MMAM 123 | Vanity Metrics

Beyond Vanity Metrics: The Difference Between Return On Ego And Return On Investment With Phil Gerbyshak (Episode 123)

Patty Farmerpodcast

Do you think about return on ego, or do you think about return on investment? Do you like that dopamine rush you get every time you open your social media accounts? Do you count your likes, shares, comments, or connections? These vanity metrics are the Return on Ego that many people value so much. In this episode, Phil Gerbyshak, a sales coach, explains the difference between Return on Ego and Return on Investment and why you should focus on the latter. Tune in to this episode and connect with Phil and Patty as they share their wisdom with you.

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About Phil Gerbyshak

Phil Gerbyshak knows sales. He’s a sales speaker, a sales executive, a sales expert, a sales leader mentor, a sales podcaster, and a sales coach. Phil has worked in sales, leadership and the digital space for years, starting by selling high-speed Internet when the Internet was using dial-up, was a stockbroker, a software salesman, and has even sold digital advertising. He’s written 6 books, more than 3000 articles, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Daily Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Investor's Business Daily, Inc. and many other publications, including earning 3 covers: Speaker Magazine, Marketing Media and Money, and Social Selling Made Easy. People recognize Phil for his personal brand of connection and simplicity, delivered with a smile and some hard-earned swagger. Phil works with businesses to leverage modern selling practices, including social and virtual selling, to increase their profitability, their productivity, and their performance.

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Beyond Vanity Metrics: The Difference Between Return On Ego And Return On Investment With Phil Gerbyshak

I'm looking forward to sharing an industry expert with you. In actuality, he's not even our first-time guest. He is one of our repeat guests. If I had my way, I would have him back once a quarter because he is that much of an authority. Let me tell you a little bit about him and why we'd love to have him back. Phil Gerbyshak knows sales. He's a sales speaker, a sales executive, a sales expert, a sales leader, a mentor, a sales podcaster, and a sales coach. You get that. It's all about sales. Phil has worked in sales leadership and the digital space for years, starting by selling high-speed internet when the internet was using dial-up, was a stockbroker, a software salesman, and even sold digital advertising.

He's written six books, more than 3,000 articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, Financial Times, Investor's Business Daily, Inc., and many other publications, including earning three covers, Speaker Magazine, Social Selling Made Easy and the Marketing Media Money Magazine. People recognize Phil for his personal brand, connection, and simplicity delivered with a smile and some hard-earned swagger. Phil works with businesses to leverage modern selling practices, including social and virtual selling, to increase their profitability, productivity, and performance. In this episode, we get to have him here with us. Thank you so much, Phil, for being here with me again.

It's my pleasure, Patty. It's always a joy to spend some time with you.

That's what I feel too. I have to tell you, it was pretty exciting that we were talking, having a conversation like we do. Sometimes when you have those conversations, you'll get on a topic, and you're like, "That's a great topic. Will you come and talk about that on the show? Will you write an article about that?" I love that you always say yes. Everything I've ever asked you, you say, "Sure, Patty. I'll do that." I love that. Thank you so much for it.

It's my pleasure. Thanks for always asking.

Our topic, everybody, lean into this, and I'm going to tell you, this is the topic we're going to talk about, but Phil has already given his word to me that at the end, we can throw all other stuff at him. Being the expert that he is, he's going to answer them for you. Get your pen and paper out because this is going to be the writer downer episode. Our topic is going to be return on ego versus return on investment. You may be thinking to yourself, "What exactly does that mean?" I could explain it to you, but in this case, I'm going to turn it over to Phil because when we were talking about this topic, he explained it so beautifully. I'm going to hand it over to him.

Thanks, Patty. ROE or Return On Ego is all those likes, comments, maybe shares or connections, all those vanity metrics that are nice. Don't get me wrong. I like to feel good. I like that little blip of endorphin, that dopamine rush. That's wonderful, but that doesn't pay the mortgage. I wish it did. If it did, I'd have retired years ago. I have been on social media for many years now. All things pass, and things happen. For instance, I tweeted about the Golden Girls. I got 30 responses. Fifty people liked it and a bunch of retweets, and that's nice, but that has nothing to do with my business. It makes me feel good, but there is no ROI or Return On Investment.

