BONUS Episode: Interview with Daniel Botero – Listen To This If You’re Looking For A New Job

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Daniel Botero is a career coach, best-selling author, and top-rated podcast host who helps international STEM students land their dream jobs (and helps them get a company to sponsor the H1B visas). His proven system helps students obtain their dream tech roles within 90 days of graduation, without having to apply to hundreds of companies. To say he’s a job search and career expert is putting it mildly. Notable organizations he’s helped his clients jobs at include: Amazon, Apple, Google, Tesla, Disney, Salesforce, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, IBM, Boeing, Deloitte, and many more.

Questions and topics we discussed include:

  • The common mistakes job candidates are making today when they’re applying for work.
  • Does a college student’s GPA matter?
  • What are some essential questions candidates should be asking during an interview?
  • Is it common to get ghosted during an interview process?
  • What mistakes are recruiters and hiring managers making right now when it comes to how they craft their candidate experiences?
  • What were some of the early challenges you faced when building out your podcast? Some of the early challenges Daniel faced when first started his podcast.
  • The tips Daniel has for people interested in growing a personal brand on LinkedIn.

Full Episode Transcript:

Kenny Soto 0:02  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the people of digital marketing with your host, Kenny Soto, and today’s special guest, Daniel Botero. Hi, Daniel, how are you?

 

Daniel Botero 0:14  

Kenny? I’m doing amazing. Thank you so much for having me. How are you?

 

Kenny Soto 0:17  

I’m doing very well. And you were recommended on the podcast, thanks to a previous podcast guest, Maya Grossman. And she spoke highly of you. And when I did some research on your background, I was very impressed with just essentially the mission that you are endeavoring and the people that you’re helping. I align with it myself because I come from a family of immigrants. 

 

And quite frankly, there are advantages to being an immigrant, or at least a first-generation citizen. But there are also disadvantages that we won’t go into too much detail about. But I just wanted to quickly start off by asking you, what is it that you do and what is your business.

 

Daniel Botero 0:57  

Yeah, no, great question. So what I do, at least at this moment, right, I focus on helping international STEM students land a job in America where they can stay in, and, you know, stay in America long term, right? And so my clients are generally international students from like India, or Asia, in particular, that are studying computer science, data science, and so on. And they struggle with communication skills. 

 

So they learn technical skills from the university side. And then I work with them and help them in a mentoring program to land jobs with companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon.

 

Kenny Soto 1:35  

Yeah, and that list definitely includes other companies, it’s just an impressive list that you’ve been able to place your clients in. My next question for you would be, how did you discover that there was a need for this service that you provide?

 

Daniel Botero 1:51  

You know, I think a lot about this, because I’m a marketer. I graduated with a marketing degree. I like it when I look at it. I started working on, like, being a career coach 10, 9, 10 years ago, and every year, I’ve realized that you need to be in a niche. 

 

So like, the riches are in the niches, right? And so I started by saying, Okay, I’m gonna be a career coach. And that was just a commodity, right? And I don’t want to be a commodity product. And so I said, Fine, I’ll be a career coach for college students, again, still very commoditized. 

Or very cool. And then I said, I want to focus on only helping first-generation minority and international students. And then about a year ago, I even pivoted to saying, you know, what, I’m only going to help international STEM students. And the more I niche it, you know, always as a business owner, I’m scared to even make my audience smaller. But the smaller I make my audience, the bigger my business grows. 

 

Kenny Soto 2:42  

Can you tell the audience what were some of the early challenges you had in marketing the business?

 

Daniel Botero 2:52  

How do you do, and what makes you different as a career coach? Right, like, so like, again? What’s your unique value proposition? It wasn’t clear, because I was a commodity. I was a, you know, I was one of a million career coaches. 

 

And I became just like a primary doctor. But when I set myself and say, you know, I’m a specialist, right? I’m the cardiologist or the oncologist right? Not only am I able to charge a lot more, but at the same time, be able to really show my value proposition and actually even get more clients.

 

Kenny Soto 3:21  

Now, let’s deviate a little because I feel like there’s a lot of value we can get from this next question. What are some common mistakes you see your clients make? Or in this case, international STEM students in general, that facilitate the need for your services?

