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Make Your Marketing Matter.

So you have a job that requires you to use social media professionally, but up to now you've only been using social media to post snarky comments with your friends. The questions are as old as social media itself (so, about 10 years now): Do I need to keep my personal social media accounts private? Or do I need to separate my professional social accounts from the social accounts I use to interact with friends? The answer is "no." There are all kinds of advantages to combining your personal and professional online brand. Take it from Callahan Creek's Senior Social Media Community Manager Eric Melin, who found himself in an unusual position when it became very public that he was the World Champion of Air Guitar. This presentation will walk you through the tricky ins and outs of building a professional brand that's authentic, with real, practical advice that you can apply to yourself and your business.

You'll learn:

  1. Don’t separate business from personal. No one wants to interact with a company stooge.
  2. There are three kinds of content categories for you to think about when building a personal brand. They should become second nature.
  3. Be your best self.

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Transcripts

Are you guys ready to rock? - [Audience Member] Sure. - Alright, this is more of the social media presentation than the air guitar presentation, but you are gonna get a little air guitar in there. So just in case people are wondering. I'm SceneStealrEric on Twitter. This is the hashtag to use. Again I won't be offended if I see the top of your head. I'm used to it. This presentation is about something that I just kinda figured out from working in social media over the last nine years. And a lot of people come to me and especially I give this to a lot of college students, this presentation, but it definitely works for professionals at any stage of your life and we're gonna talk today about this fallacy that you need to have a professional social media presence and also a personal social media presence. My opinion is that they should be one and the same and that if they are one and the same, you will get farther in your life and farther in your career and do better at the goals and the things that you are trying to achieve. And so that's what we're going to talk about today. At first it's gonna be about kinda my personal journey and how I figured that stuff out, but then I'm gonna give you some really helpful tips and ideas from reinventing yourself or rebranding yourself from the ground up. This is not about your business, but it's about anybody that does social media professionally and being able to combine your personal tastes with your professional life and being able to benefit from both of those. So that's what we're gonna talk about today. So in that respect that's why it's called Melding Your Personal and Professional Brand Online or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Air Guitar. And that is an actual picture of me in Finland the day after winning the air guitar world championships in 2013. An unexpected and amazing moment in my life. We're not really gonna talk about that too much today, but it did give me this opportunity to kinda figure out what it really means when you have something that you do in your life that most people would consider to not be professional. Most people don't even really know what it is, but I'm been doing that pretty much all my life and I think that being able to blend your real persona and the person that you are and the interests and the values that you hold with your professional life is actually gonna help. So let's start from the ground up and I'm gonna go really quick because there's 61 slides in here and I wanna get them done in about 40 minutes. So you may not know it, but you already have a personal brand. People can google you, they can find you on multiple social media accounts and if you're not careful like young Cella here was on Twitter who says I love all my bitches ain't got no man. I think she meant man. It says mane. I'm not really sure. There's a good chance that your personal brand will get you fired before you even start your job. So she tweeted this out ooh, I start this blank, blank job tomorrow and her boss found that and said no, you don't start that job today. I just fired you, good luck. So this sounds like a jerk I don't wanna work for anyway, but this does prove that there are a lot of people out there searching for you on social media. In fact one of my jobs as social media community manager at Callahan Creek is to manage the ad agency's social profile and when we hire people or even before we hire people, I am looking people up online and sending stuff to our HR department. So if you apply for a job at Callahan Creek and your social media profiles and your google search is not in order, know that it will be discovered. So this is really, really important stuff. This is an extreme example of it, but she also got... I found out about it because Time Magazine covered this story. So employers use social media too, kids. That is the important thing to know. What's really cool is that 93% of managers will review your profile before they give you a job offer. One out of three rejected candidates based on something found in their social media profiles, but even better than that, 92% of companies use social media for recruitment so what that means is if you're active on social media and you're doing a great job, you have a huge leg up over the people who aren't. 79% have found candidates through LinkedIn, 26% Facebook and 14% through Twitter. So why would you build a personal brand? Well what it does is it shows your prospective employer that you can... Honestly that you understand modern communication practices because social media isn't just social media anymore. It's everything. If you understand how to use social media, then that shows your employer that you also understand these five concepts. So you can build credibility with your target audience, showcase a specialty which is really important, differentiating yourself from the competition, refining and developing your focus. I'm gonna talk about that a lot in this presentation. And what that means is you think that you're starting out talking about one thing and then two years later, you find out wow I just morphed into a whole nother brand or a whole nother thing because my goals have changed and I wanna do this instead or whatever. And then lastly and this is the most important one, it forces you to be consistent and reliable. And anybody who works in social media will tell you that this is the number one most important thing. You don't wanna just put something out there on a platform and then have that disappear and then you haven't posted on it in two months and nothing's happening. So the more that you can be consistent and reliable, the better and all of these things are attractive to employers. So I really, really like this quote from Fast Company. It says increasingly job hunters are tapping into their social networks and connecting with peers currently employed in their chosen field to find out about job opportunities that haven't been posted publicly. So we already know if you're doing great on social media, you have a leg up over other people trying to get a job. Now what they're saying is that if you're doing all this and your social networking and you're meeting people in real life and connecting those audiences, you're gonna get job offers or you're gonna find out about jobs before they're even posted publicly. How amazing is that, right? So now we're talking about two extra legs up that you have on the people who aren't using social media. So you need to take control of your brand. You need to tell your own story. The last thing you wanna do is let the web do that for you. That info is already out there and the sooner that you begin shaping it online and owning it, is gonna be the better for you. And you can't start soon enough. This is an example of someone named Eric Melin apparently. This is his website. He has ericmelin.com and I started using social media professionally in 2008 and by the time I looked into owning my own domain name, I found out that this jerk has it already. And his website sucks. This is still what it looks like. I don't even know what a worker tier is, but he's got a word cloud with a bunch of social media buzzwords in there. He's got jpegs that don't work anymore. He hasn't posted since 2010. We're gonna revisit Eric later, but I'm just saying you can't start soon enough. Jeff Bezos has this quote, personal brand is about, is what people say about you when you leave the room. And I really, really like that quote because it's not just about social media. But this is the thing. There's this fallacy and I worked with people at previous jobs who had two different social media accounts on the same platform. There was a guy I worked with on Twitter. He had his personal account where he would talk to all of his friends and he would keep it locked and they would talk about sports and politics and things like that. And then another one that he had that was his professional one and so that's where he would do all of his business networking and things like that. And what happened is he like most people spread their energies too thin. They end up using one and not the other or they end up using both of them poorly and then nothing ever really gets accomplished from it. So what I'm saying is that your brand should not just reflect job-oriented stuff. It should interesting facets of your personality and it should give people a reason to wanna follow you outside of your professional expertise. And this is really important. It's kind of a cliche now actually in social media. We used to say this back in the early days of this club. Be genuine and be yourself. Well it's really, really true. The great thing about it now is that I've come to understand that there are so many niche interests in the world. There are so many people out there who can now connect who you thought were... You were the only one that liked this certain thing like let's say crocheting cats or whatever. It's like who knew that there was like this hundreds of thousands of other people out there that were into that. Or air guitar. I had no idea there was a worldwide air guitar community. That was something I never would've understood and I didn't even tweet about it or talk about it on social media until I won because I didn't really know how to talk about it because I didn't understand it, but there are people out there with similar interests so if you are yourself you will find other people who are real. And this is a really good point. You guys know who Jason Falls is? Has anyone seen him speak before? He's a really great author and real people have hobbies and they have professional goals and what I like about Jason's bio here on Twitter is that it kinda says everything. So he has father, author, speaker, humorist. That says a lot in four words. Allegedly wise to the ways of PR, digital marketing and social media, SVP at Go Elastic and then the last thing is I like bourbon. This is awesome because Jason has a personal brand built on all these different things and people come to him for advice on social media and marketing, but he is now known because he wrote a book and got a large following and because he wrote I like bourbon in his bio as a bourbon expert. So guess what happens to Jason all the time? Free bourbon, yes. Companies are constantly sending him small batches to talk about online and what's better than that. So that's actually why I became a movie critic, free movies. It's like wow. So having a hobby and professional goal is really, really important and you can have all these little sub-brands that fit in with your personal values that you're interested in that will make you a more interesting person to follow. And so overall, all of these that I've talked about so far, when I say that it's not just social media, it shows that having a personal brand that you can manage shows that you're intelligent, media savvy and you understand business communication best practices because yes, you're being yourself and yes, this is your personal brand, but especially if you're putting the name of your company in your bio like I do, the very first thing on there is senior social media community manager at Callahan Creek, you understand best practices and business communications and a lot of people don't understand that. They think that oh, this is just someone being themselves and a lot of time it'll retweets are not endorsements and that's probably mandated by a company policy and that's a really smart thing to have in there. But don't for a moment think that somebody is just using, somebody who does this is just using social media for personal means. This shows that you have a better understanding of all that. So now we're gonna go into some fun stuff about me really quick. Your personal brand can morph and change over time. This is what I looked like about 15 years ago and that's