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Richard Bliss - Engagement and Social Selling in LinkedIn

June 29, 2021

Richard Bliss - Engagement and Social Selling in LinkedIn
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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! Get ready for Richard Bliss, CEO of BlissPoint, LinkedIn’s Top Social Selling Trainer, Public Speaker and Author of DigitalFirst Leadership.

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Welcome to this week’s episode on The Radcast! Get ready for Richard Bliss, CEO of BlissPoint, LinkedIn’s Top Social Selling Trainer, Public Speaker and Author of DigitalFirst Leadership.

In this episode on The Radcast, host Ryan Alford talks with guest Richard Bliss about the difference between Social Selling and Social Content, his motivations and his favorite career moments that led him to build the Richard Bliss brand.

They also dissect RAD or FAD from messaging automations to social platforms, products and more.

To learn more about Richard Bliss follow him onLinkedIn, hisInstagram or by visiting https://www.blisspointconsult.com/

If you enjoyed this episode of The Radcast, let us know by visiting our website www.theradcast.com or leave us a review on Apple Podcast. Be sure to keep up with all that’s radical from @ryanalford @radical_results @the.rad.cast


Richard[00:00:00]Most of the clients I deal with, the salespeople, fundamentally believe that social media is a waste of their time. Not to get political, but it had an impact and the 2016 election had an impact on my job. The worst performing content on LinkedIn is videos. The Wikipedia entry that your listeners will read is about Richard Bliss from Olympia, Washington, living in San Diego in the tech industry who's been arrested in Russia. This is all true except there's one piece that's not true. I'm not that Richard Bliss.

It has to start somewhere, to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?

Ryan[00:00:37]Hey, guys, what's up? Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast. It's Ryan Alford. Welcome to another edition of the Radcast. I'm kind of excited today, Richard, sometimes I have people like eight levels farther from what I do or what I have. And I'm just asking them because I don't truly know. But I really understand what you do and really admire it. Welcome to the show, Richard Bliss. 

Richard[00:01:16]Ryan, it’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Ryan[00:01:18]Hey, man, I got to see you firsthand working with one of our clients. It couldn't have been a better recommendation. Someone had recommended you. You couldn't have handled it more professionally. They spoke about that for months and were so appreciative of your work. Richard is a top voice of LinkedIn. I don't know how you get that notice. But as your brand goes, did they award you? Did you get a certificate in the mail or how does that go about? 

Richard[00:01:48]It's funny because what you're talking about is top voices. LinkedIn every year does top voices on their platform and they have basically 10 categories. And I got an email saying, hey, you're being considered as one of our top voices in the category of sales. And Ryan, I thought it was spam. I thought it was a hoax. I went and looked the guy up on LinkedIn and sent him a message on LinkedIn and it was legit. So when you ask how honestly, I have no idea. They don't reveal how they actually do the selection. I just got notified that I was one of the top voices. That was number eight on top voices in the category of sales on LinkedIn, which I found was amazing. And I really appreciated that they recognized me for the contribution I was making to helping salespeople, particularly in the enterprise space. I find a way to use that platform to be more effective. 

Ryan[00:02:40]Well, you know, speaking from firsthand experience here, how well you did with our clients and watching some of your well earned videos, no doubt. I know you've got a new book, Digital First Leadership, which we'll get to. And just an all around great guy. Right? Richard Bliss comes from California. We are in sunny California today. Right?

Richard[00:03:07]Yes, I'm in my tent in my backyard in sunny California, been here for a while, and the last time we talked was last fall when I was still here. I've been here for over a year now. I've got these farmer market pop-up tents and I got some custom walls made. I've settled and I've got an air conditioner and carpeting and my wife's wondering if I'm ever coming back into the house. 

Ryan[00:03:27]I remember the first time you told me that, you actually took Alex from my team and I on a run and you showed us the place, and I remember going home thinking, I met a guy today and I like him. He's in a tent in his backyard in California living the dream. As we've gone, we went to the Zoom world that I guess we're still in. But coming out, I said, I want to talk a little bit about that, too. But I know you're known, Richard. We will dive right into some of your specializations, but we will make sure that everyone who hasn't read your book yet, will know everything there is to know about Richard Bliss. Let's start there. 

