Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Do You Have a Personal Content Strategy?

Dan Schawbel, the personal branding guru of Gen Y, spoke in my social media marketing class last week to an audience of mostly Gen Yers. He made a strong case for building a personal brand. It makes sense to me to do it in the early stages of your career. In fact, it strikes me as the digital counterpart of having a good paper resume in the ‘olden days.’ It’s essential. The issue is how far you want to go with it and on what platforms. In other words, what are your objectives and your target audience?

Something that hadn’t occurred to me was the importance of building a network in actually getting some kinds of jobs. An applicant for a job in social media needs to be an accomplished user of social media, with friends and followers. It’s probably especially attractive if the profile of the friends and followers is similar to the target audience of the employer. When I stopped to think about it, the point was obvious. Would you hire someone to drive a car who didn’t know how to drive???

To me, the utility of a personal digital brand as you are career building is obvious. What about us older ducks? It still may be useful; think about your own situation. For some of us, it’s not. For me, that seems especially true because I have a pretty big digital footprint already. If someone wants to find me, they can. But in spite of that, I got an interesting tip from Dan and I’ve pursued it. Dan creates an enormous amount of content, but he is also a dispenser of relevant content created by others that he Gathers and Monitors. Most of us do that with email and RSS feeds; it creates a huge amount of incoming content to manage. His content management strategy is online. Mine consists of a bunch of file folders and Google Desktop search. I don’t tag, so search often comes up empty, even though I know I’ve read something and I think I’ve saved it.

So I found Dan’s Organize guidance especially useful. I had investigated Del.i.cious but I hadn’t become a regular user. I signed up and started using it over the weekend, and I think it’s going to be useful in both cutting down the clutter in my Documents file and on my messy desktop and, at the same time, enabling me to find things I need.

Now I have 3 buttons that let me easily tag the URL I’m on at that time, to look at my recent bookmarks, or to go to the Del.i.cious site to see what others are doing. There is also a bookmarks sitebar, which is easy to open and close from the pull-down menu on the Del.i.cious tab. Since I use Yahoo! as my opening page, all this was essentially automatic and I didn’t have to do much configuring. My only objections are minor; an extra line on my header but that’s text, so it’s small. It occasionally interfered with my Yoono sidebar, which is the one I prefer to always have open, but I seem to have settled that.

As you can see, I’m bookmarking content for a current project in higher ed as well as content for classes and writing. This has just got to be easier than all those files and folders. It’s also going to be useful to see what others are doing in terms of similar content and tags.

I think I like this. Will I Distribute much of this content? I’m not sure I will, but I’ll probably do more than I’ve done in the past because this makes it so easy. I’m going to be happy if it just streamlines my work!

What applications of this good concept can you make to your work or to your creation of a vibrant personal brand--or both!?!


About JAMie Rauscher said...

Excellent post. Delicious is also a great networking tool as well as a productivity tool. One handy feature is that you can display a portion or all of your bookmark links on your blog as a widget. This also makes it easier for people to add you to their Delicious network! For an example visit blog that I designed for a local non-profit. You can also add a link to your Delicious profile to direct visitors to your blog or other website. Jamie Rauscher--a former student!

Magik New Media said...

Social Network Marketing is about starting a dialogue with your customers, rather than shouting orders. A nice conversation with your customers may result in them thinking positively about your brand and they ll more than likely share the love with their friends. By having a discussion with your potential customers you may even discover flaws in your offering.

MaryLou Roberts said...

Well put! Thanks so much!!

MaryLou Roberts said...

A good point that I forgot to mention, Jamie. It's especially effective on a highly informative blog like this one. Good job!!!

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