Catch David Alto on the #PirateBroadcast™
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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
Russ Johns: [00:00:10] Starting to choke to death. That's all I need to do is start a show choking. And here we are at #PirateBroadcast good morning and welcome David, how are you doing my friend?
David Alto: [00:00:22] Very good. Very good. Thank you for having me on the show. In your intro, it says #interestingpeople. We'll see how interesting I am.
Russ Johns: [00:00:29] The reality is that I believe that everyone has a gift. Everyone has a message. Everyone has something that they can bring to the table.
David Alto: [00:00:36] That is correct.
Russ Johns: [00:00:37] And my job, my simple job is to listen and hopefully bring some of those highlights out in the conversation today. One of the things that I noticed about your profile is you're out helping others and I think that's the most important thing we can do is lift each other up, help each other out and make sure that we have an opportunity to just improve the world around us.
David Alto: [00:01:02] I agree.
Russ Johns: [00:01:04] And I want to find out your backstory about how you got into resume writing, LinkedIn profile rebuilds, and the whole process of that, because I know that before the show started, we were talking about some of the things that evolved into this. And I just wanted to share that with the audience, the pirates out here and make sure that they're inspired by your story.
David Alto: [00:01:24] Sure. We've got to turn back the clock. January, 2019, I got to go back to the future. January, 2019, I was really worried that the company that I was working for, Rent-A-Center, largest rent to own company in the US. I was afraid we were going to sell, we were going to franchise cause we were starting to franchise out, we had a pending sale, so I thought, oh my God, not again. My career is in the hands of other people. I decided to be a little bit more active on LinkedIn. It was my 50th birthday, January 24th, 2019 and I posted a video, first video I ever did, posted the video on, I was glad I was turning 50, good shape. I just feel good. But I wanted to share a little tidbit about people that when you turn 50, you could actually contribute more to your 401k. A lot of people don't know that, so that's all I shared because I thought why not share that? And I learned quickly on LinkedIn that, it's like you said earlier, everybody's a subject matter expert about various things, share those things. So I started sharing about little resume tips and I started learning a little bit more about LinkedIn. Back in the day in my previous job, I did a ton of interviews, so I shared some interviewing tips and fast forward to early August of 2019. I was giving away advice and I was writing resumes for free at this time, still doing my day job. And somebody said, I have to pay you for this resume. And I said, okay. So then that started. Again me doing the side hustle of writing resumes, promoting LinkedIn, profile tips, interview coaching. And then I was able to progress. November came and I gave my boss 30 day notice. And because my day job was really getting in the way of my side hustle. It's true. I could tell that if I left my day job, I'm almost certain, if I gave it my all that I could make may be close to what I was making prior. And I learned along the way that so many people on LinkedIn were providing me advice and tips just on various things. They kept telling me, you're going to know when it's time to leave your day job, but I'm like, eh, how do I know? But they were right. And again this community, if you embrace it ... listen, if just one person comments on your posts, but get something from it, you've done your job and it all takes time. And now this person with zero followers, now I have really close to 43,000 on that. It's just amazing that if you embrace it and you're genuine, sky's the limit.
Russ Johns: [00:03:52] Yeah. It's interesting how that seed being planted and nurtured a little bit and giving value back oftentimes turns into something that we never expected. And so just like yourself, just writing resumes on the side, helping others out, interview skills, all of a sudden it's a new business. So fast forward from then to now, what do you see? Cause obviously, since that time we have had some transition in the market and some challenges out in the world around us. So how's that evolved in your business and how has that developed and transformed?