Richard[00:04:19]There's a lot to say, but I'll keep it short, so the company is called Bliss Point. I'm the president of the company and we focus on helping companies, salespeople, understand how to navigate this new digital first world. I help executives, CEOs, VPs, directors understand how to build a presence online. So many of them today are just woefully unprepared for how rapidly we move to this online world. And my background is the company is a couple of years old. I have worked for a variety of tech companies over the years. I've been the vice president of marketing for a variety of companies going back to pre 2000. And during that time I constantly kind of reinvented myself. Accolades. I've been on CNN a couple of times. I've been on Good Morning America. I have been featured in Wired magazine, Fox News across the board talking about a variety of topics over the years, everything from security,to email viruses back in the day, to crowdfunding and Kickstarter, to today, social media and helping executives, particularly CEOs, understand how to navigate. It kind of gives you a little bit of background. You might not know this, but if you Google my name, you'll find a couple of stories, but one is also well known in the board game industry and has been featured in press releases in Italy related to board games. I have set world records playing board games. So that's one of the side things that maybe we didn't bring up last time. 

Ryan[00:06:01]I love it, man. Just a hunch and I have no idea if this is your specialization, but this wouldn't surprise me. Like I used to do the trivia at one of the local pubs here, a trivia night. You strike me as someone that I would want on my team for trivia. Have you got any trivia? 

Richard[00:06:20]I tend to be. I'm well known. I'm well traveled. I speak multiple languages. Usually, I have some gaps. I know nothing about Shakespeare and when it comes to that category on Jeopardy, I do terrible. But yes, my wife and I sit down and watch Jeopardy almost every night and have some fun with that. So yeah, not too bad. 

Ryan[00:06:43]I love it man. So you're helping companies, individuals and CEOs in general with social selling. It's such an interesting thing. I want to get your opinion on social selling versus social marketing, like the age old question of marketing versus sales and the difference between the two. I mean, where do we fall? What's the difference between social media, general marketing, content development versus and I guess what people know what selling is, but like, where do those lines cross and fall? And is there a large distinction anymore? 

Richard[00:07:24]That's a big conversation. But let me try a couple of ways. One, inside most organizations, there's this pyramid or a triangle. You have the corporate communications team, which usually handles the social media for the company. And you're very familiar with that. They have a very specific purpose and a very specific message that they put out. And usually PR is involved and endless relations are involved. Then you have executives and they are starting to develop a voice, but they have a completely different purpose and voice. Their job is to be considered thought leaders and to be setting vision and direction and where are we going. And then there's this third group and it's your sales force. And when it comes to social media, your salesforce can use the content from an executive, but they really are concerned about content or social media that allows them to open doors so they can close business. That's really what they're involved with. And as you think about it, those three can sometimes be at odds with each other. The corporate team wants a press release and a general announcement, and the sales team says, "No! I need to find out who this person is at this company and what they're doing so I can knock on the door and get a call on a call with them!"
In the end, the CEO, the corporate teams will say that they shouldn't be writing content for the CEO or vice president of sales, and you have this whole scenario where you have the same words, but incredibly different meanings when it comes to social media. The sales people hear social, and they think that's a responsibility of the corporate team. The corporate team hears selling, and they think that's a responsibility of sales. And executives are somewhere in the middle saying, hey, can somebody help me out? And generally oftentimes your social team is much younger.And they don't understand why an executive doesn't know what a hashtag is, or the executive team doesn't know how to ask the social team about what a hashtag is, because they don't want to look foolish. But you have these teams at odds with one another.And that's what makes it so challenging today. All of us are kind of maneuvering because when we think about social media, you've got a strong Instagram following, I'm well known on LinkedIn. We've got TikTok out there, going crazy. Well, is that all social? And so that's kind of where we find ourselves. 

