Posts tagged ‘advice’

December 14, 2010

Tory Johnson’s 50 Ways to Generate Social Media Content

Though graduate school has surely been challenging, one of its greatest rewards is allowing me to sleep in far later than I ever have in my life. I’m an early bird, functioning best early in the morning. Perhaps more impressive, I can probably count the number of mornings I’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed on one hand. And with graduation closing in, I’ll surely miss staying in bed until lunchtime. That said, this morning I was abruptly awakened by the snow plows, just in time for Good Morning America, a guilty pleasure television show I haven’t seen in months.

Tory Johnson, a Good Morning America contributor, author, life coach and founder and CEO of Women for Hire—a recruiting and educational resource for connecting professional women with leading employers in the country— spoke about the challenge women face in breaking through the cliche glass ceiling.

I’ve followed Tory Johnson for quite some time, most recently connecting with her through LinkedIn. Her practical advice covers the gamut, from networking and career advice, to how to strengthen your resume and cover letter, to how to negotiate with employers or start a business.

She also poses 50 tips for generate web content, seen below. I’ve underlined a few tips I found most intriguing and thought-provoking, all of which I plan on implementing in my own use of social media:

Comment. The easiest form of content is to comment on other people’s content. Answer their questions, ask them something, chime in with feedback, or simply let them know you appreciated their post.
Congratulate. Offer kudos and praise when people in your social media circles share their own successes. Think of it as a virtual high- five.
Recommend. Let your fans, followers, friends and connections know why you recommend a particular product or service. Include a link to it.
Review. Offer your candid opinion on a current event, book, product or movie that’s closely connected to your field.
Reveal. Get personal. When I speak about small business success, I’m very candid that my interest in entrepreneurship started when I was coldly and unexpectedly fire from a job I loved. The scar from that pink slip forced me to never want one person or one organization to have the ability to strip me of my financial security or self-esteem, so I ventured out on my own.
Report. Conferences and events offer rich material to share through social media. You can post quotes, tips, takeaways and photos from the speakers and sessions. Allow others to participate vicariously through you.
Promote. Promote something you’re working on—a book, a product, an article, an event, you name it—and let people know where to learn more. This is also true for your blog posts and stuff on your website. Promote it through social media to bring people directly to your site.
Share. When you read an article in the morning paper, find a link to the piece online and share it with your networks. The same is true for any great content or phenomenal resource you find online. Anytime I read a magazine, I dog-ear pages to share tidbits online.
Give. Give a special offer to your fans and followers. For example, this document you’re reading is something I offered to give away—no strings attached. You can create something similar for your target market or even give a special discount or bonus offer for a limited- time on a product or service.
Tips. This is especially relevant for experts—coaches, consultants, trainers, authors, speakers—to share their expertise regularly by posting a tip of the day or tip of the week. Choose tips that are actionable and avoid being generic. For example, if you’re talking to jobseekers, “Join and participate in a discussion group in your field on LinkedIn” is a better tip than “Use social networks for your job search.” It also works for product manufacturers. For example, if you make brownies, share cooking tips. Someone who sells an organizer can offer tips on, you guessed it, staying organized.
Quotes. Please tell me you bought a copy of the incredible tips book from the Women’s Conference! It’s filled with nearly 400 quick tips from some of the most successful people in America. (If not, you can easily find quotes online.) Post one tip per day—or even two per day— and you’ll see that your audience responds and re-tweets.
Re-post. Re-tweet or re-post tips, thoughts, articles or other material other people post online. Be sure to acknowledge where you saw it first.
Highlight. Highlight a blog that you follow and tell your audience exactly why you believe they’d like it too.
Educate. Teach a smart lesson in a tidbit and then be sure to follow up with additional details if and when someone asks for more.
Inspire. Let everyone know how you’ve overcome a challenge and share how they can do it too.
Ask. Pose a question that relates to your field and is likely to generate strong reaction. This can be very wide-ranging. For example, on my Facebook.com/Tory wall, I posted this: A woman just told me she’s changing her hair color to “look smarter.” Do you think hair color impacts our perception of intelligence? (As you can imagine, that got a lot of reaction.) On Twitter I ask viewers to submit questions to use on JOB CLUB, a program I host on ABC News Now, a 24-hour digital news channel.
Invite. Create an event—a MeetUp, TwitterChat, teleclass, etc—and invite everyone to join in on the conversation.
Exploit. Have a pet peeve? Exploit it. One of mine is this notion of “business conference as usual,” which leads to a feeling of let down once you get home and realize that you paid for something that wasn’t delivered, wasn’t made actionable or didn’t help your bottom line. This is a reminder to me when I promote my own events that I need to be even bolder with acknowledging this “conference let down” scenario and explaining why my programs are different.
Showcase. If you have a great client success, feature it. When someone I work with gets a new job or has a big win in her business, I showcase those successes online. It also serves as a testimonial for your work and your expertise.
Solicit. Ask for feedback on a trend in your line of work or feedback on an element of something you’re working on. Everyone loves to offer an opinion.
Brag. Did you receive some media coverage? Did you hit a social media milestone? Did you win an award? Did you sign a new client? Share your good fortune with your audience.
