Yesterday, I found myself in a room with less than a dozen people — more than 90% of whom I’d never met before — and we were all there to discuss the topic du jour: one’s Personal Brand.
In what would have otherwise been a regular Monday night (Dashing off to Dodgeball, Drinking with the Dodgeball Team and Dodging Dodgeballs), Kevin saw fit to intervene, letting me know about an event series that he’d been attending. Kev is generally in the know about the different social media and web development events going on around Toronto, so I’ll often lend an ear when he’s trying to tell me what’s going on.
$10 and a quick jaunt later, I was at the Camaraderie Co-operative where the event would be held. And it was at that very moment where I learned an important lesson — no two tweetups/meetups/events are created equally. Not all of them come in large packages. Where I was used to conferences of 1500, Twitter-organized parties of hundreds and speaker engagements of dozens, this was a small, intimate group there to discuss and learn about a topic of interest. You had all the time in the world to get all of your questions in. It was small enough so that you got to know a bit about everyone in the room. And since there were only so many people around, the information was tailored to the audience, not simply rehashed from documents that had been passed around several times from hand to hand. In short — it was probably the last thing I expected.
We focused not only on how one should go about developing one’s personal brand but also about how one should portray that brand on the big three social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook). To show that even if you think you’re a pro that you can always learn from just about anywhere, here’s a few things I quickly learned from this event:
- While I make great use of my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I could do a far better job at optimizing my LinkedIn account (and I wish I’d been at the April 11th event, since that’s what that session was all about!) — past creating a very detailed profile, I haven’t really done too much with it.
- When posting content to the Internet, one should make a message tailored to each audience, since you will very likely have a different audience on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (which is an excellent tip that I’ve never followed and will start to)
- New tools and things to read, such as TwitterFall and Mitch Joel’s “Six Pixels of Separation”, which Kev had suggested to me earlier
A good number of people had to skedaddle right after the event though, so I didn’t get to meet everyone, but I did get to know a fellow civil servant, someone looking to develop a company specializing in personal branding and the speaker for the event, Sue Varty (Marc Roginsky had been there but had to leave early), slightly better by the end of the night. It was informative, and if you’re pretty new to Twitter and looking to learn how to optimize it, maybe you should look at checking out the April 25th session!
So with that, I’m off to keep working on my personal brand. Want to help? Make sure to spread the love — tell people I’m here to try to improve lives.
One day at a time.
–Casey E. Palmer