Ryan[00:09:50]Yeah, it's interesting. And the challenge and the opportunity is companies want to bucket social media into one thing. There's not only now eight viable platforms or more and then you have the nuance of the messaging that you just described in between the different partitions of our groups of the organization. And it's such a demand that it puts on companies for the volume of content, the diversity of the content that they have to develop. Right? 

Richard[00:10:26]Absolutely. And then we didn't even get into paid media, whether they're buying Facebook ads, they're buying Twitter and LinkedIn ads, that adds a whole another wrinkle. I will tell you when people ask me about that, I'm like, no, I do not even touch that side.

Ryan[00:10:41] Youcould send them to us for a million dollars worth of paid media quarters. 

Richard[00:10:47]All of mine is organic. They are so different worlds, they look the same, but they are completely different. So, yeah, i will send them to you, go to the experts.

Ryan[00:11:01]I am curious though, for companies out there like B2B, and you obviously have marketing, you have sales. If you have a company that's wanting to use social media to grow sales. What can they do with it, like, based on the role of the company versus the sales rep role, like, how do you discuss that often?

Richard[00:11:32]Yeah, a lot, and this goes back to the question you asked earlier that I didn't answer completely. What is the difference between marketing and sales? Here's what happens. Companies buy an employee advocacy tool. The marketing team creates content with pretty pictures and pretty videos and pretty links and pass it out to the employees who dutifully hit the share button and push it out to their Facebook, their Twitter, their Instagram, LinkedIn, and they call it good. And everybody thinks they're doing a good job when in reality, that's the marketing perspective. Marketing is that bullhorn of how can we tell as many people as possible about what we're doing? Well, sales is like, no, how can I find individuals who I can solve a problem for. I live my life in marketing, but a marketing job is not necessarily to solve people's problems. Marketing is to let people know that we understand your problem and we might have a solution. It's informational. It's a salesperson's job to help them identify what the problem is and then how to solve it. And that's a big difference between the two. And so when it comes to social media, salespeople need to understand how can I generate a unique, authentic, genuine relationship with the prospect so that I can get that conversation going?That requires a very different approach than simply clicking the share button and heading over to something we call post ghost and thinking, OK, I'm done.And the problem is that so often, because they follow this habit, the salespeople fundamentally believe that social media is a waste of their time completely and the executives as well. And it's a complete waste of their time because there's really only three reasons that people would use it. They think of three myths like, I don't have time. It's all self promotional and I really don't have anything to add. That's what I hear back from executives and even salespeople and the marketing team still trying to share that, share this. And they're sharing it, but it's getting no coverage and they don't know why. And then when we step in and you experience this and I start talking to salespeople, if there's a marketing person on the phone, on the call, they're basically going, holy crap, we're doing this all wrong because I'm able to bridge the gap and tell the marketing people what the salespeople need and tell the salespeople how to use what marketing is sending them. And oftentimes there's a complete disconnect between those two teams. 

Ryan[00:14:13]Yep. I've been in marketing and advertising for 20 years. And I think one of my best skills is not being afraid of competition and wanting to continually learn. And the moment I saw what you were doing for companies and you were referred to me by another partner for our client, ScanSource. In the moment I saw what you did and had the first call with you. I was like, this is the missing piece. It was like, how fast can I put this guy in front of my clients? Not like, oh, God, he has the key. And marketers like me, we all have our sandboxes. We like to think we belong in but we've moved into this space where we've got such an opportunity with these channels. I want the companies we work with seeing and advocating for social media, not the opposite.

Richard[00:15:17]And now it's changed radically over the last 18 months. Not to get political, the 2016 election had an impact on my job. And what I mean by that is up until the 2016 election, when I would speak to a senior leader and try to talk to them about social media, those three myths got in the way. I don't have the time. It's also promotional and I don't have anything to say. And then they would say it really doesn't have any impact. After the 2016 election, we saw the impact that social media can have by an individual, particularly a leader, and how they can use that. And again, it doesn't matter where you're on the political spectrum, it just showed that it does have an influence. I didn't have to convince executives anymore than they were like, OK, how do I do this? Not why should I do this but how do I do this? And that was a big transformation. And that's how we stepped into that role.

