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How to Rock LinkedIn with Richard van der Blom

February 6, 2023
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

In this episode of The Recognized Authority, join host Alastair McDermott, and his guest Richard van der Blom, as they discuss how to “rock LinkedIn”!

Starting with a deep-dive on Richard’s LinkedIn strategy, which allows him to be omnipresent on the platform, they discuss how to grow your network, and connect effectively with your target audience. They also discuss the importance of niching down, how much time you should be spending on content creation, and what being authentic on social platforms really means.

Here are some take-aways from Richard’s approch that you can implement in your LinkedIn strategy:

Time Management on LinkedIn

Richard checks who’s visited his profile twice a week and spends about 20-30 minutes a day on the platform. He focuses on maintaining his network and converting people who have shown interest in his content into strong business connections.

Content Creation

Richard writes all of his own content, which he posts 5-7 times a week. He has clear topics to write about, using a matrix of five pillars and subtopics. He spends the majority of his time thinking of what to write, not the actual writing process.

The Triple A’s of LinkedIn

Richard emphasizes the importance of authenticity, being active, and being approachable in his content and interactions on LinkedIn. He makes sure to invite people to connect with him through his call-to-actions, and makes it easy for them to convert through links in his featured section.

Richard’s strategies for LinkedIn show that a combination of consistent and quality content, approachability, and proactive outreach can lead to successful business growth on the platform.

So grab a coffee or put on your walking shoes, and tune in now to learn how to market yourself like a pro on LinkedIn!


Show Notes

Guest Bio

Richard van der Blom is the Founder/CEO of Just Connecting HUB, an international operating agency providing Virtual & Social Selling LinkedIn training and consultancy. Since 2010 he has provided training and sessions for over 250.000 professionals and served more than 850 companies worldwide. Amongst his clients are companies like Nestlé, NetApp, InterSystems, Salesforce, TEVA, Philips and many more. Author of 200 blogs and reports on Social Selling & LinkedIn, and publisher of the annual LinkedIn Algorithm Report. Furthermore he is a member of an independent LinkedIn Tink Thank since 2015 and an experienced KeyNote Speaker. Follow his hashtag on LinkedIn here, or have a look at his profile here.


linkedin, people, posts, content, clients, potential clients, book, alastair, richard, bit, create, business, training, peaky blinders, read, topics, feature, write, network, connect

Alastair McDermott, Richard van der Blom


Alastair McDermott  00:00

Hello and welcome to The Recognized Authority. I’m your host, Alastair McDermott, this is season two. So we are recording live, you are getting us live unedited, and raw. So please forgive any, any hiccups in the in the in the episode but we’re, we’re doing a different this season.  So I’m delighted to say that today my guest is Richard Vander Blum. Richard is someone who I have seen everywhere on LinkedIn, every time I log into LinkedIn, LinkedIn, Richard, your posts are coming up. And so I figured I gotta get this guy on and find out just what exactly you’re doing on LinkedIn to make sure that you’re always right there in my feet. So Richard, welcome to the show.


Richard van der Blom  00:39

Thank you for having me, Alastair. To answer that question. I’m just painting then to turn on your feet. That’s the only thing.


Alastair McDermott  00:47

So you you do you do training in LinkedIn, that’s that, that’s your… That’s, that’s your business? Just Connecting Hope, that’s the name of your agency? Yeah?


Richard van der Blom  00:58

Yep. Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  01:00

And, and clearly, whatever you’re training people in is working for yourself as well. Can you dig into what you’re actually doing strategically to make LinkedIn work for you? I think you’d like to call it rocking LinkedIn.


Richard van der Blom  01:16

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Basically, because I haven’t come up with a with a with a better name. But what I always I’ve been in sales and marketing all my life, I have a sales education. So when I started working 99, I started a sales job. And I, although I wasn’t sales, I never liked the process of cold calling, cold selling. But if I would have my initial meeting, if I would be able to travel to the office of my client, I always knew that, you know, I’m persuasive. I know what I’m talking about. And I think that goes for a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of sales people. Once they are at the table of the potential client, they know how to convince, and the biggest win for a lot of us is in from identifying your prospect to right until the first meeting. And that’s something where LinkedIn can, you know, support you in many ways.  So that’s why I started back in studying Yes, now 2009, I started an agency that was mainly LinkedIn based, LinkedIn focused. And we started just to tell people how to build a brand, how to reach out to people how to build a network, mind you, there were no features like Sales Navigator went to features like advertising. So it was a complete different platform at that moment. Still, it was an awesome opportunity for people to brand themselves. And if you look at what I’ve been doing over the last three years, because that’s when I think my own brand took off, because 2020 January, so that’s literally three years, I was on 9000 connections or 9000 followers. Now I’m on 90,000. That’s something from the last three years, and I’ve been on LinkedIn for 15 years.  I think it’s consistency. You know, I’m doing, like you said, I try to post about five times a week, some sometimes six, seven a week depends on if I have quality content. And focus is very important. So now I have two main topics. I speak about thought leadership, and I speak about social selling virtual selling. So how can you use LinkedIn to generate leads. And before that? I had a lot of my posts that were literally linked in focus, but all topics, whether it was for recruitment, whether it was a new feature when it was new setting. And I think people really like generalists, because they provide great value. But clients are paying for specialists. So I mentioned I really noticed that since I started to focus with consistency, with authenticity as well. That is my brand to go up.


