EP 01: Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn Expert

In this episode I interview one of the most well-known and trusted LinkedIn experts, Viveka von Rosen. We cover a lot of ground and I end with my Bernard Pivot questionnaire.

Andrew Foote: [00:00:00] Welcome to footnotes. Let me tell you a little bit about my guest today. I’ve know Vivika Von Rosen for years, she was the first person I saw do LinkedIn really well. I think she was the first LinkedIn expert that in my opinion was truly an expert. I’m so very thrilled to be interviewing her today.

Good morning, Viveka. How are you?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:00:16] Good morning. I am fine. That is very flattering. Thank you so much. I feel the same about you.

Andrew Foote: [00:00:21] Ah, you’re too kind you’re too kind, but seriously. I meant every word you’re  the first person I became aware of and started following you straight away and everything you did was just fabulous. I just thought well, if I was ever looking for a role model, then you would be it.

Let’s start with some questions that I have. I hope that, you know, many of my curious listeners will also have. Can you recall when you first became aware of LinkedIn and why did you decide to become a LinkedIn expert?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:00:58] Sure and you know, there are those moments in your life that like really stand out. I know exactly when I learned about LinkedIn. I was renting a co-share space at the time and, I’m a really bad manager of people. So that part I didn’t like so much, but what I loved doing was bringing in speakers to work with our entrepreneurs and small business owners.

So I brought in my friend, Laurie Macomber, of Blue Skies Marketing, and she was talking about Web 2.0, the fact that the web was interactive. So that tells you how long ago it was, like 2006. And at the very end of her presentation, she mentioned this thing called LinkedIn. We had managed to double the business in a year doing face to face networking.

So I thought, wow, there’s like 7 million members on this network, that’s insane because that was a big number back then. Right, this is pre-Facebook, this is pre-Twitter, this is pre Instagram. Who would have guessed that we’re looking at, you know, 650 million users now and growing still.

Andrew Foote: [00:02:09] Crazy, crazy.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:02:10] Yeah, so she introduced this thing called LinkedIn and I thought, I got to learn about this. Jason Alba really had the only book, which was I’m On LinkedIn Now What? So I reached out to him. He was very, very generous. I started learning as much as I could. Of course, got an account, lost that account, got another account. I did everything wrong and, yeah, I just started teaching and training on it locally.

Then a big international association that we were a member of heard that I was doing this and invited me to come speak at the Waldorf Astoria in New York city. Yeah, so that was my first speaking gig. My first big speaking gig was actually to a room full of million and billionaires in the Waldorf Astoria.

Andrew Foote: [00:02:55] That’s  how you cut your teeth? That’s how you cut  your teeth presenting about LinkedIn?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:02:59] That’s how I cut my…

Andrew Foote: [00:03:00] Wow, starting big Viv, starting big.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:03:03] What’s funny was, I was cleaning up my computer the other day, cause hey, we got time on our hands now. I found that first presentation. It is so horrible. The PowerPoint has like 400 words per slide and the screenshots were, oh my God, it was so bad. But you know, back then we didn’t have all the cool tools we have now. And I certainly didn’t have a team helping me back then. So, yeah, but it’s kind of embarrassing in retrospect.

But that led to writing a blog, which at the time there was that great little WordPress plugin. This was before, you know, LinkedIn put up the walls and you could use all kinds of third party apps with it. So, someone at Wiley actually saw my blog on LinkedIn and said, hey, do you want to write a book for us? And I said, Hey. Yeah, I do.

So we, we tried a couple iterations and I ended up, writing  the Hour a Day series, which is ironic because I still don’t think people spend an hour a day on LinkedIn. Maybe you do.

Andrew Foote: [00:04:01] I spend all hours of the day on LinkedIn.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:04:06] All hours of the day. You’re like 12 hours, 14 hours a day on LinkedIn.

Andrew Foote: [00:04:10] Indeed.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:04:11] But, you know, back in 2000 and…let me see. That one was 2011. Back in 2011, people were not spending an hour a day and I was like, ah. But anyway, wrote that book, wrote another book, got to speak at Social Media Marketing world with Mike that helped bring me to another level, the inbounds you know. So it’s just been a work in progress certainly. It still is. We started our new company Vengreso three years ago, with three competitors of mine basically. We created a new digital sales transformation company. So it’s been a really cool 14 years.