Will any of those people ever come back to me and say, "Phil, I'd like you to be my sales coach?" Unlikely. That being said, it is possible I could get sponsorship out of that. It is possible that if I was consistent and persistent in that, I could find a return on that investment. Most of the time, people are inconsistent, and they like to see big numbers. It's the Law of Big Numbers.

If I could go viral, my business would be big. I wrote an article a while back about stop waiting for the Oprah moment. For those who don't remember Oprah, she would come on and bring someone on her show and talk about them. They would sell out. In fact, there was a coffee company in Tampa. They still talk about how they were on the cover of Oprah Magazine, and their coffee toffee is amazing.

For the latest people, people don't even know who Oprah was. Not that they don't know who she is, but they don't know who she was. They didn't know how powerful it was. Frankly, they don't care, more importantly. When I think about ROE, it makes me feel good, but it doesn't pay the bills. ROI pays the bills and helps me move forward. That helps me get business. To your point about authority, it helps me be seen as an authority so I can charge more.

That is so true because I think that you have to be seen and heard to be hired. It is very hard to quantify those other things. As you said, it makes you feel good. One of the things I have found to be true in my business, and I'd love to hear your take on it, is that people who hire me usually haven't engaged with me on social at all, specifically, LinkedIn. They're watching, and all of a sudden, they'll reach out to me and say, "Patty, I've been watching you for a while. I'd love for us to get on a call and see how we may be able to work together." It's not until after they do hire me and become my client that they start engaging with me. Have you found that to be true for you as well?

I'm going to go back a couple of years. I had a client that hired me. That was a third-plus degree connection on LinkedIn. What that means is we weren't in any groups together. They weren't connected to anybody that I knew, and they weren't connected to anybody that I knew they knew. I have no idea where they came from, but they found me through a search once. They bookmarked my profile and would come back to it and see what I posted. They were invisible. They had their profile views turned off, so I never knew this person saw me. From time to time, I would see that a random sales VP at some company had seen me. I'm like, "Whatever. I don't know who this is."

There's no name. There's no picture. There's no region. I could not pinpoint who this person was. One day they saw a video that was especially relevant. Here's the key. Consistency leads to relevance. He saw this video and reached out. He goes, "I'm planning our first ever sales summit. I'd like you to be the speaker at it." I'm like, "I'm happy to be one of the speakers." He goes, "No. I want you to be the speaker. I want you to spend three days with my team, and I'm going to make it worth your while. I'm going to pay you well, over five figures." I would say one video. That's what I looked at. That's the one he engaged with. If I rewind, he said he's been following me for a couple of years.

That's a pretty big deal. I met with someone who I heard has been following me. In fact, the person who introduced me to this "person" said they connected to this person because of me. I've never seen this person before. I was never connected. I didn't get a single like or comment. In fact, when I looked, this person was not following me, even on LinkedIn. It's another person who has bookmarked my profile, come back and looked at my activity and/or done a search and found me however they did it, and then felt so influenced by me that she was a little starstruck when she talked to me. She's like, "I get to talk to you."

Does that lead to business? Maybe, maybe not. I don't care. That's fine. The great ego is there, but there are no stats to back that up. There are no likes. I think because all the LinkedIn "gurus" say, "Follow every comment, every like, and every share." Yes, you should. I agree, but it's not enough anymore because most people know that people are being taught to follow those.

MMAM 123 | Vanity Metrics

Vanity Metrics: Return on ego is all those vanity metrics that they're lovely.

They're like, "Once I engage, I'm going to get jumped on, so I'm just going to listen. I'm going to be passive. I'm going to hang back. I'm not going to connect." It's so interesting that the more ego we try to get, the less actual return on our investment we get. It's so interesting. Those are two big examples, but I've got lots of small examples that have happened throughout the years, too. Not just to me but my clients as well.

I found that the last client who hired me had the same story. She said that she'd heard me speak here in Texas years ago. I didn't even know who she was. I didn't want to say, "I don't even know who you are." She said that she didn't know where she heard me speak. It's just that she had heard me speak, and we got on a call, and she hired me for a whole year, a retainer.

I thought to myself how interesting it was because she had never engaged on social at all. It was on LinkedIn that she reached out to me and asked if we could have a conversation. What you said about being consistent and relevant is much more important than trying to chase the shiny ball that's popular now, this new thing that has come out.