Alastair McDermott  04:03

Yeah, you’re talking my language here talking about focus and specialization and things like that. So that’s really interesting. So you were talking about all things LinkedIn, and you weren’t having as much success, as when you narrow down your focus within LinkedIn, to those two topics of social selling and thought leadership. Is that right?


Richard van der Blom  04:22

Yeah, I can still see that probably you will recognize that, Alastair, if LinkedIn has a new feature. For example, when introduced the bell feature in February, March, you have about 90% of the people that have LinkedIn related services have talked about LinkedIn trainers, LinkedIn experts, creating a post literally saying there is a bell and if you ring the bell, this is what happens. And that’s it. Where I tried to go like, Okay, this is the bell. And from a strategic way, if you’re going to use it like this, this this this, this is what could happen to your audience. This is what could happen to your visibility. So instead of bringing only the new feature I’ve tried ever since like, like I told you last two, three years like to take my content three step further and explain people on strategical way, it’s nice that you can ring a bell, it’s nice that you have a pin comment. But how do you make use of it strategically. And I think that translation is what really helps people to start following you and start appreciating your posts. And that goes for, for all topics. I mean, if you’re in recruitment, or if you’re in marketing, or if you’re a designer, you can inform your your community about something that news but if you take it 123 step further and explain how they can use it, so they benefit from it, then it makes you more more worthwhile to follow now.


Alastair McDermott  05:52

So when you say you’re going strategic with that, you’re going much deeper, you’re you’re going past the surface level, into what the knock on effects of using that kind of feature. And so you basically delving deeper into whatever those topics are be at the bell or be it something else, right?  Yeah, it’s something I’ve noticed is that when you have focus, when you have specialization, you’re able to go deeper, because it’s hard as a generalist to go beneath the surface level. Because if you’re a generalist, you kind of flitting across the surface across many different things. And it can be very difficult. I know, there are some people who are incredibly smart, kind of voracious consumers of information, who are able to go deep on everything. But they’re very, very few. So something I talk a lot about in the show, and I have a whole podcast called The Specialization Podcast, which is just about that. It’s about niching, down and focusing. Can you talk to me a little bit about that? Because I’m really interested in how you came to the realization that you needed to go from focusing on everything LinkedIn, to focus down on these two topics of social selling and thought leadership. Like, was that a was that an epiphany for you? How did that happen?


Richard van der Blom  06:10

Yeah, yeah.  How I created this focus, you mean?


Alastair McDermott  07:11

Yeah. How did you how did you come to that realization? And how did you decide to focus down on these things?


Richard van der Blom  07:16

Well, it…


Alastair McDermott  07:17

Was it by accident. No, it were,


Richard van der Blom  07:19

it went in steps. Because it’s funny, you mentioned the generalistic. And because until 2015, our agency did all the social media platforms. So we did Facebook, training, Twitter, training, everything. And I also did Facebook trading, Twitter training. And I, every time I had a training, I knew that and that I know much more than my clients, but I didn’t feel as comfortable as whittling down. So I felt like okay, I know, maybe 70 75%. My clients know 15%. So I can help them with the first two steps, but I want to be professional, I want to know 99.9%. And with the current speed of development of social media placement, it’s impossible to say like I’m an expert in all these social media platforms. And I saw a niche in becoming a LinkedIn 100% focused agency in 2015. So that’s, that’s why I chose to transform just connecting to 100% focused in the agency. So that was the first thing we did, and we lost some clients, because we had some clients where we provided LinkedIn trainings, and Facebook twins end to end block trainings. But in the end, and this took us about three to six months. Clients came to us would like literally 100% LinkedIn questions, and they valued our expertise. So that was the first thing.  Second thing was that I decided in 2019. Like I’m Dutch from origin. And so my posts were about 70%, and Dutch, Turkish and English. And 2019, I decided to have English as the main language for our country. So all our content now is an English, our website is building English, everything, which obviously creates a much broader target audience, you know, because I’m aware that LinkedIn has a translation button. But if you share your posts in English, you instantly reach a wider audience. And I think the third thing that happened was the pandemic because we were an agency you know, I flew a lot I fell apart. I spent a lot of time in a hotel because we did training on site in company on site on location, even if it was like outside Europe. And And it’s funny, you probably remember this that even 2019 you would say to someone who asked for an on site training, no, no, we do it online. They would say no, no, no, because we don’t believe in that. It’s difficult.