Ryan[00:16:25]In social selling and the way you guys approach it, there are so many acronyms and terms in sales and otherwise. Do you consider ABM, or account-based marketing, more about increasing people's overall authority?Or is it two sides, both raising authority as well as positioning them with specific prospects? Is it down one path together or of all things? 

Richard[00:17:03]It is. It's a little bit of both. So we teach and you've seen this, we teach our clients. Each platform is unique, and so we focus on LinkedIn because all business people have a LinkedIn account, they don't all have an Instagram or Facebook or Twitter, but they all have LinkedIn. And LinkedIn operates fundamentally different from all the other social media platforms. So techniques you use on Instagram and Facebook are going to sabotage your efforts on LinkedIn, which is why oftentimes when you see the influencers come over from those platforms, they just wash their hands of LinkedIn because they're like there's nothing here. It's a wasteland. And I had one prospect who I had worked with for quite a while. He'd been in politics and he was very heavily involved in Instagram and Facebook and YouTube, and I kept trying to get him involved with LinkedIn. Finally he listened and we sat down and we crafted a couple of posts for him on LinkedIn. His post generated just shy of 100000 views in less than a week. Not a dime was spent on advertising, not a dime was spent on promotion. It was because of the way he understood how the LinkedIn algorithm worked and he understood how to take advantage of it. And there are certain things that detract from your LinkedIn activities and certain things that will promote it. We helped him understand how to navigate that. He became sold because there was no way he was getting that kind of coverage on Facebook or Instagram. And that happened in just a short amount of time. That's where we've been able to step in and help these individuals understand how to take advantage of these different platforms.

Ryan[00:18:44]Now you've got some of your secret sauce and we're going to link to everything so we know where to find you and to come get the entire recipe.Can we give any of the Richard Bliss, not freebies but some tipsto anyone listening out there?And that's one thing I love about this. You're like me. I'll give away my free advice because you know execution's everything and your experience is everything. 

Richard[00:19:22]Execution is everything. And sometimes my team or other people outside or my mother, she's always worried. They say, you're giving too much weight. I say, No, give away your most valuable information and sell everything else. I mean, that's the philosophy we live by. And so you said it right, It's all about execution. There's nothing new. Everybody knows pretty much everything. It's just about executing. So here's some pieces of advice. For example, this is always a shocker, the worst performing content on LinkedIn is videos. The absolute worst performing content, if you put a video up there, you'll get one tenth the amount of views on that, one tenth the number of people will see that video post than if you just simply wrote out in text what you said.

Ryan[00:20:09]why is that? I want that to be true. We just started on number one. And why is that? Do you know why that is? You think they want more content? 

Richard[00:20:20]Yeah, there's several reasons. One is the nature of our human nature. If I'm on LinkedIn, let's suppose I'm on my mobile device and I'm scrolling along and I see a video. So many people don't include subtitles. So 85 percent of users on social media have the sound turned off. If you're not concluding subtitles on your video, you're losing your audience. So that's number one.Secondly, the video will be three minutes long. Oh my gosh, I'm not going to sit here for three minutes just to get some information out of it.And so I move on. I might like it so I click like and move on, because that's what Instagram and Facebook have taught me to do. I'm just gonna click like and move on. So here's another example. I had a client do this exact thing. They put the video up there and they got six likes. And four days later, we came to him and said, we're going to redo this post.He responded, "well, wait, no, I just posted it. If you redo it, people will see that."We said, trust me, nobody saw the first post. What we did is we wrote up what the video was about, all the details, as much as we could put in there. We then added subtitles. We kept the video and then we added three hashtags. He then hit that and made it go live. The first one was a week long, you got six likes but now in eight hours after the post went live, he had 4500 views, 171 likes and 70 comments on that post. Why? Well, because nobody watched the video. They'll read through his text. So what he was talking about commented and responded and started the conversation going. So often we believe that oh I don't want to give anything about my podcast, I don't want to give anything away about my video, I want them to go watch it and get the information for themselves. No, I'm sorry. I don't have the time to hope to get some information about a video that you kind of hinted that should be a good idea. No, just the opposite. That's number one. That answers the question, right? 

