The Digital Customer Success Podcast

Driving Community & Scale at LinkedIn with Ezra Zimbler of LinkedIn | Episode 37

February 06, 2024 Alex Turkovic, Ezra Zimbler Episode 37
The Digital Customer Success Podcast
Driving Community & Scale at LinkedIn with Ezra Zimbler of LinkedIn | Episode 37
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ezra Zimbler is a long time LinkedIn team member, currently based in Dublin who is driving some really great initiatives and customer facing teams. He's a diversity & equity champion within the halls of LinkedIn as well as without. This is definitely a topic of conversation in this episode, along with LinkedIn's efforts around building customer community and how the teams are structured around digital CS. 

In this episode, you'll hear about:

  • Ezra's background in sports management and his transition into CS
  • His team’s focus on customer enablement
  • Using digital motions to focus a CSMs time on having valuable conversation with customers instead of content creation & admin work
  • Structure of CS around digital at LinkedIn using a ‘Programs’ team
  • How LinkedIn structures around line of business and customer segment
  • Implementation of inSided at LinkedIn to drive community and starting with a core group of customers for early feedback and into broader availability launch
  • State of the CS Community  in Dublin 
  • Ezras work in DEI and driving equity & diversity within LinkedIn and co-founding TransformHER to help break the double glass ceiling outside of LinkedIn
  • Treating LinkedIn content as more of a library vs. a feed where you can search for historic content

Enjoy! I sure did!

Ezra's LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ezimbler/
Customer Success Monthly Newsletter: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/7023248545004539904/
Customer Success Monthly YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@CustomerSuccessMonthly/

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The Digital Customer Success Podcast is hosted by Alex Turkovic

Speaker 1:

That, for us, has been the big impetus, I would say, for our digital motion is, like you know, we have these highly qualified individuals who do amazing work with their customers and we're making them spend time on admin and newsletters and, like you know, training videos and webinars and, like you know, things that are not necessarily in their wheelhouse and shouldn't that not, probably should not be in their wheelhouse, and like, how do we take that off their plate? So, like you know, the reason we hired them to drive great impact with our clients can come to the forefront.

Speaker 2:

And, once again, welcome to the digital customer success podcast with me, alex Trokovich. So glad you could join us here today and every week as I seek out and interview leaders and practitioners who are innovating and building great scaled CS programs. My goal is to share what I've learned and to bring you along with me for the ride so that you get the insights that you need to build and evolve your own digital CS program. If you'd like more info, want to get in touch or sign up for the latest updates, go to digitalcustomersuccesscom. For now, let's get started. Hello and welcome to the digital customer success podcast. It's great to have you back to episode 37, I believe Yep starting to lose count here and today's guest is Ezra Zimbler, who has been at LinkedIn for a very long time, and it's always great to have folks from kind of large companies that we all kind of recognize on the show, because you get a little bit of the inside juice as to you know what's happening behind this, behind the scenes, so to speak. So today in our conversation, ezra spends a bit of time talking about the structure of CS at LinkedIn. Also, we spent a fair amount of time on his background, which is actually in sports, so completely different field. Then we talk a little bit about community and what LinkedIn is doing to implement and grow a community in terms of their customer outreach. And then, finally, he has spent a lot of time working on equity and diversity efforts, and so you'll hear a little bit about what he's been up to in that regard. It was a great conversation. He's based in Dublin, so I appreciate him dealing with the time differences and all that kind of stuff. So please enjoy this conversation with Ezra Zimbler, because I sure did. Well, mr Ezra Zimbler, what a heck of a last name. Like. Did you have some cool nicknames and stuff in high school? Nothing too crazy.

Speaker 1:

I had two of these in my name, so there definitely was some Z action going on. My parents call me Ez but that's one never caught on which I'm not upset about that. One's not my favorite, but yeah. I feel like Ezra's, unique enough and short enough that it doesn't lend to need nicknames. So, yeah, nothing too crazy.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for some reason in high school people started well, actually I know the reason. It's not very exciting, but people started calling me turkey sandwich because for some reason I told somebody that my last name rhymed with sandwich.

Speaker 1:

So I was like okay, I guess that'll be a thing.

