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Your car needs a tune-up every once in a while. As individuals, we go to the doctor or dentist on a regular schedule. But how often do we do a social media tune-up? Rarely if ever. We sign up to a number of sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Plaxo, and maybe others), use them freely, and ignore what doesn’t seem relevant. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t ignore anything: each word of every site is indexed on Google, is instantly accessible – often to our detriment.

Social Media is often where we make our first impressions: to new friends, colleagues, prospects, and recruiters. Avoiding a Social Media Tune-up is like avoiding a dental check-up: eventually, something bad will happen. A few minutes preventative work can make all the difference.

Five parts to a September Social Media Tune-up:

1) Remove risky content: Whether it be inappropriate photos, or easily misunderstood comments, content posted by others can sometimes lead to problems. Review your sites and delete anything that doesn’t give others the first impression you want.

2) Make yourself up-to-date: Nothing says “stale” like old content. Make sure that both your personal and professional background information is up-to-date.

3) Connect the dots: Cross-linking between Social Media sites will both increase your traffic from the search engines, and help your connections discover more about you. At the same time, make sure that the links to your web sites (corporate site, personal blog, etc) still work as expected.

4) Add more connections: If you’re like most people, you collect many business cards from new clients, suppliers, and others – and they usually sit in a pile at your desk. For those that you have a real-world relationship with, search for them in the Social Media sites, then ask to connect. For those who already are your connections, look through their connections to see who you know – and ask them too. (Of course, no tune-up would be complete without acknowledging the need to remove those who you no longer have relationships with – or who are pests.)

5) Ask for recommendations: Make a list of all of your “big wins” during the last twelve months, where you went above and beyond the call of duty. Then ask those people to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn (or Plaxo). At the same time, return the favor to those who did a great job for you.

Finally, a bonus recommendation for parents of students starting school: Using Social Media during high school is very different than using it in preparation for a later job search. Forward this tip to your friends and family, with particular attention to tip one, removing risky content.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Networking Three-Step

by Randall Craig on June 5, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: , , , ,

Networking is probably the most important skill you can learn. It can help you find a job, get promoted, sell more stuff – and even find your spouse. Yet this key skill usually isn’t even taught in school.

At its core, networking is actually very simple: it is the process of developing new relationships and deepening existing ones. It can be boiled down to three steps: Fish where the fish are, Meeting new people, and Give to Get.

1) Fish where the fish are: positioning yourself to meet people. This means attending association events, joining community groups, going to professional development seminars, and the like. The only way to meet people is to physically get out to places where your “prospects” spend time.

2) Meeting new people: the initial approach. Once you are in position to meet people, you need to reach out and connect. Here are some do’s and don’ts:

Wrong way: gravitate to those you know, and steer clear of any new faces.
Right way: After you have briefly acknowledged your friends, seek out new faces.

Wrong way: Talk about the weather, the transit problems, or your deadlines.
Right way: Ask open-ended questions to learn about their priorities and interests.

Wrong way: Talk to the same person during the entire time.
Right way: Once you know three things about them, it’s time to meet someone else.

Wrong way: Ask for a favour.
Right way: Give to Get.

3) Give to Get: Growing your network by giving. Find ways to to help those in your network be successful. One idea would be to send them news clippings about their priorities and interests. The more you make a deposit into the relationship bank, the stronger these relationships will be – and the more you will get out of it later.

This week’s action item: Choose one part of the process (Fish where the fish are, Meeting new people, or Give to Get) and practice it this week.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


Viral Career Marketing

by Randall Craig September 5, 2006

Viral marketing is another of those hot concepts today. Traditional marketers focus on defining People, Place, Price, and Product, and then executing their plan. Viral marketers try to empower those already using the product to tell their friends about it – and to have those friends tell their friends about it. The power of this […]

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