Alastair McDermott  09:51

People used to it was it was a hard sell.


Richard van der Blom  09:54

It was a hot sell, you know, people used to go into the office. Well and when the pandemic struggles, and I live now in Spain, so we had a severe lockdown and my my calendar got like, deleted all the three months, I had booked 2020. It happened here in March, and I, my agenda was fully booked until June, then you have the two summer months, and even in September, October had already booked and it was like literally vanished everything everybody was canceling. So then I had like a rough month, and then I decided to transform all our materials into online sessions. And we just give it a go. And over the past two years, we have been optimizing that. And the combination of working in English together with online modules based on many years of experience. Well, that was was we hit the bullseye with that. Because the sky’s the limit, you can you can deliver training to an Australian company in the morning to an American company in the late afternoon without traveling. And obviously, all our clients are also after two years, almost three years now are perfectly used to follow trainings online. So that was the third thing that happened.


Alastair McDermott  11:05

Yeah, really interesting. There’s something you mentioned there. You said the clients valued your expertise a bit more. When you when you niche down to just LinkedIn is, is that a is that a result of the specialization? Is that what you find as well, because you were you were you were just saying we only do LinkedIn?


Richard van der Blom  11:23



Alastair McDermott  11:23

And there’s is is that a perception that, that you found that as soon as you specialize in something that people assume and kind of value it more because they assume that you’re better at it?


Richard van der Blom  11:34

Yeah, I think I didn’t perception, Alastair because I use it now, as a USP. One of the things I say if we are up to appear, or communication agencies, or even sales, sales training agencies, who also provide LinkedIn trainings in there, like I always say, like we’re 100%, dedicated LinkedIn agency. So don’t ask us anything about Facebook or your website, 100% in the blog, because we are we work with people who are 100%, specialized in LinkedIn. And for us that that is really one of the USP is not because we say it, but as a feedback from clients, like, No, we’re looking for an expert. And you guys seem to, to know everything about LinkedIn. So that’s a good thing. Definitely perception.


Alastair McDermott  12:20

Yeah, and I mean, my take on this is that the perception is massive. I think that it’s huge in how it changes things. But then also it becomes reality, because as soon as you focus on one thing you do, you’re able to go much deeper. And because you’re not spending time, looking at Facebook and Twitter and everything else.


Richard van der Blom  12:38

And in addition, in addition, if, for example, and I have a client from the UK, and he was looking for the sales team for like a social selling training, which means that the primary channel is LinkedIn. And they always also went like, maybe we can also have a look at blog or Twitter. And and then they went like, and what’s your opinion, I said, that’s perfectly fine. If your people are, you know, if they want to expand their knowledge on Twitter, if they want to know you know how to write blogs, we will partner with some prefer partners, and make sure in our program, they will provide a training, but we ourselves are not going to do it. Because we’re 100%, specialized LinkedIn.  And I had other clients that asked me questions, which we might could have done. But we just said no, because it would take us so much energy to create a training that is not a core business. And if you say no, because we’re not the best in that. No, because it’s not a focus. It creates trust and credibility with your client. Because you’re not there to make a buck, you’re there to provide the best possible service for your client.


Alastair McDermott  13:45

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I love I love and we have gone down a little bit of a rabbit hole, because I’m so interested in following up on that specialization piece. I think it’s I think it’s incredibly important. But I do want to bring you back to the two topics that you were talking about originally, which is social selling and thought leadership, and in particular thought leadership. I’m really interested in in what what you think thought leadership is and and then how you apply that and what you talk to your clients about. Can you give me a little bit of your philosophy on thought leadership?


Richard van der Blom  14:16

I think, well, a possible definition on thought leadership is an experienced, informed opinion leader that people like to go to with the questions. So you know, really the person to go to if you have any questions. If people value you as a thought leadership on for example, let’s say social selling, then it means that whenever a question that is social selling related comes up in their mind, there’s only one name to think about that. For example, Richard, we need to go to Richard because Richard is the is the person to go to. So I think it’s also a sweet spot in your network in your community, where you get a lot of questions asked by the right people, that’s also very important because thought leadership, you can only be thought leader if you have the right community. That that’s inevitable. Because for example, I see people now on LinkedIn, a lot of people now are creating posts on how to get more return in them, because it’s content that gets great numbers of reach, because everybody’s looking for like, you know, the golden egg. But their services and their network are not like LinkedIn related. So they try to be like an expert opinion leader, while their network and the community is not resonating with the type of content so they will never see conversion to their business. So I think that’s also very important you create a community, potential clients, peers, that, in the end, might want to book you for your services or for your solutions.


