me. It's just like, this is how to do it. And this is, you know, if you think about where you want to be, like, here's how you engage with your community online.
[00:10:54] And we needed to become a big deal during the pandemic. And it's overwhelming to. Yeah. And, and, and I want to dig into this because, I mean, there's some people who. I don't even really know what it means to social sell. Right. But let's just dig in like break down the difference between social selling and social engaging with intentionality.
[00:11:17] Yeah. They're kind of turn hand in hand. Right? The idea of social selling is leveraging social tools to laser target it prospect and then connect with them in a different way to break through the noise. I was kinda like the initial like idea. Yeah. Because email and phone. And then you kind of use that information to kind of make like a cold, cold, warm, or an outreach warmer outreach on a different platform.
[00:11:43] But we weren't talking about the steps in between, right. And the social engagements, really the steps in between, like how can I, and I can go and look up quantum Mitchell in half, right before we first talked to him and we got introduced to the first podcast. I was like, who is this? And I realized we had.
[00:12:03] Tons of connections. And before I even come on the show, I reached out to about four or five people. Hey, you know, con vied man is show. I'm really excited about it. You know, look you tell me, what should I be looking out for? What was your experience with that community and Collin and his show? And, you know, by the time we got on the phone, we were talking like we were friends.
[00:12:18] Like I knew things about you because the stuff you're posting, I listened to a few of your episodes. I kind of scoped you out on social Satya family. Like those things I was able to find. And it was, and we don't talk about how to utilize that information to engage, to connect, to actually start conversations organically through the things we find online, social science.
[00:12:41] Okay. I find him on social. Here's the life I'm going to send them a pitch with that information. Like we jumped to the end result, not what is this journey of engaging in creating meaningful conversation so that when we get into that sales process, expectations are set or it's leveraged or whatever.
[00:13:00] Yeah. That's kind of the main difference. And so that's a, that's a good point, right? Because. That kind of tees up, like the importance of creating original content, right. Whether you're a seller, whether you're a sales leader and you're trying to attract talent, whether you're an entrepreneur and you're trying to build more relationships.
[00:13:21] I mean, there's so many different roles that this applies to. Um, but case in point, right? Like when you, I think I remember when you first reached out to me, like, it was just like, there was no, there was no. Right. Which already is different than the majority of DMS. Um, and then through me, checking out your profile, we wanted to have a conversation which naturally then led to you coming on the pod for the first time.
[00:13:48] And that's kind of where our relationship started. And I remember we had a really long conversation and then you even like posted a picture of a slight, like a screen. Scott up the zoom or something like that. Yeah. Yeah. And it was like, it was a different experience, right? It was, it was clear that like you were in it for the long haul and for the relationship, not just like a, what can I get from you?
[00:14:10] Exactly. I mean, and that's, that's what it makes difference, right? Is that the way that the conversation starts and, you know, you need to create content and we'll talk about that because I think, you know, in the book I talk about this, that not everyone needs the content creation. In a sense that not everyone has to just create two to create, right?
[00:14:30] Like that's actually the negative net effect. We have too many people creating more noise. You know, Gary V actually talked to us a long time ago. And one of the stories about when he started his wine business, right. Because he wanted to get into wine. So he just started engaging on Twitter all the time.
[00:14:44] Like he wasn't posting up before he started all exposed. He just engaged in conversation. So people started to get to know him. And a lot of us don't actually need to create a lot of. To start those conversations because we can go engage. Think about your audience. If I engage on Collin's posts and have a meaningful value added comment, it might be like mark at the top, most relevant, get sub threads, other likes and comments to other people start seeing it start conversations off that thread.
[00:15:10] And that's just as valuable as creating content. In fact, most people are daunted because I want to create content and I have to start getting people to look and engage in whatever. When you can go to people who post great content that you like. And just engage with it. And like that becomes a whole bigger piece and you can start looking at well, who else is engaged with it?
[00:15:28] Oh, Rob's engaged with it. Oh, Rob seems like an interesting person to get to it. Let me start talking to Robin, engage with him. And maybe it turns out that there's an opportunity to sell to me or business partnership where I can refer business all because I took the moment to engage on your content. So for people who are out there, like I'm afraid of creating, you don't have to create, go ahead and gauge.
