Tag Archives: aaron strout

7 Social Media Mentors & A Suggestion On Listening

Over recent months it has become apparent that there is a lack of mentorship in the world- especially in the Social Media space. Because Social technologies allow any yoyo who understands technology to decree they are an “expert” in the space, the market has been flooded with people who claim to be experts, or my least favorite term- “guru’s”. When in reality all they really have is partial knowledge of the value proposition of Facebook and Twitter and think that is all it takes!

With this knowledge in mind and Valentine’s Day having just passed, I would like to acknowledge the people who have been instrumental in my development, are true mentors, peers and friends and most importantly- really are experts and guru’s. Folks who think about SM with hardened business objectives in mind. We have grown together in a fledgling space and I feel fortunate to have worked with these people and continue to share, rap, learn and grow professionally with them today.

My “Social” Mentors, Peers & Friends

1)      Mark Wallace: Mark has been instrumental in my growth as a professional. He taught me a great deal about sales, business, being crisp and thinking about every action from a dollars and sense point of view. I worked with him at DCI-Shared Insights-Mzinga from 1999 on. Today, his Commonground Community won the Forrester Groundswell Award in 2009.

2)      Jim Storer: Jim was talking “community” back in 2001. His vision then was to create a stable of IT professionals to go direct to market too with new events. DCI was a IT conference event company. Frankly- his vision for the future of the business was dead on back then. Jim and Mark both asked me to leave the sales world, and do what I was doing in my personal life (running an online community for the music industry) for Shared Insights. This move was instrumental in a career shift that has served me well to date. He is one of the founders of the highly successful Community Roundtable where Social Practitioners meet and continue to grow and learn together in an ever evolving space.

3)      Aaron Strout and Heather Strout: This brother/sister combo are not only SXSW veterans, they are very social savvy. Aaron is a go getter that has travelled far in the space by being tireless in speaking engagements to drive both the Mzinga brand and the Powered brand today. Heather was my peer at Mzinga when we were both “Consultants”. Heather to this day is a voice of reason for me and is always there to bounce ideas off from. I have learned that perspective comes in the number of questions you ask- Heather is never short on answers!

4)      Pauline Brannigan: Pauline is one of the few sales professionals that understand how to map the use of Social to the hardened business objectives that result in real ROI. She too has challenged me on many occasions to think about strategies from a different angle. Today she works for a fantastic enterprise social computing solution called INgage. Check em out and hit her up on Twitter to learn more!

5)      Barry Libert: In 2004 Barry Libert said in a meeting “when you give your customers what they want, when they want it, and how they want it- you will win their business over and over again.” He went on to say that technologies in the not too distant future will enable the business to engage the consumer real time and for much longer life cycles. That conversation changed my professional life and made me realize that the future of business was shifting and the consumer would be empowered like never before.

6)      Tom Humbarger: Tom is what I would call a “knowledge sponge”. He soaks up everything applies it to his consulting business- smart! That way of “sucking and applying” has served me well and to this day,  I don’t let a day pass where my Netvibes page doesn’t educate me or open my eyes to new strategies and new ideas. Thank s Tom!

7)      I would also be remiss if I did not mention Chris Brogan and Jeremiah Owyang.  Although they are not my friends, I mention them because no matter how large their brand expands, they still respond to personal requests and DM’s as if they are your neighbor up the street. Exactly the point of Social! Even the smallest voice is heard with the “big guys”. They are practicing exactly what they preach to large organizations far and wide. Listen and react to everyone!

Social Media Suggestion:

Just because you buzz, doesn’t mean you are an expert! Listening is the key to knowing! Many people feel as though the more they talk, the more they are heard, the more of a “guru” they are. When in reality the more you listen, the more you are open to opinion, the more you react based on the feedback of the “we”- the more of a Social Media adopter you are. Brands and experts need to stop putting out fluff to flood the marketplace purely for exposure. Instead they need to write something of value that will penetrate a niche marketplace and help educate. If it is not of value, then don’t bother because you are hurting your brand creating content  solely to be heard.  Stop Tweeting just because a certain #hashtag is trending. If you don’t know about the subject, eat some pie- listen and learn. The people I mentioned above listen and learn as much as they teach- which is why they are successful. Just a suggestion based on their actions. 🙂

Listen, strategize, apply, create and don’t be afraid to be  a mentor is the message of this post!  Thank you to the folks mentioned on this list for being who you are and for what you are doing in business today!

social media mentors, listening, engaging
Share This Post
Bookmark and Share

Advertisements

I Will Be At The Following TweetUps

Registration powered by Eventbrite


Aaron Strout’s Coffee Tweetup

Hosted by Aaron Strout
Monday, March 30, 2009 from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM (ET)
Jam N Java-Arlington MA

Extreme Website Makeover: Boston
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 from 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM (ET)
28 Degrees

1 Appleton Street
Boston, MA

Hope to see you there!


