Do you need a personal brand? Wait, is that even a question in today's social media heavy landscape? Of course!
On this episode of The Chad & Cheese we welcome personal brand and marketing specialist, Carlos Gil, to the show for up close and personal talk on:
- Personal Brand - AI Influencers - HR AI aka Robot Resources and Stop Being a Wimp and POKE THAT BEAR!
All brought to you by the Bear Pokers over at Smashfly - bringing great User Experience (UX) to job seekers all over the globe.
PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION sponsored by:
James: Hi, I’m James Ellis from the Talent Cast. You may not be aware of this, but a couple years ago I lost a bet, so now I'm contractually obligated to say nice things about Chad and Cheese. Well, I took that, let's say, lemon and turned into lemonade. I took interviews from Chad and Cheese and turned it into a book, but I added a lot of other people you're going to want to talk to, it's called Talent Chooses You. It is Hiring Better with Employer Branding, and it is available on Amazon, June 15th, you should go and buy it. Bye.
Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors, you're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion and loads of snark. Buckle up boys and girls, it's time for The Chad and Cheese Podcast.
Joel: Oh yeah. What's up boys and girls, we're back from dance. You know what we do, that podcast thing.
Chad: There are a lot of people to talk to thing.
Joel: We'd have a lot of people to talk to. A lot of great people at this conference. A lot of interesting folks. And on that note, we are joined today by Carlos Gil, who really has more titles than I have time for. Like what-
Chad: Bestselling author slash ...
Carlos: Depends on the audience, right? Because you have to play to the who's in the room. So there's times where its bestselling author and then I just say that The End of Marketing is my company. Gil Media Co, is my marketing agency. So I'll say, owner or CEO, brand marketing executive.
Carlos: Titles are just that, its titles.
Joel: So this was interesting when we came down to meet you, you came up to me and said, "We have history." And I knew who you were, and you're the rare marketing guy on stage preaching to the choir, who actually started out as a job board in Florida. So, you rarely get asked this probably, but tell us your job board story and how that was a springboard into where you are now.
Carlos: It's funny Joel, because when I saw your name come over on a text message saying, "These guys want to interview you for their podcast." As soon as I saw the name Joel Cheeseman, I was like, oh my God.
Chad: Not that fuck. Not that fuck.
Carlos: I'm thinking, oh, man, this is the same guy that I was like, 25 year old, starting off in HR with a job board in 2008, just knowing the shit of everyone in the space, and it's cool that we're at this intersection in time, right? Where-
Joel: Our roads are crossing.
Carlos: ... We're both older in our careers, right?
Carlos: There's that mutual respect. But, I started my career in social media marketing at 25, I worked in banking and I lost my job. And the same day I lost my job, I joined LinkedIn. And this is November 5th, 2008. And as you remember back then, the economy took a nosedive. There were 100's of 1000's of people losing their jobs and I was a naive 25 year old that just wanted to help people find jobs. I felt like, I've got a young family, I'm getting fucked by this whole thing. I was working for AIG, I got low severance.
Joel: Oh shit.
Chad: Just fucking way.
Carlos: Within just a day of joining LinkedIn I realized, there's so many other people out there, that are in the same position as me and I became motivated to help them. And I didn't have a background in HR whatsoever. I learned how to code, and bought a script and then customized it, and made my website, which is Jobs Direct USA. It's funny that we're sitting here, because it's embarrassing. I didn't have the best product out there. It sucked. It was really basic.
Joel: You didn't have to back then.
Chad: But most job boards did suck back then.
Joel: And Craigslist still sucks.
Chad: And they still do.
Carlos: It's true.
Joel: And it's making a billion dollars a year.
Chad: Exactly. And they still suck. But again.
Carlos: One of the key moments of my career early on was, I remember, within being like a month into Jobs Direct USA, it was through networking on LinkedIn. I meet this venture capitalist in Jacksonville, Florida, where I lived at the time. And I'll never forget this meeting, because this was a very much pivotal moment of my life and my career. We meet three days in a row, the first day, the guy absolutely loves me. The second day he tore me to shit. The third day, he's like look, you don't need my money, what you need is to actually go out and build a business. And if you go out and get 50 paying clients, meaning you go through the onboarding process, as a vendor for 50 different companies, come to me and I'll write you a blank check. I never saw the guy again. I went out, I hustled, I worked. I started doing these events called pinkslipped parties, all throughout the U.S. And in the process I learned social media marketing. I started building a network. Yes, I was like the King of spamming through email back then, but who wasn't. And it led me down this path where I'm at today, where I've had the pleasure of working as an employee for some really cool brands, including LinkedIn.