[00:15:46] That's the, that's where you start and you start sh. Things that you can eventually turn into content later because those engagement pieces are the same thing and it just becomes more. And once you engage more, whether it's like commenting or DMS or combinations of both, you'll start to get a little bit more comfortable about like the thoughts or the ideas or the conversations that you have that will like fuel that creativity to create.
[00:16:11] Exactly. Exactly. And even before that, one of the things I love shit. Most people are like, I don't know what to talk about, or I don't have that many original thoughts. Cool. You want to know how you can create engagement? Use your featured section on your LinkedIn profile page. You just pin posts on your talk, right?
[00:16:30] So you don't have to create as much. But if I go to your page, I see a couple of feature things and you have a good about me section. That's not about your company, about you and your journey that already gives me 2, 3, 5 things that I can engage with. You. And ask questions and it gives you probably two or three, five things that people are asking you and engaging on it and asking you questions, you know, shoot, maybe people want me to share some more on that.
[00:16:51] So let me do a post about it and go deeper. And that just, it works hand in hand and we just, we don't realize how easy it is to provide value, but through engagement, we're always trying to think about how do I be an influencer and we don't need more of those. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I have done so many different things.
[00:17:11] In my entrepreneurship journey myself. Right. And so I even had to take some advice from you at one point, which was to prune my network, right? Because are you putting a message or content out there that's falling on deaf ears, right? So if you did something in your past and those people that you may have connected and engaged with at some point are no longer relevant to what you're doing.
[00:17:34] Yeah. You might want to consider. Pruning your network, or if they're not engagers, or if there are people who only connected to pitch, slap you. Um, there's so many reasons and it's a very painful time-consuming process, but I can tell you it's well worth it. Yeah. LinkedIn definitely doesn't make it easy.
[00:17:50] Instagram doesn't make it easy. Facebook doesn't make it easy, but you know, I built this network up before and to be honest, you know, one of the things I talk about a lot is when I first started out, I'm always been a great networker. Like I was. I did a $5 million book of business in four years in small town, Iowa.
[00:18:08] And I was really good at providing value in person that network. But I was, I was definitely more of a taker in the beginning as I was learning how to do this. And I was taking a lot from my network, but not giving as much. And I had to learn how to unlearn that. And I was in recruitment for so long that I realized that a lot of my network only cared if I had a job to post or I could help them get a new job.
[00:18:32] It starts creating all this content. As I moved into entrepreneurship is like, no one cares. That's not what they're following me for. It's not, I'm going to connect it to me for, and there was no engagement and yeah, I had a lot of people on LinkedIn, but they weren't the right people and it wasn't helping it.
[00:18:48] Wasn't benefiting me. So was like, you know, I'm going to prune it off. I'm going to get rid of a lot of people if they don't have a picture. If I don't remember them, if I don't have a personal connection to them, If they're not relevant to what I want to talk about in entrepreneurship, I'm just moving it.
[00:19:00] And I went from like 7,000 done, like 4,500 and I'm back of 8,000. I still go through it and have to prune because, um, that's just, it's like, it's a process that I do every couple of months. And what it also helps you do is I am not big. I don't care if I have a million followers or not. I'd rather have 500 highly active and engaged followers that are saying, Hey, thank you.
[00:19:23] And I'm helping and providing bad. Because those 500 will tell their friends. And I was slowly grow of the right people in, I don't even a million people just have a million people. I mean, I ran a campaign once with a former company that as an influencer had like 5 million people in his network across all this platforms.
[00:19:40] And we did a partnership, not a single sale came through. And I was like, what? I was like, that's all inflated in the didn't. And I started, and this was before I really knew this was what I was going through my master's program. And after my match and I looked back and I looked at this. And I looked through all this demographic, then I was like, wow, we were talking to the wrong demographic, his who he's going after now.
[00:19:58] And the stuff he's doing now is the wrong is not what his demographic is. And this demographic doesn't care about the tool we had. And so it was a bad match and we spent money that we lost. And I was like, that was a big lesson for me. It's like my network needs to be aligned to my conversation with my topic, what I want to learn, where I want to grow into.
[00:20:17] And what I want to do is I'm going to prune it. And that started that. Yeah. Yeah. That's a, that's a great point. Right? And so like, even if you take it to more like of a personal example, right. Is okay, maybe you're not paying, but like the time to engage and, you know, uh, put content out there, you want to be putting out content to a network that's relevant.