Alastair McDermott  15:53

Okay, let’s, let’s dig into that a little bit. Because that, that resonance, that alignment between your, your network and what your offerings are, can you talk, talk a little bit about how you that you make that fit? How you make that work? How do you ensure that the 90,000 people following you, on or connecting with you on LinkedIn, are actually potential clients?


Richard van der Blom  16:17

It’s more about connecting, because I don’t have an influencer, who’s following me. Obviously, I can block people if I don’t want them to follow me. And I do check my new followers, but whether they are competitors, potential clients, or just people that like my content, you know, that’s up to them, My followers base enables me to get a bigger reach my my followers, make it possible for my content, eventually, to turn up in the field of potential potential clients. That thing I can influence all my connections. Okay? So for example, if I see a very well written piece of content from somebody in sales, or marketing, my two main target audiences, I always reach out. So if you would have written an article about I don’t know, the need for AI in sales, or the three steps how to improve sales. And I really liked the content. And we were not connected yet I reach out and say, Hey, I just saw your blog via my network, I would like to connect with you, because you seem to provide a lot of value. So I’m proactively building my network with people that provide value, which is insightful and relevant for my target audience. Second, all the people that I meet, and I mean, in real life email, that are phone that have requested information about our services, whether in the end, they become a client or not, I directly connect with them. So I get a webform somebody is asking for information. First thing I do, I turn to LinkedIn and say, Hey, you just requested some information, I will get back to you via a separate email. But you know, whatever happens, let us connect.  And then, and I check, for example, the engagement on my content, I check with my profile I screen and if it’s management director level, in sales, or marketing related job titles, I always reach out to them. And I always would say like, Hey, thanks for visiting my profile wasn’t something about social selling one of my updates. Maybe another reason I would like to know, let’s connect if somebody comments or likes my content, second, third degree marketing sales related, we’re not connected, I reach out, Hey, thanks for the engagement that’s Connect, you will see more of my insights. And I’m curious about what you are sharing on LinkedIn. So and that is something that very few people are actively do it, they might do it like once every month, or you know, whenever it comes to their mind, but I do it like, in a very structured way. Every week. I check for those touching points every week.


Alastair McDermott  18:54

Yeah, so it just get into specifics. Is that one day a week that you’re doing that? Are you doing it every single day, you set aside an hour or two, like how long does that actually take for you to do?


Richard van der Blom  19:04

No, I check who is visit my profile, check it twice a week, I normally take about an hour Monday and on Thursday. So after the weekend, and then I catch up on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on Thursday to catch up on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Whenever I publish a new post, which is most in the morning, then I go back to the post from the day before and then I scroll to all the lights and I just see like Okay, is there any interesting person that I want to connect with? So that’s on a daily basis. And I think on average, I spend about 20 minutes a day on LinkedIn to do these kinds of things to look for my notifications to invite people could be up to half an hour, but it’s definitely not more than that. I do spend more time I do spend more time on LinkedIn per day, but that’s just to find potential clients or to do a filter or to read things but to maintain my network and to convert people that have shown themselves or my problem and content into building a very strong business related network that will take me about 20 minutes-30 minutes, max.


Alastair McDermott  20:14

Yeah, yeah. And so you’re posting five to seven times a week, you mentioned earlier. And you mentioned there’s got to be quality content. You’re focusing on two topics. So you’re writing that content. Are you writing that yourself? Or do you have a team that writes for you?


Richard van der Blom  20:31

No, I write all my content. So…


Alastair McDermott  20:33

Cool. And so that sounds like a lot of time. In content creation, how much time are you actually spending writing?


Richard van der Blom  20:40

Oh, I could, I could spend quite some time if it comes and goes with me. It’s like, sometimes I write for hours. And then I have like, I don’t know, input for three, four or five posts. And then sometimes, you know, I want to write but nothing comes up or just, it’s like a mini writer’s block I sometimes have.  I think it’s the process of writing is not what takes me the most of time, I think the what takes a lot of people, too much time is thinking about what is it that I’m going to write what is the topic of what I write, and that I have very clear, I work with five pillars. So I have five pillars. Within these pillars, I have subtopics. And it just a matrix. You know, I know that sales director, sales manager, sales professionals, one target marketing managers, marketing director, C level, it’s not a target. Then I have my five pillars, I have different topics. So you create a matrix. And I know like every two week I write something about Sales Navigator. Every two weeks, I write something about employee advocacy. Every week, I try to have many in a weekend and more personal posts, which could be about a book I’ve read, which could be about something I experience in day to day life that I want to share. So I think that’s where the majority of people struggle with the writing itself. Not a problem. But to come up with a topic day by day. That’s the problem.