what I look like now. And all of this stuff happened in between and it was a really long journey to try to figure out... These are actual personal profile photos that I've used over the time that I've been in social media and I was trying to figure out what's the best way to do this. Eventually it's funny because I started out as this smiling guy with short hair who played in a band and then I ended up as this smiling guy with long hair who plays air guitar, but yeah. I'm actually a drummer. I play the real drums. I have no idea how to play the guitar. But the important thing here is that I came back to myself and I realized this thing. When I was going through the air guitar thing, I branded myself as Mean Melin because I never wanted anybody to mispronounce my last name again and I thought if it's called Mean Melin, it rhymes. No one will ever get it wrong. And then the first... When I won the world championship it said Mean Melvis wins. I was like Melvis, really, that's not even close, but that happened in Finland. That's what they had put out on Facebook right after I won and so now when I go back to Finland I'm Melvis which is kind of fun. So I have a nickname. But what I realized was that Mean Melin is a fun name and it's a persona to have onstage to act like this tough metal guy even though I'm not that person in real life, but it's a weird brand. You don't want a scowling person as your profile photo, no matter if that's your character or not. And it's just not me when I'm offstage so I eventually came back to the smiling photograph because I think it represents me better and I think it's better for business frankly. You don't wanna look like a jerk. People don't wanna follow somebody who looks like a jerk. I'll just take you really quickly. This was my band 15 years ago. It was called Ultimate Fake Book. We toured around in a van. We made a living at it for four or five years. It was really fun, but we were the worst marketers of all time. This was even before social media and we used to make fun of the bands that were on the phone with their record label talking about moving units. If I would've known now what I knew then or if I... You know what I'm trying to say. We would've been a lot more successful, but we broke up. But this is what I looked like back then and... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I came full circle and realized the power of taking control of your personal brand. We didn't own anything and we didn't work really hard at that and we just tried to make music and play it well. And these days that's not enough. But at least I didn't think I knew because when the band broke up and I went back to school at KU and got a film degree, I started trying out for all these game shows and I got on this one game show from VH1 called World Series of Pop Culture and what I realized after passing the test is that we needed to create characters. This is part reality show and part game show and we needed to create characters that were bigger than life so that people would remember us and so when we were doing our interviews which is the real reason that they cast you on these shows, we told them that we were smart asses from Kansas and the three of us had all played in bands before and so we created this persona of these guys from the Midwest who were really smart at trivia, but were also smart asses and that's when I figured out that you can wear a suit coat over a T-shirt and get away with it. So this is our preview from VH1. And so we had fun. We got to do all kinds of little commercials and stuff like that. And so what I realized is that oh, shit, I'm branding. I'm taking control of my image at this point and then after I graduated from film school, I started a website and decided if I wanted to be a film critic, I should just start doing it. No one will hire me, but I'm just gonna create my own website. We started doing YouTube video movie reviews and then all of a sudden publicists started calling me and asking me to interview movie stars when they came town and so all of a sudden that weird hobby was legitimized just because I... And so I would do things like this before I was even ready for it. So yeah, clearly I was not ready for that, but I just jumped in with both feet and did it anyway and then when I got a job in social media at Spiral 16 which was a local social media monitoring platform, all of a sudden I found myself in New York and this is really boring so I'm not gonna show it with the sound up really. But I'm in New York City at the Pivot Conference, Brian Solis is hosting and all of a sudden I'm presenting a social media case study and it's like all of this stuff is kind of happening and I'm just kind of running with it, but there's no connective tissue. My professional life online I just looked like this and this was what I was trying to do, but ironically my hair was getting longer because I was doing air guitar and I figured wigs fall off so I may as well start growing my hair and get that little advantage over everybody else because it looks cool. But then I was doing movie reviews on KCTV5 and the weird thing is that you don't expect your local morning movie critic to look like this and this was that weird stage where the hair was growing out and it's looking really bad. So melding these personalities just became more and more challenging, but then when I did win the air guitar world championship, I was famous for like two days all over the internet. I was like my 15 minutes and it was really fun. So I tweeted Keith Olbermann and I said dude, you mispronounced my name and he apologized. Keith Olbermann apologized. That was really strange. And then one day, again high profile on social media, kind of embracing the air guitar because I'm starting to get known for it. I got a call from the BBC on the way to work and they asked me to Skype in because a Cambridge professor had a study that proved that playing air guitar improves your creativity. True study and so all of a sudden, I'm Skyping in from work at my cubicle to the BBC and it was at that point that I kinda realized I better go with this. This is a thing. I had my T-shirt in the car by the way. I was really lucky to have that. I love that shot. I had no idea I was talking to a guy that looked like that because you can't see anything when you're doing this. You're on Skype. But that guy was awesome. This was a whole nother story. If you wanna see me talk about creativity, that's a whole nother deal. So anyway what I'm trying to say is that just go with it. Whatever you get into and whatever works for you and whatever you think is too weird or too strange or it doesn't fit with something else, there's a really good chance that it does. I'm the air guitar social media guy. Who knew? So you just have to kinda go with it. Nobody wants to interact with a company stooge. So now if you're a company, you can get away with being broadcast only. We follow magazines and we follow media outlets because we want to know the articles that they're promoting and certainly their social media profiles are just putting those articles out there so it's just a great place to find links. But real people need to create their own content and they need to curate their content and they need to engage as themselves. So you can see here out of four things in a row, only one of them is me actually putting out something. The other three are me talking to other people about stuff. So this is where it gets kinda weird and hopefully this will be helpful to you. I only went back and retroactively figured this stuff out, but I did kinda come up with a plan to help people get started in case they're not there already. I'm really, really bad at self examination, but you kinda have to be a narcissist to be on social media a little bit so the first step is to log out of your Gmail account, your google account, your YouTube account. Whatever you have, log out of it and google yourself because your results are gonna be personalized if you stay logged in. They know who you are and they're gonna serve you up the results that they think you want. So log out of everything and google yourself and see how you're doing. I'm kind of kicking Eric Melin's ass. This is pretty good. He's way down here and he has two photos out of six over here so the SEO guy, the self-proclaimed SEO guy, I'm kicking his ass so I really like that. This is a great way on the first page to figure out how you're doing. Try to get your name as a unique URL everywhere. So SceneStealrEric is not just my Twitter name. It's also linkedin.com/EricMelin. It's also my Instagram. And unfortunately... Sorry, SceneStealrEric is because Eric Melin got all those other things. He beat me to LinkedIn. If you have a really common name, this is really difficult and this is where a brand name becomes even more important because if you have a branded name that's unique, then you can own that as your URL. And so that's what I did so I have /SceneStealrEric on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn as well and so the weird thing is is Scene Stealers was my movie review website and I still have it after what, 13 years, but it's not my main focus anymore which is kinda weird. But I've owned it for so long now, I'm not really gonna go back and change it. So anyway one way to get started which is really great is just look at the people in your field, whatever you do, who are successful and see how they're doing it first. Get the lay of the land, see what they're doing. Look at the people that have reached the goals that you wanna reach and figure out how they're using social media and it's gonna be different for each vertical. It depends on what you're in. I said this before. Do not spread yourself too thin. Be strategic and be consistent. Just because all of these platforms exist doesn't mean that you need to be on all of them. Find the ones that work for you, maintain those and drop the rest. Let the rest fall away. We don't have enough time. Trust me. And if you're gonna have a homepage, I'm gonna keep coming back to Eric, keep it current. Yeah, this is... You can go look at it later. I think 2012 I think. Yeah, 2012 was the last time he posted and he still owns this URL. Time for self examination. This is where you have to define yourself, okay. So I found this online and this was a really nice Venn diagram. It says values, strengths and your why or your purpose are the three things that define you and the Venn diagram right there in the middle, if something hits all those three things in the middle, that's the sweet spot that you're trying to achieve. So I'm gonna go through this and I'm gonna talk about... I changed it slightly for myself because the purpose thing was a little too weird for me. So what are your values? This is really, really important. This is how you can define yourself. Here's some examples. Friends, family, hard work, positivity, community. What are the things that matter to you? Now you'll notice that all of things on this list are positive. That's really important, okay. That's probably a duh to everybody in this room at this point, but these are all positive things. These are values that most people consider to be worthwhile and useful and positive and so you're looking for these things and it's okay to write this down. It's okay to have it at your desk even to remind yourself of the things that are important to you when you're looking for content to share or to create and then you look at the thing and you're like oh yeah, well I am expressing that value because you're yourself already, but how we express ourself online is the whole point. So how can you express those values? So then what I did on the strengths one is I added goal to that because I think that's really easy for everybody to understand. So now instead of just talking about strengths, we're talking about the things that you're naturally good at, how you can help inform, entertain others. What unique qualities can you express, that's the strength category, but now if you take your strengths, how can you tie those into your personal and professional goals. That's the really important part. Who knew that I was going to be able to tie the media attention that I got as an air guitarist into meeting some of my professional goals? It's absolutely helped me. At this point I've done a TEDx talk on creativity and the creativity was all because of a problem that I solved when I was trying to win the air guitar world championship and that novelty in and of itself made an interesting story and it was a way to express how I solved the problem creatively and all of a sudden creative problem-solving is kind of what I do every day in my job so it helped. So if you can tie your personal and professional goals into the things that you're already good at, that is gonna be really, really effective for you. And then lastly, I took out the why, find out your why, your purpose because that's just a little bit too weird. I'm not good at self examination and I just put interests because I have a lot of interests. I'm kinda schizophrenic online because I have so many things that I'm interested in. They're all expressed