[00:20:38] That cares about what you're saying. Right. And then there's also the other side of it, where. You know, and this is very common with salespeople specifically, right? Like, like engaging with a bunch of other salespeople to get a bunch of likes and comments. If you don't sell to salespeople. What's the, where is the value in that?
[00:20:59] Th I mean, a hundred percent of the only value in that is if you're trying to build and be relevant in your sales community and use that in some other way, with our personal professional growth in a different way, but that's not. I can go be relevant in a lot of different places, especially in like the sales me, but I don't sell to sellers.
[00:21:16] Right. I sell to entrepreneurs. And so I go into these entrepreneurial communities is and do these different things. And so, you know, we tend to want to go where the likes and comments are. And so we spend in those, like in communities and it's great. Cause you can learn a lot through that stuff, especially as it relates to tips and tricks, but it's not helping you.
[00:21:37] Sell to your client or to build the relationships that are either business opportunities or professional growth. And to that point, I haven't had a proven like who I follow and the stuff that I follow, because there's a lot of toxicity. Uh, there's a lot of things and people and things I was following that were influencers that, you know, I just keep scrolling.
[00:21:55] It's like, okay, this is cool, but this is not relevant. And I'm not learning anything from it. And I'm not, you know, so I actually pruned who I followed and started following people that I wanted to learn before. Things that I needed to grow into. Uh, so that's, that's how you, that's what this intentionality, you know, the second part of the book, right?
[00:22:14] The social soul mastering your personal professional brand with intentionality and authenticity, right? You gotta be intentional about who you're connected to and where you engage when you engage, be authentic. Right. I know that we all say the same things and you know, the concept of original thought has gone down a little bit because there's so much content out there.
[00:22:34] It takes something, you learn, you internalize it like steal, like an artist pass and clean came out. Right. And the idea is be authentic. When you say something don't just like copy and paste. What some other influencers said, like, how does that internalize and work for you? And when you comment on something, if you're going to do a copy paste from somebody else, that's bigger tag them, like utilize that.
[00:22:53] Right. I give them credit, but if it's an original. Don't just take something and like, oh, I'm going to say this. Cause it sounds good. Be authentically you, like, how does that, what does that mean to you? Hey, con I appreciate your post about this because it really helped me see a different view of the concept of social side.
[00:23:09] I really appreciate it. It's really fire. Thank you so much for sharing this. All right. That's how it tied to me. And it's, it's me. It's where the value I got. So that's where we need to get more of those conversations. And there's a lot of toxicity going on, people copying and pasting to be an influencer in the space and take in, you know, bigger people's stuff and calling it their own.
[00:23:28] It's a whole big mess. And that's something that I don't want to see more of. Like the whole idea is stop doing that. That's not helping you grow at all. That's not doing anything for you, but likes and comments, and it makes you. It's not driving business. Snapshotting real relationships. It's not driving opportunity.
[00:23:44] Stop wasting your time. That's the big thing, right? If it's not driving opportunity, right. And whatever that is like, whether you're looking for, you know, new clients, new partners, new business relationships, you know, whatever the case is, whatever relationships are of the most value to it, where, you know, you're in your current position or whatever you do.
[00:24:05] You know, is what you're doing on social driving opportunity. That's a great question, right? Because if you do what you were just explaining there, if you're not, if you're engaging without intentionality or you're connecting with not the right people and they're engaging with you, it hurts you. Right? So going back to the example, not to pick on salespeople, I love salespeople, obviously.
[00:24:29] But I see this, and it's a big problem specifically for salespeople, you know, is, is great to connect with your peers and learn from each other and support each other and help each other. But that should only be like a small ratio of what you do if salespeople are not what you target. And the reason why is because if you're chasing likes and comments, or if you're chasing, being mentioned on the new top list of whatever, right?
[00:24:52] Um, all of that engagement with you from those people that are not the. People that can drive opportunity for you and all of your engagement with them, which are not the right people that drives no opportunity. That's going to curate your feed of what you see and who sees what you put out and you're never going to win.
[00:25:13] And your social strategy is never going to drive opportunity. Absolutely. Like honey, you just hit the nail on the head of like part of the meaning of the book, right. There was three things I want people to take away and that is. Build with intentionality follow connect, engage with those that are going to help you level up and the ways that you want to level up in.
