Posts Tagged sme

Build your success by claiming your name-space

Posted by on Thursday, 28 March, 2013

IMG_1741I don’t care in WHAT industry you’re currently working, your social presence is quickly becoming the defacto standard for success on multiple levels: B2B, B2C, as well as employment and advancement. Today, I’m going to talk about the latter; your career growth.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before and you’ll continue to hear the same pitch (and not just from me): being active in social media is important. In today’s digital world, there is a shift occurring across industries who are adopting the digital paradigms of expertise once relegated to academics and people with acronyms after their names. That paradigm being article publication in industry journals, magazines, and hard bound volumes. Today, all industries are using digital publication channels to research the digital eminence and expertise of prospective employees, as well as measuring current employees and identifying those who are candidates for advancement.

Take a moment and do this quick comparison in your head: how many times have you ego surfed yourself, versus how many times you’ve researched someone else on-line? What’s your normal process when you get a friend request on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, GooglePlus? Do you blindly accept/reject, or do you click-through and check the person out a bit, looking for reasons to make that connection or deny it? I know which side of that I fall on…

Now look at it from another perspective: if you put that effort into curiosity or determining a social connection, don’t you think any employer is going to go to even greater lengths to research a candidate to ensure they are the right person for the role they are working to fill? You better believe they are! Knowing that, we need to be prepared to have the best on-line presence we can muster, wouldn’t you say?

With that, here’s a few things you can do with relative ease to make sure that your presence is not only found, but controlled by you and helping your personal digital eminence stand out:

  • Register your own domain name- This is the first step to owning your name and your presence. Here’s a great article by Dan Gillmor explaining why this is essential. Simply said, it gives you more control rather than relying on third-party services to host your name-space. Having your own domain name/ URL provides that first bit of a stable web property upon which you can build.

 

  • Build your personal landing page- A quick and easy solution is to use a service like About.me to build a landing page behind your domain name. Yes, I’ve gone against my own recommendation above and use a third-party to provide my landing page content for AcdntlPoet.com. But I still own the domain and can point it to this blog easily if About.me starts behaving badly. For now, their free service provides me with exactly what I want and need: a location to connect all my other presences. A slightly more advanced step may be to use WordPress.com or install your own WordPress based blog in your domain and take control of all your content.

 

  • Connect the appropriate social accounts so employers or clients can find you- Now that you have your Domain URL and have built a landing page, start connecting the appropriate social channels. This doesn’t mean you have to connect *everything*. At the least, this means using your landing page to link to other professional presences online where you may be engaging in social discussions, sharing slide decks or blog posts, or where your hosting other professional information. Having a one-stop page that connects your other entities to your name and persona continues to help build your eminence.

 

  • Claim your Google Authorship- This is really a big win for anyone who publishes blog posts or other articles a s a means of establishing credibility or expertise in their industry. I’ve blogged about how to claim your authorship before, and am finding that every day this is becoming more and more critical to ensure results for searches on you provide the right details. It is a simple task that will bring larger long-term rewards.

 

 

So, there you have it; four beginning steps to building your digital eminence and helping yourself become more marketable in your industry compared to those who haven’t begun to do so. Of course this doesn’t mean that’s all you have to do to suddenly become a leader in your space, but it gives you the structure upon which you can build your expertise for others to see, and more importantly allows your information to be found easily when they need someone like you on their team. Unless you don’t care about your career, you can’t afford to not be building your digital eminence. Soon, if you can’t be found online, you simply won’t exist to employers.

On the value of thought leadership

Posted by on Thursday, 23 June, 2011

It is no secret that anyone working in the social business world struggles daily with how to measure value and return on their investment (ROI) in the space. If we can figure out how to effectively measure our work and translate it into monetary value, we’re golden. Come up with a nice easy formula in the support space to show avoided cost, something like: “total clicks to payload x success indicator x %clients who would call = avoided call ticket x cost per case = avoided cost”  and you’ve got your end of story, right?

Well, not so fast (you knew I wasn’t going to let you go that easily right?). What about measuring those intangibles I spoke of in my earlier post here? How can you effectively measure thought leadership and eminence in the industry? Or rather, and perhaps more importantly, is the value of being a thought leader more important than the simply monthly indicators of engagement and content consumption?

I’m fairly certain you can see what I’d argue here…. that thought leadership, that digital eminence is actually the primary purpose of social business, everything else we do is secondary to supporting that higher goal. Sharing our high value content? Sure, that’s an essential part of what we do…. which goes to support the end result of raising our place in the digital world and the ultimate perception that we are indeed the thought leaders in our industry.

Let me take an exampled approach here, and bear with a few assumptions along the way:
You all know I am passionate about whiskies. No arguments from any of you on that point I’m sure. Amongst my friends (outside of the actual industry) you may possibly consider me as a burgeoning thought leader when it comes to topics surrounding whiskies. But why is that? Is it simply because I consistently post a measurable number of links to quality whiskies related content? Or is it because over time I’ve consistently provided quality content related to specifics of whiskies in conjunction with other efforts I make in other spaces to learn and help teach others about this water of life? I’ll bet you’d tell me the latter of the two choices. But which of the two is more important to you? Is just receiving the content enough to warrant me as a thought leader when it comes to whisk(e)y? Again I’d wager to say, no, it isn’t. Thought leadership is critical to what my boss recently described as “compounded interest”. Which makes perfect sense to me.

Continuing with the example…  let me ask; is my thought leadership in the whiskies world of benefit to you? My guess here is that it is, but only when you need it. I am often asked by friends and family for recommendations of whiskies to give as gifts; and I am happy to oblige, especially since answering those questions typically helps me learn and stay up to date on pricing changes and allows me to hone my skills at choosing decent drams. But it is only important to you because the issue on your plate is what bottle to buy for your friend. If you weren’t in that predicament, my thought leadership in the space wouldn’t be of value to you. This exemplifies my point about thought leadership; that there is value there, possibly great value, but only in a ‘just-in-time’ ad hoc model. Right now, as I write this entry, my eminence (bear with me on that assumption) as a whiskies subject matter expert is irrelevant since I am neither posting specifically about whisky, nor is anyone presently utilizing my knowledge about the topic, so I’m not seeing value right now, nor have I over the course of this month. Last month, however, my thought leadership WAS valuable as I was able to recommend a moderately priced bottle as a gift, making a big impact upon the recipient from what I hear, but also not breaking the bank to do so. In that case, I’d say my eminence could have a direct monetary value had I not been asked and had a higher priced bottle been purchased.

My point in this is to show that thought leadership can only be built over time, and the value only seen at the whim of the client with no way to predict how or when that value will be recognized. Perhaps, in the technical support world it will be in avoiding a call ticket because a client remembered a blog post on the topic which included the answer, or perhaps it will be during a sales call when a client signs a maintenance agreement because they recognize our eminence in the space and know we can help them effectively and efficiently when they encounter difficult issues….

Thought leadership is potentially VERY valuable in these instances, but (like the above example), is not solely a product of just work in social business, rather it is a holistic drive connecting all sorts of activities which combine to build that eminence over time. Eminence which can show value in varied, unexpected ways, which can often skirt any potential to accurately measure and connect effort to value.