Think Value, Create Solutions – How To Use Digital Networking Tools To Land An Ideal Job Or Client

By Cynthia Asoegwu

Technology is driving the age we live in and your relevance as an individual or brand can be weighed simply on how and what people think about you – Brand perception! This concept has been made a lot easier through social media or not?...

There are thousands of social networks in the world but few like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Instant Messengers like Blackberry Messenger and Whatsapp are leading the networking space and thus play big role in driving brand perception.

Brand perception isn’t restricted to companies and businesses. As an individual you have a personal brand – your skills, talent, expertise, academic qualification, use of your time and interests make up your brand personality.

One great advantage of social media is that it can provide instant publicity or awareness in certain circles either for good or for bad and herein lays the concept of perception – what people think of when your name or brand is mentioned and in these current times, it is largely influenced by social media.

No brand wants to associate with a brand whether an individual or a company that has a negative perception – this can be seen with popular personalities who lose their endorsement deals once they get engaged in scandals. Social media with its instant and viral features can be both positive and negative, it depends on how you choose to employ it.

Before we go any further, may I point out that clients and employers are seeking affordable-value provision in the form of service, skills or products. You have to first identify an existing need - challenge, product demand, skill or service gap; as well as identify your resource - skills, talent, product or expertise in alignment with the existing need and how you can best provide value at an affordable cost that benefits both you and the employer / client. Once you have figured that out, its time to reach-out and let them know you exist. This is where social media can be your ally.

Now going forward to positively employing social media as a tool to land an ideal job or get clients in the door, is mainly about building the right perception by using the unique features of the top-relevant social networks to your advantage. Below are key tips based on the review of specific social media platforms.

Branding: this is both personal and business based. The fee you earn is based largely on how you portray yourself. No brand wants to engage with a business or individual that has a negative reputation.

  • Write a social network bio that is professional and yet not stuffy. Include keywords that will help you turn up in search
  • Use your real name or business name. Keep some part of your profile private and restricted to only your friends
  • Include pictures and videos that are in line with the image you are projecting
  • Showcase your expertise by sharing your job profile, experience or service portfolio online
  • List your resume or brand on relevant skills or business directories such as, jobberman, LinkedIn etc

*A potential client or employer will analyze you and your competency based on how you appear or how others perceive you online.

Engage: in the digital world content is King! The quality and type of posts you share determine the kind of audience you attract and how your online connections view you. Social networking platforms are programmed to work with your interests - the kind of content you like and share.

  • Showcase your expertise or industry-specific knowledge by posting content relevant to your field
  • Respond intelligently to inquiries or issues online, people tend to check out your profile when you do.
  • Write industry relevant or interesting articles and send to key blogs or websites, if your content is rich enough for their audience, they will publish and recognize you at no cost. Also post on high-traffic platforms that allow membership posts, as they help you turn up in a search.
  • Comment on relevant posts on high traffic platforms using your name and brand e.g Funke Alabi, CEO Bridal xyz or Tunde Obi, Industrial Analyst with a link to your online profile (personal website or other social network that has your profile)
  • Join industry relevant groups on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Follow industry experts and ideal company accounts on social media
  • Create a list of industry-specific companies or individuals on Twitter

Listen: the digital space is a very noisy one with both real and fictitious information all clamoring for the attention of the same number of people. There is a high need to filter through the noise, you can do that through the following ways and tools

  • Create Keyword Alerts onGoogle search – this will send directly to your email inbox posts that are relevant to your keyword alert, e.g Digital Marketing Jobs in Lagos
  • Bookmark key websites that provide relevant information
  • Use and save HashTag search on platforms like Twitter and Instagram to find relevant posts, trends and existing needs

Connect: This is an area that needs application of online etiquette and courtesy. Many people get this part wrong and end up getting blocked or reported.

  • Do not annoyingly and repeatedly tweet at a potential employer, personality or brand handle /account asking for job vacancies or a rudely demanding a followback when you have nothing to offer other than to brag that they follow you…
  • You can get the right attention by sharing quality content, using the right Hashtag and tagging target users based on perceived relevance to them
  • Join groups, communicate, share content
  • Personalise invite messages to individuals you choose to connect with on social media
  • Draft an introductory Skills / Service pitch email that you send to contacts once your connection request gets accepted. Avoid spamming.
  • On platforms like LinkedIn, even if you are yet to build a job /service expertise, do not leave your title area blank. Write your prospective Job Title or area of specialization
  • List your skills and service capacity on LinkedIn and build your connections starting with people you know – this will increase your chances of skills endorsement as well as network expansion, as people will connect with you based on your profile and mutual connections

The top platforms that can help with visibility for your skills include Instagram (mostly for creatives) – use pictures and videos to showcase your potential and products, comment intelligently on relevant posts | Facebook – have a page, join groups, LinkedIn – build connections, join, post articles and comment intelligently in groups | Twitter – create a list of industry experts, opportunities sharing handles etc, project your expertise through your posts and hashtags. Blog if you can afford the time, but above all be engaging, tailor your content and profile ideally for the right audience and platform.

When a company within you industry of interest posts available vacancies, seize the opportunity to pitch your – value proposition with a good cover letter or service benefits letter, alongside any supporting material e.g resume, brochure etc even if you do not get called, you have showcased your brand to a potential employer or client.

Stay informed and develop yourself to provide value, in doing so value will be rewarded back to you.

Cynthia Asoegwu is a social entrepreneur who is passionate about leveraging media and technology tools to drive socio-economic empowerment for youths and women by providing digital PR and project development services for social impact organisations and brands. She is the Project Director / Founder of Visionary Impact Netwox.