[00:25:36] Right. Um, be authentic, be like, talk about from a real place of who you are, what you learn your experiences and how to talk through that. And then engage, engage, engage, engage. Be an engager drive conference. And great things will happen because when you engage with authenticity and intentionality, good things will come from it.
[00:25:58] And you just mentioned it anyway. We'll talk about sales with people a lot, because you know, you're not, my background is heavily sales focused and we're a lot of sales community. So we see this happens, um, happen a lot and, and, you know, we need to get away from this idea, quality, quantity, over quality, it's wrong, right?
[00:26:16] That's what we thought of salespeople quantity. Quality over quantity and everything you do, you can still run at scale when you get good quality, but you can't run quantity. And so you'd have good quality and your network, your sales outreach, all these things, and that relates to every industry and every type of, um, piece.
[00:26:37] Yeah, that was, that was a question that came up. In the comments. Um, when I put out a post, uh, one of my favorite pieces from the book, right. And that was like, Hey, can you, somebody had asked, can you do both? Right. But you've got to start with, you got to start with quality. First quality has to be the priority.
[00:26:56] And most people don't. You know, have to learn this the hard way, right? The connect with anybody and everybody. And it used to be a lot easier to, I mean, I don't know what the limits were before. It was like 500 a week or something crazy specifically on LinkedIn that you could connect with and they cut that down to a hundred.
[00:27:12] So now you're kind of forced to be a little bit more intentional about who you connect with on LinkedIn. Right? So when most people were probably freaking out. Them. Um, I'm guessing you were probably yes. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I learned this because I did, I was originally quantity over quality when I became an entrepreneur, started my, my businesses at the same time as how would, except to everybody.
[00:27:34] Right. And that was because I needed to, in order to like, understand where my network was going and where my network was going to. So that there's a time for that. But you got to prune it. If you're going to do that, like, if you start with quality first, everything will happen that. And in fact, this actually leads me to a question I have for you, because this is something that I get all the time.
[00:27:54] And I talk about it a little bit in the book, but it's more a conversation that happens offline a lot. Will you accept a LinkedIn request without a message or I know I will. I will. You will. I will too. There's a lot of other that I will not accept and I w I will, I will accept without. A note, if there's two things, if I go to your profile and you have a good headline, so I understand exactly what you do, right?
[00:28:20] Like Colin. If I call him it to me and then buy without a note, well, he's a revenue for his podcasting strategies, managed podcasting services. Like I know why he's reaching out to me probably to talk about their egg, guessing on a podcast or be starting a podcast. And if I'm interested in podcasts, of course, I'm going to connect with them.
[00:28:35] Right. And then they'll look at your page. If you have like a featured or a good about me, granted, there's nothing about me or about me is all about your country. You don't have any feature, like your features, your resume. They're going to pitch me. I'm not answering it. Right. Notes are great tab. If you haven't dealt with it.
[00:28:51] I love it because a pop-up of the message allows me to response. I'll always, if you send a message, if you send me an invite with a message or no, pops up as a message on my LinkedIn messenger, I will always respond to that. And I will give you an opportunity. I'll open the door for you to message me. If you pitch me right after that, I will fucking delete you off that.
[00:29:10] Yeah. I've been given the opportunity to engage with me. I'm opening the door. Don't pitch me right away. Yeah. I love. I love this question for a lot of reasons. Um, yeah, there is some people that are hard stamps. You don't send me a custom note. I'm not connecting and that's fine. Um, and, and I, my view point is the same as yours, right?
[00:29:30] Like you have a good looking profile, solid pick optimized. You're putting out content, you know, for you specifically, you know, you're putting out entrepreneur content. I see that. I feel like, Hey, this is a dude. I can learn something from I'm going to accept it. Right. Um, and so. What's interesting is I ran, I ran and this is you gotta test on your own.
[00:29:51] Like people like to say like is black and white. No, no note with note, there's too many variables to say that there's one way or the other it's first of all, it's a personal choice by some people just how they feel about it. Right. And then secondly, how optimize your profile is, what your role is. Who you're targeting, who you're connecting with.
