Last week, our class had the opportunity to do a Google Hangout Panel with Morgan Johnston from JetBlue, David Yarus from MRY, and Nick Cicero from LiveFyre. Although the entire panel discussion was fantastic, one part in particular stuck with me.
David Yarus gave a great spiel at the end of the panel about what steps to take before applying for a community manager position, and although I think some should be taken with a grain of salt, they are great slices of advice.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
“If you say you’re into social, how are you using social?” – David
If you’re an aspiring community manager, you should already be showing that you want to do it with your spare time. Are you participating in communities? Do you talk to people on a regular basis? With your own social media profiles, make sure you are “dressing for the job you want” by acting like a community manager, even though you aren’t one.
“Lock them down, make sure you’re polished, make sure you’re saying the right things and not saying the wrong things.” – David
Developing a personal brand is common on the Internet, and most web-based professionals have their Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, and other social media accounts put together. This not only means making them look nice, such as having clear and professional headshot, but also being mature and sensible on high visibility platforms like Twitter.
CONNECT, CONNECT, CONNECT
“Make it rain connections.” – David
Where do you want to work? Who do you want to work for? Are those companies or people on Twitter? If the answer is yes, follow them. Read what they have to say, retweet them, and once they take notice of you, talk to them and start building a relationship. Showing that you have an ability to connect online makes it easier to demonstrate your skills as a community manager, especially if you’ve proven you can build your reputation to having a conversation with the company’s CEO from scratch.
Another tip David has was to do anything to get 500+ connections on Linkedin. While I think there’s some truth to this, I think it’s essential for people to understand that your connections should be genuine. If you’re in college, it’ll likely take a while to build 500+ professional connections. Check out this article for what I think is a great guide to connecting on Linkedin.
ALWAYS TRY TO STAND OUT
“Maneuver around the people who are … doing the same things, going to the same career fairs, applying for the same jobs … ” – David
Are you trying to talk to someone on Twitter but they won’t respond? Try talking to someone else. Did your blog post not get any engagement? Write a different one. The only way to get out of the rat race is to separate yourself from the pack. Just do something different to get noticed while pushing your professional career ahead. As David puts it: we are in the Matrix. The sooner you understand that, the sooner you’ll be able to unplug, get out there, and make a difference with employers.
What do you think of David’s advice? Is it spot on? Is it practical?