David Alto: [00:04:36] Sure. Writing resumes takes a lot of time, really the only way to scale, either charge more, sleep less. And maybe that's why I didn't feel a little good yesterday. Maybe my body needed some rest. We talked before the show but charge more, or whatever, but, or maybe hire a team, but I'm getting more calls for speaking engagements. I'm getting more calls for this or to collaborate with others. I embraced the fact that it could evolve by next year. I could be doing this, I'm developing an online course. So again, knowing that I really enjoy writing the resume because I'm able to take something that somebody has, maybe they're not getting very good, a lot of getting interviews or any traction on, and now all of a sudden getting interviews. And it makes me feel proud. I feel like that proud Papa when when somebody gets that interview when they got nothing before it could evolve, it could change, but I always say I'm patiently aggressive, meaning I know everything takes time. And I don't need to make a certain dollar amount today. Again, I'm patiently, but I'm aggressive in still moving forward, thinking, allowing new ideas, new partnerships potentially. And that's the great thing about LinkedIn. The connection that you made a year ago, you may not have any way of helping each other now, but a year from now, somebody refers you or knows you a little bit better. So that relationship nurtures. There's so many people on LinkedIn that want to go from zero to 100,000 followers overnight, and you really need to nurture those relationships. So who knows what my business will will be. I think it'll continue to evolve once I find other avenues for revenue and other avenues for helping others.
Russ Johns: [00:06:19] Yeah. It's interesting too, because showing up and being consistent and being there and available to answer questions and supportive of the community. It's just amazing who shows up in your world.
David Alto: [00:06:33] Oh yeah. I've had, I don't know, are you familiar with Corey Warfield?
Russ Johns: [00:06:37] Oh yeah.
David Alto: [00:06:37] Okay.
Russ Johns: [00:06:38] Corey's a pirate.
David Alto: [00:06:39] Okay. I thought so. So it was early July of 2019. He reached out to me, connected with me on LinkedIn and he said let's connect. And I'm like, we're already connected. He goes, no, let's get on a phone call and I'm like, who is this guy? This influencer that wants to talk to little old Dave. And we had a brief conversation, but that conversation, I talked about a job that I actually applied for about a month before. But prior to that because I was looking to change careers and I didn't get it, but the way I was sharing that with him, he goes, I'm glad you didn't get it. You're going to do stuff. You're going to do something different here soon. Maybe you don't know exactly what it is, but he saw something and that's the amazing thing about LinkedIn is it is full of giving people. I reach out to people that I see struggling or whatever I say, hey, can I provide some advice on this or advice on posting or whatever. When you embrace this community, especially on LinkedIn, it's full of giving people that just want to help out. Now sure, those people that might want to help out, and maybe they want something in return, but again, for most part, very giving. Very giving platform and I'm just blessed to have found it and been able to do now what I do. Two years ago, I didn't know that I'd be doing what I'm doing today.
Russ Johns: [00:07:59] That's fascinating. And also, I just want to remind everybody that in the pirate community, that we are going to be giving something away today with with this episode. So just type in hashtag #piratenation. Hashtag #piratenation in the bottom or in the chat window here, wherever you happen to be chatting from whether it's YouTube, Facebook, or LinkedIn, wherever you're coming in from. Just chat in the comments, hashtag #piratenation let me put it up here. So I'll put this banner up here. I can get this up here fairly quickly. So here we go. So just down below here, you can see this right here and just type it in the chat and we'll get this going. And I just want to remind everybody also it's Memorial day here in the U S and I just want to recognize families of the fallen and just remind everybody that the freedoms we have and some of the things we have in life are because others sacrificed their time. So their lives and everything that goes along with that. So I just want to recognize that. And also there's a number of people in the room. Marcia is a Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Thank you so much for being here. Nico De Bruyn. Hey, what's going on. I've reached out to you. You should probably reach out to me and come back on an episode, man. Elize is here.
David Alto: [00:09:27] I have a phone call with her after this show.
Russ Johns: [00:09:31] If we could bring her back, bring her on and you can have the call right here.
David Alto: [00:09:36] Yeah, she might not want to share some of it, but yes.
Russ Johns: [00:09:40] Maureen, hi Russ. Maureen's here today. She says grateful for you LinkedIn friends. Absolutely positively. And she says, hi, David. Just chat. #piratenation hashtag #piratenation in the... okay, there we go. It's showing up. Hello, David and Russ. Is it Chauhan? I hope I get that right. Then he says, good morning, love the idea of nurturing your followers and contacts. Totally agree, David. Wendy's in the room. Thank you for the reminder, Admiral. Welcome, David. Thrilled to welcome you to the pirate posse. Absolutely. #piratenation, type in #piratenation. One of my friend's sons, Lars Chew, was last us soldier to give his all in Desert Storm. Always thinking of him today and all the rest who have served. Yes. We, I appreciate those that serve. Yes, Elize yes, we do. David, it's really amazing to me how LinkedIn has evolved into this really amazing community. And I've been on LinkedIn since 2005, it's been a while and I've always been an early adopter and putting stuff out there and a content creator and doing things. So let's talk a little bit about job seekers and your LinkedIn profile and what we can do or what we can share today that might help someone out there.
