Fast Company

Professional Social Media Training

I wrote an article today on my main site blog about social media training, specifically how professionals can learn to think outsite the box and strategically learn from a network of experts. I wanted to share it with everyone here, and hope you get the point I am trying to convey.

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My friend Joe Hage and I did a marketing workshop last night for a small group of professionals. Normally hosting a marketing workshop wouldn’t be a noteworthy event, but in this case it is a wonderful case example of starting a connection using social media and developing into a trusting business relationship.

Who is Joe Hage?

As a professional, Joe is one of the few marketers I have met that has an extreme grasp of both tactical and strategic marketing. He has a sparkling resume of working with companies like Cardiac Science, 1-800-Flowers, Kraft Foods, Jell-O, and Safeco. When he originally met me, Joe didn’t know a huge volumes about my specialty in social media, and he immediately rolled up his sleeves and began devouring information. In any line of marketing work, the ability to absorb new concepts and create new strategies is essential to exceeding expectations. From a business perspective- Joe is the “full meal deal” when it comes to marketing strategy.

How did we meet?

I originally met Joe by being a casual member of a local online community here in Seattle called Biznik. You can view both of our friendly profiles here - Joe Hage and Barry Hurd. In terms of the relationship between us, Joe and I would simply not have met in real life if not for Biznik. Realizing that two extremely busy professionals such as Joe and I can form a strong and healthy relationship using online networking is an eye-opener for other professionals like us.

How do we interact?

Joe and I use Biznik as a place to shed some of our daily job duties and dive into a creative problem solving mindset working with independent business owners. While I cannot speak entirely for Joe, planning the occasional workshop with a different group of professional personalities allows me to really flex my brain and bring my marketing mind to bear. While some topics in such a class may seem very “101″ to either of us, the unexpected difficulties and obstacles our attendees have require us to think outside of our own box.

What was our workshop about?

The official positioning statement: “To Biznik members in the real estate and related industries, Joe and Barry’s Real Estate Marketing Workshop is your opportunity to learn and apply strategies you need to better stand out in a market crowded with half-hearted real estate professionals.”

In our two-hour session, you will:

  • Apply recommendations from the real estate marketing article to your own business.
  • Share and learn best practices used by fellow Bizniks in the space.
  • Get Barry’s counsel on which search engine optimization key words are virtually impossible to get.
  • Walk away with some of Barry’s best tricks to get your name on the Google searches you are targeting.

What did people learn?

A lot more than those four bullet points above. The attendees had a chance to hear relevant and like-minded marketing problems analyzed and trouble-shot by two marketing veterans. However the real value only becomes apparent when the audience and the mentors agree to see things from different angles.

In the normal world most of us accept our problems and obstacles from our own point of view. When we see a wall in front of us, most of us see an option to steer around it or stop.

Joe and I do not see things from the same angle. Yes we are both marketing professionals. Yes we both have a lot of experience.
Yet we each have a fundamental viewpoint and core to the way our mind works.

In an interactive workshop, attendees have the ability to utilize the wisdom and talent of the entire group. Joe and I may lead the discussion, but we cannot see how anyone else perceives the same problem. We can only observe how we see it, along with how we view the interaction of the group members.

By utilizing skill, talent, experience, and different perspectives - a team of professionals working in unison can creatively offer solutions to maneuver around almost any obstacle. With only a few extra viewpoints, the team may also benefit from knowing what is behind the obstacle before they even decide to expend the effort to get around it.

Conclusion - What does this mean in regards to social media?

Simply put= When used correctly, social media allows any professional to use the wisdom and talent of the entire conversation. They may be smart and talented in respect to a certain field of focus, but the intelligence, talent, and return on effort is magnified significantly by the ability to accept that they may have a perspective that is hindering progress. (I.E. truly wise people can admit that they are wrong, not “the best”, or simply need help.)

As a professional who utilizes the online world, every day of my life is exposed to the benefit of having hundreds of experts in my network that serves as a sounding board to my own ideas. That exposure is not just simply readership and promotion for my business, but results in the benefit of my ideas interacting with the talented viewpoint of professionals like Joe and all of you.

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1 Comments

  • Jay Tatum

    Mark Moore, in his book, "Creating Public Value," gives the readers a great opportunity to learn through a series of case studies esstentially, "what NOT to do." From the sound of your enterprise, you have created public value of the same caliber Mark Moore took years to research and study.
    In a similar way I do the same thing in person with an open group of professionals committed to meeting routinely over a cup of coffee or soft drink. We rarely socilize together except at community functions, but each of us works in such different enterprises. What I have learned over the years is that the synergy that occurs when we draw on each other's strengths is impossible to contain. Or to put it another way, the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
    I wish you well in your efforts. Sounds like you're off to a great start.