Episode 1: Pearls On, Gloves Off with Mary O'Carroll

Alex Su Talks TikTok, Trolls, and Career Changes

In this episode, Mary is joined by Alex Su, Head of Community Development at Ironclad. Alex is somewhat of a celebrity in the legal operations field; his TikTok account has nearly 75,000 followers.

Listen now

Here’s a preview of the conversation

 

Mary O’Carroll

Hello, everyone, and welcome to Pearls On, Gloves Off. Thank you for joining us. I’m your host Mary O’Carroll. And today I have with me Alex Su. You may know Alex from his work as Head of Community Development at Ironclad. But let’s be honest, you probably know him as Legal Tech Bro on TikTok, because that’s probably where he’s known for his best work. Alex has over 170,000 followers on social media, and is well known as legal’s first and (at least for now) only real influencer. Welcome, Alex!

 

Alex Su
Thank you, Mary. I’m so excited to be here. I’m so excited about this. This is so cool.

 

Mary O’Carroll

So I would love to take credit for hiring you on to the community team here at Ironclad, but like, let’s be honest, we were both hired concurrently to build out this function together. Our founder or CEO, Jason Boehmig, in all his brilliance, actually hired the two of us at the same time, right with the foresight of knowing that if he put us together, we’d make a great team. And needless to say, as always, he was absolutely right. So I know most people only see the social media aspect of our jobs. And they kind of assume that’s what we do all day. And while we both know that to only be a fraction of what we do, let’s let everyone keep thinking that, because I like the mental image that you’re just out there doing that.

 

Alex Su

Yeah, I like that image, too.

 

Mary O’Carroll

Do you remember how we actually first met?

 

Alex Su

I do. So Mary, I had been following you. Ever since I got into legal tech in 2016. Everyone told me about CLOC, and I saw you speak in front of the entire audience. So I knew who you were, and I remember people telling me, “Hey, we just met Mary O’Carroll from Google and CLOC.” And everyone was like, “Oooh, what is she like?” And we would talk about these things. And so Mary, I had known about you for years, but we first met on Zoom, maybe a year into the pandemic. And I just sent you a message, a DM, and said, “Hey, would you like to meet?” And you graciously said yes. And so we got to meet on Zoom. And that was so cool, and I never imagined we’d be working together like this. 

 

Mary O’Carroll

Yeah, you reached out to me through LinkedIn, right. Direct message on LinkedIn, which I think is so cool, given, you know, the power of community and the power of social media. That’s really how we became first acquainted – through social media.

 

Alex Su

Yeah, it’s, it’s funny right before Community, I was a salesperson. And we always leverage LinkedIn for that reason. Like when I first started getting active on LinkedIn, I realized it was a great way to connect with people that was warmer than like an email. When you send a cold email, it almost seems more impersonal. So naturally, I knew that if there was someone I really wanted to meet, I was going to use LinkedIn. 

 

Mary O’Carroll

But it works, right? I mean, you and I both know that we spent what by that time a year sitting in front of our Zooms all day in our home offices, and weren’t able to get out and meet new people. And I think that it was really a lifesaver during that time how many people relationships I built through LinkedIn, and through people just reaching out and saying, “Hey, would you like to have coffee over Zoom?” And I’d say almost all the time, I would say yes. Because there was something interesting there, someone interesting to meet, and I’m sure you built a lot of relationships during the pandemic that way as well, right?

 

Alex Su

I did. During the pandemic, it was the same thing for me. I was like, “How am I going to meet people?” You know, one-on-one Zooms was was kind of what I shifted to. And people were open to it. There was a moment if you remember at the very beginning everyone was into meeting each other. And just like really open to doing that, when before I think the pandemic people were busy, and they were like, you know, not sure, you know, I don’t know about scheduling. But there was this moment where everyone was so open to meeting each other. It’s not unlike, you know, going to a conference or, you know, just there’s this energy where people just want to talk to each other.

 

Mary O’Carroll

Yeah, and I think that real friendships came through. I’ll just give you an example. We were just at CLOC recently and I met some people for the first time in person and hugged them, and people around us were like, “Wait, I thought you guys were real friends from a long time ago.” And I’m like, “No, we aren’t – We just met via LinkedIn and Zoom.” And we are real friends. But we’ve never had the opportunity to meet in person, but they’re genuine friendships, right?

 

Alex Su

Yeah, there’s some people who I feel like I know better than people that I’ve had in-person friendships with for a long time. I mean, I think that it’s a totally new dimension. And I think at first it feels kind of a little different. But as you continue your relationship, whether through LinkedIn or anything else, like real professional and personal relationships get built.

 

Listen to the full episode to hear more about career changes, building relationships, and the power of social media from Mary O’Carroll and Alex Su. 

Subscribe today! 

  

Table of contents