Alastair McDermott  22:10

You mentioned, you mentioned the so you mentioned three A’s authenticity, being authentic, being active and being approachable.


Richard van der Blom  22:19

Triple A, triple A.


Alastair McDermott  22:22

Yeah. So. So obviously, clearly, you’re very active, both in in creating content and in reaching out to people in terms of approachability. Is that what you’re talking about about the personal posts? Or is that, does that run through all of your posts? No,


Richard van der Blom  22:37

That’s a very good, it helps. I mean, if I would only put out like things like the annual report and things like researchers, it gives you the status of a thought leader, but it does not necessarily makes you approachable. I think it could even be the other way around that people go like, okay, don’t reach out to this guy because he’s busy, it gets a lot and don’t bother him. I think that one of the goals of your personal content is to show yourself and invite people like and that’s what I do in my call to action. Now, if you have a question, connect with me on LinkedIn, follow me Ring My Bell, send me a DM. So I’m actively inviting my network my audience to connect with me. So that’s, that’s the first thing that’s content related.  But I’m also talking about, for example, in my featured section, there is a direct calorie link where people can book a call with me if they have a question or whatever. So that’s also something that I say like, okay, like, make it easy for people to convert. Again, if it’s relevant to an appointment or to connect with you. So it’s about how you build your profile. It’s your content, but it’s definitely showing yourself an authentic way. And also guide people what kind of questions Can you contact me for but what kind of questions I would rather not have you to contact me because if you say like, okay, whatever LinkedIn question you have, contact me, I would be like, you know, it would be disastrous for my time.


Alastair McDermott  24:06

Yeah, so okay. That’s really, I mean, the whole, the whole strategy you’ve laid out there is really impressive. It sounds like a lot of work. It sounds like you are spending a lot of time with this. I’m interested in the content. You don’t talk about video much there. Is that is that a strategic decision? Or can you can you tell me a little bit about that? Because you seem to have a lot of text posts that you put up.


Richard van der Blom  24:32

It’s basically because one of my like, like, I’m a semi perfectionist, you know, that is semi perfectionist, which means Yeah, I want to do everything in a perfect way, but I never succeed. And I created a few carousels myself, they look dreadful. And that’s when I go Okay, I need to like, have someone to support me with the carousels, which I have since last year. So now I just have the copy and somebody else creates the carousels and I get a lot of compliments about a design. They’re not mine. Textbooks, I can write myself, but video, there we go. Like I don’t have like I have a smartphone, I don’t have a camera, you need someone to shoot you need to want to edit. So that’s the main reason why I don’t have a lot of video. And I knew that this was like a weak point of my own content strategy. And that’s actually why in December, one of my colleagues in the hub, who is a video professional, Tomislav, boom, he came to Valencia and we did. We recorded 24 videos of me sitting on a couch we call a couch dog with Richard. I published two. I got I received a really great feedback, but I still 22 to come. So I have now my video content until like May and then probably we will do a new shooting.


Alastair McDermott  26:01

Cool. So you’re going to do one of those released one of those each week.


Richard van der Blom  26:06

Yeah, yep. Yep.


Alastair McDermott  26:07

Yeah. Yeah.


Richard van der Blom  26:08

Because we have chosen topics that are well, I don’t know if I if I would reuse in three years from now that it will still be relevant, but definitely for the next month. They’re irrelevant. So it’s not something that about a new feature, but it’s more again in the strategical way.


Alastair McDermott  26:23

Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. Cool. Yeah. And it looks great. I see you there. And you’re in a very beautiful part of the world. Yeah, a friend of mine, a friend of mine lives lives just across the bay, I guess from you and Palmer.


Richard van der Blom  26:37



Alastair McDermott  26:38

But yeah, beautiful, beautiful place. So. Okay, so that’s interesting. It’s one of the reasons why I’m now recording season two of this podcast as live. We’re recording this live, it’s not going to be edited, it’s going to be put straight out. But then the next step for the duration of the podcast is going to be that I’m going to be actually live broadcasting the entire interview from start to finish. So that’s that’s kind of, that’ll be a little bit later in, in, in probably once I get my, my workflow together for that. But yeah, it’s because I’m trying to fight against that perfectionist instinct.


Richard van der Blom  27:16

Oh, no, no,


Alastair McDermott  27:16

Because if I don’t do that, if I don’t do that, I won’t put it out. Because I have video from all of season one. But because we edited we didn’t put it out because we because I would have had to edit all the video. And I was kind of resisting that.


