Frank Parsons, considered the father of career development, suggested career practitioners have:
An accurate understanding of our traits;
Knowledge of the labour market; and
An understanding of the relationship between the two.
Take this information and apply it to creating a social media plan for yourself.
- Knowing yourself and the expertise you have to offer will shape what content you share.
- Knowing your data and labour-market trends will inform what types of clients or industry you are best able to serve.
- Understanding the relationship between yourself and your audience will allow you to clearly explain the value you have to offer your audience/the market.
When you’re starting to use social media for yourself, be professional and polished. That’ what we recommend you do for starters. But as you get more comfortable and confident in your posts, you can showcase to people who you really are. The more people get to know you – your outlook, your sense of humour – the more they engage with your content. Evolving from polished professional to authentic adviser will work for you. If you’re just starting to use social media for your practice, engaging with online communities through a professional persona might be a good place to start.
Who do you want to reach? Choose a generic or ideal client you want to engage. For you, that’s Hamid, an entry-level executive thinking about a change. Each time I post, I think of Hamid. Is what I’m sharing of value to Hamid? Would he find this interesting? Would he respond to this content? By focusing my attention on Hamid, I stop myself from posting too broadly. Stay focused by asking yourself: Is this content providing value to my target clientele?
Learn it, do it
Just learned about Twitter? Send out a tweet. Figuring out Instagram? Share a story. Don’t know how to share a story on Instagram? Go to YouTube and search: “How to share a story on Instagram.” The trick is to not fall too far behind. Spend a few minutes a day or week learning about social media.
Here’s your first challenge: Use your phone or your desktop computer and share one post using the hashtag #mycareeradvisor (Hashtags are a way to sort/find topics on most social media platforms).
You might say something as simple as:
- Reading a post about social media. #mycareeradvisor
You might also create something more complex like:
- Using #socialmedia to help #Malaysians with #careerdevelopment #mycareeradvisor
Whatever you choose to share, remember your audience. Provide your followers with valuable content 90% of the time and use the remaining 10% for personal branding.
Don’t be shy. That is, after all, what we teach clients about networking, right? Reach out to people, share your thoughts, tips, ideas, recommendations. Like, comment, tag and talk to people in your online network; be an example to your clients of how to expand your online network. Instead of telling your clients how to network, show them by networking online on platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Sharing is caring.
Create an idea bank
It may feel like you do not have time to add social media to your already full calendar. Not a problem. Find a place to jot down your ideas and keep writing every chance you get. You may not be able to dedicate 10 minutes a day to social media, but you can spare a minute or two to jot down an idea. This might be a client question you answered earlier in the day, for example or an email you received from a colleague – you can re-purpose anything you’re already doing into a post or a share.
You don’t have to be an expert in career development to share your expertise with the world. Use what you’re already doing to promote yourself. Be one of the thought leaders, change-makers, advocates, supporters and educators who support other career seekers to achieve their desired career of choice. Good luck!