Social Media For Personal Branding

Posted by Mike Dwyer on August 25, 2009

Last week I was fortunate enough to be asked to speak at the first Chicago Social Media Breakfast. SMB has been in existence in other cities since 2007 but this was the first one in here in the Windy City. The event was separated into different groups with specific topics to discuss. My group was focused on social media and personal branding in regards to the job search and career advancement.

As marketers we are seeing a wholesale change in how companies engage in communication with their clients and consumers. In addition, the ways we as individuals communicate are also changing dramatically. I think for the most part marketers (especially in the last year) are really starting to grasp the enormous changes going on within their space.

What has continued to be a struggle for people is telling the difference between “blowing your horn” in regards to your talents/expertise and “communicating your passion” to a wider audience than your existing personal/professional network. The ability to help people and in turn receive recommendation has never been more important.  It’s a very organic way of self development which also can help you gain recognition and ultimately a new job, a promotion or new business for your organization. 

My Top 5 Takeaways from our group discussions were:

  1. “The golden rule” treat others the way you would like to be treated. This will ultimately be something that will come back around to you.
  2. When networking on LinkedIn or other sites don’t “ask for a job” use the tools available to create awareness for your expertise to gain a larger network of targeted individuals for potential career placement and/or advancement.
  3. Use social media to create an integrated marketing campaign around a helpful blog post you have written (become a resource). This is a post I wrote describing an initiative I created here at Paladin: Paladins Marketing Ninja guide: The 30 Minute Challenge
  4. Don’t close yourself off to just blogging, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. One of the attendees was discussing his use of Tumblr, something I am going to attempt to utilize.
  5. Nothing replaces face to face contact. Definitely get out from behind your computer and regularly get out to coffee meetings, association evening events and luncheons. This is a post I wrote regarding networking events in Chicago: Paladins Galaxy Guide to Networking in Chicago

We are all hearing the constant chatter (no pun intended) around social media. Some of the discussions are valid and some of are based upon lack of understanding and experience. My recommendation is to continue to share openly with each other and pay it forward. It’s a great community we have here in Chicago and I’m excited to attend future Social Media Breakfasts!

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