COM0015 Blog #3: Networking – I do it my way!

Networking has taken on a whole new meaning in the Internet age. Keeping up with the competition demands cultivating contacts at warp speed, and that means working your shtick online.

Online – LinkedIn

I believe it is important to focus on your first- and second-degree connections. First-degree connections are contacts that have already accepted your invitation to join your network, or vice versa, and second-degree connections are contacts known to your first-degree connection. Third-degree connections require more than one introduction and can be difficult to reach, as you may not have a mutual acquaintance.

When I ask someone in my network for an introduction, I try to make it easy for my first-degree contact by mentioning how I’d like to be introduced and the reasons I need help. I even go so far as to write out the introduction and forward it to my connection. Networking works best when both parties can offer the other something useful, so I always make sure that I am reciprocate.

Groups are one way to contact second- and third-degree LinkedIn members directly. But don’t join a group and start contacting individual members without making an earnest attempt to participate in community dialogue, be genuine.

Face-to-Face

I believe it is important to focus on quality over quantity, as well as working toward having a well-rounded network. There are a couple key people to have as part of your network, including:

  • A Mentor: A person who has reached the level of success you aspire to have. You can learn from their success as well as their mistakes. Heed their wisdom and experience. This relationship offers a unique perspective because they have known you through several peaks and valleys in your life and watched you evolve.
  • A Coach: Someone who comes in at different times in your life and help with critical decisions and transitions and offer an objective perspective, similar to a sounding-board.
  • An Industry Insider: Someone in your chosen field who has expert-level information or access to it. This person will keep you informed of what’s happening now and what the next big thing is.

Building a deep network by only including people from your current profession leaves too many stones unturned, limiting potential opportunities.

Have you used some of these strategies in your personal networking plan?

COM 0015 BLOG POST #1 Social Media Preferences

tweetdeck

My favorite social media site for professional purposes is Twitter’s Tweetdeck. I have this site open all day at work and I really appreciate the multi-tabs which allow one to monitor various tweets from multiple sources. I have my tweets set to Canadian, US and international news along with trends. Given I work in the news business, this tool has become essential especially during breaking news as it allows you to plug in the hashtag related to this news and you can monitor a tab for all posts related to this story. I am also somewhat selective in terms of those people and sites I follow.
Twitter has changed how I get my news first thing in the morning. A year ago I would listen to NPR and read the Washington Post, now I still listen to the radio in the morning, however I first sign on to Twitter and check posts within the last hour, as well as newspaper articles attached or mentioned in a particular post. Once I have filtered through this information, I think begin going through various newspaper, television and radio websites for any additional stories or background information which I may need for my work day.
Though on a personal level, I do monitor my facebook page on a regular basis, I do not consider this an avenue for work or a place to get information that will help me professionally. For this information, I turn to LinkedIn.
linked in
I have made a lot of professional connections though this website and now I receive regular email updates in terms of recent job openings and discussions through groups, for example, group-digests@linkedin.com, which will have relevant topics on the film and television industry which is of interest. Here I can also participate in these discussions, pose questions or learn about online forums which may be useful professionally. I have also found LinkedIn a very useful tool for staying in touch with former colleagues and for finding academics and experts who may have an opinion useful for a story which we are trying to tell.
Though I seldom send tweets, I do retweet items I find interesting. I can also use this tool if I need an opinion or suggestion for something which I am working on. As for LinkedIn, I keep my profile up to date, check to see if there are other people I can connect to, and I do look through discussions and posts which I feel will help me professionally.
I would strongly suggest becoming a member of LinkedIn, https://www.linkedin.com, even as a means of having another means by which future potential employers can search you, and a way to keep up to date with changing trends within your business. As for twitter, it is a quick way to dip in and out of subjects/topics/trends of interest to you.

COM0011 – Blog Post 6: Effective Content

Eventually, my personal brand will be that of a communications, media, and design guru, so I will draw from those already existing to describe content that I think would be relevant.

Adele Chan, founder of a special events and PR business called Blank Communications based out of Vancouver, is a lovely example of what I hope to achieve. She works with clients of the beauty, fashion, lifestyle, and consumer brands of Canada and customizes unique communication strategies to enhance brand awareness and growth. If you follow her on Twitter, you’ll notice that she regularly posts ‘features’, ‘client news’, or ‘as seen in’ posts to showcase her clients and what they’re doing, outside of the raw promotional efforts she establishes and organizes with her clients…almost as a way of bragging about them. She also posts short updates or photos on events she has helped organize, or events that she personally cares about. I think this is the kind of content that would matter to her audience because not only does it reinforce her commitment to work with them and help them grow, but it also showcases her work to prospective clients, who may have just been wanting more information about an event and not knowing that she was the force behind it.

I think from a design professional’s point-of-view, any graphic work or videography they may be working on is really relevant, because that type of content is the most snackable and shareable content as far as social media is concerned. So if you were working on a brand launch or a video project, updates on progress or actual video snippets of what’s to come are really relevant and would also generate some excitement leading up to whatever it is you might be launching.

I look forward to all of these aspects of my future!