Authority Domains- The Who, What, How & Why!

ad-high-logo1I would like to apologize in advance for my inexcusable tardiness! The last few weeks have been a whirlwind between flying out to California and back twice in 12 days. Then the settling on a new gig! Ok! No excuses! Here I am and I promise moving forward I will be a good doobie and blog at least 3 times a week. I however cannot commit to being as insane as Aaron Strout and Chris Brogan. But a three a week benchmark is doable.

So how did I end up at Authority Domains? Well let me start with how I got here. The following are the items I feel are most valuable at finding a job in the new world:

  1. Twitter– Simply put – reach out to the folks you respect and value. Chances are your instincts are never wrong and having feelings of respect and trust are usually backed by integrity. Reach out and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance or feedback. Also, http://www.search.twitter.com is your friend-use it till it breaks!
  2. Say hello often– Saying hello to past business partners, friends and targeting companies you would like to be employed by on LinkedIn works well. As Mark Wallace told me, opening with my LinkedIn recommendations in PDF form is a better alternative to the traditional cover letter. He was right! It is non-traditional and that is the point. It sets you apart from the others that play the job finding charade like it is 1998.
  3. RSS Feeds– I subscribed to the RSS feeds of blogs that have jobs posted on them. Although this is not how I settled on my new gig, it always kicked my day off with activity and loaded my mind with possibilities. I met some fine folks this way.
  4. BLOG– I should have been blogging more when I was at Mzinga. I will never, not blog, again! Sharing what you know, and doing it passionately is better than a resume.
  5. Don’t ever close a door – Even if one company does not have an opportunity at a given moment, be transparent with them about what you would like to do with them and what you are looking for in your next gig. That is how I ended up with Authority Domains. The CEO of a Nattergalen referred me to AJ Ghergich (@authoritydomain) and the rest is history. I was clear with them what I was looking to do and low and behold- a referral that fit!

These are just a few items that worked. Hit me up if you would like to bounce ideas off me and I can share some other tips.

Why Authority Domains?

When I was working with clients at Mzinga I would get asked incessantly “what about SEO?” Soon to be followed by; “can you help me with link building?” Authority Domains fills a SEO and Link Building need for small to mid-level business. So tying together Social Media Consulting in with the before mentioned solutions made too much sense to me. AJ agreed!

But what about the Enterprise level customer? They too need to navigate the Social Media waters. We both agreed that we would package together a cost effective solution for them as well. This solution will take into account the selection process of choosing a enterprise vendor. We also decided to keep the SEO, Link Building and Consulting offerings separate- but will be able to work with any company to fill their need with an a la carte menu. Once again, it just makes sense!

Authority Domains has a virtual office. As the economy continues to spiral (the DOW went below 7K yesterday) Authority Domains is in a position to keep the cost of their solutions low because their operating costs are not abhorrent. Sleek in today’s economy is smart!

I once had a co worker reprimand me for not thinking big when it came to what kind of customers we wanted to sell too. My response was “large or small, every customer matters!” Maybe it is my Vermont upbringing or maybe I am naïve! But doing right by ad-corp-retreateveryone, including small customers seems like the right thing to do. I don’t think that is naïve! In the end your customer are spending money with you for a reason- so you best do right by them. So one of my goals was to work for an organization that would treat Grandma’s Jam the same way they would treat say-Walmart! Once again AJ and I were nodding in furious agreement. I was sold! I quickly realized that integrity meant a great deal more to me then I thought.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to be in the position I am in. The business space is still very much in its infant stages when it comes to Social Media and Authority Domains is in a prime position to assist any business with Social ambitions. Filling a Social Media need at a minimal cost just makes sense! Especially today!

I look forward to working with all of you. Stay tuned for the completed Authority Domains Social Media Consulting packages as well as my first podcast on Whitehouse.gov. Here a video of the Authority Domains corporate retreat!


%d bloggers like this: