Michael David Chapman | How to Connect and Engage on LinkedIn

Michael David Chapman is a father of four and an entrepreneur who co-founded a successful digital marketing company focused on helping brands grow using LinkedIn. He is a seasoned authority in B2B sales and has amassed a following of over 240,000 people on LinkedIn. Michael has a long history working in organizational labor in the transportation industry, and he also coaches men to become better fathers and have a more meaningful relationship with their spouse. 

In this episode of Smart Business Revolution, John Corcoran interviews Michael David Chapman about connecting and engaging with people on LinkedIn. Michael talks about the value of recommendations, the most common mistakes people make with their LinkedIn profiles, and the best strategies people can employ in growing their network.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • What inspired Michael David Chapman to become a LinkedIn expert and how he branded himself on the platform as he was starting out
  • Common mistakes people make with their LinkedIn profiles and Michael’s advice on how to resolve them
  • The value of LinkedIn recommendations 
  • How Michael grew his LinkedIn connections and his best tips for engagement
  • How job seekers can grow their LinkedIn network, reach out to potential employers, and the mindset they should have
  • Should people use guerilla tactics on LinkedIn?
  • Michael talks about nurturing a large number of people and connections on LinkedIn
  • Why Michael shares videos from the web and repurposed content on LinkedIn
  • Michael reveals what he is most excited about in regards to LinkedIn
  • Which areas of the platform can LinkedIn improve on to make it more engaging and unrestricted?
  • The people Michael acknowledges for his achievements

Resources Mentioned:

Sponsor: Rise25

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:14  

Welcome to the Revolution, the Smart Business Revolution podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.


John Corcoran  0:40  

All right. Welcome everyone. John Corcoran here, I’m the host of the Smart Business Revolution podcast. And if you’ve listened a couple of times before then you know that each week I get to talk with smart CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs and all kinds of different companies and organizations like YPO, EO activation, blizzards lending tree, Opentable x software and many more. We bring in experts who’ve got expertise in a variety of different areas. Today we’re going to be talking about LinkedIn in particular, which is such a tremendously powerful and valuable platform if you use it right, by the way, I am also the co founder of rice 25, where we help connect b2b business owners to their ideal prospects. 

And in this episode, we’ll be talking with Michael David Chapman, Michael David Chapman. He’s a father of four, an entrepreneur who co founded a successful digital marketing company focused on helping brands to grow using LinkedIn. He’s also a seasoned authority in b2b sales with many years of experience in that area, in case you’re wondering if you should listen to this guy, he’s amassed a following of over 240,000 people on LinkedIn, which is no small thing to do, especially since he doesn’t have any big company behind him or big, New York Times bestseller or anything like that. He also coaches men to become better fathers and to have a more meaningful relationship with their spouse and has a long history working in organizational labor in the transportation industry. So we’re going to be talking about all kinds of best practices around LinkedIn in this episode.


But first, before we get into this episode and into this interview, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media. And now look, I don’t need to tell you that the world has changed. We all know that. The question is, what do you do about it. And in this economy, it’s more important than ever to think about things like your LinkedIn profile, but also to be able to connect and build strong relationships with clients, referral partners, and strategic partners, even when you can’t be face to face and LinkedIn is one piece of that, but also at rise 25. What we do based on our 20 years of experience in the b2b space, is we help people to connect and build profitable relationships with clients, referral partners and strategic partners. Using a podcast we’ve helped hundreds of b2b businesses to get more clients and referrals and land collaborations with dream clients. So if you want to learn more about how we do it, go to rise 25 meetup.com or you can also email us at support at rise. 25 media.com Alright, Michael, so I’m excited to talk to you here. Now, you had many years of experience in b2b sales. But imagine at that time, LinkedIn wasn’t as much a thing at the time. So when and where How exactly did you start to get into LinkedIn? When did you decide, okay, this is gonna be a platform that I’m going to put a lot of energy and effort into? What inspired that?


Michael David Chapman  3:14  

So, in 2017, after I’d come through a second major breakup, i.e. a divorce, it was time for me to look at what I was doing everyday professionally, in a single file before kids. I was traveling probably. I live in New England. So I was traveling from the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area, south of Boston all over New England every single day. So 50 60,000 miles a year, and I said, Look, I gotta do something different. The environment was definitely toxic. And after a lot of coaching and support, and almost shoving by some of my closest friends, mentors and whatnot, I gave notice, without a job in hand, I walked into my boss’s office. It was a little bit more sophisticated than this, but it was you know, I gave notice and negotiated already. runway four months runway to leave. At the end of 2017. The day that I did that I drove home I got on LinkedIn. It wasn’t to be anything but to find it. I mean, like LinkedIn at that time, John was like, a great place to read a Forbes article, look for talent and find a job. That’s about it.


John Corcoran  4:18  

That’s pretty much what people thought about it back then. Yeah, 2010 is 2017 using it to get a job. Okay. So that’s what you’re thinking?


Michael David Chapman  4:25  

Yeah, I’m just looking for a job and I’ve got to bring home. You know how to add a runway, but I needed to find a job. Yeah. So I started looking for a job and noticed that there was a real change. It was as much as people complained about it becoming more like Facebook in terms of people sharing stories. This was before the LinkedIn video. This is before LinkedIn lived in any of that. In tandem with that, prior to that time, I should say in tandem, but prior to that, as a part of my healing and recovery I had written in excess of probably go count. I think it’s 2000 journals about the journey of Come through a really bad breakup. And really at that point, you know, I was 43 at the time, and I just said, Look, I want a better life. So I’ve done a lot of work on myself, I began to repurpose, and share that learning into, into and onto the platform. And it just went from there. I mean, this was back in 2017 was a time when i and this is not to boast or brag, but when a text post, you know, a bad day on the platform would be anything less than 50,000 hundred thousand views. I mean, it was a totally different space. So I just began to share and grew from there. And


John Corcoran  5:41  

now a lot of people wouldn’t do that, right? You’re looking for a job. And you started sharing intimate details about recovering from a breakup,


Michael David Chapman  5:48  

while it’s the intimate details, more anecdotes and learnings from real life experience. But to your point, but


John Corcoran  5:55  

still, I mean, you know, it’s not related to like, here’s how you sell better and the beauty is


Michael David Chapman  5:59  

Here’s how you become better at anything. Absolutely. I think it’s fair to say, I don’t want to miss this point. And I’ll say this for any job seeker and some of my personal branding close friends are probably gonna send me some ugly mail or something ugly in the mail but a job seeker doesn’t need a personal brand and that’s what I was inadvertently doing. I didn’t realize that I was branding myself as whatever father for who would be vulnerable, perhaps detriment to getting a job, okay. You don’t need a brand. I mean, I will tell you this. Your brand is important once you get hired. So for me to answer you directly, I’m sure in fact heard that sometimes on the backside indirectly that I didn’t get jobs because of the reach because of the brand. For sure. Yeah, yeah.


John Corcoran  6:53  

Now talk about that because you know your brand or the way that you lead, you lead with saying I’m a father of four, which I’m a father for also. So we have that in common. But why do you lead with that?


Michael David Chapman  7:06  

You know, because between August to 17, by the time I get to December, you know, I’ve been on interviews. There was a bowtique marketing company that reached out to me in December, and said, Hey, we want to work with you. And I won’t go through the whole story, but the entire work around rebranding, what you’ll read on my profile had to do with, hey, listen, my kids are going to come, you know, next to my relationship with God, they’re Second, you know, to my to, you know, my third is my job is going to be third. And that was always the challenge with that dichotomy professionally, was, you know, putting family where it’s supposed to go certainly ahead of your work and finding that balance. So it just stuck. I was very, very passionate about making it clear. Perhaps to employers that hey, I mean, Father four usually means single father. Not always, not always. But if you’re leading with that, I mean, where’s a husband? You know, typically, that’s how that would go. So I perhaps I was saying that to say, look, if you’re looking for somebody that you know, you’re going to have a problem with who’s going to place this family ahead of, you know, priorities at work at the right time, you know, that I’m not your guy.


John Corcoran  8:23  

Yeah. And where did you think it was going to lead when you started to share, started to grow, started to get following? Did you have any idea?


Michael David Chapman  8:33  

No, I was on the no plan. I mean, here’s in fairness to like, I don’t mind admitting. I mean, the dopamine rush back then was crazy, you know, so some of it was in full disclosure, a little bit out of balance, but there was no plan. Some of the content back then it wasn’t all about the break. I’m just saying they were learning from that there was a ton of content. It’s like some quite a bit. The content was around sales leadership, organizational leadership lessons that I’ve learned, you know how to respond to a toxic boss. And I mean, cuz my boss, my boss was toxic. And I managed upward or led him upward. I was second in the company, I led him. I say laterally from the bottom up, if you will, for almost five years. And so I talked about all kinds of things outside of the personal side, and really thought that, you know, perhaps I was deceived that companies would look at that say, Oh, this guy is smart. We should call him instead, they reply saying, look, we don’t perhaps want a guy that’s willing to put out such information and details or whatnot. Who knows? I’m glad I didn’t get hired that way.


John Corcoran  9:43  

So at what point did it eventually turn into helping others on the LinkedIn platform?


Michael David Chapman  9:50  

Well, the content around men’s issues, parenting issues, relationships, that were you know, that intrinsically we’re about there wasn’t always about like that. That would just bring people I mean, a year ago, year and a half ago, I think it is because I did a nine part series about men in depression. I mean, you think about that mental talk about depression. Yeah, one typically not a homerun, but most don’t. And they sure as you know what they’ll talk about it on LinkedIn, right? Where they want to, like, get a job and stay employed. And so I shared once about four or five minutes per video, and it’s, you know, I’m not a therapist, I’m not a certified coach, right? But it’s my sharing in my journey on this side of the divorce, and how, in as an example, how those issues began to show up and how I parented my children. So when I that that piece of content alone, brought, you know, I don’t know 100 men into my space that were interested in working with me on specific men’s issues, not as a therapist, but more supplementing and Ben will talk about things that they couldn’t talk about in there that they needed to talk with, with another Man who could share relatable experiences, understand and really help guide them through some of that.


John Corcoran  11:07  

Let’s talk about the profile itself, because that’s oftentimes a good place to start. And some of the, you know, you’re a bit of an expert in, in and how to formulate this. For others. What are some of the big mistakes that people make with their profile?


Michael David Chapman  11:25  

The summary. So to define, you got your picture, the head, typically the headline or the words right under your face. And we’ll talk about the summary about the section. Number one thing is the link that I like that I’ll tell our clients now is when they have the LinkedIn summary of 2005 2009 1011. And that is, it’s written in the third person as if, you know, somebody wrote it for him, you know, and yeah, like, don’t do that. Like, I mean, I get it, and I don’t, I don’t think there’s a lot of empirical data. There may be and if anyone’s listening has it. Don’t get And I haven’t seen a lot of empirical data that says that if you write it that way, people aren’t going to hire you or hire, you know, seek out your services. But I sort of when I rewrite one for a client or coach, a client to do it, I mean, I write it, or share or lead that process. With this in mind, you get about three to six seconds in this world to get and keep someone’s attention, especially in a space where you know how many hundreds of thousands of people are joining this platform every week? You got to think about it the competition I mean, you and I are two different spaces but we’re competing for the same feed space. Right everyone is incensed. We are so as if I’m competing with rise 25. And I can, I can you and I have a potential prospect that gets to our space at the same time. And you know, you take forever to get to the point. You got to treat it like a post right. I’m going to get to the point quickly with some kind of headline Some kind of not not not something gimmicky but something that matters to people that theoretically would hire me or want to retain my services. So the headline, you got to capture people’s attention, you know, the picture matters, you know, and that’s a painful thing for me to have to tell someone that says, Hey, man, look, john, Joe, whoever the guy on the camera is not the guy in that picture. And, you know, you got to tell people that all right, because it especially if it’s a job seeker, and I’ve had to tell people that it’s not fun, but I don’t mind doing it obviously, you know, so your picture matters. And then what people read on your right on your face is gonna lead them into that summary. And when they get to that summary, you have to win them there. That’s typically in my experience I eat about the beer about the about section.


John Corcoran  13:49  

Okay, yeah.


Michael David Chapman  13:51  

That’s where a lot of people don’t haven’t filled that in or they have a very short paragraph or something. Or it reads like if it’s, if it’s a job secret, should be It should be a resume field. So I get that, but it really should talk a little bit about your approach to your job. So as an example, I worked with a client once he was in the supply chain. I mean, he’s in a space where, you know, there’s a million supply chain options or options with people that could get hired for the position that he’s looking for. And we structured him more into really leading with his approach to his position. And then, you know, the, you know, a little bit of that, and then you know, a little bit of the potential promise of giving him an interview and then the key words to be searchable. The other big mistake for jobseekers when you get past that, that, you know, they’ve worked for five companies since in the last 20 years or whatever, they’ve got no results, meaning they’re not explaining what they’ve achieved. Yeah, they’re the CEO or the Vice President of x. And at best, it reads like a job description. So nothing about how they actually impacted the profit and loss statement. Where you really see this as a challenge is supporting positions like human resources where they’re not directly responsible for things that can always be measured. And always tell people and I’ve worked with job seekers in that position. You know, everything can be measured. If you’re with a company doing anything it relates to something always relates to something even by three degrees, five degrees of separation to the top and bottom line. So I’d say the two biggest mistakes are what’s going on on that summary, in capturing people’s attention and a lack of results in your experience. And looking at the firewall results, quantify the results and look over your profile, which of course we’ll link to in the show notes.


John Corcoran  15:48  

You definitely do that. So I’m looking at your role from 2010 to 20 2012. General Manager of image first, and it says reporting to the CEO retained to direct the operation has 5 million p&l of a 15,000 square foot processing plant. And then you have bullets below it, developed a sales incentive and communication plan to mitigate a 180% increase in raw materials, create a revenue analysis model, increased EBITDA, 6%, within 18 months. Very specific, very specific there.


Michael David Chapman  16:18  

Yeah. So it’s more if anyone’s looking at mine. There’s nothing since I walked away from my last position. Everything’s been entrepreneurial since so. So it’s a little bit of Do as I say, not as not as I do. Well, yeah. But I mean, it’s for a job seeker. Yeah. If I, if I was going back to get a job at a company. I mean, I’d have to spend some time really thinking about what I have been doing over the last, you know, five years, I know what I’ve been doing. I’ve been making money. But, you know, I haven’t. You know what, here’s another mistake. I think a lot of this is for job seekers. They’re not keeping a results journal. Every quarter in my last life. I had a results journal, I’ll keep it upstairs. So I could so I’d be in a position to be able to fill them. Got that? Yeah, that’s very smart. That’s very smart. What else with the, with the profile itself? What are some of the other elements that people need to think about and improve? I mean, recommendations are important, you know, and, and for anyone listening on LinkedIn, you know, I get from time to time, people from all walks of life around the world to say, Hey, would you write me a recommendation? And I always say the same thing. And I know what it means. I mean, man, when I got I’ve been let go from three jobs since high school and laid off one, so I know exactly what it means to have some in this before LinkedIn, remember the days of a letter of recommendation for someone? Right? Right. I mean, who does that? Right?


John Corcoran  17:42  

People do it? But just hate but you know, it’s such a pain to ask people because, you know, it’s such an inconvenience for them to have to do it.


Michael David Chapman  17:49  

Well, or you’ve been fired? Yeah. And who wants to put right I mean, like, I mean, the implied risk of I don’t know if I’m gonna put my name on this guy. Yeah. So let me say a couple thinks about recommendations. You know, people or people or your recruiters and hiring managers are smart. Not all of them, but be careful about who you’re getting recommendations from. Who you’re getting them from. Okay, yeah, if you’re a job seeker I mean, like just getting I mean, the quantity can look like you’ve pandered. I mean like, and don’t get me wrong. I’ve got a slew of them. Earlier in my 30s, you have 36 right now. Yeah, early in my career, they were definitely solicited. Nothing wrong with that. Especially you can see like the date for like, the month the week after I got let go or, like yeah, and then the most recent ones have been unsolicited, where it’s just people on the platform that know me I have good relationships with I’ve helped them ways, professionally or just as a friend, whatever.


John Corcoran  18:56  

Right right. Now, I want to ask about your strategy. For growing your engagement following connections on LinkedIn, because you’ve largely approached it, I think differently from the way I’ve always done it, which has been just direct outreach directly reaching out to people, it’s a slow slog. Maybe you do that as well. But you’re also known as really good at engagement, you put posts out there that quote unquote, go viral. And I want to talk about those strategies. But did you also when you were getting started, did you do direct outreach? Was that part of the way that you grew? Or is it all from sharing content?


Michael David Chapman  19:31  

It’s interesting. So I’ve done direct outreach three times on LinkedIn right now I do none because my team does it for our business. So the direct outreach back when I got back on LinkedIn in August of 17, was to find a job. Okay,


Unknown Speaker  19:44  

she did work out to people that


Michael David Chapman  19:46  

Yeah, yeah, of course. Yeah. After that after that with a job didn’t come and I, I was growing you know, 3000 4000 10,000 20,000. Now, bro, these follow these connections, whatever. I would definitely say thank you notes as to what pieces of my content. So I’ll call that direct outreach that was more that was more reactive as like, Hey, thanks for connecting. Yeah. When I started the sales, I meant Ronnie Cordell, one of my business partners. One of my entrepreneurial things have you heard of is a sales course I built for now. It’s called sales for non salespeople, six to 15 minutes of online daily content for people that are not comfortable, don’t like selling and have to for the job. I did outreach for that. But I will say that I wasn’t very good at any of those at the time, because it was more of a volume play at times, especially on the job so you can see where I like I just didn’t, I wasn’t paying attention and understanding what to understand how basically with that in terms of building the relationship first, and don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe people on LinkedIn are sitting around wanting to chat all day. I don’t, I don’t believe that. I think that people that sell that bag of goods around LinkedIn are doing it too. service I think most people want to understand. Who are you? And what do you want? And without pitching Yeah,


John Corcoran  21:06  

yeah. And you know, given the fragment a lot of job seekers who listen to this or people who are looking for other opportunities. So in light, we’re recording this in July 2020. In light of, you know, there’s 15 million something people are unemployed right now and given the economy, what is the best approach these days for if you are a job seeker for growing your network and reaching out to potential employers without looking like you are just trying to get something?


Unknown Speaker  21:33  

Well, you are trying to get something, let’s start with the truth.


Michael David Chapman  21:37  

All right, so I have done career coaching. Not formally, but people call them and tell them the same thing. I said, you need to be honest with yourself first. All right, because I’ve been and I can say this, I’ve been unemployed. Not for long periods of time, but I’ve been let go. I was able to get jobs after being honest about what what you’re really trying to do is the first thing and be I’m willing to look yourself in the mirror and say, Look, I do want something I do want this person’s time, because I’d like to work at this company, and there’s a job opening, and so on and so forth. So that’s important. I think once you get honest about that, like audibly, I want a job. And, and you get clear about not wanting to come off like that. I think that lowers the temperature. Honesty typically lowers the temperatures, but it’s the internal honesty in that capacity.


John Corcoran  22:30  

So but then what do you do? Do you just reach


Michael David Chapman  22:32  

out and say, Hey, I saw you Yeah, no, no, I go, what are you talking? I’m talking about all this mindset stuff. Come into that I’m coming in probably.


The other thing from a mindset perspective, it’s like, you know, if you’ve never been in the talent acquisition space, if you’ve never been a hiring manager, if you’ve never been a recruiter, okay, I’ve been all three of those. Okay. by title hiring manager. By necessity in my last role three years ago, we had to like to invest A talent acquisition piece of our business because there wasn’t one. So I learned to recruit because I had to. If you’ve never worked in those positions or around those people, you should benefit from getting some perspective from people in that space. How do you do that? If you know I don’t mean you. Hey, listen, I mean, you could always ask that’s better than asking for a job. Hey, so if you’re a recruiter, john, and you accept my connection request Hey, john, thanks for connecting I just want to let you know not looking for you to help me out find a job blah, blah. I’d like to get your perspective so I can relate better to recruiters. When is the last time a job seeker? Yeah, a recruiter something like that.


Unknown Speaker  23:40  

I’m sure they’ll very often


Michael David Chapman  23:41  

not to use you. But John, do you have 10 minutes because listen, I mean, I’m not and I’d go to recruiter were like, if I’m in it, I’ll go talk to like somebody that’s not in my industry, just to hedge against the possibility I’m going to pander you up for you know, suck up to you for a job. Like you can’t do anything for me because you’re an in house recruiter in an industry that I don’t even work in. And I’d spend time trying to get someone’s time to get the mindset. So the mindset number one, be honest about what you really need, and be and try to get into the mind of how these people think and what they’re facing. Because most people are clueless. Most people are clueless. So I wouldn’t start reaching out for positions until I understood how these people work, because you’re just going to be frustrated. How do you reach out after you have those two pieces in your mind in your quiver of skills and mindsets? You know, one of the best ways a lot of times to get people’s attention is to give them attention. So when I work with a job seeker, I’m just like, Look, you know, you’re on LinkedIn, these recruiters are only good if they’re putting out content. And you’re a thought leader. That’s a fun word these days, or an expert or somebody who was you know, smart and pedigreed in your industry. Why? Aren’t you spending any time supporting their content? Not just with a light but with something meaningful? before you dive in and say, Hey, you know, and say, Hey, I’m following up on my resume, or I’m following up on my, this


John Corcoran  25:14  

is so funny. This is like the same advice that people gave for bloggers and for capturing the attention of people on blogs, you know, seven or eight or nine years ago. And in many ways, it seems like a lot of that focus and attention has shifted to social platforms like Facebook like LinkedIn.


Michael David Chapman  25:33  

Yeah. So that’s a good way, you know, before you dive in and start asking somebody for a meeting or time or a job and whatnot, you know, you got to give a little bit to get you know, it’s a tough deal. There. It is a really tough deal. And I don’t even know what it looks like, in a post COVID world. I can tell you that what you know, the reality is, you know, if you’ve gotten to a point As a job seeker where, you know, let’s say you got a 15 year career, and you’re gonna stay in your industry and you haven’t built relationships, it’s tougher. It’s tougher, what I would tell you isn’t for the job you need today, this perhaps, perhaps won’t help you today. But think about the job you’re going to need in seven years, or even 10 years from now. And think about the relationships that are in your life right now, on LinkedIn, and other platforms. You know, spend time cultivating and seeing what you can do for them, and who you can introduce them to, is going to prepare you for 10 years from now. I mean, I’ve got a lot of relationships, he said, 240,000 I don’t know all those people. The circle of people within that group is small. But if I needed a job, there’s people I could call because I have built relationships over the years and haven’t always done well with that, but done better than I haven’t. But finally, I mean, you’ve just got to go from a rhythm perspective. You got to look at it, like you’re in sales. Alright, that’s the big piece of advice I give you, you need systems where you spend time prospecting that is looking for jobs, where it has those activities measured. You’re keeping yourself accountable to some type of metrics. And it has a beginning and end you shouldn’t be sitting in front of a computer looking for jobs eight hours a day. Yeah, no, yeah, yeah, there’s no upside.


John Corcoran  27:20  

Now. Do you recommend that people take you know, use kind of guerrilla tactics when it comes to LinkedIn? What’s a guerrilla tactic? on LinkedIn? You tell me, right? I mean, like anything I mean, like from, you know, connecting with the hiring manager, instead of submitting your resume or an addition to submit a resume or applying


Michael David Chapman  27:41  

them. That’s exactly what I’m saying. I mean, not everybody’s sitting behind, you know, three feet of concrete, a concrete wall, and they will talk to you, you know, and again, if you don’t hear from a hiring manager, reach out, I don’t want to hear anybody sending me an ugly dm. I’m just saying, a lot of times, hiring managers are more accessible than you think. I wouldn’t call it a guerrilla tactic. I mean, think about what, let me give you. This is why I started with the mindset. What is the hiring manager looking for? Looking for qualified people? And let’s go up higher. They’re looking for someone who’s gonna make their job easier. Hmm, true. I never hired a quality. I wasn’t looking for a qualified candidate. Yeah. But qualified. doesn’t mean they’re gonna make my job easier. Yeah, true. There’s a lot of dudes


John Corcoran  28:30  

gonna do the job. Well, someone is gonna do the job. Well make sure


Michael David Chapman  28:33  

I had a guy. Listen, I’m not a college graduate. I didn’t finish out an NBA sit in front of you one time. And if you know what the wonderlic is? I think it’s a test of some sort. Right? It’s an IQ test. Okay.


Unknown Speaker  28:46  

Yeah. Did I just fail it?


Michael David Chapman  28:48  

I think I just fell. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, it’s quite the opposite. It’s a 12 minute test. JOHN 50 questions. finished all 50 questions. Wow. Within a minute I have to go. And I admitted I was in the room. Wow. Yeah, I was like I’m not sure you don’t belong in this room. So what I’m saying and he was qualified intellectually in other ways, but you know he couldn’t he hadn’t smiled in 10 years hmm and am I saying it you know people that who are smart don’t smile I’m just making the point that a qualify for is no hiring managers are looking for people are going to make their job easier. Yeah, that’s a good point sounds subservient. But that’s the intrinsic route, among other things, route concerns and desires right.


John Corcoran  29:35  

Is it challenging now you know, you’re closing in on quarter of a million people that follow your updates. You know, and I built social followings over the years, not as large as yours is. We had I think at our peak, we had 70 80,000 email subscribers before they all got stale and eventually had to unsubscribe but you know, it can be challenging to nurture, you know, a community of people like that. Do you find it’s challenging to keep up the one to one relationships when you have a volume of people like that? Yeah,


Michael David Chapman  30:13  

yeah. Because a lot of it is gonna be somewhat a bit critical but a lot of people follow and don’t engage, man. It’s just like it’s and I’m not. Listen, I’m the first one if you’ve read anything from me, like, I have no problem with views, likes and followers me nobody’s on social media platforms. Nobody in the history of any social media platform woke up and said today, this post, I want it to get zero attention. That’s a joke who’s doing that? However, there are people that just do things for the numbers and you know, I have at times fallen into a little bit of that. You know, for the most part your follower base at a certain number does not mean even if you look at the percentage of metric I’m sorry, the percentage of engagement as a percentage of followers. I mean, it’s not even 1%. Think about it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So a lot of times and the way LinkedIn, and if you go to your network and you start looking at how they’re putting specific people, people you should follow. I’ve certainly made it to some of those lists. I think that’s why I grew in the last year like I did. But why are they putting certain people there? And what’s the agenda mean? That’s so? No, it is difficult, not because of the following base. It’s difficult. If I’m not setting balance and boundaries, to not be on the platform to have real relationships, and even the relationship built with digital space to nurture those. That’s what makes Yeah, it’s not the number. It’s not the man.


John Corcoran  31:42  

Let’s talk about your engagement strategies. Because, you know, one of the things that you are not afraid to do is to take sides, particularly on an issue that maybe there’s disagreement on or a little bit divisive. So talk a little bit about that about you know, your approach to You’re firmly planting your stake in the sand on the side of an issue in order to get some people riled up.


Michael David Chapman  32:08  

Well, I do that, don’t you? Yeah, I have in the last year, like, I’ve definitely got more comfortable and challenging some of the status quo. Not so much more related to the platform than anything else. So, and I don’t know, is there something? I mean, yes, there’s something about me that ‘s trying to get somebody riled up, I guess in the full honesty of it. I’m not doing it to get any intention. Again. Yeah. Yeah, I’ll fall on the first sword. So, you know, when I got on LinkedIn, there was all this stuff about, you know, content, calendars and strategy and whatnot. I mean, if you really look at a lot of what I do, it’s really about continuing to stay from a learning perspective, regardless of the resources that are out there. From everything. quasi expert to actual expert around how the algorithm is responding to me so that I can take that same best practice and help our clients get the results they want from the algorithm. So if you look at my feet, I mean, there is no strategy, because often Yeah, I’m doing I mean, it’s my it, I mean, I post all my own stuff, I don’t use a VA, most of my stuff is written either the night before or within 10 or 15 minutes to the post, I’ve got the thought it’s clear my head, it’s recording. Whatever I do, I do have quite a few more text posts and do anything I don’t like in my recent posts. Like, it’s an audio of me, I don’t enjoy being on a video. It’s just my thing. So there I’m on the no plan, plan in a sense, but really more to understand how it’s responding so I can help our clients.


John Corcoran  33:53  

And you also post a lot of different videos that you find I assume on the web somewhere and talk about That strategy


Michael David Chapman  34:01  

well they work I mean like and there’s a lot of criticism around you know, he doesn’t it’s repurpose and original versus repurposed and you’re not a real content creator if you’re not if you’re doing repurpose content if you look at if you scroll I think I’ve got an excess of just concert 1500 plus posts since I got back on. I mean it is every single club in the back but content with the original video, I’ve got a few articles. I’m a big fan of them, mainly because I enjoy the quick shot to the arm content. That’s just me I can write an article and I’ve written them but I just don’t enjoy it as much as every imaginable piece of content with the exception of probably haven’t done as many carousel posts I think I’m doing to the PDF slides and whatnot. So it’s disingenuous to say that hey, it’s just all repurposed content versus original content. What is the best it should be original hundred percent. I do understand that but I’m also fascinated by how LinkedIn is constantly updating the response or how they treat me. I know people that like, I mean, they put out like, you know, a couple of lions jumping on and dudes back and I mean like, it’s like within like, six minutes. It’s got 1000 views, 60 likes, you know, six 6% engagement in that amount of time. So


John Corcoran  35:26  

they definitely go ahead and there’s a lot of humor people do use a lot of humor to


Michael David Chapman  35:31  

parents, parents doing all these on skateboards, man, I get it. No one’s doing it for zero attention. But the best but from a strategic perspective, I mean, I know people that are always on brand always on message that is if you are trying to grow a business, and your business is not specifically LinkedIn and how understanding virality on the platform and that’s part of what I do. You would want to stay on brand on message and not mix it up like that. I mean, I’ve seen People that are coaches or specific even companies that use repurpose video all the time they’ll take they’ll take a Tony Robbins video and repurpose it and I know people that take Denzel Washington and placard their brand right on it. I mean, like, it’s it’s all kinds of things. I don’t have a problem for the most part with any of it


John Corcoran  36:18  

is there has been anything that you shared at some point, you know, where you touched a third rail and afterwards you’re like, Ah, you know, I, I took it too far with that, you know, something having to do with a religion or race or gender politics. Yeah.


Michael David Chapman  36:31  

Yeah. Oh, yeah. I’ll give you a couple of them. Usually, it’s a and this is, again, this is just more of a confession. I mean, usually it’s a comment on someone’s post. Alright, but I did a post right after the last day of the Union. Union when Nancy Pelosi ripped up the speech, I took I you know, I thought I’m going to share an opinion without taking the deep. I thought they were both images. quite candidly, and so I took a post the video of that regardless of where were you what side of the aisle you’re on, the whole thing’s immature that we live in a country where the, among other things, the grappling for power is led us to a point where we’ve got people behaving like that. And it is in a mistake that I made was I said, and this is not a political post


or an attack that said, Oh, God, I got destroyed, I got destroyed. And of course, it went viral. I mean, it got like, like, I think it did about 1,000,005 or something like that.


John Corcoran  37:36  

See, you kept it up. You didn’t take it down, right? No,


Michael David Chapman  37:38  

I didn’t take it down. But there was one time that I did about two months ago. And it was the one I probably saw, whereas, you know, the white homeless guy in a McDonald’s, and you have the black manager and the white female cop. The black manager and the white female cop are oppressing the homeless guys just trying to get us through naess it Right after COVID came out, I just took this position that said, you know, even though they were coming off as oppressive, I didn’t, I was supporting the black manager and the white officer. And I think it is to say like, we don’t really know what these people are facing right now, specifically, because I was doing a lot of my food takeout, right, because I wasn’t going to go to a grocery store until I felt safe. Kids to feed dude. And I really had a heart for that, where the failure was, I didn’t say anything I liked left the homeless guy out, which intrinsically, you know, people would look at someone Surely, you know, he cares about homeless people. So there were a couple of people that I mean, just lit me up in such a way that I was like, You know what, this just, I just took it down. Because I took them on. I responded as like, you know, I stood up to them, and for long it looked like Donald and Nancy. The same thing, huh?


John Corcoran  38:58  

Yeah. What are you most excited about with the platform? As it moves forward to the future? In some ways, you know, you say you like the text posts the most. But you know, in some ways, you know, LinkedIn has moved towards live video recorded video and live video. Do you feel like it’s moving away from your strength? Or do you feel like well, I’ll continue to be a new Zig, whenever else is zagging.


Michael David Chapman  39:23  

It hasn’t moved away. And they’ve had video out for coming up on I think they released like, the native video option, whether you could upload any kind of video, whether it be a video of yourself or a YouTube, whatever, we’re coming up on three years. So no, as long as they get the reach. Because here’s the thing, you cannot, you know, a view on a text post is as it passes through to view. So are people really reading it? You don’t know. So that leads into your first part of your question. What I’m really excited about is the reality that there’s a lot, let me say there’s a lot of people to do what you do. You’re in a, you’re in a crowded space, probably not as crowded as me. There’s a lot of people that help you get your podcast up and running. And people are not as experienced as there’s a lot of people that do what I do. I mean, there’s a LinkedIn coach, I mean, just the word coach there seems to be a coach behind every tree these days, in some cases under rocks. But the reality is, there’s plenty of pie for everyone. You know, right now, in my opinion, and, you know, other people have said this, I said it but without talking about it on the platform, but this is the Facebook of Oh, 505 and oh six, very organic, very easy to get reach, very easy to build a following and turn that following and monetize that. So I’m excited about that, mainly because now all of the mean, I probably got 10,000 hours logged into this platform itself. insane. But it’s true. For the longest time I couldn’t put my phone down. I couldn’t just like I couldn’t do it, it was a real problem. Early on, what I’m saying is, it’s really cool to now be able to take all of that time and experience and help other people monetize their expertise and services on the platform. That’s fine. Um,


John Corcoran  41:20  

Now, I know that you also have voiced some criticisms of the platform of LinkedIn. You’re not shy about sharing those on the platform. So what are some ways in which LinkedIn could improve?


Michael David Chapman  41:33  

So, I don’t understand it. I actually, you know, I don’t understand the dichotomy and I believe it’s, you know, it’s like opposites like, you know, the, when it comes to connecting with people, the guidance and really the policy, the clear guidance in the user agreement around sending invitation says, Hey, john, hey, Michael. You know, basically do not connect with people you don’t know and trust. Okay? So that makes sense until you say, well, oh, by the way, John and Michael, here is Sales Navigator. Okay. It’s $80 a month. Sales Navigator is a premium search function where you can basically find the people you can really niche down, it makes the LinkedIn swipe pay for a sense. The LinkedIn search criteria look like, you know, amateur night when it comes to search criteria. And Sales Navigator, they could improve on that. But I’m just saying like, it’s night and day to the non paid version. You know, how can you in the same conversation say, look, we’re going to tell you not to connect with people you don’t know and trust, but we’re going to give you a Sales Navigator. I mean, why would I pay $80? Think about it. Think about this, why would I pay $80 to have you to help me set up a database to go find people that already know and trust me and trust him. I don’t need a Sales Navigator. It just doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. And not only that, I don’t know about anybody else, but I never closed a deal. sale or help my team close deals by people that we 100% knew and trust on the front end it always starts with it. You know, it always started with a ring ring ring. In the digital space, it’s dead. It’s still cold calling. Cold Calling is dead. No, it’s not. It’s digital cold calls. And there are ways to warm it up. So it’s not so that’s probably my biggest. This just doesn’t make any sense to me because you can be restricted from getting too many people you know, that say, I don’t know this person. doesn’t make any sense.


John Corcoran  43:28  

Yeah, it seems like they just don’t know that. Maybe they don’t say this, but it seems like they’re okay with people reaching out to people that they don’t know. As long as you do it tactfully. Or if you don’t do it in a way that’s annoying or harassing people but I guess you can’t write that into a service agreement.


Michael David Chapman  43:45  

Well, it’s like what harasses you is somebody else’s? Oh, I’ve been waiting for you. Oh, you’re an accountant. Great. You know when you got called on three accountants today and you’re just you hate your own right you know. So so I don’t know Michael. You know, like That’s just not a way to. that’s never been explained. I did a post about it. Then the CEO and a couple of people came in and answered and there were two messages that the LinkedIn side was like, no, yes, we want to save the community, but it gave me the legally safe community. The Sales Navigator people sent me to stay. I’ll find that post, send it to me. Like, finally she could pick it up. Okay. Now I understand, but there was no follow up. It’s like, you know, clearly it was seemingly coming from somebody who’s never been in a sales position. Right, right.


John Corcoran  44:32  

Yeah, I agree with that. Michael, this has been great. I want to wrap things up the question I was asked, which is, let’s pretend we’re at an awards banquet, much like the Oscars or the Emmys and you’re receiving the award for lifetime achievement for everything you’ve done up until this point. So who do you think are the mentors or the friends or the coaches? Who are the peers? They’re the people you would acknowledge in your remarks?


Michael David Chapman  44:51  

Yeah, you know, so I’d say there are three people to her family ones not. You know, my mother basically raised my son, my brother and my sister on our own. And what’s remarkable about that is, you know, without a strong male role model in our home, she was able to give us enough. Did we go without some of that influence? Absolutely did she come with that. And, you know, me and my brother or something, but along the way, but we got through, we’ve got four children, he has his own two of his own. And we have been able to because of her influence, her love for us and able to sort of shift that generational issue because my dad’s fault you know, both sides of my family have some following this stuff. So my mom deserves a lot of credit for that. And I would go on and on if I was at that banquet, I’d second would be my sister. You know, she also experienced fatherlessness twice, and she’s gone on to I mean, she’s been married. For over 30 years, to wonderful children, grandchildren now, and has been a wonderful exhibit. She’s the polar opposite of my mother in terms of how they relate. But a wonderful example of a woman and a wife and a mother. And even though her and I always didn’t have the closest relationship just because she’s older, and I’m younger, and she moved in with her husband, because he was in the military, she’s always been just a safe place for me. And lastly would be a guy that is a mentor of mine, his name is Mark Barton. And Mark is nowhere in society you will find him. He worked for him. We both worked at UPS. When he got promoted. I worked for him when he left for ups. Then he came back when he came back from the Peace Corps and worked for me at gnk before it was acquired by Santos. He went on to become a GM before me. And then when I moved to New Hampshire now we competed at the same level in the same industry and we’ve remained best friends for over 20 coming up in 20-25 years. So he taught me outside of my family. He’s at the top of the list. I’m most proud to have my life taught me the most about self accountability, and really how to be a leader. in a professional setting. Yeah.


John Corcoran 47:19  

That’s great. Michael, where can people go to learn more about you?


Michael David Chapman  47:21  

LinkedIn. I’m the only Michael David Chapman I get hit up. I get killed for that every or every month because of the obvious name recognition, right for another David Chapman. But I’m named after my two uncles. My David was what this was a famous set director in Hollywood. He does some things, movies and whatnot. So I use those names a little bit. I’m the only one on the platform that name you can’t, you can’t perfect. All right. Great. Thanks, Michael. It’s good to meet you, man. Take care.


Outro  47:49  

Thank you for listening to the Smart Business Revolution podcast with John Corcoran. Find out more at smartbusinessrevolution.com. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the Revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the Smart Business Revolution podcast.