Richard van der Blom  27:30

I was the same. I have a girlfriend who is a very creative, she has a camera, she shot videos. She did the editing. I mean, she’s not a professional video editor. But she’s very, very, like a gifted in it. And it was never good enough. I was always like, no, but I hesitate. No, but I said a word wrong. And like, again, I’m not native English, and probably no, you here. And when Thomas came in December, he’s also Dutch. We were here in Valencia. And I and he said like, we’re not going to script anything said no. He said, Just come up with a topic. Have a thing. Okay, what are the things you want to say? And then we do just one take, if you don’t like it, we can do a second thing. But that’s it. And to be honest. All the 24 videos, none of them is a second thing. They’re all the first take. So you have the blah, blah, you have some words that I mispronounce or whatever. But we just went like, okay, let’s make it authentic. Let’s not make it scripted. Let’s not do take 67. And, you know, again, the feedback is great. So I’m totally on the same page as you are.


Alastair McDermott  28:34

Yeah, I think that you hit the nail on the head there. Like it is more authentic. Because it’s not perfect. And people can see that it’s not perfect. You know, you might stumble over words or forget something or say, oh, yeah, I forgot to say and then add that in at the end. That’s all the kind of stuff that I do when I’m recording videos. And then then I decide, oh, you know what, I’ve recorded this, but um, I’m not going to put it out because it’s not perfect. And so this year, I’m saying no, forget it. I’m putting that video out because it’s good enough. And it’s good enough that it could help somebody. And so if it’s good enough, you know, if it’s not totally unprofessional, obviously if it’s unprofessional, you know, but I do think that we, we need to resist the urge to try and make everything perfect before putting it out as content creators. Because, and, you know, talking about thought leadership, and the people listening to this probably want to become because they want to become known as an authority in their fields. They probably want it to become known as that thought leader. And the only way to do that is to put your content to put your ideas out into the world. And if we have this internal editor who’s who’s standing over everything and say, No, that’s not good enough to quiet that’s not good enough to go out. We’ll we just won’t put it out. So we have to kind of loosen the reins on that. At least that’s the way I feel about myself. Personally, I see that with a lot of people. I know that I know that there are people who go the opposite way and probably released some stuff that isn’t good enough to go out to the world. But I, I kind of feel like most of the people who I talk to are the other way there.


Richard van der Blom  30:09

And for me, it’s all about the goal. And a lot of people, when they publish content on LinkedIn, they think they always need to have the same goal, like I’m in sales. So the goal of all my posts should be me, I need to land a new client, it’s impossible. So if I’m recording a video, or if I’m writing a post of the grid, so like, like, it doesn’t need to be perfect, because it’s authentic. It’s something that’s coming to my mind. It’s a picture I recently took. But if I go to an event as a keynote speaker, for example, I was last year in in May, I was in, in Denmark for a LinkedIn event, I was a keynote speaker. So there were pictures taken, there were videos made.  And I think one we got it, we got to I released a video of a bit more than a minute about to give people an impression about my keynote about the venue about the audio. And that was perfect. I wouldn’t do that. If it wasn’t perfect. That needs to be like subtitles, a nice music. And it’s really well, it’s a very high quality piece of content, because it’s a different goal. You want to get potential clients in ID a, if we book Richard, this is what we get, this is what he does. So it’s all about choosing the right moments when your content needs to be like, let’s say, two stars, higher than average. And sometimes it just, you know, roughly thinking selfie, a pose that you create, just because you want to ventilate something can can get like thousands of rich just because it’s authentic.


Alastair McDermott  31:39

Yeah, and that’s something that I think people struggle with a little bit. It’s something I struggle with myself, I’m naturally a very private person. And I don’t really like to talk about myself, and put up the personal stuff. Can you help me and anybody who was like me, who’s listening to this? Can you help me understand? Like, how, where’s the barrier? What should I be putting up in terms of kind of showing you a little bit more of my non business side?


Richard van der Blom  32:06

Well, the barrier is up to you, you know, I see people postings on LinkedIn and I’m in real life. I’m not extrovert on LinkedIn, I give people an insight in my in my life. And sometimes they even publish things, I made a post, I want to have you when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I made a post about my relationship with my dad and Bill, diagnose and you know what I thought about it. And it was, it was not a goal to get like a huge amount of rage, it was just like, I want to ventilate myself. I’m not on Facebook, I’m not on Twitter. This is my network. And the support I got from the community the direct messages more than 300 from client from people I’ve never met, say, ‘Richard, hang in there, your that will be…’ that for me was already one of the proves that sometimes sharing things can actually help you. But I have spoke with a lot of people say I would never publish that on LinkedIn, because that’s not business. Jeopardy needs to meet needs to think about his or her own barriers, you need to feel comfortable. But I’ve noticed that, again, one of the advantages of showing people just a bit more about who you are in private, makes you more trustworthy, people resonate, it makes you more approachable. And and if you want to go from zero, and I mean by zero, like not sharing anything that is not business related to posting more personal stuff, start with something that has a link between your personal life and your business life, you know, start making a picture of yourself with your, the book you have recently finished and saying, Hey, I’ve read that I’ve read this book. These are my three takeaways. If you are in this business, this should be on your next reading list. Because you show yourself it’s a book you personally read, but it’s also business related those kinds of things.