Be consistent and relevant, and the right people will find you. Elevate your game. Don't chase them. Let them find you when you are consistent and relevant, which leads back to our last conversation. In our last conversation, which was so powerful, too, was because I hadn't noticed that you did a newsletter. All of a sudden, you were doing this LinkedIn newsletter.

For those of you reading, you've probably heard a little bit more about the LinkedIn newsletter. You may even be getting bombarded in your notifications about people asking you to subscribe to it. When I saw it, I thought, "Now that's interesting." I reached out to Phil and said, "Phil, why did you do it? What are the pluses? What're the cons? What made you make that change?"

One of the things that you probably don't know about Phil but will after this episode is that he's a trendsetter. He's always a trailblazer, an early adopter, and stuff, which is great because he's also very generous in sharing what he's learned. When I saw that, I went to Phil and said, "Phil, tell me about this LinkedIn newsletter from your perspective," because I knew it wasn't just a shiny object. If he was doing it, he had his reasons.

We're going to talk about it. I went to him and said, "This conversation was so good. Would you be willing to write an article about it in my magazine?" He said he would. I have to tell you, to this day, it is still the most downloaded, most popular, and most feedback I have ever had on any of our articles. Do you know why? It's because he was so generous that he didn't tease or give you a little bit of fluff or say, "You have to do this to get the information." He gave you all the information and why. Do you remember that conversation?

Yes. Funny enough, I was driving home from breakfast at the Maple Street Biscuit Company right down the street here in Kissimmee Celebration, Florida. We had a great conversation, and I remember that day. Truly, our conversations are so memorable. I know what I'm doing when we have them. It's fun. I love that, but I remember that because, at the time, I said, "Now is the time for everyone to get on the LinkedIn newsletter bandwagon if you can be consistent."

I would say now is still the time. The golden age has passed. In fact, sadly, many people have gotten bombarded so badly with those newsletters that people have turned off the notifications, so they no longer get those. I would tell you, if you're looking at your clients and you think that they might ever be creators and they might ever be someone who might turn into someone who occasionally has an opinion you want to hear, turn on the notifications or schedule time to go back to their profile and see if they've published a newsletter.

You want to get that because since the golden age has passed, they're not going to get 100, 1,000, or 10,000 people that view it. They're not going to get a big ego stroke from those big numbers. Instead, they're going to get 7 or 11 people. In fact, some of the people I know who didn't listen when I said, "Now's the time to get going," have bigger followings than me and have newsletter subscribers less than mine. I don't just connect with everybody. I don't have 30,000 connections. I don't have 300,000 followers. I've got about 15,000 to 20,000 people that are pretty loyal, but I do my best to inform, educate, and help them grow their business. That's why I'm there. This is no ego thing for me.

If you said, "Phil, how many subscribers do you have now?" I don't know. I could find it, but I don't know. I haven't looked since you and I spoke about that, since I took that screenshot, because I don't care. It doesn't matter to me. What I want are responses. What I want is people that are engaged, people that value that. Consistency is so important, and that's the big miss. Now, the age has passed, and everybody and their family members have gotten on newsletters. They've turned off notifications. Sadly, LinkedIn is inconsistent even in its newsletter notification system.

My wife subscribed to my newsletter. Sometimes she gets a ping that says, "Phil has a newsletter." Sometimes she gets an email, which is what LinkedIn promised that they're going to do both things, "We're going to drive traffic at you because you're going to publish on our platform." I was like, "That's wonderful." She doesn't get them. I know my wife has subscribed. She told me she subscribed. I looked and verified that she subscribed. She's one of the first 100 people to subscribe, and then she doesn't get them. We have to be even more consistent and deliberate about it, but we can't get hung up on the fact that we only have a couple of hundred subscribers.

Let's go back a little bit first here before we move forward. I remember when you told me about the LinkedIn newsletter. There were three specific reasons why we should do it that LinkedIn would do. For those that didn't get on the bandwagon, let's talk about what those reasons were why you wanted to, and then we can talk about how it's not exactly working like that anymore and maybe a few things you could do to bump it yourself and help yourself there.

