Social Networking for Promoting YOU as a Brand (FT Press Delivers Elements)

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Executives who oversee management development know how to spot critical inflection points: the moments when highly successful people must change their perspective on what is important and, accordingly, how they spend their time. Many organizations still promote people on the basis of their performance in roles whose requirements differ dramatically from those of leadership roles. And many new leaders feel that they are going it alone, without coaching or guidance.

By being sensitive to the fact that most strong technical or functional managers lack the capabilities required to build strategic networks that advance their personal and professional goals, human resources and learning professionals can take steps to help in this important area. For example, Genesis Park, an innovative in-house leadership development program at PricewaterhouseCoopers, focuses explicitly on building networks.

The five-month program, during which participants are released from their client responsibilities, includes business case development, strategic projects, team building, change management projects, and in-depth discussions with business leaders from inside and outside the company. The young leaders who participate end up with a strong internal-external nexus of ties to support them as their careers evolve. Companies that recognize the importance of leadership networking can also do a lot to help people overcome their innate discomfort by creating natural ways for them to extend their networks.

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When Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn sought to break down crippling internal barriers at the company, he created cross-functional teams of middle managers from diverse units and charged them with proposing solutions to problems ranging from supply costs to product design. Nissan subsequently institutionalized the teams, not just as a way to solve problems but also to encourage lateral networks. Rather than avoid the extra work, aspiring leaders ask for these assignments.

Most professional development is based on the notion that successful people acquire new role-appropriate skills as they move up the hierarchy. But making the transition from manager to leader requires subtraction as well as addition: To make room for new competencies, managers must rely less on their older, well-honed skills. To do so, they must change their perspective on how to add value and what to contribute. Eventually, they must also transform how they think and who they are. Companies that help their top talent reinvent themselves will better prepare them for a successful leadership transition.

Operating beside players with diverse affiliations, backgrounds, objectives, and incentives requires a manager to formulate business rather than functional objectives, and to work through the coalitions and networks needed to sell ideas and compete for resources.

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Consider Sophie, a manager who, after rising steadily through the ranks in logistics and distribution, was stupefied to learn that the CEO was considering a radical reorganization of her function that would strip her of some responsibilities. Rewarded to date for incremental annual improvements, she had failed to notice shifting priorities in the wider market and the resulting internal shuffle for resources and power at the higher levels of her company. Although she had built a loyal, high-performing team, she had few relationships outside her group to help her anticipate the new imperatives, let alone give her ideas about how to respond.

After she argued that distribution issues were her purview, and failed to be persuasive, she hired consultants to help her prepare a counterproposal. Frustrated, Sophie contemplated leaving the company.

Only after some patient coaching from a senior manager did she understand that she had to get out of her unit and start talking to opinion leaders inside and outside the company to form a sellable plan for the future. What differentiates a leader from a manager, research tells us, is the ability to figure out where to go and to enlist the people and groups necessary to get there.

As they step up to the leadership transition, some managers accept their growing dependence on others and seek to transform it into mutual influence. Several of the participants in our sample chose the latter approach, justifying their choice as a matter of personal values and integrity. You can only do what you think is the ethical and right thing from your perspective. Eventually she had no choice but to leave. The key to a good strategic network is leverage: the ability to marshal information, support, and resources from one sector of a network to achieve results in another.

Strategic networkers use indirect influence, convincing one person in the network to get someone else, who is not in the network, to take a needed action. Jody abjured such tactics, but her adversaries did not. Strategic networking can be difficult for emerging leaders because it absorbs a significant amount of the time and energy that managers usually devote to meeting their many operational demands.

Event Marketing: How to Successfully Promote an Event

This is one reason why many managers drop their strategic networking precisely when they need it most: when their units are in trouble and only outside support can rescue them. The trick is not to hide in the operational network but to develop it into a more strategic one. One manager we studied, for example, used lateral and functional contacts throughout his firm to resolve tensions with his boss that resulted from substantial differences in style and strategic approaches between the two.

Tied down in operational chores at a distant location, the manager had lost contact with headquarters. He resolved the situation by simultaneously obliging his direct reports to take on more of the local management effort and sending messages through his network that would help bring him back into the loop with the boss.

Operational, personal, and strategic networks are not mutually exclusive. One manager we studied used his personal passion, hunting, to meet people from professions as diverse as stonemasonry and household moving. Almost none of these hunting friends had anything to do with his work in the consumer electronics industry, yet they all had to deal with one of his own daily concerns: customer relations. Hearing about their problems and techniques allowed him to view his own from a different perspective and helped him define principles that he could test in his work.