[00:30:11] Like there's so many variables, so actually ran an experiment. I don't know if you've heard about this experiment that I ran. Maybe I've talked about it a bit, but, um, for, and I'm going to, they've heard about it on the podcast many times too, but it comes up because it's a co it's a common thing. Right.
[00:30:28] And so right around the time that LinkedIn changed the connection and they put it down to a hundred a week, that's all you get. Right. Uh, shortly after that video card rolled out there, Integration with LinkedIn. Yeah. And so I decided to run an experiment because there's all these people saying, number one, always send it, you know, there's a bunch of people say, always send a note.
[00:30:48] And then there's also people saying, never send a video on the first touch point. Like never. And so I'm like, I want to test some things, right. So what I did for eight weeks, for four weeks, for four weeks, I sent a hundred invites every week to people that were targeted that I wanted to build relationships with.
[00:31:06] And I sent no, no. Okay. 55% on average accepted, really over that period of time. Okay. And then here's, what's interesting though, every single person, uh, as soon as they connected and I missed a few here, but for the most part, mostly all of those, I sent a 32nd custom video as the first interaction. And I was booking like three to five meetings per day.
[00:31:34] Yeah. Oh for these people, starting conversations, adding something of value they were targeted. So they're the people that I want to have conversations with. I wasn't pitch slapping them. I was providing them something of value, inviting them to have a conversation about that. Yeah. So I booked a three to five meetings a day.
[00:31:49] Okay. Then for eight, for four weeks after that, I did the same experiment, a hundred invites every week. And, uh, with that I sent a couple. Kind of a light version of what the video would say, slight, slight lift, slight lift in acceptance 65%, but booked less than half, half as many meetings. So like one and a half meetings per day.
[00:32:16] So about five week or so five or seven. Um, so way less actual conversations with people like off the platform from that. I don't know why, but like they just, when the second touch was a video, cause I sent a video after the message, they just, they didn't the second, the, this with the video being the second point of touch, there wasn't as much traction in them actually booking a meeting and have that conversation because probably, I mean, there's a couple of different things.
[00:32:45] Like my initial thought is, oh, the video is just a file. Continuation of the message you sent. So it's the same content. So I would, I watch that light. Um, right. That's, that's one thing that initially comes to my mind too. It's like, I may be accepting because I could learn from you. I don't need to have a conversation with you right now.
[00:33:03] So I'm going to just like, let it go. And also for those that don't know, LinkedIn message kinda sucks. Um, you know, you can filter by it on a red, you can not put out of office, but it's it, you know, it's very hard to manage and. You can get lost. So connecting and then having like a message in the video. As a second point, it pops up.
[00:33:26] It's more cleaner because if I'm accepting you on mobile, I won't know that I got a message I get online. I actually go to the message. If I accept you when I'm on a desktop, the message pops right up. Right. So it depends on too. Like if a lot of our users are on mobile, so they're not going to see that message and they forget to look at it.
[00:33:42] So I think that having it done is no, no. Is great because that message, when you send is actually help us a new message. It doesn't come up as new on your mobile. But when you send it separately, it comes up as like a new message and becomes more easy to find and respond to it. So there's a lot of different things.
[00:33:58] I love this experiment, FYI. Um, and I think that's super important. The video is great. Like when I do posts in my posts, like text posts, give me more views and engagement than anything else. Uh, which is great, right? Like LinkedIn's way of doing it. They want to promote those conversations. Videos can look too much like an ad.
[00:34:18] They want you to pay for it. Yeah. When I post the videos and I just got a lot of video posts staff, even now, I usually get less engagement, but I'll book a conversation on every video I post someone's like, Hey, I really love this. Or I want to get your thoughts on this or something. Um, there's power in video.
[00:34:32] And the power of video is that it gives them a real look at you to want to create that engagement in conversation, especially when it's that first major touch point. I think that's really powerful. It's the power of video in creating authentic engagement with each other. That drive conversations that lead to bigger things.
[00:34:54] I think that's a great point. I think. It's a great point, right? Because I think a lot of people are frustrated with video specifically on LinkedIn. I mean, I spend 80%, probably 90% of my effort on LinkedIn, right? Yeah. Um, I do a little bit on Instagram, a little bit on Twitter. Don't do Tik TOK. Uh, don't do Facebook really, but, um, I think people are a little frustrated with video, right?