The first promise was every person in your network is going to get a blast that says, "Phil Gerbyshak is now publishing Virtual Selling Essentials. You should sign up." It will show up like a connection request. That's pretty cool. I like that. That notification, there's no LinkedIn ad I can buy to get there. That's huge. Patty, you saw that. You subscribe and get the check mark. I'm going to get it. Phil publishes every Thursday. I miss some. I do my best, though. Sometimes life happens, but Thursday mornings, I publish. You're going to get a notification in your notifications on the bell that says, "Phil Gerbyshak published another edition of Virtual Selling Essentials." You can click, and it will take you to the newsletter.

The third thing they promised was they were also going to send out an email to all of the people who signed up and raised their hands and said, "Yes, I want to get Phil's Virtual Selling Essentials." That was the promise that LinkedIn gave us. That's what it says in the help file, or at least that's what it said the last time I checked, but that's not the case.

MMAM 123 | Vanity Metrics

Vanity Metrics: The law of big numbers: if I could go viral, my business would be big.

That being said, when somebody does become a new connection, if they stay on my profile long enough, they'll get a prompt. I'm in creator mode that says, "Phil has a newsletter. Would you like to subscribe to it?" That's nice. That's all right. That's not as good as the other thing, but that's good. You can hit the bell on my profile and turn on notifications, which will also notify me of every time I like, comment, share or post anything to my status, which is a lot, admittedly.

There could be some noise there. It might not be the one newsletter that you read every week, but it could be more. If it's anything like most of the stuff on LinkedIn, it will be inconsistent, but at least you'll be aware that I still am alive. That's good. Third, you have to share it. The way to overcome that is you have to share it. I tweet mine. I share mine on Twitter. Not all the time, but sometimes it will take you to the graphic, and I'll post it on my Instagram account. Sometimes, I also put it on my Facebook page. I'll share it on LinkedIn using three hashtags to try to get some more juice going.

If I can, if anybody else shares it, I comment back because even though it shares the newsletter, it doesn't show my profile. It just says the newsletter. What I want more than a newsletter subscriber is I would love a new connection so that I can have a conversation with you. Maybe one day, it will lead to a conversion event, which could be a call or doing business together. That's what the promise was, and that's how to overcome it.

That is interesting because I remember when that happened, all of a sudden, I went and said, "Who are the people that I love reading their posts and articles? I love engaging with them." One of the things that I look for as well is how people comment. What I mean by that is when people comment, are they commenting and saying, "I love that," or "Truth," or are they doing what I like to call a value add? It's where they're adding a little bit of value, not trying to take over their post. They are adding value that sparks a conversation, which serves the audience of both people, especially if somebody is using the ring my bell feature. They do get to see that I have gotten some great insights into topics.

It's another perspective when I see people comment. That is why, Phil, I have to tell you there are only five people I have signed up for their subscribers to their newsletter and that I read the newsletter on the day I get it, not put it in a folder to come back to it later. I read it and will sometimes even quote it. It gives value. I always have some type of takeaway and something that I can implement or integrate into my business. You're one of those five people. You're even at the top of the list. If somebody does it and does it well, it works for you, but like any other thing, if you say, "I'm going to jump on the bandwagon," then guess what?

We're going to say you're one of the people if you do that, that makes it so hard for us that want to be relevant and consistent because that's why people don't want to do it because of all the people who aren't. I always like to say commit before you take on something, even if it's three months or whatever you can do, say, "I'm going to do it this time," because you can't tell whether it's working or not working. If you don't commit, you're making it harder for everybody else.

Be consistent, get committed, and then do it. I don't want you to be interested in LinkedIn newsletters. I want you to be committed to them. I would say 90 days. If you can commit to three months of newsletters, you'll be a better writer because your first one's going to sock, and nobody's going to read it, let's be honest. It's the one like, "I don't know what to write, so I'm going to put it out there because it's something new." By the thirteenth, you'll get better. Secondly, you'll see what resonates, which is great. You'll see which ones got thoughtful comments.

That's what I'm looking for. I caught $0.02, so $0.02 worth of your insight is way more valuable than fifteen pieces of junk from people that say, "First. Got you. Great post." I don't care. Don't write that stuff. I don't want that stuff. Give me a thumbs up. Don't waste your time commenting. That's stupid. Give me a like or laugh at me and tell me I'm dumb. That's fine. We have that. Third, after 90 days, you're going to see, "Is it worth committing to? Is this something I can do?" If you can, keep going. If you can't, that's okay too.

