Last night I gave a talk about social networking to the local chapter of the American Society for Quality. It was so well-received I decided to post it.
As engineers are outsized, downsized and forced into a sales function within their companies, it’s important to understand how social networking can establish your Personal Brand. While most of you think that social networking is what keeps your kids online at night and not doing their homework, it’s becoming the primary fulcrum for business and personal development.
Social Networking involves:
- online communities of people sharing/exploring interests, activities, products and services for the purpose of communicating and sharing information over a broad group of users
- utilizing various Internet sites to get your Personal Brand out to a series of audiences who might be interested in YOU
- THE way of landing a new job because you are creating demand for your Personal Brand rather than participating in a flood of resumes sent in response to some posting on Monster.com (which means you are simply a commodity)
- viral marketing – the new Word of Mouth, or how information gets passed around
What is the value of social networking?
1. Expand your network
2. Obtain references
3. Own your online brand
4. Find jobs
5. Build thought leadership
6. Stay on top of industry trends
7. Stay on top of breaking news
8. Demonstrate you’re on the leading edge
9. Improve your productivity
10. Learn from others
11. Improve your writing
12. Become a better editor
13. Clarify your thoughs
This list is courtesty of Dave Fleet.
How to use Social Networking to achieve personal and professional branding as well as professional development
- Expand your network: you never know when you may need one. If you do one thing, establish yourself on LinkedIn. Create a Profile. It becomes your internet presence, fulcrum for personal branding, platform for your body of work and your resume, site of references and recommendations, list of groups you belong to, a snapshot of who you are professionally. IT’S WHERE PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS AND EMPLOYERS GO TO CHECK YOU OUT.
- Every time you update your Profile, it’s announced to your Contacts or Network depending on your LinkedIn settings. Updating your Profile is dynamic and a means of keeping your name in front of your Internet public.
What is your “network” on LinkedIn and other sites and how does it reflect your Personal Brand?
- Some folks contact everyone they ever knew and build a big, bulk network list (“my network is bigger than your network”). By establishing Contacts, you are LinkedIn to the contact list of your Contacts, which means your potential contact list grows exponentially with each new Contact you acquire.
- Some folks contact everyone within their organization to achieve immediate critical mass (another form of “my network is bigger than your network”). If your network only encompasses who you work with, how can your ideas expand if you are still thinking inside your box?
- Some folks start their network by contacting thought leaders they respect and KNOW (only contact folks you know, please), valued colleagues in their field or at their company, and people (including hierarchy at your company) who you want to keep in your loop as you build your Personal Brand
- Join LinkedIn Groups. Currently ASQ has 73 Groups on LinkedIn, all focusing on niche areas. Groups align you with folks having similar interests and /or perspectives. Groups are characterized by Discussions which are started and managed by the Group Manager.
- You can check (for free or subscription) who’s been checking you out on LinkedIn.
- Join the ASQ local Section Users Group on LinkedIn.
- Join in or simply monitor Group Discussions, depending on corporate policy or personal preference.
- Sign up for blog feeds to stay on top of trends and get your Personal Brand known.
References are critical to personal brand building. References talk about how you deliver against your values, skillset and ethics.
- If your corporate policy allows you to post references on your LinkedIn profile, do so.
- References are a great way of demonstrating your body of work to potential and current customers. You – and no one else – have earned these references.
- Every time you receive a new Reference, it’s announced to your LinkedIn list (Contacts or Network depending on your settings)
- References assist you in building your Personal Brand
- If you need to center on Who You Are, read about yourself on LinkedIn.
What is your Personal Brand?
What are your attributes and how do you consistently deliver against these attributes? Dan Schawbel basically invented the term when he started his blog several years ago.
- It’s walking the talk and being impeccable with your word.
- Which gets into ethics
- Which means you share ideas
- Which means you don’t hold your cards close to your chest
- Which means you move 1mm outside of your comfort level.
- Try it.
Top Social Networking Venues for achieving personal and professional branding as well as professional development
LinkedIn – #1 site for professional networking, over 35 million subscribers. Indexes by Name, Group, Keyword.
Facebook – launched Aug. 2007, 1.5 million subscribers in 12 months, projected hundreds of millions of subscribers by end of 2009 (Wikipedia).
Twitter – real-time social messaging, a lot of one-time usage, used by marketers to influence decision making, build body of opinion.
What are you waiting for?
Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.