[00:35:16] Cause it doesn't have the reach that it used to. But what, they're not what they're missing is exactly what you said, right? Like, so when you're intentional about who you're connecting with, and then they go check you out to see like, Hey, do I want to connect? Do you think they're going to go and read a bunch of text posts?
[00:35:31] Probably not. Maybe, maybe some, but like, they're going to scroll and like a video is going to stand out and they're going to get a little 32nd clip, a little, three minute video where they start to feel like they know you. They know what you're all about. Then they decide like one, do I want to connect with this dude too?
[00:35:45] Do I want to have a conversation with this person? Right. A hundred percent video beyond just the likes and the comments. And that's why value is important, right? Driving value, putting good out, engaging all these different things. Like if you're doing it for likes in the comments and for the reach, you're doing it for the wrong reasons.
[00:36:04] I mean, you need reach to get engagement, right. So, you know, for, for, if you're starting out, you're a big metric should be, you know, how many times your post was viewed. Right. And then once it's viewed, it's how many likes he wants his likes? How many comments. Once you start getting consistent comments. I like to go look at my likes and comments, say, okay, how many of these are not first degree?
[00:36:24] So I start saying a number like a big bulk of like second and third degree connections, liking and commenting on my stuff that I know that my reach is starting to really be organic growth into new people I should be connecting with. And so it, you know, it's a process. Everyone wants to go from step one to step five and you don't realize you have to be intentional about every step and understand.
[00:36:46] It's a journey. It's a marathon, not a sprint. And depending on where you are careers, cause you know, going back to the note verse no-no thing, if your intention of using LinkedIn, because a lot of people think that there's job focused. So if you're looking for a job in connecting people for jobs, whatever use notes, like if you're looking to grab a coffee, get a job or applying for a job and using it for that notes.
[00:37:08] But outside of that, I don't think, I think for a lot of new grad school, I have a lot of content like, and they're starting to develop like that's a great time to use notes when you're young. Um, because you don't have a lot to, a lot of legs to stand on, right? So this is a great time. Hey, I'm new to the game.
[00:37:22] I love your content. Want to learn from you. I would love to grab a coffee and pick your brain, or, Hey, I just applied for a while at your company. I saw that you're the hiring manager. I know that my, you know, I followed the process. I know that it could get lost. Here's a 62nd video or a 32nd video. Why? I think I'd be a great fit and provide value to your company, not why I want the job, but why would it be a great fit for your company?
[00:37:44] And why you should give me a look because I'll bring value to you and help your company. That's when you use us and that's where that could be super powerful. Yeah. Yeah. So if there is certain use cases where like, depending on where you are or what your intention is that a note makes a lot of sense, right?
[00:38:00] On a per se, it drives me nuts. When people try to take a hard line of like, this is the way to do it. And you're anything, you know, it's like, you got to have your own experience and like what your intentions are, are gonna change. You know, when. Using a note. Yeah. Going back to that example or not make sense.
[00:38:17] And there's, there's the fear factor, right? Like that ever one is really great on a video and not everyone's good at it. And the kid takes time. Right. But some people cannot express things in words talking the way they can writing. Like I write, like I talk like writing this book, this book is perfectly imperfect because.
[00:38:35] I have a good editor that help, but I mean, I wrote, like I talked, like when you read it, you'd probably like, oh man. Rob is like, speaking to me, like I think there was even an F-bomb in there first, the first, the first sentence. Um, you know, I'm really, I always try to not cuss as much because I was around my nieces this week and I was like, you know, really tough, um, tough to do.
[00:38:54] I'm kind of unfiltered that way, but, uh, the whole point and why I called the book, the social solid originally the books title was the social media. And I didn't like it. And I really wanted to be more of an encasement, like who I was working with. It's like, oh, the social seller, it will be more focused business wise.
[00:39:10] Like I don't like it. And I really liked the idea of social soul because everyone tries to take a hard line stance on social. And here's the gist of it. Going back to the three things I want everyone to take away is that it's not black or white. It's not this or that. Your online experience and the way you develop networks through social.
[00:39:30] Whether you like it or not, we live in a digital age and the pandemic prove that one, we're all working from home. We live in a digital social age. You have to learn how to use this in some way, shape or form, right. And however, that is to you, whatever you're most comfortable with whenever it works within the communities that you engage in and serve and want to connect with is how you should be using it.