Speaker 2:

Well, welcome to the podcast. You know I super appreciate your here and happy to talk with you today about all things digital and just CS in general Very excited. You know there's the obligatory kind of background question, like you know where you came from, what you did, but we're not going to go kind of directly that route. I do want to understand a little bit more about what it was like working for the Kansas City Chiefs and or the New York Mets organizations and what got you into that and what got you out of that.

Speaker 1:

That's a good story. I like that we're starting there. So, as we were just talking about, I'm a big sports fan. Like most sports, mostly American, I'm starting to get into the European sports a little more and so when I was growing up, huge baseball fan other sports as well, but baseball has always kind of been the mainstay and I'm like, well, you know sports. Once I realized my athletic gifts were not going to get me into the pros, it's like, okay, maybe my mind can get me into pro sports. There is this other path. So when I was going to college I wanted to be a sport management major, which I ended up being. So I went to the University of Michigan for sports management, you know, studied kind of the business of sports with the idea of that was going to be the career that I was going to go down, did a number of like minor league baseball, like random internships during college. As I graduated I went out to Kansas City. I was like trying to get a foot in the door in the industry, interned with the chiefs, which was. It was an interesting experience. It's like sports is an interesting culture, especially on the business side, because, well, I would say, probably on the player side as well, where it's like there's a lot of people who want these jobs and like as like you know, if you're not performing, or like you know, you need to be performing, so there's definitely that. There's like the culture shift and we can talk about this later into tech was like a very, a very different type of atmosphere. I'm sure I interned for the chiefs. I didn't really want to live in Kansas City, like that was not going to be my path, but for me I thought, you know, just out of college you know a place to start and kind of get a sense of what that's going to be. You know it was interesting. It was an interesting experience. Like I was a customer service intern, like you know, working at some of the booths inside the stadium. I did the lost and found, like you know any random things. You know we're doing mailers to season ticket holders. Like you know, classic intern level work. What interesting to see, like you know there's not like pro sports has a decent sized business side but it's not huge. So, like I do, like those kind of like you know smaller teams, like you get to know most of the people, like a lot of the people had been there, you know five, 10 years and you know we're in it for the long haul. So, like you know, I did like that. So it's cool. What was the chiefs then move back to New York. So I'm originally from upstate New York, was able to land a job with the Mets. I started off as part time like try again, try to get a foot in the door answering the Mets ticket line. So like, when you called into the Mets, I was one of the people picking up, trying to sell you some tickets. I did that for for like my first season. For like six months or so was the one person on my team to get kept on into like a full time ticket sales role, which was intense. So I had to make 80 calls a day. You're cold calling that fans.

Speaker 2:

Wow.

Speaker 1:

At this point, hated the Mets for two reasons why they were terrible at baseball. But, more importantly, they had just built a brand new stadium and double the ticket prices. So they used to have nice tickets. Season tickets were right by the field. Now you're like way up in this upper deck and like you're paying the same amount. It was also around the time of the Wilpons scandal, or not, the made off scandal, which the Wilpons may or may not have, you know, been friends with. So like the Mets were not in the best space in like general, so like you're basically calling old season ticket holders they're not so happy, or like new ticket sales, like you're not that good, I don't want to go. You know you're not selling single game tickets, like you have to sell these packs and groups and whatnot, and I would say that's not my style, like I'm not an aggressive sales person, it's YCS Much better fits my personality.

Speaker 2:

That sounds like something somebody would do for like rejection therapy.

Speaker 1:

Like I would be very. I got over my fear of rejection pretty quickly. Yeah, I'm sure. So, yeah, I'm not going to go into sports. But I will say, by the end of my couple seasons with the Mets, it was like this is not the place for me. Like, to be honest, like my love of sports definitely decreased as I was getting to the end of that Cause, like you know, baseball season you work six months straight, like games are at nights, on the weekends, like you're supposed to be at the stadium. So like it's just not stop work. Like it's not glamorous, it's not fun, like there's some cool perks, but, like you know, it is a huge dedication. Your life does not have balance and, like I was, like I don't enjoy watching baseball anymore cause I'm like forced into doing it. So, for me, at the end, like you know, I had a random job before LinkedIn doing some account management, but like it was time of, like you know, I want to reignite my sports passion and like make my little my job something else. So that's where, for me, it was like okay, this is time to now move on into something else. And, like you know, I still love sports, I love watching sports, but I don't need to be working it and doing it every day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, hence the transition. And so now you're at LinkedIn and you lead a CS function. Can you describe a little bit more about the team that you're leading into?

Speaker 1:

You're based in Dublin, yes, so yes, about to hit my nine year LinkedIn anniversary. I did my first half in New York. Now I've been in Dublin about four and a half as well, so, yeah, so my team is talent insights consultants and my team specializes in talent insights, which is LinkedIn's data visualization platform. So really, the idea of talent insights is to bring data and insights to our clients in a way where they can self serve those insights. And my team it's all about enablement, so enabling customers to be able to search for themselves, to know how to use the data that's in the platform to figure out different use cases for them to bring it into again mostly their recruiting function. Again, we do work with some L&D folks, some other use cases as well, but I would say, like you know, linkedin's main clients are recruiters. Our flagship product is recruiter. So, like again, that is a big place where talent insights plays is like how do you build your talent pool, help work with your hiring manager and then take all those insights into recruiter and start recruiting as efficiently as possible? So that's where my team sits now. Is we specialize? We do kind of deeper level consultants. We do have again those kind of you know, more broad CSMs who will kind of do the basics for talent insights, and then our team comes in to go that level deeper, to kind of really drive home some of those use cases.

Speaker 2:

Nice, yeah, cool, that's cool. So you know this is obviously it's the Digital CS podcast and I would be remiss if I didn't ask you about your own kind of opinion and thoughts on. You know what Digital CS is and I think you know I love speaking with folks that don't necessarily, you know, run a digital program and whatnot, because you get the kind of other insights into either the perception of Digital CS or just in general, like the understanding of Digital CS across various functions. So I'd love from you, just like your 10 second elevator pitch, if you had to tell somebody what Digital CS would look like.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I came up with a definition this weekend. Here's what I got for you. It's only one line. It's the infrastructure needed to allow your CSMs to spend as much time as possible on high value activities with clients.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, spot on, yeah, totally. And I love the fact that none of it had to do with, like, customer facing motions, right, because, like, there's a lot of people who still think that Digital CS is a segment and still think that that's how you engage your, that's your tech touch, right, but, yeah, you're spot on, like you know, using it for the benefit of your existing team to make them more sufficient to you know, keep them in, and our focus right now is really about spending time with customers and, like you can't expect that of your CSMs when they have all these other things that they should and could be doing.

Speaker 1:

I think that for us, has been the big impetus, I would say, for our digital motion is, like you know, we have these highly qualified individuals who do amazing work with their customers and we're making them spend time on admin and newsletters and, like you know, training videos and webinars and, like you know, things that are not necessarily in their wheelhouse and should not, probably should not be in their wheelhouse and like, how do we take that off their plate? So, like you know, the reason we hired them to drive great impact with our clients can come to the forefront. So I think that's like been. The big thing for us is like how do we get things out of our CSMs way so they can drive the most value possible?

Speaker 2:

Right right.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

And how does that fit into, like the kind of the structure of CS at LinkedIn? I'm guessing, you know, there's probably an ops function or some separate kind of digital function per se within the org and then there's probably a myriad of various customer success teams. Can you give us kind of a lay of the land?

Speaker 1:

So our digital function actually sits. We call it programs and in our program team there's a couple different functions. So, like there's, like you know, the learning center team or like customer learning, who, like, is deeply focused on that. You have your teams who are, like you know, we just they spun out this community team. So there's the team that is deeply focused on that. We have, like you know, they engage with customer marketing. So, like you know, some of that is brought in and they've done some great work around, like you know, scaled outreach that comes from the company instead of the CSM. So all of that, I would say digital motion, sits within our programs team, who also have, like our program managers, like the enablement folks. So like that, that or really goes deep, unlike, kind of to the point exactly. It's like how do we make CSM's lives easier and more focused on customers in a number of different ways, whether it's some of the digital motions, whether it's enablement, kind of all of these different things, where it's, like you know, we are trying to, you know, have a more streamlined customer success approach. So that's our programs team and yeah, they have been growing pretty nicely over the last year or two, I would say, as we've started to go deeper and deeper into this motion. But yeah, so that's kind of its own team with its own leadership, but obviously they all roll up into the same senior leadership Great programs team. So the team, the org I actually sit in, is called Global Services and it is our specialist team organization and we specialize in a couple ways. I would say, like the two main ways I think about it is either like a point in time in the life cycle or specific products, so like we have implementation consultants who obviously do implementation early in the life cycle. We have solutions engineers who do pre sales, a point in the life cycle, and then we have teams like my own who go deep on a specific product. We have like technical consultants who do like integrations and like go deep in those areas. So that's my org we have. We have like four main groups within within that org and then we have our you know, I would say you know bulk customer success or where it's like the biggest group people who are customer success managers, and we have a number of different business lines at LinkedIn and CSMs are aligned to different businesses. So like the products you're supporting and the clients you're dealing with change pretty drastically depending on which business line you're in. So like the business line I'm in is actually they combine two business lines together around this idea of talent talent marketplace, which is, like folks focused on hiring and folks focused on learning. But we do have different CSMs in each and within those, like you, were broken down by segment, kind of what you're talking about biggest customers to then tech touch, your favorite. And then we also have a sales solutions business which does sales navigator and focuses on sales, more sales customers, and again they're broken down by, basically, size of spend.

