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The Final Round: AJ Eckstein

If you're on the lookout for a career platform that can help you knock out the competition, then look no further than The Final Round.


I came across AJ Eckstein and his work on LinkedIn a few weeks back and was intrigued to know more. So here it is, in his own words, AJ Eckstein, and The Final Round.



What Does The Final Round Do?


As AJ puts it, "The Final Round is the go-to career platform to knock out the competition, advance past 'the final round' interview, and grow in your career."


One of the key features is their emphasis on learning from industry professionals. According to AJ, it offers insights and guidance from "Recruiters, Hiring Managers, and Career Experts." This means that job-seekers can benefit from the experience and knowledge of individuals who have worked in the industry for years, and who know what it takes to succeed.


He also explained to me, it offers a range of free initiatives. These include a top-rated podcast, a LinkedIn page with 20,000 followers, a Knockout Newsletter, a YouTube channel with 10,000 subscribers, and a value-packed website blog.



Scaling By LinkedIn


AJ is a strong advocate for using LinkedIn - just ask his 20,000 followers. He sees it as a powerful tool for career advancement, personal branding, and audience growth. He believes that LinkedIn is an untapped social media platform for business conversations, unlike other saturated platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. And I agree wholeheartedly.


I’ve found even with myself, LinkedIn is an incredible platform to build a network.


He spoke with me about how LinkedIn is a content-deficient platform meaning there are substantially more users than content created on the platform.


LinkedIn is a social networking platform with 900+ million users from around the world and is primarily designed for professionals to connect, share ideas, and discuss industry-related topics. It's incredibly popular in the B2B space, and many would encourage using it, such as when building a business.


So why the issue with content deficiency? How can that be a problem? Or is that a huge opportunity?


While there are a substantial number of users on the platform, the amount of content being created is not proportionate to the number of users. This creates a situation where users have to sift through a lot of irrelevant or low-quality content to find useful information.


This can be frustrating for users who are looking to network and stay up to date on industry trends. While LinkedIn does have some mechanisms in place to encourage users to create more content, such as its publishing platform and new Creator Accelerator Programs, the issue of content deficiency remains a challenge for the platform.


Out of the 900 million users on LinkedIn, only 1% of users create content.


But this is where the good bit starts.


This presents a unique opportunity for professionals to stand out and gain visibility in front of company decision-makers, recruiters, CEOs, and more.


How AJ Has Utilized LinkedIn


He himself has taken advantage of this opportunity and has amassed an impressive following of 20,000 followers on his personal account.


I asked him about his content workflow and posting schedule and he mentioned he posts about five times a week.


This alone generates 7 million impressions per year.


Organic advertising is its best, basically. Forget the outbound… this created INBOUND leads.


His success on the platform has led to several exciting opportunities, including being invited to join the LinkedIn Creators Program, becoming a LinkedIn Learning Instructor and filming 2 online courses, gaining early access to product launches, conducting LinkedIn Live events, and being featured by several top LinkedIn shows and newsletters with millions of followers.

It’s clear to see it's a networking powerhouse.


He encourages others to start posting on LinkedIn today before it becomes too saturated. The only regret that you will have, as he states, will be that you wished you started sooner.

By leveraging the platform's potential and consistently creating valuable content, professionals can build their personal and company brands, connect with decision-makers, and ultimately advance in their careers.


Or as AJ likes to put it, “advance past the final round”.


It’s essentially the digital yellow pages, right in your pocket.



Why Help Others?


He mentioned to me, he has always been passionate about helping others advance in their careers. During the peak of COVID in 2020, he noticed a need for career coaching to help those impacted by mass layoffs.


AJ started conducting one-on-one career coaching to those impacted in his close network, and word spread quickly. He ended up coaching over 120 people in a matter of months, and that's when he realized the need for a career coaching company.


Thus, the "Career Coaching Company" was born, and he brought on coaches who were recent graduates of top companies.


As the audience grew, they requested that the company launch a career podcast to offer free career advice. However, they knew that they needed to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other career shows out there. That's when they held focus groups with their audience and discovered that job seekers had a tough time working with recruiters, who are the gatekeepers to jobs.


To help their audience tackle this challenge, they decided to interview recruiters on their show. They needed a punchy and memorable name to stand out in the sea of podcast shows, and that's when the idea of "The Final Round" was born.


The name perfectly encapsulated the podcast's goal of helping listeners advance past “the final round” interview and land their dream jobs.


He and his team secured the domain name "thefinalround.com" and immediately filed for a trademark.


The podcast quickly gained traction and was rated as a top 1% show out of 2 million shows globally.


Quite incredible eh?



The Success


Success is often perceived as a culmination of hard work, talent, and dedication. Even the most successful individuals can struggle with negative self-talk, imposter syndrome, and a lack of confidence.


It's easy to look at someone who has achieved great success and assume that they have it all figured out and that things are secure, but things can change in an instant, and being a pillar of support to get people back on track is an astounding skill.


That's why it's so important for successful individuals to prioritize learning more, and never feeling true ‘expert’.


One common misconception is that seeking help is a sign of weakness. But the truth is that it's a sign of intelligence.


One thing that without a doubt makes you successful, is to know how to sell yourself.



The Importance of Sales


For AJ, everything in life involves sales and marketing, whether it is trying to sell an idea to a friend, market oneself to a potential employer, or sell podcast sponsorships.


Given that The Final Round is a media company, every role and function involves marketing to build their audience.


The most valuable skill in business is holding the attention of a committed audience.


It is essential for building a loyal customer base, driving sales, and ultimately growing the business.


In today's fast-paced and competitive business environment, capturing and maintaining the attention of potential customers is more challenging than ever. With so many products and services available, businesses need to be able to cut through the noise and create a strong connection with their target audience.


Those who can effectively do this are more likely to build trust, establish brand loyalty, and drive repeat business.


You must find familiarity as your core concept to chase. Not sales, but understanding the process of a successful sale.


People find faith in what you are providing.



Final Thoughts


The response from The Final Round audience has been incredible.


The podcast alone has risen to the ranks of a top 1% show globally, with hundreds of knockout stories and over 160 five-star reviews on Apple Podcasts.


This success fuels AJ and his team to keep pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo.


So what’s ahead for AJ and The Final Round?


On top of growing its existing initiatives and further helping its audience, AJ is focused on expanding its “agency” side of the business, including helping Content Creators & Founders grow on LinkedIn through ghostwriting, brand building, and sponsorship support.


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