Ryan[00:22:34]Oh, yeah, it does. Lead them to water and they'll drink. 

Richard[00:22:39]Yeah. So give it to them. Don't make them go for it. Number two is when you put a post out on LinkedIn, it only goes to 10 percent of your network. Now you have forty three hundred connections. Right. And I'm looking at your LinkedIn profile right now which means about 430 people are going to see a post that you put out as a test group. LinkedIn always puts out every piece of content to a test group, only 10 percent of your network. It then watches what that test group does with your content over the next hour. But here's the kicker, if you have a link in that post, It will cut that test group in half. So now your 430 people is down to 215 people. If that link is a YouTube video, it'll cut it by another 20 to 30 percent, so you'll be under 200 people, maybe even less than 100, maybe 80 to 90 people out of your 4300 people will see that link you sent to YouTube. Why? Well, that's an easy one. Who makes money from advertising, LinkedIn or YouTube when you put that link, it’s YouTube.

Ryan[00:23:58], Bill Gates. 

Richard[00:24:02]Bill Gates is not going to make in this case, it's going to be Google.

Ryan[00:24:08]They want them to stay on LinkedIn. Right. 

Richard[00:24:11]Now, that's going to be a shock to a lot of people, because almost every post I see is a link to somewhere else. A Forbes article, HBR Article, Inc magazine, a YouTube video, because we're trained by Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which don't penalize us for pouring all that media. And it's more about the social and less about the media. 

Ryan[00:24:37]What if we put the link in the comments? Same algorithm? 

Richard[00:24:43]Yeah. So a couple of ways you can do this. One is you can add the link to the comments, which is going to be fine. The algorithm won't see that. But here's another way you can do this which we do with our clients.Write up the blog post, and I did that this morning, you can follow this link to read the blog post, but I didn't include the link.And then, I hit the post. Then a second later hit edit, go back into the post, cut and paste and drop the link and save the post. I tricked it, I bypassed the app because the algorithm is going to scan at the moment I hit post. I tricked it and added the link afterwards. And now I'm not being penalized because I had a link in there.

Ryan[00:25:34]you dirty dog. 

Richard[00:25:35]But here's something. It doesn't preload the image when you do that, which is a good thing because the second worst performing content on LinkedIn is content that has pictures. If you add a picture to your post, you will usually see a 50 percent decrease in the number of people who view your post. Why, because LinkedIn wants to motivate you for a different kind of behavior. LinkedIn is looking for you to cause people to stop and engage with your content. Well, if I put a pretty picture, people are going to stop and they're going to click like that's not what LinkedIn counts as engagement, because LinkedIn measures how long people spend on your post. And it only takes less than a second for me to see your post click like and move on. That's what Instagram and Facebook train us to do. The best performing content on LinkedIn is text only, the more text, the better and it drives comments. So here's a promise I can make to your readers and I want to be cognizant of our times so that we don't run out of time here. Excuse me, your listeners, if you write a text only post about 100 to 150 words, add three hashtags and get 10 of your buddies to comment on the post in the first hour, that's all you have to do. Text only three hashtags, 10 comments, the LinkedIn algorithm is guaranteed to share that post with a minimum of 1000 to 2000 people within the first 24 hours. Guaranteed. I've done this with people with 30 connections who have just got their LinkedIn profile. It works every single time. It does not matter the size of the network and it doesn't even matter the content. 

Ryan[00:27:29]How long text does it take? 