I want to tie that LinkedIn newsletter back to our topic on return on ego versus return on investment. Now that you have been doing it, what would you say are some tips or mistakes that people could do that will make it be a return on ego versus a return on investment?

The first thing that people do is forget to publish it as a newsletter, and they only publish it as an article. For whatever reason, LinkedIn gives you both of them. The articles are random stuff. They're not scheduled. Thursday is my day to publish. I might move my podcast to Tuesday. I like Tuesdays and Thursdays for whatever reason. No reason other than that's what I like, to be clear. There's no magic there. I haven't looked at stats to tell you if that's smart or dumb or whatever. That's the first thing. They publish an article instead of a newsletter.

The second thing is apologizing if you miss a week. I did this once I got feedback that was like, "Not to be funny, nobody missed you last week." Of course, they did. Not because my insight is invaluable, but because we're so stinking busy, nobody misses it. If you don't see me for a year, you'll miss me. You'll be like, "Where's Phil?" but a week? No, too busy. That's the second thing. Don't apologize, ever. Go forward. The third mistake I made was that I didn't have a signature line, and I still sometimes forget to even put this. Sign off on your newsletter with your byline, and either drive them back to your profile or drive them over to your website.

It's not because the people that are subscribed don't know who you are. If this is a brand new subscriber, and they read four paragraphs, saw two good images and a video, and got great value, and then they click off, you missed an opportunity to stay connected with them. Give them that opportunity to drive them back to the profile. Put a link to your newsletter to drive him back or subscribe to that wherever you want to go.

Give them a call to action, but do a recap of who you are because they forget. They might not know. Somebody might have shared the article, but the LinkedIn byline is not close enough. Those are the three things that I would say, Patty, and I need to do better at those myself. I'm not apologizing anymore. That one's out the window, but I need to remember to sign off with a call to action, and I'll get better at that. Now I told you that, I'd commit and do it. I'll let you know how that work after 90 days. That's super important because, on LinkedIn, you don't own the subscribers. That's the one downside. This isn't all flowers and sausages. This is real.

You don't own the subscribers. I don't have their email address. I have to whip through and see who the subscribers are. It takes time to do. It's not simple. I've not found a way. I have not seen a service that scrapes it. Therefore you need to be deliberate about that and then try to drive them somewhere else so that you can engage. If I take 15,000 subscribers and 10% subscribed, I get 1,500 of that 30% that are super turbo subscribers and go to my newsletter. I would love 450 engaged subscribers that hang on my every word instead of 15,000 random LinkedIn connections that never do anything and never result in any business. A smaller number makes my heart and bank account happy but my ego less.

There's a real truth in that. I applaud you for saying it. I want to go over a couple of things that you do well. Everything I've seen you do, you do well. That always sparks a conversation for me to call you and say, "Phil, why are you doing this?" I'll notice that you do something different. I love that you'll always answer the phone, and I'll say, "Phil, why are you doing that? What's your reasoning?" You always do it and have some strategy around it. It's super exciting. I have you here, and you said you would share, so I'm going to ask you. One of the things that I noticed that you do a lot is change up your profile header.

MMAM 123 | Vanity Metrics

Vanity Metrics: Return on Ego makes you feel good but doesn't pay the bills.

I remember back when you and I first connected years ago. I remember I loved that you always talked about how you were a pinball wizard in there. I remember calling you and saying, "Why are you sharing that?" All of a sudden, after I got off the phone with you, I was like, "Let me see, what should I be doing?" I love that you change it up. Not even changing the words, even the style and the format of it changes. I find that very interesting. We all know how important the profile header is. Let's talk a little bit about that. Is there a reason why you change it so often? Are you tweaking and testing? Are you paying attention from an insight point of view and tracking?

I don't track a lot. I track the conversation, to be clear. I don't care about profile views. I don't care about connection numbers. I told you I don't care about subscriber numbers. Those don't matter to me. I like conversations. I want phone calls, text messages, emails, and connection requests that are thoughtful. I got one message from a young man that I did some mentorship with years ago in Milwaukee. He let me know that he's had some tragedy in his life. That's not a business thing, but the fact that he trusted me enough to share that is a pretty big deal. That's a big return on my investment for me.