[00:39:48] And it should ebb and flow on what you're comfortable with. You're going to have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. You're going to have to overcome fear. You're gonna have to do some these things. Let it be your journey. Your journey is oppressive because it's yours and how ever it takes for you to get to where you want to be online.
[00:40:06] Be authentically you show your social soul, engage first, do the things to practice and create meaningful engagement. And as you get more and more comfortable, you can start creating content. You can start sending videos, you can start doing these things, but if we tell them, okay, here's the playbook and it's the first line of sentences.
[00:40:23] This is not a fucking. Right. If you're giving you a playbook and we're going to try to try that playbook, it's not going to work right away. And you're like, ah, this doesn't work because it works. As long as it's authentically, you bring yourself your personality to it, and it will grow in the way that it's supposed to grow at whatever speed that needs to happen for you to manage it, leverage it and, and be intentional with it because that's where the magic of social happens.
[00:40:55] In the way that I look at it, if you want to be an influencer, go on Tik TOK, get all the viral trends and whatever, do all your dances, do. Other things, do all that you'll grow quickly. But is that the topic of conversation you want to be like? Shit. Nah, not for me. I'm not telling you how to get, make money.
[00:41:09] Quick. Entrepreneurship is hard. You can go look at Tik TOK right now and find our reels and you can go find 50 people saying, I can show you how to make 20 grand in a month, drop shipping or growing or Tik TOK from 20 to. I don't fucking care because I know growing a business that's scalable is hard.
[00:41:26] That's why I launched my podcast, the bare necessity of entrepreneurship, right? To talk through those journeys. Growing a social following is hard. If you be authentic and you show your social assault, it will happen. It will come and it will be your journey. And you'll be able to manage it with intentionality and drive great business.
[00:41:43] And that's what I want people to do. And that's where social needs to go because so loud, it's so noisy. I'm tired of seeing so many people try to be. Instagram influencers and LinkedIn influencers and all these things. And it's not what it's about. Cause if you, if you follow the latest trend, I mean, by the time you figure it out, it's going to be on to a new one.
[00:42:04] Like it's not sustainable. It's not, you know, it's not, if you show up authentically as yourself, be yourself, your journey, like that's not work. Right. That's why I hate it. I hate it. When people say. I need help creating my personal brand. I don't like your, your brand is what it is. You just like you, you are your brand.
[00:42:27] It's not something you need to create. It's just being yourself. It is. I do. I mean, there is some initial that around that, and there are ways because some of us aren't as great at it. Like I had somebody interview me. I actually have a guide. If anybody listens to this and shoots me a note on any platform and you have my links in the social notes and say, Hey, Rob, I love your 90 question.
[00:42:46] I'll send it to you. And it's not any questions to have somebody, either you interview yourself and answer and create content around, or have them ask you, and it's everything about business. Like, what are you passionate about? What looks you up to, like, how would you survive a zombie apocalypse? Like what's like, what's your secret to surviving a zombie apocalypse?
[00:43:01] Like those kinds of things, because that is you. And it allows you to just open up into being authentically you. So if you want that 90 questions, doc link down below. Reach out to me, comment, DME, whatever it is, make sure I see it. I will, I'll share it with you. I'll share with your community con yeah.
[00:43:20] Awesome, man. We're going to drop your beacons page in there and anything else so that people can get into your world. Um, and that's it, man. I love the book. I'm so glad you didn't go with the social sellers because it would have been so easy. It would've been so easy for you to just go with that because.
[00:43:39] People know what that is, right? Like, oh, I need to be social sound like people get that. Cause so many people talk about it, right? Yeah. But I'm glad you went with the social soul because that's authentic to run. Yeah. And I appreciate that. I mean, I will say this, that, um, I never fully liked where we were going with the social side.
[00:43:57] I'm glad. And writing a book is tough for anyone out there. At one point in the middle of this book, I read the first six chapters and I didn't like. And I did control alt delete. I deleted the whole fucking thing. I rewrote it. And like three weeks, like I was at a deadline to get it done, like, cause I had, like, I had set up all these things and like publishing it's like.