Andrew Foote: [00:04:46] Interesting. Thank you so much. Well, I’m going to leap over one question that I have in my head. I’ll come back to it, but you mentioned Vengreso and I was just fascinated to hear you say that you essentially started with competitors. So my question, the one that I’ve leapfrogged over I’ll come back to, but how did Vengreso come about and what does the name mean?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:05:07] Yes. Mario Martinez, who’s our CEO, we had tried, and I think you were part of the…we tried to create like a.. .with Brynne. You were part of that, right?

Andrew Foote: [00:05:20] Yes, I was.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:05:21] Yeah. So we tried to create like a online LinkedIn experts resource. That kind of petered out. So Mario said, Hey why don’t we start a company? And so he had actually reached out to me earlier and said, want to be the COO of his company then? I was like, no, you do not want me to be the ‘O’ anything. Like I am so not an operations person, as I mentioned earlier, you know?

So, we were talking to about 12 people and it, as things do it’s sifted down to the four of us now. So we’ve got Mario Martinez, who’s the CEO. We’ve got Kurt Shaver who’s CSO, Chief Sales Officer. We’ve got Bernie Borges who’s the Chief Marketing Officer and because all the good ‘chiefs’ were taken I’m the Chief Visibility Officer because basically I just get out and talk a lot.

Andrew Foote: [00:06:14] Well you know, visibility, that’s how I first became aware of you. So it seems rather apt .  And what about the name?  So I have to admit when I was doing some prep for today I managed to misspell Vengreso three times right. So it must be the express ‘O’ but it’s SS and it’s like, oh, I had to go back and I had to, just because I’m a bit OCD. So I corrected that even though I’m the only person that’s ever going to see that right. They’re in my notes.  So tell me a little bit about Vengreso in terms of the name, how did you guys arrive that brand?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:06:53] Yeah, and that’s a good story because of course, when we were coming up with the name, I remember we were sitting around the table at Mario’s house in California. We were just kind of like, okay, do we go with something that’s descriptive, you know, like social sales inc or do we go with some kind of Mark Schafer’s, you know, some kind of mashup of our own. Of course that was no, we didn’t. We ended up going with Vengreso, which is a combination of Ventas which is sales and, let’s see Vengreso, and Ingresso which is revenue. So it’s really Ventas and Ingresso is sales plus revenue. So there you go, Vengreso.

But yeah we wanted more of a Google type, you know, something unique. And now of course we have Vengresonian, you’ve been Vengresoed? We’re trying to make it into a verb.

Andrew Foote: [00:07:59] Got it. Got it. Yup. Perfect. Now you already mentioned the four founders.  Mario Martinez Jr. Kurt Shaver, Bernie. How how do you pronounce Bernie’s last name?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:08:11] Bore-jus, gorgeous Borges.

Andrew Foote: [00:08:13] Gorgeous Borges nice.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:08:16] He hatess it when I….

Andrew Foote: [00:08:17] Does he? I bet. What strengths does each of the founders bring to the Vengreso and do you all have different work styles or approaches?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:08:28] Yeah. I mean, it’s funny because a lot of people…just because in the marketing world I had more of a name, maybe than my colleagues. They were all very big in the sales world, but in the marketing world, everyone’s like, why aren’t you CEO? And I’m like, yeah, no. As I mentioned before, I am not a good manager of people.

So yeah, absolutely. We couldn’t have a better CEO than Mario. There is no freaking way in the world I could do his job. There’s like no way. First of all, he puts in about, I’m not even exaggerating, 18 hours a day. His vision to take us beyond just like a, you know, small little, Wednesday, Tuesday training company, which is honestly what LinkedIn to Business kind of was. We’ve got 27 employees and contractors working with us right now, full time and then another five profile writers. So it’s a big company, especially in three years of growth.

So his vision, you know, he brought his vision. He also brought…he’s a phenomenal sales person. We will go into a business call and I will be like, I am not doing whatever. Like he’s going to ask me to do whatever and I’m not doing it. And by the end of the call, I’ll be like, and what else can I do for you? So he is like, nevermind with our prospects and our clients. Like he is a phenominal sales person, as it’s Kurt. Kurt’s our CSO. So he and Mario were probably more competitors than I was with them.

Andrew Foote: [00:09:55] Got it.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:09:56] And same, like Kurt walks in…Kurt has so much charisma. He walks into a room and like all the girls and some of the boys are like, ahh? I mean it was really funny. At my wedding, he came to my wedding and it was like Kurt and his harem. He was surrounded by like 25 ladies. I mean, he’s got so much charisma and again is such a phenomenal salesperson. And so he brought his sales expertise. And then we have Bernie who is a phenomenal… he had a million plus dollar company, coming into, Vangreso. So he’s a phenomenal consummate content marketer. So he brought his marketing skills and really, yeah, I brought my gift of the gab and my visibility and the Twitter handle LinkedIn expert.

Andrew Foote: [00:10:42] Well that’s pretty powerful. What do clients love most about working with you guys with Vengreso

Viveka von Rosen: [00:10:51] I think it’s the mind share. I mean, we really are selling with LinkedIn selling with Sales Navigator. Before Vengreso when it was just LinkedIn to Business, like I thought I was the queen of LinkedIn and I knew everything about LinkedIn, but you get stale sometimes. And so I was ready to, honestly, I was ready to go into completely different direction when Vengreso came around, I was so bored with LinkedIn.

So I think what our clients get out of it is it’s not boring, right? So we do, we bring this mind share in, and we come at selling with LinkedIn from many different directions; from marketing, from sales, from alignment, right. It’s not just about the skillset, but how do you create the mindset, right? And then what tools are you going to use so that you get the right results? And so most of the feedback is, we hold their attention. When we work with sales teams, we’ve got gamification, we’ve got reporting, we’ve got accountability.

So the problem and I know this because I know when I used to, you know, go do a half day to one day, two day sales training or LinkedIn training, you know, you’d get the 20% who are super engaged and you knew they were going to take your skillset and succeed. But then the other 80 are like checking their email.

So what’s happened with this new program and the way that we’re delivering it, you know, everyone gets a hundred percent completion because they’re sales leaders and the people who, you know, basically created this opportunity for them or are hammering them with the stick. We tried to bribe them with the carrot, but if that doesn’t work, we hammer them with the stick. And so, you know, they’re completing it, they’re putting it into action, and they’re getting phenomenal results. So that I just could not do on my own. I didn’t have the mind share. I didn’t have the skill set. I didn’t have the tools and now thankfully we do.

Andrew Foote: [00:12:48] Interesting. Well, you mentioned boring a short while ago. Do you teach your clients how to write connection messages and InMails that are effective. What are some of the techniques that you can share with our listeners?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:13:02] Yeah, no, that’s a great question. We do, we have templates that are, of course, customized to the individual clients. But you know, we have, what’s called the PVC message, which is personalized add value and put in a call to action. And so pretty much whether it’s an invitation request, a followup to an invitation, a first message we always follow this PVC.

First of all, I am 100% anti automation of anything on LinkedIn. I mean, we could probably spend an hour talking about our worst invites right?

Andrew Foote: [00:13:35] Oh easily. Yup easily.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:13:38] Yeah, one of them was, you know, Dear sir. I see you’re in the cleaning supplies business. We are too and if you want leads like this, you should totally buy our program. And I’m like, okay.

Andrew Foote: [00:13:52] Sign me up.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:13:53] Right. I don’t think I look like a dude. I know Vivek is an Indian male name, but I’m Viveka and it’s just so bad. So I had to ridicule him publicly on LinkedIn. But, so we always…it’s always about personalizing. We love video. So Vengreso we’re big users of OneMob, but of course, on your mobile device you can add, you know, you can send a video message to your connections voicemail. So we’re, we’re big fans of anything that’s out of the normal. So personalized, you always want to add value. I don’t get it. And Andy you write the best articles about this.

Andrew Foote: [00:14:33] Stop it.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:14:34] Like why do people think it’s okay to connect on LinkedIn and then sell someone. Like the next message is…and put you automatically  on their email list?

Andrew Foote: [00:14:44] Yeah, well the answer is they don’t think. The answer is they don’t think at all, they just, you know, it’s obviously a numbers game with that kind of outreach, but yeah.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:14:55] Yeah, you always want to add value. And then sometimes the call to action is simply are you willing to connect or the call to action is could I send you something or the call to action is, hey, let’s book some time together. It really depends on whether you invited them, whether they invited you, whether they call, you know, if they’ve got a buy-in question in their invitation, then by all means close them.

But you have to be delicate and it just comes to you know, if you were at a live, not that we go to live events anymore. But if you were at a live event and you saw someone that you wanted to talk to, maybe another speaker, an influencer, author, whatever you would like just jump in and say, Hey, my name is Viveka and you should totally let me do your profile. Kind of like if they were talking to people, you’d kind of slide into the conversation, you know, insert a few things and when it was time, you know, introduce yourself. People need to use LinkedIn that way. They need to engage with their prospects before they ever send an invitation to connect or a message.