Richard[00:27:33]The longer the better. 150 to 200 words is about optimal. They just bump that up to now, 500 words, but 150 to 200 words is just fine because LinkedIn is measuring how long people actually spend on your post which is called dwell time. So if you're causing them to read, LinkedIn is tracking that. And the longer you keep them reading and commenting, the more people it's going to show to that post immediately. And there's some secrets to a few secrets that we share about simple things you can do. And I challenge anybody who's listening. Look, if you don't believe me, go test it. Go create one hundred and fifty word posts, put some lines at text breaks in the line. So it's not one body text. Get ten comments on it in the first hour by just asking your friends, Hey, share your opinion and I promise you that you will get 1000 to 2000 views in 24 hours. If you've never gotten more than 100 hundred, you'll still get that same number. It's always interesting to see people come back after they've taken up my challenge, because that number will sometimes climb into the five to 10000 views and they're shocked. 

Ryan[00:28:44]There it is folks, Linkedin Bliss! Three freebies here on the Radcast to get by Linkedin Bliss, which is blessing, which is views, which is engagement, which is what all this crazy game is all about. Reach and frequency is an immediate term, but it's so relevant across platforms and across the dynamics. I love it. It's so fascinating and it makes sense when you hear it out loud. It frustrates me a little bit because we create so much content here. I'm like, damn it. We create so much content, like where I want them to watch these videos. But it makes a lot of sense. Like you said about the whole link trick, adding the link back, can you edit a post, adding a picture or video after the fact. I don't know if you can actually change the content 

Richard[00:29:43]You can modify some of it but the algorithm is not going to modify based on a picture or a video. That's human nature and how the algorithm interacts with human nature. The link is actually the algorithm itself. And so you can use the videos and images sparingly, but if you really want people to start paying attention to your content, you will start writing text-only posts and that will get people starting to engage with your content, talking, and looking at your LinkedIn profile. And we even teach in our training how to get your prospects to call you long before you actually have to call them. So that's one of the things that we teach, is how to start using this platform to start building those relationships where all of a sudden a stranger who's a prospect sends you a message saying, hey, I saw something you posted, I'd like to talk to you about this. And that's what we start teaching. 

Ryan[00:30:37]You've done a lot in your career. Just to take a step back, then I want to talk about digital first leadership. Are there any career moments that stand out at this stage? Everything's a learning lesson. Right. But is there anything you look back on more fondly than others or anything you can talk about.

Richard[00:31:05]Yeah, there's a couple.My first management position was as a vice president of marketing back in the late 90's when I got on CNN. I worked with this young American and together we built a business up from Dayton, Ohio, and he sold it for 40 million dollars.And I look back on those times because I invented something that now is just common. But it was like we saw an opportunity and understood how technology was operating and I invented something and gave it away for free. We thought about patenting it, but then we just gave it away for free. We charged people for it but the idea we gave away for free. And all of a sudden we had competitors popping up everywhere. One of those competitors got sued by Google because Google had bought a company that did this very thing and now this company had a patent on this idea. So Google is suing this other company over this patent infringement and that guy calls me up. Hey, Richard, I'm being sued by Google patent infringement. Didn't you invent this? I said, yeah, I did. So me and the young man I worked for, we dug through our historical record provided to him and refuted the patent it invalidated.Interestingly, Ryan, the law firm that filed the patent infringement suit on behalf of their client, was our customer who was using our service to do the very thing that their client supposedly was patenting because the lawyers at the top were communicating with the IT staff at the bottom.The I.T. guys were using our service. They pick up a client who learned it from us, who tries to file the patent successfully. And then later on, when they went to sue, it became aware that your law firm was actually using the technology that you were trying. Yeah, that's one of my highlights but here is another one that you cannot make up at all. I built my career over the years and I was working for a company, an international company as the vice president of marketing. They didn't hire me in that role, they hired my company because I was in the US, they were in Canada, taxes and all that type of thing. Well, one day the founder calls me up and he starts talking to me and I realize he's firing me. And I had to ask him three times, wait, are you firing me? And he was really hesitant to actually say the words. He was French Canadian and he struggled with that. And finally he admitted he was firing me. OK, I've been fired from jobs before, but here's the kicker, he then turned around the next day and gave the job to my wife. 

