As Seen on Facebook

Today I posted this picture to my facebook wall because I thought it was ironic that a US Olympian, who was ridiculed by the media last year for smoking marijuana, is now the most decorated Olympian of all time. Normally I keep my political and controversial positions to myself, realizing the internet is not a great place to air your personal opinion, especially if you use it for business, but I decided this was a pretty bold statement considering the current events in our world and country. By the end of today my post had been reshared 14 times by my personal network, making it clear that my opinion was shared, literally, by my facebook friends.

So in this day and age, when we are connected to thousands of people at any given time, with our information, photos and ideas being shared around the world, sometimes even without out our knowledge, how do we handle this responsibility?

We are told we have to be careful with what we put on facebook not just because what our grandma or little brother might see (my 12 year old brother joined facebook today as well, giving me even more to think about on this subject,) but also our bosses or clients.

This guy may not want to advertise he drinks and drives.

Recently I have had the interesting experience of “meeting” several people in person that I before only knew on facebook. I have had people know things about my life, my travels and my business who I have never met before and while it is flattering it has also brought to my attention the importance of protecting your online brand.

In my industry it is known that Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and now Instagram can be important tools to getting your name and business out there. Your “online brand” is not just important to entrepreneurs or business owners, but to anyone managing their social media profiles.

In a recent Jobvite study, 92% of recruiters said they are using or plan to use social media in their hiring process.

The survey polled more than 1,000 companies. Since they started using social media sites to hire, 50% reported finding more candidates, and 43% said they now find better candidates.

How do we find a balance between being ourselves, sharing our style, opinions and humor without hurting our chances at a future job or even a relationship?

My first suggestion and what I spent a few days last week doing, is to go through old albums and pick out the best and moving them to another album of “keepers.” Many of my albums were old, some even from 2008 and while I stand by my 19 year old self and all the  fun time and decisions I made, I don’t need everyone I connect with on facebook to see. I made many of my albums available to “ONLY ME” with the privacy setting under the edit album setting. This way I still have the photos but they are private to me.

I don’t want to delete all my cherished photos from Spring Break 2008 in Rosarito, but I don’t need the world to see them either.

If you haven’t already, put your family, business associates and potential clients or co workers in a restricted list. This way, if you want to share something with your buddies, like your Vegas vacation photos, you will not regret it when your boss asks if you are feeling okay after such an exciting weekend.

Social media has helped me build my business, raise funds and awareness for non-profits and maintain and build friendships all over the world. It can be a great asset to your life as well if you use it for good, not for evil (unproductive hours wasted on stalking your ex or  playing farmville.) Remember to be positive and to only post things you will be proud of a month or a year from now because once it is on the internet it is there for good!

My video on Your Positive Brand Online!

Vlogging. It’s SO Hot Right Now.

Video + Blog = VLOG!

You may have noticed a serious amount of videos being uploaded by myself and several others recently, all thanks to a good friend of mine, Tim King of Tim King Photography who has challenged his network to Vlog once a day for 30 Days. 30DayVlogChallenge.com

I have been meaning to step up my video and social media presence for some time and since I recently forced myself to learn basic video editing on imovie I thought, why not? I accepted Tim’s challenge.

A week in and I have already lost 1 water proof camera to the ocean, hours of sleep and possibly friends who are sick of me vlogging while we hang out, talking about vlogging, or forcing them to be in my vlogs. After only one week I know I am not the only one on this challenge wondering, “What was I thinking?”

Well daddy didn’t raise no quitter and it doesn’t hurt that I feel the guilt if I miss a day from my friend Tim. I’m sticking with it.

Even if its sometimes ridiculous, stressful and hours of work, like most things that are a challenge, it will be worth it. The content I will be putting out and the quality of my videos will continue to improve.  I have already seen a spike in my traffic to my youtube channel, social media pages and website and I am excited to continue the progress as well as learn from all the other amazing vloggers on the challenge.

Here is a few of my favorite so far. I promise they will get better! 😉

The Future of Profit is Purpose.

This past weekend I attended a Business Breakthrough seminar hosted by Rize Global where we learned about turning passion into profit. Seeing as my passion lies in philanthropy I have had many moral issues with pursuing a profit from purpose driven promotions and hoped the seminar would help me clarify my vision. I jump at opportunities to donate my company’s skills, promotions for non profits and volunteering at fundraising events weather I am stuffing gift bags of school supplies to underprivileged kids or MC for a dance off at a afterschool program, I love to help good causes.

I also like to help those I deal with most, my friends and colleagues. I enjoy chances to help promote a friend’s brand or event, to give advice or constructive feedback when I can and to show support to all the hard work I see around me all the time. CHEERS to the many inspiring people who surround me. In honor of those people I am writing this blog in hopes to share some of the inspiring ideas I heard during this workshop.  My favorite part of the workshop was the guest speaker, Simon Mainwaring author of  New York Times Best seller, “We First” about how brands and consumers use social media to build a better world.

He opened with a powerful question about the new marketplace we are looking at today.

How are you world?

1 in 6 are below poverty line. Due to the recent scandals, the banks, the media, there  is no trust in big brands.  4.5 billion in assets changed from banks to credit unions in the last five weeks. Our quality of life is becoming difficult so people are reacting and citizens are connecting. People are starting to look at what is meaningful in their lives and it is starting to be apparent values lay in creating trust in their companies, treating employees fairly and their quality of life.  People are connecting and wanting to help each other and volunteering and charitable work is on the rise.
As amazing as that sounds, being well intentioned is not enough. We must articulate our message in a way that will be affective. Melinda Gates said to “stop acting like missionaries and act like marketers” and I agree with her. To reach a large audience we must build a brand that is larger than ourselves and instead a community. We must use the tools at our fingertips to create a self outside ourselves on social media platforms. Blog!

The most effective part of his presentation for me was the “Social branding blue print” outline he gave.

 Craft a story to define a brand
-Define purpose and core values
-Distill into emotional terms
-Craft a manifesto
-Write a vision statement
-Commit to a purpose
-Align internally

Be culturally specific, community focused, generate content & Get Your Story Straight!

Key social strategies / tactics
Crowdsource
Collaborate with competitors/cross sectors
Build contribution into real/virtual consumption
Launch/partner w employee volunteer programs
Use social platforms to trigger donations/actions (I use facebook and StayClassy.org most for social fundraising)
Use online platforms/mobile apps for credibility /reach

To sum up the key points I took away from this helpful workshop:
1    The future of profit is purpose
2    Brands must become community celebrants not celebrities
3    Marketers must become day traders in social emotion

25% of all kids worldwide are without electricity. Most of them play soccer. Soccket is a soccer ball that stores kinnetic energy and has a outlet so people can cook food and have light to study by.  Fifteen minutes of play can power a light for 3 hours. It was invented by 3 girls in college.

Get inspired, get your story straight and get moving friends. The world is waiting.