Here’s the good news: today’s professionals/business people are now much more informed about online networking and “new media” and how and why they need use it than ever before—thanks to the many amazing business coaching and social media classes there are to choose from today.
These coaches/classes are fantastic and offer lots of great information and ideas, but I have come to realize that many people come away with “information overload” -–as in: “Where to begin, what to say, when to do all this….” Today’s business professionals are either too busy, too overwhelmed and in some cases, even too nervous to start or stay with a personal promotional effort (on and or off-line)—which is where I come in.
To that end I recent met up with a friend of mine at a party (she’s well established Realtor in a very affluent area of Los Angeles who has naturally seen a drop in business in this recession!). We hadn’t seen each other in a about five years and I started telling her about how the focus of my PR firm had changed to also include super simple, but effective social media production and management services for executives and professionals (especially the writing and the spinning of personal brands online via social networking/media). She chimes in: “Oh my God, you mean you actually take on the social media stuff for your clients? They don’t have to do it all by themselves? I just took at Social Media Class – and it was jammed packed with information that was really interesting and great… but… it MADE MY HEAD SPIN!” I must tell you that this gal is about 48 years old and not exactly an “old lady” (super sharp) she also teaches one heck of a Spin Class on top of selling multimillion dollar properties and raising three daughters who are also active in high school, club and college athletic programs. Naturally I am supporting her with her new initiative. She needs more listings and she knows that the only way to expand her network at this point (because eventually the people who used to flock to her neck of the woods in LA will come back as the economy starts to recover and get stronger) is to build a better online rep, thought leadership, following and marketing campaign.
1. Here is an Executive/Professional who “gets this new need” for online promotion and persona development and management (for the long haul – to keep it up-to-date and current, fresh etc.) and 2. Here is an Executive/Professional who (a) does not want to even have to deal with this whole online networking, PR initiative stuff because she is overwhelmed and unfamiliar with it; (b) because she has way to much on her plate already and (c) because she hates to self promote. Bottom line: This woman couldn’t fathom the thought about talking about herself online, but she loved the idea of allowing me to act as her “Ghost Promoter” (for her personal online networking, sharing effort) and her “Direct Publicist/Promoter” in other cases –i.e. helping her connect up with potential clients via traditional publicity and online promotion tactics via my own personal and company following and connections.
So you see, it really does not matter what you do in business or who you are professionally–social media and a robust online persona (PR) production and management is a must-have for everyone IN ANY STAGE OF THE GAME.
This is the way I see it: People hire stylists, landscapers, builders and housekeepers all the time. My business is really no different (other than I charge via retainer and bonus for certain types of “opportunity placement”). Putting someone in your corner who can literally produce and then help you manage your online (and off-line) personal PR initiative is really not so much a luxury these days, as it is a necessity. Personal PR, online persona development and management or self promotion is also not an “It can wait until later” project, it’s an “I needed this done yesterday” kind of deal– at any stage of the game (of career and business). By the year 2020 (if not before) EVERYONE in business/working will be on a computer of some kind in order to get work done, find, share and report information, sell goods and services, etc.
Do you absolutely need someone in your corner to support you in doing all of this? As in: Telling your professional story, sharing and promoting your thought leadership, building your networks, finding followers…? Maybe not. But if you don’t have the right messaging produced and promoted online on a regular basis, can’t find the time or will to keep up with it (once you do have it up) or don’t have an interest in producing an online campaign altogether, then you better think a little harder about what a personal online promoter and manager might be able to do for you. You have to be in it to win at it as they say. Build and be ready for an (online) audience and continue to build on that audience in order to stay visible and on the mark for continued opportunity placement. This goes for new business development, customer retention, job placement…you build it and keep it built, they will come.