Ryan[00:34:09]Oh my goodness. Did he know it was your wife? 

Richard[00:34:17]Yeah. Because, remember I said he hired my company. So my wife and I had a company together and we had some employees and so he fired me but he hired her and didn't pay her the same fees that he paid me. We got divorced several years ago and I think that probably less so when you talk about those highs and lows, that's one story, you can't make up.

Ryan[00:34:49]How is that at home? Hey, honey, how was your day? Well, I got fired from a client. Then the next day your wife's like, I took your job. 

Richard[00:34:58]Now here's how it went. She was already on site at a big Microsoft event we were supposed to be hosting. I was going down because I was going to be doing that, emceeing the presentation.She was already down there setting up booths and everything, so I had to call her and tell her: Hey, honey, I just got fired, I'm not coming. The next day, there was a company-wide meeting which she was at.And, oh, it gets worse, a month earlier, a buddy of mine had reached out to me saying he was looking at a new role and would I be interested in coming to work for him? Of course, I'd known him for years. Yeah, I said sure the next day when they made the announcement of the change. Guess who was the new CEO? My buddy who had reached out to me the month before. And it made sense.Upon being fired, the guy said that you've been seeking a new job anyway, I was like, no, I haven't, but yeah, my buddy was testing the waters. And when I said I would work for him, that got back to him as Richard isn't loyal and is leaving.And he got put in as a CEO and my wife got put into my position. 

Ryan[00:36:06]yeah, that is a story man. Unbelievable.

Richard[00:36:13]OK, I got one to top it. So there is one more. This is in the book, Digital First Leadership and we talk about Googling my name. So if your listeners will Google Richard Bliss, San Diego, then all of those facts come to the forefront with the Wikipedia entry. The Wikipedia entry that your listeners will read is about Richard Bliss from Olympia, Washington, living in San Diego in the tech industry, who's been arrested in Russia as a spy. And he is now in a Russian prison and his brother John is quoted in the press as saying, My brother is not a spy. The president of the United States and the secretary of state had to get involved to have Richard released from prison. He was not cleared of the charges but he was simply told to never come back to Russia and he was released from the Russian prison. This is all true except there's one piece that's not true. I'm not that Richard Bliss. I got a phone call from my mother and I'm in Dayton, Ohio, and she asks where are you? And I said I knew why she was asking. I said, I am not in a prison in Russia. But the reason I am so passionate about this idea of an online presence is because if you don't control your online narrative in today's Digital First World, something or someone else. This Richard Bliss was valid. He lived in town and he grew up in the same city. We're kind of in the same industry. We moved to San Diego. He got hired by Qualcomm to set up cell phone towers in Russia. Back when GPS was brand new, he was caught with a GPS and a cell phone tower near a military base, fired and then arrested as a spy. Oh my God. That is the true story. Bill Clinton and Madeleine Albright got involved. But I have been asked and now whenever I have a client and they need to do a background check, I send them the link and an email saying, I will fail your background check because this is not me. And so this is why I'm so passionate about what we're doing here and the book. 

Ryan[00:38:55]I love it. But it's a great story for all of us. That's a good icebreaker for you, when you meet people, don't look me up in San Diego.

Richard[00:39:10]When I was dating right before I got married. 

Ryan[00:39:15]They had a search on you. Wait, are you a Russian spy? 


Ryan[00:39:20]I use that advantage like James Bond, you know. Yeah, not so here. 

Richard[00:39:27]So at one point, I went to work for a company that had a major office in Russia and the CEO who was in Boston kept saying, hey, you need to go visit a Russian office. I went to the Romanian office, but I said there's no way I'm going to the Russian office. He's like, why? I sent him the link and the story because if my own country can't figure out who I am, I go into Russia and have them look my name up and all of that data and say, we told you never to come back. It's not me!

Ryan[00:39:57]So the books out, Digital First Leadership. You can look it up on Amazon. I saw it there earlier today. I was looking around. I'm going to get one.

Ryan[00:40:11]You got one minute for a quick one word, to close this out. 