[00:44:18] There, they keep me on a tight deadline. Otherwise you get dropped back and it's like mid next year, which is way too late. Like the whole book would have changed. Um, I remembered one day I sat down. I was like, I don't like this. And I'm like, where it's gone. And this is after we named it, the social soul and all that stuff.
[00:44:31] But I just wrote, when I was reading it, I was trying to write the book like a book and not like write it like me. And I did control it, delete and start over and then finished it in three and a half weeks because I had the prompts. I knew what I wanted to say. And when I just free float it from me and let it be authentically me again.
[00:44:52] That's what happened. So like those that don't know, like that's like something, I don't tell many people, but that was a really tough thing in the middle of this writing process that I did, because I started to write the book for book writing purposes and I stopped being authentically me and I had to take my own advice and like, you know what, write this like Rob Napa doing, control-alt-delete start over again.
[00:45:11] And that's why I said I focus perfectly and perfect, man. I love. Um, you know, the addition I even said to you, there was an issue with printing and there was some page numbers off and a few things that, that they made mistakes on it. I had to go get fixed and I was like, should I just send out 40 copies for first reads?
[00:45:27] And they're, they're perfectly imperfect. And I had to go get it. It's like this process, but you know what, you know, just like I say, in the book, like when it comes down to everything you do, don't let perfect get in the way of good, get good out, test it. You can always edit it. But B. Don't let the fear, everything else, that being perfect.
[00:45:48] Put it out, just go do it, engage, create, and then learn iterate. Cause that's as you said, being authentically you. So that's what it's all about. Comes from a very real place. I put some of my own stories and journeys in there and, and um, you know, I can just short it's only nine, nine pages for a reason. I want it to be a quick read with lots of value that drives secondary conversations.
[00:46:10] So go check it out. I thank you for letting me, um, you know, talk about it here, but also for the, the, the feedback you gave me for, you know, being a first reader, those out there, you know, calling and, and Chris, I, I do a lot of work with the sales guys and what they're doing in the podcast world and the communities that they have built, which I think is amazing.
[00:46:28] If you don't know about the sales cast community, you should check it out. Cause there's a slack group that has some amazing continent people in it. And. You know, that's why I wanted you and Chris to be a part of reading the first reads. And I sent it out to those that have built authentic brands and who talk about these things and are still going through it yourself, as you talk about, and then iterations and changes in your entrepreneurial journey.
[00:46:50] So I appreciate you for sharing that and, and for your community that you've built and allowed me to be a part of, cause that's been, um, really a cool thing that I've been able to be a part of and leverage in my book and in my experiences and the things I speak in. Yeah. Awesome, man. I really appreciate it.
[00:47:05] This was a lot of fun. Go get your copy of social. So drop a link there. We're going to drop Rob's beacon page. You can also find out bare necessity. This podcast, if you're entrepreneur, it's a podcast, you definitely want to subscribe to any final thoughts before we wrap things up, we're going to make sure they have everything they need to do to get into Rob naps world.
[00:47:24] I love it. No, I mean, I think I just kinda talked. I kind of gave you the big ending spiel of just do it and don't let perfect get in their way to get in the way of good cause it's, it's a scary thing to be authentically you and again, being authentically you as the highest and the lowest, like you have a journey and your journey.
[00:47:41] Stop comparing to others. It's an impressive, because it's yours and allow that to feed who you are and everything you do and build with intention. So I'll leave it there. Appreciate you calling for letting me come back on. Hope everyone out there listening has an amazing 20, 22 and make it. I always talk about it.
[00:47:59] I don't wait till the end of the year to start resolutions or anything like that. It's just a continuation of continued growth and being curious and learning. So I hope you make 20, 22 another year about continuous personal growth as we have a lot of changes happening in the world, and this is your chance to grow and engage with it.
[00:48:16] All right. Thanks my man. If you enjoyed today's episode, please write us. Share the show with your friends. It really does help us out. And we're always listening for your feedback. You can go over to sales, transformation.fm, drop me a voice DM, and I will get back to you. Hey, you stuck around that tells me you're serious about your own sales transformation.
[00:48:38] If you're tired of doing things the old way and want to get started in your journey with other people on the same page. Head over to sales, cast.community and crush your numbers on your leaderboard. Yeah. It's free sales cast.community. Send me a DM with your best pitch and mention this ad. And I might even give you free access to our best templates.