ZERO TO 7 QUESTIONS: WITH YOANN LOPEZ, COMET CMO
How the simple, honest act of sharing information upstaged so many boring LinkedIn posts, and demonstrated how much better they can be.
When Yoann Lopez was hired as a growth marketer for uber French recruitment startup Comet, he was one of their first ever employees. Fast forward a few years and more than 50 additional hires later, in 2018 he became their CMO, just before they raised an €11 million Series A.
He’s everything startup founders would want in an early employee, especially in the exploding French ecosystem: Multi-lingual, multi-disciplinary and extremely passionate about his team, business and industry. We got the chance to work with him when Zeroto7 advised Comet last year as they flirted with internationalisation, so we can verify: he’s cool to work with and full of great ideas.
Yoann, along with Comet’s founder and CEO, Charles Thomas, recently began posting a ton of great info about their internal workings to LinkedIn; an effort at almost total transparency which has led Yoann to write more on the subject on Maddyness. It began with a post about company culture: Yoann offering to share their own use case, internal documentation and a library of other company culture decks with anyone who requested it. The post went the B2B equivalent of viral, received hundreds of likes and comments and with the majority being hiring managers, they were even perfect prospects.
He’s continued with his ‘cadeau du lundi’ (Monday gift) every week, offering more insight and info directly from within comet and across his own research, collating the best info he can find together in a neat and digestible package. So, knowing a good idea when we see one, we decided to find out more about the strategic value and any results from this activity directly from the man himself.
Z27: Describe most of the LinkedIn posts you see on your own timeline… in just three words.
YL: Boring. Fakely inspirational. Self-promotional.
Z27: You recently started posting LinkedIn updates with info about the inner workings of Comet. What prompted this and how would you describe your posts?
YL: I’m passionate about how people co-operate to produce value. That's why I joined comet, a transparent company focusing on the future of work. One day I thought about something useful that could be shared with anyone while being aligned to what I love and comet's vision. Et voilà!
Z27: What have the results been like? Has it helped Comet as a business or you as an individual?
YL: The results have been amazing! In two months all my posts have accumulated close to 500k views and hundreds of kind messages from people telling me that what I'm sharing will really help them. It's extremely rewarding to see the direct positive impact of what you do when sharing useful knowledge. It's truly helping Comet in terms of awareness. Hard to measure the ROI of such a thing though. As an individual, it truly makes me happy. So that's one great thing. And it also helped me to get some opportunities I wouldn't have gotten without it, like talking with VCs, entrepreneurs I admire asking me advice, and people inviting me to speak at events like Yolocracy and Lion Executive. (Z27: Plus the article in Maddyness!)
Z27: What is your goal with these posts? Have you changed your approach since you started?
YL: Initially my goal was to do it only under my name without including Comet in the loop but when I saw the power of such an approach I decided to include it. I haven’t really changed my approach since the beginning.
Z27: What has been the most surprising result of these posts?
YL: The hundreds of messages I've received thanking me for what I'm doing. It's probably the best marketing campaign I've launched in terms of personal rewards. It's amazing to feel truly useful and not just shouting out loud some marketing messages to people not truly interested about it.
Z27: Since LinkedIn pushed into updates and opened up to more content, the user interaction has increased and changed the way we all use it. What do you think they should do next and… what do YOU see as the future of LinkedIn?
I believe they should try to work way more on their publishing platform, previously called pulse if I remember well (Z27: correct. Although now integrated into their posting tool through an article link). Try to turn it into something like Medium, which is trying hard to incentivise great content.
Regarding the future of LinkedIn, I believe a great move would be to move more and more into the matchmaking industry. They sit on a gigantic pile of data and should be able to use it to match workers with companies way more efficiently than today. They might need to acquire platforms such as Hired or freelancer platforms like comet to do it!
Z27: What is your advice for using LinkedIn, from your own experiences, to anyone looking to grow an audience for their business or personal brand? How should they go about it and what should they keep in mind?
For me it’s like everything. If you want something to resonate with people, you need it to be useful for them. It could be learning something, distracting them when they’re bored or sharing a useful tool that could solve some of their issues for instance.
Therefore you need to:
Decide what your main themes are (for Comet it’s all about work, future of work, methods, processes, etc.).
Based on those themes, find the pains you’ve encountered (or your clients) and how you (or others) solved them
Share your solutions
Ok that’s it for the themes. Now if you want to be more granular here are some tips:
People love to see what happens behind the scenes. If something looks a bit secret & raw, it’ll be more successful (Gdocs, spreadsheets, internal tools, etc.)
Try to create a ritual. Name it. The name ‘cadeau du lundi’ may seem a bit silly (Z27: Nope, we really like it and it makes sense for your point above about it being a secret) but now people learnt it and when they see it, it rings a bell automatically. When I don’t publish they even send me messages and ask about ‘cadeau du lundi’.
Show a sneak peek. Like a short video of what they can get.
Ask them to comment and like your post. It’ll increase the viral effect. It may look a bit weird to ask that but at the end you need to think that it’ll allow people that should not be able to see this post to see it because of Linkedin algorithms. So it’s both good for you (increased awareness) and for the people discovering it + you’re sharing something useful so it does not look like spam to me.
Reply and like as many comments as you can. It’ll create more connections with your audience.
Then, in order to automate the sending of your resources to people commenting on your posts, you can use a tool like Linkedhelper.
Thanks to Yoann for taking the time to read and answer our questions!
If you're a developer or data engineer and want to explore a new way of working, then get in touch with Yoann and the team at Comet.