Speaker 2:

That's, that's cool and makes perfect sense. And I'm assuming that the output of the programs team is centralized in a way to where they did. I'm guessing they try to connect different you know from CSM to you know consultant or whatever it may be between you know in the same business line, so to speak. Is other. Are there some some, some outputs from that team that you see, that that kind of help your team on a day to day basis?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would say like the from that team they do a lot of select. There's a lot of those program managers who will like make sure that our teams are involved in any like new scale things. I think, like you know, the Learning Center team is one that we work very closely with. I think you know they have helped us a lot in terms of making sure that you know we can be scale as well. Like you know, for our team we don't want to be doing that kind of point and click early days training where it's like really need that Learning Center content. I'm again I think we'll talk more about the community as well that we are just kind of getting launched at this moment and I think you know I did a long body of work to try to influence them to include the talent, insights, customers in that kind of launch which we were able to be successful with. But I do think that is going to be a really interesting play for us. Again, we're very early stages with that. But I think, especially for my team, like one of the number one requests we get from customers is like what are other customers doing? Again, it's like you know the products five years old but like it's still pretty new to a lot of folks. So I think, like you know, how are other people using it? Was use case and like I think you know why our team exists, is like those things aren't necessarily obvious when you just sign in and there's like a ton of data that looks really cool in front of your face and you're like whoa, a lot of stuff. How do what do I do here? So I think you know the combination of the learning content which, like we've curated, and then the community content which is, like you know, best practice sharing, or at least the hope is it'll get to be a vibrant place where folks will be sharing. Like you know that that stuff is really foundational to the job we do, so that we can go that level deeper.

Speaker 2:

Let's talk about that a little bit. I mean you, I think you guys you told me you implemented inside it, which is, you know, now part of Gainsight's portfolio, has been for a while now and you know I'm curious about, you know, the approach to that implementation, how that's gone, like what you guys are, how you guys are focusing on community specifically.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, great question, and I'm a big fan of this. I think, like you know, we have one of our program teams does focus on community, so it's great to be able to have folks who are community experts to be there to kind of support us along this journey and really take the lead on a lot of these things with us, like helping to think about content and cadence and whatnot. So, yeah, so we decided, I think you know about a year ago, I think in the green light, that this was happening about this time, like I started my campaign for our clients to be in there. So about the new year, we started to like it got approved, we ready to go. We started with a founding members kind of like VIP group as to be our first crew in there, one to get their feedback of like what they want from community, how they want to think about this. You know what, what sections we should have, what themes we should be poking around. That was one of the big things of our team was like how do we identify the right people and get them nominated into the platform? So we have like to. There's two sides of the community. There's the hiring one, which is where my group sits. And then the learning one, where we targeted a bit of a different audience but, like my team was very involved and like picking out and nominating these, nominating the customers, and kind of getting them onboarded and excited. And then, yes, our the programs team did a lot of the interviews, really understood from them of what was going on, and then we launched with just them in the platform for a number of months to see what would happen, to, like you know, their feedback, to make sure it was fully built out. And then recently so within the last month actually, no, I think a few months ago we did our first like bigger tranche of folks getting invited. I think we went to like 7000 or so customers as like that kind of in between phase between founding and GA and like got that group in there again seeing their activity, how they work in there. And then so LinkedIn's big event where they announced things is called talent connect, which happened a couple weeks ago, is very recent and we use that occasion to kind of announce more fully that we've now gone general availability to all. Right now it's an English speaking community. We are working to get it localized as well, but we just announced GA for for our English platform Last one of these weeks in October, so very recently, and yeah. So now it's kind of let's see how the masses engage with it, but I think like right the GA is very important because, like now, this is where the hope is. The community is really the hub, where it's like your content comes out of there you know your webinars come out of there, like all you, like your you can reach out to support team. Through there you can go to the help center. Through there you can talk with other peers. So, like, getting to GA was very important because now that's a place where, like, we can just send any customer who needs any support and it's like, hey, this is step one and then you know, our team is there to be step two and step three. But I think you know this was a big milestone again. I think you know we're still getting to that point of, like, you know the team using it in that way and I think you know that's one thing we're going to be pushing continually. But, like, that's like the big hope is now that it is, you know, widely available, we can now become that, that support hub.

