Speaker announcement: Mark Williams

UpLift Live

21-09-2023 • 9 mins

Our next speaker is known as Mr LinkedIn! Welcome to Mark Williams, who's coming from North Wales to speak onstage in Birmingham at UpLift Live about advanced LinkedIn strategies.


Who would have predicted this time last year that AI would be even anywhere near LinkedIn, you know?

Welcome back to the UpLift Live podcast. This is John Espirian from the Mission Control team for UpLift Live, which is the UK's first LinkedIn-focused conference for LinkedIn specialists, power users and enthusiasts.

It's time for another speaker announcement, and this time we're chatting with Mr LinkedIn himself, Mark Williams. I call Mark the Swiss Army knife of LinkedIn, as he knows so much about the platform and is probably the single person from whom I've learned most about LinkedIn.

I chat with Mark a lot as we're both Liverpool Football Club supporters, and I'm a regular contributor on his podcast, Linkedinformed. We're turning the tables today and I'm interviewing him.

Let's hop aboard and get to the interview with Mark!

Mark Williams, welcome to the UpLift Live podcast.

You are going to be one of our speakers in Birmingham.

It's a great honour to be able to host you.

Welcome to the show.

Thank you very much.

I can't wait.

I can't believe it's so long to wait till March.

It's seems a long time away for me at the moment.

But I'm sure once we get past Christmas, it'll come upon us in a flash.

Yeah, it will a bit.

And it feels odd to be saying this, given that you are Mr LinkedIn, but tell us, for the people who don't know who you are, what do you know about LinkedIn? Oh God! Where do you start? I think, you know, one of the things I would say about me and LinkedIn, I mean, it changes so often.

And there's so much complexity to it, that I don't think anybody could ever claim to know everything about LinkedIn.

But I have been doing this a long time.

And I think one of the things I feel is a strength with regards to knowing about LinkedIn is just that, that sense of knowing the company, the direction that they go in, and sometimes they make a change and you think, oh, you know, I assume this, or one would assume this from what they're doing.

But sometimes when you've been doing this, as long as I have you kind of go oh, I'm not actually sure that's true.

I think it's probably more like this, you know, and interpreting and understanding the platform from the perspective of users and how users have changed the way they use it, you know.

I guess again, the longer you've seen it, the more you've been around it, the easier it is to be able to make that kind of crossover between what the platform or what the company are doing, and how its users will actually want to use it.

Yeah, it's one of the things I appreciate most about your Linkedinformed podcast is that you actually cogitate and digest this stuff and then think about what it might mean strategically and explain that really well on the podcast.

So, if anyone hasn't come across Linkedinformed, it's just gone through its 400th episode.

It pretty much is required listening, I would say.

If you're going to be coming to this advanced conference for LinkedIn specialists, you need to be listening to Mark's podcast, go and check it out.

It's a regular for me on a Saturday afternoon.

Now, Mark, I often think of you as the Swiss Army knife of LinkedIn, because you just know so many things about so many parts of what is a massive beast.

We're too far away from the conference for you to tell us any specifics about what you're going to talk about but can you say something about the kind of state of LinkedIn and where you think it's going and maybe give us some idea of the kind of advanced things that you might want to talk about? I mean, it's funny, isn't it.

Every year, or certainly for the last few years, in January, I do a sort of prediction of what I think's going to happen over the next year.

And I usually get it quite wrong.

So, I've given up trying to really predict on where LinkedIn is going to go.

But the one thing we do know is that it's going to change, and it always does.

And it always will.

I think there are indications from LinkedIn that they are making a real concerted effort to try and stem the tide of personal content.

And then trying to kind of dictate to us that they want to see more business content.

And that's a good thing and a bad thing, you know.

It's a kind of a good thing in the sense that maybe people do go a bit too far with personal content on LinkedIn.

But it's a bad thing, also, in the sense that it kind of drives me a bit mad that LinkedIn feel they can dictate to us what they think we should do on their platform, you know.

They like to feel that they can influence us and change our behaviour.

And it's always an interesting observation of how we kind of push back from that.

Yeah, absolutely right.

I mean, you know, a case in point in recent times has been this rumour that they're going to be getting rid of hashtags.

And anyone who knows how social media works actually knows that hashtags were an invention by members.

Users came up with the idea.

And so they're trying to take away something from us that I think a lot of people find quite useful, and at least people are, others are neutral about.

It's just weird, isn't it, how they make their decisions, and they seem to do stuff that we never ask for? I mean, what's going on with that? Because they think they know better, basically.

I think there is a kind of culture, not just within LinkedIn, I think Silicon Valley full stop, where I think they almost kind of feel that they are a superhuman race, you know, that they're sort of, they're more advanced than we are, they can think ahead more than we can, and they kind of lead the way.

And so what we think we want and what we think we should be doing on LinkedIn, they know better.

And so I think that's a cultural thing as much as it is.

It's certainly not true.

But it's, you know, I don't believe it's true.

But I think it's it's largely a cultural thing within LinkedIn.

Of course, the other thing that's is going to change a lot is artificial intelligence and LinkedIn have really jumped in with two feet on that one, I think driven by Microsoft more than anything, but I think we're going to see, you know, by the time we get to March, that may well have changed quite considerably.

But who would have predicted this time last year that AI would be even anywhere near LinkedIn, you know? Yeah, absolutely.

Good point.

We just don't know what's coming down the pipe.

I do feel, and I'm obviously biased here, but if they just listened to the LinkedIn specialist training community, it would be such a better platform for everyone.

And they'd probably end up earning more money.

So, it's ridiculous that they don't just open the door to us.

But there we go.

And during the conference, actually, what we're going to aim to do is towards the end of the day, see if we can get the speakers to get together for an open Q&A session where we can have this kind of grumpy old man debate about what how we can put the world to rights and answer questions.

And Mark's talk is going to be some advanced LinkedIn tips of whatever is going to be relevant by the time that March comes along.

We really can't predict that.

So, if you want to come and join us, I really would love to see you in Birmingham.

Tickets are available at uplift-live.com.

The event is a whole day purely about LinkedIn.

And it takes place on Thursday 21 March 2024 at Millennium Point in Birmingham, a lovely venue that can hold up to 350 people.

Be amazing if we could sell that out.

Come and see Mark and 6 other speakers, which are being announced on the podcast.

It's going to be a wonderful day.

If you have any questions, drop me a line.

And thank you, Mark, for joining us.

It's a real honour to be able, it's going to be fantastic to meet you for first of all, actually physically, but to meet you to catch up to meet everyone else and to have you on stage talking as Mr LinkedIn at LinkedIn conference, admittedly an independently run one, not an official one.

That's going to be a great honour and I really can't wait for it.

So, thanks again for joining us.

An honour for me as well, John, so I can't wait.



And we will see you soon in Birmingham.

Thanks a lot.

So, thanks to Mark for agreeing to join us at UpLift Live. We really ought to have met by now, so our Birmingham event is high time to put that right.

If you're ready to get onboard, grab yourself a ticket to UpLift Live at uplift-live.com – and if you know anyone else who'd be interested in an advanced conference about LinkedIn, tell them about this podcast and how to get a ticket!

Lift-off is coming soon, so thanks for listening and stick with us as we prepare for launch.

This is Mission Control … over and out.

UpLift Live Mission Control

🟦 John Espirian

🟩 Jeremy Freeman

🟧 Gus Bhandal

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