With that, there are two pieces of the header I want to talk about. First is the graphics. The graphic has meant to stop the scroll and give you a little insight into the one thing that I want to talk about. It isn't everything, to be clear. It's one thing that I want to talk about now. I'm talking about my podcast, The Sales and Leadership Show. That's cool. That's there, but then the words, the actual headline. There are three pieces of your head. There's a header graphic, headshot, and your headline. For me, I am tired of people pitching me. I'm tired about other "sales experts" that think that they should teach people how to pitch to 20, 50, or 100 people a day. I'm tired of that. That ruins it for everybody on the platform.

Nobody likes that, especially when they teach automation. I'm not going to call any of them out, but I can name a bunch of tools that are automated headline, first activity, and name grabbers, and we'll put that into a message sequence so that then they can spam out of you and pretend of getting your attention. As we speak, I'm going to read mine. It's very short because automation will be the death of LinkedIn. You can't automate sales or leadership. If you're doing it, please stop. Nobody likes it. It doesn't work. It makes you and your whole company look like robots. That's my headline now. "What does Phil do?" If you flip that over, "Phil teaches you how to be more human."

I teach you how to use the three Hs to connect with people, how to be Helpful, be Human, and be Humble. That's what I teach. That's my whole thing. That's my whole platform. With that headline, I've had plenty of people who are actual real connections who want to have real conversations like, "I hate automation too," which is great. At the very least, it stops those LinkedIn lead generation farms from grabbing something out of there and turning that into some fake conversation that says they can help me, or at least it slows them down. I am testing it. Sometimes I put pipes between the words. Sometimes I write the sentences like this one, and sometimes I do both, but I'm testing because I want to see if any of this matters.

My answer to that is unless you can get somebody to look at your profile, it doesn't make any difference. The only way you can get people to look at the profile is you have to be consistent. You have to be frequent and be out there. You have to be willing to share. You got to add real value. Does the headline work? I think so. Does it matter? You tell me. I'm not being rhetorical. If people are reading, maybe you can answer that. Does it matter to you? Do you think differently of me when I do that? Do you think that I'm testing? I don't know the answer.

I know you, so I sometimes wonder if you're testing, so yes. Also, one of the things that I have learned about you over time and being your friend is you never talk to talk. You and I both are talkers, but we never talked just to talk. For me, whenever I see you do something, I always know you did it for a reason. That's why sometimes I call you and say, "What's your reason," because I want to learn. I love that one. Is it relevant? It's relevant in 1 of 2 ways off the top of my head. One, if it's somebody new that found you for whatever reason, that's pretty much going to tell them a little bit about you.

Maybe it's going to tell them enough about you that they're going to say, "That's interesting. I'm going to read more and learn a little bit more about you." That is always a good thing. The second thing is it tells people about how you think and work. When I'm thinking about hiring someone or working with someone, that would tell me a lot about them. When you're thinking about return on investment, going back to that, that makes sense. When you were talking about the three Hs, and you were talking about how important those three Hs, my brain went to a formula. Human plus Helpful plus Humble equals Hire, another H word.

You always walk the walk, not just talk the talk. That is interesting. Here's my question. Here's something that I see, and I know how it makes me feel. What do you think when you see people, specifically in industries like sales, marketing, leadership, those type of industries where you see people that have emojis in their headline, or they have all that alphabet soup behind or they use the pipe where their name is, what do you think about all that?

First, let's back that up. LinkedIn's terms of service specifically forbid all that. The first thing I see is they don't care about the rules and don't respect the platform enough to do what they say they're supposed to do. That's the first thing that I think about that. Fine. Let's put that aside. With that, unless your name is Joe Smith, you should not have any qualifier after your name because you can still be found. I get it. The experts say people that are looking in the search field don't know better, so they've put in LinkedIn Experts or Magazine Editor.

Therefore, if they do that, it pops up those people whose name is Joe Smith, LinkedIn Expert, first. That's great. They go to your profile. They still have to show interest. They still have to see that you can deliver the goods. If the rest of your profile sucks, you tricked the algorithm in it or the search engine. Good for you. You just tricked your customers. That's not how I want to start my relationship. Be clear. I don't like that name stuff. You mentioned alphabet soup, the ABC, the EFG, whatever after your name is, that's insecurity unless you're a doctor, or even if you're a doctor like a medical doctor. At the same time, if it does make you feel more confident, then go for it.

