Maybe you work at selling a company product. Or maybe you work at selling yourself as a hot product. Either way, you need to have an interesting, focused online identity.
“It’s extremely important to have a strong position,” Jinal Shah told my New School class the other night. “You need to create a point of view for your audience.”
Jinal is what’s called a “digital brand strategist,” one of the trendy jobs growing out of the Internet’s obsession with connecting via social media. Her employer, Electric Artists, is a Noho-based digital agency that helps clients like American Express, Starwood Hotels and the Food Network with building customer loyalty online.
Such a treat to have her visit with 12 of the students from my “Introduction to the New Journalism” class. Ranging in age from ages 22 to 48, they’re pursuing careers in immigrant rights, acting, interior decorating, psychopharmacology, journalism, public relations and more. I got a kick from watching Jinal mesmerize this diverse, non-conformist group with a 75-minute talk on how to succeed in business. To nail the lesson, Jinal also gave the lucky attendees feedback on their individual blogs.
Without acting preachy, she sold us on her personal brand: Future Digital Diva. “I get paid to be myself and just have fun!” she said and went on to charm us. Jinal was 18 when she left India to study journalism at Temple University. While at school, she started a blog about her “teen angst.” After graduation, the dream magazine job didn’t materialize. Instead, her blogging know-how put her on the digital strategist track.
The firm she works for provides what’s known in the jargon as “social media marketing, digital strategy and online public relations.” Very often, it begins with helping clients to create and manage blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts in smart, thoughtful ways.
Here are the highlights from Jinal’s talk. The corporate strategies are easily adaptable to personal use:
As for writing tips:
Jinal mentioned that more and more companies are hiring people on staff to handle social media duties. These jobs have titles like community manager and chief communication official. Worth exploring! To learn more about Jinal Shah, check out her website at www.constantbeta.com. Thank you, Jinal!
And to learn more about this class, click here.