Andrew Foote: [00:16:00] Quite, quite. Have you seen the new conversation ads? You know what I’m talking about, where they’re trialing them now.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:16:08] Yeah, I haven’t seen them in action.

Andrew Foote: [00:16:09] Right, right. So it seems like a method to get some kind of response which is automated, but it seems to be pretty clever, in that it’s having a look at the profile data that’s already shared, and then it’s building the entree right to start with. And so it’s obviously a time saver. Go ahead. Tell me, what you think about the conversation ads and where that’s going.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:16:36] Well first of all, LinkedIn you said not to automate anything you know, and it is, it’s an AI automation tool. AJ Wilcox was doing some…yeah. He’s a great guy on LinkedIn ads was doing something about it. Sure try it. Why not? I won’t spend money on it. I would rather be human and actually look at my prospect and actually look at their profile and actually find something that we have in common. I find it a little bit hypocritical of LinkedIn.

It was like, no, you can’t use automation unless you pay us. So that’s but I haven’t received one, so I haven’t seen the flow or how effective it might be.

Andrew Foote: [00:17:17] Right. Speaking of hypocritical, we want to talk about Elevate and Pods and how those two square. We’ll have that. We’ll have another conversation about that in the future. I think we’re in week seven, certainly in Illinois of COVID lockdown. How is that affecting your business?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:17:41] Yeah, it’s interesting times for sure. We’re getting more traffic to the website. We’re getting more inquiries than ever before. Our main product of course is training sales teams. We take you, we get you to hello. So, you know, the problem is big corporations are being a llittle careful with their funding right now because they don’t know how long this is going to last.

So we’ve managed to close a few big deals. We’re still waiting to get our funding from the government, you know, one month later. But we are getting an immense amount of activity. And I think probably everybody, has experienced like if you just look at your LinkedIn profile and who’s viewed your profile, you’ve probably seen a huge uptick.

So we’re trying to provide a ton of free resources for people so that they, you know, they can build their brand and look good on LinkedIn and use LinkedIn effectively. We’ve knocked our individual course down to like $97 from $400 or $500. So we’re doing whatever we can to kind of keep the ball running or the ball rolling. It’s it’s interesting times, you know, it just is.

Andrew Foote: [00:18:51] Absolutely. When you want to share information via LinkedIn? What’s your favorite method of doing that?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:19:01] Yeah, I’m a big fan still of video. So I will always try and do at least a couple times a week, a live or a native rather, video sharing some kind of tip or tool, or if I’m doing a webinar or a podcast I’ll try and do a video around that, because it still tends to do a little bit better in the algorithm than just sharing a YouTube link or a link to a blog post. So that’s my favorite way of using LinkedIn. And of course, educating, it’s not about selling, ironically, even though our course is called Selling with LinkedIn.

It’s not about selling, it’s about educating, positioning yourself as a resource, you know, positioning yourself as an advocate. And as your prospect or your client’s advocate, rather than you know, selly salesperson. So I love that. I finally got LinkedIn Live, I think only because I’m doing a course on it for LinkedIn.

Andrew Foote: [00:20:01] Oh, excellent.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:20:02] Yeah, but otherwise they hate me. So finally I got LinkedIn Live and I’m loving it. We’ve had a couple of failed software attempts, but we’ve had a couple of really good LinkedIn Lives. Like you said, I had Kate today, my friend Kate Paine, on. We got to get you on too, so I’ve got a couple open slots. So we’ll talk about that later.

Andrew Foote: [00:20:20] Yeah, I would actually love to do that, thank you. Are you a fan of Sales Navigator? What’s your favorite feature and what’s missing?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:20:28] Yeah, I’m a huge fan of Sales Navigator, only because I use it. What I tell people is when they’re going, you know, should I get Sales Navigator or not? Like, don’t get it until you hit the wall on LinkedIn. Until LinkedIn says you have to upgrade in order to see more people, or if you’re not finding the right prospects on LinkedIn.

So for Sales Navigator, I don’t… ironically, most people get Sales Navigator for their InMails and I never use mine. I mean, I’ve got 240 InMails right now, that I haven’t made use of in the past three months. So what I love about Sales Navigator, excuse me, it’s not COVID-19 I promise. What I love about Sales Navigator is  the better search fields.

So you can really find your ideal prospects and find your ideal companies  if you do account-based selling or account-based marketing. So you’ve a lot better search results. You can save more of your search results. So if you’ve got different buyer personas or different geographies, of course, LinkedIn will alert you when new people fall into that.

So basically LinkedIn sending you leads. But what I particularly love is the new lists. It’s not new anymore, but the ability to create lists from your saved accounts. So that’s probably one of the most powerful tools I think on Sales Navigator. And also it’s so silly, but there’s a search field, you know this Andy. For the people who don’t, there’s a search field when you do a search on LinkedIn, you can also sort by people who are active on LinkedIn. So you’re not spending all your time reaching out and trying to engage folks who were on LinkedIn in 2007 and then haven’t been back on since. I love that.

Andrew Foote: [00:22:08] Yeah, and LinkedIn loves to tout about how many active members there are or that the large percentage that are indeed active. What’s missing…

Viveka von Rosen: [00:22:20] I mean, I know that you can kind of sync it a little bit, maybe sometimes with Salesforce and Dynamics. I’ve never seen it be flawless with either of those, with my clients who have Dynamics or Salesforce. Where HubSpot, it’s supposed to work with HubSpot, it doesn’t.  The CRM integration is a huge gap. I do not understand. They’re not competing, Salesforce isn’t competing with LinkedIn. HubSpot isn’t competing with LinkedIn. Dynamics isn’t competing with LinkedIn. Nibble’s not… like, why are you people, you know, Dynamics, hello? Like do a CRM Lite version Microsoft and then maybe people will upgrade into paid Dynamics. Like just, ah.

Andrew Foote: [00:23:05] If they’re listening, then please pay attention. This is one of your customers. Yes. Well, let’s hope. What do you think of the SSI, the Social Selling Index? Is it important? And what’s the deal with SSI?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:23:22] Yeah, I noticed it took a plunge the other… I don’t know what happened, but like most of my clients lost 10, you know, in the middle of our program, they lost 10 points. They’re like this program sucks. I’m like, no, it’s LinkedIn, it’s not us. So on the one hand it’s Litmus, right? It’s a number, LinkedIn analytics are kind of sucky, that’s the other thing Sales Navigator could have is better analytics.

Unless you’re paying for ads, the analytics really are bleh and the reporting is bleh. So it gives you an opportunity to see where you are and if you’re improving. I’ve had people though, like not engage with potential prospects because they feel that they’re outside of the right insights and it’ll cost them their SSI score. I’m like, so let me get this right. You are not engaging on LinkedIn with prospects who will actually buy stuff from you because you want your number to stay at 81. Like, come on people, it’s an indicator.

Andrew Foote: [00:24:23] That’s bizzare. Right. Yeah. Well, not that I pay much attention to it and there’s some chatter in our Facebook group, the LinkedIn Action User Group Heroes ,that the SSI might be on the way out. I’m not sure about that, but I happen to look at mine, I haven’t checked it in years. I looked at mine today and I think I was something like 73. And then one of the breakouts was Engage With Insights and I scored a pitiful  3.15 out of a possible 25.

And I thought to myself, really? Because that’s what I do, engage with insights. So, you know, why… oh, it’s insane. So yeah, I’ve never been a believer in that. Never really used it as a tool or anything, but whatevs. So  what do you love about what you do, Viveka?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:25:20] I love the, like I said, I love the fact that I get to work with other people now. I love the fact that I get to do what I do best and someone else does the marketing and someone else does the sale. So I really, I just get to engage with people on LinkedIn and I get to teach and train our customers and our clients. That’s exciting when you actually see provable result, you know provable pipeline because of what you’ve taught and  trained on. It’s really powerful, especially right now. It’s also equally frustrating, like we had one company, Carousel, phenomenal. I mean these guys, like they were so active in our program and they were so engaged and a lot of them attended even our optional coaching sessions and they did everything that they were supposed to do. And their pipeline increase like 300% and there was 1.5 million attributed just to LinkedIn and in our training. Right.

So that’s exciting, especially right now, when businesses are hurting, they went up  300%. Then we have another customer who I won’t say who they are, but they were like, no I don’t want to be here and they’re like… Oh my God, trying to get them to engage during the live trainings, no one attended coaching, you know, and guess what? They did improve, but like 108%. Right. And that’s frustrating, because you’re like, oh, if you just did the work, you know, maybe you wouldn’t lose your job now.

