Inadvertent Viral Post | Paul David

Inadvertent Viral Post

with Paul David


About this episode:

I’m rebroadcasting an episode that I did for my other podcast Beyond the Uniform, which we’ll play here shortly. But this is a really incredible story of someone who wrote a post on LinkedIn and woke up the next morning to 200,000 likes and 6 million views. To say it was viral is an understatement. I interviewed Paul David. He’s an incredible human being and I loved his lessons around marketing and just being a good human in general. So enjoy this episode.

As always, May I Have Your Attention is brought to you by, which turns your podcast into three months of social media content, you can find out more at

Time Stamps:

  • The starting point of Paul’s viral post [0:55]

  • The impact on Paul’s business or life from his unbelievably viral post [2:30]

  • Sharing who you are on LinkedIn [7:14]

  • Uniqueness is an asset for smaller companies [8:32]

  • Paul’s advice on how your post can go viral [9:41]

Selected resources:


Justin Nassiri  00:01

Welcome back to May I have your attention. I’m just in a series and each week I meet with marketers to discuss how to get attention, how to keep attention and how to monetize it. I’m rebroadcasting, an episode that I did for my other podcast beyond the uniform, which we’ll play here shortly. But this is a really incredible story of someone who wrote a post on LinkedIn and woke up the next morning to 200,000 likes and 6 million views. To say it was viral is an understatement. I interviewed Paul David. He’s an incredible human being and I loved his lessons around marketing and just being a good human in general. So enjoy this episode. Yeah, so the intention is just to learn more, I’ve got specific questions. I’ve looked at your Instagram, LinkedIn, tik tok, I looked at your blog and stuff. But the intention was just kind of like to learn the story behind the post and the impact it’s had on you.


Paul David  00:51

Yeah, for sure. For sure. Yeah. I’d love to answer any questions that you might have.


Justin Nassiri  00:55

So the first thing I was curious about was, and I really admire the vulnerability of the post, obviously, it connected with people because it’s so authentic, what was the motivation or like the starting point of just saying, Hey, I’m gonna share this with my professional network?


Paul David  01:10

You know, it’s funny, because I’ve always, you said that you went on my Instagram is like that. And I’ve never been too shy to like, talk about the struggles, because I felt like people really connected with it. And for some way, it did two things, one, to help continue to have a legacy for my late wife. And then, you know, it’s how I get to talk. But then I’ve always done it on like an Instagram. I was really trying to keep it simple. LinkedIn, you know, and I think what was a catalyst this time was it was seven years. And I think the people that have worked with in the past are my clients. I just wanted to say things, you know, it’s been those seven years. And you know, I think we’ve kind of evolved into what we are now. And I don’t know, I just wanted to say thank you. I didn’t know what it was going to do what it did.


Justin Nassiri  01:51

That’s what that’s all I really had an intention to do. Was this something you had been stewing on for a while, like writing was just like, Did you just sit down and write


Paul David  01:59

it? Or is it something you’ve kind of refined over time? Well, that particular posting, I just sat down and wrote it. I think I’ve written in up over the years about her and our struggles. And what we’ve been through with, it was just fairly easy for the dissenter, Johnson, I mean, not fairly easy, obviously, it was heartfelt and, but it was like one of those things where it just came from the heart. I just wanted to basically, I really wanted to let people know that I appreciated them for like helping us or helping me and helping us through that journey. And then for what the business became, you talk about on your blog, you woke up to 7000


Justin Nassiri  02:30

connection requests in countless messages. I guess it’s a couple of weeks out, but what has been the impact on your business or life from this unbelievably viral post?