Speaker 2:

That's cool, yeah, it's. You know, the community aspect of just enabling customers is, I think, often a little bit overlooked because there are a lot of subject matter experts that don't necessarily live within LinkedIn. Like I follow this guy I don't know if you know him, mark Williams, he's Mr LinkedIn and he has a podcast called LinkedIn Formed, which is actually really good. It's a weekly show. He's like on episode 400 or something like that. Yeah it's been doing it for a long time. He's like a LinkedIn trainer or whatever, and so he does this weekly show. You know, talks about new features and you know the famous algorithm changes and all that kind of fun stuff and it's interesting, but it'll be for me anyway. Those kinds of shifts in, I guess, attention centers around a company such as LinkedIn or you know other kind of more widely known platforms. You know what that will do. The landscape of people like that, that you know, are they going to become more active in a community? Are they going to, you know, get in there and get involved? Are they not? Like? You know there's it's like a big social experiment, almost 100%, and I think I think 100% to your point.

Speaker 1:

Like that is, the deep power of some of these communities is, like you know, we're experts, but, like I probably shouldn't say this, but we're like, more theoretical. Like you know, my team is not a recruiter in there every day using it for the purpose. Like you know, we're using it to teach and to share and to show, but like I do think that's like the power of this is like, and again, what our customers are asking for, which is like, what are other customers doing? What are some of those more niche use cases that actually might be really impactful for organization. Like you know, one of the things I used to do so before I started managing the team, I was part of the team and I used to do so I covered the UK market. I would be in London from time to time and I would do some of these live events where you'd have, you know, I have a panel of, you know, a sales leader interviewing three power users who are, like you know, fantastic at using the platform. We're trying it in different ways. We're in there every day and we're like enabling their organizations to use it as well, and those events always went over so well and, like you know, everyone's like asking them questions. They're like yeah, exactly, they become the experts and like. That's the point where it's like, yeah, if you feel like you're the expert, like you know, it's a place you'll come back to, like it's a good feeling of like being someone who, like is respected around this. So, but I do think creating that takes time and effort and thought, so it's like you can't just start and then it's like that's going to happen. No so that's where I think our goal now is like really create those folks who feel connected and like they are. They are the leaders.

Speaker 2:

Yeah sure, absolutely, absolutely. Well, I started my my tech career at Dell and I don't know if you have the same experience, but invariably my family members, because I worked in Dell, even though they didn't know you know what I did at Dell, but they thought all of a sudden I was like I became family tech support and it's like you know I became the expert on computers, which I was not. But I'm curious if you have that same experience, maybe more so, on the link like like how many times a day or a week do people ask you like how they can optimize their LinkedIn profile to, like you know, be better, be seen, and all like like, do you get that a lot?

Speaker 1:

I get that. I would say like I don't lead with how I work at LinkedIn, like if you ask me I will tell you, but like that's not where I'm meeting a lot of these conversations. Yeah, I will say for family, especially my immediate family, linkedin did a really good thing where they used to have a bring your parents to work day where they could come in and like see what we actually did, which like I think helped to show them that like we're not tech doing like you know, we're just on our computers talking to people all day and not, like you know, tech support or whatnot. So I do think that helped. Family wise, I will say every time I visit my grandma, we do need to do a. She's like a power. She has more connections than I do. She's like a power user. So every time I visit her, I do I'll give her the rundown on, you know help my profile and whatnot so yeah, I get some of it. I would say I like I try not to open myself up too much but I, like you know for for most people like I, am pretty open if folks want to have a LinkedIn conversation, like you know, I got that. I've got the the talk track down at this point. Yeah, I'm sure I'm happy to do it. So, but yeah, I would say I don't get asked as much. I would say a lot of my like, especially in Dublin, like a lot of my friends, are LinkedIn folks, so they're they should have the answer as much as I should. Yeah, that's over here. But yeah, you know, from time to time and yes, though my mom asking about how her cell phone works, I can sometimes write.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly. We've talked a couple times now that you, you are based in Dublin and I also, you know I. Just one thing that I really appreciate about you is how active you are just in CS, in the CS community in general, and, and you know, you're involved with several organizations. But I'm curious to get some insight into what the CS community of Dublin looks like, because it is a pretty night, tightly knit, as as in other places, or no, it's a nice community, I would say my rejoice.

Speaker 1:

Actually, like, when I moved to Dublin, I like knew no one. I was like, okay, I should do some networking, I should meet people in general. And so that's where I joined the customer success network and like got involved with a lot of their events and like started to meet the group in Dublin. Because I would say, yeah, like you know, dublin is the tech hub of Europe, like, especially for us tech companies, due to some favorable tax laws. So Dublin has, you know, that the European headquarters for most of the you know, big, big customers there are big US companies. So, like you know, we have about 2000 people. Google has like 8000 people. Microsoft has, if you like, you know there are, there are large bases and you know most of these companies are, you know, have sizable customer success departments. I will say, like you know, and I've noticed this at LinkedIn as well like the folks who are involved in the community, I do think are more likely to be startup again, not everyone. There's definitely plenty of LinkedIn and Microsoft and folks who are in these, but I do think a lot of the folks who like really dive deep are at some of the smaller companies they like trying to navigate their way, and so it's been great for me to like get a better sense of Text scene here of like you know, what are those smaller companies, what are some, like the Dublin base, which you know, not not super prevalent, but there's definitely some. So, yeah, I would say like again, especially with like there being some of these flag flagship companies and people move between them Pretty regularly. Now like you know people know we like, if you, if you're here a while and you work at a couple companies, like you do know a Lot of people. So, yes, I would say pretty tight knit. So, no, it's been a good, it's been a good crew and, yeah, like there's a lot of us, which is nice.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's super cool. Well, one of the other things that you you founded at LinkedIn was transform her, which I which it looking into it a little bit more is is Is basically, you know, helping women of color in in high tech. Can you talk a little bit about that and what's behind that and what you guys are Doing?

Speaker 1:

Definitely. So yeah, I'll give you a little background, kind of a little bit around. We call it so at LinkedIn. It's called dibs diversity, inclusion, belonging. I know DI there's a lot of different acronym to use. I'm gonna use dibs just because that's the one I'm used to. So I would say I've been on probably a five or six year dibs journey for myself, really kind of understanding. You know my privilege, my place in the world and how I can impact other communities in a positive way.

Speaker 2:

And I would say, like you know, yeah, link for LinkedIn.

Speaker 1:

It really became a thing about five or six years ago where it like they spelled it out a little bit more. I think the thing that really Like really hit home with me was the idea of belonging, which is like you feel like you belong and like, for me, like I Felt like I belong to LinkedIn, like it was a great feeling, I loved it. And when I got, when I started to hear the stories of other folks that did not have that feeling, where they were or at LinkedIn, like you know, in a number of situations, that was like that's back because, like you know, I knew the power of belonging as someone who was feeling it and it's like okay, so how can I do some things to help that? And so I had been very involved in, like LinkedIn cultural events when I was in New York. So we have this thing called in day, where once a month LinkedIn gives us the day to give back to ourselves, to the company community, to the world itself, community world. I should know that better. So I did that for a couple years in New York like more kind of culturally focused internal. And then LinkedIn has these employee resource groups, which are really powerful ways for different communities to come together, for allies to show up through those communities and truly support them in the workplace. So after I had been pretty involved in the culture stuff, I realized like I wanted to make a deeper impact. This idea of belonging was kind of coming into my view and so I joined the black inclusion group, which is one of our employee resource groups and kind of that started this journey when I started, you know, volunteering with them, putting out events, kind of helping them create programming, with that mission of kind of bringing the community closer together. After being on that team, maybe six months, a year or so, the president of the group came to me and she's like we want, I want to do something to like go beyond the LinkedIn walls because again, like, the RGs are pretty internally focused, which again is really important but like let's think about something, doing something to impact the broader community. And so that's where transform her was born, thinking about how can we, you know, use community and kind of that network effect to connect Women of color within the tech industry, to help them to kind of learn from each other, to help them build that network so that, you know, the double glass ceiling can hopefully be broken. So that's where it started and we started in New York, so at that point I was still New York based. We had our first event, one of my most proud professional days. Kind of seeing this Like this labor of love that, like you know, we put a lot into this first one as like a proof of concept, very little, like you know, some support, but, like you know, we had to do it. Seeing it come together was amazing. We've since had a couple events. We're actually in the moment trying to figure out like what the next iteration of it is. But, yeah, it continues to be a passion for myself and my co-founder, ty, to kind of figure out how that we can continue to impact this group and really build community. So, yeah, it's been a great journey, have learned a ton and I think like it has also been great experience for me myself of like learning how to build community, how to put, like you know we did, you know events that were, you know, three 400 people deep, so, like you know what it takes to kind of put on some of these larger scale things, um, so yeah, it's been a been a really good journey.

Speaker 2:

That's cool. Well, you know, thank you for doing that, because I mean it. I think that in tech anyway and we've talked about this in the podcast before on previous episodes but in CS, cs tends to be a relatively more diverse group of people than, say, other parts of you know tech or organizations in general. But but to your point, in, in tech there's, there's so much more opportunity for improvement. You know, and and and I think we had, we had Ralphie English on not long ago and the point that she made was you know it's, it's not just women that have to, you know, kind of get together and, and, you know, collaborate and network. It's. You know it's as white men that need to be part of the equation to and proliferate those things and make sure that you know we hold ourselves accountable and hold others accountable and all that.

Speaker 1:

So yeah, that, for for my co-finder, like that is her big mission, I would say that I would say it's a little different from a lot of folks that I've seen who are like trying to create these spaces where it's like we need to invite allies. The table like nothing changes if it continues to just be us focused on this, talking about it. We need to get the broader community behind us, like in network with us, in community with us. So I've been, I'm always, I'm always impressed by her, like continued commitment to that ideal of like yes, we could just be focused, but it's like you want to make sure and again, I think, like there's always work to do to kind of expand that, that allyship, but that has been a huge focus for her. And I think, to your point, like very important and that is why I tried to, you know, put myself out there as well, to like be an example for folks who, like you, know the work you should be doing. This is work that like is important and like is going to make the world, hopefully, a more diverse place in the future. Also, I'll say I'm hoping you will be lasting impacts and I think you know we've made progress but like there's a long way to go.

Speaker 2:

A long way to go yeah, absolutely well, um, you know, as, as we kind of round things down, I've really enjoyed speaking with you and getting the insight from the inside the belly of the beast, so to speak but I'd love to understand a little bit more what's in your content diet, and are there like specific things that you'd want to share with the community that you're paying attention to?

Speaker 1:

I love it so, yes, I mean I'll have to start with LinkedIn, like I will say, for customer success content like LinkedIn. I think I feel like it's been the last two, maybe three years where, like the content has exploded like it used to be. You know a little there, but I do feel like it has now. Like you know, my feet is now full of customer success, which I love, um, and like it makes it very easy to not have to go to that many other places. Now, as I mentioned, like I've joined some of the communities, a lot of them. There's a lot of Slack groups, like you know, workplace groups, like different, that where I say is like another place to to get content and like learn about what people are doing um, there are quite a few um past guests of this podcast who have specifically just said I just pay attention, I just you know, linkedin is my place.

Speaker 2:

You know, because it's you're right. The proliferation of of CS um info has exploded, for sure so that, yeah, that's the hub, I would say for sure mm-hmm, yeah, um, and I think another thing that people don't really realize is is it's it's kind of like a library, you know, I don't. I think people tend to search for companies and people and you know connections and all that kind of stuff. But I think sometimes, when you're tackling a problem, your first go get is like go to Google or you'd go to wherever, but go search for it, I think, because I guarantee you somebody's written something about it and this is something that my boss actually gave me this idea a bit ago.

