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The Ant – Get Powerful Together

Posted by Carolyn Thompson on Feb 1, 2011 in Job Search

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The ant is one of the most social creatures on the planet. As the saying goes: there is never just one. When you see an ant, you know there are at least hundreds, if not more, nearby. They are found on almost every continent. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves.

Over the past few years, I have successfully obtained both candidates and clients from Facebook, one of the leading social networking sites. My team is nearing the 100 mark for transactions closed in some way shape or form from my social media strategy.

I recently placed another hard-to-find person I located by scouring Facebook for keywords.  As I sat across the table having lunch with this person who had just started their new job, I was overwhelmed with the power of this particular social media.  He was so grateful that I had reached out to him. We chatted on and on about each other’s families, personal interests, and recent activities because we had a lot of knowledge about each other before we met.  The conversation flowed naturally like it was someone I’d known for some time when, in fact, barely two weeks had passed since my first invitation to connect on facebook and their first day on the job. This incident really drove home how powerful your personal profile is, or can be.

I met with a Pinnacle Society colleague this week as well and was recounting this accomplishment. My story was met surprisingly with some hesitation on her part to put herself out there in cyberspace.  I never really worried about the dangers of on-line interaction.  I mean, look how many people meet and marry their spouses on-line. Why not harness that power to attract candidates and clients both? 

Remember in Meet the Parents, Robert DiNiro talks about the inner circle of trust?  How can you create an on-line persona that allows people to feel like they are in the inner circle of trust without sacrificing your personal privacy? How much do you give up to cyberspace?

·         Mix personal and professional

o   Just like people who are very organized keep one calendar that includes their personal and professional appointments so nothing slips through the cracks, putting a little of both out there gives people a real sense of who you are; what types of jobs you work on and what activities you are involved in.

·         Don’t rant and rave

o   I am always amazed at the profanity and negativity people post on their pages.  Keep it light, professional and positive.  After all, this is how people will ultimately form impressions of you, so if you see things with the glass half empty, you might consider visiting the sink for a fill up before typing.

·         Post regularly

o   I know I find myself browsing postings when I’m bored, at the airport, or just to fill a few minutes.  There’s nothing more boring than to read someone’s profile that is filled with dribble. Make it interesting, but not over the top.

·         Reach out

o   Use keyword searching techniques to link with those within your niche. This will directly impact how well and how many people you reach people with your postings.  Invite them to connect with a brief note as to how you found them and why you are reaching out to them for their assistance or participation in your project.

·        Create your own social media strategy

o   Who do you want to connect with and why?  What’s in it for them? 

·         Consider your personal safety when posting your whereabouts 

o   This is one thing I am very careful about.  I promote appearances and speeches but don’t generally advertise when I’ve arrived for a spa day or gym workout somewhere.  Posting your gratitude to the establishment after your treatment is one way to handle promotions about your activities without sacrificing personal safety.

If you were an ant in a colony, you would only be as strong and successful as your peers made you. Just like the Ant, whether you are using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media, the more the merrier!

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