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Ultimately, what began as a personal network of hunting partners became operationally and strategically valuable to this manager. The key was his ability to build inside-outside links for maximum leverage. How, then, can managers lessen the pain and increase the gain? The trick is to leverage the elements from each domain of networking into the others—to seek out personal contacts who can be objective, strategic counselors, for example, or to transform colleagues in adjacent functions into a constituency. Above all, many managers will need to change their attitudes about the legitimacy and necessity of networking. Whatever the reason, when aspiring leaders do not believe that networking is one of the most important requirements of their new jobs, they will not allocate enough time and effort to see it pay off.

Many times, what appears to be unpalatable or unproductive behavior takes on a new light when a person you respect does it well and ethically. For example, Gabriel Chenard, general manager for Europe of a group of consumer product brands, learned from the previous general manager how to take advantage of branch visits to solidify his relationships with employees and customers. Every flight and car trip became a venue for catching up and building relationships with the people who were accompanying him.

Watching how much his boss got done on what would otherwise be downtime, Gabriel adopted the practice as a crucial part of his own management style. Networking effectively and ethically, like any other tacit skill, is a matter of judgment and intuition.

Omnichannel event marketing

Some successful managers find common ground from the outside in—by, for instance, transposing a personal interest into the strategic domain. Linda Henderson is a good example. An investment banker responsible for a group of media industry clients, she always wondered how to connect to some of her senior colleagues who served other industries. She resolved to make time for an extracurricular passion—the theater—in a way that would enhance her business development activities. Four times a year, her secretary booked a buffet dinner at a downtown hotel and reserved a block of theater tickets.

Key clients were invited. Other managers build outside-inside connections by using their functional interests or expertise. For example, communities of practice exist or can easily be created on the Internet in almost every area of business from brand management to Six Sigma to global strategy.

If an aspiring leader has not yet mastered the art of delegation, he or she will find many reasons not to spend time networking. Participating in formal and informal meetings with people in other units takes time away from functional responsibilities and internal team affairs. Between the obvious payoff of a task accomplished and the ambiguous, often delayed rewards of networking, naive managers repeatedly choose the former.

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The less they practice networking, the less efficient at it they become, and the vicious cycle continues. Henrik, the production manager and board member we described earlier, for example, did what he needed to do in order to prepare for board meetings but did not associate with fellow board members outside those formal events. As a result, he was frequently surprised when other board members raised issues at the heart of his role.

In contrast, effective business leaders spend a lot of time every day gathering the information they need to meet their goals, relying on informal discussions with a lot of people who are not necessarily in charge of an issue or task.

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They network in order to obtain information continually, not just at formal meetings. Read on for ways to convert these methods into more event registrations — and dollars for your cause. Have you heard? The name of the game: Google Ad Grants, an initiative that awards thousands of dollars' worth of in-kind advertising to nonprofits. When people search for related keywords, your ad will appear first in the sponsored section.

You can use this to publicize your organization, cause or special event. Even better, you can set the ads to show to local visitors who may never have heard of your cause, drawing more of the local community to your event. Targeted marketing efforts like Google Ads have a much higher success rate.

Plus, Google has built in analytical tools to help you find which keywords and descriptions are most effective. There are a few best practices to keep in mind when creating a Google Ad. Your ad copy must be concise and evocative, plus abundantly clear on what viewers can expect if they click. You also want to use popular search keywords in your ad. Note: You need to link to the same website each month to maintain eligibility. This means no switching back and forth between your event and organization websites.

The easy solution: Link to your organization website year-round. Then, when an event is coming up, simply create a landing page or put a prominent banner on the website more on this in "Organization Website" below. According to Community Boost Consulting , nonprofits taking advantage of Google Ad Grants get over 5, new website visitors, 3, new email subscribers, volunteer applications and program inquiries per month compared to previous performance. Just one month with AdWords turned on allowed the organization to raise more than they'd collected online during the entire previous year!

While print flyers and mailings will always have a place for nonprofits, the Internet has revolutionized event promotion. Online marketing methods increase your reach exponentially. The "big three" social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn provide the perfect starting ground for your social campaign. Before your event, create a simple nonprofit Facebook Event featuring all the necessary information and registration links. Then periodically before the event at least once a week , post updates regarding the event.

You can post auction item announcements, stories of the event's impact, shout-outs to volunteers, sneak peeks of the venue, questions to the audience Create a unique, concise hashtag for your event think WinspireGala20XX so followers can easily track event-related tweets in real time. Tweets with attached images stand out more, so include images of your featured auction items, last year's event, the flyer and more. No longer is the professional networking site simply a medium for digital resumes and crisp headshots. More and more, LinkedIn members have been taking advantage of group posts and networking for an interactive experience.

To take advantage of these opportunities, try joining a local group i.