in the bio so if you follow me, you kinda know what you're gonna get, but now we're doing the same thing we did with strengths. How do your interests reinforce your personality? How do they resonate with your followers? What unique opinions can you offer on those interests? So kinda the same thing as strengths and then again of course, how does it dovetail with your values and your strengths so if you think about all three of those things together, you have a really good foundation for what your brand is gonna look like. And you can write all this stuff down and try and figure it out and then look at your profile and figure out how to best say that so that when people follow you, they know exactly what they're gonna get. And then lastly, if this is too weird for you, some people will find that you can just ask a friend to name the first thing that comes to mind when they think about who you are and this actually works because your friends know you really well and they like you already so if you're asking somebody else what they think of you, you're essentially asking for a compliment because you're asking a friend and if your friends give you a consistent amount of feedback about the type of person you are, if you're really bad at self examination, you probably are that type of person. So now you just have to figure out like any brand anything that we would normally do in marketing how we're gonna express those things. So if all else fails give this a try. Your first step is to build a hub for your brand. Is anyone familiar with these platforms here? I have a Squarespace site, an about.me site and a WordPress site so I'm using three out of these already. There's probably more. There's more popping up every day. The great thing is is you do not have to know a lot about coding to make a website anymore. There's so many great platforms that take care of everything for you. You can drag and drop, have a very limited amount of HTML knowledge and still have a great place for your brand. This is my about.me page and the reason that I like this is because I have my bio here. I put my number one thing that I do at the top. Visit my website goes to my speaking website and then all of the... My bio here I put links in it so it goes to all of the things. It's kinda like an online resume in a way and then below that all of the platforms that I'm active on and so this is a really great place. It's free, by the way, about.me is, about.me. It's a really great place to point people if you are schizophrenic and you have tons of things that you do and there's no really way to explain everything that you do. This is a good place to do that. And so that link goes to airguitarseminar.com which I also bought ericmeanmelin.com because Eric Melin already has ericmelin.com and I kind of owned it and so I turned this into a professional speaking site and I decided I'm really gonna take my own advice and differentiate myself. Instead of a photo of me with a suit coat on talking to a room full of people to try to get jobs wearing a suit coat and talking to a room full of people, I decided to use a photo the night before I won in Finland at the Dark Horse when I won the Dark Horse thing which was also very unexpected and I was on fire. My head was buzzing and everyone in the room was going crazy and so I just right away inspirational talks don't have to suck. So I'm planting my flag in the sand and trying to be as different as possible. Sometimes it works really well, other times not so much, but that's how I decided to brand myself. Make sure your bio tels people exactly what to expect. On Twitter and on LinkedIn, you can see that all of the things that I want to be known for are listed first and then it kinda slowly goes down down the... The things that I don't need as much. But then book me to speak is right there, Lawrence, Kansas and then it goes to airguitarseminar.com. So make sure all that stuff is updated and you're gonna have to recalibrate. I'll come back to this in a second, but look at your bio a lot and make sure that it reflects where you want to go and what your current goals are at the moment. I looked at it a couple years ago and I was like oh wow, I still scene-stealers.com as my main website and it's like that hobby is just one of many hobbies I have. It's not something I'm trying to make a career out of anymore so why is that website on there. Again carve out your niche, differentiate yourself, exhibit unique opinions. I saw this thing from Forbes, this headline from Forbes in an article that I really liked about why jack of all trades is the worst personal brand and then I searched online and found a ton of people that had in their Twitter bios jack of all trades. And it's just bad, it's terrible because you can't get anyone, you can't get known for anything when you say you're good at everything. There's a lot of people out there who are probably better than you at things so if you're a jack of all trades, it doesn't really help you out. And this is my Rotten Tomatoes thing. I've been doing that since 2004 when I started movie reviews. Be able to back up opinions. This is really important. A lot of people, they carve out a niche as contrary and just to be a jerk, just to be different. So I have here too movies that have very fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes that I thought were pretty crappy and so my opinions are different from the mainstream opinions out there, but you need to be able to back up them up and they need to be your real opinions. You don't wanna do something just to get attention because you're probably not the only person saying something different. And this thing says Eric Melin agrees with the Tomatometer 80% of the time so I'm not actually that different, but when I'm different if I put out a movie review and it turns out that I hated a movie that everyone else liked, I'm gonna get more clicks. I'm gonna get a lot more people talking about it, but it's not gonna happen all the time. It's only gonna happen when it's real because if I fake it it's fake. People will see through it. They know you're trying to get clicks so just be yourself. Be able to back up your opinions. You don't absolutely have to get a professional headshot, but it wouldn't be a bad idea. At the least this is probably the best guide I've ever seen for your profile photo. It's just as simple as that. Here's some really bad ones and these are from LinkedIn believe it or not. Every one of these is real. These are LinkedIn personal profile photos. That guy's got two beers held up to his head, that guy's got a horse's ass in the background. That's a real logo from somebody's business that they put on their personal LinkedIn page. Terrible logo, terrible idea. Heisenberg, I like Breaking Bad too, but that does not help you. And then just a lot of photos here that show that people don't understand how to take good photos, how to balance contrast or how to size them correctly and I love that that guy's playing a guitar, but I have no idea what he looks like because he's looking away from the camera and wearing a hat and I love that that woman, I think she's a woman, likes to travel, but I can't see her. Doesn't help. So make sure it's recent, make sure it's recognizable. I don't know how many social media conferences I've gone to or I meet somebody in real life and I remember their avatar and I'm like well, huh, this is... So when you grow out your hair and grow a goatee, you gotta change your profile photo. That's just how it works. Post with purpose, this is really, really important. Everything you share is building your brand. Not everything you post, but everything you share of other people's and add your comments to, everything you respond to is building your brand. It will come naturally after awhile. That's the good thing. If you take all those things into consideration and you're consistent about it, it will just happen and you don't have to worry about it anymore. But while you're doing it, stay cognizant of those three things, your values, your interests and your strengths. And sometimes it's even something little that happens in one second and you don't even realize you're doing it. Then you look back later and you're like oh wow, that was a really good example of living your brand and so Bernstein-Rein is a really great ad agency here in Kansas City and I saw this thing on Twitter that went out to their interns. They were doing some sort of training program and it said how many triangles do you see and I have no idea what they're talking about, but it says BR is watching so I was like okay, that's weird. Knowing that my branding is the air guitar guy, I immediately saw a pentagram and I said Dio, Motley Crue, wait I know this, Slayer, I give up. The three bands that use pentagrams in their branding so right there it's like oh branding and personal profile. Incorrect, Eric, but the blessing here is that you're not really intern material now are you, #OverQualified. So I just a compliment from one of the coolest ad agencies in Kansas City talking about metal. And so it's just an example of how all those things just kinda come together and it doesn't have to be original content. So when I performed at the Nelson Atkins doing air guitar there, I thought well a lot of people who think air guitar is really silly and dumb might wanna know that a museum invited me to perform and that may legitimize it in some way so certainly I reposted someone's photo of that and I repost things from my boss at work when he says something that a lot of people find controversial that I agree with and so you're always just kind of finding things that other people post and then putting your own opinions on top of that and being that unique person and exhibiting that unique behavior that makes you different. And always remember if you're worried about sharing things that if you find something valuable, others probably will too. You can become an authority and the most important thing is not to just retweet things all the time, but rather to share content and add more value to it. I do retweet things sometimes, especially from Callahan Creek because I'm the one running that account and usually that's already me kind of talking through Callahan Creek and so sometimes I'll add something to it, but sometimes I'll just retweet it. But for the most part it is always better to say something unique on top of another piece of content. Asking questions, helping others and reciprocation, this is really, really great. You don't want it to just be about you all the time. If you're talking about you all the time, it gets really, really boring. When you have a lot of interests, it's really important to support the people who are doing other things that you're interested in so if there's something going on, you should help other people out and the great thing is is when you need help, they will probably come to your aid because they remember that you retweeted their thing or you told people to go to their thing. So be a true community member. Support others. When you get excited about something, you can post that online. And these are just examples of all the different weird things that I do about stuff that I was interested in that I retweeted and tried to get other people excited about as well. Alright here comes the crazy part. What not to post about. This has become more complicated and I'll talk about that here at the end. Drugs, sex, alcohol, guns. Not great things to talk about unless it's part of your brand. I'm gonna say that a lot. Bad grammar, poor spelling, never good. Try really, really hard to look at everything before you put it out there. We all know because of our president that tweets cannot be edited. Once you put them out there, they're out there forever. Now everyone is not watching our Twitter account like a hawk, taking screenshots of our mistakes and likely you can delete something as soon as it goes up if you realize it, but it's better to just really try to make sure that before you put it out there, that you're not misspelling something. Complaining about your job, really bad idea. Complaining at all, probably a bad idea. Let's be honest, we don't wanna follow a bunch of people who complain all the time on social media unless they're doing some righteous customer service thing. They've been screwed over by an airline or whatever. If that's part of your brand, great. If you're a comedian, great. Complaining is your job, it is your brand as long as it's funny. That's why people follow you. Don't post when you're supposed to be working or not working unless it's part of your brand. Negativity about client-boss-coworker. There was a person who got hired at Callahan Creek and I was going through their social media profiles right after they got hired and I found a lot of things that they would not want out there and I had to tell them about it so that they could take it down because they really hated their last job and they were really public about it. Bad idea Bad idea, complaining about your job. Company secrets, even worse. Kind of a duh. We should all know this. We're social media professionals. You'd be surprised