I managed to achieve three important goals in three days.
First, I helped my daughter move into her new college apt.
Second, I got to rub shoulders with VO elite at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Poker Tournament.
(see yesterday’s blog Voice Acting Royalty Was There)
Finally, I spent two days soaking up Social Media tips at the SPJ EIJ13.
SPJ EIJ13 is the Society of Professional Journalists, Excellence in Journalism 2013 Conference.
Despite rumors to the contrary, journalism is not disappearing, although it IS under siege. To my delight, I’m also finding out TV news is also not going away, but it’s trying hard to morph into something that no one has quite figured out yet.
FOX’s Chris Wallace, and ABC’s Jim Avila were among the many “name” journalists who graced the sessions. There were the usual stuffy institutional meetings, book-signings, exhibitors, and young job-seekers…but in the break-out sessions, I found Social Media gold.
Not all of it is applicable to what we do as freelance VO people, but one thing came clear in session after session: your online reputation is formed by everything you are, do, and have done on the internet. And since your online reputation makes up a HUGE chunk of present-day persona and branding, this is not an area you can ignore.
Some tips that will help you gain a little more control of what others see about you:
- Google yourself monthly, if not weekly or daily. This is what others are doing to see who you are and what you do, and you should know what they’re seeing (see my blog: You on Google)
- Constantly spruce-up your profiles, profile pics, demos, info, keywords, and links on all social media sites (see my blog: Update Again and Again)
- The internet is an Elephant (it never forgets) To employers and clients, the “social media” you is no different from the “real” you. So that flame war you got into with a jerk from South Carolina over the Confederate Flag?… is now public record. Not only that, it’s probably in the NSA files, not to mention your Twitter and FaceBook history, easily retrievable. You deleted? Doesn’t matter, stuff gets retweeted, screen-scraped, and logged by bots automatically. Trust me, it’s NOT gone. Pictures can be especially damaging if they show you in an unsavory light.
- Be careful to distinguish and dissociate yourself from others with the same name. Use a middle initial. Make sure you have a current picture of yourself with your name always…or at least your logo.
- What’s missing from your online persona is just as important to your reputation as what is present.
- Develop profile pages on sites such as LinkedIn, BrandYourself, and About.me. Link these sites to your demo site.
- Enable privacy settings on sites where you don’t want the content to be public.
There’s more, but these are the essentials, and some of these ideas are not mine. The credit goes to Marie K Shanahan a professor at UConn. Her seminar Monday was an eye-opener to me. You can pick up a lot of wisdom from her by following on Twitter: @mariekshan.