Richard[00:40:17]I do. What do we get?

Ryan[00:40:17]All right. Instagram messaging automation, Rad or Fad? 

Richard[00:40:30]Instagram messaging automation!

Ryan[00:40:32]yeah, they're coming out


Ryan[00:40:41]Clubhouse/social audio. Rad or Fad? 

Richard[00:40:48]Fad, and I said the same as in Spanish Ugly. The last thing I hate is automation and the worst thing about today's world is, why am I not in the clubhouse anymore? I don't have time. I time shift all of my social activity. When I have time in a line, I will plug in. But for me, live audio doesn't allow me to capture it, doesn't allow me to share it, and doesn't allow me to use it. It forces me to shift my time and priorities to their time. I could go back and listen to it, but I don’t know about you. How many people do go back and listen to a recording later on when we listen to your podcast? But they're not going to go now. And so while it's really exciting and everything, the impact it's having on business people, professionals who are busy, I listen to NPR, maybe if I'm in my car, in my commute, but I'm not in my car and commuting, I don't have that time anymore. So, yeah, short answer fad. It is not going to last simply because it's such a social disruption that people just aren't going to make that change. So there you go. That's my answer. 

Ryan[00:41:54]And you're one of the smartest people I know and I have been saying the same since the beginning. I don't have enough time for it either. And I think it's a fad. TikTok for B2B. It's not necessarily here yet. Rad or fad. 

Richard[00:42:09]Fad. You just heard me say the video is the worst performing out there. People just don't have the time. Marketing's going to love it. Sales people aren't going to use it. 

Ryan[00:42:18]All right. The cookie list feature that's coming. I know you're not an ad guy. You're more in the PR space, but good or bad, Rad or Fad. 

Richard[00:42:29]I'm hoping it's a Rad because I just got off the phone with Europe and Asia doing training and it was acknowledged. They are a lot more sensitive about giving up personal information than we are here in the States. And I would hope that we would start to become a little bit more cautious about it. So I'm hoping for a Rad.

Ryan[00:42:49]Zoom calls. Now, that pandemic's hopefully gone, going away, we're getting to the final turn, hopefully here to stay forever. 

Richard[00:43:01]Here to stay forever. I talked to CEOs who were like, why would I make my people go back into the office? I talked to executives who were like, look, if I have to go into the office for two people to be on the call and three of them are at home, why are we even going into the office, knowing it is here to stay? We have learned we did not believe it. Over a year and a half ago, we thought we had to be in person to be more effective. But we have learned now and I will take Zoom fatigue over commute fatigue any day. So it is here to stay. 

Ryan[00:43:28]Last one, seltzer beer, all the seltzer's, Rad or Fad. 

Richard[00:43:37]I don't drink. I am a terrible person to ask, but I'm going to say that's a Fad.


Richard[00:43:44]Now that just sounds disgusting. 

Ryan[00:43:47]But back to the wine coolers of the 80s. Richard, man, I couldn't be more thankful that you came on with a lot of great knowledge. We had our LinkedIn Bliss, branding it here on the show. But I really appreciate you brother. 

Richard[00:44:05]My pleasure. Take care. I'm going to go and thanks for the opportunity to talk to your audience. We'll talk to you soon. 

Ryan[00:44:11]Real quickly, where can we keep up with Richard Bliss. 

Richard[00:44:16]Richard BLiss on Twitter. Richard Bliss on Facebook. Bliss on LinkedIn - linkdein.com/in/bliss, Richard Bliss on Instagram. Pretty much if you just type in my name, don't put it in San Diego, you're probably going to find me on one of the social media platforms. 

Ryan[00:44:32]There we go. We really appreciate Richard.
You know where to find us, theradcast.com and  at The.Rad.Cast on Instagram. And I'm Ryan Alford on all the social platforms. We'll see you next time on the Radcast. 

Richard Bliss

CEO of BlissPoint / LinkedIn’s Top Social Selling Trainer / Public Speaker / Author of DigitalFirst Leadership