David Alto: [00:11:08] Sure. So listen, HR, hiring managers, just aren't going to look at your Facebook anymore. That's what they did. That's what they did before LinkedIn has become the go-to. So make sure, obviously have that LinkedIn URL on your resume. Cause they're going to go to your LinkedIn profile. And so the idea behind going to your profile, they want to learn more about you or maybe they find you on LinkedIn via some recruiter searches. First of all, you gotta have a banner. The best thing to do is just Google, LinkedIn banner, you click the images tab, find something industry related. We want to be able to quickly identify and don't put like Amazon logo on your headline, because that doesn't say what you do. So maybe industry, maybe there's some keywords, it doesn't even need to have any words, but again, we want people to quickly be able to identify what it is you do. Almost one of the most important things is your headline. Your headline is really SEO for recruiters when they do searching. So it could be project manager excelling at, and then a ton of high-level skills. And you can put in so much content in in your headline. Another little thing, 10 second audio recording that most people don't take advantage of it, don't know it's there. LinkedIn created it last year.
Russ Johns: [00:12:27] 10 seconds is quite a long time.
David Alto: [00:12:29] It's your mini elevator pitch. Now we get to hear you, right? And then I love the about section. And I always tell my clients, at least start off with a question, meaning or almost a statement, say does your department or teams struggled to do X, Y, and Z? And then you talk about how you solve that. So if you take the approach that about sections like an interview, how would you answer those questions? My teams and I do this or I implement this to do this because it's not about a million people go to your LinkedIn profile, but when the right people come to your profile, they're able to quickly identify what it is you can solve for them. And then that just makes them more confident in reaching out. So again, what do you solve? How do you solve it? At least for job seekers. And even if you're currently employed, you can still say it in a way that doesn't sound like you're looking for another job.
Russ Johns: [00:13:23] And that brings up a great point because I think it's absolutely critical that even if you're happy with your employment, even if you're satisfied with your position and you're not necessarily searching for something, becoming an authority in your industry is one of the best things you can do for your position. Even if you plan on staying, the company may change and may evolve, just like you were saying with your company, your organization, you don't know if it's going to franchise, sell off or close or, what's going to happen with the future. So taking control of your content that's out there, making sure you have a position to go to and making sure that you have at least some authority in the market is a best move for anyone.
David Alto: [00:14:11] I agree. Oh, go ahead. Sorry.
Russ Johns: [00:14:13] And I was just going to say, so these tips and these tactics are universal to anyone that I think is in the industry now. These days anyway.
David Alto: [00:14:23] Oh yeah. And you said authority. So nothing better than writing an article. Write an article about something you're a subject matter expert at, in your industry. That's timeless, meaning again, it's not nothing you know about today, but it's maybe it's philosophy or whatever. And now when either your leaders or somebody else's looking, and saying, wow, they share this or share something about your current employer. Because then if another employer looks, they're going to go, okay, this is what this individual is going to do. When they work for us is they're going to share and showcase things. And that just makes you more valuable. But yeah, sure, write an article. Boy, if I could write an article, everybody else can. It could be a short article. But again, an article, to be honest, I write resumes, but writing for me was never my strength, but writing resumes is a little bit different. It's more storytelling and oh, it's just different than writing an article. When I wrote my book, I needed a lot of help getting my thoughts down on paper, but yeah, write an article.
Russ Johns: [00:15:25] So talk about your book. What prompted you to write a book and how did that process work? How did you work through that process?