Andrew Foote: [00:27:07] Yeah. Understood, absolutely.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:27:09] Same industry, ironically, they did almost the same thing. They were competitors.

Andrew Foote: [00:27:12] Oh, really? That’s lazy. As a LinkedIn trainer and subject matter expert, how would you describe the relationship between the LinkedIn and LinkedIn trainers? They what? They hate us?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:27:29] They hate us. I don’t know. It’s weird. I don’t think they hate all of us like if you’re young and cute, like Mikayla, Alexis, or Culty, Jan, they love you. Yeah, it’s interesting and I know Andy we’ve had this conversation before. I couldn’t get LinkedIn… no one from LinkedIn would talk to me for my first book, which was published by Wiley. And they were on the same floor or they were in the same building on different floors in San Francisco. Like, are you kidding me right now? Like, you know I’m writing a book for you and I couldn’t get a quote.

When I was in Lynda.com before it was LinkedIn, you know, with needless to say, it was hard to get any thing from LinkedIn. But then, when LinkedIn bought Lynda, I still couldn’t get access to, what was it called? The pipeline tool they had that they don’t have any more. Anyway, and we know getting LinkedIn Live, like good luck with that. They don’t want to be meta. I mean, they want to appear impartial. They don’t want to be meta, they don’t want you on LinkedIn live talking about LinkedIn. So that might be part of the reason since my handle’s LinkedIn expert, but it’s like pulling teeth.

I feel like my individual relationships with individuals at LinkedIn is phenomenal and they’re amazing people, but it’s super frustrating that LinkedIn seems to be against supporting people who are promoting it for free, they’re advocates like you and me. But, you know, maybe I just have a chip on my shoulder.

Andrew Foote: [00:29:02] Well, I think you and I both Viveka. I think a lot of people in the LinkedIn training space share the same opinion and it’s just weird how they just don’t engage and we’re always at arms length. It’s a very odd approach to treat, you know, some of your biggest fans in that way, it doesn’t compute.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:29:30] Yeah and if it was all or nothing, I’d understand, like if they truly had like, okay, we’re not going to help any LinkedIn speakers. But it’s not true, I mean, they’ve got favorites and you know, whatever.

Andrew Foote: [00:29:44] Yes, it’s true they do. Yup it is what it is, but let’s just put it out there. In your opinion, is LinkedIn purposely complex and constructed in a way to keep the user on the platform for as long as possible?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:30:01] I never thought about it like that , I don’t think on purpose. They keep trying to simplify the platform and by making it more simple and appearing to be more user friendly, like trying to mesh the browser experience with say the mobile experience. I think though that actually makes… because you have to go three or four levels deep in order to access some of the features. So I honestly think they’re trying to make it an easier UI experience for the mobile user or for the part time user, but for the master user, you just got to do a lot of clicking around to find what you’re looking for.

And sales navigator, I mean, the alerts have some amazing features like seeing saved leads who have viewed your profile, seeing saved leads who have accepted your invitation, seeing saved leads who are sharing content or saved accounts even. But most people would never go pass the first click and never know that even existed.

Andrew Foote: [00:31:15] I’m always thinking it about LinkedIn and the usage of LinkedIn from the beginner’s perspective, because I think that’s a mistake I always make is just to assume that everyone knows how to use LinkedIn like me and spends as much time as me. But in particular, I’m thinking about the settings, that’s so darn complex and labyrinthian.

The other aspect that I think of all the time is stickiness. Am I doing what I’m doing now because LinkedIn is desperate to have me on the platform no matter what, and just spending time there? That’s my sort of overarching belief or perception.  We’re seeing a lot of Facebook type content on LinkedIn, especially over the last 18 months and many users sharing aspirational, sometimes very personal content. What’s your take on that development and does it change the way you or your clients use LinkedIn?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:32:15] Yeah. You know, I’m okay with pulling in a little bit of the personal, it’s kind of funny. I just took a picture of myself on my deck. I didn’t have pants, I mean, I didn’t show everything, but I didn’t have pants on, because it was hot on my deck and I was working in from… it was very zoom like. I was professional from the waist up and wasn’t wearing pants on the waist down. There was nothing overly explicit, but man, did that ever get a lot of comments. None negative, which was nice considering my legs were pasty and white, but, you know, it got an enormous amount of engagement.

So of course people are going to do things that get engagement. And so I don’t mind some… a little bit personal, not private. You know, if I shown everything that would have been private content. So I don’t mind a little bit personal, because I think it humanizes, especially right now, people are in pain, people are hurting, people are scared and so it humanizes.