though. No oversharing. I think this is really important as well. It kinda goes with the complaining thing. Again some people have built their brands on it and they're really good writers or comedians and that's great. This is the crazy one. I wrote this slide a couple years ago. Stay away from politics. I've broken that rule 100%. It is part of my brand now apparently to talk about politics and the reason that I made the decision that it was okay to talk about well let's be honest, Trump, is because I feel that Trump is disrespecting the presidency and was disrespecting as a candidate in a way that goes beyond politics. And for me, Trump's... The things that he does every day to anger people to distract us from what's really going on is unique and I don't think it's politics. I think it's beyond that. I think it's part of the fabric of American society and so I've decided that I'm secure in my job. My employer knows my opinions and they're okay with me putting them out there and I'm gonna follow all these other rules and I'm gonna be really responsible and intelligent about the criticisms that I post and I'm not gonna be immature and I'm not gonna be a jerk just to be a jerk and when I post things about what I think is going on in the country that is fundamentally rotting it from the inside, I'm going to be honest and genuine and responsible about it and so I have broken that rule. You may wanna check with your employer before you do the same. I think a lot of people have broken this rule and a lot of people on either side and another thing is I don't unfollow people who I disagree with. I have a ton of people that follow me that I follow that use the maga hashtag and that's great. I do not wanna be insulated from them. I wanna see everything that they have to say and I wanna try to understand where they're coming from, but either way be aware of the bigger picture no matter what you decide to do on the politics issue. This is another example of me breaking one of my rules. Don't post about alcohol. Well I'm in my 40s now so I'm an adult and I don't post about every time I go out and party, but I do use a beer app called Untapped because I'm really into micro brews, but I keep Untapped on Untapped. You can have Untapped go to Facebook, go to Twitter or whatever and then every time you rate a beer online which I rate beers to remember what I really like and I love drinking beers from other cities and other countries and storing them in my app and remembering what I had to drink because it helps me develop my tastes. But I don't share it everywhere else because if I did I might look like an alcoholic. I don't want four updates in one night to go out about these really high content Belgian beers that I'm drinking, especially if I'm just not tweeting that night and it begins to take over my account. It will look really bad, but every now and then I'll break that rule if it goes with my brand and so here I was writing a movie review of a movie that was pretty bad, but also kinda great in that way and I was writing the review, I was drinking a limited edition beer from Boulevard that everybody gets excited about during this time of year and so I tagged Boulevard. I hashtagged it chocolate ale and I made a funny comment and then Boulevard retweeted me and put this great thing out. So while I was breaking the rule, I was also following the rule and if you break it every now and then, I think it's okay as long as you know you're doing it. Lastly, these are the last things I wanna leave you guys with. Really important stuff. Relationships are more important than resumes. If you don't network and participate in person, then this could be you and you don't want this to be you. You don't wanna be sitting on the couch watching TV and just tweeting all day or Facebooking or whatever. You wanna actually get out there and do the stuff that you say you're interested in and meet people face to face and be a part of a real community as well as an online community. The more you connect those two, the better things are gonna be. And then lastly, live your brand, live your values, reach your goals. If you examine your brand and you should do this every now and then, maybe every six months, reexamine it, look at what you're putting out online and go hey, does this match up with who I wanna be and where I'm going right now because that changes, at least for me it changes a lot. And you just have to keep going back and looking at it because it might not be current and you might not be putting that great, the best thing of who you wanna be out there. Lastly, this is the most important thing. When you're online, bring your best self. This applies across the board to anything that you do. Any of the rules that I put in before are more specific. This is the best general thing to live by. If you bring your heart, your soul, your head and your passions and all of your promise, then great things will happen. Thank you. Are we out of time? Do we have time for questions? Five minutes. Yeah? Yes, I get Merlin too, yeah, and Melvin too, yeah. That's a good one. That's a really good question. You ignore them after awhile. I got a little fired up the other night because I saw that new Steven Spielberg movie, The Post, and because I get to see early press screenings and I really, really loved the message which was about how important the free press is and how the president shouldn't be able to delegitimize the free press and this is in the Nixon years. Love the message, hated the movie. I thought the movie was just cloying and annoying and it kept pounding you over the head with its message and I went online and I saw a bunch of people, other film critics. The embargo on social media had just lifted and they were all talking about how great it was and I was mad because I wanted the movie to be better than it was and so I started kind of spouting off to a couple of them and then I started to get trolled from other people who didn't or... This is the problem. When you're a movie critic, you do have unpopular opinions sometimes and apparently mine is very unpopular so at a certain point they kept coming back and being negative back at me and I'm just like hey, we can agree to disagree on this and then you just have to let it go. I guess that's not really trolling, but I have been trolled before just about other things and I think you respond first and you try to correct the problem. If there's a reason for it, you apologize. If not, then you just say hey, we're just gonna differ on this and then you just have to ignore them at that point. I don't block anybody. I've only blocked one person and that was because they were weird and stalky in real life. And then three years later he apologized to me and I friended him back again. Anyone else? Yeah? Yeah. - [Audience Member] They set up to say the Instagram all gets to this... - Yeah. That's a really good idea, but I would still be yourself on all those platforms. Instagram is a great place for visually stunning content. If your interest has a lot of visually stunning content, then it will probably take over more than 50% of your Instagram, but don't be afraid to post a baby photo on there if it's unique and has some sort of novelty and is fun because people wanna know that you're a real person and that you have a baby that you're excited about. But your percentage may be different. On Facebook maybe you're sharing 50% baby photos so each platform can be adjusted for your specific niche and for the thing that you're interested in based on what that platform is good for. So on Instagram I rarely share any political opinions because I'm mostly just sharing photos and images and videos of my life. And so each platform can kind of be what it is, but make sure that your profile kind of lists in order... If you had to make a pie chart of the percentage in that platform that you're gonna post about, make sure that you're going from the biggest percentage to the lowest when you write out your bio so you're telling people what to expect. But yeah, it should be different for every platform, but it shouldn't just be the one thing. My girlfriend has a stained glass business that she runs and 90% of it are stained glass projects that she's working on, but every now and then she'll take a nice photo of our backyard or the greenhouse or something like that because people that like stained glass are probably likely to be interested in gardening and nature and things like that as well. It helps make it more interesting. If it's just stained glass all the time, it's kinda boring. Does that help? Cool. Yes? - You say nobody wants to follow... - Yes. - But can you talk about what your... - Sure. - You hear about all these percentages... - Yeah. - Can you discuss that? - Well I think the percentages are different for everybody. I've seen a chart where they say 80/20 or whatever or 70/20/10 or whatever, 10, I don't do math. But I think it's different for everybody and the most important thing is to remember when you feel... When it's time to post about something that is business-oriented is remember that even if you're B to B, you're still talking to people. You can talk about your boring business, no matter how boring or how specific it is, from a place of real passion and real heart. And you can also be a thought leader so if you have an opinion about something in your business that is really, really specific, that's okay if it doesn't relate to everybody else, but if you talk like a real person instead of using corporate speak or whatever, then people will believe that you have an opinion about this thing or that you're excited. You're exhibiting passion about this thing. And that's great. The more you can personalize the business, the better. If you just are... Let's say your company has a press release that just went out. Don't copy the title of the press release and put that out there. Send the link to the press release and then talk about it as a real person on top of that because nobody wants all of the corporate jargon. They wanna hear from you as a person so that would be my advice is try to find a place for your actual authentic voice as you're talking about your business. And again, especially on Twitter, don't worry about alienating people. Don't worry about oh, I've just posted another post about shipping, about my boring shipping business. Nobody cares about that. Well that's okay. The people who are on Twitter at that point may get it, but if you're not on Twitter at that point, you're probably not going to see it. I will repost things that are important to me two or three times over the week if I'm posting five or six times a day and I'll do them at different times of the day because the chances are not everybody is online to see that. So if you feel like you're overburdening everybody with a bunch of stuff that they don't want, just remember they probably haven't seen half to three quarters of it. And also you can retweet the same thing or you can put a different opinion or say something interesting about the same thing more than once as long as it's not exactly the same thing. Does that make sense? Yep? Okay, so you're talking about Facebook specifically and you have a personal Facebook account and then your business has a Facebook page which is a business page? Okay. So those two things are very different. Yeah, they behave very differently and you should have that. The nice thing... They said you shouldn't? So a business page on Facebook is a business page on Facebook and you should have that, absolutely 100%. Your personal page if you want on Facebook and Facebook a lot of times is treated differently by other people, but if on Facebook you want your personal Facebook profile to be integrated with your business page, then the great thing that you can do is you can post from either account and you can share things from either account on either page. Now what happens is the people that go specifically to your business page start to see that this is not just a company. It's a company run by a woman who has these great opinions and who is amazing and is okay putting herself into the company and making that a part of the brand and if you're posting, reposting stuff from the business account that you've posted personally and then you make your Facebook page public, then all of a sudden you're using Facebook the same way most people use LinkedIn and Twitter. But you have to be okay with that because the moment you make your personal Facebook page public and you switch that privacy setting, everything that you say on Facebook can be seen by anybody instead of people who are just your friends. A lot of people will make Facebook the one place where they don't do that. So in this I was talking generally. I talk about LinkedIn and Twitter and not so much about Facebook for that reason. I think each platform you need to have specific boundaries and things that you do. On Facebook myself, my page is public. Everything on there is public. When Callahan Creek writes about me speaking or something like that they tag me so if you're on the Callahan Creek page and you see Eric is speaking, you'll see the link to Eric and you can click on it and go right to my page because I want it that way, but not everybody wants it that way. If you're okay with that, you follow all these rules, it can be great. It could be really beneficial. Yeah. Well no. Again the business page and the personal page interacting with each other. Do not get rid of your Facebook business page. We can talk more specifically about this afterwards because this is... Facebook is different. All of this stuff is gonna be specific to you. As a general rule I think everybody's better off doing this, but do not abandon your business page. Absolutely do not. Does that make sense? Okay. Sorry. Thanks guys.