Speaker 1:

Um was around, like to your point, like making it more of a library where it's like you know your posts, you know they stay around but, like you know, after a bit, like there, you got to really scroll. Yeah, to those points, and that's actually why I decided to go. The newsletter format, um recently was like, so it's all like, oh, like my longer thoughts are kind of in one place where you can kind of go back and read through them and look through them, because I do think, like you know your posts, like you know, if you post regularly, like you know, yes, the search is good, but like, like, who posted that? What was it about? I don't remember exactly, um, so I do feel like that's where I've thought about, like you know, how do I make it easy to find things? with the link, just like I like the feature content like on your profile. I like because you can like put some of the stuff you really want people to find right there. And then, yeah, the newsletter I like is yeah, it's all kind of in one place.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I um, I remember back in the day I used I wrote quite a few articles as well and, um, they just kind of they they're kind of you know, every once in a while they kind of pop up here and there, which is kind of interesting. But yeah, the newsletter feature is one that I have not dug into at all. Um, and I was uh to your, to your point on the featured content. I always think it's funny when people have like 20 pieces of content in their featured content.

Speaker 1:

I'm like okay well, I don't think people scroll. It's like people looking at the first four I like. I never delete anything from there, so I probably have 10, maybe but it's like I don't expect anyone to look past what the third or fourth one can you see, yeah, prioritization hold it 100%.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's cool. Is there anyone um that you'd like to give some kudos to? That's doing cool stuff and in digital that you've?

Speaker 1:

yes, so I would say I'm linked in the one guy who I feel like I see the most digital content from. I think someone else, uh, mentioned him as well. I was looking at the other guy who I think is. Dan Ennis from Monday dot com. Um, I feel like he's been on. I know a couple people on Monday um, so fan of their work, um, I think the people I was talking about linked in like um. So for my business line there's a man named Declan McCurney who leads our programs team um, so I would say you know not as active on linked in um I'm coming for you, declan internally who, like you know, I um I go to around some of this stuff. Um, he's like my, one of my first guys. And then Andy Bass is a guy who leads our community team um and he's been a CSM. He was a CSM at linked in for many years, so I've known him for a long time but like it's been great to see him kind of lead that charge which a couple other of his team um who have been really great in terms of helping us think about that that digital journey for our teams that's cool.

Speaker 2:

That's cool. Well, um, you yourself, you provided a ton of value on linked in. I, like you know, I I went deep on your posts, uh, a little little while ago and and it's nice to see you on my feed. But, um, you know, where can people find you? Obviously, on linked in, but engage with you what you know. Is there some place that you want to direct people to, to, to and have more about?

Speaker 1:

yeah, yeah, so linked in, I'd say, is my hub. I have my newsletter customer success monthly. Um that I post about monthly I'm I'm trying to stay at that cadence yeah, it's hard to do um, I just started a youtube channel, but I do post most of the stuff from youtube. It's more like kind of that similar idea of having a library of all the videos instead of losing them in the feed. I've now built a youtube channel so I'm kind of like they can all just be there, um, and kind of be in one place. Um, also customers, that's monthly. I connected it with my newsletter um, so I'd say those are kind of the places where I am I'm most active this day. Um, I used to be the community manager for the customer success network, so their workplace, um, community, is a place I've I spent more time as well. Um, so I'd say, yeah, those, those are the places you can find me, or here in the linkedin office in uh in Dublin that's right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a beautiful office.

Speaker 1:

I come all the time. The food is top notch yeah, I can imagine.

Speaker 2:

Um, that's awesome. You're making everybody else jealous. Um, ezra, thanks for joining. I appreciate it. It's been a great conversation and, uh, you know you're, you're a. You're a ray of sunshine in the sea of I don't know. I don't know where I'm going with that. I like the ray of sunshine, bro. I'll take that you're a ray of sunshine, period, doc. Thank you for joining me for this episode of the digital customer success podcast. If you like what we're doing, consider leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice. It really helps us to grow and to provide value to a broader audience. You can view the digital customer success definition word map and get more details about the show at digitalcustomersuccesscom. My name is Alex Turkovich. Thanks again for joining and we'll see you next time.

Digital Customer Success With Ezra Zimbler
LinkedIn's Digital Customer Success Program
LinkedIn's Community Development and User Engagement
Tech Diversity and Community Building
CS Info and Engaging With Digital