It’s kind of funny that I spoke to members of the Wisconsin Counselors Association last week about social media marketing. And, now I’m writing a blog regarding it? Me, teaching other counseling professionals how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Wordpress to share their expertise? Wow. Over a year ago, I was clueless! I knew very little and did even less to position myself as an expert online. Well, that is slowly changing. I think I’m doing all of this so that I can learn what I desperately need to learn. And, what better way to learn than by teaching others?
I owe much of what I now know to a friend of mine, David Diana, whom I met at an ACA convention. Kudos to David, God bless his soul. He was and still is so patient with me, repeating explanations of RSS feeds, Digg, Technorati, Delicious … as I listen with a glazed over look in my eyes. I still don’t quite get all of it. But, again, I’m learning.
Another friend to whom I’m forever indebted: Dana VandenHeuvel of Marketing Savant. He really knows this online marketing stuff! Dana took me through the critical process of connecting my website to my blog, tweets, Facebook business page, and LinkedIn profile. What’s more, he reframed all this online activity. It’s not about me (or you) getting my (or your) name out there in front of clients, patients, or people holding the “purse strings”. It’s about leading your profession to greater heights, raising the bar, sharing your insights, raising issues/questions, and expressing how much you care. In the social media marketing world, this is called thought leadership. According to Dana, there are 10 things people in the counseling profession should do to express thought leadership:
1. Comment on another blog from the RSS feeds you follow. Add something to the conversation. Don’t just write nonsense to see your words on the screen.
2. Post slides on Slideshare. For example, slides from your webinar or a keynote your director, Dean, or Chancellor presented.
3. Blog something. Talk about a new project, client, or industry issue. Link to other industry thought leaders. Interview a customer and make them famous!
4. Answer a question on LinkedIn. Be useful. Answer in depth and without self-promotion.
5. Schedule a webinar. Schedule a few weeks out. Email your prospects and customer database. Pick a timely topic from your industry.
6. Ask a question. Do a Tweetpoll survey such as “who out there thinks ADD coaching should be covered by insurance?” Send an email to your close colleagues or customers. Add a question on your blog. Ask a thought-provoking question on LinkedIn.
7. Tweet an idea. Share a great link from Google Reader. Tweet a fun fact or something useful. Re-tweet an insight from a fellow thought leader.
8. Mind Map it. Map out your ideas for a particular solution. Publish the map on your website.
9. Think. Take a drive and work something out. Go for a walk. Change your environment-take a notebook with you.
10. Watch your tone. Speak the language of your audience. Make them think. Be positive, helpful, and forward-thinking.
Barbara Jordan is a counselor, counselor educator, author, trainer, and leadership coach. For more information go to www.AdvantEdgeSuccessCoaching.com.