- - Are you guys ready to rock? - [Audience Member] Sure. - Alright, this is more of the social media presentation than the air guitar presentation, but you are gonna get a little air guitar in there. So just in case people are wondering. I'm SceneStealrEric on Twitter. This is the hashtag to use. Again I won't be offended if I see the top of your head. I'm used to it. This presentation is about something that I just kinda figured out from working in social media over the last nine years. And a lot of people come to me and especially I give this to a lot of college students, this presentation, but it definitely works for professionals at any stage of your life and we're gonna talk today about this fallacy that you need to have a professional social media presence and also a personal social media presence. My opinion is that they should be one and the same and that if they are one and the same, you will get farther in your life and farther in your career and do better at the goals and the things that you are trying to achieve. And so that's what we're going to talk about today. At first it's gonna be about kinda my personal journey and how I figured that stuff out, but then I'm gonna give you some really helpful tips and ideas from reinventing yourself or rebranding yourself from the ground up. This is not about your business, but it's about anybody that does social media professionally and being able to combine your personal tastes with your professional life and being able to benefit from both of those. So that's what we're gonna talk about today. So in that respect that's why it's called Melding Your Personal and Professional Brand Online or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace Air Guitar. And that is an actual picture of me in Finland the day after winning the air guitar world championships in 2013. An unexpected and amazing moment in my life. We're not really gonna talk about that too much today, but it did give me this opportunity to kinda figure out what it really means when you have something that you do in your life that most people would consider to not be professional. Most people don't even really know what it is, but I'm been doing that pretty much all my life and I think that being able to blend your real persona and the person that you are and the interests and the values that you hold with your professional life is actually gonna help. So let's start from the ground up and I'm gonna go really quick because there's 61 slides in here and I wanna get them done in about 40 minutes. So you may not know it, but you already have a personal brand. People can google you, they can find you on multiple social media accounts and if you're not careful like young Cella here was on Twitter who says I love all my bitches ain't got no man. I think she meant man. It says mane. I'm not really sure. There's a good chance that your personal brand will get you fired before you even start your job. So she tweeted this out ooh, I start this blank, blank job tomorrow and her boss found that and said no, you don't start that job today. I just fired you, good luck. So this sounds like a jerk I don't wanna work for anyway, but this does prove that there are a lot of people out there searching for you on social media. In fact one of my jobs as social media community manager at Callahan Creek is to manage the ad agency's social profile and when we hire people or even before we hire people, I am looking people up online and sending stuff to our HR department. So if you apply for a job at Callahan Creek and your social media profiles and your google search is not in order, know that it will be discovered. So this is really, really important stuff. This is an extreme example of it, but she also got... I found out about it because Time Magazine covered this story. So employers use social media too, kids. That is the important thing to know. What's really cool is that 93% of managers will review your profile before they give you a job offer. One out of three rejected candidates based on something found in their social media profiles, but even better than that, 92% of companies use social media for recruitment so what that means is if you're active on social media and you're doing a great job, you have a huge leg up over the people who aren't. 79% have found candidates through LinkedIn, 26% Facebook and 14% through Twitter. So why would you build a personal brand? Well what it does is it shows your prospective employer that you can... Honestly that you understand modern communication practices because social media isn't just social media anymore. It's everything. If you understand how to use social media, then that shows your employer that you also understand these five concepts. So you can build credibility with your target audience, showcase a specialty which is really important, differentiating yourself from the competition, refining and developing your focus. I'm gonna talk about that a lot in this presentation. And what that means is you think that you're starting out talking about one thing and then two years later, you find out wow I just morphed into a whole nother brand or a whole nother thing because my goals have changed and I wanna do this instead or whatever. And then lastly and this is the most important one, it forces you to be consistent and reliable. And anybody who works in social media will tell you that this is the number one most important thing. You don't wanna just put something out there on a platform and then have that disappear and then you haven't posted on it in two months and nothing's happening. So the more that you can be consistent and reliable, the better and all of these things are attractive to employers. So I really, really like this quote from Fast Company. It says increasingly job hunters are tapping into their social networks and connecting with peers currently employed in their chosen field to find out about job opportunities that haven't been posted publicly. So we already know if you're doing great on social media, you have a leg up over other people trying to get a job. Now what they're saying is that if you're doing all this and your social networking and you're meeting people in real life and connecting those audiences, you're gonna get job offers or you're gonna find out about jobs before they're even posted publicly. How amazing is that, right? So now we're talking about two extra legs up that you have on the people who aren't using social media. So you need to take control of your brand. You need to tell your own story. The last thing you wanna do is let the web do that for you. That info is already out there and the sooner that you begin shaping it online and owning it, is gonna be the better for you. And you can't start soon enough. This is an example of someone named Eric Melin apparently. This is his website. He has ericmelin.com and I started using social media professionally in 2008 and by the time I looked into owning my own domain name, I found out that this jerk has it already. And his website sucks. This is still what it looks like. I don't even know what a worker tier is, but he's got a word cloud with a bunch of social media buzzwords in there. He's got jpegs that don't work anymore. He hasn't posted since 2010. We're gonna revisit Eric later, but I'm just saying you can't start soon enough. Jeff Bezos has this quote, personal brand is about, is what people say about you when you leave the room. And I really, really like that quote because it's not just about social media. But this is the thing. There's this fallacy and I worked with people at previous jobs who had two different social media accounts on the same platform. There was a guy I worked with on Twitter. He had his personal account where he would talk to all of his friends and he would keep it locked and they would talk about sports and politics and things like that. And then another one that he had that was his professional one and so that's where he would do all of his business networking and things like that. And what happened is he like most people spread their energies too thin. They end up using one and not the other or they end up using both of them poorly and then nothing ever really gets accomplished from it. So what I'm saying is that your brand should not just reflect job-oriented stuff. It should interesting facets of your personality and it should give people a reason to wanna follow you outside of your professional expertise. And this is really important. It's kind of a cliche now actually in social media. We used to say this back in the early days of this club. Be genuine and be yourself. Well it's really, really true. The great thing about it now is that I've come to understand that there are so many niche interests in the world. There are so many people out there who can now connect who you thought were... You were the only one that liked this certain thing like let's say crocheting cats or whatever. It's like who knew that there was like this hundreds of thousands of other people out there that were into that. Or air guitar. I had no idea there was a worldwide air guitar community. That was something I never would've understood and I didn't even tweet about it or talk about it on social media until I won because I didn't really know how to talk about it because I didn't understand it, but there are people out there with similar interests so if you are yourself you will find other people who are real. And this is a really good point. You guys know who Jason Falls is? Has anyone seen him speak before? He's a really great author and real people have hobbies and they have professional goals and what I like about Jason's bio here on Twitter is that it kinda says everything. So he has father, author, speaker, humorist. That says a lot in four words. Allegedly wise to the ways of PR, digital marketing and social media, SVP at Go Elastic and then the last thing is I like bourbon. This is awesome because Jason has a personal brand built on all these different things and people come to him for advice on social media and marketing, but he is now known because he wrote a book and got a large following and because he wrote I like bourbon in his bio as a bourbon expert. So guess what happens to Jason all the time? Free bourbon, yes. Companies are constantly sending him small batches to talk about online and what's better than that. So that's actually why I became a movie critic, free movies. It's like wow. So having a hobby and professional goal is really, really important and you can have all these little sub-brands that fit in with your personal values that you're interested in that will make you a more interesting person to follow. And so overall, all of these that I've talked about so far, when I say that it's not just social media, it shows that having a personal brand that you can manage shows that you're intelligent, media savvy and you understand business communication best practices because yes, you're being yourself and yes, this is your personal brand, but especially if you're putting the name of your company in your bio like I do, the very first thing on there is senior social media community manager at Callahan Creek, you understand best practices and business communications and a lot of people don't understand that. They think that oh, this is just someone being themselves and a lot of time it'll retweets are not endorsements and that's probably mandated by a company policy and that's a really smart thing to have in there. But don't for a moment think that somebody is just using, somebody who does this is just using social media for personal means. This shows that you have a better understanding of all that. So now we're gonna go into some fun stuff about me really quick. Your personal brand can morph and change over time. This is what I looked like about 15 years ago and that's what I look like now. And all of this stuff happened in between and it was a really long journey to try to figure out... These are actual personal profile photos that I've used over the time that I've been in social media and I was trying to figure out what's the best way to do this. Eventually it's funny because I started out as this smiling guy with short hair who played in a band and then I ended up as this smiling guy with long hair who plays air guitar, but yeah. I'm actually a drummer. I play the real drums. I have no idea how to play the guitar. But the important thing here is that I came back to myself and I realized this thing. When I was going through