Alastair McDermott  34:07

Yeah, and I’m totally an introvert, which I know some people find this a bit weird. Me saying that because they see me on a podcast or doing video or whatever. But I’ve trained myself into being able to do this. But yeah, I’m totally an introvert by nature and and so you know, I kind of avoid going to parties and stuff. But yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s trying to find that line of where I’m comfortable with it and where I don’t want to come across as being going the opposite way of you know, trying to, you know, like easy people where they they put everything out there and like I could put up a million cat photos if I wanted to because I have two very, very photographable cats that look very good. So but you know, I don’t want to put that stuff up because that’s not relevant. Right. So it’s about finding that line, like, where do you put us?


Richard van der Blom  35:04

What I what I did last year. And what for me was, from my own personal experience, the best example of personal posts is I made a picture of my gardener and myself. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, it has been in my featured section. My gardener is he’s 73 or 74. He lives a couple houses for his illiterate, so he doesn’t know how to read. He doesn’t know how to ride. He started working when he was nine. And when I bought a house from an English couple, he did their voting. I didn’t know that. So I bought a house, I moved to Spain. And two months later, he was on my gate and trying to explain it he was the gardener on if I needed help, and I was stupid enough to say no, because I had this great idea that I was going to do my big gardener all by myself. And then luckily, and this is where the story begins. Two months later, he shows up and he says like, I’ve seen your gun, it looks like shit. You need help. And I said, Yeah, because I didn’t know where he went. I didn’t know where he left. But he was right. So and this happened almost four years ago. So he started coming like four hours a week. And then something happened with my swimming pool. It looked like a mess. And he was like, I can paint your swimming pool. I can because I’m I used to work like in building construction when I was young. And I said, Okay, go ahead. And all the things he does. He’s proactive, he exceeds expectations. One year, we came back from Holland from holiday, and he had made a vegetable garden. So he had made a vegetable garden in my garden. Because once I told him that in Holland, I had my own vegetable garden. But I don’t have time in Spain to do it. So he created He said, Don’t worry, I’ll be here every week to give it water. And so I created this post with him pictured said this is quirky, his name, I said, this is the best salesperson I’ve ever met in my life. And then I explained proactively exceeding expectations. Communicate, communicative. And this resonated with a lot of salespeople. They were like, wow, this is indeed what a good salesperson needs to have. And because it’s a personal story with a personal picture, I received one half million views with that post.


Alastair McDermott  37:21

Yeah, I’m looking at it here. It’s in your featured section, if you scroll across a couple of posts that are linked to your profile and in the in the show notes. Yeah, and yeah, cross selling, taking initiative. Proactive. upselling. I love it. That’s great. Yeah, exactly. Working looks like a cool guy as well. Yeah. So yeah, that’s, that’s really fascinating. And I know that this issue of bleeding the personal into the business stuff, I know something I want to do a bit more. And I’m trying to figure it out. I don’t know. Like, how much is relevant? Like, I’m a total sports addict. I’m also I don’t know, like, Should I bring that into it? I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy books. I’m sure a lot of people listening to this. Don’t don’t want to know anything about that. You know, there’s those parts of things. I do boxing, I started doing boxing for fitness, and then discovered that I actually really enjoy a sport. So I’m working with my boxing coach at the moment, I’m doing a six week pre flight training plan. I don’t have a flight plan.


Richard van der Blom  38:29

I double double dare you to put out a picture of you and your boxing coach in gear and then create a post about why you do it. What it what it brings to you what value does it have for you? What how does it change your life? And I guarantee you this post will blow up.


Alastair McDermott  38:46

Okay, I’m gonna do that.


Richard van der Blom  38:49

Yeah, I-I’m 100% sure that it will be one of the best read posts of this year.


Alastair McDermott  38:58

All right, I’m gonna do that. I’ll get a photo with my coach Steven tonight. So


Richard van der Blom  39:03

Cool. Cool.


Alastair McDermott  39:06

So okay, we’re coming towards the end of the show. So I told you that I for for questions I really like to ask people. The first is what is the number one tip that you would give somebody who wants to build their authority and personal brand?