David Alto: [00:15:33] Sure. So in 2019, before I left my day job, suffered from imposter syndrome. I thought, and for me, imposter syndrome was the fact that these new skills, people were thinking, oh my God you're so good at doing this. You're so good at it. I'm like hey, I've only been doing this for a little while. I cannot be called an expert. Please don't, right? But when you provide value again, you should be able to consider yourself an expert in your field. So then fast forward, I got my first paid speaking engagement in October of 2020. Yes, during COVID. They flew me from Seattle to Orlando and had my first paid speaking gig, the first five minutes did not go so well, I'll leave it at that. Okay. But now the rest of it went fantastic. People got a lot of value, built a lot of connections, but the next day October 21st 2020, I flew back home and look, COVID had to wear a mask, had all these thoughts of oh my God, how did I screw up those first five minutes? So I needed to journal this out of me and I'd never journaled before. So I got my laptop and I literally wrote down my thoughts on that six hour flight and landed. I told my wife, I just wrote a book. And she goes, huh? What? So now that was just my content. I got content from other people and the book is not a very it's not a 300 pager or any novel or anything like that, but that was very rewarding and again journaling that out of me was very therapeutic. And now, when I did receive my next paid speaking engagement, I didn't screw up because I had learned from that, but because it was my first, first time I was paid to speak, I didn't allow myself to embrace that. Listen, somebody's paying me to do it. They feel confident. I should feel confident. And then wrote it, within the next two or three weeks, got some feedbacks for some other people, quoted some others, quoted some doctors regarding fear and confidence leading to imposter syndrome and then published it in January. So that was pretty quick from October to January. But I wanted to get it out and and share with others.
Russ Johns: [00:17:48] That's fantastic. I love the idea cause it's so important. Imposter syndrome is real. And also the fact that you may not be the expert in your own mind at this point in time, however, you have enough experience and enough information that you can help someone still. Regardless, it's like standing in line. I always say, this is like somebody in front of you that knows a little bit more and there's always somebody behind you that knows a little less, that you can help those behind you and learn from those in front of you. That's the way the world works. And so you are exactly where you need to be right now. And if we remember that and continue to learn and continue to grow forward, then it's so important and so critical for everyone around us.
David Alto: [00:18:36] Yeah I totally agree. If we didn't allow ourselves to be called experts or if we only thought there was one expert, we'd have to wait for that person to kick the bucket and then replace him or her. But yes you said it perfectly if we can provide advice and guidance to others, even if there's somebody that knows maybe a little bit more than us and we're a combination of everything in life. My years of interviewing, right? My years of training and developing others, that brings value, too. Just because I didn't go to school to write resumes. I did a post not too long ago about, I don't have a degree in resume writing. I know there were some places where you can get certificates or whatever but were a combination of everything. I don't question... if somebody is some type of coach or does this for a living? I don't go okay, give me your resume. I need to see how you got this knowledge. If I know they provide value, I see them as valuable.
Russ Johns: [00:19:27] Yeah. Yeah. I'm not an expert in anything. However, I do know something about live streaming and doing a live stream show and I can help save you thousands of hours because I've invested hundreds of thousands of hours and literally, the technology and the techniques and everything that goes along with it and building systems. That's why I have the #PirateSyndicate is to help people that want to become an authority in something and be seen, be heard and be talked about. And that happens over time. It's not... like you said, it doesn't happen overnight. You just don't all of a sudden become an expert because, oh, I wake up one day and I'm all of a sudden an expert. It does take time and it does take effort and nobody has your perspective, nobody sees it as you do.
David Alto: [00:20:13] No, you're totally right. And again I think we live in a society where, especially with social media, that we see people as having all... like Gary V and all these other big personas. And we see them as they're the only expert or maybe doing that and how dare I call myself an expert or think that I can provide any value. But they are no different than us. Maybe they acted faster, maybe they posted something for the first time and then just continued even if they got zero follow, zero views, one view or whatever. They took it and ran with it. And again, if everybody has value, I find everybody valuable. I love striking up conversations with anybody and everybody, because if I ask enough questions, I'm going to learn something about them and learn something just in general, because I know people regardless of age have just unique experiences they can provide.