 

Daniel Botero 3:39  

Yeah, when there’s a cultural difference in how you find jobs in their country versus how it works here. That’s one thing second: their focus on quantity and not quality. Right? So they’re applying to hundreds of jobs, but because of that, they struggle to get visibility because they can’t be the ideal candidate for all so job searching is just like marketing, right? You can’t just be everything to everybody right in the end. 

 

So same thing, how I found out I found success in my business, when I niched job seekers into will find success when they also have a niche target companies where they want it to focus on so that’s the biggest mistake is understanding that, and then the third mistake is that visibility is more important than ability. Right? And so it goes back. 

 

The same thing is even if it relates to marketing like most I have an iPhone Kenny, do you have an iPhone? Right? Most people in America have an iPhone now. Does the iPhone have the best camera on the market? The answer’s no. 

 

The longer battery life? The answer is no. The best screen? The answer’s no. Now the iPhone needs to be a good product, but it’s not the best product, but it is the number one selling product because of visibility because of their marketing, you know, ultimately, right? And it’s the same thing as a job seeker, right? You don’t need to be the most qualified candidate to get the job. But you need to get visibility from the decision maker to be able to get to the interview to showcase your value. And that’s how you get the job.

 

Kenny Soto 5:11  

Do GPAs even matter? You know,

 

Daniel Botero 5:15  

GPAs are like credit scores, right? Either there are levels to it, you know, all you need is to 700 to get a really good loan, all you need is a 3.3 3.5 to get a great one after that, right? Like, if you have the difference between you having a 750 and an 800 doesn’t affect anything about your getting approved for a loan, or even the amount of interest rate is the same thing for your GPA. After a 3.5, the law of diminishing demand applies. And the difference between you getting a 3.5 and a 3.8 has no effect on you getting the job, but it has a lot of effect on the amount of time you spent studying.

 

Kenny Soto 5:53  

Now, I’m assuming, and correct me if I’m wrong here, that part of your process to a degree is preparing the client for the interview Correct? Yeah, absolutely. What do you believe is one of the and if there is more than one, please let us know what is at least one question that you think is really difficult to prepare for?

 

Daniel Botero 6:19  

I don’t know if there’s a particular question. Because let’s say that for each interview you go to you get asked 10 questions. And let’s say that you go through five rounds of interviews. So at the end of the day, you might have 50 different questions that you get asked, and you’re judged on those 50 questions, whether you get the job or not. 

 

But no matter what questions you get asked, you have to understand that ultimately comes down to one question, right? Are you the best investment for us? Because if you think about this as a business owner, right? Anytime you hire someone, you’re making an investment. So if I hired you as it to be, you know, director of marketing for my company, Kenny, and I pay you $100,000, I can’t use that $100,000 for anything else. 

 

Right? I can use that for ads. I can’t use that to buy anything new computer. I can’t use that. Right? So I’m investing $100,000 in you. Because of my belief, can you say you’re gonna generate over 100,000 hours worth of profit, not revenue, or save me over $100,000 worth of profit, right? And so all the questions that can come to you really come down to how are you the best investment for me? 

 

And so if you keep that in mind as the interviewer as you’re going to interview and you so when you say hey, like, for example, Hey, can you tell me about yourself? Right? Do I really care about your whole life? No, I only care about the things that have gotten you prepared for this role. So tell me about the marketing experience that you have that has prepared you to be a great marketing director for my company, right hypothermic.

 

Kenny Soto 7:48  

I did a lot of research on you, specifically via LinkedIn. And there was a post that stood out to me, mainly because I can relate, unfortunately, but I’m sure that other people can relate to so is it common to get ghosted during an interview process?

 

Daniel Botero 8:08  

Yeah, it’s, it’s very, very common. And it’s Think about it like this scanning the internet so let’s say 50 years ago, or 25 years ago, if you wanted to apply for a job, you had to physically go to that location. So you’re limited by the number of companies you can apply to because of your location. So a company might only get 2030 candidates. 

 

Now, the internet has made it really easy for you to apply online. It made it really easy for everybody else to apply online. So now, here’s the problem that we now face, right? The internet has made it easy for you to apply, but it has made it very hard for you to get noticed. Right, because companies now get an average of 250 applications per job. 