the air guitar thing, I branded myself as Mean Melin because I never wanted anybody to mispronounce my last name again and I thought if it's called Mean Melin, it rhymes. No one will ever get it wrong. And then the first... When I won the world championship it said Mean Melvis wins. I was like Melvis, really, that's not even close, but that happened in Finland. That's what they had put out on Facebook right after I won and so now when I go back to Finland I'm Melvis which is kind of fun. So I have a nickname. But what I realized was that Mean Melin is a fun name and it's a persona to have onstage to act like this tough metal guy even though I'm not that person in real life, but it's a weird brand. You don't want a scowling person as your profile photo, no matter if that's your character or not. And it's just not me when I'm offstage so I eventually came back to the smiling photograph because I think it represents me better and I think it's better for business frankly. You don't wanna look like a jerk. People don't wanna follow somebody who looks like a jerk. I'll just take you really quickly. This was my band 15 years ago. It was called Ultimate Fake Book. We toured around in a van. We made a living at it for four or five years. It was really fun, but we were the worst marketers of all time. This was even before social media and we used to make fun of the bands that were on the phone with their record label talking about moving units. If I would've known now what I knew then or if I... You know what I'm trying to say. We would've been a lot more successful, but we broke up. But this is what I looked like back then and... I guess what I'm trying to say is that I came full circle and realized the power of taking control of your personal brand. We didn't own anything and we didn't work really hard at that and we just tried to make music and play it well. And these days that's not enough. But at least I didn't think I knew because when the band broke up and I went back to school at KU and got a film degree, I started trying out for all these game shows and I got on this one game show from VH1 called World Series of Pop Culture and what I realized after passing the test is that we needed to create characters. This is part reality show and part game show and we needed to create characters that were bigger than life so that people would remember us and so when we were doing our interviews which is the real reason that they cast you on these shows, we told them that we were smart asses from Kansas and the three of us had all played in bands before and so we created this persona of these guys from the Midwest who were really smart at trivia, but were also smart asses and that's when I figured out that you can wear a suit coat over a T-shirt and get away with it. So this is our preview from VH1. And so we had fun. We got to do all kinds of little commercials and stuff like that. And so what I realized is that oh, shit, I'm branding. I'm taking control of my image at this point and then after I graduated from film school, I started a website and decided if I wanted to be a film critic, I should just start doing it. No one will hire me, but I'm just gonna create my own website. We started doing YouTube video movie reviews and then all of a sudden publicists started calling me and asking me to interview movie stars when they came town and so all of a sudden that weird hobby was legitimized just because I... And so I would do things like this before I was even ready for it. So yeah, clearly I was not ready for that, but I just jumped in with both feet and did it anyway and then when I got a job in social media at Spiral 16 which was a local social media monitoring platform, all of a sudden I found myself in New York and this is really boring so I'm not gonna show it with the sound up really. But I'm in New York City at the Pivot Conference, Brian Solis is hosting and all of a sudden I'm presenting a social media case study and it's like all of this stuff is kind of happening and I'm just kind of running with it, but there's no connective tissue. My professional life online I just looked like this and this was what I was trying to do, but ironically my hair was getting longer because I was doing air guitar and I figured wigs fall off so I may as well start growing my hair and get that little advantage over everybody else because it looks cool. But then I was doing movie reviews on KCTV5 and the weird thing is that you don't expect your local morning movie critic to look like this and this was that weird stage where the hair was growing out and it's looking really bad. So melding these personalities just became more and more challenging, but then when I did win the air guitar world championship, I was famous for like two days all over the internet. I was like my 15 minutes and it was really fun. So I tweeted Keith Olbermann and I said dude, you mispronounced my name and he apologized. Keith Olbermann apologized. That was really strange. And then one day, again high profile on social media, kind of embracing the air guitar because I'm starting to get known for it. I got a call from the BBC on the way to work and they asked me to Skype in because a Cambridge professor had a study that proved that playing air guitar improves your creativity. True study and so all of a sudden, I'm Skyping in from work at my cubicle to the BBC and it was at that point that I kinda realized I better go with this. This is a thing. I had my T-shirt in the car by the way. I was really lucky to have that. I love that shot. I had no idea I was talking to a guy that looked like that because you can't see anything when you're doing this. You're on Skype. But that guy was awesome. This was a whole nother story. If you wanna see me talk about creativity, that's a whole nother deal. So anyway what I'm trying to say is that just go with it. Whatever you get into and whatever works for you and whatever you think is too weird or too strange or it doesn't fit with something else, there's a really good chance that it does. I'm the air guitar social media guy. Who knew? So you just have to kinda go with it. Nobody wants to interact with a company stooge. So now if you're a company, you can get away with being broadcast only. We follow magazines and we follow media outlets because we want to know the articles that they're promoting and certainly their social media profiles are just putting those articles out there so it's just a great place to find links. But real people need to create their own content and they need to curate their content and they need to engage as themselves. So you can see here out of four things in a row, only one of them is me actually putting out something. The other three are me talking to other people about stuff. So this is where it gets kinda weird and hopefully this will be helpful to you. I only went back and retroactively figured this stuff out, but I did kinda come up with a plan to help people get started in case they're not there already. I'm really, really bad at self examination, but you kinda have to be a narcissist to be on social media a little bit so the first step is to log out of your Gmail account, your google account, your YouTube account. Whatever you have, log out of it and google yourself because your results are gonna be personalized if you stay logged in. They know who you are and they're gonna serve you up the results that they think you want. So log out of everything and google yourself and see how you're doing. I'm kind of kicking Eric Melin's ass. This is pretty good. He's way down here and he has two photos out of six over here so the SEO guy, the self-proclaimed SEO guy, I'm kicking his ass so I really like that. This is a great way on the first page to figure out how you're doing. Try to get your name as a unique URL everywhere. So SceneStealrEric is not just my Twitter name. It's also linkedin.com/EricMelin. It's also my Instagram. And unfortunately... Sorry, SceneStealrEric is because Eric Melin got all those other things. He beat me to LinkedIn. If you have a really common name, this is really difficult and this is where a brand name becomes even more important because if you have a branded name that's unique, then you can own that as your URL. And so that's what I did so I have /SceneStealrEric on Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn as well and so the weird thing is is Scene Stealers was my movie review website and I still have it after what, 13 years, but it's not my main focus anymore which is kinda weird. But I've owned it for so long now, I'm not really gonna go back and change it. So anyway one way to get started which is really great is just look at the people in your field, whatever you do, who are successful and see how they're doing it first. Get the lay of the land, see what they're doing. Look at the people that have reached the goals that you wanna reach and figure out how they're using social media and it's gonna be different for each vertical. It depends on what you're in. I said this before. Do not spread yourself too thin. Be strategic and be consistent. Just because all of these platforms exist doesn't mean that you need to be on all of them. Find the ones that work for you, maintain those and drop the rest. Let the rest fall away. We don't have enough time. Trust me. And if you're gonna have a homepage, I'm gonna keep coming back to Eric, keep it current. Yeah, this is... You can go look at it later. I think 2012 I think. Yeah, 2012 was the last time he posted and he still owns this URL. Time for self examination. This is where you have to define yourself, okay. So I found this online and this was a really nice Venn diagram. It says values, strengths and your why or your purpose are the three things that define you and the Venn diagram right there in the middle, if something hits all those three things in the middle, that's the sweet spot that you're trying to achieve. So I'm gonna go through this and I'm gonna talk about... I changed it slightly for myself because the purpose thing was a little too weird for me. So what are your values? This is really, really important. This is how you can define yourself. Here's some examples. Friends, family, hard work, positivity, community. What are the things that matter to you? Now you'll notice that all of things on this list are positive. That's really important, okay. That's probably a duh to everybody in this room at this point, but these are all positive things. These are values that most people consider to be worthwhile and useful and positive and so you're looking for these things and it's okay to write this down. It's okay to have it at your desk even to remind yourself of the things that are important to you when you're looking for content to share or to create and then you look at the thing and you're like oh yeah, well I am expressing that value because you're yourself already, but how we express ourself online is the whole point. So how can you express those values? So then what I did on the strengths one is I added goal to that because I think that's really easy for everybody to understand. So now instead of just talking about strengths, we're talking about the things that you're naturally good at, how you can help inform, entertain others. What unique qualities can you express, that's the strength category, but now if you take your strengths, how can you tie those into your personal and professional goals. That's the really important part. Who knew that I was going to be able to tie the media attention that I got as an air guitarist into meeting some of my professional goals? It's absolutely helped me. At this point I've done a TEDx talk on creativity and the creativity was all because of a problem that I solved when I was trying to win the air guitar world championship and that novelty in and of itself made an interesting story and it was a way to express how I solved the problem creatively and all of a sudden creative problem-solving is kind of what I do every day in my job so it helped. So if you can tie your personal and professional goals into the things that you're already good at, that is gonna be really, really effective for you. And then lastly, I took out the why, find out your why, your purpose because that's just a little bit too weird. I'm not good at self examination and I just put interests because I have a lot of interests. I'm kinda schizophrenic online because I have so many things that I'm interested in. They're all expressed in the bio so if you follow me, you kinda know what you're gonna get, but now we're doing the same thing we did with strengths. How do your interests reinforce your personality? How do they resonate with your followers? What unique opinions can you offer on those interests? So kinda the same thing as strengths and then again of course, how does it dovetail with your values and your strengths so if you think about all three of those things together, you have a really good foundation for what your brand is gonna look like. And you can write all this stuff down and try and figure it out and then look at your profile and figure out how to best say that so that when people follow