Russ Johns: [00:21:20] And also there's probably a few people that could write resumes. And there's a few people that want to work with David to write their resume, right? It's one of those things that, hey, I want a friend. I'll pick the human over here and I'm going to be a friend. And the reality is we have a lot of choice and we have a lot of opportunities. There's never in the history of mankind been more information available to us right now. And if you want to learn something, you'd go out and learn something. If you want to learn how to do something, you can learn how to do something. The reality is we can all provide value. And that's the key component that we want to look at today is what's the value we want to throw out, share with the world today. So it's really amazing time we're living in. Wendy says, David, I'll be in Seattle next week. We should gather all the Washington based pirates together and talk about how to add value. And we might even walk the plank together.
David Alto: [00:22:17] I wonder how many of us there are in Washington state.
Russ Johns: [00:22:22] Yeah. I'm curious. I have to take a look at that and see it, put a shout out and do a poll. Where are the pirates from. In fact, this reminds me of PJ Pedroni. His son, Sam, tells a great story. I don't know what episode it is, but PJ Pedroni tells a story about his son. His son found a cache of birthday money or Christmas money or something like that. And PJ goes why don't you save it up for your next birthday? And then if you save it till then I'll match it. Because if you want to earn some more money, go out and figure out how to do this. And so Sam went out on the street with his sister's lemonade stand and turned it into advice, life advice. And this kid was 10 years old, eight years old or something like that. And he was getting paid and they ran a news story and everything and PJ goes, you're gonna me. He was like, I'm going to have to finance this thing. And that's the thing, putting yourself out there and being out there and just saying, I'm going to help someone is such a powerful lesson.
David Alto: [00:23:26] It feels so good. If I hit the lotto tomorrow, I would still... maybe not put in all the hours that I put in, but I would still reach out to people on LinkedIn that are maybe struggling and write a resume or two. Why? Because it feels so good when somebody comes back to you, Dave, oh, I've been using that resume for years and I got no traction. You write one and now all of a sudden I'm getting all these interviews and they say, I'm awesome. And I say no, I'm just good at taking what you're awesome at and writing it on paper. That's it. It's still your abilities, your metrics and achievements and accomplishments. I just have a good way of extracting them from you and putting them on paper. But I would still do it cause it's still, it's so much fun.
Russ Johns: [00:24:07] So are you ready for this? A giveaway, everyone if you typed in hashtag #piratenation. I see a couple of people in here.
David Alto: [00:24:15] Yep. There's two.
Russ Johns: [00:24:17] Let me share my screen now, but that's okay. Whatever happens. We're okay with it, right?
David Alto: [00:24:27] Oh yes.
Russ Johns: [00:24:30] We're here for the greater good. All right, kids. Any last entries?
David Alto: [00:24:37] I'm looking. Nope.
Russ Johns: [00:24:39] All right. We're going to draw.
David Alto: [00:24:47] I'm not sure how you're doing this, but this is cool.
Russ Johns: [00:24:56] All right. I'm going to connect you two. So Elize van Stratton. I hope I said that, right, said that correctly. Love that you're here. Thank you so much for being here and winner winner chicken dinner. So thank you so much. David, this has been a pleasure for me, and I'm glad you're feeling better today. And the reality is that we have an opportunity every day when we get up, I wake up with #gratitude, I think to myself, man, another day I get to go out and help somebody new today. And I go out there and I attempt to add as much value as I can and share and do some things that are going to contribute to the world. And you reflect on that and you help as many people as you can. So appreciate the fact that you're doing it as well, and love to stay connected. Now that you're a pirate, we can continue to the conversation. Any time you want to come back, let us know and be happy to have you join us and start the conversation today.
David Alto: [00:25:54] So I have to pick your brain about a few, like the little thing that you, the drawing thing that you did, and a couple of things on your StreamYard, I have some questions about, so maybe I'll reach out.
Russ Johns: [00:26:04] Anytime.
David Alto: [00:26:04] Thank you for having me.
Russ Johns: [00:26:07] Yeah. So thank you everyone for being here, really appreciate the fact that you're here and comment and share. And if this is an episode that needs to be heard by someone, let them know. David, what's the key takeaway that we want to leave with anyone or everyone before we leave today.
David Alto: [00:26:25] Innovate and take action. Beautiful. I'm gonna leave it at that.
Russ Johns: [00:26:30] All right. Thank you everyone. I appreciate you. And I love that you're here. Look forward to tomorrow. Take care. #kindnessiscool, #smilesarefree so you #enjoytheday.
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