I wear goofy shirts because they make me feel good. If having that alphabet soup after your name makes you feel good, go ahead. Understand that most of your customers, most of your prospects, don't know what that means. It doesn't matter to them. Most of your peers are laughing at you. That's fine if it makes you feel good. I know not everybody loves my glasses. I don't care. They make me feel good. That's okay. That's fine. It's like how I dress. That makes me feel good. That's great.

The third was the emoji thing. I understand why some people put emojis in there. That's because the scrapers turn the emojis into characters. The rocket ship emoji is like command, semi-colon, the ampersand, whatever it is. I get that. When somebody automates them, and it says, "Dear ampersand, colon, semi-colon, number nine," they know that it's an automated message.

That's fine, but I would say this. If you're so important that you're getting that many messages on LinkedIn about that, and you let it waste your time because you don't have the self-control or the system yet to turn that into dollars either by getting a raise if you're in a corporate or getting a promotion or getting more people to hire you, if that's true and you can't monetize that, then get off LinkedIn. That's what I think about those things. Frankly, even for me, who gets a ton of inbound, I don't spend all day on LinkedIn. I don't waste a lot of time on LinkedIn.

I have stuff to do and a family and dogs. I'm working on my next book, and I'll search for other good stuff. This is the case. If I have time for this, because I have a system to make it work, you can too. If you don't have a system, maybe you need to find somebody that can help you with this system. That's true. I don't expect you to do all this yourself, but don't complain about it. Don't put an emoji in and think that will fix anything because it doesn't.

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Vanity Metrics: Return on Investment helps pay the bills and move forward.

That makes sense a lot because I know that the people who see you with your glasses and your shirts love that about you. It's true to who you are. It's your personality. With that said, it also makes you stand out, too, like, "That's the one I was looking for." Nobody would miss that. I know for me, not just on LinkedIn, but all the way across the board, I sign my signature in real life with no capital letters. A capital F is ugly.

The P and the F are bigger than the other ones, as in larger, but they're not capital letters. What has always worked for me is when I sign things, if anybody ever gets an email, you'll notice that the Patty is not capitalized. I can't even tell you in my magazine when I sign off like that, people will take the time to write to me and say, "Patty, did you know you forgot to capitalize?" It cracks me up that they feel the need to do that.

With that said, when I am signing up for things, it works for me well because when they send me things that say, "Dear Patty," whether that P is capitalized or not does tell me something. I get why they do it. If somebody is willing to break terms of service, they've already got something against them that tells me something about them, and it's not positive. That's what I feel about that.

One last big question is search. I have to tell you. I took your course when you first came out with it. I would have to say it was probably the best money I ever spent on a course. That was in teaching us how to search. The course I took was for speakers, like how to use the search. I don't think people know how to do it right. It's like you said, if you put Joe Smith in there, you're not going to get found without those other things, but there is a better way.

I'm not asking you to give us this big, whole long thing because we can have you on another interview for that. Could you tell people a couple of little hints about how to use the search? I'll back it up. I see how you wrote that sentence on your profile editor. I love it. Back in the day, we used to use the pipes and say, "Those things are all searchable," so you need to say you're this and this between pipes or commas or whatever you chose to use. How I would get found is by doing that. Let's talk a little bit about that before you tell everybody how to connect with you.

This is going to be a funny hack. The first thing is to go to the search on LinkedIn and hit enter. Don't put anything in it. Just hit enter. That brings you to the global search page. There's no other way that I know I'm to get there. That then allows you to then focus your search. You can search for people, post jobs, companies, groups, schools, events, courses, services, and the wonderful all filters button. The all-filters button is where the magic happens. If you click on all filters, you'll see lots of things. LinkedIn is continuing to make it harder to use this. Your goal is not to find 100,000 people. Your goal is to find ten.

The first thing I want to do is I want to filter by people. I want to talk to people. That seems obvious. That's the default. That's great. I want to hit 1st or 2nd degree. That's the first thing I want to do. I want to talk to people I know or people who know people that I know. That's it. That means a lot of times I come up with zero in my search. That's okay. It means I don't know anybody in that space. I can do other searches, but I'm talking first search, easiest stuff, fast 50. I've got that.

