- If you’re not already on LinkedIn, you definitely need to be. Linkedin is a business social network that allows you to connect to people you know. Fully take advantage of the free profile by entering all your professional information and enhance that with your interests and experience..
- Conduct a search for companies in LinkedIn you think you might like to work for by using the advanced search parameters, then look for contacts you have within that company.
- Review jobs posted on LinkedIn regularly.
- Send a message to your inner circle asking for help in finding a new or better job; ask for recommendations and introductions to valuable contacts.
- Buy your domain! You should own www.yourname.com
- Once you own your domain use it to host your resume and/or to begin blogging about your professional interests.
- Create a Google profile to help manage what people find when they search for you using Google.
- Use Twitter and LinkedIn to post status updates relevant to your industry.
- Make sure your professional headline in LinkedIn isn’t merely your title and that your Twitter bio reflects your industry smarts and career aspirations.
- Look for opportunities to network in real life while you’re networking online. Cement key relationships by meeting in person.
It’s a very busy time for my business and yesterday included a marathon of meetings right in a row (six!). Right in the middle, we met with a prospective client.
Now, Jaggers Communications offers the full suite of communications services from public relations to brand positioning to social media strategy, but often client conversations begin with learning about social media (it is a specialty of our firm). One of the people we met with shared his complete lack of use and knowledge of social media. He’s not engaged in any way online and hasn’t had an interest in doing so personally, even though he understands it’s important for his business to begin to seriously look at digital communications and how they should be used.
Then, he went on about his business philosophy, about how he prefers to serve clients, to interact with partners, to collaborate and nurture a culture of transparency within his organization.
And then my brain exploded.
Everything he said is exactly the culture that social media has established and worked to grow. It’s precisely where bloggers hoped business would evolve when it became impossible to hide behind a curtain of complacency. But it wasn’t the culture online that drove this man’s business values; it’s how his company has done business since the 1970s, long before blogs, Facebook and Twitter.
It was so refreshing, and so very exciting for me to meet with someone who “got it” before the technical aspects were even brought into the discussion. In fact, the words we use to talk about the tactics of social media are almost irrelevant. They’re tools to get us to the goals we make. The framework and quality are there; the genuine stories and rich culture exist; we have the honor of helping the business share them online.
Sometimes my work makes me giddy.
Blogging for and about your business is more important now than ever. And yet, businesses are still struggling not only with the execution, but the concept.
Here are some of the hangups I hear from clients roadblocked by blogging fear or misunderstanding:
- We don’t have a consumer project, so it doesn’t seem like anyone would be interested in reading what we have to share.
- Doesn’t it have to be personal? We don’t really want to share our dirty laundry online.
- What if we are boring?
Telling the story about your business and what you do is valuable to your community, no matter what that community is. They self-select into your content, so don’t pre-judge by saying that people who read blogs are only interested in consumer products. You may discover much more about your audience and your business by the community that emerges around the content you share.
Being personal doesn’t mean airing dirty laundry. Being personal means being a real person, using language that is down-to-earth and spin-free, sharing a bit of yourself that underscores the fact that you are a real human being behind the brand. (Someone just walked past me wearing swishy — snow?– pants and those awful Five Fingers shoes. Distracting! — See? I’m a real person with really distracting co-workers, just like you.)
You can’t be boring if you’re not boring yourself. If YOU find your business and what it offers exciting and you share your passion for your topics, that will be evident to your audience. Feel free to mix it up now and again — be creative — be funny — but above all, be yourself, and quit overthinking it.
Where do you blog? Please feel free to share your blog in the comments for the Change the Conversation audience to enjoy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WHAT: Public relations firm Jaggers Communications and nationally-recognized social media educator Marijean Jaggers offer a LinkedIn lunch time session. The workshop offers information for businesses to help increase social networks, enhance careers and find new and better opportunities.
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 12, Noon to 1p.m. Fee: $49. Register online: http://linkedinlunchandlearn.eventbrite.com/
WHERE: OpenSpace, 455 Second Street SE, Ste. 100, Charlottesville, VA 22902
WHO: This session is $49 to attend and is open to the public. Business owners, employees, job seekers, recent graduates and marketers should attend.
NOTE: Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. Drinks and dessert will be provided.
About Jaggers Communications
Jaggers Communications is a strategic communications firm that provides organizations in the health care, education, manufacturing, travel and tourism industries with social media consulting, public relations support and reputation management strategy. The firm was founded in 2011 to serve businesses and nonprofits with a need for cost-effective, strategic communications with effective reach. www.jaggerscommunications.com
I am an impassioned believer in the culture of social media. I believe that social strategy works because of the culture and those that sidestep, shortcut or throw money at it to make it work will be sorely disappointed.
What is the culture of social media?
The culture is founded on shared information, transparency (before it became a buzzword), authenticity, real, personal experiences, (yes, Virginia, even in business experiences). The culture eschews the idea of TARGETING prospects and audiences. The beauty of blogging and subscribing to content via RSS feeds changed the way the world consumes information. We were given the power to choose what we take in; what we absorb. The onus was put, at last, on us, to opt in to the information we want and conversely, block that which we don’t.
The Currency of the Digital Age
Instead of TARGETING people (and that is an unfriendly, militaristic concept, isn’t it? Are they targets because we are shooting at them?) we, instead, create content that is genuine and interesting and in doing so attract those who are interested in the topic, the service, the product, etc. We pull in people who want to read, watch or listen to what we have to say. If it’s five or 500,000, it doesn’t matter, as long as the people who arrive feel rewarded, and honor us by paying for what we offer with their attention, the currency of the digital age.
Herding Cattle, Leading Lemmings
Look: I’m a small business person. I am an entrepreneur. I want eyes on my website and know that when those numbers increase, the warm leads I have grow and turn into new business opportunities. But there’s no cattle prod here. There’s no workaround that is consistent with the practice of developing authentic, solid business relationships. Any quick fix that promises to “drive traffic to your site!” is not consistent with the values of those doing business today. It’s not a long term, big picture view of building a business that values people, their opinions and their dollars.
Decide what kind of business you want to be in, and engage accordingly.