Paul David  02:41

Yeah, I’m still getting connects and and tickets, almost up to 6 million views. I think I added like, 18,000 people, but you know, more so than the business aspect. I think what was really interesting that how many people were actually kind of going through similar situations. I mean, there was two big things that I realized there was how many people are actually going through similar situations, maybe not a death of a spouse or a death in general, but just struggles, right? And they were like, longing to connect with someone, even across the world that they never, ever met before. They never seen, but there was a lot of that. And it just made me feel that okay, well, let me respond to them. Because at least someone’s listening. And it was eye opening. But the other thing was, how many people were so compassionate. You know, I think I look at this day and age with what’s going on with the media. And there’s just so much division, and there’s just so much back and forth and separation, but there was so much compassion out there. For just me. I mean, it was seven years ago, but there’s an incredible amount of compassion, which was in the same time, one side, you’re like, Okay, there’s people that are hurting, and I want to men that and I want to help that. But at the same time, I’m like, wow, there’s just a lot of people that are compassionate, try to mend my heart, right? So it’s just, there’s a lot of good in the world is what is kind of like what I’ve seen from that personal standpoint, you know, more so than anything that I’ve got from a business standpoint, I think there was a massive amounts of connections, and I wasn’t trying to do that intentionally. If anything, maybe it was helpful. If anything, develops from that, that’s fantastic. But now that wasn’t really my I just wanted to say, once again, yeah, I love that on both sides. I got some of that from your blog post of just the sense of how many people felt alone in facing something similar. And it’s great to imagine them feeling less alone or less suffering as a result of your own courage and vulnerability. But I really liked that piece on the compassion too. And it makes me feel good because there’s so much negativity in the media and then to see like, oh, man, there’s such an outpouring of love and support makes me feel less separated from people that I might not have similar views with, but still are human beings who are compassionate and empathetic people. Yeah. And you know, one thing that you just said that resonated with me too, is that with the viciousness and how we’re separated, really, you know, when I posted this, and I got all the comments and the messages, were really not. I mean, we all hurt and we’re all compassionate with each other. And I’m like, it is As bad as we think it is, or what would portrayed it just there is an incredible amount of unity between people. And I think we forget that if I was looking at this one particular side, and I know I did, so it was just very humbling and eye opening experience. I liked that sense to that. It’s like when you see, you know, it caught my attention because I was scrolling through, I see all of these unbelievable amount of likes, but I love that it’s not like I’m hiring for this position, or 1000. It’s like actually, something that’s humanizing that gets elevated just gives me a little bit more faith in people. One thing I wanted to ask about is you started by saying that you talked about this for a while and Instagram, you kept Instagram separate for LinkedIn, and I see you active on Instagram LinkedIn, tick tock, I love that you’re it seems like you’re experimenting, taking content that’s actually very funny from tik tok and adding it to LinkedIn. What sense Do you have or recommendations do you have for people? Like, is each social channel separate? And should be viewed as separate? Do you see the possibility of mingling what you’re talking about? or What advice do you have for people who are trying to create more content for LinkedIn? Yeah, I think you can totally intermingle it. And I think it’s very, very effective. I think there’s a humor and authenticity from Tick tock, right. It’s very short clips. And it’s funny, it brings light to date and shows the humor as far as Instagram, I don’t know, I’ve been trying to do it forever. And it’s like, like, visual block. That’s all it is. But I think for me, it’s like, I don’t think you should keep it separate. I think they can interact and work. I think every social media can complement each other. I think, for me why I never did, it was I just, this was my professional network. And there was just like, maybe I wasn’t ready from a vulnerable standpoint, to just say, Hey, this is me. I mean, these are people that I work with. And these are clients that I’ve had. And, you know, I just, I didn’t want to breach that subject. But I don’t know, I just guess that’s really just that day, you know. So that’s, but I think they are all very, very complimentary. If you can work in a way that you can encapsulate all of them and make sure that you’re using the platform correctly, but that you’re also tying it into the brand that you have, right? Because like you can message it in one platform that’s more specific and appropriate for that platform. But the branding or who you are, has to always come back to an anchor point, as is what I yeah, one thing I’m realizing as you’re saying, This is the nice thing about sharing more of who you are on LinkedIn, like as soon as you showed up on the screen, I felt like I knew you like we’ve never met before. But I felt like I knew you because I’d seen your posts, I’d seen your content. And it’s just powerful. For me, it’s a powerful reminder that if you’re willing to I like this thought of being on brand, but if you’re willing to be authentic, you can create relationships with people you don’t even know. And it’s just a really powerful concept. Yeah, you know, it’s funny, because I have that mentorship program, and that was talking about that with my guys. Because, you know, they’re individual, like independent recruiters. And I’m like, so what’s going to make you stand out? Right, like, from the big gigantic, you know, humongous like billion dollar firms, yourself? You know, I think, in a service industry, when we’re working with people, right, we’re trying to take that humanistic aspect out and showcasing like, I don’t know, we’re going to AI everything, or we’re gonna make it more efficient, or my company does this, but really, who are you? I’m like, lead with authenticity, because that’s where you’re working. That’s where people actually connect on a visceral level, versus a cognitive level. So you’re right. In that sense, I think, I always knew this, but I was just never courageous enough to do it. I know that, regardless if I gain business or not, but if I’m authentic, then people will gravitate to that. And I think that’s really, really important for people to understand, not just like what your company can do, but who exactly are you working with? And it’s a very, very powerful thing. I like that too. You know, that insight that you have for your coaching clients is that it is a superpower. Like sometimes when I picture these big, massive companies, it’s so intimidating. But then to think of like, wow, if you’re a smaller company, you can actually lead with yourself because no one can replicate that that’s unique people can relate to that. And these bigger companies, they just can’t do that they are these massive organizations. So it’s kind of like a nice Judo move to take what could be a weakness, just being a relatively small company, and having that uniqueness be such an asset? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And it works for that market. You know, it’s like, I get it, I get it, when you have to be able to be scalable, and you need to kind of remove yourself from that personal brand. I think when you’re small or large, there’s a lot of entrepreneurs that don’t want massive multinational companies, they just want to create a lifestyle for themselves. And I’m like, that’s really how you approach it. That’s how you’re going to differentiate yourself. You know, everybody says the same thing. You talk about who you are, and then let them gravitate towards you. And then the great thing about that is you get some great filter, because the people that want to work with you, when you’re authentic, you’re going to get people that don’t like you because you’re being authentic, but that’s not the people you want to work with anyway. Yeah, that’s so great. Yeah, I get caught up sometimes in wanting to be all things to all people rather than realizing, you know, it’s great to filter people out, you have less dissatisfied client, they can just make a better fit all around. One thing I was curious about is and I don’t even know how to ask this but I feel like when I first saw your post, and I started looking into this stuff, worry that I wanted to tell myself was like, oh, here’s a guy who has been posting every single day for the last year, and then one of them took off. But that’s not the story that I’m seeing it like seems like you haven’t been too active on LinkedIn, I think you had a previous post with 367 likes, which is great. But then to go from there to millions of millions of views, it feels like winning the lottery. And I’m curious, I guess your advice for people or businesses that are craving what you’ve gotten, which is a lot of visibility and a lot of attention for your message. Again, like I was never very active on LinkedIn, I was active on Instagram. And many years ago, I was really, really active. And again, quite a bit of following, and there was a lot of traction from there. And again, it wasn’t anything more than I just wanted to share a story. But I think what worked there, and what really worked on LinkedIn was just again, I mean, we’ve kind of talked about, it’s just that authenticity, you know, especially nowadays, right? It’s like nowadays people are craving that, I’m just craving that. Just let me feel connected to you. Or let me feel connected to something. Everybody wants to be connected to something everyone wants to feel that I understand, or I mean, they want to do two things, they want to either empathize with what’s going on, because that lifts them spiritually, or they want to sympathize and then connect, right. And that is not happening at all, at least for me, I don’t see that happening. Any kind of realm of form, you said it earlier, LinkedIn is being used more like, I got this job opening, I got this promotion, look what our company did look, this and this. And it’s the same kind of noise that’s happening, Facebook, it’s like all this political stuff. And then, you know, we’re programmed at that point that’s been through it. But then all of a sudden, there’s something authentic on a platform that’s like, really geared to like new job posting new this, I got new, this got promoted here, blah, blah, blah, oh, but what is this? So I think that’s caused it. And you know, I think obviously, it’s a professional networking site, so you have to be somewhat demure about it. It’s not Instagram, you know, so in my opinion, that’s what made it take off, I haven’t met or maybe I’m good looking. I don’t know. I love it. I’m pretty sure it’s not, but I want to try to believe it. And somehow, I’ll have one question. This is kind of open ended catch all anything we didn’t cover. But I want to share for listeners that in the show notes, we’ll have links to the viral post to Paul on Instagram on Tick Tock his company. I’m just curious though, if people want to support you, they want to learn more about you any information you want them to know, I guess the social media and you know, again, I wasn’t trying to do anything. But bottom line, what I wanted to do is just share my story of my life life, it was very important to me, and I think she left when my daughter was four. So my daughter’s not really going to remember her. And I remember promising my wife, I’m like, Listen, you know, she’s four, she might not know who you are, I’m always going to try to really just remind her about you and everything that you’ve done, and how much you’ve loved her and things like that, but even more so I’m going to try to have her remember that legacy that you left by the impact that I’m going to make on others by your life. And that was really it. I mean, there was nothing other than that, you know, format, just read my stuff and you like it and it helps your life and that’s the best way. I love it. It’s important so


Justin Nassiri  13:09

well I really appreciate your time. I know you’re flooded with requests, anything else you’d like to share with listeners before we wrap up.


Paul David  13:15

No, no, that was it. That was it. I appreciate your time and reaching out to man, you know this discussion. So yeah, no, that’s it.


Justin Nassiri  13:22

Thank you for listening to me, I have your attention. Each episode I meet with top marketers thought leaders and experts to find out how individuals and brands can get keep and make money with attention. You can subscribe to me I have your attention on Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. show notes are provided for each [email protected] slash podcast. Me I have your attention is brought to you by which turns your webinar or podcast into three months of social media content, find out [email protected]

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