Here's the second thing that I want to do, now they've got followers of a creator. This is cool. Anybody you see that is a creator, meaning they have LinkedIn Live and a newsletter or a newsletter, not both, you can then put that they're a follower of them. Remember, someone can be your connection without being your follower. They can be your follower without being their connection. By default, if they send you a connection request, it turns on following once you hit connection, "Yes, accept." They have to at least follow. I have one of my friends that stopped following me because I'm too noisy on LinkedIn, he said, because he doesn't follow a lot of people. He's super controlling of his feed. Cool.

I could search for that as well. I can now see 1st and 2nd-degree connections that follow Patty Farmer. You might say, "Phil, why wouldn't you look at second-degree connections, people that I know that you don't know?" The reason why is because you can be a third-degree connection, not a group member. You cannot have to have any real connection to their network, so they follow your work. This is pretty cool. I can do that.

You can search by current company, location, past county, school industry, profiling, and other stuff. That is LinkedIn search in a nutshell. The key again is not to find 100,000. The goal is to find 100 or fewer because that's a real prospect list. That's 100 people that you can take the time to reach out to and have conversations with. No more.

That sums it up. If you're reading, if you got this, we told you our topic was going to be return on ego versus return on investment. Everything we've talked about, from the newsletter to how we engage to the profile header to search, comes back to, "Are you thinking about ego or return on return on investment?" Phil, thank you so much for being so brilliant but then sharing so generously. I believe that God gives us gifts, and he didn't give them to us to sit in the living room. We should be sharing.

I love the human to human interaction. I always love how you show up. You always give it 100% leave it at the door, and I appreciate that. I love being a connection of yours. I love that you say yes when I ask. I love that you answer the phone if I call, but not everybody in my audience is going to be able to get your phone number. How do you want them to connect with you? I'm going to tell you, Phil, that every single one of you that is reading now wants to connect with him.

The easiest way to connect is to go to LinkedIn and put in Gerbyshak. If you've been reading, you will know which one is me. Not because it's Phil Gerbyshak, but because you'll know. Trust me. Go there. Feel free to turn on the notifications. Go ahead, sign up for the newsletter there. Watch my podcast videos. I talked with Marshall Goldsmith. I've talked with Tom Peters. I've talked with Seth Godin.

Patty's going to be on the show soon. Listen to that. If you want to be a super turbo Phil Gerbyshak fan, go to and sign up for that newsletter. You'll get even more value because that's where I'm going to put even more great stuff. I give everything away. I give away all my secrets. Do I sometimes have classes that I have to charge for? Yes, I do because I don't have unlimited time. I wish I could. I cannot. I have two kids, and my eldest has braces. We're trying to pay those suckers off. Yes, sometimes I have classes, but I'm happy to help. If I can, I will.

You are so amazing, Phil. To wrap it up, I almost feel silly asking this question even, but this is how I end every episode. Phil, what is your number one marketing media and money strategy?

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Vanity Metrics: Consistency leads to relevance.

My number one strategy is to be more human. In everything you do and everything you are, your focus has to be on being human. Now that we are automated, don't try to outscale. Don't even try to outsmart the competition. Be more human. Share more of who you are, what you believe, and why you believe it. You're not going to ingratiate everybody with your brilliance. Those that connect with you will connect with you. Those that don't hopefully won't waste your time, so you can spend more of your time working with those people who love you.

That is so good and so true. Thank you again, Phil, for being here. I appreciate you so much. I'm sure my audience does too.

It's my pleasure. Thanks, Patty.

Thank you to the audience for showing up. I appreciate you so much. We'd love to have these great topics. I love the feedback that we're getting from you. I appreciate it so much. We're this close to hitting 200,000 subscribers. The magazine is going to be five years old in 2022, so be prepared for that celebration.

Let me tell you a little bit about our sponsor. The Marketing Media Money Podcast and Magazine is sponsored by Meg Schmitz, Founder of Take The Leap Franchise Consulting company. The franchise industry is booming as people look to diversify their income streams with essential businesses without having to quit their day job. To learn more, go to The conversation is free, but the insights are priceless. Thank you, Phil, and to the audience. It was great talking to everybody. This discussion was amazing, as always, Phil.