 

This means it is practically impossible to keep track of all those candidates and other software called applicant tracking systems or ATS helps manage that. But even then I even say, Hey, recruiters are not evil. And if they ghost you probably, you know, assume positive intent here. But it’s just hard to maintain those relationships with all those people. And so ghosting just becomes part of it. And ghosting also happens from the candidate’s point of view.

 

Kenny Soto 9:22  

So if you’re essentially applying or not applying, if you’re a recruiter and you’re managing five job postings, you’re dealing with more than 1000 people. So it’s kind of commonplace. Okay, so then let’s flip the script here. When it comes to your experience and your perspective, what do you think recruiters and hiring managers might be doing wrong when it comes to crafting their candidate experiences?

 

Daniel Botero 9:49  

I think they forget. So a lot of recruiting happens there in the HR department. Right and what HR stands for is human resources right, and I think recruiters and a lot of companies and the companies, the more companies, the bigger they get, they lose the human touch. And I think if recruiters can humanize the process and say, Hey, remember at one point you were looking for a job, too. 

 

How would you want to be treated? Right? Like it’s like the golden rule. I think that just will fix everything else, like, well, at least not fix it. I think there are a lot of problems, just the ease of application, but at least how, at least will help with the whole overall experience. 

 

Kenny Soto 10:39  

So, Daniel, my next question for you, is related to your podcast. But before I even ask that, can you tell us more about your podcast?

 

Daniel Botero 10:49  

Yeah. So my podcast is how to get a job International Student Edition. And it’s what I hope to talk about in the interview with recruiters or I interview people who’ve gone through my program or interview hiring managers, all about helping international STEM students land their dream job.

 

Kenny Soto 11:04  

Now, I asked this next question, because I have a podcast myself, it’s almost two years old. And managing a podcast is not easy. Marketing. One is also not easy. What tactics? Have you been leveraging to promote your podcast?

 

Daniel Botero 11:21  

Can I do none of it? I don’t, I don’t promote my podcast, it just has become a platform to meet amazing people. Out of all transparency. I think the power of the podcast, to me, is the ability to network right? Like the ability for you to me, as someone like me right like that, if you’re a hey, man, I’m gonna get 30 minutes of your time to probably be like, Hey, Kenny, sorry, I’m really busy. 

 

But if I go, Hey, Maya, I would love to interview you for my podcast, and then ask the same questions that you would ask in a coffee shop just in a recorded format, I think that is the genius part of our podcast. Exactly. I think you’re smiling. And you’re probably using it in the same way. Right? Yeah. 

 

And the second thing is to add credibility to what I’m talking about. Right? So like, if again, somebody that’s on the fence about working with me or not, then Google me or listen to my podcast, they can probably hear ours, and I’ve worked on your episode. So like days of content and be like, You know what, Dana doesn’t know what he’s talking about. 

 

Right. So now, I could do better with the podcasts. And probably I should. And I think that the way that I would do it to market my podcast was just to be on other people’s podcasts that create content for my target audience.

 

Kenny Soto 12:37  

Perfect. And so what you’re doing right now, my next question has to do with LinkedIn, because I find that that is probably one of the main channels. I think Twitter might be another one where marketers, the people listening to this podcast, are trying to stand out, grow their personal brands and grow their credibility. And it’s difficult and it takes time, and you have a large following on LinkedIn. How did you get that following?

 

Daniel Botero 13:07  

The niche, the clear, so there’s a couple of things about like, just having LinkedIn Success, one, have clarity on who your target audience is, and then build your profile as a landing page, like your home, your profile should be a landing page with a very clear call to actions like what do you want them to do? Now you then want to create content that talks about the pain point that the audience has. 

 

So one thing I did is I got I have an email list and I email my email list and say, Hey, one question survey. were randomly drawn to the winner. Like, I’ll randomly draw a couple of Amazon gift cards. And I said, What is the most frustrating part about the job search process as an international stem student? Right? Then I got like, 65 people to reply. 

 

And then I use that and compile what are the pain points, and I use that to create content because now I know what people want to listen to. Right? And then I create content that my avatar wants to listen to. So then that gets views people to be like, Oh, who is this person that goes to my landing page, or my profile page, my profile page has a clear call to action, which then leads to organic clients.

 

Kenny Soto 14:18  

And aside from identifying those pain points, I feel like that’s definitely something that’s best practice, but there should be some other approaches, or if there are not it’s just as simple to let us know. But like, Are there any other tactical considerations that you’ve been thinking about specifically this year? For continuing that growth?

 

Daniel Botero 14:36  

Yeah, so um, I look at the data, right? So I track every single post now that someone in my team does this right? So every single post that we do we do look at the analytics, right? What’s the how many views did it get? How many likes and how many comments did it get? And did it convert more than average? If it converted more than average? Then we study the post. It’s okay what worked really well in this post? This is a topic is it the format isn’t the hook is the call to action. 

 

And then what we do is we use the top-performing posts. And we would kind of use it as a template to create better-performing posts. And then we repurpose that content every four months. Like if it’s a top-performing post, when kind of viral or semi-viral, we reuse it as a second strategy that you can do.

 

And then I do this too, is that I look at people that are in the same space, and I am other career coaches, they might not have to focus on international students, but career coaches, and I see and I look at their, their posts, and their and I also have a spreadsheet of people and I see if their posts do better than average. Right? So like, let’s say that the average post, they do get 200 likes, but this particular post got 1000 likes. 

 

So that was five times the average that I look at why that post went viral. And then I studied their posts. And then then I create posts similar to that. So if that post was about put in this is a real-life example. Someone that I’m actually friends with, and I follow and we do we share because we share from each other’s audience. 

 

We have different niches, and this guy talked about, putting in salary on the job description. Right, went viral, I went ahead, and then I put my two cents on the same topic about making sure that companies should put salary in the job description. My post went semi-viral because he’s already been proven by him, I can then create content like that.

 

Kenny Soto 16:23  

And you’re not necessarily copying, you’re just finding and identifying this case, a topic that has already resonated with your audience and you are putting your own opinion, your own perspective onto it. Correct? 

 

Daniel Botero 16:34  

Exactly. Yeah, not it’s not a copy and paste is identified, why did that post go viral? Was it a topic? Was it the hook? And then if it’s the topic, I can speak on the topic, and I have my own two cents, I can agree a lot with his thoughts on it. Like, we both agree that it should be on the job description. But I’ll maybe share my example or share my spin on it or you know, tell my story on it.

 

Kenny Soto 16:57  

Daniel, my last question for you is hypothetical, because time machines don’t exist. But if they did, and you can go back in time, 10 years into the past, knowing everything you know, right now, how would you accelerate the speed of your career?

 

Daniel Botero 17:11  

I think I would have just started my business around college and saved the six years that I spent in corporate America.

 

Kenny Soto 17:18  

Why right after college, don’t you think that experience or at least two years of experience would have helped?

 

Daniel Botero 17:24  

I think if I didn’t want to experience it I would just work under an intrapreneur for two years. And I could have done that during college. And the reason why I would still go to college is that my business is related to college. So I wouldn’t have to have that experience of what it is to be a college student. 

 

Now, if I can go back even more in time, I don’t know I would probably go into more of the like, I would probably start going into real estate. I think I love real estate things. It’s something that I would want to be more involved with. As the business continues to grow. But I would start a podcast interviewing the top real estate agents as a high schooler. 

 

And then I would build like or even create, like, let’s say I live in an Orange County like this county. I live in Florida. I would then have a podcast about Orange County. And now we’re interviewing the mayor, the chief, the police chief at the school and become the go-to person expert on that neighborhood or area in my city and then just own the whole marketplace.

 

Kenny Soto 18:19  

And that’s probably something that can be applied to any interest. Any business line. Any industry. Correct. Yep, absolutely. Daniel, if anyone wants to say hello to you online, where can they find you?

 

Daniel Botero 18:30  

Honestly, the best spot is LinkedIn. Just search Daniel Botero on LinkedIn and then just connect with me. Person A message when you connect.

 

Kenny Soto 18:37  

Yeah, just tell him that you came from this podcast. And yeah, he should be responsive. From there. I just want to say thank you for your time today, Daniel, and thank you to the listener for listening to another episode of the people’s digital marketing. And if you can, please rate us on Apple podcasts. I hope you have a great day.

 

Bye.

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