Richard van der Blom  39:25

Authenticity, it may be a bit of a cliche, but you know, the pitfall of having hundreds of people telling you how you can build your brand. How you can make a carousel how you can make good posts is that we all do the same thing, which is not our own tone of voice, which is not our own style. So for me, the authenticity owning them is the way you build your profile. The things you put out there it needs to come from you if it doesn’t resonate with you, but you see that other people are successful in doing it. Don’t copy it and find the things that resonate with yourself. So all For personal brand, authenticity is I think the foundation.


Alastair McDermott  40:06

Yeah, I love it. What about business mistakes? Have you experienced a business mistake or failure that you can tell us about? And can you tell us what you learned from that?


Richard van der Blom  40:16

Well, I’ve made many mistakes. I’ve made many mistakes. The biggest mistake I made is that once I almost sold the company, including myself, just for the money of somebody offered us not well, a decent amount of money, because we were not doing great. So we had we had money issues, you know what I mean? It was like, it was crisis, we have made some, some some stupid choices. And my whole gut feeling said no, because this party this, this, this guys are not comforting any further. But they said, Okay, we’re going to buy your company, you stay in the company for the two years, we make it big, and you will not have any problems. Luckily, I had in the contract that if I wanted to go back within the first six months, I could like, literally shred all the contracts, and get back my own company, which I did in like one and a half month already. So I think that the urge to make money can come with a risk of you taking the wrong choices. So you go for the money instead of for the building blocks that eventually will create a grid business and it’s logical, but know if you have a house, if you have a family, if you have a mortgage, you know, you need to have money. But that that’s one of the things that I’m definitely not going to do anymore.


Alastair McDermott  41:45

Yeah, I think that the bookstore, so he talks about this about, particularly when you’re in a situation where you need more money, you don’t have enough that that actually changes the decisions that you make. It makes people make make bad decisions, long term bad decisions because of that, that scarcity, that lack. So that’s a really interesting, that brings me on to business books, is there a book or resource that’s been important for you or that you will recommend?


Richard van der Blom  42:14

I’m currently reading other books that are written by by connection of mine that are in social selling LinkedIn. But I remember one of the books that I really like it’s still on my in my bedroom is the one from Robin Sharma. And Robin Sharma. A lot of people know him from the book, “The Monk That Sold His Ferrari”, but I read another one, which is “The Greatness Guide”. It’s about I think it’s 100 lessons for a better life, and it’s one of those lessons as an entrepreneur as a partner. And that book is what I really liked about that is that it’s very pragmatic. So I think it’s like 100 pages and on every page, there is one lesson and it goes from having a morning routine it goes from and how you make decisions. It’s really a cool book, Robin Sharma, the great news guy who


Alastair McDermott  43:08

Excellent, I’ll find that link that in the show notes as well. Cool. And then finally, just on on the kind of the lighter side, is there any fiction that you read? Or if not fiction? Do you watch TV?


Richard van der Blom  43:22

I don’t watch TV or watch Netflix, which I heard that it’s not you cannot call a TV anymore because No, I don’t I don’t read a lot of fiction. I read a lot of like, like study books and books that are business related. But yeah, on Netflix, I had I really loved “Peaky Blinders” because of again, I love like the early 1900s You know the period around like the First World War and especially like the scenery and Peaky Blinders the music I’m a big Nick Cave fan and the theme song is from Nick Cave, so that was really awesome. Yeah, but I can also really enjoy something that is way off from that for example squid game, you know, the one that was from Korea, which is a bit futuristic, those kind of things. Yeah.


Alastair McDermott  44:13

Yeah, really interesting. Uh, Peaky Blinders is is fantastic. I love both of those shows, actually, but but Peaky Blinders the music and it is brilliant. And the sets and the dancing is very good.


Richard van der Blom  44:23

It sets they really I don’t know, but Peaky Blinders is in a suit that for me, especially in wintertime. You know, if you look at it a wintertime with a set with the darkness with the music, it’s really a I keep watching that for ages.


Alastair McDermott  44:43

Yeah, yeah. I recommend both of those as well. Richard, where can people find you if they want to learn more?


Richard van der Blom  44:51

Obviously on LinkedIn, Alastair. Soonly then Richard van der Blom. You know, follow me, ring the bell, I still have some connection room left because there’s a 30,000 limit and I’m growing there rapidly. So I need to be a bit more selective about accepting connections, but people can follow me people can send me an InMail DM, if they have any questions. Yeah, and you know, if they liked my content or any questions, they can engage with my content. So that’s really the place where people can find me.


Alastair McDermott  45:23

Yeah, I definitely recommend following your content, as much to learn about what you’re doing as from the content itself with the content is brilliant, but also it’s great to watch what you’re doing as well. I can learn so much just from that. So, Richard van der Blom, thank you so much for coming on the show.


Richard van der Blom  45:40

Thank you for having me, Alastair. It was my pleasure.

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