Math quizzes, no. That’s for Facebook, unless you’re a mathematician and you’re trying to, you know, see what kinds of students you want for Harvard. That’s nobody who shares math quizzes. So, you know, yeah personal quotes, sure or not personal, but aspirational quotes. Yeah, I’m okay with it. Games, no. You know there’s just… know your audience and  speak to your audience, whatever that looks like. You know, one of our friends and colleagues, owns a bikini company. So it actually makes sense that her picture, she’s in a bikini and she shows hot models and, you know, no wonder she’s an influencer and gets millions of views because hot models, but it’s not right for everybody.

Andrew Foote: [00:33:56] Yeah, she’s broadcasting to her tribe and it’s completly appropriate in terms of her line of business. What do you think of LinkedIn hashtags?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:34:04] It’s funny, LinkedIn are like they’re thing, they’re not a thing, they’re thing. We have communities, we don’t have communities.  I like them and that if you use them appropriately, you very likely are going to get a wider audience on your content, you know, so sure. I don’t like hashtag stuffing on anything. I don’t like it on Instagram, I don’t like it on Facebook and I don’t like it on LinkedIn. Like three to five hashtags is good enough. And if you can put them all throughout your texts so that they’re not all jammed in at the end, do that too. But yeah, I mean, definitely posts that I use hashtags on, get more visibility than one. So I forget to add those hashtags and LinkedIn is kind enough to add suggestions, same thing with company pages. So, you know yeah. Sure they’re good, but just don’t abuse them.

Andrew Foote: [00:34:52] Right. Absolutely, I think there’s also an analytics component missing very basic right now, in terms of, you know, what information LinkedIn is willing to share about them. You can just see, how many are followed, how many are used, and yeah, you can create your own, but that’s about it. And if you create your own, you’re not even the creator. You’re just someone who’s happened to create a custom hashtag, quite strange and early development. How would other people who know you well describe


Viveka von Rosen: [00:35:23] You know, I don’t know. What an uncomfortable question. It’s so funny. And I tell people on your LinkedIn profiles, talk about yourself and your expertise. I guess a lot of people know me as the LinkedIn expert, because that’s my Twitter handle and my LinkedIn handle and my Facebook handle and my YouTube handle. So you know, they do know me by that title, which means I have to keep teaching and training on LinkedIn until I die.

I think people consider me approachable. I get a lot of folks who reach out to me, which is great. Ask questions, hopefully knowledgeable. There are once in a while, negative comments, I turned some people off, that’s okay. You know, there’s someone for everybody out there.  What do you think about me?

Andrew Foote: [00:36:06] That’s a tough one. Well, so super knowledgeable, for sure. Very confident. Bubbly is a word that immediately springs to mind because you know, you’re always happy. I’ve never seen you sad or disappointed or depressed, but yeah, your presence, your LinkedIn presence is always  super confident, super happy and definitely knowledgeable.

If you didn’t like that question, you’re going to really like this one. All right, wait for it. What questions should I have asked if I had known you better?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:36:47] You know me pretty well though. I mean, we’ve known each other for a long time. And ironically, I did not get this question ahead of time, so I’m completely ill-prepared for it.

Andrew Foote: [00:36:56] That’s true.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:36:57] I mean, we’ve covered a lot and I liked your questions today. They’re not the usual ones I get. So thank you for that. What questions should you’ve had asked?

Andrew Foote: [00:37:06] If I’d known you better.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:37:07] If you’d known me better, you know me pretty well though.

Andrew Foote: [00:37:10] All right, listen, I’m going to…

Viveka von Rosen: [00:37:11] You know, what colour underwear you’re wearing? I guess.

Andrew Foote: [00:37:13] Yeah. So we’re going to park there. because I’d love to… oh, yeah, we are. I’d love to interview you again and I’m going to finish with some quick ones, right. This is a quick round and I’m going to be using questions by Bernard Pivot, P-I-V-O-T . It was used by James Lipton on the Actors Life Studio. Do you remember that? And I just love these questions. I’m going to go ahead and ask you these questions from now. What is your favorite word?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:37:50] Well, it’s not pivot. I’m so sick of pivot. What’s my favorite word? I’d say aspiration, I don’t know why. No aspirations bad too, because that makes you think of COVID-19 too. Okay, let me say my third favorite word is… they’re also boring, opportunity, dream, dream big, hashtag dream.

