Let’s face it: It’s a competitive world we live in, and ultimately only those that take action are remembered. When it comes to our industry, getting noticed can prove to be very difficult in a world where everyone claims to be a “social media guru”. So how exactly can you stand out from the crowd?
A few months back I began to invest more time in LinkedIn groups to increase my visibility on the platform. This entailed sharing my own tutorial videos and responding to the comments or questions they received. That’s when I attracted the attention of Toni Reintke, a Professor at Merced College in California.
Toni left a compliment on one of my tutorials from a LinkedIn group we shared, I thanked her, and just like that she sent me a connection request, and I accepted it. Usually that’s as far as things go, but this time I did something different.
I followed up by sending her a personal reply thanking her for connecting and to have her let me know if I could be of any help… to which she responded:
Ok, so did I just get more than her attention by proactively sending her that reply? Did I just score an opportunity to give a guest lecture to her class? Sure looks like it!
After a brief phone conversation we both agreed it would be best if I spoke to her class about personal branding and social media job searching. This was a perfect fit considering I am also a recent college grad and could personally relate to her students.
The Skype session was scheduled for the following week and Toni said she would introduce me to her class prior to the lecture so they would have the opportunity to research me.
Thanks to LinkedIn Premium, I was able to tell that about 10 of her students took her advice and viewed my LinkedIn profile leading up to the lecture. However, only ONE student actually took the time to send me a message and introduce himself.
This got me thinking…How could I turn this into a valuable lesson?
The day of the Skype lecture had arrived and before I jumped on camera I wrote down the names of those students who I knew had viewed my profile.
Once the students were all seated and I had their attention, I briefly introduced myself and then I asked everyone in the class to stand up and if I didn’t call their name please sit down. I then called out the names of the 10 students who had viewed my profile prior to the lecture. After the rest of the students sat down I said, “Great you all took the time to look me up, now if I don’t call your name please sit down”.
I then named the one student who had reached out and sent me a message, Reggie.
Reggie, Toni, and the rest of the class were shocked that only 1 of the 25 students was left standing.
Next I related this to the competitive state of the industry and how everyone wants to work in social media. The lesson being that in order to succeed, you need to be willing to go the distance and put yourself out there for the attention you desire.
Then I told the students the story of how their teacher and I originally connected, and how we took the extra step to connect much like their fellow classmate had. I finished by congratulating the single student, having the class give him a round of applause and then continued with the Skype lecture. At the end, I had the students get in front of the camera for one last group picture!
Once the students were excused from class both Toni and I agreed that the experiment was a very powerful lesson for her class. You have to take ACTION and not EXPECT connections to come to you.
Later I asked Reggie what he got out of the lesson and here’s what he had to say:
“It meant a lot to be some what honored for taking a step forward, not knowing whom may be paying attention. I was totally surprised that no one had taken the opportunity to walk through or put a foot in the door of unknown opportunity. I found out through communications with you and other liked minded people, that there are others willing to help and guide you, if only you take that step and ask.”
The key here is being proactive in getting people’s attention on social media, whether it’s for job hunting, guest lectures, meetings, etc.
Since the lecture, whenever I feel discouraged or unmotivated, I take a good look at myself and ask: “Would you be the one left standing?“
What opportunities have you been introduced to as a result of being proactive and getting attention on social media? Please leave a comment below!
Featured photo credit: smi23le
*This is a guest article by Jacob Curtis*