Joel: So did you sell the job board? Did you just say, "I'm moving on and close the doors, does it still exists?"
Carlos: Man, such a good question. I didn't have a seven figure exit, like a lot of people nowadays exit from their businesses. The easy answer is-
Joel: Not from job boards.
Carlos: ... No, the easy answer is no. The business just went away. I got hired by Winn-Dixie, which is a supermarket chain based in Jacksonville, to start social media for them at the end of 2011. And for about a year, I moonlighted where, yeah, I still had the job board. I hired someone to do job fairs because I'd learned in the process that job fairs were actually pretty profitable, at least back then they were. And then about a year and I was like, you know what? I'm good with my six-figure cushy marketing job. And then the job board just went to the wayside.
Joel: So it does not exist anymore as far as you know?
Carlos: It does not exist as far as I know.
Joel: You don't own the domain.
Carlos: I don't own the domain.
Carlos: What is fascinating is that the LinkedIn group that I started back then still exists, has about 35,000 members. But what I did, and this was like growth hackery, to grow the job board that I said on day one working at LinkedIn. Your first day working at LinkedIn, every employee in new hire orientation has introduced himself or herself to Jeff Wiener, the CEO. And you have to say, what's one thing that's not on your LinkedIn profile? So what I said on my first day was, "I know how to growth hack LinkedIn." And I did so, to build the startup during the recession and he was first thing, he was like, well, how'd you do that? I said, "Well, what I did, was I created multiple LinkedIn groups." And everyone was like New York jobs, Atlanta jobs, Chicago jobs.
Carlos: And if you guys remember, back then you could customize the welcome message, to your group on LinkedIn. So every single time someone would request to join a group on LinkedIn, they would be prompted with an email that will come from LinkedIn. And it would say, "While we review your application, visit jobsdirectusa.com, to sign up as an employer or as a job seeker. And I did this enough times to grow the database. And ultimately, the email database of Jobs Direct USA. And it was all using LinkedIn for free.
Joel: So the auto reply grew the job board essentially?
Chad: And Gary V is just now finding this out.
Joel: So Winn-Dixie, you had an interesting story. Tell our audience about your presentation, where you talk about, because it's obviously guerrilla style, not which you would typically expect at an event. So what do you typically focus on in your presentations and what did you to talk about here at the gathering?
Carlos: So my presentation here at the gathering is based on my book called, The End of Marketing. And for starters, I'm not a textbook marketer. It's very apparent when you see me speak on stage, that much of what I teach throughout my book, what I teach here are my keynotes, has been self-taught. It's what we're talking about here. It's actually getting in the weeds and trying to start a job board with no marketing budget. So, the whole premise of not just my book, but the talk is, really how to form human connections through social media, how to be less a brand on the corporate side, how to depend less on your logo and how to rely more on your people. So it's very much walking marketers through the harsh reality that today, you're not just competing against your traditional brands, but you're competing against people. Every one of us, three of us, we all have reach, we all compete for market share, not just against each other, but against other people out there. And brands just because they are billion dollar, trillion dollar companies, are not immune to the fact that we're all competing for digital market share in this giant digital ocean as I refer to it. And in order to stand out and rise above the noise, brands need to start relying more on their employees, which is where I think HR really should be taking notice of employee advocacy, isn't just a nice to have, but it's really a must have. And as I walk marketers through this progression of where we are today to where we're going, AI, artificial intelligence is getting ready to replace a lot of core functions, in the workplace today. And if professionals don't start honing in on, first of all, what makes them unique as personal brands and then B, how that cascades over their jobs, they're really going to be in trouble, over the next decade.
Joel: You have a great story, Publix versus Winn-Dixie. And Winn-Dixie's main competitor in the grocery chain business, was Publix and you had an idea of how to poach Publix customers into Winn-Dixie, but you were turned away. Tell us that story.
Carlos: I'm glad that you bring that up because again, putting on my old school startup founder hat, I learned in the early days of social media marketing, that social media marketing back then isn't much different than what it is today. What social networks really are, are search engines and you can find virtually anyone depending on the social network, speaking about any topic that's of interest. So back in the early to mid-2000's, I was looking for people that were h