you, they know exactly what they're gonna get. And then lastly, if this is too weird for you, some people will find that you can just ask a friend to name the first thing that comes to mind when they think about who you are and this actually works because your friends know you really well and they like you already so if you're asking somebody else what they think of you, you're essentially asking for a compliment because you're asking a friend and if your friends give you a consistent amount of feedback about the type of person you are, if you're really bad at self examination, you probably are that type of person. So now you just have to figure out like any brand anything that we would normally do in marketing how we're gonna express those things. So if all else fails give this a try. Your first step is to build a hub for your brand. Is anyone familiar with these platforms here? I have a Squarespace site, an about.me site and a WordPress site so I'm using three out of these already. There's probably more. There's more popping up every day. The great thing is is you do not have to know a lot about coding to make a website anymore. There's so many great platforms that take care of everything for you. You can drag and drop, have a very limited amount of HTML knowledge and still have a great place for your brand. This is my about.me page and the reason that I like this is because I have my bio here. I put my number one thing that I do at the top. Visit my website goes to my speaking website and then all of the... My bio here I put links in it so it goes to all of the things. It's kinda like an online resume in a way and then below that all of the platforms that I'm active on and so this is a really great place. It's free, by the way, about.me is, about.me. It's a really great place to point people if you are schizophrenic and you have tons of things that you do and there's no really way to explain everything that you do. This is a good place to do that. And so that link goes to airguitarseminar.com which I also bought ericmeanmelin.com because Eric Melin already has ericmelin.com and I kind of owned it and so I turned this into a professional speaking site and I decided I'm really gonna take my own advice and differentiate myself. Instead of a photo of me with a suit coat on talking to a room full of people to try to get jobs wearing a suit coat and talking to a room full of people, I decided to use a photo the night before I won in Finland at the Dark Horse when I won the Dark Horse thing which was also very unexpected and I was on fire. My head was buzzing and everyone in the room was going crazy and so I just right away inspirational talks don't have to suck. So I'm planting my flag in the sand and trying to be as different as possible. Sometimes it works really well, other times not so much, but that's how I decided to brand myself. Make sure your bio tels people exactly what to expect. On Twitter and on LinkedIn, you can see that all of the things that I want to be known for are listed first and then it kinda slowly goes down down the... The things that I don't need as much. But then book me to speak is right there, Lawrence, Kansas and then it goes to airguitarseminar.com. So make sure all that stuff is updated and you're gonna have to recalibrate. I'll come back to this in a second, but look at your bio a lot and make sure that it reflects where you want to go and what your current goals are at the moment. I looked at it a couple years ago and I was like oh wow, I still scene-stealers.com as my main website and it's like that hobby is just one of many hobbies I have. It's not something I'm trying to make a career out of anymore so why is that website on there. Again carve out your niche, differentiate yourself, exhibit unique opinions. I saw this thing from Forbes, this headline from Forbes in an article that I really liked about why jack of all trades is the worst personal brand and then I searched online and found a ton of people that had in their Twitter bios jack of all trades. And it's just bad, it's terrible because you can't get anyone, you can't get known for anything when you say you're good at everything. There's a lot of people out there who are probably better than you at things so if you're a jack of all trades, it doesn't really help you out. And this is my Rotten Tomatoes thing. I've been doing that since 2004 when I started movie reviews. Be able to back up opinions. This is really important. A lot of people, they carve out a niche as contrary and just to be a jerk, just to be different. So I have here too movies that have very fresh ratings on Rotten Tomatoes that I thought were pretty crappy and so my opinions are different from the mainstream opinions out there, but you need to be able to back up them up and they need to be your real opinions. You don't wanna do something just to get attention because you're probably not the only person saying something different. And this thing says Eric Melin agrees with the Tomatometer 80% of the time so I'm not actually that different, but when I'm different if I put out a movie review and it turns out that I hated a movie that everyone else liked, I'm gonna get more clicks. I'm gonna get a lot more people talking about it, but it's not gonna happen all the time. It's only gonna happen when it's real because if I fake it it's fake. People will see through it. They know you're trying to get clicks so just be yourself. Be able to back up your opinions. You don't absolutely have to get a professional headshot, but it wouldn't be a bad idea. At the least this is probably the best guide I've ever seen for your profile photo. It's just as simple as that. Here's some really bad ones and these are from LinkedIn believe it or not. Every one of these is real. These are LinkedIn personal profile photos. That guy's got two beers held up to his head, that guy's got a horse's ass in the background. That's a real logo from somebody's business that they put on their personal LinkedIn page. Terrible logo, terrible idea. Heisenberg, I like Breaking Bad too, but that does not help you. And then just a lot of photos here that show that people don't understand how to take good photos, how to balance contrast or how to size them correctly and I love that that guy's playing a guitar, but I have no idea what he looks like because he's looking away from the camera and wearing a hat and I love that that woman, I think she's a woman, likes to travel, but I can't see her. Doesn't help. So make sure it's recent, make sure it's recognizable. I don't know how many social media conferences I've gone to or I meet somebody in real life and I remember their avatar and I'm like well, huh, this is... So when you grow out your hair and grow a goatee, you gotta change your profile photo. That's just how it works. Post with purpose, this is really, really important. Everything you share is building your brand. Not everything you post, but everything you share of other people's and add your comments to, everything you respond to is building your brand. It will come naturally after awhile. That's the good thing. If you take all those things into consideration and you're consistent about it, it will just happen and you don't have to worry about it anymore. But while you're doing it, stay cognizant of those three things, your values, your interests and your strengths. And sometimes it's even something little that happens in one second and you don't even realize you're doing it. Then you look back later and you're like oh wow, that was a really good example of living your brand and so Bernstein-Rein is a really great ad agency here in Kansas City and I saw this thing on Twitter that went out to their interns. They were doing some sort of training program and it said how many triangles do you see and I have no idea what they're talking about, but it says BR is watching so I was like okay, that's weird. Knowing that my branding is the air guitar guy, I immediately saw a pentagram and I said Dio, Motley Crue, wait I know this, Slayer, I give up. The three bands that use pentagrams in their branding so right there it's like oh branding and personal profile. Incorrect, Eric, but the blessing here is that you're not really intern material now are you, #OverQualified. So I just a compliment from one of the coolest ad agencies in Kansas City talking about metal. And so it's just an example of how all those things just kinda come together and it doesn't have to be original content. So when I performed at the Nelson Atkins doing air guitar there, I thought well a lot of people who think air guitar is really silly and dumb might wanna know that a museum invited me to perform and that may legitimize it in some way so certainly I reposted someone's photo of that and I repost things from my boss at work when he says something that a lot of people find controversial that I agree with and so you're always just kind of finding things that other people post and then putting your own opinions on top of that and being that unique person and exhibiting that unique behavior that makes you different. And always remember if you're worried about sharing things that if you find something valuable, others probably will too. You can become an authority and the most important thing is not to just retweet things all the time, but rather to share content and add more value to it. I do retweet things sometimes, especially from Callahan Creek because I'm the one running that account and usually that's already me kind of talking through Callahan Creek and so sometimes I'll add something to it, but sometimes I'll just retweet it. But for the most part it is always better to say something unique on top of another piece of content. Asking questions, helping others and reciprocation, this is really, really great. You don't want it to just be about you all the time. If you're talking about you all the time, it gets really, really boring. When you have a lot of interests, it's really important to support the people who are doing other things that you're interested in so if there's something going on, you should help other people out and the great thing is is when you need help, they will probably come to your aid because they remember that you retweeted their thing or you told people to go to their thing. So be a true community member. Support others. When you get excited about something, you can post that online. And these are just examples of all the different weird things that I do about stuff that I was interested in that I retweeted and tried to get other people excited about as well. Alright here comes the crazy part. What not to post about. This has become more complicated and I'll talk about that here at the end. Drugs, sex, alcohol, guns. Not great things to talk about unless it's part of your brand. I'm gonna say that a lot. Bad grammar, poor spelling, never good. Try really, really hard to look at everything before you put it out there. We all know because of our president that tweets cannot be edited. Once you put them out there, they're out there forever. Now everyone is not watching our Twitter account like a hawk, taking screenshots of our mistakes and likely you can delete something as soon as it goes up if you realize it, but it's better to just really try to make sure that before you put it out there, that you're not misspelling something. Complaining about your job, really bad idea. Complaining at all, probably a bad idea. Let's be honest, we don't wanna follow a bunch of people who complain all the time on social media unless they're doing some righteous customer service thing. They've been screwed over by an airline or whatever. If that's part of your brand, great. If you're a comedian, great. Complaining is your job, it is your brand as long as it's funny. That's why people follow you. Don't post when you're supposed to be working or not working unless it's part of your brand. Negativity about client-boss-coworker. There was a person who got hired at Callahan Creek and I was going through their social media profiles right after they got hired and I found a lot of things that they would not want out there and I had to tell them about it so that they could take it down because they really hated their last job and they were really public about it. Bad idea Bad idea, complaining about your job. Company secrets, even worse. Kind of a duh. We should all know this. We're social media professionals. You'd be surprised though. No oversharing. I think this is really important as well. It kinda goes with the complaining thing. Again some people have built their brands on it and they're really good writers or comedians and that's great. This is the crazy one. I wrote this slide a couple years ago. Stay away from politics. I've broken that rule 100%. It is part of my brand now apparently to talk about politics and the reason that I made the decision that it was okay to talk about well let's be honest, Trump, is because I feel that Trump is disrespecting the presidency and was disrespecting as a candidate in a way that goes beyond politics. And for me, Trump's... The things that he does every day to anger people to distract