Gratitude. Thank new clients or partners (when appropriate) and others who are part of your success or who have served you well.
Prove. Include a brief “case study” showing where a client started, what you did, how you did it, and the results that were experienced. You can also do the same as an employee or jobseeker based on the works you do.
Guests. Use your social media platform to invite others to guest post on your blog or website, if applicable. Be clear on what you’re looking for so potential respondents can self-select.
Stalk. Bet this one caught your attention. Stalk strategically. By that I mean pick one rockstar in your industry each week and give a shout out to that person about why he or she should want to know who you are. Since it’s fashionable to respond to everyone on Twitter, you may just get a response.
Contribute. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn and contribute your expertise to the discussion boards. Make a habit of it so you’ll build a profile for yourself as the go-to person on this topic.
Morning. Consider posting a morning greeting each day that is relevant, fun, interesting or challenging. It may be connected to current events—Did you watch X show last night? Are you going to the polls to vote today? Do you know what happened this day in history?— instead of directly related to your work.
Save. Share great practical resources or tips that make life better by saving someone time or money.
Forecast. Let everyone know about changes in your industry and what you believe it means for your target market.
Laugh. A clean (non-offensive) joke is always a welcome form of comic relief.
Announce. Announce changes in your company, product introductions, or new developments in your work.
Complain. Share a customer service complaint and how it was handled impeccably. Explain how that problem will be avoided in the future. Being candid and authentic is a welcome trait.
Personalize. While most of your content will be professional, give some personal details to share another side of you. I got an enormous reaction when I shared my husband’s foot injury that left him in pain— and me exhausted from being ordered around! I talk about my kids. I stressed over turning 40. All of that allows my audience to know me better—and hopefully feel a stronger connection to me.
Theme. Use daily, weekly or monthly themes to inspire regular content. A car mechanic might implement a 30-day “Make Your Friends Green With Envy” campaign with tips on keeping their car in enviable condition. Or maybe it’s Motivational Mondays to kick off the week. Or Wellness Wednesday, which can encompass a range of content. Having a theme allows you to build out the content in advance to fit the days.
Seasons. Similarly, use changing seasons to generate content and discussion. For example, a dating coach could do a FALLing in love campaign in September, while a marriage therapist may begin by asking if you’ve FALLen out of marital bliss, followed by tips on how to reheat your marriage as the temperature drops.
Controversy. Rather than polarizing your connections with your own personal rant, consider simply posting a question about a controversial hot topic. I recently did this on the Oklahoma governor’s race between two female 50-something candidates – one married with six kids, the other single and no kids. The married mom made a point to say she was more qualified because of her marital and parenting status, so I asked my followers to chime in.
Contest. Ask everyone to submit something. A staffing firm asked fans to submit the most challenging interview question they ever faced. A purse company asked women to submit photos of the inside of their bag. Combine and share the content in a clever way.
Spy. When all else fails, spy on your competition. What are they writing, tweeting, and blogging about? How can you use their best content to inspire your own?
Feedback. Ask for resources such as a great bookkeeper, fabulous virtual assistant, exceptional resume writer or wonderful web designer.
Challenge. Issue a challenge to your audience. I’ve challenged my followers to make cold calls to 5 people within 24 hours that they’ve held back on reaching out to—and I’ve encouraged them to share the feedback.
Gift. Send a book or promotional item to the first five people who respond to a specific call to action.
Health. Even if it has nothing to do with your field, remind women every so often about mammograms, heart health and other important life-saving matters.
Wish. Offer special wishes to fans and friends on their birthdays or anniversaries. Everyone loves to be remembered.
Photos. Poke around other people’s pages and profiles and study the ones that use many photos. Force yourself to capture moments with your cell phone or digital camera at work that others will enjoy. Once you get in the habit, it becomes easier to find stuff to share.
Video. Even more powerful that photos, create original videos for your outreach. The popularity of YouTube should be enough to convince you that video is an extraordinary way to get your message across. Many of the elements above can be recorded by you on video and shared, especially if you have a build in recorder on your computer or phone. (Hint: If you’re truly camera-shy and not too convincing in video, skip this.)
Wildcard. Sometimes you’ll just write about the most random stuff. And that’s ok—you don’t have to follow a standard script every day.
Teach. Teach your audience a tech trick that someone else taught you.
Like. Click the “like” button on Facebook to acknowledge your appreciation for someone else’s page or wall content. And don’t be shy about telling them why you liked it.
Holidays. Use holidays for blogging content, tweets, wall posts, discussion group comments and e-newsletter content. They represent a goldmine of opportunity if you’re clever.
YOU. Above all, be yourself. Use your authentic, true voice in all you write. Don’t wait for people to find you and your brilliant content—work the system to generate followers too. Have fun doing it while always keeping your strategic purpose in mind. (Spark & Hustle)

Each of the tips offered by Johnson range in applicability, but it’s likely every blogger can benefit from implementing even a handful of her suggestions. This week, I’ll specifically be challenging myself to congratulate and recommend.

What Do You Think: What tips will you challenge yourself to adopt in your own use of social media?

Sources: Spark & Hustle, Social Networking Content Creation- Getting Started; Good Morning America, “What Women Need to Know to Get Ahead“, (December 13, 2010); Women For Hire

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November 23, 2010

I am awesome, seriously.

I have an interview tomorrow for my first post-graduate position, so I’ve spent the evening preparing for the big day in the following ways:

1. Speaking to every member of my immediate family, each of whom offered their own unique advice:

Mom: “Get there before traffic picks up downtown and oh, don’t wear too much eye liner.”

Dad (with 25+ years experience in Human Resources): “Be confident, succinct, and above all be yourself.”

Sister: “Don’t wear your hair the way I hate it.”

Brother: “I’m sure it’ll be fine, I’m proud of you.”

2. Doing some research on the organization (for the second time) as a refresher on what I need to know.

3. Fresh manicure and an hour-long wardrobe prep session with my Joy Mangano steamer, getting my clothes nice and crispy.

4. Trying to find an appropriate/cute “I am awesome” graphic for this specific blog post.

5. Spent some alone time self-affirming myself. (I.E.: “No, I AM awesome! Totally awesome! GO ME!”)

All that’s left is a little late-night snack and then a good night’s sleep.

Photo Credit: Shpigford, Flickr

November 1, 2010

IU Networking Night: Event Planning, Tourism, and Hospitality

Each semester, the IU Alumni Association (IUAA), in partnership with the Student Alumni Association (SAA), organizes a series of Networking Nights. An opportunity for students to interact with professionals across specific industries, Networking Nights feature a panel of relevant guest speakers who discuss their unique career paths and share advice for students entering the world of work.

On October 19, I attended the Event Planning, Tourism, and Hospitality Networking Night. I should mention that aside from Public Relations, I have a passion and interest in wedding/event planning.

The panel featured representatives from The Omni Severin Hotel (in Indianapolis), The Indiana Memorial Union Hotel and Conference Center, Eagle Point Golf Resort (in Bloomington), the Monroe County/Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, and elsewhere. As with any panel, each participant detailed their duties, outlined challenges, and offered advice to student attendees.

I had an opportunity to speak with Brandi Host, Rooms Division Manager of the Indiana Memorial Union Hotel and Conference Center, whose advice during the panel resonated with me the most. She spoke of the passion she tries to instill and generate in her guests, adding that each day her goal is to inspire the same love she has for Bloomington and IU in each person she interacts with. When asked what she attributes to success in all things communications, she said a communications professional must possess true flexibility and practice problem solving every moment of every day. Additionally, she offered advice like “use common sense”, “we’re not in the business of rocket science” and “be present”.

While the advice seems basic, I can’t help but appreciate the sentiment. In the face of graduation and the beginning of my career, I hope to embark on my journey with a firm set of values and principles in my back pocket.

I’ll be attending two upcoming IU Networking Nights: Media/Entertainment and Writing, Editing and Publishing. I advise any classmate or colleague of mine to take advantage of networking opportunities like the ones hosted by the IUAA/SAA.

October 29, 2010

Wisdom from the most unlikely of places.

“Life is just a long journey that is made of a million little road trips” -One Tree Hill

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume a large majority of my readers have never heard of “One Tree Hill”. Essentially, it’s my guilty pleasure. A television drama marketed heavily toward teens and twenty-something women, I like to think I’ve grown up with the show, now in it’s eighth season. And while I certainly hang my head in embarrassment each time I reference it to any of my peers, colleagues or family (“Go out? I’m sorry, I can’t, it’s Tuesday— One Tree Hill night”), I’m not ashamed to admit that it’s a great source of insight and perspective.

I met yesterday with Bob Dittmer, my academic advisor and personal cheerleader, regarding my future. With graduation now well in my sights, I contacted him with a request — I need to borrow some wisdom. After sorting through some practical advice (make a business card, join LinkedIn, etc.), I waited patiently for some of Bob’s best advice.

“Get out there, Lady.”

Simple words, yes. But something I’d been fighting. “Out there” is somewhere I’m very familiar with. You don’t live in eight different states in 24 years without being “out there”. But at this point in my life, on the cusp of it all, “out there” is new, and scary, and uncharted territory. So, in an effort to get “out there”, I came home and sought refuge in, you guessed it, One Tree Hill.

The quote in my header is from a past season (one I can’t even remember, it’s been so long) of the show, but it couldn’t be more fitting. In order for me to “get out there”, I need to start looking at life as a series of road trips. Too often I get bogged down in the destination, and I forget the importance of the journey. I’m detail-oriented, too much of a planner, and too focused, nearly to my own detriment. I forget to enjoy the small stuff. And so, starting today, in my quest to “get out there”, I vow to start enjoying all the small road trips I’m about to embark on.