Andrew Foote: [00:38:12] Dream, hashtag dream. Good. What is your least favorite word?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:38:23] Pivot, aspiration, COVID-19, time like these.

Andrew Foote: [00:38:32] What was that?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:38:32] Times like these. 

Andrew Foote: [00:38:34] Times like these. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:38:39] I love that. Yeah, it really is the creativity part. You know, it’s funny because I’m not… because I don’t have the marketing arm anymore. I’m not like creating PowerPoints anymore. I’m not doing a lot of creation that I used to do. I’m not writing as much and I find I missed that. So, for me creativity, and that’s not just work, that is spiritual too. I do, I need to bring back my practice of writing. I need to write my fiction novels again. I try to paint, I’m abysmal at it, but I do try, you know, I think you need that artistic, creative, impulse to really keep life fresh and exciting.

Andrew Foote: [00:39:24] Great.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:39:25] So yeah. My favorite word is creativity.

Andrew Foote: [00:39:27] Creativity. That’s a good one, I like it. What turns you off?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:39:34] Oh, my God, hypocrisy. Like LinkedIn having automated AI bots and their ads. Yeah, no hypocrisy. It is my biggest pet peeve ever.

Andrew Foote: [00:39:45] Yup, got it. Yep. What is your favorite curse word?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:39:52] Actually Swedish, if you’re Swedish plug your ears right now,

Black wheat!!

Andrew Foote: [00:40:00] Goodness me. I’m going to ask for a translation online. I’m going to message you and ask exactly what that was. Sounds like a good one. What sound or noise do you love?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:40:18] Oh, my dog talks to me. You know, he makes this like noise, when he has to go to the bathroom and also when it’s night and it’s time to go to bed, he like goes… And so that’s one of my favorite noises. Is my dog.

Andrew Foote: [00:40:40] Nice. Okay. Our cats do something similar. She talks… whenever she talks to me it goes. What sound or noise do you hate?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:40:50] Well, I hate the noise when I’m in the middle of a webinar and I know he’s going to poop on my rug if I don’t let them out. And, you know, fingernails on chalkboards and things like that too.

Andrew Foote: [00:41:02] Sure. Baby’s crying, whaling. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:41:09] Yeah, I really think I missed the ball on being an actor or an actress. I guess an actor, well, I guess either. I just got back in touch, thank you Facebook, with my music teacher from third through eighth grade. I was big into choir. I didn’t have the best voice. She never mentioned my voice, but she said, you know, you were such a great dramatic actress even at that age. And so I really feel like I should have been an actress.

Andrew Foote: [00:41:38] Interesting. And there’s a lot of that, that comes through on your videos by the way when you’re presenting. What profession would you not like to do?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:41:48] It was funny. We were like talking about … this is ironic, I probably shouldn’t say it. I’m going to anyway. So ironically, I am not the world’s best sales person. And so that’s why I’m so glad we’ve got a whole sales team in Vingreso,and I love the whole getting ready for the sale, which is what we do, right. We get you to hello. We help you create conversations. That part I’m so good at and I love doing it and I love creating new relationships. But the actual hard sell, you know, whether you’re doing challenger sales or whatever, I actually am really not good at the close. But we have you know, we have Mario and Kurt for that, so it’s good.

Andrew Foote: [00:42:25] Interesting, great answer. And finally if Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Viveka von Rosen: [00:42:35] Here’s your mom.

Andrew Foote: [00:42:37] Oh, nice. Beautiful. Viv, thank you very much for coming on the show today. I really appreciate it and I’ve loved speaking with you. Have a great one. Stay healthy and safe and thank you my friend.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:42:52] Thank you so much. It was so good seeing you .

Andrew Foote: [00:42:56] And you, take care. Bye.

Viveka von Rosen: [00:42:57] Bye Andy.

2 comments on “EP 01: Viveka von Rosen, LinkedIn Expert

  1. Mark Amtower says:

    Several things I like about this interview, the first being the authenticity of Andy and Viveka when it comes to saying what they think about various aspects of LinkedIn- no sugar coating.

    I especially like that neither likes automated response tools for connecting > Look to see who they are and respond appropriately to each query.

    And I love the fact that they were having fun throughout the interview. For a listener, enthusiasm of the interviewer and guest is key to keeping attention.

    1. Andy Foote says:

      I greatly appreciate you taking the time to comment Mark – and – you’re the first ever comment on this brand spanking new podcast 🙂 Hopefully one of many.

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