us from what's really going on is unique and I don't think it's politics. I think it's beyond that. I think it's part of the fabric of American society and so I've decided that I'm secure in my job. My employer knows my opinions and they're okay with me putting them out there and I'm gonna follow all these other rules and I'm gonna be really responsible and intelligent about the criticisms that I post and I'm not gonna be immature and I'm not gonna be a jerk just to be a jerk and when I post things about what I think is going on in the country that is fundamentally rotting it from the inside, I'm going to be honest and genuine and responsible about it and so I have broken that rule. You may wanna check with your employer before you do the same. I think a lot of people have broken this rule and a lot of people on either side and another thing is I don't unfollow people who I disagree with. I have a ton of people that follow me that I follow that use the maga hashtag and that's great. I do not wanna be insulated from them. I wanna see everything that they have to say and I wanna try to understand where they're coming from, but either way be aware of the bigger picture no matter what you decide to do on the politics issue. This is another example of me breaking one of my rules. Don't post about alcohol. Well I'm in my 40s now so I'm an adult and I don't post about every time I go out and party, but I do use a beer app called Untapped because I'm really into micro brews, but I keep Untapped on Untapped. You can have Untapped go to Facebook, go to Twitter or whatever and then every time you rate a beer online which I rate beers to remember what I really like and I love drinking beers from other cities and other countries and storing them in my app and remembering what I had to drink because it helps me develop my tastes. But I don't share it everywhere else because if I did I might look like an alcoholic. I don't want four updates in one night to go out about these really high content Belgian beers that I'm drinking, especially if I'm just not tweeting that night and it begins to take over my account. It will look really bad, but every now and then I'll break that rule if it goes with my brand and so here I was writing a movie review of a movie that was pretty bad, but also kinda great in that way and I was writing the review, I was drinking a limited edition beer from Boulevard that everybody gets excited about during this time of year and so I tagged Boulevard. I hashtagged it chocolate ale and I made a funny comment and then Boulevard retweeted me and put this great thing out. So while I was breaking the rule, I was also following the rule and if you break it every now and then, I think it's okay as long as you know you're doing it. Lastly, these are the last things I wanna leave you guys with. Really important stuff. Relationships are more important than resumes. If you don't network and participate in person, then this could be you and you don't want this to be you. You don't wanna be sitting on the couch watching TV and just tweeting all day or Facebooking or whatever. You wanna actually get out there and do the stuff that you say you're interested in and meet people face to face and be a part of a real community as well as an online community. The more you connect those two, the better things are gonna be. And then lastly, live your brand, live your values, reach your goals. If you examine your brand and you should do this every now and then, maybe every six months, reexamine it, look at what you're putting out online and go hey, does this match up with who I wanna be and where I'm going right now because that changes, at least for me it changes a lot. And you just have to keep going back and looking at it because it might not be current and you might not be putting that great, the best thing of who you wanna be out there. Lastly, this is the most important thing. When you're online, bring your best self. This applies across the board to anything that you do. Any of the rules that I put in before are more specific. This is the best general thing to live by. If you bring your heart, your soul, your head and your passions and all of your promise, then great things will happen. Thank you. Are we out of time? Do we have time for questions? Five minutes. Yeah? Yes, I get Merlin too, yeah, and Melvin too, yeah. That's a good one. That's a really good question. You ignore them after awhile. I got a little fired up the other night because I saw that new Steven Spielberg movie, The Post, and because I get to see early press screenings and I really, really loved the message which was about how important the free press is and how the president shouldn't be able to delegitimize the free press and this is in the Nixon years. Love the message, hated the movie. I thought the movie was just cloying and annoying and it kept pounding you over the head with its message and I went online and I saw a bunch of people, other film critics. The embargo on social media had just lifted and they were all talking about how great it was and I was mad because I wanted the movie to be better than it was and so I started kind of spouting off to a couple of them and then I started to get trolled from other people who didn't or... This is the problem. When you're a movie critic, you do have unpopular opinions sometimes and apparently mine is very unpopular so at a certain point they kept coming back and being negative back at me and I'm just like hey, we can agree to disagree on this and then you just have to let it go. I guess that's not really trolling, but I have been trolled before just about other things and I think you respond first and you try to correct the problem. If there's a reason for it, you apologize. If not, then you just say hey, we're just gonna differ on this and then you just have to ignore them at that point. I don't block anybody. I've only blocked one person and that was because they were weird and stalky in real life. And then three years later he apologized to me and I friended him back again. Anyone else? Yeah? Yeah. - [Audience Member] They set up to say the Instagram all gets to this... - Yeah. That's a really good idea, but I would still be yourself on all those platforms. Instagram is a great place for visually stunning content. If your interest has a lot of visually stunning content, then it will probably take over more than 50% of your Instagram, but don't be afraid to post a baby photo on there if it's unique and has some sort of novelty and is fun because people wanna know that you're a real person and that you have a baby that you're excited about. But your percentage may be different. On Facebook maybe you're sharing 50% baby photos so each platform can be adjusted for your specific niche and for the thing that you're interested in based on what that platform is good for. So on Instagram I rarely share any political opinions because I'm mostly just sharing photos and images and videos of my life. And so each platform can kind of be what it is, but make sure that your profile kind of lists in order... If you had to make a pie chart of the percentage in that platform that you're gonna post about, make sure that you're going from the biggest percentage to the lowest when you write out your bio so you're telling people what to expect. But yeah, it should be different for every platform, but it shouldn't just be the one thing. My girlfriend has a stained glass business that she runs and 90% of it are stained glass projects that she's working on, but every now and then she'll take a nice photo of our backyard or the greenhouse or something like that because people that like stained glass are probably likely to be interested in gardening and nature and things like that as well. It helps make it more interesting. If it's just stained glass all the time, it's kinda boring. Does that help? Cool. Yes? - You say nobody wants to follow... - Yes. - But can you talk about what your... - Sure. - You hear about all these percentages... - Yeah. - Can you discuss that? - Well I think the percentages are different for everybody. I've seen a chart where they say 80/20 or whatever or 70/20/10 or whatever, 10, I don't do math. But I think it's different for everybody and the most important thing is to remember when you feel... When it's time to post about something that is business-oriented is remember that even if you're B to B, you're still talking to people. You can talk about your boring business, no matter how boring or how specific it is, from a place of real passion and real heart. And you can also be a thought leader so if you have an opinion about something in your business that is really, really specific, that's okay if it doesn't relate to everybody else, but if you talk like a real person instead of using corporate speak or whatever, then people will believe that you have an opinion about this thing or that you're excited. You're exhibiting passion about this thing. And that's great. The more you can personalize the business, the better. If you just are... Let's say your company has a press release that just went out. Don't copy the title of the press release and put that out there. Send the link to the press release and then talk about it as a real person on top of that because nobody wants all of the corporate jargon. They wanna hear from you as a person so that would be my advice is try to find a place for your actual authentic voice as you're talking about your business. And again, especially on Twitter, don't worry about alienating people. Don't worry about oh, I've just posted another post about shipping, about my boring shipping business. Nobody cares about that. Well that's okay. The people who are on Twitter at that point may get it, but if you're not on Twitter at that point, you're probably not going to see it. I will repost things that are important to me two or three times over the week if I'm posting five or six times a day and I'll do them at different times of the day because the chances are not everybody is online to see that. So if you feel like you're overburdening everybody with a bunch of stuff that they don't want, just remember they probably haven't seen half to three quarters of it. And also you can retweet the same thing or you can put a different opinion or say something interesting about the same thing more than once as long as it's not exactly the same thing. Does that make sense? Yep? Okay, so you're talking about Facebook specifically and you have a personal Facebook account and then your business has a Facebook page which is a business page? Okay. So those two things are very different. Yeah, they behave very differently and you should have that. The nice thing... They said you shouldn't? So a business page on Facebook is a business page on Facebook and you should have that, absolutely 100%. Your personal page if you want on Facebook and Facebook a lot of times is treated differently by other people, but if on Facebook you want your personal Facebook profile to be integrated with your business page, then the great thing that you can do is you can post from either account and you can share things from either account on either page. Now what happens is the people that go specifically to your business page start to see that this is not just a company. It's a company run by a woman who has these great opinions and who is amazing and is okay putting herself into the company and making that a part of the brand and if you're posting, reposting stuff from the business account that you've posted personally and then you make your Facebook page public, then all of a sudden you're using Facebook the same way most people use LinkedIn and Twitter. But you have to be okay with that because the moment you make your personal Facebook page public and you switch that privacy setting, everything that you say on Facebook can be seen by anybody instead of people who are just your friends. A lot of people will make Facebook the one place where they don't do that. So in this I was talking generally. I talk about LinkedIn and Twitter and not so much about Facebook for that reason. I think each platform you need to have specific boundaries and things that you do. On Facebook myself, my page is public. Everything on there is public. When Callahan Creek writes about me speaking or something like that they tag me so if you're on the Callahan Creek page and you see Eric is speaking, you'll see the link to Eric and you can click on it and go right to my page because I want it that way, but not everybody wants it that way. If you're okay with that, you follow all these rules, it can be great. It could be really beneficial. Yeah. Well no. Again the business page and the personal page interacting with each other. Do not get rid of your Facebook business page. We can talk more specifically about this afterwards because this is... Facebook is different. All of this stuff is gonna be specific to you. As a general rule I think everybody's better off doing this, but do not abandon your business page. Absolutely do not. Does that make sense? Okay. Sorry. Thanks guys.

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